Venue: Council Chamber, Catmose, Oakham
Contact: Kit Silcock 01572 720976
Apologies were received from Councillor Jones who was substituted by Councillor Oxley, Councillor Coleman and Councillor Razzell.
An apology was also received from Councillor G Bronw, Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Environment, Planning, Property, and Finance.
DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
In accordance with the Regulations, Members are invited to declare any personal or prejudicial interests they may have and the nature of those interests in respect of items on this Agenda and/or indicate if Section 106 of the Local Government Act 1992 applies to them.
There were no declarations of interest.
PETITIONS, DEPUTATIONS AND QUESTIONS
To receive any petitions, deputations and questions received from Members of the Public in accordance with the provisions of Procedure Rule 216.
The total time allowed for this item shall be 30 minutes. Petitions, declarations and questions shall be dealt with in the order in which they are received. Questions may also be submitted at short notice by giving a written copy to the Committee Administrator 15 minutes before the start of the meeting.
The total time allowed for questions at short notice is 15 minutes of the total time for 30 minutes. Any petitions, deputations and questions that have been submitted with prior formal notice will take precedence over questions submitted at short notice. Any questions that are not considered within the time limit shall receive a written response after the meeting and be the subject of a report to the next meeting.
The Chair reported that a deputation had been received in accordance with the procedure rules set out in the Constitution.
The Monitoring Officer noted that an additional late deputation had been received and as an exception to the rules, in consultation with the Chair of the Committee and the Leader of the Council, the deputation would be heard, without further questioning.
Ms Sue Walling addressed the Committee.
“For the first time since 2008, the Cabinet has chosen not to consult the public on the Corporate Plan - we understand they are not obliged to do so.
However - in the Local Government Association’s NEW Guide to engagement, the importance of building trust, by working with communities and consulting is highlighted.
And I quote - “By bringing people in on decision- making, Councils can get decisions right, manage expectations and improve relationships with residents.”
Given there has been no consultation with the public, we are seeking reassurance from Scrutiny that the work that has been done to date on the Corporate Plan accurately reflects our county’s priorities.
The Corporate Plan must be an accurate working document - one that every Councillor has a stake in and importantly feels confident that it truly reflects the needs and aspirations of our residents.
The Cabinet will have used evidential reports from the portfolio holders and the Strategic Management Team to inform their decisions - but have OUR front line professionals also been consulted.
Our Police, our GPs, the mental health teams, MOD, tourism boards, local businesses, youth leaders, head teachers, our parish and county councillors and the Town Councils of Oakham and Uppingham – there is a long list of people in Rutland that have their fingers on the pulse on a daily basis and their views are imperative.
Our concern is whether Scrutiny are fully satisfied that the cabinet have drawn their conclusion for both the priorities and subsequent actions from a current and broad evidence base to determine this Council’s role in the future success of Rutland.
Our major markets towns of Oakham and Uppingham have major influences on both tourism and employment and deserve sufficient consideration.
Lastly given the position we find ourselves in with the Corporate Plan it is vital that we voice our concerns now on the proposed 50 Year Vision within Strategic Aim 1.1
This Corporate Plan features some 68 objectives (each listed by a bullet point). Out of these 68 there are two objectives which the plan states will be agreed or approved by Cabinet and those relate specifically to the plans for our 50 year vision.
This makes it difficult not to conclude that the outcome of the Vision will be heavily influenced by Cabinet’s Vision for Rutland, rather than a People’s Vision, if, from the outset the Cabinet agree the process and approve the draft.
We trust that both the process to achieve the Vision, the draft plan itself and the consultation is one that will reflect the considered opinions of the experts in our ... view the full minutes text for item 229.
QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE FROM MEMBERS
To consider any questions with notice from Members received in accordance with the provisions of Procedure rule No. 218 and No. 218A.
There were none.
Members to consider the Corporate Plan that was agreed by Cabinet on the 14th October 2019 (as attached) and make comments/recommendations to Council.
The Chair of the Committee noted that the recommendation of the report was for the Growth, Infrastructure and Resources Scrutiny Committee to note the contents of the Rutland County Council Corporate Plan 2019-2024 and make recommendations to Council on the 11th November 2019.
It was noted that due to the entering the pre-election period, the Council meeting on the 11th November 2019 had been cancelled.
In response to questions asked, the Leader of the Council, in the absence of the Deputy Leader, explained that a number of the targets included in the Corporate Plan had already been met but noted that they were awaiting additional information from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government following the consultation on the New national model for shared ownership.
Members of the Committee raised concerns about the following:
1. Would there be revised targets set in light of any revision from Government and the election?
2. The number of houses for St Georges had been stipulated in the Corporate Plan, prior to the completion of the Planning process
3. Could the delivery of the number of new homes for development at St George’s be problematic and considered as fettering?
The Leader of the Council explained that the draft Corporate Plan had been shared with Members in August 2019 and a number of opportunities had been provided for Members to have an input. He stated that consideration could be given to revising the number of houses developed at St George’s.
In response to questions asked, the Portfolio Holder for Culture and Leisure, Highways & Transportation & Road Safety explained that they would lobby for an upgrade to the A1 from Peterborough to Blythe as there was a significant need to improve the infrastructure in the County for both residents and tourists.
The Leader confirmed that a considerable amount of funding had been put into improving Broadband and by 2024 fiber broadband would be accessible in all villages.
Members of the Committee raised the following points:
a) Can the provision of affordable homes be extended, not just to young families but to single people and elder people?
b) Rather than having a specific number of houses for the St George’s development, would it be more beneficial to refer to it as a ‘large’ number so that the Cabinet are not bound by specific numbers and thus more likely to meet their target?
The Chair noted that she had submitted a number of questions to Cabinet and due to the late submission they had not been answered. However, she commented that the answers to her questions would be appended to the minutes of this meeting,
The Committee agreed that the recommendations should be revised to reflect the cancelation of the Council meeting on the 11th November 2019 (due to the pre-election period) and read: “A future meeting of the Council”
The Committee agreed that an additional recommendation should be that the targets in the Corporate Plan be reviewed alongside the Corporate performance report be reviewed ... view the full minutes text for item 231.