Agenda and minutes

Scrutiny Committee - Thursday, 6th June, 2019 6.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Blackdown House, Honiton

Contact: Chris Lane, Democratic Services Officer  01395 5175441; email


No. Item


Public speaking

Information on public speaking is available online



There were no members of the public present.


Minutes of the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 175 KB


The minutes of the Scrutiny Committee held on 7th March were confirmed and signed as a true record. Subject to an amendment that the proposal attributed to Cllr Chapman was actually made by Cllr Eileen Wragg.


Declarations of interest

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



There were no declarations of interest.


Matters of urgency

Information on matters of urgency is available online



There were no matters of urgency.


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 items 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.


Annual report of the Scrutiny Committee 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 37 KB


The Annual Report of the Scrutiny Committee 2018/19 was noted.


Members iPads - Services Required


Members welcomed Cllr Ian Thomas, Portfolio Holder, Finance who explained the background to the IT project for Councillors which was based around iPads, Modern.Gov and a limited number of Applications. The project had started in 2017/18 and rolled out over the last few months. However, although the hardware was fit for purpose, the software was found to be too restrictive and did not do what members wanted.


Cllr Thomas reported that he had held a meeting with Strata and they had agreed to a significant modification programme which had also been agreed by SMT. He reported that he would work with Cllr Jess Bailey, Portfolio Holder, Corporate Services on approving these modifications.


It was expected that these would include being able to have Council emails back on mobile phones and other personal devices, moving back to a modified form of Office 365 for Councillors which would mean being able to use calendars and emails on other devices.


Members noted that Strata Service Solutions had appointed a new IT Trainer who would help train all Councillors who needed it, on the new iPads. Cllr Thomas requested that all Councillors provide a paragraph with all the IT requirements that they needed to be able to do their job. He reported that by the beginning of July he and Cllr Jess Bailey would have some significant improvements and would hope to be able roll these out towards the end of July and have a significantly better platform.


It was acknowledged that the system did not need to be as secure as originally configured as 90% of what Councillors needed was widely available in the public domain. 


Comments from Councillors included:


·         Would Calendars transfer to personal equipment? There was an issue for security of personal calendars.

·         Members wanted emails on their personal iPads and iPhones.

·         The reintroduction of Office 365 would be a step forward.

·         95% of what Councillor required was included in the comments from Cllr Ian Thomas. Consideration should be given to of setting up a TAFF to contribute to the project and cover the other 5% of issues.

·         Need to spend more time with members to establish all the issues.

·         What was the cost and lifespan of the devices? It was expected that this would exceed the lifespan of the Council.

·         There was still the issue of insurance for the iPads.  It was confirmed that that they were not covered under personal household insurance.

·         What was the cost of the project so far? The cost was £48,000.

·         What problems did Exeter City Council experience when introducing the project and why did we not adopt their system? The first 3 months at Exeter City Council were reported to be very difficult and there had been a number of issues.

·         Why was there not a group of Councillors contacted to test the scheme before it evolved? It was acknowledged that this could have been better handled.

·         Now that Councillors had gone Paperless/Paperlight, would officers be encouraged to do the same?

·         Importance  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.


Forward Plan 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 23 KB


Members gave consideration to items for the Forward Plan. The following were proposed:

·        Gigaclear and Connecting Devon and Somerset to discuss Broadband.

·        South West Water Capacity and its obligations to take on additional volumes.

·        Service Plans & Budget

·        Use of Plastics

·        Council Enforcement Policy with particular regard to planning conditions,

·        Police & Crime Commissioner – to discuss modern day slavery, closure of police stations, county lines and deployment of additional police officers




Date of next meeting - To note that at the request of the Chairman the date of the next meeting has been changed to Thursday 18 July 2019 at 6.00pm.