Overview and Scrutiny Commission

3 August 2021

6.30  - 8.30 pm



Councillors Angell (Chairman), Virgo (Vice-Chairman), Mrs Birch, Brossard, Mrs Mattick, Mossom, Porter, Temperton, Atkinson (Substitute) and Brown (Substitute)

Apologies for absence were received from:

Councillors Gbadebo, MJ Gibson, Mrs McKenzie-Boyle and McLean

Executive Members Present:

Councillor D Birch

Also Present:

Kevin Gibbs, Executive Director: Delivery

Ann Moore, Head of Democratic and Registration Services

Fiona Slevin-Brown, Managing Director – Bracknell Forest Executive Lead for Urgent and Emergency Care, NHS Frimley CCG

Grainne Siggins, Executive Director: People


17.          Declarations of Interest and Party Whip

There were no declarations of interest.


There were no indications that members would be participating while under the party whip.



18.          Urgent Items of Business

There were no items of urgent business.



19.          Public Participation

No submissions had been made by members of the public under the Council’s Public Participation Scheme for Overview and Scrutiny.



20.          Health provision in Bracknell Forest

Fiona Selvin-Brown, Managing Director – Bracknell Forest Executive Lead for Urgent and Emergency Care, NHS Frimley CCG presented to the Commission on the current health provision and key issues in Bracknell Forest.


Following questions, the below points were noted:

-       Some residents had struggled to book a GP appointment by telephone at peak times. Improvements in telephone capacity and call handling would be considered.

-       It was expected that residents would be allowed in waiting rooms at GP surgeries in future. Provision for shelter outside GP surgeries where this was not possible would be considered.

-       It was confirmed that the work force at Brants Bridge Urgent Care Centre was the same as pre-pandemic levels but some of the minor illness provision had been upgraded. When support was not available at GP surgeries, there was an additional 1700 appointments per month available at the centre.

-       It was acknowledged that signage at Brants Bridge Urgent Care Centre could be better and improvements would be considered.

-       Currently GP surgeries were getting increased enquiries for appointments with some experiencing requests for an additional 200 appointments per day. This increase was attributed to a combination of reasons including support for people who were recovering from Coronavirus, updates to prescriptions and people delaying their appointments through fear of catching Coronavirus.

-       It was confirmed that the commission would receive confirmation regarding whether a medic would be available on-site at Brants Bridge Urgent Care Centre.

-       It was confirmed that there was an ongoing recruitment campaign for GPs and nurses and some excellent professionals were being attracted to working in the Bracknell Forest area.

-       It was confirmed that NHS services were still very busy and services were preparing for winter. Nationally there was new NHS leadership and there was a strengthened emphasis on partnership and community working.


Councillor Dale Birch, Chair of Health and Wellbeing Board explained the work of the board and current focuses.

Following questions, the following points were made:

-       It was confirmed that quarterly meetings were considered optimum and allowed partners to feedback to the board in a timely manner.


Grainne Siggins, Executive Director: People explained the current priorities for the People directorate and plans for the department.


Following questions, the following points were made:

-       It was noted that the full impact of coronavirus had not yet been realised and the situation would need to continue to be monitored.

-       It was acknowledged that mental health support was under pressure with increased demand and there was a focus on signposting young people to the services available. Childhood and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHs) were investing in early help support to prevent young people needing CAMHs support. Online and virtual support solutions were also available to people in need. A lot of investment had gone into routine CMHS offer and decreasing the Autism and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) support waiting lists. There was also investment into crises services and there was more work to do.

-       It was requested that figures were provided to the Commission on the number of referrals, the waiting times and readmittance to mental health services.



21.          Minutes of previous meeting

RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting of the Commission held on 8 July 2021 be approved as a correct record, and signed by the Chairman.


Responses to all of the queries and requests for information raised in the meeting had been received or formed part of the agenda.



22.          Membership of Wellbeing and Finance Overview and Scrutiny Panel

The Commission noted the nominations made at Council on 14 July 2021 including Councillor Gibson as the Chair elect of the Wellbeing and Finance Panel.


RESOLVED that Councillor Mrs McKenzie be elected to the Wellbeing and Finance Overview and Scruitny Panel for the Municipal Year 2021 – 2022



23.          Environment and Communities Overview and Scrutiny Panel Report: Food Waste in HMOs and Flats

Cllr John Porter, Chair of the Environment and Communities Overview and Scrutiny Panel, presented to members the report on Food Waste in Flats and Houses of Multiple Occupation (HMOs).


Following questions, the below points were noted:

-       It was clarified that individual caddies would be given to very small blocks of flats who already had their own recycling and general waste bins. Larger blocks of flats would receive bins with apertures.

-       It was also clarified that contaminated food waste bins would need to be cleaned by managing agents before they could be removed.

-       It was questioned whether another condition could be added to planning regulations however Planning Officers had advised that this was already included in planning regulations.

-       It was noted that the contamination of dry goods was a particular challenge in flats.


The Commission endorsed the recommendations within the Food waste in flats and Houses of Multiple Occupation review report for submission to the Executive on 21 September and agreed to review the implementation of these recommendations within a year.



24.          Work Programme Update

Cllr Gill Birch, Chair of the Education, Skills and Growth Overview and Scrutiny Panel updated the commission on the Community Infrastructure Levy Review and confirmed the report was expected to be presented at the October Commission Meeting. The next review into Special Educational Needs and Disability would be scoped in September.


The Wellbeing and Finance panel would be scope the Mental Health review and it was hoped this would be brought to the September commission meeting.
























For further information contact: Kirsty Hunt