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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Council Chamber - Civic Centre, Folkestone

Contact: Kate Clark  Email: committee@folkestone-hythe.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

1.

Appointment of Chairman

Minutes:

Proposed by Councillor Rebecca Shoob

Seconded by Councillor Gary Fuller

 

RESOLVED:

To appoint Councillor Michelle Keutenius as Chairman of Overview &

Scrutiny Committee for the coming year.

 

All agreed.

2.

Appointment of Vice-Chairman

Minutes:

Proposed by Councillor Peter Gane

Seconded by Councillor Connor McConville; and

 

RESOLVED:

To appoint Councillor Rebecca Shoob as Vice-Chairman of Overview &

Scrutiny Committee for the coming year.

 

All agreed.

3.

Declarations of Interest

Members of the committee should declare any interests which fall under the following categories:

 

a)    disclosable pecuniary interests (DPI);

b)    other significant interests (OSI);

c)    voluntary announcements of other interests.

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest. 

4.

Minutes

To consider and approve, as a correct record, the minutes of the meeting held on 30 March 2021.

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

Proposed by Councillor Connor McConville

Seconded by Councillor Rebecca Shoob

 

The minutes of the meeting held on 30 March 2021 were approved subject to the following addition to Minute No 43:     

 

Councillor McConville made reference to the possibility of the council adopting a selective licence policy as part of the review. This policy would be aimed at private landlords in the private housing sector.’ 

 

All agreed

 

5.

Minutes of the Finance & Performance Scrutiny Sub-Committee

To consider and approve, as a correct record, the minutes of the Finance and Performance Scrutiny Sub-Committee on 27 April 2021. 

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting dated 27 April 2021 were approved and signed by the Chairman. 

6.

Appointment of members and election of chairman to the Finance and Performance Scrutiny Sub-committee

Minutes:

Proposed by Councillor Connor McConville

Seconded by Councillor Gary Fuller

 

RESOLVED:

That membership of the Finance and Performance Scrutiny Sub-Committee remains identical as last year for the municipal year 2021/22; Councillors Fuller, Gane, McConville, Rolfe and Shoob. 

 

All agreed. 

 

 

Proposed by Councillor Rebecca Shoob

Seconded by Councillor John Wing

 

RESOLVED:

That Councillor Connor McConville remains as Chairman of the Finance and Performance Scrutiny Sub-Committee for the municipal year 2021/22. 

 

All agreed. 

7.

Customer Access Point

A presentation to be given to members on the proposal to set up a Customer Access Point initially with the Civic Offices and subsequently moving to Folca.

 

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

The Director of Transformation and Transition, Mr Tim Madden, gave a presentation on the proposal to set up a Customer Access Point.  The presentation is attached to these minutes.

 

Members made the following comments: 

 

·         Libraries – could be used as customer access points.  Mr Madden would be happy to look into this, however resourcing multiple sites could be an issue. Members were mindful that although Folca is central, the district is predominantly rural and library use could possibly benefit residents. 

·         Consider a hybrid approach when completing and verifying forms for services officered to residents. 

·         Some residents lack resources, ie online services and devices.  Maybe look to offer these. 

·         Folca building – need to consider disability access and carbon neutrality.  An architect is involved in the design space of the building and it is expected work will start in Autumn 2021. 

·         Ensure private areas are available to residents who need to discuss sensitive issues.  Mr Madden confirmed this had been thought about and also the need to ensure residents in difficult situations feel comfortable in approaching the Council. 

·         Possible provision at Folca for charities who could share space. 

 

Mr Madden thanked members for their suggestions which would be considered.  Folca is an important aspect of the Place Plan. 

 

On a final note it was confirmed that the re-opening of the Civic Centre is being considered in July, however this could be revised based on the ever changing Government guidelines. 

 

Proposed by Councillor Peter Gane

Seconded by Councillor Gary Fuller

 

RESOLVED
To note and receive the presentation.

 

8.

Folkestone Town Centre Place Plan

Report OS/21/01 presents an update on progress to develop the Folkestone Town Centre Place Plan. The report sets out the context for this, engagement undertaken and the emerging key themes and interventions from which the plan will be developed.

 

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

Report OS/21/01 presented an update on progress to develop the Folkestone Town Centre Place Plan.  The report set out the context for this, engagement undertaken and the emerging key themes and interventions from which the plan will be developed. 

 

Cabinet Member for the District Economy, Councillor Wimble, gave introductory remarks and recognised the importance of the work to establish an overall direction for the future town centre.  Mr Ewan Green, Director of Place, presented the report and introduced Mr Oliver Goodhall from urban design specialists, We Made That.

 

Mr Goodhall gave a presentation, which is attached to these minutes.  Mr Goodhall explained ‘The Grand Challenge’, incorporating six missions and how these interact with action areas within Folkestone.  He reminded members of the next public webinar on 10 June.   

 

Members’ comments and questions included: 

 

  • Looking at the public engagement events, what considerations are given to comments received?  Short, medium and long term considerations are explored.
  • Adult education provisions.
  • Digital infrastructure.
  • Creative Quarter – what do people think when visiting Folkestone and what do people want? 
  • What kind of hub will Folkestone be? 

 

Mr Goodhall mentioned the Vision for Folkestone and how this must be broken down into manageable components, also looking at long term sustainable resilience and diversity.  He mentioned a publication which members may be interested in; ‘High Streets – Adaptive Strategies’ guidance produced by the Mayor of London. 

 

Further comments raised by members: 

 

  • Park and ride – an idea to be considered. 
  • Public engagements – demographically younger people are less likely to get involved, however, it was suggested that young people are more likely to get involved with definitive projects. 
  • Electric scooters, possible hire and use around the town centre, an example given was the use of these in Bristol. 
  • The importance of green space. 

 

Councillor Wing was impressed by the public and stakeholder engagement aspects of the Place Plan, he also asked the following questions: 

 

-     Traffic flow around the town?  Traffic modelling to be carried out. 

-     Leas Lift – good to see this included in the actions as part of the engagement process.   

-     Consider other vertical transport systems. 

-     If the North Downs is confirmed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this could help the Town Centre. 

-     Encourage visitors in the Winter months. Levelling Up Fund could provide further opportunities.

-     Licensing Policy – seen as a facilitator of the Place Plan.  The policy is under review and will be brought to Full Council in the Autumn 2021. 

 

Members asked what the next steps will be.  Mr Green advised a Council led action plan to be produced with continued engagement with consultant teams.  Mr Goodhall was keen to say that We Made That would like to stay engaged throughout the process and thereafter. 

 

Members were impressed with the process so far and thanked the We Made That team, officers and the Cabinet member for the District Economy, Councillor Wimble. 

 

Proposed by Councillor Peter Gane

Seconded by Councillor Gary Fuller; and

 

RESOLVED:

That Report OS/21/01  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.

9.

Performance Management Framework

The Council’s Performance Management Framework was originally created and approved in 2014, with minor amendments being approved by Cabinet in 2017. The Performance Management Framework has been reviewed and simplified to make it more meaningful and useful for officers, elected members and all those who are engaged in the Council’s performance management.

 

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

The Council’s Performance Management Framework was originally created and approved in 2014, with minor amendments being approved by Cabinet in 2017.  The Performance Management Framework had been reviewed and simplified to make it more meaningful and useful for officers, elected members and all those who are engaged in the Council’s performance management. 

 

Mr Gavin Edwards, Policy and Improvement Specialist, presented the report and advised members the Performance Management Framework is due to Cabinet in July 2021. 

 

Members comments included: 

 

  • Reporting cycles – quarterly and half yearly figures with the aim to coincide with planned Finance and Performance Scrutiny Sub- committee dates. 
  • A member suggested that the finance and budget figures can be confusing, could this be simplified?  Narratives are provided to figures however as expected, detailed budget reports are very large documents and a balance must be struck on reporting style.   Charlotte Spendley, Director of Corporate Services, would welcome any suggestions by email. 
  • Staff training – process and measurements are attained through annual appraisals; OD team support; behavioural assessments; development plans and engagement with team leaders. 
  • What is Pentana?  This is the performance management software that the Council’s uses. 
  • Data Quality Strategy – ensures that the Council is as transparent as possible, for example, publishing information on the Council’s website or using the FOI service.  A member mentioned API data availability, however it was advised that this is not used on the website. 

 

Proposed by Councillor Michelle Keutenius

Seconded by Councillor Peter Gane; and

 

RESOLVED: 

That Report OS/21/02 and accompanying appendices are received and noted. 

 

All agreed.