Agenda and minutes

Council-owned Neighbourhood Parades Scrutiny Panel - Thursday, 11th March, 2021 6.30 pm

Venue: Virtually - Microsoft Teams. View directions

No. Item


Disclosures of Interest & 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.


No disclosures of interest or whipping declarations were made.




Minutes pdf icon PDF 213 KB

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting of the Council-owned Neighbourhood Parades Scrutiny Panel held on 2 February 2021.


The minutes of the meeting of the Council-owned Neighbourhood Parades Scrutiny Panel held on 2 February 2021 were approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair.




General Updates and Information

To receive any relevant updates and information from Panel members and officers, including the following updates on the actions from previous meetings of the Panel:


·         The extent of CCTV coverage at the neighbourhood parades

·         The publicity/guidance given to shop tenants about how to report crime

·         The status of plans for a neighbourhood parade in Forge Wood

·         Advice/signposting given by the Council’s Business and Economic Development team

·         Further information on Knowsley Council’s Management of Council Owned Neighbourhood Shopping Parades Policy.




The following updates were given regarding the actions from the previous meeting of the panel on 2 February 2021.


The extent of CCTV coverage at the neighbourhood parades

Panel members noted that this information had been provided by the Head of Community Services and circulated via email. 


The publicity/guidance given to shop tenants about how to report crime

It was heard that parade shop tenants were not actively supplied with tailored guidance on how to report crime and anti-social behaviour.


The Chair outlined the reporting process, of which there were several channels:

·        Dial 999 if a crime is in the process of taking place.

·        Call the police on 101 for all other incidents.

·        Contact a local Police Community Support Officer online at

·        Contact the Council’s Community Wardens team 7 days a week between 0800 – 2130hrs on 07884 492324 or at


The status of plans for a neighbourhood parade in Forge Wood

Following the receipt of information from the Planning Case Officer and Deputy Chief Executive, the Panel heard that the masterplan for Forge Wood included a ‘local centre’ area comprising of shops with flats above.  The area also proposed a multi-use community building, a school, and a health facilities building.  The detailed application for the shops and community building was approved under planning application CR/2014/0061/ARM.  In terms of the status of the plans, the panel heard that it was believed that the trigger for the commercial units was approaching and that discussions between the developer and the Local Planning Authority may be underway in the near future.


A Panel member requested that the Cabinet member for Planning and Economic Development establish whether the shopping parade will be privately run or Council-owned.


The following information was given in light of the topics explored at the previous meeting of the Panel on 2 February 2021.


Advice/signposting by the Council’s Business and Economic Development team

Following previous discussion regarding the extent of business advice offered to parade shop tenants by the Council, the Panel heard that the Economic Development team supports local businesses in a variety of ways including:

·         Access to expert information and advice about business rates

·         Support with planning and licensing enquiries (for example if a business owner wishes to apply for a change of use to their premises)

·         Commercial property search – able to create bespoke reports that show the latest available commercial properties to buy/rent in Crawley

·         Grant information – access to the Small Business Grant Scheme

·         Covid-19 Business Support Grants – access to various government support grants in response to the Coronavirus pandemic

·         Signposting/partner organisations – support and information from a variety of local business organisations including Coast to Capital Growth Hub, Chamber of Commerce, etc

·         Inward Investment Programme – supporting businesses looking to invest in or relocate to Crawley.


The Economic Regeneration Manager had confirmed that, recently, the most common enquiries received by the Business and Economic Development team were about business support grants and access to funding, but that only  ...  view the full minutes text for item 3.


CBC Online Business Directory Update

To note the following information:

In January 2021, the Council’s online business directory ‘It’s Local’ was set up.  The directory has been publicised via social media channels and can be accessed here:

A new page has been added to the Council’s website which lists neighbourhood parade shops and gives details of their opening hours, contact information, and products/services.  The page currently lists 30 shops; it is expected that more listings will be added when shops are able to re-open due to Coronavirus-related restrictions being lifted. The page can be found here:



Panel members received a relevant update regarding two new webpages on the Crawley Borough Council website.


The ‘It’s Local’ business directory ( was created in January 2021 and listed details of local businesses and services throughout the borough.  It was heard that the directory was publicised via the Council’s social media channels.


The Communications team had also specifically approached parade tenants with an invitation to provide information about their business for aneighbourhood shops webpage (  The Panel noted that communication with the tenants was difficult, on occasion, due to national Covid-19 restrictions; however it was assured that tenants would be approached again after restrictions were due to ease.  It was also heard that business owners were appreciative of the publicity offered via this webpage.


Panel members discussed the content of the webpages and the channels through which the webpages could be further publicised.



·         That the Council’s Communications team be asked to monitor engagement with the It’s Local directory and ‘Neighbourhood Shops’ web page (such as number of hits).

·         That all councillors be updated via the Councillors’ Information Bulletin regarding both the directory and the web page, and be encouraged to publicise them.

·         That it be explored as to whether the directory and the web page can be publicised via Crawley Live magazine or the community noticeboards across the borough.




Public Consultation Arrangements pdf icon PDF 156 KB

To confirm details of the consultation, including the questions to be asked.  Draft questions are attached as appendix A.




Panel members discussed the draft consultation questions (appendix A to the agenda).  It was agreed that there would be two strands of consultation; one for parade tenants, and one for all Crawley residents.


Following advice from the Corporate Consultation and Research Officer, the Panel agreed that, rather than open questions, closed questions with pre-set answers may encourage a greater number of responses.  It was agreed that the majority of questions would be closed with an option for the respondent to provide further details if desired.  It was also agreed that recent and current consultations should be checked to ensure that no questions are repeated.


The Panel noted that due to the upcoming pre-election period of sensitivity, it was recommended that no new consultations be published before the election date of 6 May 2021.  It was provisionally agreed that the consultation begin soon after this date.



·         That the draft consultation questions be amended as discussed and sent to panel members with an invitation to make further minor changes, if desired, before the consultation’s start date.




Dates of Future Meetings

To confirm the dates of future meetings of the Panel.  Proposed dates include:


Thursday 10 June

Wednesday 23 June

Monday 5 July

Thursday 15 July

Monday 19 July

Wednesday 21 July

Tuesday 7 September

Thursday 9 September

Wednesday 15 September

Wednesday 22 September

Thursday 23 September


Panel members are asked to consider their availability for these dates in advance of the meeting.


Panel members considered the content of, and proposed dates for, future meetings of the Panel.  It was confirmed that none of the suggested dates clashed with other formal meetings of the Council.



·         That a reminder regarding the Council’s calendar of meetings for 2021/22 be sent to Panel members.

·         That Panel members agree the date of the next meeting via email.

·         That witness sessions be organised for the next meeting – suggested witnesses included an officer or councillor from Knowsley Council, Crawley’s shopping parade tenants, and Council staff that regularly visit the neighbourhood parades.