Venue: Exe Room, Phoenix House, Tiverton
Contact: Carole Oliphant Member Services Officer
Link: audio recording
APOLOGIES AND SUBSTITUTE MEMBERS (00-01-54)
To receive any apologies for absence and notices of appointment of substitute Members (if any).
There were no apologies.
DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST UNDER THE CODE OF CONDUCT
Councillors are reminded of the requirement to declare any interest, including the type of interest, and reason for that interest, either at this stage of the meeting or as soon as they become aware of that interest.
There were no declarations of interest at this point in the meeting.
PUBLIC QUESTION TIME (00-02-26)
To receive any questions relating to items on the Agenda from members of the public and replies thereto.
Note: A maximum of 30 minutes is allowed for this item.
Sarah Coffin referring to Item 8 (Anaerobic Digester Working Group) on the agenda stated that I must compliment the Working Group on a very genuine report into the potential plusses and minuses presently existing within the complex green energy biogas industry. In particular, I refer to the industrial sized on-farm anaerobic digesters, which are neither self-sufficient nor self-contained.
I would like to point out in addition that the AD industry itself has acknowledged various problems AD operators are facing:
Honorary Alderman David Nation referring to item 9 (Local Improvements Scheme/ Asset Management) on the agenda and in particular the Council Offices in Market Street, Crediton stated that Members were aware that the Council received a petition regarding the sale of the Crediton Offices of 800 signatures at its meeting on 29 August; today, Cllr Letch has handed in ... view the full minutes text for item 59.
MEMBER FORUM (00-21-58)
An opportunity for non-Cabinet Members to raise issues.
There were no issues raised under this item.
Members to consider whether to approve the minutes as a correct record of the meeting held on 13th August 2018.
The Committee is reminded that only those members of the Committee present at the previous meeting should vote and, in doing so, should be influenced only by seeking to ensure that the minutes are an accurate record.
The minutes of the last meeting held on 13th August 2018 were approved as a correct record and SIGNED by the Chairman.
DECISIONS OF THE CABINET (00-23-42)
To consider any decisions made by the Cabinet at its last meeting that have been called-in.
The Committee NOTED that none of the decisions made by the Cabinet on 30th August 2018 had been called in.
CHAIRMAN'S ANNOUNCEMENTS (00-23-42)
To receive any announcements that the Chairman of Scrutiny Committee may wish to make.
The Chairman had no announcements to make.
To receive a final report on Anaerobic Digesters from the Scrutiny Officer.
The Committee had before it a final *report on anaerobic digesters from the Scrutiny Working Group
The Scrutiny Officer (and author of the report) outlined the contents of the report and thanked the public for their questions and the research that had taken place; he hoped that the report had provided a better understanding of process, science and potential impact of anaerobic digestion in Mid Devon as a source of renewable energy and bio fertiliser.
Members were invited to ask questions of the officers:
· How was Mid Devon dealing with food waste
· Details with regard to permits for spreading digestate
· Whether the issues recorded at Menchine were relevant and whether they had been upheld.
· The spreading of digestate and whether a period of time for cattle to access the land again had been identified.
The Chairman thanked the Scrutiny Officer for an excellent report and felt that the information within the report could help the authority and partner agencies with any future applications.
It was RESOLVED that:
1. A formal request is made to the Environment Agency that Mid Devon District Council (Planning and Public Health) are consultees on Environmental Permitting. This includes input in on-site and off-site odour or other nuisance management plans and digestate spreading protocols relevant to AD permit applications.
2. Where enforcement issues are raised with an AD plant or associated activities (for example through complaints and service requests or routine inspections), coordination takes place between relevant agencies and Mid Devon District Council.
3. Mid Devon District Council pro-actively liaises with all stakeholders (residents, operators, and agencies) to ensure local issues are dealt with as fairly and openly as legally permissible.
(Proposed by the Chairman)
i) Cllr Mrs F J Colthorpe declared a personal interest as she knew speakers at the meeting and that some of the information within the report referred to her Ward;
ii) Cllr N A Way declared a personal interest as he had been in contact with some of the objectors.
iii) *Report previously circulated and attached to the minutes.
To receive a report from the Group Manager for Corporate Property and Commercial Assets on historic District-wide Local Improvements Schemes and their associated liability.
The Committee had before it a *report from the Group Manager for Corporate Property and Commercial Assets providing information on historic district-wide Local Improvement Schemes and their associated liability.
He outlined the contents of the report stating that the report followed a request from Cllr Mrs Roach at a previous meeting to review the maintenance implications on historic Local Improvement Schemes which were commissioned by the Council between 2003 and 2004. The ownership of the footpath lighting scheme at Silverdale, Silverton had been investigated and it was revealed that it was not within the Council’s ownership and was owned privately be two separate people. He reported that since the issue had been raised by Cllr Mrs Roach and a local resident, some maintenance had taken place to the lighting. Investigation had taken place into the Local Improvement Schemes project, the list of schemes were under review by Property Services to confirm which of the 95 schemes originally listed had been completed, and where current/future ownership and liabilities rested, as those schemes had been paid for out of the Capital programme in 2003/4 with no sinking fund for maintenance.
Cllr Mrs Roach was invited to speak, she explained how much the Silverdale cut was used by local residents and she hoped that all of the 95 schemes mentioned in the report would be considered fully.
Consideration was given to:
· The Register of Council Assets
· The condition surveys on the Council’s non-housing premises, it was requested that the condition surveys for Tiverton Town Hall and Crediton Office be circulated to Members
· The Scrutiny proposal form received by a resident of Silverton, the Group Manager for Corporate Property and Commercial Assets to make contact with the lady and explain the work procedure that was proposed to take place.
It was therefore:
RECOMMENDED to the Cabinet that the work procedure detailed in paragraph 4 of the report be implemented.
(Proposed by the Chairman)
Note: - *Report previously circulated and attached to the minutes.
To receive a report from the Scrutiny Officer of topics that he had been tasked with.
The Committee received and NOTED an * update from the Scrutiny Officer who stated that the Anaerobic Digestion Working Party Report had been discussed earlier in the meeting. Information with regard to district and community nurse retention had been provided within a report from the House of Commons Health Committee which had reported a decrease of district nurses of 45% since 2010. Local data was still being sought. With regard to sickness levels, this information was within the update.
Consideration was given to
· The loss of experienced nurses at the RD&E
· The conclusions and recommendations within the report
· The work already being undertaken by County Scrutiny Committees
· The need to draw these issues to the local members of Parliament.
It was AGREED that the Chairman write to both local Members of Parliament to voice the concerns of the Committee with regard to the retention of staff, specifically experienced nursing staff.
Note: * Update previously circulated, copy attached to minutes.
FINANCIAL MONITORING (00-59-44)
To consider a verbal report of the Deputy Chief Executive (S151) presenting financial monitoring information for the income and expenditure to date.
The Committee received an verbal update from the Deputy Chief Executive (S151) with regard to financial monitoring information for the income and expenditure to date.
He informed the meeting that there had been no significant deterioration in the proposed budget gap for end of year however (as of the end of July 2018) it had increased to over £100k, this was mainly down to a decrease in car parking income specifically the multi-storey car park and an overspend in the waste service due to vehicle hire costs, planning income was also down. However, this was more likely to be more than compensated by the additional income from being part of the business rates pool pilot.
The Housing Revenue Fund was on budget however there were concerns with regard to the impact of Universal Credit which was due to be phased into the Crediton area from 24 September.
Consideration was given to:
· The need to work closely with the DWP with regard to Universal Credit
· Cashless payments and the need to look into options for people who may have problems with the scheme.
· Whether the loss of parking income for the MSCP had been budgeted for and the proposed size of bays in the car park
· Whether the building works in the MSCP had impacted on other car parks in the town.
· The impact of the sale of the Crediton office on Citizens Advice in Crediton.
Note: *Report previously circulated and attached to the minutes
Members are asked to consider any items within the Forward Plan that they may wish to bring forward for discussion at the next meeting.
The Committee had before it and NOTED the Cabinet Forward Plan *.
Consideration was given to the Greater Exeter Strategic Partnership report which had been delayed, the reasons for the delay and the need for the report to be approved by all 4 Councils within the partnership.
It was AGREED that the Committee see the report prior to it being considered by the Cabinet.
It was also AGREED that the Committee consider the Market Rights Policy.
Note: - Forward Plan * previously circulated and attached to minutes
IDENTIFICATION OF ITEMS FOR THE NEXT MEETING (1-25-17)
Members are asked to note that the following items are already identified in the work programme for the next meeting:
Cabinet Member for Housing
Air Quality Action Plan update
Tiverton Town Master Plan
Annual Report of Complaints, Comments and Compliments
Universal Credit update
Establishment 6 month review
Review of the Performance Indicators given to Elected Members
Note: - this item is limited to 10 minutes. There should be no discussion on items raised.
Cllr T W Snow raised the issue of scaffolding in Cullompton and that it had been in place for a long period of time. It was agreed that this matter be looked into – Update - information with regard to scaffolding was available via the following link Scaffolding | Roads and transport
There were no further items identified for future meetings that were not already on the Work Plan.