Agenda and minutes

Overview and Scrutiny Commission - Thursday, 5 July 2018 7.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber - Time Square, Market Street, Bracknell, RG12 1JD. View directions

Contact: Kirsty Hunt  01344 353108

Note No. Item



Minutes and Matters Arising pdf icon PDF 156 KB

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meetings of the Overview and Scrutiny Commission held on 10 May and 23 May 2018.

Additional documents:


RESOLVED that the minutes of the meetings of the Commission held on 10 May and 23 May 2018 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.




Declarations of Interest and Party Whip

Members are asked to declare any disclosable pecuniary or affected interests and the nature of that 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 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.  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.


There were no declarations.


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



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 items of urgent 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.


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


Community Safety pdf icon PDF 1005 KB

Meeting as the Crime and Disorder Committee, to receive presentations on, and to consider: the performance of the Community Safety Partnership in 2017-18; and the priorities in the Community Safety Plan for 2018-19.


Timothy Wheadon, Chairman of Community Safety Partnership and Alison O’Meara, Head of Community Safety’s presentation attached.


Superintendent Shaun Virtue, Local Police Commander Bracknell & Wokingham will cover in particular:

         Setting out the Policing Picture

         Local Crime Overview

         Safeguarding & Vulnerable People

         Demand on services

         Commitment to productive partnership working

         Police Resourcing overview


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


Timothy Wheadon, Chairman of the Community Safety Partnership (CSP) attended with Alison O’Meara, Head of Community Safety who gave a presentation to the Committee on the Bracknell Forest Community Safety Partnership’s (CSP) performance during 2017/18, and plans for 2018/19. Superintendent Shaun Virtue, the Local Police Area Commander of Thames Valley Police was present at the meeting for this item.


The Head of Community Safety advised that the CSP has been performing well in a national climate of rising crime. The key headlines arising from the presentation were:


·         Bracknell Forest was the only CSP area to show a reduction in victim-based crime e.g. 1% with increases across the Thames Valley of 8%.

·         When compared to similar demographic groupings Bracknell Forest had the lowest crime figure for 2017/18. 

·         There had been a national rise in violent crime which was a key priority and this was the case for the Thames Valley, Berkshire and Bracknell Forest.  These increases in violence also reflected the changes in how crimes were now being recorded.

·         The work undertaken within the Lexicon e.g. effective policing, patrols by Lexicon security teams as well as the impact of people no longer congregating in Jubilee Gardens had had a positive effect in the CSP’s performance against alcohol-related anti-social behaviour in Public Space Protection Order (PSPO).

·         Although shoplifting figures showed a 16% reduction, the CSP was aware that not all incidents were being reported.

·         Criminal damage within the Town Centre had seen a 25% reduction despite the significant increase in footfall within the town.

·         In relation to Public Order crimes reported in the Town Centre, these had increased from 21 to 39 in 2017/18. However, although this was an 86% increase, this needed to be considered within the context of the number of visitors and that the majority of incidents related to breaches to an order for one individual.

·         The multi-agency approach to problem-solving had led to closure orders for both drug and exploitation-related crimes.

·         The increased reporting rate of domestic abuse was still interpreted as a positive outcome and the CSP was focusing on reducing repeat offences.

·         The graph illustrating ‘All Crime’ since March 2003 showed that Bracknell Forest CSP’s low figures had held steady since 2013 while all other CSPs in England and Wales has increased considerably.

·         The CSP was very proud to deliver some of the lowest crime reported nationally despite widespread pressures.

·         Two case studies were provided which explained the CSPs problem solving intervention and the positive impacts on specific anti-social behaviour and domestic abuse.

·         New priorities for the CSP included modern slavery to reflect recent legislation as well as Local Government Association recommendations that all areas need to respond to this crime type as a growing, hidden issue, and drug lines (County Lines) which would respond to national concerns around exploitation  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.


ICT and Digital Infrastructure Strategy

Steve Bruce, Chief Officer: ICT attending to facilitate a workshop on the ICT and digital infrastructure strategy.


The Chairman advised the meeting that unfortunately due to an accident Steve Bruce, Chief Officer: ICT was unable to attend to facilitate a workshop on the ICT and digital infrastructure strategy. He therefore advised the meeting that this would be deferred.


Action: Governance and Scrutiny to add ICT and Digital Infrastructure Strategy to the Overview and Scrutiny Commission forward plan.


Development of Overview and Scrutiny Work Programme 2018-19 pdf icon PDF 331 KB

To agree the topics for inclusion in the Commission’s work programme for 2018/19.


The Commission noted the report which pulled together the proposals and consultation responses on which topics should be the priority for the Commission during the municipal year.


The Chairman corrected the inaccurate reference within the report to the Recruitment and Retention activity as a Task and Finish Group, clarified that this had been a workshop with Commission members and was not intended to be regarded as any kind of policy making initiative. 


It was agreed that the Chairman and Vice-Chairman would prioritise the proposed topics within the parameters described within the report and identify topics to be considered. 


Action: Chairman and Vice-Chairman to identify topics for inclusion in the Overview and Scrutiny work programme for the Commission and circulate to members of the Commission.



Quarterly Service Reports (QSRs) pdf icon PDF 978 KB

To consider the performance monitoring reports for quarter 4 (January – March 2018) of the 2017/18 financial year for the Resources Directorate.


Panel members are asked to give advance notice to the Governance and Scrutiny Team of any questions relating to the Quarterly Service Report where possible.


The Commission noted the latest trends, priorities and pressures in terms of departmental performance as reported in the QSRs for the fourth quarter of 2017/18 (January to March 2018) relating to the Resources Directorate. 


Alison Sanders, Director of Resources highlight in particular that the Time 2 Change project had completed during this period. It was noted that although building works had been significant there were many strands to the project and there had been wider cultural impact of being co-located in Time Square which were changing how the organisation works.


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

  • In relation to the former landfill site at London Road it was explained that ‘competitive dialogue process’ was very different to the usual tender process when the outcome was known. Instead this meant that the Council, working with legal advice, was discussing with interested bidders what the outcome could be and addressing issues as they arose. It was noted this was a time-consuming and complex process similar to the creation of the PFI for RE3 and would follow the same methodology.
  • It was clarified that there were two elements to the site at London Road with another parcel of land which was set apart from the former landfill site which was the subject of the proposed decision on the Executive forward plan regarding the construction of an access road.
  • It was explained that further to the two CIPD workforce planning workshops work with managers was ongoing to complete a thorough process to identify and centrally map what was required through both training and behavioural change.
  • It was clarified that the failure to hit the target for L233 percentage of abandoned calls to the main Council contact number did not relate to intentional activities to deflect callers to other avenues but instead reflected staff vacancies, leave and staff sickness. 
  • The works for moving links from Easthampstead House to the Library which had been delayed and affected the decommissioning dates had now been completed by British Telecom.




Executive Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 142 KB

To consider scheduled Executive Key and Non-Key Decisions relating to Resources.


Members received and noted the scheduled Key and Non-Key Executive Decisions of a corporate nature.


The Chairman raised concerns regarding the decision reference 1074206 – Legal Services Review which was looking at the feasibility of a merged Legal Service between Bracknell Forest and West Berkshire Councils. Members had been advised at the recent Licensing and Safety Committee that officers working within the merged regulatory services were experiencing issues with a number of elements such as ICT and communications which Members had previously been given assurances about. This therefore caused concern about repeating issues with the Legal Services proposal and he hoped that lessons were being learnt and that the proposed business model would be reviewed.


In response both the Chief Executive and Director of Resources reported that officers had not raised this formally within the organisation but that this would be followed up. The Director of Resources explained that 18 months of analysis had been undertaken to create the draft business case for the Legal Services merger. It was agreed that it would be a difficult decision but it was important to look at this opportunity.

Thanks to Director of Resources

The Chairman noted this was the last Commission meeting that Alison Sanders, Director of Resources would be attending and on behalf of the Commission extended their thanks for the work she had done for the Council and the Commission and wished her well for the future.