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Disclosures of Interest and Whipping Declarations
In accordance with the Council's Code of Conduct, councillors are reminded that it is a requirement to declare interests where appropriate.
Councillors must also declare if they are subject to their party group whip in relation to any items under consideration.
The following disclosures were made:
To approve as a correct record the minutes of the Overview and Scrutiny Commission held on 22 November 2021.
The minutes of the meeting of the Commission held on 22 November 2021 were approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair.
Public Question Time
To answer any questions or hear brief statements from the public which are relevant to the items on this agenda. The period will end after 15 minutes or later at the Chair’s discretion.
No questions from the public were asked.
Health and Adult Social Care Scrutiny Committee (HASC)
To receive a brief update on the Health and Adult Social Care Scrutiny Committee (HASC).
A detailed update was unfortunately unable to be provided from the most recent HASC meeting due to absence. However the meeting covered the Adults Services Quality Assurance Update, the Performance Resources Quarterly Report, together with progress on the West Sussex Stroke Programme. The full minutes were available on the HASC webpages. It was queried whether a substitute could be provided, however following investigation on the WSCC website, WSCC councillors appear to have substitutes and the district and borough were representatives. It was noted that all meetings were available to view via webcast here.
To consider report HCS/34 of the Head of Community Services.
The Commission considered report HCS/34 of the Head of Community Services. In its meeting of 8 September 2021, Cabinet requested that Officers bring a further report back for its consideration, which would provide more detail with regards to the potential implementation of Option 3 referred to within the report HCS/30. In order for Cabinet to make an informed decision, the requested report should provide information on Option 3, the possible changes to service delivery and personnel, expected financial implications and any legal aspects. Report HCS/34 included details on the use of bye-laws and the installation of a PSPO together with the associated statutory consultation requirements.
During the discussion with the Cabinet Member for Wellbeing and the Head of Community Services, Councillors made the following comments:
· It was noted that the proposal and potential change for a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) to be considered to prohibit dog related anti-social behaviour in Tilgate Park for a period of 3 years to require dogs to be kept on leads in all areas of the park unless explicitly specified otherwise, was emotive and divisive.
· It would be important to have a strong, positive, education and information approach in place prior to the decision and beyond, together with offering alternative options where dogs are permitted to be “off lead”, such as the Hound Ground. It would be important that any alternative considerations were viable in terms of cost.
· Acknowledgement there was a need to balance the education and information sharing with a robust and measured approach. However concerns were also recognised that there would be challenges if the PSPO was implemented and it was also mentioned that the introduction may change public behaviour and dog walkers to other parks in the town.
· Recognition that the many dog owners who visit Tilgate Park were responsible; they keep their dog under control and exercise it in a manner that does not cause distress to other park users. It was important not to alienate responsible dog owners but to manage anti-social behaviour.
· Acknowledgement that there was likely to be under-reporting of incidents and the true scale of the issue was not necessarily reflected in formal complaints and reports and that whilst the majority of formally reported and anecdotal incidents were largely focused around the lake and lawn areas, there was evidence of the issue affecting other areas of the park, particularly where wildlife was concerned.
· Acknowledgement that PSPOs must be evidenced based, and decision makers should be satisfied that the required conditions were met including the information received from the statutory consultation. Confirmation was provided that the consultation would be online, with alternative options available upon request.
· Confirmation provided regarding the evidence gathering and issuing of the fixed penalty notices. It was noted that only authorised officers can issue a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) immediately upon witnessing a breach of the PSPO.
· Concern was expressed regarding the finances available for the implementation of the PSPO together with the use of existing resources in light of the ... view the full minutes text for item 5.
Forthcoming Decision List - and Provisional List of Reports for the Commission's following Meetings
To consider any requests for future items. Those highlighted items have been referred to the Commission.
Cabinet 2 Feb 2022 OSC 31 Jan 2022
Cabinet 16 March 2022 OSC 14 March
The Commission confirmed the following reports:
31 January 2022
1. 2022/2023 Budget and Council Tax
2. Treasury Management Strategy 2022-2023
3. 2021/2022 Budget Monitoring - Quarter 3
4. Extension to Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) – Car Cruising
5. Towns Fund - To seek approval of business cases for 2 projects (PART B)
14 March 2022
1. Town Centre Regeneration Programme v3
2. Towns Fund - To seek approval of business cases for 8 projects (PART B)