Cheltenham Borough Council
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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Pittville Room - Municipal Offices. View directions

Contact: Saira Malin, Democracy Officer 

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies

Minutes:

Councillor Dobie had given his apologies.  

 

The Chairman introduced Hilary Gardner from Campbell Tickell.  He explained that as part of the review of scrutiny, she would be observing the meeting and noted that she had already met with some members. 

2.

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

No interests were declared.

3.

Minutes of the last meeting pdf icon PDF 1 MB

9 September 2019

Minutes:

The minutes of the last meeting had been circulated with the agenda.

 

Upon a vote it was unanimously

 

RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on the 9 September be agreed and signed as an accurate record.

4.

Public and Member questions, calls for actions and petitions

Minutes:

None were received.

5.

Matters referred to committee

Minutes:

No matters were referred to the committee.

6.

Public conveniences pdf icon PDF 966 KB

Mark Sheldon, Director of Corporate Projects

Minutes:

The Director of Projects introduced the report, as circulated with the agenda.  He reminded members that the committee had considered a report in July which outlined the current provision of the Authority’s public toilets, as well as four options for how these amenities might be managed in the future.  All with the aim of providing improved access to high quality facilities.  The committee supported option 3 (to retain selective facilities and seek a community partnership initiative to provide public access to alternative facilities) and Cabinet in turn, agreed to undertake a consultation exercise in respect of option 3.  Having concluded this consultation, which involved third sector partners, businesses and members of the public, as well as learnings shared by Gloucester City Council on their Community Partnership Scheme, the report identified opportunities and recommendations for improvements to the future provision of public conveniences in the town centre.  Results appeared to support the proposal to retain selected facilities and undertake a community partnership initiative and the business community also seemed to support this, with John Lewis, House of Fraser, Mr Mulligans Crazy Golf and Treble 2 Coffee House, as well as the Cheltenham Trust, having shown initial interest.  The recommendation was that toilets located in Montpellier, Pittville and Sandford Park, be retained, with Montpellier and Pittville requiring refurbishment, within a ten year period, and Sandford Park being redeveloped, in close proximity to the current site near the children’s play area.  Bath Terrace, Imperial Gardens and Royal Well had all been identified for closure, with a community partnership offering improved access to better quality facilities, which would generate an annual saving of £97k.  He noted that there was still a commitment to create a town centre Changing Places facility, which could potentially be located in the Regents Arcade, though negotiations on this were ongoing.  Where alternative facilities had not yet been identified as part of a community partnership scheme, more targeted consultation would be undertaken, though it was also noted that Gloucester City had observed increased take-up following implementation. 

 

The Director of Projects gave the following responses to member questions: 

 

·         The consultation had not resulted in a particularly good response level from Bath Road businesses and it was for this reason that more targeted consultation would be undertaken.  There would be no closure of toilets until a workable scheme had been identified.

·         The Royal Well facilities had been identified for closure but members were reminded that toilets were located right across the road, in addition to the nearby Municipal offices and Trust buildings.  It was clear that signposting would be crucial to the success of any partnership scheme. 

·         An annual payment of £500 would be offered to businesses for their involvement in the scheme, though it could be, as was the case in Gloucester, that not all businesses would require payment. 

·         There would be a minimum standard expected from any facilities and certain stores would not be considered for inclusion by their nature (i.e. bookmakers, lingerie shops). 

·         Gloucestershire County Council had committed to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.

7.

Gloucestershire Health and Wellbeing Strategy pdf icon PDF 415 KB

Richard Gibson, Strategy and Engagement Manager

Minutes:

The Strategy and Engagement Manager introduced the update, as circulated with the agenda.  The draft Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy was agreed by the Health and Wellbeing Board in July and undertook consultation between the 20 August and 15 October; however, the lead officer for the strategy had confirmed that a response from Cheltenham Borough Council would be welcome on the 22 October, should the committee decide to agree a response.

 

He highlighted the key elements from the draft strategy:

 

  • The proposed approach had been called the Gloucestershire Way and this was outlined in detail at paragraph 2.2 of the paper.
  • The vision was ‘Gloucestershire is a place where everyone can live well, be healthy and thrive’.  
  • There were seven priorities and no feedback had been sought on these.
  • The strategy covered health inequalities.
  • There were eight principles for ways of working and members were asked to consider the governance around these principles.

 

Members made the following comments:

 

  • The strategy painted a clear picture of health related Gloucestershire, highlighting specific challenges, which it was suggested, demonstrated Gloucestershire was not in fact a place where everyone lived well or thrived.
  • A number of members expressed their disappointment at the lack of any specific actions to address the challenges highlighted in the strategy.  As a result of this, they queried the value of producing the strategy, as well as how members of the public could be expected to respond to the consultation. 
  • It would have been useful to have included reference to previous strategies and how this latest version built on them. 
  • The priorities included making physically active the social norm and getting the inactive more active, as well as enabling people to build and nurture strong social networks; but nothing about the benefits that walking and cycling could have in both these areas.  There was a suggestion that the relevant organisations should therefore focus some of their budgets on improving the walking and cycling offer throughout the county, so it could easily form part of people’s everyday lives, rather than being a lifestyle choice made by some.
  • A member felt that the consultation questions had been formed in such a way that they were only going to get positive feedback in response. 

 

A member expressed their opinion that this and the following paper on the Indices of Deprivation were linked and that many of the changes members wanted for Cheltenham could be delivered by Cheltenham, without the need to be part of wider (county) groups.

 

The Chairman thanked the Strategy and Engagement Manager for his attendance and asked that he feedback the comments of the committee to the lead officer for the strategy.

 

8.

Indices of deprivation pdf icon PDF 990 KB

Richard Gibson, Strategy and Engagement Manager

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Strategy and Engagement Manager talked members through a PowerPoint presentation (attached at Appendix 1) that included maps which he felt members would find useful and the following key points were made:

 

·         In 2019 Cheltenham had two areas ranked in the top 10% most deprived areas in the country, St. Marks followed by St. Pauls.  It was noted that this had fluctuated over the years, there was a similar pattern, with between one and three wards ranking in the top 10%.

·         In terms of Education, Skills and Training deprivation, in 2019 there were seven areas within Cheltenham that ranked in the top 10% most deprived areas in the country, which represented a significant issue for the community and was at odds with a town that prided itself on its educational offer.

·         There were two sub-domains in terms of educational and skills deprivation: one relating to children and young people, which measured the attainment qualifications and one relating to adult skills, which measured the lack of qualifications in the resident working-age adult population. 

·         The Cheltenham Needs Assessment 2019 which was produced by GCC and contained a great deal of information which supported the deprivation data, including

·         Unemployment rates based on claimant counts are highest in the areas of deprivation as well as the percentage of 16-17 year old NEETs (Not in Education, Employment or Training).

·         As assessment of ‘Health Assets’ referred to green space and ‘Health Hazards’ fast food outlets and gambling establishments showed that the Town Centre had more hazards than assets.

·         Over 40% of children in St. Pauls were growing-up in what the Government called ‘child poverty’.

·         Residents vulnerable to fuel poverty were again more concentrated in areas of deprivation, but also in parts of College and Leckhampton wards. It was noted that not all poor households are fuel poor, and some households would not normally be considered poor but could be pushed into fuel poverty if they have high energy costs

·         In terms of users of the Citizens Advice Bureaux, these were again more concentrated in, St. Pauls, Lansdown, St. Peters, Hesters Way, Swindon Village and Oakley

·         The chart on Free School Meals demonstrated the contrast between areas of Cheltenham; with 45% of children at Hester’s Way Primary School being eligible and in stark contrast, less than 5% at the Charlton Kings Junior Academy.

·         The council was developing a Social Value Policy, which aimed to use procurement to secure wider social benefits to priority areas.

·         He made a cautionary note: that statistics were on occasion, used to attack the most deprived and that there should instead be no judgement, but rather understanding of the journey that some people have been on.

·         The town was on the cusp of major growth and this should be inclusive, driving improvement and benefiting all. 

·         Ten months into the successful ‘No Child Left Behind’ initiative and it was time to start thinking about the second year and having conversations about the degree of commitment from CBC

 

The Chairman acknowledged that this was a  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.

9.

Feedback from other scrutiny meetings attended pdf icon PDF 51 KB

Gloucestershire Health and Care O&S Committee (10 September) – update from Councillor Horwood (to follow)

 

Police and Crime Panel (13 September) – written update from Councillor Jonny Brownsteen

Minutes:

Councillor Brownsteen had produced a written update on the most recent meeting of the Police and Crime Panel (13 September).  This was taken as read and members asked to contact Councillor Brownsteen directly with any questions.

 

No update had been provided by Councillor Horwood. 

10.

Cabinet Briefing pdf icon PDF 87 KB

An update from the Cabinet on key issues for Cabinet Members which may be of interest to Overview and Scrutiny and may inform the O&S workplan. 

Minutes:

The Leader had nothing to add to the briefing which had been circulated with the agenda, other than to remind members about the county-wide governance seminar which was scheduled for the 23 October at 6pm. 

11.

Updates from scrutiny task groups

Verbal update on Events Task Group

Minutes:

Councillor Parsons, as Chair of the Events Task Group, provided a short update on progress.  He explained that the group had met for the first time on the 10 October and agreed an approach for the review.  There would be four meetings focussing on strategy, process, previous events and enforcement and would include relevant stakeholders for each.  The group would then come back to committee to endorse the current approach or to make recommendations about suggested changes. 

 

The Democracy Officer confirmed that her colleague was in the process of establishing officer/stakeholder availability for various dates, all of which were before Christmas, and would email members with at least two options for each meeting, as soon as possible. 

12.

Review of scrutiny workplan pdf icon PDF 141 KB

Consider if and when the committee could consider the Third Sector Policy

Minutes:

The Cabinet Member Finance had suggested that the committee may wish to review the Third Sector Policy and he invited her to address the committee.  The Cabinet Member Finance explained that the policy, which resulted in over £200k in rent subsidies for third sector organisations, was last reviewed in 2016.  Since then the council had adopted a new corporate plan, commercial strategy and place documents and given the earlier discussion regarding social value, a review would be timely.  Members agreed that the review should be undertaken by a small task group.  The Democracy Officer would draft some terms of reference, which would be tabled for approval at the next meeting.

13.

LOCAL GOVERNMENT ACT 1972 - EXEMPT INFORMATION

The committee is recommended to approve the following resolution:-

 

“That in accordance with Section 100A(4) Local Government Act 1972 the public be excluded from the meeting for the remaining agenda items as it is likely that, in view of the nature of the business to be transacted or the nature of the proceedings, if members of the public are present there will be disclosed to them exempt information as defined in paragraph 3, Part (1) Schedule (12A) Local Government Act 1972, namely:

 

Paragraph 3; Information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular

person (including the authority holding that information)

Minutes:

Upon a vote it unanimously

 

RESOLVED that in accordance with Section 100A(4) Local Government Act 1972 the public be excluded from the meeting for the remaining agenda items as it is likely that, in view of the nature of the business to be transacted or the nature of the proceedings, if members of the public are present there will be disclosed to them exempt information as defined in paragraph 3, Part (1) Schedule (12A) Local Government Act 1972, namely:

 

Paragraph 3; Information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information)

 

14.

Crematorium programme

Mike Redman, Director of Environment

Minutes:

The committee considered lessons learnt with regard to the crematorium programme.   

15.

North Place update

Paul Jones, Executive Director of Finance and Assets

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The committee received an update on North Place.  

16.

Date of next meeting

18 November 2019

Minutes:

21 November 2019.