Agenda and minutes

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Contact: Governance Support 

No. Item



To receive apologies for absence, including notifications of any changes to the membership of the Board.


Members observed a minute’s silence as a mark of respect in memory of Councillor Patrick Joyce who was a member of the Overview and Scrutiny Board and had sadly passed away on 12 April 2024.


It was reported that, in accordance with the wishes of the Liberal Democrat Group and Conservative Group, the membership of the Board had been amended to include Councillors Maddison and Tolchard in place of the Liberal Democrat vacancy and Councillor Brook respectively.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 368 KB

To confirm as a correct record the minutes of the meeting of the Board held on 10 April 2024.


Subject to the deletion of the following sentence from paragraph 7 of minute 52, the minutes of the meeting of the Board held on 10 April 2024 were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman:


“Members acknowledged that the improved communication and engagement with Councillors and the community around the plans for the new Rifles Gardens demonstrated that improvements had been made.” 


Annual Review of Key Performance Indicators for the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) Local Area Strategy pdf icon PDF 706 KB

To consider the submitted report on the above.


(Note:  Members of the Children and Young People’s Overview and Scrutiny Board have been invited to attend this meeting.)


The Board reviewed the submitted report and heard evidence from the Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, Director of Children’s Services, Head of Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND), Divisional Director of Safeguarding, Deputy Director of Commissioning Out of Hospital NHS Devon and Play Torbay in respect on the annual review of the Key Performance Indicators for the SEND Local Area Strategy.


The Cabinet Member for Children’s Services thanked the Scrutiny Lead for Children’s Services for representing him at a recent review meeting in Bristol.


The Board asked a number of questions in relation to how dysfunctional services had been over a number of years; why more progress had not been made against the Written Statement of Action and five priority areas from the SEND Strategy, particularly around the ‘becoming an adult’ section; the lack of detail around performance; what was the joint vision for health, education and social care; if the graduated response was working, why was there an increase in exclusions, suspensions, absence rates and meetings with the Youth Justice Board for children with SEND; SEND was a national issue what conversations/lobbying was happening with the Government; were all Partners on the same page and supporting the direction of travel; what impact was there on children who were elected home educated or not attending school in terms of their education, social and emotional wellbeing; and have the reasons for elected home education been explored and what action was being taken to address parents’ concerns.


It was highlighted that the vision was SEND was everyone’s business and that partners (including the community and voluntary sector), Councillors, parents, Carers and young people all had an important role in making improvements to the support for all children and young people regardless of if they have SEND.   The Local Area Partnership acknowledged that they had not made the progress they had wanted to in addressing the findings from the Inspection in November 2021 and the Written Statement of Action and would be inspected under a new framework in the next six months.  It was likely that the Local Area Partnership would be judged between Outcome 2 and Outcome 3.


There had been difficulties bringing some Education System Leaders together on the journey due to the fragmented structure of the School System but that this was starting to improve with them joining some of the Priority Action Groups.  Parents were saying that they get a different approach from one school to another and there needs to be more consistency across the whole education system.  Roadshows were being held at schools to speak to parents, Carers and young people but it was highlighted that some of the schools had multiple entrances and that the Roadshows could be missing lots of people due to this.  It was agreed that this would be reviewed to ensure engagement with as many people as possible.  Support was being provided to schools to encourage them to take early intervention when children identified as having additional needs and early steps meetings  ...  view the full minutes text for item 59.


Update on the Implementation of the Review of Planning Services Fit for the Future pdf icon PDF 180 KB

Update on the Implementation of the Review of Planning Services Fit for the Future, including:


·         Update on actions from LGA Review into Planning.

·         Accessibility and transparency around Section 106 and CIL.

·         Planning Enforcement following a Councillor Call for Action approved by the Overview and Scrutiny Board on 13 March 2024.


The Board considered a report which provided an update on the Planning, Housing and Climate Emergency Service of the Future Project and the response to the Councillor Call for Action on Planning Enforcement.  The Cabinet Member for Place Development and Economic Growth advised that the Council had tried to bring in additional staff but this had not resulted in reducing the backlog of Planning Enforcement cases (500 which had been impacted by Covid-19 and unable to be significantly reduced) and that the Director of Pride in Place was looking to find a solution looking at a system-wide approach and reviewing how the Council manages enforcements and complaints with a new Enforcement Policy and complaints form being developed which would prioritise the action being taken on enforcement cases.


Councillor George Darling provided a verbal update on his concerns around public perception and the lack of enforcement undermining the Planning Service.  He raised concerns around capacity; comparisons to national data; failure to deal with the backlog of cases; how Torbay compared to Plymouth City Council on enforcement; and concern around a revised Enforcement Policy and new complaints form and if they would dilute the process.  A statement was read out on behalf of Mr Carl Taylor which highlighted concerns and provided an example of an enforcement case and Mr Nigel Goodman (Maidencombe Residents Association) provided verbal evidence in respect of concerns around Planning Enforcement and the impact that lack of enforcement had on the community.


The Board asked a number of questions in relation to how the funding for Planning compared to other local authorities; how many enforcement cases had been reported in 2023 and 2024 and had resulted in issuing an Enforcement Notice; what was the rationale around the new Enforcement Policy and would that weaken or simplify the process; what improvements would be made and when will residents notice the impact of the work around enforcement; if a person phones up to say someone has cut down a tree with a Tree Preservation Order (TPO) on it how would that be dealt with under the new system; was the blocker a lack of capacity in the Enforcement Team or Legal Team; what action had been taken to address the five recommendations from the Board on 6 September 2023; were there any enforcement cases that were out of time to deal with that could be taken off the list; what was the reason that some of the green completed actions in the Improvement Plan were marked as yellow; how have service users been involved in the new Enforcement Policy; the data in the Improvement Plan was hard to read, what assurance could be given that the Planning Service had turned a corner; what was the baseline and benchmarking data from the start of the project; Planning was an area of great concern and interest from the public, what consideration had been given to creating a Continuous Improvement Board similar to the one for Children’s Services; the lack of suitable data  ...  view the full minutes text for item 60.


Review of Council Procurement Policies and Food and Music Festival pdf icon PDF 369 KB

To approve the report of the above Panel and submit to the Cabinet 11 June 2024.


The Board received the report of the Review of Council Procurement Policies and Food and Music Festival Review Panel as set out in the submitted report.


Resolved (unanimously:)


1.         that the report on the Review of Council Procurement Policies and Food and Music Festival be approved and submitted to the Cabinet on 11 June 2024;


2.         that the revised Procurement Policies be presented to the main Overview and Scrutiny Board prior to their approval; and


3.         that an update be given to all Councillors on the changes to Procurement once the new Legislation is in place.