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Contact: Jemma Durkan
Declarations of Interest
To receive any disclosure of disclosable pecuniary interests by Members relating to items on the agenda. If any Member is uncertain as to whether an interest should be disclosed, he or she is asked if possible to contact the District Solicitor prior to the meeting.
Members are reminded that if they are declaring an interest, they should state the nature of that interest whether or not they are required to withdraw from the meeting.
There were no declarations of interest.
Minutes of the Previous Meeting
To confirm the Minutes of the meeting held on 12 September 2018.
RESOLVED: that the minutes of the Improvement and Review Commission held on 12 September 2018 be approved as a true record and signed by the Chairman.
Cabinet Responses to the Anti-Social Behaviour in the District Task and Finish Group
The Commission considered a report that provided the Cabinet responses to the Anti-Social Behaviour in the District Task and Finish Group (TFG) recommendations.
The Commission discussed the responses and a number of points were made as follows:
· It was disappointing that recommendation 3 had not been fully supported as the current ASB data was unreliable. However it was suggested that it would be bad practice to have duplicate performance measures monitoring ASB.
· The increase of the frequency of the Community Safety Strategy Group meetings to bi-monthly was welcomed.
· There was no timeline for the public toilets investigative work. It was requested that a list of all public toilet closures be provided, with information on when they were reopened and any related issues.
· The partial response from Cabinet regarding recommendation 5 was disappointing and it was noted that the provision of free parking had been rejected. There was also no timeline for a response from the Chief Constable regarding the long waiting times for the TVP 101 number.
· It was noted that Cabinet had agreed the funding for 3 FTE street wardens for the current financial year. It was reported that at the Cabinet meeting a discussion had included that the street wardens would be District wide and a joint venture with HWBIDCo and TVP. The Commission noted that further clarity regarding this matter was needed from the Cabinet Member for Community.
· Some Members supported the rejection of free parking for TVP staff and commented that this was the responsibility of TVP. However it was noted that this had been a direct request from the Chief Constable of TVP at a TFG meeting.
The Chairman of the TFG, Councillor Whitehead expressed his disappointment that only one recommendation out of 10 recommendations was fully supported. He noted that two were already supported, four were partially supported, two were not supported and one was being investigated. It was suggested that an addition report could be presented to Cabinet regarding these responses.
The Commission agreed that the Cabinet Member for Community be invited to the next meeting to provide further information and details regarding the Cabinet response to the recommendations. Also it was resolved that the Chairman of IRC would write back to the Leader expressing concerns in the lack of detail in Cabinet's original response to the Task and Finish Group and point out the Commission's disappointment with the response. Questions would be asked about who would be responsible and, how and where the response would be undertaken.
i) The Cabinet Member for Community be invited to the next meeting of the Improvement and Review Commission.
ii) The Chairman of IRC would write to the Leader regarding the Cabinet's original response to the Task and Finish group.
iii) The Cabinet responses be noted.
Report of the Remaking the River Wye Task and Finish Group
The Commission considered and discussed the report of the Remaking the River Wye Task and Finish Group (TFG). The Chairman of the TFG, Councillor McCarthy explained that the report had been presented to the High Wycombe Town Committee on 13 November. There had been a varied discussion and a number of queries were raised. Councillor McCarthy noted that the report had been well received and a majority of the Committee had supported the recommendations.
The Commission noted the following comments from the High Wycombe Town Committee as follows:
· That sufficient water flow be made available to the river.
· That the public should be consulted on the reopening of the river.
The report was discussed and a number of points were made:
· Health and safety protocols would be in place so that accidents, such as people falling into the river, would be prevented.
· Regarding pollution, it was explained that pumping further down the river was expected to end; this would improve the flow rate of the river and prevent stagnation. There would be roadside drainage to avoid pollution from the road to the river and the Environment Agency had not yet raised any issues.
· It was noted that members of the TFG, and others had visited the river restoration works undertaken by the Chiltern Rangers on behalf of WDC and the Revive the Wye group. It was reported that this had been an interesting and helpful tour. The Commission agreed that this visit should be noted in the TFG report.
· It was suggested that the community should not only be consulted but also be involved in the restoration works, such as the work with schools undertaken by the Chiltern Rangers. .
The Commission also agreed to include in the report that the Leader and Deputy Leader were in attendance at the High Wycombe Town Committee meeting.
Also that recommendation 7 be amended to read as follows:
· To recommend funding the works from its CIL & capital programme.
The Chairman of the TFG confirmed that the amendments would be made to the report before submission to Cabinet on 17 December. He also thanked Phil Simpkin, Natural Environment Officer and Jemma Durkan, Democratic Services Officer for their work with the Group.
The Commission also thanked Councillor McCarthy for his professional manner and noted his ability and experience in dealing with the subject.
Commission Work Programme & Cabinet Forward Plan
The Commission considered the work programme report along with the appended Cabinet Forward Plan and Commission Work Programme.
The Chairman of the Budget Task and Finish Group, Councillor Collingwood reported that the TFG would be meeting on 29 November to consider the draft Capital and Revenue Budget with follow up meetings in December and early January. The findings of the Budget TFG would be brought to the Commission meeting in January.
The Chairman of the Commission suggested that the date of the next meeting be moved to allow time for the Budget TFG findings to be considered.
It was also suggested that an update from the Cabinet Member for Housing be provided to the Commission regarding the Licensing of Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs).
The following items were suggested as possible items for future task and finish groups -
· Future of car parking in the District – this could also include issues regarding parking on verges.
· The future of the Brunel Shed.
· Unauthorised gypsy and traveller encampments.
· Joint Waste Contract.
· Provision of Temporary Housing in the District.
· Waste Recycling.
The work programme suggestion form would be circulated to the members for completion.
i) The date of the next Commission meeting be moved to 24 January 2018,
ii) The Cabinet Member for Housing be invited to update the Commission on Licensing of Houses in Multiple Occupation,
iii) The Commission Work Programme and Cabinet Forward Plan be noted.
COUNCILLOR CALL FOR ACTION
To consider any Councillor Call for Action submitted in accordance with the agreed procedure.
There were no Councillor Calls for Action.
If circulated in accordance with the five clear days’ notice provision.
There were no supplementary items.
Any urgent items of business as agreed by the Chairman.
There were no urgent items.