Venue: Gordon Room, Town Hall, Chapel Road, Worthing
Contact: Simon Filler
Democratic Services Officer
01903 221364 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Declaration of Interests
Members and officers must declare any disclosable pecuniary interests in relation to any business on the agenda. Declarations should also be made at any stage such an interest becomes apparent during the meeting.
If in doubt contact the Legal or Democratic Services representative for this meeting.
There were no declarations of interest made
There were no substitutions
Confirmation of Minutes
To approve the minutes of the Joint Overview and Scrutiny Committee meeting held on 30 November 2023, copies of which have been previously circulated.
The minutes of the meeting of the 30 November 2023 were approved as a correct record and signed by the Chairman
Public Question Time
So as to provide the best opportunity for the Committee to provide the public with the fullest answer, questions from the public should be submitted by 12.00 noon on Thursday 25th of January 2024.
Where relevant notice of a question has not been given, the person presiding may either choose to give a response at the meeting or respond by undertaking to provide a written response within three working days.
Questions should be submitted to Democratic Services email@example.com
(Note: Public Question Time will operate for a maximum of 30 minutes.)
There were no questions from the public
Councillors who are not members of this committee can ask questions under CPR 12 Questions should be relevant to the committee where the question is being asked and also relevant to an item on the agenda. Please contact Democratic Services for more information
Members question time is 30 minutes and questions should be submitted no later than 12.00 noon on Thursday 25th of January 2024.
Questions should be submitted to Democratic Services firstname.lastname@example.org
(Note: Members’ Question Time will operate for a maximum of 30 minutes.)
There were no questions from Members
Items Raised Under Urgency Provisions
To consider any items the Chairman of the meeting considers to be urgent
There were no urgent items
Consideration of any matter referred to the Committee in relation to a call-in of a decision
There were no call-ins
To consider a report by the Chief Executive copy attached as item 8
The Committee had a report before it attached as item 8, which had been circulated to all Members, a copy of which is attached to a signed copy of these minutes.
In 2022 the Chief Executive, the Corporate Leadership Team and the wider staff leadership team, worked collaboratively to design a new corporate plan for the organisation. This plan, which came to be known as ‘Our Plan’, was agreed and adopted at the Joint Strategic Committee and both Councils in October 2022 and was launched to staff over the course of November 2022.
A Member asked, “How much progress has been made with The Growth Deal and is the project progressing, functioning and providing results in line with expectations?”
Members were informed the Growth Deal was a partnership with West Sussex County Council, therefore Adur District was dependent on decisions made by WSCC in terms of level of investment through the ‘Deal’.
The Chief Executive was pleased to say that a number of projects had been delivered, under the Growth Deal banner, including flood defence as part of the Sussex Yacht Club works and also the delivery of Focus House. Most recently, they had worked in partnership with WSCC to deliver improvements at Southwick Square. This opened on time (in October) and on budget and was great to see the new space being enjoyed over the festive period.
The Council was in dialogue with WSCC regarding future projects across Adur, which followed the preceding 12 months where preparatory work had been undertaken on a number of projects, including as a result of the Lancing ‘Now and into the Future’ work.”
A Member asked, “In Appendix 1 it informs that the section on Freedom of Information, Environmental Information Regulations and Data Subject Access Requests are not achieving targets. Has there been a particular rise in these requests and, if so, through greater transparency with our communities could that reduce the volume the council are receiving?”
Members were informed that there was a relative rise in requests and capacity to effectively deal with these represented a challenge. That digitising records should make data more transparent and make it easier to serve these requests.
A Member asked, “In June 2022 the council declared a Cost of Living Emergency. 18 months later and many of our residents are still experiencing these challenges. It could be argued that it's not so much an emergency situation any more, but has become a status quo for many. How do you prioritise the delivery times of Our Plan whilst a higher level of support is required to get some people through week to week living?”
Members were informed many of the residents continued to struggle as a result of the cost of living crisis. To help provide the support needed, much of the cost of living work had been mainstreamed into the core work. This meant front line services were better able to give the right help at the right time to more residents. Through ongoing support of ... view the full minutes text for item JOSC/67/23-24
To consider a report by the Director for Resources & Sustainability copy attached as item 9
The Committee had a report before it attached as item 9, which had been circulated to all Members, a copy of which is attached to a signed copy of these minutes.
This report outlined progress and plans for implementing the work contained in the Joint Overview and Scrutiny Committee (JOSC) Work Programme for 2023/24.
Members discussed the action taken by the Chairs to address Souther Water’s decline of an invitation to attend a meeting of JOSC and asked when Pub Watch would be seen on the work programme. Members were informed that Pub Watch attendance had yet to be arranged but was being planned for a future meeting.
The Joint Overview and Scrutiny Committee
To consider a report by the Director for Resources & Sustainability copy attached as item 10
The Committee had a report before it, attached as item 10, which had been circulated to all Members, a copy of which is attached to the signed copy of these minutes.
This report set out background information on the Portfolio of the Adur Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources to enable the Committee to consider and question the Cabinet Member on issues within his portfolio and any other issues which the Cabinet Member was involved in or connected with the work of the Council and the Adur communities.
Unfortunately the Adur Cabinet Member for Finance & Resources was unable to attend the meeting but let the councillors know they would respond to their questions in writing.
To consider a report by the Director for Digital, Sustainability and Resources, copy attached as item 11
The Committee had a report before it, attached as item 11, which had been circulated to all Members, a copy of which is attached to the signed copy of these minutes.
This report set out background information on the Portfolio of the Adur Cabinet Member for Environment and Leisure to enable the Committee to consider and question the Cabinet Member on issues within their portfolio and any other issues which the Cabinet Member was involved in or connected with the work of the Council and the Adur communities.
A Member asked, “Since the percentage of the population in Adur who are active has still not returned to pre covid levels and given the context of the complex relationship this council has with our public leisure centres and the provision of concessions, alongside the impending funding reductions from central govt, how will the cabinet member for leisure ensure that this figure of active people in Adur continues to rise and that our residents have continued opportunities for exercise and leisure?”
Members were informed that whilst the Council continued to work in partnership with South Downs Leisure Trust to provide sport experiences across Leisure Centres, the Council was also keen to improve ‘every day activities’ that would help with the defined activity levels.
For example, the Council was exploring ways of improving walking and cycling across the District, and the introduction of a bike hire scheme had contributed towards increasing activity levels. Other aspects included how to manage and work in partnership with communities to improve access to and from open spaces - with access to the sea and the south downs. These, combined with open spaces, were seen as vitally important contributors towards a healthier lifestyle.
Adur was also blessed with a range and depth of activities led by community groups, whether traditional in the shape of sports clubs (e.g. football, basketball, tennis, fitness etc) or more ‘informal’ such as running clubs, open air swimming etc. The Council continued to provide other leisure assets to the community to support these, including tennis courts, sport pavilions, bowling greens and grassed pitches.
Finally, the Council continued to deliver Wellbeing Hubs in Adur; a face to face service as well as online and telephone one to ones to support people with: Smoking cessation, Alcohol reduction, Falls prevention activities, Physical activity options, Healthy weight tips and Cardiovascular and Pre-diabetes information.
All these elements showed the Council’s commitment to improving the activity levels across the District, notwithstanding the motivation and dedication of individuals, groups, organisations, partners, businesses who are also helping to support this important topic.
A Member asked “Given that the Beach Green toilet block is still standing and that the consultation exercise planned for last year has yet to go ahead, what are the plans to ensure that the public loos are fit for purpose in 2024, pending any possible redevelopment, please?”
Members were informed the Council was still keen to explore the provision of new toilet facilities at Beach Green as ... view the full minutes text for item JOSC/70/23-24
To consider a report by the Director for Digital, Sustainability and Resources, copy attached as item 12
The Committee had a report before it, attached as item 12, which had been circulated to all Members, a copy of which is attached to the signed copy of these minutes. This report set out background information on the Portfolio of the Worthing Cabinet Member for Culture and Leisure to enable the Committee to consider and question the Cabinet Member on issues within her portfolio and any other issues which the Cabinet Member was involved in or connected with the work of the Council and the Worthing communities.
A Member asked, “With the council's long term ambitions to pass power and control over to what happens within communities, to communities: can you talk the committee through the process of how the Worthing Festival is organised and what control do members of the community, including those that volunteer their time to support engagement, have in decision making?”
Members were informed since the inception of the Worthing Festival in 2023, the Council had always indicated they would encourage community participation and control in how the Festival is delivered and shaped. An Arts Forum, made up of over 50 creative individuals and organisations, helped contribute to the inaugural Festival at a series of workshops through 2022/23, which led to the brilliant week the previous year.
However, a lot of learnings had been taken from the year following a comprehensive ‘evaluation report’. Recommendations from this report would take a number of years to deliver, however for 2024 the focus was on how to establish a greater connection to young people (as participants and audience), business engagement and enabling ‘the network’ to support each other. The coming year, the Council had the support of a number of individuals from the community, aligned to the aforementioned, who were actively helping to deliver the 2024 Festival. Again, the Arts Forum had heavily influenced the direction for that year.
In the future, the hope was that the Council could become even more of an enabler around the Festival and the community take full ownership of how this was delivered, knowing the Council was supportive.
A Member asked, “In your briefing to the committee you talk of the fact that sports participation hasn't returned to its pre-covid levels. You also highlight the development of a stakeholder group across Sports & Leisure to develop a plan. How will members of this group be identified and selected and what time frame is estimated for the establishment of it?”
Members were informed that over the previous 12 months, the Council had focused on the creation of an Arts Forum to ensure the Council was supporting the cultural sector in the best way possible. This was the focus and priority for 2023, however as that was now established, they would start looking at a similar forum around sport and leisure.
A good basis to work from was in place as Officers compiled a list in 2022/23 regarding the range of sport and leisure clubs available across Worthing. As with the Arts Forum, they ... view the full minutes text for item JOSC/71/23-24
To consider a report by the Director for Digital, Sustainability and Resources, copy attached as item 13
The Committee had a report before it, attached as item 13, which had been circulated to all Members, a copy of which is attached to the signed copy of these minutes.
This report set out background information on the Portfolio of the Worthing Deputy Leader to enable the Committee to consider and question the Deputy Leader on issues within their portfolio and any other issues which the Deputy Leader was involved in or connected with the work of the Council and the Worthing communities.
A Member asked, “We're living within an unusually difficult current financial climate with a large lack of resources to local authorities and predictions of further struggles to come. Can you highlight any successes in the part of your portfolio for developing community participatory decision-making structures and what future work is required to utilise the abundance of skills in the community to support the council through its next challenges?”
Members were informed that as part of the application process for the Cil Neighbourhood Fund 2023, the council experimented with a new model of community assessment panels. Assessment panels for the Cil Neighbourhood Applications included ward councillors from across parties, community representatives and were chaired by the VCS infrastructure organisation Community Works. Assessment panels were held in community spaces in the neighbourhood and recommendations were then given to the deputy leader for final approval and sign off. This decision making structure enhanced the role of the ward councillor and of Community Works, and brought decision making processes into the neighbourhood, making good use of local knowledge.
In West Durrington, the council led a successful community participation process in collaboration with the consortium of three housebuilders to refine the design requirements of the long overdue West Durrington community park facilities.
During this process a number of engagements were held in West Durrington where residents, community groups and community interest groups were invited to contribute their local and specialist knowledge to inform decisions around the design of sports pitches, allotments and play park facilities. The refined park design included junior sports pitches (rather than adult), inclusive play park equipment catering across the age range and for those with disabilities, and a coherent allotment and community garden design which was better integrated with the existing Humber Avenue Allotment community.
Under the banner of Council for Community they had been developing a visible offer to residents, members, staff and partners for how they can get involved in participative activity, including a calendar and/or map of activity; digital tools for people to have their say and match people up to increase social action; and an applied learning and development programme to enable residents, staff and partners to develop and share skills in place-based working and participation and apply them to practical challenges. This would improve the quality of how they did participation and community development – including through improved hosting and facilitation skills and make better use of partner/community skills.