Agenda and draft minutes

Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Council Chamber, County Hall, Ruthin

Items
No. Item

1.

APOLOGIES

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Councillor Ann Davies, Bob Murray and David Williams.

 

 

2.

DECLARATION OF INTERESTS pdf icon PDF 116 KB

Members to declare any personal or prejudicial interests in any business identified to be considered at this meeting.

Minutes:

A declaration of a personal interest was submitted by Councillor Emrys Wynne, who in his capacity as a magistrate had dealt with a case involving Kingdom Security..

 

 

3.

APPOINTMENT OF VICE-CHAIR pdf icon PDF 58 KB

To elect the Committee’s Vice-Chair for the municipal year 2018/19 (see attached copy of the role description for Scrutiny Member and Chair/Vice-Chair)

 

 

Minutes:

The Chair asked the Committee for nominations for Vice Chair.  Councillor Hugh Irving had expressed an interest in serving as the Committee’s Vice-Chair for a further term.  Councillor Irving had submitted a CV which had been circulated to Committee members.

 

Councillor Martyn Holland proposed that Councillor Irving be appointed as the Committee’s Vice-Chair for the forthcoming year, Councillor Huw Jones seconded the proposal.  No other nominations were received and the Committee unanimously:

 

Resolved: - that Councillor Hugh Irving be appointed as the Committee’s Vice-Chair for the 2018-19 municipal year

 

 

4.

URGENT MATTERS AS AGREED BY THE CHAIR

Notice of items which, in the opinion of the Chair, should be considered at the meeting as a matter of urgency pursuant to Section 100B(4) of the Local Government Act 1972.

Minutes:

No urgent matters were raised.

 

 

5.

MINUTES OF THE LAST MEETING pdf icon PDF 402 KB

To receive the minutes of the Performance Scrutiny Committee meeting held on 26 April 2018 (copy enclosed).

10:00am – 10:05am

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting of the Performance Scrutiny Committee held on 26 April 2018 were submitted.

 

 

Matters arising:

 

·         Members queried when they would receive the information report in regards to the school exclusion data, they were informed that the information report would be circulated in September.

·         The school visit which was raised as an observation during the discussion on ‘Behaviour Management in Denbighshire Schools’ item was also queried, the scrutiny co-ordinator informed members that Education Service staff were currently in the process of arranging a visit for members to the Pupil Referral Unit and associated projects.

 

RESOLVED that the minutes of the Performance Scrutiny Committee meeting held on 26 April 2018 be received and approved as a correct record.

 

 

6.

USE OF KINGDOM SECURITY LTD FOR THE ENFORCEMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL CRIME pdf icon PDF 129 KB

To consider a report from the Head of Planning and Public Protection (copy enclosed) outlining how the Council manages its contract for environmental crime enforcement work with Kingdom Security Limited and to seek the Committee to make recommendations to Cabinet in relation to the future provision of those services

 

10:05am – 11:05am

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Lead Member for Housing, Regulation and Environment introduced the Head of Planning and Public Protection’s report (previously circulated) which updated the Committee on environmental crime enforcement activities undertaken by Kingdom Security Limited on the Council’s behalf.  The report was presented to the Committee in response to a request from members who wanted to know how the Council’s contract with Kingdom was being managed to realise value for money and what controls were in place to avoid damaging the Council’s reputation whilst undertaking enforcement action.

 

During his introduction the Lead Member emphasised that the contract with Kingdom in Denbighshire was robustly and effectively managed by the Council’s Senior Public Protection Officer (Community Safety).  Complaints relating to environmental crime in Denbighshire, particularly dog fouling, were amongst the highest in Wales prior to the Council entering into a contract with Kingdom to deliver enforcement services.  Surveys undertaken by Keep Wales Tidy in recent years had shown a marked improvement in street cleanliness, with the number of fixed penalty notices (FPNs) issued for dog fouling offences in Denbighshire being consistently amongst the highest in Wales.  Prior to Kingdom delivering environmental crime enforcement services Denbighshire served very few FPNs for dog fouling.  The current trend indicated a reduction in the number of FPNs served for dog fouling offences, this was attributed to the effectiveness of past performance acting as a deterrent coupled with the educational aspect of the work undertaken by Kingdom i.e. handing out dog faeces bags to the public and where owners were allowing dogs to run freely drawing their attention to the signs which advised the public that the area was subject to a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) which necessitated dogs to be kept on a lead at all times.

                                                                                                                                                                

Representatives from Kingdom Security Limited had been invited to attend the meeting to discuss environmental crime enforcement with the Committee.  Whilst they had initially accepted the invitation, due to concerns about the safety and welfare of their staff they had, within the preceding 24 hours, taken the decision not to attend.  They had however issued a statement which the Head of Planning and Public Protection read out at the meeting which outlined the reasons behind their decision not to attend the meeting.  Committee members expressed their disappointment that Kingdom had withdrawn from sending a representative to the meeting at such a late stage.  Whilst they understood the company’s concerns they stressed that they should have nothing to fear from attending a meeting of a democratically constituted committee.

 

The Head of Planning and Public Protection detailed the report and associated appendices’ contents.  He informed the Committee that whilst Kingdom were based at the Council’s offices in Denbigh they operated across the county and were deployed based on intelligence and complaints received from council officers and the general public.  The Council’s contract with Kingdom was reviewed and amended annually based on the types of enquiries and complaints received from residents. 

 

Members were advised that the Council had entered into a contract with  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.

7.

YOUR VOICE' COMPLAINTS PERFORMANCE (Q4) pdf icon PDF 297 KB

To consider a report by the Statutory and Corporate Complaints Officer (copy enclosed) which seeks the Committee to fulfil its role in relation to scrutinising the Council’s performance in dealing and learning from complaints.

 

11:15pm – 11:45pm

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Lead Member for Developing Community Infrastructure introduced the Statutory and Corporate Complaints Officer’s report (previously circulated) on Services’ compliance and performance with the corporate customer complaints policy during quarter 4 of the 2017/18 reporting year.  During his introduction he informed members that the number of complaints received along with the number of compliments and suggestions received were all higher than the previous quarter.  Nevertheless, only one complaint had not been dealt with within the set time, this complaint related to the Education Service.  Due to the pressures it was under because of personnel and resources being allocated towards the work involved with the Estyn inspection at the time, the Service had not been able to gather all the views it needed to respond to the complaint in time.  Nevertheless the Council had still attained a performance rate of 99% in dealing with complaints.  During quarter 4 2017/18 customer feedback had resulted in a learning point for the Single Point of Access (SPoA) Service, which would result in a better service for all in due course.  For the 2017/18 year in its entirety the Council’s performance in dealing with complaints within the specified time was in the region of 99%.

 

In response to members’ questions the Lead Member, Principal Manager (Support Services) – Community Support Services, and the Statutory and Corporate Complaints Officer:

·         advised that having a dedicated officer dealing with statutory and corporate complaints had been crucial in securing an improvement in the Council’s performance in dealing with complaints.  He was able to focus on responding and handling the complaints and securing that they were dealt with within the designated target dates.  There was now a better system in place to deal with complaints and processes relating to dealing with complaints had been tightened;

·         confirmed that there had been an increase in recent months in the number of Freedom of Information (FOI) requests received.  However, as a separate officer dealt with FOI requests it did not adversely impact on the Authority’s performance in dealing with complaints;

·         advised that complaints received in relation to individual schools were dealt with by the schools concerned.  Complaints relating to education or education related policies were dealt with centrally by the Council;

·         confirmed that the nature of the complaints received were analysed with a view to identifying any emerging trends and improvements to services i.e. trends identified as part of the social services complaints process would be reported within the Director of Social Services’ Annual Report along with proposed improvements to address any shortcomings or failings;

·         advised that all complaints received were analysed on a quantitative and qualitative basis; and

·         informed the Committee that it was pleasing to report that Highways and Environmental Services had received a high volume of compliments following their efforts clearing snow and keeping roads open etc. during the recent periods of adverse weather conditions.

 

Committee members congratulated all services on their excellent performance in responding and dealing with complaints and

 

Resolved: - subject to the above observations  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.

8.

SCRUTINY WORK PROGRAMME pdf icon PDF 138 KB

To consider a report by the Scrutiny Coordinator (copy enclosed) seeking a review of the committee’s forward work programme and updating members on relevant issues.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Scrutiny Co-ordinator presented to the Committee the forward programme.  Members were informed that the next meeting had a potentially heavy workload and asked whether members would like to reschedule specific items.

 

The Committee was informed that an officer from Welsh Government (WG) would be attending the meeting on 19 July 2018 for the discussion on Capital Funding for Highways Projects.  Following a discussion on its forward work programme and the number of important items that merited discussion the Committee was of the view that all items listed on the work programme for the 19th July should be considered and therefore no item should be deferred.

 

As Councillor Peter Scott was now Chair of County Council he was no longer a member of the Committee. Councillor Martyn Holland informed the Committee that he was seeking a nomination from the Conservative Group to serve on Performance Scrutiny Committee in place of Councillor Scott.  Councillor Scott had also been the Committee’s representative on the Finance Service’s Service Challenge Group, therefore the Committee was requested to appoint a replacement representative to serve on that Group.  Following a discussion by members on which services they felt would benefit from their individual expertise the Committee:

 

Resolved: - subject to the above observations –

 

(i)        to confirm its forward work programme; and

(ii)       that Councillor Ellie Chard serve as the Committee’s representative on the Education and Children’s Services Service Challenge Group and Councillor Martyn Holland serve as its representative on the Finance Service’s Service Challenge Group

 

 

9.

FEEDBACK FROM COMMITTEE REPRESENTATIVES

To receive any updates from Committee representatives on various Council Boards and Groups

Minutes:

Councillor Arwel Roberts reported on a recent meeting of the School Standards Monitoring Group (SSMG) in which he had participated.  Representatives from Ysgol Trefnant and Ysgol Frongoch had attended the meeting and been robustly challenged on a number of aspects relating to their education provision and performance.  Councillor Roberts was of the view that the SSMG was an effective forum for raising school standards.

 

 

 

Meeting concluded at 12.35pm

 

 

 

 
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