Agenda and minutes

Overview and Scrutiny Committee - Monday, 1st March 2021 6.30 pm

Venue: Virtual Meeting

Contact: Democratic and Electoral Services 

Link: Click to view live meeting from 6.30pm on 01 March 2021

No. Item


Declarations of Interest

To receive from Members, declarations of the existence of any disclosable pecuniary, or non-pecuniary, interests and the nature of those interests in relation to any agenda item. Please see Agenda Notes.


There were no declarations of interest.


Declaration of Party Whipping

To declare if any issues to be covered in the Agenda are under party whip.



 There were no declarations of party whipping.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 164 KB

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 1st of February 2021.


            RESOLVED: - that the minutes of the meeting held on the 1st of February 2021 were approved and signed as a correct record by the Chair.


Public Question Time (15 minutes)

To receive any questions from members of the public provided that a question does not relate to:


·         Matters which are the subject of current or pending legal proceedings, or

·         Matters relating to employees or former employees of the Council or comments in respect of individual Council Officers



If you would like to ask a question at this meeting, please contact as soon as possible and by Wednesday 24th of February 2021  at the latest.



There were no public questions.


Petitions and Deputations (15 minutes)

To receive any petitions and deputations provided that no such petition or deputation is in relation to:


·         Matters relating to individual Council Officers, or

·         Matters relating to current or pending legal proceedings


If you would like to present a deputation or petition at this meeting, please contact as soon as possible and by Wednesday 24th of February 2021 at the latest.



There were no petitions and deputations.


Overview and Scrutiny Committee Work Programme and Council Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 413 KB

To receive the latest version of the Committee’s work programme and the Council’s Forward Plan.

Additional documents:


7.1       The Chair reminded Committee Members that there was a Special Meeting scheduled for the 3rd of March 2021 where the Committee would consider the Waste, Streetscene and Grounds Maintenance contract.


7.2       RESOLVED: - That the Overview & Scrutiny Committee NOTE the forward plan and work programme.


Housing, Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Strategy - Strategy & Recovery Update pdf icon PDF 970 KB

To receive the report of the Cabinet Member for Communities and Neighbourhoods and Cabinet Member for Planning and Housing Strategy which provides an update on the progress made towards the Housing, Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Strategy in Year One Including the Work on Recovery from COVID-19.

Additional documents:


8.1       The Cabinet Member for Communities & Neighbourhoods, Councillor Watkins, introduced the report and highlighted key elements. She noted that this was the first yearly review of the Housing, Homeless and Rough Sleeping Strategy, and that this had been a busy and significant time in respect of this due to the COVID-19 pandemic. She thanked Officers in the housing team for their work, particularly during the first lockdown of the COVID-19 pandemic, for example, in bringing people indoors who were rough sleepers, and for work carried out in securing the £3.8 Million County-wide bid for the Next Steps programme which would see 51 extra units across the County, as well as providing extra capacity for Officers and support for affected Individuals. Councillor Watkins also noted the importance of driving up standards and informed the Committee of the appointment of the new Housing Innovation Manager who would be carrying out work in private sector enforcement amongst others. The Cabinet Member for Planning & Housing Strategy thanked staff in the Housing team for their work and noted that there were two new appointments in the team. He also added that housing was a very important issue for him and was pleased to note that the affordable housing target had been exceeded with the creation of 295 affordable homes in the last year.


8.2      The Chair agreed that housing was a key issue, noting that most of their case work as a Councillor concerned housing, that the Council could not have foreseen the importance of the strategy and how crucial it had become in the last year. They also commended the cross-party approach which had been taken to tackling housing issues. Councillor Stephens echoed his thanks to Council Officers for their work, credited Councilor Watkins and Councillor Gravells for briefing meetings which they had held and highlighted the importance of collaborative work going forward. In response to his queries Councillor Watkins and Officers responded as follows. Firstly, with regard to the lifting of the eviction ban in the future, he was advised that there was work being carried out in respect of this county-wide through the accommodation supply sale which was set up as part of the response to COVID-19. Various avenues were being explored through this, for example, utilising the number of Ministry of Defence properties in the City, and leasing properties. Moreover, Officers were also working with lettings agents county-wide, and, from this work anecdotal evidence suggested that a number of the proposed evictions concerned low priority groups and instances where the landlord wanted to move back into the property for example. Secondly, regarding assistance for people experiencing issues with mortgage defaults, it was noted that assistance was available on a national level through measures such as mortgage holiday breaks and the furlough scheme. Nonetheless, work was also being carried out by the housing team to draw up plans based on best practice for mortgage rescue alongside potentially working with lenders to secure accommodation. The creation of the new projects and strategy team  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.


Performance Monitoring Quarter 3 pdf icon PDF 232 KB

To consider the Cabinet Member for Performance & Resources’ report which informs members of the Council ‘s performance against key measures in Quarter 3 of 2020/21.





Additional documents:


9.1       The Cabinet Member for Performance & Resources, Councillor Norman introduced the report and highlighted key elements, noting for example that there were now 31 key performance indicators, a significant increase from 2019-2020 report.


9.2      Responding to questions from Councillor Stephens, Councillor Norman outlined that data from service areas was regularly reviewed by Officers, and this informed service plans and other work within the service areas. In addition, there was work being carried out to set up dashboards for Cabinet Members to enable them to have ongoing sight of data. In terms of extending these licenses to other Members, Officers would get back to Members. On the topic of environmental crime, Councillor Norman outlined that there would be a report going to Cabinet on the 10th of March which would provide a breakdown of enforcement undertaken recently, the difference in penalty notices that were established in the first year of the contract and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic amongst other data. Regarding the collation of the data on affordable homes, she outlined that a request would be made to Officers, however it was possible that this could only be changed for the next civic year.


9.3     In relation to Councillor Pullen ‘s query about the potential impact of The Gateway closing on telephone waiting times and the number of staff answering calls, Councillor Norman advised that this would be confirmed with Officers and a response would be circulated to Members.


9.4      Pointing to KPI WR31, Councillor Lewis noted that it was encouraging to see higher levels of recycling.


9.5      RESOLVED: that the Overview & Scrutiny Committee NOTE the report.



Financial Monitoring Quarter 3 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 669 KB

To consider the Cabinet Member for Performance & Resources’ report which outlines year-end forecasts and the financial pressures on the Council during the 3rd Quarter ended 31st December 2021.








Additional documents:


10.1    The Cabinet Member for Performance & Resources, Councillor Norman introduced the report and highlighted key elements and major headlines from the report, noting that many of the budget pressures in the report could be attributed to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. There were no questions from Committee Members and thus, Councillor Norman proceeded to thank the Chair and Committee Members for their work on the Committee during the last 5 years. Councillor Coole also thanked Cabinet for its willingness to always engage with Overview & Scrutiny.


10.2   RESOLVED: - that the Overview & Scrutiny Committee NOTE the report.


Annual Report of the Overview & Scrutiny Committee pdf icon PDF 229 KB

To receive the Annual Report of the Overview & Scrutiny Committee.

Additional documents:


11.1    The Chair, Councillor Coole, introduced the report and noted that the past year had been unprecedented, and that the Committee should be proud of the work it had carried out. Alongside scrutiny of COVID-19 recovery work, the Committee had continued with its scrutiny of ordinary Council business. Councillor Coole then thanked Committee Members for their contributions, Cabinet Members and Officers who had supported the Committee. They then highlighted the parity of esteem between Scrutiny and Cabinet at Gloucester City Council, the high regard in which scrutiny at Gloucester City Council was viewed nationally, and hoped that this would continue beyond the current administration. Councillor Stephens echoed Councillor Coole ‘s comments and extended his thanks to the Chair, Councillor Coole, the Vice-Chair, Councillor Ryall and Spokesperson, Councillor Lewis. Councillor Lewis stated that Overview & Scrutiny had carried out work for the betterment of the City, and thanked the Chair for their work. Councillor Coole closed the meeting stating that he had enjoyed working in their role as Chair, and hoped that the work carried out had helped to dispel the public perception of politicians.


11.2    RESOLVED: - that the Overview & Scrutiny Committee NOTE the report.


Review of Public Spaces Protection Order pdf icon PDF 291 KB

To receive the  Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods & Communities’ report which  provides a review of the use of Public Spaces Protection Orders (PSPOs) across the City.


12.1    The Cabinet Member for Communities & Neighbourhoods, Councillor Watkins introduced the report and highlighted key elements.The Gloucester City Safe Manager added that the PSPO had been a useful tool in tackling the issue of street drinking in the City for both City Protection Officers and the Police, particularly with engaging people on the ban on street drinking.


12.2    Councillor Ryall thanked the Gloucester City Safe Manager for the written response he had provided to the Committee with respect to questions raised by Councillor Ryall. Following on from this, the Gloucester City Safe Manager responded to Councillor Ryall ‘s question around whether all instances of this were being reported to the police explaining that there were ongoing issues with reporting to the 101 telephone number which could have long waiting times. Nonetheless, there was access to the City Safe Secure System which escalated any instances into crime reports which would be automatically emailed to the 101 number and a crime would then be created. Recently, there were some good results with prolific shop lifters either receiving custodial sentences or criminal behavioral orders of up to three years with the police doing a good job of putting together these files. In addition, the yellow card system which was used for young offenders and prevented them from going through the criminal justice system was also working well.


12.3    In answer to queries raised by Councillor Hilton, Councillor Watkins, the Community Wellbeing Team Leader, and Sergeant Andrew Doyle advised as follows. Firstly, the alcohol-free zone did not extend to Kingsholm, however the city wide PSPO did cover alcohol related nuisance amongst other things. There were powers in place for the police, and several measures were being carried out to deal with these issues. For example, Police Officers worked on a rota basis to go to areas and had the powers to remove alcohol from people in order to prevent or stop a nuisance from occurring. However, residents were still encouraged to report any issues to ensure that they could be resourced accordingly. Secondly, it was highlighted that this was a complex issue  with potentially other factors at play which had to be considered, such as the fact that some individuals who were in temporary accommodation  did not have places to drink socially with friends. Therefore, it was not necessarily simply about having a PSPO, but also working with individuals to understand why there were issues. Nevertheless, Sergeant Doyle outlined that London Road was a key priority for the Police alongside the City Centre. As such, there was other work being carried out beyond the PSPO such as a three pronged approach  which had been used with street beggars which initially started with working to support the individuals, and then having more punitive measures such as the Community Protection Notice as a last resort. Moreover, the police were also working with some of the temporary accommodation providers to tackle the problem. However, it was not always residents of these accommodation places who carried out the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 12.


Date of Next Meeting

Wednesday 3rd of March 2021 (Special Meeting).


Wednesday 3rd of March 2021.