Agenda and minutes

Overview and Scrutiny Commission - Thursday, 10 July 2014 7.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Fourth Floor, Easthampstead House, Bracknell

Contact: Derek Morgan  01344 352044

Note No. Item



Minutes and Matters Arising pdf icon PDF 71 KB

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meetings of the Overview and Scrutiny Commission held on 1 and 14 May 2014.

Additional documents:


RESOLVED that the Minutes of the Overview and Scrutiny Commission meetings held on 1 May 2014 and 14 May 2014 be approved as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.


Matters Arising


Further to the meeting held on 1 May 2014, it was reported that members of the Commission had visited Thames Valley Police Headquarters in Oxford on 13 June 2014.  The Chairman stated that the visit had been very interesting and informative, and recorded the Commissions’ thanks for Chief Inspector Dave Gilbert and his staff.



Declarations of Interest and Party Whip

Members are requested to declare any disclosable pecuniary or affected interest, including the existence and nature of the Party Whip, in respect of any matter to be considered at this meeting.


Any Member with a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest or an affected interest in a matter should withdraw from the meeting when the matter is under consideration and should notify the Democratic Services Officer in attendance that they are withdrawing as they have such an interest. If the Disclosable Pecuniary Interest is not entered on the register of Members interests the Monitoring Officer must be notified of the interest within 28 days.



Councillor Mrs McCracken declared an interest as the spouse of the Executive Member for Culture, Corporate Services and Public Protection.



Urgent Items of Business

Any other items which, pursuant to Section 100B(4)(b) of the Local Government Act 1972, the Chairman decides are urgent.


There were no urgent items of business.


Public Participation

To receive submissions from members of the public which have been submitted in advance in accordance with the Council’s Public Participation Scheme for Overview and Scrutiny.


There were no submissions from members of the public in accordance with the Council’s Public Participation Scheme for Overview and Scrutiny.


Broadmoor Hospital pdf icon PDF 17 KB

Meeting as the Crime and Disorder Committee, to discuss with John Hourihan, Director of Security at Broadmoor Hospital and Chief Inspector Dave Gilbert, Bracknell Local Police Area Commander:


·                       The effect of the re-development on security arrangements at the hospital;


·                       The considerations regarding the Broadmoor alert sirens.

Additional documents:


Meeting as the Crime and Disorder Committee, John Hourihan, Director of Security at Broadmoor Hospital, and Chief Inspector Dave Gilbert of Thames Valley Police, were welcomed to the meeting.


John Hourihan gave a presentation in respect of the effect of the re-development on the security arrangements at the hospital and a consultation on proposals to decommission a number of the Broadmoor alert sirens. Mr Hourihan said he had delivered the same presentation to seven other councils previously.


The alert sirens at Broadmoor Hospital had been installed in 1952, following an escape by a patient, with further sirens added during the 1960s.  They were intended to provide a warning in the event of another escape, but there had not been an escape for more than 20 years.  The sirens were tested weekly but this had highlighted a number of failures, and an independent review had concluded that they were no longer fit for purpose and the resources needed to undertake repairs were not always available.  In addition, the environment surrounding the hospital had changed considerably since the sirens had been installed, and now contained areas of commercial as well as residential use.  The number of patients had reduced from some 900 in 1952 to around 200 now.  Some areas were not covered by the existing sirens.  It was felt that there was a misconception amongst local residents that the sirens contributed to security at the site, but their role was purely for notification.  However, it had been recognised that they played a role in making local residents feel secure and as a result it was proposed to keep those closest to the hospital, and it was proposed that six closest to the hospital, in Crowthorne, Sandhurst and Little Sandhurst, be replaced whilst those further away from the hospital would be decommissioned.  A map was displayed at the meeting showing the area where the remaining sirens would be audible and the location of those that would be removed.  An additional consideration for the hospital had been whether maintaining all the existing sirens would be an appropriate use of public money, and it had been concluded by the hospital that this would not be the case.


The presentation outlined the history of the hospital, and explained that it had undergone a number of significant changes during its history, most notably following the 2001 Tilt review.  This had set the security standards for Broadmoor, Ashworth and Rampton Hospitals and recommended that security at the sites should comply with Category B prison standards.  The security at Broadmoor included a secure perimeter with two alarmed fences, anti-climb measures, and the support of over 300 cameras.  Annual audits of security at the hospital had resulted in outstanding scores for the last three years, of 99%, 99% and 97%.  Security had been designed to prevent an escape ever happening again, and now covered three key areas – physical, procedural and relational.  Staff at the hospital knew the patients, and the risks they posed, well.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.



Service Reports pdf icon PDF 183 KB

To consider the performance monitoring reports for the fourth quarter of the 2013/14 (January-March) financial year for the:


·                     Chief Executive’s Office

·                     Corporate Services Department


Please bring the previously circulated Quarterly Service Reports to the meeting.  Copies are available on request and attached to this agenda if viewed online.


The Chairman has asked that any detailed questions arising from the Quarterly Service Reports should be referred to either the Assistant Chief Executive or Director of Corporate Services in advance and only raised in the meeting if you consider the issue requires wider discussion.

Additional documents:


The Commission noted the latest trends, priorities and pressures in terms of departmental performance as reported in the Quarterly Service Reports for the fourth quarter of 2013 to 2014 (January to March) financial year for the Chief Executive’s Office and the Corporate Services Department.  The Assistant Chief Executive advised that the worsened performance on nuisance anti-social behaviour related to an increase in fly tipping.


Corporate Performance Overview Report pdf icon PDF 360 KB

To consider the Chief Executive’s Corporate Performance Overview Report for the fourth quarter of 2013/14 (January to March)


The Chairman has asked that any detailed questions arising from the report should be referred to the Assistant Chief Executive or the relevant departmental officers in advance and only raised in the meeting if you consider the issue requires wider discussion.


The Commission considered the Corporate Performance Overview Report detailing

Council performance during the fourth quarter of the 2013/14 financial year (January to March 2014). Arising from Member’s questions and comments the following points were noted:


·                     The Children and Young People’s department had been asked to present to the Parish and Town Liaison Group on actions being taken in response to the survey of children in the borough to reduce incidences of bullying.  It was reported that this would be presented to the next meeting of the Commission.


·                     The work on Branding was now integrated into the programme for the Business and Enterprise team, and Mr Nicholls offered a further briefing on this, on request.


·                     Clarification was requested on the definition of Indicator L160, Supply of Ready to Develop Housing Sites, particularly as this was a new indicator but already listed as being on target.  It was reported that the details of this, also a note of the recent decision of the Planning Inspector,  would be reported back to members separately.


·                     Concern was expressed at the increase in the percentage of the number of households becoming homeless.  It was reported that this was being closely monitored.


·                     The technical definition of indicator L175 concerning road traffic accidents, would be circulated to members.



Executive Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 23 KB

Forthcoming items on the Executive Forward Plan of a corporate nature are attached for consideration.

Additional documents:


The Commission received and noted a report summarising forthcoming items on the Executive Forward Plan of a corporate nature.


In response to a query from the Commission it was report that the Bracknell Town Centre Development Agreement had been included to allow new agreements to be made, or existing agreements to be varied, as needed.  These carried a date of ‘not before 1 February 2014’ because they had been added to the Forward Plan as early as possible and the date had been correct at the time.  A Member expressed the view that communications on the regeneration of the town centre needed to be improved.


With regard to the Proposed Sale of Land to the North of Shorlands Oak, it was reported that an offer had been received from the landowner to the south of the site.  This was currently being considered but the item would not be considered the Executive on 22 July 2014 but at a later date.  Councillor McLean expressed concern that, as Ward Councillor, he had not been consulted about the proposals.


Work Programme and Panel Activity Update pdf icon PDF 50 KB

To note the progress against the Overview and Scrutiny work programme for 2014-15, and the reports from Overview and Scrutiny Panel Chairmen on each Panel’s progress against the work programme.


The Commission received and noted a report providing an update on the Overview and Scrutiny Work Programme for 2014-15 and Panel activity, with particular reference to Working Groups of the Overview and Scrutiny Commission.



Overview & Scrutiny Quarterly Progress Report pdf icon PDF 115 KB

To note the bi-annual progress report of the Assistant Chief Executive.


The Commission received and noted a report on Overview and Scrutiny Activity during the period December 2013 to May 2014.  The report set out details of the meetings that had taken and place and the items that had been considered for the Overview and Scrutiny Commission and Overview and Scrutiny Panels, as well as other overview and scrutiny issues.