Agenda and minutes

South Hams Overview and Scrutiny Committee - Thursday, 20th July, 2023 2.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber - Follaton House. View directions

Contact: Email: 


No. Item


Minutes pdf icon PDF 262 KB

to approve as a correct record the minutes of the Committee held on 16 March 2023;



The minutes of the meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee held on 16 March 2023 were confirmed as a correct record.


Declarations of Interest

In accordance with the Code of Conduct, Members are invited to declare any Disclosable Pecuniary Interests, Other Registerable Interests and Non-Registerable Interests including the nature and extent of such interests they may have in any items to be considered at this meeting;



Members and officers were invited to declare any interests in the items of business to be considered during the course of the meeting, but there were none made.


Public Forum pdf icon PDF 198 KB

A period of up to 15 minutes is available to deal with issues raised by the public;



In accordance with the Public Forum Procedure Rules, the Chairman informed that no questions had been received for consideration.


The Overview & Scrutiny Function



The Director of Customer Service and Delivery provided a presentation on the Overview and Scrutiny Function, which highlighted:


       The Role of Scrutiny and Government Guidance;

       Overview and Scrutiny Committee Arrangements;

       Items that can be scrutinised;

       Shortlisting Work Programme Topics.


Members noted the Overview and Scrutiny Function presentation.



Performance Update to June 2023 pdf icon PDF 128 KB

Additional documents:




The lead Executive Member for Customer Service; Improvement; IT; and Digital Services introduced the report and invited Members’ questions on the contents of the Performance Update to June 2023.


In discussion, the following points were raised:


       Overall, there is positive performance in the majority of the KPI’s

       FOI requests mainly related to planning but did cover a wide range of subjects;

       No sanctions received from the ICO in respect of compliance with FOI timescales;

       % of non-major application determined to be worded better.  Add the word ‘Planning’ to be clear it relates to that service;

       Planning Inspectorate could intervene if they did not meet targets;

       Extension on time (related to planning applications) could either be the applicant or the local planning authority extending the time;

       A full update on the Planning Improvement Plan, including Enforcement would be considered by the Executive in September;

       In respect of Homelessness preventions, an example of someone that presents themselves as intentionally homeless was a person that decided to leave a property or had been evicted by a landlord because due to intentional damage;

       Some people choose to be homeless and there were currently two rough sleepers in South Hams;

       Regarding Employment Estate Occupancy rates, the Employment estate includes Follaton House;

       IT software has sped up the processing of Temporary Events Notices and this would remain as a KPI;

       Central Government would shortly be monitoring household recycling rates;

       A request was made for the target for contact centre calls answered within 5 minutes to be changed from 60 – 80% to 80% and this was welcomed by the lead Member;

       The Council will be launching a new website in September and the preference for people to go online but with the option of a callback service;

       From September Revs and Bens would be splitting away from Contact Centre.  These calls were more complex and could take up to an hour.  All calls were recorded and monitored for training purposes;

       It was suggested that Committee look at KPIs informally with officers in September to understand the measures further.


It was then:




That the Overview and Scrutiny Committee notes:

1.     the key service performance of the Council, as set out in Appendix A to this report.

2.     the intention to provide more regular updates on the KPI’s to the committee to ensure more timely reporting of data.


2023/24 Committee Annual Work Programme



The Committee were invited to add items to the work programme:


       Livewest/other social housing providers

       Homelessness and temp accommodation

       SW Water - quality of water rivers/beaches

       Community Safety Partnership



       CAB Annual report

       Review of Planning Enforcement



       Road Maintenance

       Dartmoor National Park – Right to Roam

       Look at internal and external item at each meeting.

       Business Information Point


It was then:




That Officers to formulate the Overview and Scrutiny Workplan for 2023-24.