To receive a report from the Director of Corporate Affairs & Business Transformation providing Members with an update on performance against the Corporate Plan and local service targets for 2017-18 as well as providing an update on the key business risks.
The Committee had before it, and NOTED, a report * from the Director of Corporate Affairs & Business Transformation providing Members with an update of performance against the Corporate Plan and local service targets for 2017-18 as well as providing an update on the key business risks.
The contents of the report were outlined and discussion took place regarding:
· Data in relation to the number of empty shops had been incomplete when the report had been published. The Chairman had asked the Economic Development Manager to provide up to date information. The reply had been as follows: “SPAR has now been updated with July’s figures. Tiverton there was a slight drop to 21 vacant units from 22 making the vacancy rate 9.0% with Crediton staying the same at 8.5%, and Cullompton at 8.2% as already recorded”. The question was asked as to what more could be done to limit the number of empty shops in each of the towns. It was explained that initiatives such as the Tiverton Town Centre Masterplan might go some way towards addressing this but the Council was somewhat limited as to what it could do since many of the shops were owned by private individuals or companies.
· There was some business rate relief available for smaller businesses.
· It was noted that the targets in relation to social media outputs had been exceeded.
· The Chairman had also requested that the Group Manager for Public Health and Regulatory Services provide a management note in relation to compliance with food safety law. This had been copied to members of the Committee and was as follows: “The reduction to 85% compliance is a statistical issue. The cycle of inspection and interventions has meant a 3-yearly review of the lowest category risk premises has been completed this financial year. This has resulted in a number being identified as no longer active/preparing food and require deregistration. Such low-risk premises (e.g. village halls/pre-prepared food) have the most straight-forward compliance targets and typically score above 90% as a result. Having fewer such premises means the overall % compliance across the district is now lower. The higher risk premises are still performing as before and the number of food retail premises scoring 4 or 5 on Scores-on-door remain unaffected”.
· The requirement to respond to FOI requests was compulsory but the substantial costs in terms of staff resource was noted.
· Performance and Risk was monitored by Leadership Team on a monthly basis.
· The Committee expressed its concerns regarding the continued inability to demonstrate the required 5 year housing land supply until the Local Plan had been approved. It was commented that the increase in the buffer zone from 5% to 20% was incredibly impactful on communities.
Note: * Report previously circulated; copy attached to the signed minutes.