Venue: Worthng Town Hall
Contact: Chris Cadman-Dando
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.
Cllr Loader declared an interest as a trustee of the Shoreham and Adur Food Bank.
Cllr Howard declared an interest as a member of Worthing Food Foundation and Broadwater support
Cllr Sparkes declared an interest as a member of West Sussex County Council
Cllr Catherine Arnold substituted for Cllr Sharon Sluman
Cllr Joe Pannell substituted for Cllr Carol Albury
Confirmation of Minutes
To approve the minutes of the Joint Overview and Scrutiny Committee meeting of
held on 13 October 2022, copies of which have been previously circulated.
The minutes of the meeting of the 13 October 2022 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 12.00pm Friday 18 November 2022.
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.)
No questions from the public were received.
Members' Question Time
Pre-submitted Member questions are pursuant to Rule 12 of the Council & Committee Procedure Rules.
No questions from the Members were received.
Items Raised Under Urgency Provisions
To consider any items the Chairman of the meeting considers to be urgent
There were no urgent items raised.
Consideration of any matter referred to the Committee in relation to a call-in of a decision
There were no call-ins
Interview with Adur Cabinet Member for Communities and Wellbeing PDF 123 KB
To consider a report by the Director for Digital, Sustainability and Resources, copy attached as item 8
The Committee had a report before it attached as item 8, a copy of which had been circulated to all Members, a copy of which is attached to a signed copy of these minutes.
A member asked, “Paragraph 5.14 in the Priorities for Adur report Adur Priorities indicates that further investment for the Proactive Programme and the OneStop “Money Coaches will continue”, both excellent pieces of work by the council. Will this investment further expand the scope of these services in response to the Cost of Living Crisis (COLC) to include identifying vulnerable demographics and training money coaches around energy specific savings eg. energy tariffs and efficient use?”
Response - The Cabinet Member for Communities and Wellbeing said Proactive was the internal approach that continued to provide valuable insights, help and support, for people at risk or facing real difficulties. In addition to the councils’ ongoing proactive calls using their Customer Contact team, they were also working with two housing cohorts up until Christmas. Using Tell Jo as a digital tool to reach out to more residents, enabling them to self assess, self signpost and ultimately signpost back to the Council for help and support, they were expanding their ability to contact more residents.
Once they did make contact, or people contacted them, they could offer and signpost to a wide range of support, not just money coaching, but also ensuring the correct benefits were being received and bringing in other services delivered by their partners. This included working closely with the Department for Work and Pensions to help get people back into work.
As part of their organisational redesign they would be mainstreaming Proactive into their teams and the way they worked with people that were vulnerable, connected to their new ethical debt policy approach. Using their LIFT platform they were expanding the way this was identifying vulnerable people through their teams. Tell Jo would enable them to reach more people.
In addition, they were also continuing to develop their cost of living work with a wider set of partners - their wider community safety net - to help support people and build their resilience in communities.
A member asked, “What safety net does the Council have in place in the event that our much needed food banks become unsustainable or insufficient in the face of the ongoing and increasing Cost of Living Crisis?”
Response - the council continued to work in partnership with key public sector agencies, the voluntary and community sector, businesses and their communities through the Cost of Living roadmap and related action plans, to ameliorate the wide ranging impacts being faced nationally as a result of the COLC. They were working with food groups to help them become more sustainable and both Councils had identified the need for a donation based fundraising mechanism to be set up to support food provision in Adur and Worthing. They were in the final stages of writing a proposal for this activity with ... view the full minutes text for item JOSC/53/22/23
Interview with Worthing Cabinet Member for Community Wellbeing PDF 123 KB
To consider a report by the Director for Digital, Sustainability and Resources, copy attached as item 9
The Committee had a report before it attached as item 9, a copy of which had been circulated to all Members, a copy of which is attached to a signed copy of these minutes.
Due to unforeseen circumstances, this item was deferred to a later meeting.
What the Councils are doing to help with the cost of living crisis PDF 125 KB
To consider a report by the Director for Digital, Sustainability and Resources, copy attached as item 10
The Committee had a report before it attached as item 10, a copy of which had been circulated to all Members, a copy of which is attached to a signed copy of these minutes.
A Member asked, “The Equalities Impact Assessment (EIA) for this work states: those already most socially disadvantaged are likely to be those most at risk of not coping including groups such as those protected through the Equality Act 2010. What analysis is being done to capture data around these protected groups in deprivation who are seeking help and given the funded community groups (since 2021) have had over £142k are they capturing data on this?”
Response - a further, more detailed Cost of Living EIA assessment had been done that set out actions to engage with a range of diverse communities in Adur and Worthing. Work on this had commenced. A data profile for Worthing had been produced which identified more vulnerable communities using national and local data sets (for example the Councils’ own LIFT data). This was due for updating with 2021 census data. The profile for Adur was also pending 2021 census data. A Cost of Living Data Sharing Working Group had been set up with external partners to look at ways to collate and share aggregate data in order to build a more comprehensive understanding of where resources should be targeted to meet need.
A Member asked, “Working with providers locally (page 60): How confident are you that Southern Water engages effectively for the outcomes of this plan?”
Response - Southern Water had been contacted requesting information about the schemes available to support people in managing their water bills or water related debt. They were also asked to discuss with the Councils other possible measures that could be taken. There had been no reply to date and this needed to be re-actioned. They said that Southern Water were part of a bigger discussion with a number of other organisations and bringing them together in partnership.
A member asked, “Target financial support where it's most effective (page 61): For the support to be inclusive of all residents, what alternative options are available to support those with a lack of access to online information?”
Response - The Cost of Living Information Leaflet included the telephone numbers of all key support services, as well as their websites, so people without online access are able to contact them. There was also a digital inclusion action in both CoL Action Plans, and work would be done with West Sussex County Council’s (WSCC) Digital Inclusion Officer to identify support strategies for people to access online services. A number of ‘in person’ community engagement events had taken place to support them in sign posting residents to the help that is on offer. These events invited a number of other agencies and organisations to help meet the needs and requirements of those who needed assistance.
A Member asked, “Funding and resources (page 64) - ... view the full minutes text for item JOSC/55/22/23
Crime and Disorder Scrutiny - Interview with the Chairman of the Adur and Worthing Safer Communities Partnership PDF 123 KB
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, a copy of which had been circulated to all Members, a copy of which is attached to a signed copy of these minutes.
This report provided the Joint Overview and Scrutiny Committee (JOSC) with information on the work of the Adur & Worthing Safer Communities Partnership (A&WSCP) in order for JOSC to scrutinise the work of the A&WSCP and interview the Chairman of the Partnership, Councillor Kevin Boram.
A Member asked, “How has the Safer Communities Strategy already adapted its practice as a result of the increasing social inequality, a recognised driver of crime and disorder?”
Response - The Chairman of the Adur and Worthing Safer Communities Partnership stated thatthe three year strategy for 2021- 2024 had pre-empted the impact of social inequality with overt references to the need to consider how this could drive crime and disorder. The partnership continued to build on the initiatives that tackled the impact of social inequality - for example, funding further work to reduce school exclusions and keep children in education in recognition that pathways through education and into training and employment were key in preventing generational worklessness and hardship.
The Partnership continued to prioritise access to support for accommodation and employment through the joint use of their rough sleepers’ initiative grant alongside AWC housing colleagues - supporting people into stable accommodation through their outreach team and employment through the work coaches.
The partnership also contributed to a data analyst who they would be working with to ensure the partnership had data products that reflected the impact of social inequality, for example - monitoring particular crime types that they knew were likely to increase as people faced additional cost of living pressures which would enable the partnership to target resources appropriately.
A Member asked “When the data analysis, intelligence assessment, census data and community consultation to prepare for Year 2 annual plan was undertaken, were factors relating to the full impact of the COLC known and taken into account? How has this influenced the strategic approach to achieving safer communities over the next 2 years?”
Response - the full impact of the COLC was an ever evolving picture, which would continue to develop; some known factors would have been taken into consideration in the development of the plan. As a partnership they remained committed to analysing key data to take an evidence based approach to look at how they targeted partnership resources to keep their communities safe.
They had made the COLC a standard agenda item for all meetings where crime and disorder was discussed so they could ensure partners were sighted and could coordinate partnership activity and adapt plans accordingly.
A Member asked, “A November YouGov poll stated that 62% feel Police do not take sexual assault cases seriously enough – 20% of reported crimes in Adur are due to domestic violence. Whilst the changing men's behaviour partnership programmes led by the Sussex ... view the full minutes text for item JOSC/56/22/23
2023/24 Budget update PDF 332 KB
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, a copy of which had been circulated to all Members, a copy of which is attached to a signed copy of these minutes.
A Member asked “This isn't so much a question about the content of this report but about why Adur does not bring its budget to this committee for scrutiny?.”
Response - The Chief Financial Officer stated the Adur Cabinet had previously opted not to take the budget through scrutiny as it was viewed as a matter for full debate at Council (Joint Overview and Scrutiny Committee - 22 March 2018 Work Programme 2018/19 ). However, in previous years the budget update report which supported the delivery of the Worthing budget, seen by JOSC, would have included both sets of information as it was a combined report.
With the move to separate sub-committees, there were now three separate reports which broadly included much of the same information. The report to be considered by members at Committee that evening included all of the savings and growth proposals relating both to the Joint Committee and Worthing Borough Council.
Obviously there was the opportunity for members to pre-submit questions to the JSC and the sub-committees directly on budget matters when these items were considered.
If members wished to see both budgets moving forwards, this should be detailed in the JOSC work programme which would be agreed by the respective Councils.
Further questions were asked about changes to council projected incomes and savings, the corporate landlord programme, new charges in car parks and consultation on budget programmes and increasing council tax. Members were told that many of the changes in the budget had been down to the change in interest rates and other global factors. Any increase in charges was still being looked at and that the consultation work programme was still being worked on, with an aim to run from December to January.
Interview with Adur Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources PDF 122 KB
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, a copy of which had been circulated to all Members, a copy of which is attached to the signed copy of these minutes.
Due to unforeseen circumstances, this item was deferred to a later meeting
Interview with Worthing Cabinet Member for Resources PDF 123 KB
To consider a report by the Director for Digital, Sustainability and Resources, copy attached as item 14
The Committee had a report before it, attached as item 14, a copy of which had been circulated to all Members, a copy of which is attached to the signed copy of these minutes.
A Member asked, “It is important that the budget is aligned with the council's strategy and key priorities. Can you explain how your budget strategy aligns with the Administration’s key priorities?”
Response - The Worthing Cabinet Member for Resources stated since the election in May 2022, there had been some significant changes to the economic outlook, inflation was at a 40 year high and interest rates had increased significantly. Those macro economic forces had impacted significantly on the Council’s financial prospects and the Council had adjusted its plans accordingly.
Despite this the Council expected to be able to remove the £5.00 minimum payment, supporting our poorest residents.
The Council had also retained some capacity within the budget to deliver on other aspirations, although given their financial circumstances this would be focussed on initiatives which provided the best value for money or where they could lever in partnership funding from elsewhere.
However much depended on local government settlement and the impact it had on the final position.
A Member asked, “In your cabinet member Q&A in the summer you said that you had organised a Business Forum and that you planned to take forward the best ideas that emerged at the event. Could you tell us which of the ideas that emerged at the event you are taking forward.”
Response - The Council did run a business forum but as well as this they had also been receiving additional feedback from the Big Listen Campaign. A number of themes emerged from the feedback and whilst the Council did not have the capacity to deliver all of them in one go, they were reviewing where they were with each area:
Consultation; businesses wanted to be heard - the business forum and Big Listen were good examples of this, whilst Members had also been visiting businesses in their outer parades, as well as the town centre, promoting their Small Business Growth Grant
Interest in green issues - there was real support for ‘greening’ of the Borough but also an appetite from businesses to get involved to support their own green journeys. The Council was heavily promoting opportunities such as LoCASE (green business support), whilst they continued to deliver new EV charging points and provided an effective commercial waste service.
The town needs promoting - they were reaching out to a number of partners to re-engage under the Time for Worthing banner. Colleagues had been re-gearing the brand to ensure there was value for businesses to get involved whilst there was still a great emphasis on outward promotion (regional and national). But, the Council couldn’t do this by themselves, so they were encouraging collaboration through the new partners they were finding.
Public transport needs to be improved - this was not only for customers but ... view the full minutes text for item JOSC/59/22/23
JOSC Work Programme review PDF 124 KB
To consider a report by the Director for Digital, Sustainability and Resources, copy attached as item 15
The Committee had a report before it, attached as item 15, a copy of which had been circulated to all Members and is attached to the signed copy of these minutes. The Scrutiny Officer introduced the report to the Committee and set out changes and matters for determination.
Members noted the report and in particular discussed how missed Cabinet interviews should be considered. They also discussed how to manage the potential effect of changes to the constitution.
Resolved - The Committee