Agenda and minutes

Overview and Scrutiny Commission - Thursday, 6 July 2017 7.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Fourth Floor, Easthampstead House, Bracknell. View directions

Contact: Hannah Stevenson  01344 352308

Note No. Item



Minutes and Matters Arising pdf icon PDF 245 KB

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Commission held on 11 May 2017 and the minutes of the Annual Overview and Scrutiny Commission held on 24 May 2017.

Additional documents:


RESOLVED that the minutes of the Overview and Scrutiny Commission held on the 11 May 2017 and the minutes of the Annual Overview and Scrutiny Commission held on the 24 May 2017 be approved as a correct record, and signed by the Chairman.



Declarations of Interest and Party Whip


Members are asked to declare any disclosable pecuniary or affected interests 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 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.


Any Member with an affected Interest in a matter must disclose the interest to the meeting and must not participate in discussion of the matter or vote on the matter unless granted a dispensation by the Monitoring officer or by the Governance and Audit Committee.  There is no requirement to withdraw from the meeting when the interest is only an affected interest, but the Monitoring Officer should be notified of the interest, if not previously notified of it, within 28 days of the meeting.


Councillor Mrs Birch declared a personal interest as the spouse of the Executive Member for Adult Services, Health and Housing.


Councillor Mrs McCracken declared a personal 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 the public in accordance with the Council’s Public Participation Scheme for Overview and Scrutiny.


Community Safety

Meeting as the Crime and Disorder Committee, to receive a presentation on, and to consider: the performance of the Community Safety Partnership in 2016-17; and the priorities in the Community Safety Plan for 2017-18.


The Chairman welcomed representatives of the Community Safety Partnership and Thames Valley Police (TVP) to the meeting of the Commission, in its capacity as the Crime and Disorder Committee.


Timothy Wheadon, Chairman of the Community Safety Partnership (CSP) said that the partnership had sustained success over a number of years, but that there was no room for complacency. Close partnership working with TVP and engagement with other parties in the Borough were key. Over the past year there had been some increase in crimes reported, but this was a small increase compared to other areas. There were also some internal staff changes, with the Chief Officer: Housing taking over the role previously held by the Assistant Chief Executive and Alison O’Meara filling the Community Safety Manager role.


Ian Boswell, Community Safety Consultant, gave a presentation to the Commission on the Bracknell Forest Community Safety Partnership’s performance during 2016/17, and plans for 2017/18.


Nikki Ross, Assistant Chief Constable and Superintendent Shaun Virtue, the newly appointed Local Police Area Commander of Thames Valley Police were present at the meeting for this item.


The CSP was a statutory partnership which met four times a year, which was required to conduct an annual assessment of crime, anti social behaviour and substance misuse within the borough. Its work supported the Council’s Strategic Theme of ‘Strong, safe, supportive and self-reliant communities’.


The Partnership were required to publish a three year plan, which was updated annually, of how it intended to make the community safer. The plan had been refreshed for 2017 – 2019 to fit with the current council plan. There were four main priorities that the plan would focus on over this period.


The CSP received £152,740 grant funding from the Police and Crime Commissioner in 2016/17. The Community Safety Team was comprised of 4 Full Time Equivalent posts which included the Community Safety Manager. The Community Safety Team currently sat within the Chief Executive’s Office, but would be moving to Adult Social Care, Health and Housing. 


There were two themes and eight CSP priorities for 2016/17.


The key headlines arising from the presentation were:


  • Crime had fallen every year since 2008/09 but increased this year.
  • There were 4302 fewer victims of crime in 2016/17 than in 2006/07.
  • The Crime Survey of England and Wales 2016 showed that there was a constant fall in crime, however this data was not always comparable.
  • Within the similar family group, Bracknell had recorded the least number of crimes in the last 12 months. It was hard to compare against the other Thames Valley Boroughs as the areas were so different.
  • There had been a 5% reduction in sexual offences in 2016/17.
  • There had been a 5.4% reduction in possession of drugs offences. There had been a national drug operation in July 2016 which had issued 60 closure orders.
  • Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary had produced a report about how the police recorded crime, which had brought about changes in the way crimes were recorded.
  • The increase in crime  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.


Communications and Marketing

To receive a presentation in respect of the work of the Communications and Marketing function, its current priorities and future plans, with specific reference to the new way of working following the IESE review in 2016.



 Having resumed its Overview and Scrutiny role, the Commission received a presentation updating them on the work of the Communications and Marketing function.


The key headlines from the presentation were:


  • The team was currently based within the Chief Executive’s Office.
  • There was full in-house capability, with a Head of Service, a deputy and a graphic designer within the team.
  • There were 5 Full Time Equivalents (FTEs) in the team, the average across similar teams within Berkshire was 5.2 FTEs.
  • The function had been reviewed by the IESE Business School in 2016. The team had previously worked in an account management model with officers matched to specific departments which were not often the best use of officers’ time or skills.
  • The new model focused on a strategic approach to communications and marketing, particularly focusing and delivering support on the big strategic projects happening within the Council.
  • There had been a considerable growth in social media demands. The team’s target was to hit four million social media impressions a year, the team was currently hitting five million, putting three or four messages a day out on social media.
  • The new approach meant that the team were focusing on the most important council priorities and supporting transformation.
  • As part of the new model, a self service approach for routine, straight forward communications would be provided by nominated service officers who had been trained by the Communications and Marketing team. This had been implemented in February 2017.
  • Press Office and out of hours support would still be provided.
  • There was one long term sickness absence within the team and one member had left, which resulted in two vacancies within the team at present.
  • Digital upskilling of the team was a priority.
  • The team were happy with the shift of focus and work and felt that the new model was working well.


In response to Members’ questions, the following points were made:


  • The Mayoral website was being administered by Mayoral support as part of the new self service approach.


The Chairman thanked the Assistant Chief Executive for his presentation.




Quarterly Service Reports (QSRs) pdf icon PDF 583 KB

To consider the latest trends, priorities and pressures in terms of departmental performance as reported in the QSRs for the fourth quarter of 2016/17 (January to March 2017) relating to:


·                     The Chief Executive’s Office

·                     The Corporate Services Department


Additional documents:


The Commission noted the Quarterly Service Reports for the forth quarter of 2016/17 (January to March 2017) relating to the Chief Executive’s Office and Corporate Services Department.


As a result of Members’ comments and questions, the following points were made:


  • Councillor Finnie expressed concern that he had not received any information as the councillor for Crowthorne regarding the Crowthorne Community Hub.
  • Business reporting was currently being looked at as part of Transformation work as the quarterly performance reports were often out of date by the time they were reported at Overview and Scrutiny Commission meetings.




Executive Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 106 KB

Scheduled Executive Key and Non-Key Decisions of a corporate nature are attached for consideration.

Additional documents:


The Commission noted the forthcoming items on the Executive forward plan of a corporate nature.


Arsing from discussions it was noted that:


  • The Council were already out to tender for the contract for the work at Time Square, this would conclude at the end of August with work due to start at the beginning of October and finishing in February 2018.
  • A newsletter regarding the Time Square work was due to be sent out to Members.
  • Members and the Democratic Function would move across to Time Square in March 2018.
  • It was important to get the tender in place for the demolition of Easthampstead House, as otherwise rates would still need to be paid on the building prior to being demolished. This had formed part of the business case.




Updates from Panel Chairmen pdf icon PDF 341 KB

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


The Commission noted progress against the Overview and Scrutiny work programme for 2017-18.



Date of the next meeting


 The date of the next Overview and Scrutiny Commission was 21 September 2017.


The Chair commented that this was the last meeting for Victor Nicholls, Assistant Chief Executive. On behalf of the Commission he thanked Victor for his attendance, work undertaken on behalf of the Commission and Council, in particular the regeneration of the Town Centre and wished him all the best for the future.