Venue: Town Hall, Scarborough
Contact: Sandip Mahajan
Members are reminded of the need to consider whether they have a disclosable pecuniary, prejudicial or other (personal) interest to declare in any items on this agenda. Details of any interest must be declared at the start of the meeting or as soon as any interest becomes apparent during the meeting. The attached form must also be completed. Any advice required should ideally be sought before the day of the meeting.
There were no declarations of interest made.
To approve as a correct record, and sign, the minutes of the Overview and Scrutiny Board meeting held on 5 December 2018.
RESOLVED - That the minutes of the meeting held on 5 December 2018 be approved as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.
To consider any public questions submitted, of which due notice has been given, and which are relevant to the business of the Overview and Scrutiny Board.
There were no public questions received.
Proposed Merger of the Scarborough Museums Trust and the Creative Industries Centre
To consider a presentation from Brian Davidson, Chairman of Scarborough Museums Trust and Andrew Clay, Chief Executive of the Trust and Director of Woodend (CIC), on achievements, work & aims of the two organisations, challenges faced and overview of options going forward including value for money and the proposed merger of the Trust and Creative Industries Centre.
The Chair explained that further work was required.
RESOLVED - That consideration of the proposed merger of the Scarborough Museums Trust and the Creative Industries Centre be deferred to the next meeting on 6 March 2019.
To consider the report of the Director (LD) (reference 19/28).
Jonathan Bramley, Environment and Regulation Manager presented a progress report on implementing the Council’s policy on memorial decorations at the crematorium and cemeteries it owns and manages..
He explained that although a policy existed it had not been enforced previously for various reasons. However, issues had been identified (mainly at Woodlands with 400 ‘breaches’ and, to a lesser degree, Larpool) that some people were placing inappropriate decorations on their cemetery / crematoria plots or failing to maintain them well.
This led to an Action Plan focusing on promoting educational awareness including on-site posters/leaflets (and on the web), media publicity and using social media plus any necessary enforcement of the policy. More freedom had been allowed concerning the plots of children who had passed away.
The Action Plan had been endorsed by Overview and Scrutiny then approved by Cabinet in December 2017.
Jonathan Bramley reported that an online petition had also been received which was concerned about development of a policy but only secured the support of three people and did not recognise that a policy already existed and ensuring appropriate enforcement was the operational concern.
He added that a corporate complaints process existed with service management reviewing cases individually and two cases had been to the Ombudsman. Complaints were all considered carefully and took time.
He explained that the report reviewed Action Plan progress, its effectiveness in terms of making people more aware of what was permitted and their responsibilities thereby reducing incidents. The report included a proposed Action Plan for 2019 including rolling forward any uncompleted actions.
The current approach, through the Action Plan, was to help ensure that straight-forward information was available and promoted and policy applied fairly, proportionately and sensitively so that people were aware of:
· The range of ways (decorations etc.) that they could adorn their cemetery / crematoria plots (on council managed land);
· Expectations of them to maintain/replace decorations as appropriate;
· What items were not permitted and the communications approach to alerting them of issues prior to any removal action (‘enforcement’).
Jonathan Bramley reported that the Action Plan provided for a staged approach focusing on the oldest areas first, where there were generally less breaches, and moving on to the newer areas where there tended to be more breaches. Work would commence at Woodlands from the current month, January through to March removing overgrown or unsightly plants, trees, shrubbery.
The previous year had seen the start of educational awareness and publicity etc. with some maintenance work but then holidays and some staff illness had impacted upon progress.
Members queried the age of plots and why the work was not starting with the newer areas where there were more breaches. They added that winter was a sparse time for gardeners, i.e. good time to tackle all breaches.
They were informed that it was appropriate to start works at a particular point and staff resources did not allow for a big sweep of work. The older areas dated back mainly to the 1940s/50s so were ... view the full minutes text for item 5.
'TASK AND FINISH' REVIEWS - PROGRESS REPORTS - 'SCARBOROUGH TOWN CENTRE STRATEGY' AND 'SUPPORTING VOLUNTEERS'
To consider verbal progress reports on ‘Task and Finish’ reviews (Scarborough Town Centre Strategy and Supporting Volunteers).
Members received progress with the two current ‘task and finish’ reviews.
The Scarborough Town Centre Strategy aimed to create a sustainable, buoyant centre for all ages and to become the leading visitor / wider economy for the Yorkshire Coast by 2025. Seven strategic themes had been identified:
Cllr David Jeffels, who was chairing the Town Centre review, explained that the review was needed now given the national picture of struggling high streets especially with many retail shop closures. Scarborough was better than average but ‘no action’ was not really an option. Furthermore, Government had announced a national Future High Streets fund of £675million with up to £25million available for areas successful in bidding.
The review had been focusing on consultation feedback on the Strategy from commercial, community and public stakeholders as part of good engagement with a wide range of people. Two well-attended consultation events, around 150 people in all, had been held at the Royal Hotel late 2019.
The events were an opportunity to present the background to why a Strategy was needed and to get people’s ideas. Attendees had been enthusiastic recognising the need for a dynamic strategy with real actions to be delivered through partnership working and numerous practical ideas were generated.
Cllr Jeffels reported that the seven themes in the Strategy were broadly supported by the consultees and the review group, especially trying to encourage empty properties above shops back into use and in particular for residential accommodation.
He added that developing retail and leisure opportunities, as part of a wider ‘mixed use’ offer needed to be pursued working with other sectors.
Some specific other (delivery) suggestions were made by consultees. The main new suggestions were to have a Town Centre Manager to promote, co-ordinate and drive forward activity including investment opportunities.
Alex Richards, Regeneration Services Manager agreed that the consultation events had been highly productive with an impressive range of ideas and involvement. It had been useful to get business and public endorsement for the Strategy including the seven themes at this early stage. He added that as well as a proposed Town Centre Manager, an independent partnership of key private, public and voluntary/community sectors was proposed to lead on delivery of the Strategy and would also include the Council.
He reported that the Local Enterprise Partnership was keen on seeing Scarborough take the town centre mantle to drive development of the Yorkshire Coast potential. A meeting of regeneration leads across the sub-region would be meeting in early February 2019 to work collectively together.
In response to Members’ comments, he explained that the proposed Designation Business Improvement District could complement other work/opportunities.
Members were informed that the Scarborough Chamber of Trade would also be discussing the proposed Strategy at its next meeting early ... view the full minutes text for item 6.
To consider the Board’s Work Programme for 2018/19 and the Cabinet Forward Plan.
The Board considered its remaining Work Programme for 2018/19 which aimed to be balanced and flexible whilst focusing on significant priorities to achieve the best value-added outcomes.
Some changes had occurred since the last meeting with some items being rolled forward or added. These were the proposed merger of Scarborough Museums Trust & Creative Industries Centre which would now be considered on 6 March 2019 along with the addition of the Homelessness Strategy ‘refresh’ for the same meeting.
Other additions were for autumn (dates to be confirmed) - holistic value for money review (effectiveness, outcomes) of the Council’s strategic partnerships; and an update on the gulls and kittiwakes ‘disruption & dispersal’ programme (effectiveness, value for money) with the outcomes of further research relating to the issues. Progress/future of the North Bay area development would be considered during 2020.
The two ‘task and finish’ reviews on the Scarborough Town Centre Strategy and Supporting Volunteers were progressing with updates provided earlier on the meeting agenda.
Resolved - That the Work Programme be approved as presented.