Agenda and minutes

Scrutiny Committee - Thursday, 3rd October, 2019 6.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Blackdown House, Honiton

Contact: Susan Howl, Democratic Services Manager  01395 517541; email


No. Item


Public speaking

Information on public speaking is available online



John Radford, Sidmouth Resident, wished to address the Committee on the issue of the Council Plan regarding the Sidmouth Beach Management Plan. He reported that there appeared to have been changes made to the Council Plan relating to the Sidmouth Beach Management Plan. The Council had agreed to carry out work to East Beach. A press release dated 22 August had stated that the Council would progress East Beach to maintain coastal defences and reduce coastal and beach erosion.


This question would be passed on to the relevant officer at EDDC.




Minutes of previous meeting pdf icon PDF 29 KB


The minutes of the previous meeting held on 18 July 2019 were agreed as a true record.


Declarations of interest

Guidance is available online to Councillors and co-opted members on making declarations of interest



Minute 24 Matters of urgency: Kathy McLauchlan Manor Pavilion car park, Sidmouth Personal interest.


Minute 24 Matters of urgency: Tony McCollum Dowell Street car park, Honiton Personal Interest




Matters of urgency

Information on matters of urgency is available online



Car Parking Tariff Review


Councillor Paul Millar wished to address the Committee on the issue of increases to car parking charges in the district which had been the subject of debate and decision at the previous evening’s Cabinet meeting. He was deeply concerned that very important policy proposals which will affect very many residents seemed to be being decided arbitrarily and without providing a cost/benefit analysis, and that the report Cabinet were presented with provided insufficient evidence for such a consultation, and for Members to make an informed decision. He was concerned there was no background information with revenue and usage statistics for all car parks with which the Cabinet could reasonably consider the wider implications of a blanket rise in tariffs in popular car parks. He believed the correct approach would have been for the Cabinet to re-look at the proposed tariff rise, rather than amend the proposals on the spot. He was also concerned that East Devon did not consult with the County Council.


He was disappointed that the views of East Devon residents had not been taken into account. Raising car park tariffs could actually reduce the Council car park income as there were many East Devon residents who would not be able to afford the increases proposed.


Councillor Mike Howe also wished to address the Committee on the issue of increases to car parking charges in the district which had been the subject of debate and decision at the Cabinet meeting. He felt there was the need for a TAFF to consider car parking in total to see the impact and viability and costs of car parking. Other issues were around CCTV and lighting in car parks.


Councillor Maddy Chapman reported that she agreed with the idea of a TAFF and the review of car parking. She would like campervan parking considered and asked how this was progressing. Other issues for discussion could include the level of fines, maintenance costs and revenue. There were was a need to know the number of new smart parking meters and whether they were working correctly.


Councillor Jack Rowland agreed with the establishment of a TAFF to consider car parking and suggested that there was synergy with the work of the High Street TAFF as car parking was important to the High Street.


During discussion the following points were noted:

·       Was there an equality impact assessment on car parks and if so this should be included in a TAFF.

·       Need to include the possibility of improving advertising revenue in car parks in the TAFF’s terms of reference.

·       Charges for Manor Pavilion car park should be used for the benefit of the theatre.

·       Consultation on the Cabinets proposals to increase car parking tariffs should go ahead and inform the work of the suggested TAFF, unless there is a call-in on this decision.



RESOLVED that a TAFF be established to consider Car Parking Tariffs in East Devon car parks comprised of representatives from each of the political groups and to include the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 24.


Confidential/exempt item(s)

To agree any items to be dealt with after the public (including the press) have been excluded. Thereare no itemswhich officersrecommendshould be dealtwithin thisway.



There were no matters that officers recommended should be dealt with requiring the exclusion of the public or press.


Decisions made by Cabinet called in by Members for scrutiny in accordance with the Overview and Scrutiny Procedure Rules

There are no items identified


There were no decisions called in.


Quarterly monitoring of performance 1st Quarter 2019-20 April to June 2019 pdf icon PDF 98 KB

Additional documents:


Members received the report of Karen Simpkin, Strategic Lead – Organisational Development and Transformation which provided performance information and progress against our promises and priorities as outlined in our Council Plan and Service Plans. Members noted that this cumulative quarterly information will be used to provide an annual review of our performance against our Service and Council Plan in the Annual Report. This information would provide a clear view of progress against what we said we would deliver in our Council Plan and Service Plans and deal with performance issues arising.


Councillor Kim Bloxham reported that she would like Detailed updates on the following for November Scrutiny Meeting:

Council Priority 1 - Encouraging communities to be outstanding

Empty Homes.

Council Priority 2 - Developing an outstanding local economy

£20mn Commercial Investment Fund.

Council Priority 4 - Continuously improving to be an outstanding council

Percentage of Council Tax Collected is sliding downwards.


A request was also made that an update be made on the use of robotic mowers in the Council’s parks and green spaces.


Cllr Jack Rowland raised his concern about the way some of the things were being measured. Providing a date for completion of a project would also be useful. Karen Simpkins reported that there was an ongoing challenge to make the performance measures SMART. The Council did report on milestones for large projects such as IT.


RESOLVED that the report on performance against delivery of the key service objectives from service plans and performance measures for the 1st quarter of 2019-20 be accepted.


Council Plan 2020-2024 pdf icon PDF 27 KB

Additional documents:


Members considered the report of Karen Simpkins, Strategic Lead – Organisational Development, on the first draft of the new Council Plan for 2020-2024. This was to assist with the ongoing development of our new Council Plan.


During discussions the following points were noted:


·       An issue was raised over the continuous use of the word outstanding in the Plan. Karen Simpkins reported that we live in an outstanding area and the word outstanding would be kept in the Council Plan as it was important to staff morale. We aim to be a high performing Council and achieve Platinum Investor in People status. In reality the Council Plan was mainly read by Staff and Councillors, although it was the aim was that it would be more widely read by the public and business community.

·        Question of the use of the words carbon neutrality rather than carbon neutral.

·       Issues around Rural Broadband delivery.

·       Would like to explore the creation of jobs across the district rather than just the Growth Point

·       Concern about the trickledown theory from higher paid jobs created by the Growth Point.

·       The West Country has traditionally relied too much on low paid jobs and developing the Growth Point was a way to increase the number of higher paid jobs in the district.

·        Concern that many of those council houses sold under Right to Buy were now in the private rented sector and that the receipts the Council receives should be spent on building more council housing. A higher percentage of the money received from the Right to Buy policy needs to be available for building more council housing.


RESOLVED that the comments above be provided as feedback on the priorities and actions for the draft of the new Council Plan 2020-2024:


Update from the Working Party on Section 106 funds


Members noted that due to personal issues, Cllr Cathy Gardner had not been able to make any progress on this issue and the Working Party whose other members were Maddy Chapman and Jack Rowland had not had a chance to meet. Cllr Rowland reported that he had met with Sulina Tallack, s106 Officer to discuss s106 in the Seaton area and would encourage other members to do the same. Work was in progress to make s106 receipts for each ward available on line, which should help keep members better informed.


Maddy Chapman was concerned that the information provided by the Section 106 Officer changed over time and appeared to be incorrect. She was a very busy officer and needed more support with her work. It was suggested that the officer and her line manager attend Scrutiny to give a report on progress on s106, but it was thought that this would delay her work even further and the provision of s106 information availability on line.


RESOLVED that Councillors Maddy Chapman and Jack Rowland follow up the issues raised at the meeting with Sulina Tallack, s106 Officer






Forward Work Plan pdf icon PDF 10 KB


  Scrutiny Forward Work Plan


21 November 19

PCC Alison Hernandez

·       Modern Day Slavery

·       County Lines

·       Closure of Police Stations

·       Provision of additional police officers

Review of Waste and Recycling presentation

Review of S106 monies


Note: members of Overview invited to attend for PCC presentation

15 January 20

Joint meeting with Overview

·       Annual review of Service Plans and Budget setting

6 February 20

·       Website Review

·       Street Cleaning and Furniture

·       Replacement of Public Bins

5 March 20

Presentation for Citizens Advice

2 April 20

Report on move of EDDC from Sidmouth to Honiton


Items for future consideration

·       LED Leisure

·       Housing Company

·       Single use Plastic

·       Commercial investment

·       Climate Change action (possibly with Overview)

·       Review of Planning Portal


Cllr Alan Dent, Chairman, reported that he had prepared a form for all members to complete to provide items for Scrutiny to consider and asked that members fill it in and send to Democratic Services. It would also be circulated electronically to all members so they could fill it in online.