Venue: Committee Rooms 1 & 2 - Deanes. View directions
Contact: Democratic Services
Link: Video Recording
Apologies for absence and substitutions
Councillor S Keating was replaced by Councillor P Harvey
Edward Hodgson – Managing Director – Stagecoach South
Martin Gibbon – Operations Manager – Stagecoach Andover and Basingstoke areas
Declarations of interest
Councillor P Harvey declared an interest on Item 6 of the agenda – Elections Update – on the grounds that he was the elections agent for the local Labour Party
Councillor G James declared an interest on Item 6 of the agenda – Elections Update – on the grounds that he was the elections agent for the local Liberal Democrat Party
To consider any items of business, other than those shown on this agenda and which, by reason of special circumstances to be stated at the meeting, in the opinion of the Chairman, should be considered at the meeting as a matter of urgency.
There were no urgent items
Minutes of the previous meeting
The minutes of the meeting of the 9th of March will be presented at the next meeting of the committee.
The committee noted that the minutes of the meeting held on the 9th of March would be presented at the next meeting.
Contact Officer: Peter Smith
This report gives a factual update on public transport matters since the last report to Scrutiny Committee in March 2015.
The Cabinet Member for Communities and Community Safety introduced the update which gave a factual update on public transport matters since the last report to Scrutiny Committee in March 2015 and thanked officers for the work undertaken to understand the needs of residents.
The borough council’s Transport Officer provided further details on the update within the report including the continuation of bi-annual partnership meetings, the formulation of a Borough Transport Strategy in partnership with Hampshire County Council and gave an update on the pilot schemes of late evening bus routes 1, 2, 3, 6 and 8.
The Chairman invited visiting Councillor Colin Regan to address the committee. Councillor Regan’s comments included;
· That he was pleased Stagecoach were listening to the views of residents and working in partnership
· Support for routes 3 and 3b
· Support for a cross line subsidy between services
Edward Hodgeson, Managing Director of Stagecoach South addressed the committee and commented on;
· The positive views expressed on partnership working with local authority partners and other stakeholders
· Updates to the Stagecoach website, provision of a mobile app, enabling mobile ticketing and contactless payment options.
Martin Gibbon, Operations Manager of Stagecoach Andover and Basingstoke areas addressed the committee to provide further detail on the improved accessibility of the bus fleet.
The committee thanked officers from Stagecoach for the significant improvements to deal with residents’ issues.
Councillors made a range of general comments on the report before acknowledging the success of the centre shuttle and expressing disappointment that the route would not continue following the development of the leisure park. The committee agreed that the centre shuttle between the town and the leisure park should be supported.
RESOLVED: That the Scrutiny Committee notes the report and improvement of services for residents and agrees to continue monitoring transport services with an updated report brought to committee in March 2018
Contact Officer: Melbourne Barrett
This report responds to the Scrutiny Committees request for a review of the events and the lessons learnt.
The Chair introduced the item which had been deferred from the committee’s meeting on the 17th January 2017 which responded to the Scrutiny Committees request for a review of the events which contributed to errors on postal votes in the borough council election for the Brookvale and Kings Furlong ward and a date on poll cards for the EU Referendum.
Visiting Councillor Mike Westbrook was invited to address the committee. Councillor Westbrook’s comments and questions included;
· That the minutes of the meeting of the 17th January stated that a written response would be provided in response to Councillor Westbrooks questions and had not, to date, been received.
· That the error had only been identified by a member of the public and asked for a response as to what would have happened had the error not been pointed out.
· That as many as 76 votes had not been recast.
· Had the Returning Officer changed the printers used for the ballot papers and did the contract allow for the printers to subcontract work out?
· The inconvenience caused to residents.
· Whether considering the grading of the salary of the Elections Manager sooner would have assisted in recruiting the position earlier and avoided costly mistakes being made.
The Returning Officer for the council responded, covering the;
· Role of the returning officer and the personal accountability of the post.
· Previous report presented in January 2017 and the lessons learnt.
· Distinct role of the Electoral Commission, and
· Previously presented confidential appendix.
The Returning Officer then advised the committee on actions undertaken to ensure elections were performed in a safe manner which included the;
· Xpress elections management system was identified as a core system and maintained by the council’s IT department, further that, as it was identified as a core system, it was also subject to an annual audit.
· Improved capacity and resilience of the Electoral Services team including the appointment of a new Electoral Services Manager.
The committees’ comments during debate were positive, with many councillors noting that the steps taken may repair the damage done to members’ confidence and recognising the growth and confidence of the team in the recent polls which provided confidence for councillors.
RESOLVED:The committee notes the report and trusts that the actions undertaken, especially the audit process, will prevent a reoccurrence of errors.
The committee is asked to note and review its work programme
The Chair confirmed that, following consideration of the work programme suggestion form on the Access to Information protocols at the last meeting, additional members had been sought.
RESOLVED: That Councillors T Robinson and K Rhatigan join the Task and Finish Group on the Access to information protocols.