Venue: Committee Rooms 1 & 2 - Deanes. View directions
Contact: Democratic Services Team
Link: Video recording
Apologies for absence and substitutions
Councillor P Miller was replaced by Councillor J Vaux.
Councillor Ruffell sent apologies.
The Chair welcomed Councillors Frost, George and Carruthers as new members to the committee, and the Executive Director of Finance and Resources and Portfolio Holder for Finance and Service Improvement to their first Scrutiny meeting.
Appointment of Vice Chair
To appoint two Vice-Chairmen to the Scrutiny Committee (one administration and one non-administration) for the 2019/20 municipal year.
Councillor S Frost was appointed Vice Chair, and Councillor I Tilbury was appointed Vice-Chair of Call-in for the 2019-2020 municipal year.
Declarations of interest
Councillor Potter declared an interest in item 8 of the Agenda and proposed to vacate the meeting at that point and delegate control to the Vice Chair.
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 meeting held on 22 January 2019
It was queried whether the minutes could be reasonably and accurately approved given that answers to Appendix 1 had not yet been received. The Executive Director of Finance and Resources commented that a response had been circulated to the committee in May.
The minutes of the meeting held on 22 January 2019 were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chair.
Appointments to Performance Panel
Five Members are required to form the panel. Current membership: Councillors C Ashfield, G Falconer, T Capon, R Bean, and I Tilbury.
Councillors C Ashfield, I Tilbury, D George were appointed as members of the performance panel for the 2019/20 municipal year.
Two vacancies remained on the panel and it was agreed that non-Scrutiny committee members would be invited to join.
Contact Officer: Peter Smith
The Centre Shuttle bus is a borough council funded discretionary service. At the Full Council meeting held on 28 February a decision was taken to amend the times and days of operation of the Centre Shuttle as part of the Council’s proposed budget for 2019/20.
This report is produced further to referral of a Council Motion on 28 March requesting a review of service changes on the Centre Shuttle and the impact on the town centre and leisure park users.
The Senior Transport Officer introduced the Revisions to the Centre Shuttle timetable report. The report was produced further to a motion presented to Council in March 2019 seeking a referral of the decision to remove poorly used services of the Centre Shuttle.
The Chair invited visiting councillors Regan and Keating to address the Committee. Both thanked the officers for their work and raised the following issues:
· There had been no direct consultation with ward councillors prior to the changes;
· The lack of a Sunday bus service raised concern;
· It was perceived that cutting the bus service would increase pollution by reducing the travel options available to residents;
· Concern was expressed at the impact of the cuts to disadvantaged and disabled passengers; and
· The logic of cutting a bus service to a planned area of re-development was queried.
It was clarified that the consultation formed an aspect of the consultation process relating to the general 2019/20 budget strategy between 14 November 2018 and 2 January 2019, and that no comments had been received relating to the proposed service changes.
There was acknowledgement that some passengers would be disadvantaged as a result of the cuts and so agreements had been made for passengers to use their Centre Shuttle tickets on alternative Stagecoach routes 8, 11 and 76.
The Senior Transport Officer stated that removing the Centre Shuttle service at the times of poor use would actually benefit air quality, particularly given occasions when the bus had been running without any passengers.
It was suggested that the decision to cut the Sunday service should be re-examined in the light of increased figures over the Christmas period.
The Senior Transport Officer noted that whilst passenger numbers had been higher they did not demonstrate sufficient demand to warrant a full service but that a Christmas shopping service would be considered.
The committee made the following, additional comments and observations:-
· It was queried whether there was a reason for the rise in Sunday usage between 2016/17 and 2018.
The Senior Transport Officer suggested that it may be as a result of the introduction of the ‘Stagecoach Mega Rider’ and ‘Stagecoach Day Rider’ ticket incentives.
· The Senior Transport Officer explained that changes to the bus service had been communicated to users via social media, the website and with posters on the buses a month in advance. Since the changes had been introduced in March there had only been three instances of customer feedback.
· Investment in an environmentally friendlier fleet of buses was suggested. The Senior Transport Officer clarified that at the time that Stagecoach had taken over the Centre Shuttle contract, it had been stipulated that the company purchase vehicles with Euro 6 engines which were subject to the latest emission levels. Electric engines were being investigated but would require significant infrastructure changes to facilitate charging.
· The Senior Transport Officer agreed to include alternative route suggestions (8, 11, 76), on relevant Centre Shuttle bus stops.
· It was clarified that using one of the ... view the full minutes text for item 7/19
Review of Work Programme
The Committee reviewed and agreed its work programme, with the following comments:-
· 19 November: It was agreed that the committee would request an initial snapshot progress report on the amended refuse collection routes which were due to commence on 1 July;
· The committee agreed to discontinue the Parking enforcement, Basingstoke as a Unitary Authority and Pink Papers groups;
· Annual Review of the Housing Allocations Policy to be added to the work programme; and
· S106 monies task and finish group to hold inaugural meeting once membership has been confirmed.
Freedom of Information Report
Contact Officer: Jackie Tatum
To receive and review a report detailing particulars of a potential offence under Section 77 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000, which had been reported to the ICO.
The Chair excused himself from the meeting and the Vice Chair proposed that due to the confidential nature of information contained within the report, the Committee pass a resolution that by virtue of paragraphs 1 & 2 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972, the public be excluded from the meeting.
On resumption of the open session the Vice Chair closed the meeting.
Resolved: the Committee
· Note the report; and
· Due to the absence of the Legal Services Manager request that the report be re-scheduled to the July agenda.