Agenda and minutes

Venue: Training and Conference Suite, First Floor, Number One Riverside, Smith Street, Rochdale, OL16 1XU. View directions

Contact: Peter Thompson  4715

Items
No. Item

1.

Declarations of Interest pdf icon PDF 32 KB

Members must indicate at this stage any items on the agenda in which they must declare an interest.  Members must verbally give notice of their interest at the meeting and complete the form attached with this agenda. 

 

Members are also advised to take advice with regard to any matter where there is potential bias or predetermination in any business to be considered at the meeting and whether they should take part in decision making at the meeting.

 

Members are reminded that, in accordance with the Localism Act 2011 and the Council's adopted Code of Conduct, they must declare the nature of any discloseable pecuniary interest; personal interest and/or prejudicial interest required of them and, in the case of any discloseable pecuniary interest or prejudicial interest, withdraw from the meeting during consideration of the item, unless permitted otherwise within the Code of Conduct.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Further to the Council’s Code of Conduct, the Chair, Councillor Butterworth, declared a personal and prejudicial interest in respect of agenda item 5 (“Link4Life Performance Management report 4th Quarter 2014/2015”), as he had been appointed by the Council to the Board of Link4Life, Councillor Butterworth left the room during the consideration of this agenda item and he vacated the Chair for this item in favour of the Vice Chair, Councillor Holly.

 

Further to the Council’s Code of Conduct, Councillor Zaheer declared a personal and prejudicial interest in respect of agenda item 5 (“Link4Life Performance Management Report 4th Quarter 2014/2015”), as she was the Assistant to the Cabinet Member with responsibility for the Culture, Health and Wellbeing Portfolio and Councillor Zaheer also declared a personal and prejudicial interest in agenda item 6 (“RBH Performance Report”), as she had been appointed by the Council to the Rochdale Boroughwide Housing Board’s Representative Committee. Councillor Zaheer left the room during the consideration of these two agenda items.

 

Further to the Council’s Code of Conduct, Councillor Mir declared a personal and prejudicial interest in respect of agenda item 6 (“RBH Performance Report”), as she had been appointed by the Council to the Rochdale Boroughwide Housing Board’s Representative Committee. Councillor Mir left the room during the consideration of this agenda item.

2.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 91 KB

To note the minutes of the meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee held 8th April 2015.

Minutes:

DECIDED – That the Minutes of the meeting of the former Overview and Scrutiny Committee held 8th April 2015, be noted.

3.

Communities, Regeneration and Environment Overview and Scrutiny Committee - Work Programme 2015/2016 pdf icon PDF 485 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report of the Head of Legal and Governance Reform which presented the first draft of the Communities, Regeneration and Environment Overview and Scrutiny Committee Work Programme 2015/2016 as a basis for development. Members were advised that amendments to the Work Programme would be made on an ongoing basis throughout the year to reflect current and forthcoming challenges to be faced by the Authority in general and this Committee in particular. The Committee was also advised that there was a responsibility to report the Work Programme to the Council for information purposes.

 

In considering the Work Programme Members commented on the volume of paperwork that accompanied the agenda for this meeting and requested that Officers look at ways of presenting reports that were shorter and more concise. Members also commented on the presentation of reports to meetings of the Committee requesting that, wherever possible, reports be presented by the relevant Portfolio Holder and Director. Members also suggested that, given the importance of matters being considered by the Committee, and the significant impact on the Borough’s residents that such matters would have, the Council’s Media Team be invited to future meetings to raise the Committee’s profile and to publicise the work being undertaken.    

 

In terms of potential items for future meetings, the Committee requested further detail on proposals for developments in relation to the Greater Manchester Combined Authority and Members suggested that the Work Programme be amended to reflect the consideration of Community Hubs by this Committee, rather than the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee.

 

DECIDED – That (1) the Communities, Regeneration and Environment Overview and Scrutiny Committee Work Programme 2015/16 be noted;

            (2) the work programme be further developed and submitted to future meetings of this Committee prior to submission to the Council meeting on 21st October 2015;

            (3) the Head of Legal and Governance Reform be requested to review the presentation and format of Council reports with a view to making them shorter and more concise;

            (4) the Head of Legal and Governance Reform invite Portfolio Holders wherever possible, to attend future meetings for the purpose of presenting reports that directly impact on their areas of responsibility;

            (5) the Head of Legal and Governance Reform be requested to liaise with the Council’s Communications Manager to examine ways of raising the profile of the Council’s Overview and Scrutiny function;

            (6) the scrutiny of community Hubs be added to the Committee’s Work Programme 2015/2016;

            (7) the Chief Executive be requested to provide a presentation for members, at a future meeting of the Committee, or at informal session of the Committee’s membership, around issues relating to the devolution of powers and functions to the Greater Manchester Mayor and Combined Authority.

4.

Rochdale Development Agency - 4th Quarter 2014/15 pdf icon PDF 493 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee scrutinised a report of the Director of Economy and Environment Services which provided Members with performance information on the activities of the Rochdale Development Agency (RDA) which are undertaken on behalf of the Council. The Quarter 4 report also included information over the full financial year 2014/15. The report also presented the RDA Business Plan for 2015/16 for Members’ information.

 

The quarterly report on progress in delivering the Annual Business Plan (formed the basis for RDA’s reporting to the Council) and was presented for comment and challenge. Appendix 1 of the report detailed the progress made against each of the Business Plan 2014/2015 objectives and included indicators to show whether each activity was on target to be achieved. In summary, the main areas of the Business Plan are performing were banded under four headings: Town Centre Renewal, Local Company Growth, Inward Investment and development and Infrastructure.

 

The RDA Business Plan 2015/16 was attached at Appendix 3 of the Committee report. The RDA was responsible, on behalf of the Council, for a portfolio of physical regeneration and development projects; the co-ordination of the major Rochdale Town Centre Programme and an inward investment/local business growth service. These functions involve the delivery of significant projects including Rochdale Town Centre East, and the continued development of Kingsway Business Park, both critical projects to the economic future of the borough. The Business Plan, approved by the RDA Board following consultation with the Council. The Business Plan identified five strategic objectives: Accelerating Business Growth; Promoting Economic and Employment Growth; Developing the Infrastructure and connectivity necessary for sustainable economic growth; and Transforming our Town Centres.

 

In considering the report Members of the Committee referred to the make-up of RDA’s Board in terms of gender and ethnic minority representation, noting that there was a lack of women and BME community representatives on the RDA Board.

 

DECIDED – That the report be noted.

 

(Councillor Holly in the Chair)

5.

Link4Life Performance Management report - 4th Quarter 2014/15 pdf icon PDF 223 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee scrutinised a report of the Chief Executive of the Rochdale Boroughwide Cultural Trust which provided information relating to the performance of the Trust, trading as Link4Life, during the fourth quarter period of 2014/2015 (January – March 2015). The Committee was reminded that the Council's Sport, Leisure and Cultural Services transferred to the Rochdale Boroughwide Cultural Trust (trading as Link4Life) on the 1st April 2007 under the terms of a Partnership Agreement between the Council and the Trust. This Agreement spans 15 years (2007 – 2022) with an option to extend for a further five years.

 

The Trust had undertaken a review of its medium to longer term aspirations and developed a new Corporate Strategy for 2014 – 2017 as a document that articulates the Trust’s strategic vision, key aims and business objectives.Supplementary to this new strategy was a revised three year Corporate Business Plan, primarily an internal document providing further detail in terms of the actions and measures designed to address identified challenges and opportunities as well as delivering the Trust’s vision, aims and objectives.To further support this vision, revised service plans have been drawn up detailing key priorities and performance measures in line with revised service goals.

 

‘Access’ has been removed but indicators which formerly appeared under this heading would in future be found under ‘Participation, Usage and Impact’.

 

To underpin what the Trust does, Members were also advised that the Link4Life Board had approved a refreshed set of Core Values, which outline how the Trust will operate. These were described as ‘PRIDE - in where we work and what we do”, as follows: Passion, Respect, Integrity, Drive and Excellence.

 

DECIDED – That the report be noted.

 

(Councillor Butterworth in the Chair)

6.

RBH Performance Report - third and Fourth Quarters 2014/15 pdf icon PDF 519 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee scrutinised a report of the Director of Economy and Environment Services which provided Members with an update on the performance of Rochdale Boroughwide Housing (RBH) for the third and fourth quarters of 2014/2015 in relation to the achievement of the aspirations, commitments and “promises” as set out in the Councils formal tenants consultation (offer) document “Your Home Your Choice” for the housing stock transfer process. “Promises” were new initiatives or projects that RBH has said it would deliver, commitments were pre-transfer service levels that RBH would maintain, and aspirations were things that RBH would like to do, but are not guaranteed as there was no specific funding in its business plan and delivery may be adversely affected by issues such as welfare reform. The report also provided some additional key performance information and updates on the organisation’s mutualisation process, development programme and on how RBH is working in partnership with the Council, local agencies and other registered providers to deliver key strategic priorities.

 

In considering the report Members sought clarification on the possible effects of the proposed changes to the Right to Buy Policy and also with regard to the Housing Allocations Policy (which was a separate item on this meeting’s agenda). A Member also sought clarification on the grants that RBH issued to Tenants and Residents Associations across their area of responsibility and on issues relating to Tenants and Residents Associations in general.

 

DECIDED – That (1) the report be noted;

            (2) future reports to the Committee on this matter be requested to include details relating to the operation of tenants and Residents Associations.

7.

Homelessness Update: End of Year Report pdf icon PDF 552 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee scrutinised a report of the Director of Economy and Environment Services which provided an end of year report about Homelessness issues in the Borough. The report also provided information on the performance of services that are commissioned through the Council’s Strategic Housing Service to provide support to households that are homeless or at risk of homelessness. The report also informed the Committee of progress on the Strategic Review of Homelessness.

 

The Council had approved a Homelessness Strategy (2013 - 2016) in 2013 following an independent review. The Strategy identified the priorities for the Council in meeting the needs of homeless households and those at risk of homelessness. A detailed Strategy Action Plan had also been agreed by Members and this is monitored by the Homelessness Strategy Board chaired by the Portfolio for Housing and Environment, supported by the Portfolio Holder for Adult Services. Representatives from strategic partners including Health, Adult Sevices, Children’s Services and Community Safety are also members of the Board. A number of services have been commissioned to provide a range of preventative and reactive services to help households to prevent them from becoming homeless and to support those that do become homeless. In 2015, the Homelessness Strategy Board agreed to undertake a further review of homelessness and, in consultation with members, stakeholders, service users and the wider community, will develop a revised Homelessness Strategy for 2016 - 2019.

 

DECIDED – That the report be noted.

8.

Housing Allocations Policy - Proposed Amendments pdf icon PDF 1 MB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee scrutinised a report of the Director of Economy and Environment which gave Members a view of the current housing climate and the challenges faced by both the Council and by Registered Housing Providers who own stock within the Borough. The report also informed Members of the proposed interim amendments to the Council’s Housing Allocations Policy and Common Housing Scheme arrangements in order to address the challenge and informed Members of possible future changes to the way the Council meets it statutory duty for allocating accommodation.

 

DECIDED – That the report be noted.

9.

Rochdale Safer Communities Partnership Monitoring - Quarter 4 2014/15 pdf icon PDF 263 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee scrutinised a report of the Interim Head of Customers and Corporate Services which provided Members with a summary of how the Rochdale Safer Communities Partnership (RSCP) had performed against its targets during the fourth quarter of 2014/2015 (January - March). The report was co-presented by Superintendent Mallon (Greater Manchester Police).

 

The Committee were advised that the RSCP is a statutory partnership in the Borough of Rochdale with responsibility for ensuring that the Borough is a safer place. The Partnership’s Plan highlighted seven strategic priorities as follows: to increase confidence and satisfaction; to reduce crime; to reduce the harm caused by drugs and alcohol; to prevent and tackle anti–social behaviour; to prevent offending (and re-offending) by children and young people; to prevent adult re-offending; to develop community cohesion. It was against these seven priorities that the Committee scrutinised the performance of the Partnership.

 

Members noted the increase in the numbers of reports of domestic violence being reported, and comment was made that there was seemingly more confidence about reporting such abuse. Members also commented on the 101 non-emergency phone line and made comment of a number of instances where callers were not being responded to within 24 hours of the call being logged. Inspector Mallon undertook to investigate this matter and notify members of the Committee thereon. A Member asked if future reports could include statistical data relating to the conviction of drug dealers in the Borough which, in certain Wards, was a particularly difficult problem.

 

DECIDED – That (1) the report be noted;

            (2) Superintendent Mallon, on behalf of Greater Manchester Police, be asked to investigate the reported problems relating to the 101 phone line and to write to Members of the Committee with regard to this issue;

            (3) Future reports to the Committee be requested to include statistical data relating to the conviction of drug dealers in the Borough.    

10.

Key Route Network pdf icon PDF 490 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee scrutinised a report of the Director of Economy and Environment Services which informed Members of the decision of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority for the introduction of a Key Route Network (KRN) on strategic integrated highways across Greater Manchester. The report advised of the new arrangements from 1st April 2015 which will be managed and funded centrally, forming highway corridors and routes across Greater Manchester that will support the Greater Manchester Strategy and enable growth.

 

The Greater Manchester Growth Deal in July 2014 had included a commitment in principle for Greater Manchester to identify a KRN of local authority roads for unified management in the interest of the growth agenda. This course of action presented opportunities to strengthen the case for highways investment and gain more influence over Highways England’s operations and spending priorities on the local motorway network.

 

DECIDED – That the report be noted.

11.

Disabled Persons Parking Bay Policy pdf icon PDF 727 KB

Minutes:

The Committee scrutinised a report of the Director of Economy and Environment Services is report which asked that Members consider a review the Council’s policy for implementing disabled parking bays in residential areas that would be covered by Traffic Regulation Orders (TRO).

 

The Committee were advised that in January 2015 a report had been submitted to each of the four Township Committees, which proposed changes to the then current criteria to enhance the quality of applications for a disabled parking bay in residential areas. The changes solely relied upon assistance from Social Care Services. It was therefore proposed and agreed, in principle, that Social Care Services would vet each applicant using their internal database to check the severity of each applicant’s disability: critical or substantial, thus indicating those applicants with a greater requirement. The report also highlighted the need for the Township Committees to fund any future provision of disabled parking bays.

 

In considering the report Members noted that clarification of the costs associated with the making and implementation of TRO’s needed to be given.

 

DECIDED – That the report be noted.

12.

Proposed Shared Services - Highways Reform pdf icon PDF 525 KB

The Director of Ecomnomy And Environment Services to report.

Minutes:

The Committee scrutinised a report of the Director of Economy and Environment Services that advised Members of work being undertaken with regard to the proposal to create a shared service for local highway services by a number of local authorities within Greater Manchester in order to achieve a saving. This work is being developed by the Local Authorities and Transport for Greater Manchester.

 

The Committee were advised that the Greater Manchester highways system supported a diversity of commuting, public transport and logistics traffic, which was critical to the economic performance and growth potential of the Manchester city region. However there were concerns regarding the availability of the right level of professional resource and specialist skills against diminishing revenue budgets to deliver highways improvements and maintain the performance of the highways network.

 

DECIDED – That the report be noted.

13.

Directorate Plans 2014/15, Year-end Performance Outturn and Directorate Plans 2015/16 pdf icon PDF 423 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee scrutinised a report of the Interim Head of Customers and Corporate Services that presented Members with the Year-End Outturn Performance for 2014/2015 in relation to the Customer and Corporate Services’ Directorate Plan 2014/2015 and to the Economy and Environment Directorate Plan 2014/2015 and to present their Directorate Plans for 2015/2016.

 

Following a review of the Council’s decision making arrangements changes were made to the structure of Overview and Scrutiny Committees. Accordingly the reports for the fourth quarter of 2014/2015 were now presented to the relevant, thematic, Overview and Scrutiny Committee Members were therefore presented in the performance of the Economy and Environment Directorate and of the Customers and Corporate Directorate, insofar as it impacted upon Community Services.

 

DECIDED – That the report be noted.

14.

Customers and Corporate Services Directorate Plan 2015/2016 pdf icon PDF 137 KB

Minutes:

The Committee scrutinised the Customers and Corporate Service’s Directorate Plan 2015/2016, insofar as it related to Community Services.

 

DECIDED – That the report be noted.

15.

Economy and Environmental Directorate Plan 2015/16 pdf icon PDF 244 KB

Minutes:

The Committee scrutinised the Economy and Environment Service’s Directorate Plan 2015/2016.

 

In considering the report, the Chief Executive advised Members of a meeting he had held recently with representatives of E-on, with regard to the Street lighting Contract having been requested to do so by the Council on 15th April 2015. E-on had accepted a number of complaints about their standard of service and work that had been put to them by the Chief Executive on behalf of the Council.

 

DECIDED – That the report be noted.

16.

AGMA Scrutiny Pool pdf icon PDF 125 KB

To note the minutes of the meetings held on 13th March and 17th April 2015.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

DECIDED – That the minutes of the meetings of the AGMA Scrutiny Pool held on 13th March and 17th April 2015, be noted.

17.

Exclusion of Press and Public

To consider excluding the press and public from the meeting during consideration of the following item of business in accordance with the provisions of Section 100A (4) of the Local Government Act 1972, as amended.

Minutes:

DECIDED – That the public be excluded from the meeting during consideration of the following item of business since it is likely that, in view of the nature of the business to be transacted or the nature of the proceedings, if members of the public were present there would be disclosure to them of exempt information, namely information relating to the business or financial affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information).

18.

South Heywood Area Wide Improvement

Minutes:

The Committee scrutinised a report of the Director of Economy and Environment which updated members on the South Heywood Area Wide Improvement Programme proposals for a new link road and network improvements from the M62 junction 19 through Heywood to Pilsworth which, it was reported, would create the opportunity for delivering investment in housing and employment growth. The Committee were advised of funding secured subject to final sign off by the relevant funding agencies and of the next stages in order to progress development of this site.

 

DECIDED – That the report be noted.