Agenda and minutes

Improvement and Review Commission
Wednesday, 11th September, 2019 7.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber

Contact: Jemma Durkan 

No. Item


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 June 2019.

Supporting documents:


RESOLVED: That the minutes of the Improvement and Review Commission held on 12 June 2019 be approved as a true record and signed by the Chairman.



Wycombe Community Safety Partnership Plan 2019-2020

Supporting documents:


The Chairman welcomed Sarah McBrearty (Community Safety Manager – Wycombe District Council), who provided an update on the Wycombe Community Safety Partnership priorities and actions for 2019/20.


The Partnership Plan had been re-written and prioritised in 2017 and was to run through to 2020, each year however these priorities and actions were revised and reviewed as appropriate, by means of the Annual Strategic Assessment.


Focussing on each of the priorities of:


·         Tackling anti-social behaviour and crime;


·         Safeguarding adults;


·         Safeguarding children; and


·         Building community resilience


the actions taken and planned in respect of each of these were outlined.


In respect of Tackling Anti-social Behaviour and Crime Members could well have seen the three recently employed full time Street Wardens in High Wycombe, in operation Monday to Saturday 8am to 7pm, with the ability to be extended to later hours or Sundays if Police operations etc. required such.


The High Wycombe Town Centre Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) whereby street drinkers could be asked to hand over their drink and if not complying were subject to a fine, was workingwell. A reluctance to hand over drink meant this Order was having an impact. It had not completely removed the problem, but the problem was decreasing. This PSPO expired next February but officers were looking to renew / revise it to continue.


The British Retail Consortium estimated that at least a third of shop-lifting crimes were related to organised crime. Wycombe Community Safety Partnership was working to tackle shoplifting offences, with a focus on safeguarding young people who were being victimised into carrying out these offences.


In respect of the Safeguarding Adults strand, the considerable support available via the Partnership for victims of domestic violence, along with friends and family, was outlined.


The Desborough Road Outreach Project (DROP) was explained; a multi-agency approach to engage with sex-workers, often very vulnerable young women, and help them with health and safeguarding issues and assist them to combat drug and drink dependency which was often the key reason for their involvement.


Similar multi-agency work (importantly Registered Social Landlords being amongst these agencies) in respect of victims of ‘cuckooing’ where professional criminals were targeting vulnerable people to use their homes as bases for drug dealing or other criminal activities, was explained.


The key priority of Safeguarding Children was outlined with reference to the £800K granted to the Thames Valley Police & Crime Commissioner in November last year (2018) which had been utilised in the Early Intervention Youth Fund to prevent involvement with gangs and knife crime. A school drama scheme on such topics and a ‘Reach Every Generation’ specialist mentoring service had been initiated and expanded.


Test purchasing operations regards under age alcohol sales and hotel room booking by apparent adult and young persons had resulted in re-education / training for local businesses, re-alerting them to these key issues.


The award of £90K from central Government to spend by March 2020 in respect of knife crime was welcomed, but a concerted long term approach to tackle the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 13.


Report of the Parking Task and Finish Group

Supporting documents:


Councillor Mrs L Clarke OBE Chairman of the Parking Task and Finish Group introduced the report of the Group. Noting that the meetings had not had the best attendance, some worthwhile and valid recommendations had emerged as featured in the Report.


Mrs Clarke wished to put on record the great work of Democratic Services officers Jemma Durkan and Liz Hornby in administrating the Group and thanked the relevant Environment Portfolio-holder Councillor Mrs Adey for her attendance.


Members discussed the recommendations featured and suggested mention of their keenness to see more enforcement to control parking on pavements and grass verges. This was to be inserted under recommendation 11.


Reference to the local plan’s approval of stacked car parking at the Park and Ride site was to feature in recommendation 13.


Whilst parking provision for residential development as well as at supermarkets was to be referenced in the final recommendation.


These above three amendments are featured in bold in the recommendations as finally agreed below and to be referred to the Cabinet Meeting of the following Monday 16 September 2019.


RESOLVED: That the recommendations of the Parking Task and Finish Group as featured below (as amended in bold by the Commission) be referred to Cabinet for consideration and response.



Recommendation 1

That there be an agreed parking strategy.

Reason: To ensure that all car parks have the same sized car parking space, opening times, levels of cleanliness, provision of disabled and mother and child spaces.  To improve the number of short stay spaces and consider the possibility of free parking for the first 30 minutes of any stay over all car parks

Recommendation 2

That funding be provided for consultancy work to survey the usage of the Park and Ride.

Reason - Data was required to find out who was using the Park and Ride car park.  Currently any member of the public could use the car park and it was suspected that a majority of users were not using the park and ride bus service.



Recommendation 3

That four buses be provided for the Park and Ride rather than three as suggested by Buckinghamshire County Council, to run in conjunction with the trains to and from Birmingham/London.

Reason - BCC were currently reviewing options for the bus service to and from the Park and Ride.  This was to reduce operational costs when Section 106 funding that had helped subsidise the current route comes to an end. Four buses would provide a better service and help maintain the best route to and from High Wycombe town centre. This would also ensure the bus provision for the Park and Ride would run in conjunction with trains to and from Birmingham/London.  Although the times have been amended they were still out of sync with the trains and had no cognisance of the walking times to and from the platforms. 

Recommendation 4

To ensure that the Park and Ride remained free for people parking and then using the bus service to and from the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 14.


Joint Waste Contract Task & Finish Group - Commission Chairman's verbal update

The Commision Chairman to give a verbal update on the Joint Waste Contract Task & Finish Group.



The Chairman of the Commission updated the Meeting on the rather truncated work of the Joint Waste Contract Task & Finish Group; in that the Group had only met once, and then for a short time, in order to be made aware of the process of tendering that had occurred in respect of the Contract. As a result there was no need or opportunity to currently scrutinise.


It was noted that if required in due course, the Group could be re-convened in order to assist the Executive with its help and support.


River Wye Task & Finish Group - Commission Chairman's verbal update

The Commision Chairman to give a verbal update on the River Wye Task & Finish Group.


The Chairman again verballed updated the Meeting on the status of the River Wye Task & Finish Group. Here the Chairman’s intention to call a special meeting of the Commission to consider the Group’s work had been superseded by events; in that such major schemes were not now to be put forward to the Shadow Executive for consideration for adoption individually, but as part of a package of schemes from each of the former five authorities forming the new Buckinghamshire Council as at 1 April 2020.


Cabinet here at Wycombe District Council has assured the Commission Chairman of the inclusion of the River Wye scheme in the package being assembled currently for future presentation to the Shadow Executive.


Members wished it to be put on record that they highly commended Councillor H McCarthy on his input and perseverance in respect of this proposed River Wye project and the work overall of the Task and Finish Group.






Commission's Work Programme and Forward Plan

Supporting documents:


The Meeting noted that effectively there were no current Task and Finish Groups.


Members agreed that the two items featured on the Cabinet Forward Plan appended to the agenda: Regeneration Strategy and Eastern Quarter were both items appropriate for scrutiny by the Commission and therefore asked that these be scheduled on the next Meeting of the Commission (Wednesday 6 November 2019) for a report to be submitted for inclusion on the agenda for consideration by the Commission.


Also in respect of the Work Programme, as featured under the minute for the Community Safety Partnership item, this subject matter was also to be included on the 6 November 2019 agenda, in that the Strategic Chair of the Partnership and the Operational Chair along with the Cabinet Member responsible here at WDC; Community Portfolio holder Councillor Graham Peart BEM, were to be invited to further update the Commission on the Partnership’s work.





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.