Agenda and minutes

West Devon Overview and Scrutiny Committee - Tuesday, 4th October, 2022 2.00 pm

Venue: Chamber - Kilworthy Park. View directions

Contact: Email: 

No. Item

*O&S 21

Apologies for Absence


*O&S 21/22      

Apologies for absence for this meeting were received from Cllrs L Daniel; Cllr Coulson and Cllr Moody


*O&S 22

Confirmation of Minutes pdf icon PDF 270 KB

Committee Meeting held on 26 July 2022


*O&S 22/22      

The minutes of the Meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee held on 27 July 2022 were confirmed by the Meeting as a true and correct record subject to clarification to minute O&S 16/22 - Third Sector  Partners – South West Mutual.  ‘that it was planned for the majority of lending would be on a secure basis because farming businesses do not have very good security and therefore provides more flexibility’.  On reviewing the webcast, the minute related to tenant farmers that required a loan and were therefore unable to secure a loan from a high street bank because they could not offer security against the loan.

*O&S 23

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;


*O&S 23/22      

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

*O&S 24

Public Forum pdf icon PDF 10 KB

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


*O&S 24/22      

The Chairman confirmed that no formal requests had been received in accordance with the Overview and Scrutiny Procedure Rules.

*O&S 25

Council Delivery against Corporate Theme: Inclusive Services (Catherine Bowen) pdf icon PDF 296 KB

Additional documents:


*O&S 25/22      

The Lead Hub Member for Delivering Inclusive and Accessible Services introduced a report that reviewed latest progress against the Listening and Accessible Council Theme as follows:


      Action 1A 1.1 – Customer Charter had been drafted and was scheduled to be presented to the Hub Committee meeting on 1 November.  The Contact Centre Review had been completed and implemented.  Following a question from a Member, it was reported that the opening of reception would be reported to the Hub for further consideration.  A further question was asked on the engagement of residents to the My Place Survey, the Director of Place and Enterprise reported that this information would be circulated to Members outside of this meeting.  The Chair requested all Members to complete the survey.

      Action 1A 1.2 – On track.  Members raised concerns when residents called the Council and then had to wait in a long queue.  It was reported that improvements had been made with the system now telling residents how long they would have to wait and a ring back service was now offered.  Members reported that this was not the case and examples were cited where customers were not being offered the ring back service until third in the queue having waited 45 minutes on the line.  The Lead Member reported that this would be investigated.  Members then debated how this service could be improved such as providing Frequently Asked Questions on the Council website and looking at best practice from other organisations.  The Lead Member responded that improvements were being made that included: reviewing the different services that received high volumes of calls, as well as providing additional training and support to staff.  It was also raised whether the previously dedicated telephone line for Members still existed.  In reply, a commitment was given to investigate the matter outside of this meeting.

      Action 1A 1.3 – On track.

      Action 1A 1.4 – On track.

      Action 1A 1.5 – Member Induction Programme to be drawn up by the end of the Calendar Year.


It was then RESOLVED that progress in delivering against A Plan for West Devon ‘Listening and Accessible Council’ Thematic Delivery Plan be noted.

*O&S 26

KPI Year End Performance Report pdf icon PDF 700 KB

Additional documents:


*O&S 26/22      

The Director of Place and Enterprise apologised to Members on the report provided and felt that it would be useful for the report to include a narrative to accompany the data to enable Members to have a more informed debate and make recommendations.


It was then RESOLVED that the KPI Year End Performance Report be deferred to the November Committee meeting.

*O&S 27

Task and Finish Group Updates (if any)



*O&S 27/22      

The Chair reported that the first meeting of the Member Induction Programme Review Task and Finish Group was scheduled to be held on 18 October 2022.

*O&S 28

Draft O&S Annual Work Programme 2022/23, inc. prep for next meeting pdf icon PDF 205 KB


*O&S 28/22      

The draft proposal for the work programme was reviewed.  The following amendments to the work programme were agreed as follows:


      KPI Year End Performance Report (November)

      Community Safety Partnership Meeting (February)

      Council Delivery against Corporate Theme:  Community Wellbeing and Economy (February)

      Council Delivery against Corporate Theme:  Homes (March)

      April meeting to be cancelled.


Members raised that they were not receiving invites to Hub Advisory Group meetings.  The Assistant Director of Strategy and Organisational Development reported that there were clearly some issues, however calendar invites were being sent out to Members and the meeting dates included in the Members Bulletin.  As an extension to the point, the Chair reminded Members to send their apologies if they could not attend the meetings as far in advance as was practically possible. 



It was then RESOLVED that the Hub Advisory Group Meeting dates and times be included in the Members Bulletin and reminders to the meeting sent to Group Members.

*O&S 29

Member Learning and Development Opportunities Arising from this Meeting


*O&S 29/22      

There were no learning and development opportunities identified from this meeting.


Members raised the effectiveness of the Link Committee Meetings and the ability for Members to put forward items for discussion and to encourage their local towns and parishes to be represented were specifically highlighted.  Some Members felt that an update from the Police at these meetings would also be useful.  A further suggestion that was put forward was to alternate the meetings between face to face and virtual and to source dates that did not clash with other meeting dates.


It was RESOLVED that the Director of Place and Enterprise will liaise with the Community Safety Partnership to explore ways to engage the Police to attend future Link Committee meetings.