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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Chappell Room

Contact: Helen Lee  Democratic Services Officer

No. Item


Apologies for Absence and Substitutions.


Apologies were received from Councillor Bisset, Greensmith and Feeney.


To approve, as a correct record, the minutes of the meeting held on 17 July 2017 pdf icon PDF 102 KB




That the minutes of the above meeting, having been circulated, be approved as a correct record.



Declaration of Interests.




Programme of Portfolio Holder Attendance pdf icon PDF 98 KB

Report of the Democratic Services Officer.

Additional documents:


The committee welcomed Councillor Peter Barnes, Portfolio Holder for Environment to discuss a range of issues relating to his area of responsibility.  Mike Hill, Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Finance and Mel Cryer, Service Manager, Parks and Street Care also attended the meeting.


Councillor Barnes discussed questions identified in advance of the meeting.


Questions from Councillor Lawrence:


1.    What lessons have been learnt from the recent unauthorised encampments on Gedling’s open spaces?


There have been three encampments on GBC green spaces and one on County Council land recently.

At Colwick Park travellers illegally entered by digging up and removing two bollards off the Crosslands Meadow Estate to allow them to drive on. They then additionally accessed the park by the play area from the city direction. Both areas have now been reinforced with new steel barriers and swing gates and a height restrictor barrier. The cost for all of this were £7,500 for metal barriers and gates, £3,000 for clean-up and £1,000 for pitch renovation.


At Burton Road Jubilee Park offenders disc-ground the metal lock box and lock and entered by the gate owned by Severn Trent. A new reinforced steel lock box has been welded on the gate. This incurred costs of £500 for the steel lock box and lock, £1,500 for clean-up and £200 for pitch renovation.


The area at Carlton Forum on County Council owned land was free to drive onto. Concrete Bollards have now been placed at the entrance to prevent this happening again. £500 clean-up costs.


Thackeray’s Lane - Prior to leaving the Woodthorpe Grange Park encampment in the City the travellers disc cut the locks off the entrance gates which enabled them to drive straight on. They have now left site. New locks have been put on the barriers. Clean up costs of £2,000 and an estimated pitch reinstatement of £1,000.


This is a growing issues made worse by changes in legislation in Ireland which has resulted in some travellers moving to England. It is not one group of travellers but several different groups who communicate with each other about possible sites. Installation of cameras would be expensive and do little to address the problem. There are no permanent sites in Gedling and even if sites were available it is unlikely these would be chosen by the perpetrators.  It is understood that the recent groups are travellers and are not the same as Gypsy or Roma families.  This is a growing problem across all local authoritie, it is currently subject to discussions between all Nottinghamshire authorities and is being considered in Parliament.


2.    When was the last time the feasibility of the provision of  toilet facilities on Gedling open spaces, for example Colwick recreation ground,  was considered,  and is this something that could be looked at in the future?


We now only have 5 public toilets left. Wood Street, Cavendish Road, Burnstump, Bestwood Country Park, and Arnot Hill Park. Because of current ongoing budget reductions there is no immediate desire to construct  ...  view the full minutes text for item 11.


Review of Complaints received by the Council and Annual Review Letter from the Local Government Ombudsman 2016/17 pdf icon PDF 81 KB

Report of the Democratic Services Officer.


Rosie Caddie, Service Manager, Customer Services and Communications attended the Committee to discuss the Council’s complaints process, analysis of complaints received and dealt with by the Council’s internal complaints procedure, and the complaints and enquiries received by the Ombudsman 2016/17.


It was explained that customers are encouraged to give feedback, good and bad, in the form of complaints and compliments. There is a complaints form on line, paper copies available in leisure centres When a complaint is received it is uploaded on to an electronic system and timescales are in place for response times.


The complaints procedure follows a three tier process

·         Where a complaint is not upheld in full or in part at stage 1, the complainant may ask for it to be considered further under stage 2 of the complaints procedure

·         If the complainant is not happy with the response at Stage 2 they are entitled to refer to the Local Government Ombudsman


Complaints and compliments received are monitored on a quarterly basis by SLT.

Year on year there has been a reduction in complaints and an increase in compliments and they are now nearly level.


In 2016/17 less than half of stage 1 complaints were upheld or partially upheld and a reducing number progress on to Stage 2.  Only 19% of cases were upheld or partially upheld at stage 2. There was a slight increase in complaints progressing to the Ombudsman 9 in 2015/16 and 11 in 2016/17, three were upheld.

The nature of complaints included 46% for service failure, 14% for staff attitude/behaviour, 17% policy implementation, 8% quality/accuracy of advice and 15% were undefined.


Some service areas receive more complaints due to the nature of their service.  Revenues receive a high volume but less than half are upheld.  Leisure Centres receive a higher amount and members of staff are trained to deal with complaints effectively.  Some services have very low levels of complaints mainly due to the fact they are not public facing services.

Members requested information about the three complaints that were upheld by the Ombudsman. They were informed that they all related to planning issues and not responding to the complaint within the time frame of ten working days.  This problem  was due to staffing issues which have now been addressed and should not happen again.


Councillor Andrews left the meeting at 7.00pm.




·         To thank Rosie Caddy for an informative presentation; and


·         Note the information provided.


Council Plan 2017/19: Overview of Quarter 1 pdf icon PDF 213 KB

Director of Organisational Development and Democratic Services.      

Additional documents:


The Director of Organisational Development and Democratic Services presented a report, which had been circulated in advance of the meeting, informing the committee about the position against Improvement, Actions and Performance Indicators  in the 2017/2018 Gedling Plan.


Two of the 83 Gedling Plan actions have been completed, with the remaining 81 either in progress or assigned to an officer.  As the data only refers to the first quarter of the financial year it is expected that over time these actions will be completed.


Overall performance shows that out of a total of 34 indicators, 22 were on or above target, 2 were slightly below and 8 indicators missed their target.  One indicator is for tracking purposes only.  Examples of positive performance included improvement in the time taken to process planning applications, an increase in the number of events and people attending the Bonington Theatre, an increase in resolving cases where people considered themselves homeless and the number of One Stop Customers seen within 15 minutes.

Two areas of concern where performance indicators missed target were the net number of homes delivered and affordable homes delivered and, though an improvement on the previous month, the level of sickness absence.


During discussion the following points were raised:


·         Moves to encourage developers to accelerate the number of houses being built have been tried.

·         A review is currently taking place of all schemes that have received planning permission to identify if there is any way to encourage starts on site. Members requested additional information regarding this issue.


The report which highlights key achievements delivered during quarter 1 focusing on where the Council has made a real difference to people’s lives was discussed. The Redhill 3G football pitches, the number of breastfeeding sites, refugee Befriending Project Development and Apprenticeship training accreditation were all highlighted as positive achievements.


The need to make the people who live in Gedling aware of the achievements was highlighted and how Facebook, Twitter and other social media could be used to do this was discussed.

The possible lack of a dementia café for people living in rural areas was also considered. 




·         Note the progress against actions and performance indicators in the 20117/19 Gedling Plan


·         Request additional information relating to progressing housing developments.


Scrutiny Work Programme pdf icon PDF 99 KB

Report of the Democratic Services Officer.

Additional documents:


The Armed Forces Community Covenant


Councillor Collis as Member Lead for armed forces relationships attended the Committee to discuss his role and current initiatives to support the Armed Forces Community Covenant.

He explained that the Armed Forces Covenant was signed by the Mayor of Gedling in 2013. In 2014 Gedling was awarded the Silver Award for Employers when it was confirmed that they would support all current and future employees in the reserved forces.  This has been re-awarded in 2015, 2016 and 2017. Gedling is the only Borough Council in Nottinghamshire to have achieved this.

Representatives from the authority attended a very informative Armed Forces Covenant Symposium, the Civil and Military Partnership Board and an event called honouring the Covenant organised by veterans in Nottingham and Nottinghamshire where problems, progress and associated matters linked to the Covenant were discussed.

Gedling Borough is currently reviewing the development plan for the Covenant, and the Covenant Action Plan will be refreshed to include the following key action points:

·         Updating the Covenant web page,  adding links to relevant web sites

·         Identifying the military and ex-military community.  Currently we can only identify this is people make themselves known. The possibility of including a question to establish this in customer service, leisure and benefit registration processes is being considered

·         Maximising the Covenant Fund

·         Military/ex-military engagement projects which would include exploring the possibility to establish informal support groups

·         Engaging cross departmental impact assessments of services on military/military community

·         Supporting military memorials and memorial events

·         Supporting the RBL outreach service in the Civic Centre

·         Accessing opportunities through the County Council Community Voluntary Service.


Members suggested that leisure centre concessions should be considered for military and ex military personnel.  They also felt it would be helpful to have a written update at the next committee on progress of the Covenant refresh.


Councillors Truscott, Elliott and Hewson left the 7.40pm


Visit to the Contact Centre


It was agreed that Members, who expressed an interest in visiting the Contact Centre would be contacted after the Committee.


Collection of inappropriately filled bins


Members discussed the written response to the request for information regarding arrangements for inappropriately filled bins to be collected and educating residents about correctly filling refuse bins.  Members appreciated the response but decided that they would like to invite the Service Manager, Transport and Waste to the next Committee to enable them to explore a number of issues.


Scrutiny Reviews 2017/18


The need for additional Members to be included in the proposed new reviews was discussed.  It was decided that a further request should be circulated with a reminder that evening meetings could be arranged if this would be more convenient for Members.


Programme of Portfolio Holder Attendance


The forward plan for the attendance of Portfolio Holder attendance was agreed.




·         Thank Councillor Collis for attending the meeting; and


·         Request a written update on progress to refresh the Covenant


·         Invite the Service Manager Transport and Waste to the next Committee


·         Continue with arrangements for the Contact Centre visit  ...  view the full minutes text for item 14.


Reports and Notices received by the Chair of Overview and Scrutiny pdf icon PDF 43 KB

Report of Democratic Services Officer.


Members considered a report, which had been circulated in advance of the meeting, which included information on matters referred to the Chair as required by the constitution.


Any other item which the Chair considers urgent.




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