To receive the Leaders Annual Report providing Members with an update on performance against the corporate plan and local service targets for 2018-2019.
The Leader of the Council gave apologies for not attending the previous meeting of the Committee and then presented Members with a *report giving an update on performance against the corporate plan and local service targets for 2018-2019.
In response to questions, the Leader confirmed he would provide further information with regard to the weed spraying initiative giving details of where the team had already completed works, where future locations had been identified and the process for the public to highlight areas of concern and request weed spraying be carried out.
He explained that waste collection costs per household had reduced by 20% from the 2014/2015 outturn and was now just outside of target at £45.31. Members requested that the collection costs per commercial premises were provided.
There was a general discussion about allocated employment sites and the Chief Executive explained that officers were proactively visiting all allocated sites, but that the Council had an obligation to manage the relationship with any landowners who came forward regarding both allocated and non-allocated sites. He explained that there was a framework for the allocation of employment sites and officers had been in contact with many landowners across the district as part of that process.
With regard to Town Centre Improvements, Members voiced concern about the 21 empty shops in Tiverton. The Chief Executive explained that as landlords of the units in Market Walk the Council had a wider discretion on rents versus costs and therefore had more opportunities to ensure that all the units were occupied as part of that direct relationship as landlord, but in privately-owned units it would be the private landlord weighing that decision on rent levels vs occupancy. He explained that the Economy team were working to ensure that Tiverton was a welcoming place for businesses but there was a limit on the ability of the Council to fill all vacant shops which they were not directly responsible for.
Members requested that they be provided with the timeframes for the next phase of the Tiverton Town Centre Masterplan and for an update on the status on the regeneration works.
The Leader confirmed that the current administration would continue to encourage houses and living spaces to be part of the Tiverton Town Masterplan.
In response to questions about CCTV cameras being installed in Crediton and Cullompton the Leader confirmed that the Cabinet would be having discussions with regard to the provision of CCTV and the possibility any further expansion to the service. The Chief Executive explained that the challenge would be identifying who could fund additional services. There were currently conversations taking place about who should be funding this, the Police, the Town Councils or the District Council. There were also ongoing debates about the level of surveillance that should be expected in rural market towns.
The Leader confirmed that the Premier Inn in Phoenix Lane was due for completion in October 2019.
There was a general discussion about the National Apprenticeship Service and the Group Manager for Finance explained that this was a national scheme with mandatory involvement through the ‘Apprenticeship Levy’ for businesses exceeding a certain threshold.
Note: *Report previously circulated and attached to the minutes.