Agenda and minutes

Overview and Scrutiny Committee - Wednesday 28th August 2019 7.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Maldon District Council Offices, Princes Road, Maldon

Contact: Committee Services 

No. Item


Chairman's Notices


The Chairman drew attention to the list of notices published on the back of the agenda.


Minutes of the last meeting pdf icon PDF 218 KB

To confirm the Minutes of the meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee held on 17 July 2019 (copy enclosed).




(i)              that the Minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 17 July 2019 be received.


Minute No. 265 – Programme of Work


Councillor E L Bamford proposed that the following amendment was made to the minutes:


Section 106
A new S106 Officer was to be employed by the Council. Whilst candidates were being considered two contractors consultants would be employed to ensure business continuity.”




(ii)            that subject to the above amendment the Minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 17 July 2019 be confirmed.




Public Participation

To receive the views of members of the public on items of business to be considered by the Committee (please see below):

1.       A period of ten minutes will be set aside.

2.       An individual may speak for no more than two minutes on a specific agenda item, the time slots to be allocated on a “first come first served” basis.

3.       Participation may take the form of a statement, or alternatively a question to be addressed to the Chairman. There will be no discussion on questions put unless it is formally moved. In line with the current scheme applied to other Committees, the questions must:

·         not be defamatory, frivolous, vexatious or offensive;

·         not be the same or substantially the same as another question to the same meeting or anything so put in the last six months;

·         not involve the disclosure of confidential or exempt information.

4.       Anyone wishing to speak must notify the Committee Clerk between 7.00pm and 7.20pm prior to the start of the meeting.


There was none.


Disclosure of Interest

To disclose the existence and nature of any Disclosable Pecuniary Interests, other Pecuniary Interests or Non-Pecuniary Interests relating to items of business on the agenda having regard to paragraphs 6-8 inclusive of the Code of Conduct for Members.


(Members are reminded that they are also required to disclose any such interests as soon as they become aware should the need arise throughout the meeting).



There were none.


Presentation from Anglian Water to Members pdf icon PDF 749 KB

To receive a presentation from Anglian Water, (slides enclosed).


The Committee welcomed Ms Hannah Wilson, Pre-Development Planning Manager, from Anglian Water (AW).  Ms Wilson presented Members with a General overview of AW, their involvement at the pre-planning stage, and how capacity concerns are identified and subsequently mitigated.


A summary of the information presented to Members is detailed as follows:

·       A large area of water networks is covered by AW, comprising of both foul water and surface water.  This includes both independent (a dedicated network for either foul or surface water) and combined networks (foul and surface water).

·       AW seek to encourage sustainable growth. 

·       AW are regulated by the following organisations:

o   The Water Services Regulation Authority (OfWat);

o   The Environment Agency (EA).

·       There are two teams that input directly into the local planning process:

o   Spatial Planning Team:

§  Statutory consultees;

§  Respond to neighbourhood plans; 

§  Recently rolled out a Green Water Programme – how developments can look to use water wisely.

o   Pre-Development Team:

§  Technical Team;

§  Tactical side of planning – looks at all planning applications and pre-planning reports;

§  Seeks to engage with Local Authorities – Members, town and parish councils;

§  Engagement with developers;

§  Market Insight Group look at growth strategically.

·       Pre-Planning Reports – developer led (this is a paid for service and encouraged by AW).

o   Developers are expected to submit all relevant information and proposals, including connections and information on foul and surface water drainage.

o   In response AW produce a report which identifies any constraints and, where possible, instigates working together to develop a strategy to work with proposed growth.

o   Developers are under no obligation to approach AW for a pre-planning report.  These generally assist in a smoother process and potentially mitigate the need to add conditions.

o   Pre-Planning Reports are covered by the Data Protection Act.  The applicant owns the report, restricting the information that AW would be able to provide to the Local Authority.  Maldon District Council (MDC) caseworkers are advising applicants to approach AW as part of the pre-application process.



·       Planning Applications

o   Under the Water Industry Act developers have the right to connect to a water network, therefore, AW are unable to reject applications on the grounds of capacity.  Through liaising with applicants at the pre-application stage, a reactive approach can be mitigated.

o   AW are not a statutory consultee, despite approaching Government to become one.  All Local Planning Authorities (LPAs) are good at notifying AW of applications.

o   Major applications, 10 or more dwellings or over 0.5 hectares, will receive a response from AW.

o   Minor applications, less than 10 dwellings, are requested to approach AW for assessment.

o   Comment on the discharge of conditions regarding the networks.

o   AW have provided MDC with some standard text which will be provided to applicants at the pre-application stage.

·       Mapping Services:

o   Sewers can impact the layout of a development, diversion or building over sewers requires permission from AW.

o   Easements regarding noise and odour around pumping stations can be recommended.  Proximity to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 333.


Provision of Health Care Services within the District

To receive an update from the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).


The Chairman welcomed Mr Robert Evans, Head of Operational Care from Mid-Essex Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), and Dr Julie McGeachy, General Practitioner (GP) at Dengie Medical Partnership and Clinical Director of the Dengie Primary Care Network, to the Committee. 


Mr Evans passed on apologies from Ms Kerry Harding, Director of Estates for CCGs in Mid & South Essex. 


Both Mr Evans and Dr McGeachy delivered the following information to the Committee:

·       NHS Long Term Plan is a ten-year investment plan which aims on expanding and developing primary and community services.

·       Primary Care Network (PCN):

o   Groups of GPs with a population of 40-50,000 as an ideal, in order to retain a personal touch.

o   There are five PCNs within Mid-Essex, one of which is in the Dengie.  These were formed 1 July 2019.  Surgeries were formed to work together on an integrated basis in order to develop services and provide additional resource and linked into voluntary organisations, in addition to developing the role of clinical pharmacists.

·       Priorities for 2019/20:

o   PCN Cycle – aims to identify and inform the public of alternative primary care workers, such as physiotherapists, nurses, pharmacists etc.  This would be expected to release extra capacity to GPs for patients with more complex needs. 

o   Additional capacity would be enabled through two services:

§  Extended Access Service (from October 2018):-  This service is year-round including bank-holidays and weekends, and designed to provide additional capacity, creating around 738 additional appointments per week across the area.  These are provided by four permanent hubs across Maldon, once of which is located at the Blackwater Medical Centre.

§  Enhanced hours:-  Practices were looking to extend their opening hours, i.e. opening an hour earlier or closing an hour later.  Every practice within the area has identified a way to accommodate this.

o   It is expected the integration of services would provide a more holistic approach.

o   CCG have been consulting with NHS England and is one of five to have formed a Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP). 

·       Maldon District and Dengie:

o   There is a population of approximately 55-56000 people.

o   There are seven practices within the area which offer primary care, these are regulated by the Care Quality Commission.

o   The CCG identified five outstanding practices, of which three are located within Mid-Essex.  Two of these are situated within the Dengie.

o   Quality of service within the district is considered to be very good; a patient survey showed they were broadly satisfied, however there were concerns regarding access to GPs.

·       Staffing of General Practices:

o   Last year the Mid Essex CCG reinvested over £2.5million invested into primary care, for surgeries to use as they see fit.

o   The CCG are currently working towards a broader skill mix to navigate problems and identify the right care for patients.

·       Estates:

o   The Trinity Medical Practice, Dengie: additional capital had been confirmed with a view to develop the site

o   William Fisher Medical Centre: the site is likely to stay, and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 334.


Section 106 Agreements - Interim Update pdf icon PDF 305 KB

To consider the report of the Director of Strategy, Performance and Governance (copy enclosed).



The Director of Strategy, Performance and Governance presented his report which put forward the proposal to modify existing timelines for periodic reporting to the various Committees.  In addition, an interim update on the status of the current day to day operations of Section 106 (S106) and the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) was provided for Members to review.  It was noted that the report was an early draft of the report going to the September Planning and Licensing Committee with a more detailed update made available to the relevant Committees in September.  This report would cover the complete activities of S106 and fully address the Committees’ request for a CIL update.


Members were advised of the interim appointment of two consultants who were working through the S106 and CIL issues following the departure of the S106 Officer five months previously.  These consultants had provided a clear update on work to be progressed and it was acknowledged that significant progress had been made.  It was agreed that whilst CIL was great in principle it needed to be set at the right level if more money was to be requested.


Councillor S P Nunn proposed that the recommendations in the report be approved.


In response to questions on S106 funding, the Committee was advised that a report was expected to be brought to the October meeting which would focus on the collection of monies and limiting any clawback.


Members acknowledged that the consultants were a positive move following the absence of a dedicated S106 Officer.




          (i)                That the recommendations in the report be noted;

        (ii)                That a detailed report on the S106 funding and clawback be provided at the 31 October 2019 meeting of the Committee.


Review of Performance - Quarter 1 pdf icon PDF 372 KB

To consider the report of the Director of Strategy, Performance and Governance (copy enclosed).


Additional documents:


The Director of Strategy, Performance and Governance presented his report to the Committee which provided details on performance for quarter one of 2019/20.  Members were requested to challenge the performance or allocation of resources where Corporate Goals had not been achieved, and where appropriate identify what, if any, action would be required to bring performance back on track.


A discussion on the Review of Performance for Quarter 1 ensued with the following comments being made with regards to appendix 1 of the report:


Delivery of the strategic sites as set out in the adopted Local Development Plan for the Maldon District
The Director of Strategy, Performance and Governance advised that progress had been made on the Taylor Wimpey site, however the North Heybridge plans had been rejected.  It was noted that the five-year housing plan was on schedule and that a second application was to be presented next month.


Co-ordinate delivery, management and maintenance of strategic infrastructure
This was behind schedule as due to staff shortages it was not progressed at the expected rate.


North Heybridge Flood Alleviation Scheme
Members were advised that due to figures being brought forward from the previous municipal period this item was showing as behind schedule.  It was also noted that the Flood Liaison Awareness Group (FLA) had been discontinued.


In September 2019, the Environment Agency (EA) will be carrying out a full evaluation with the economically preferred option expected to have been identified by the EA in Autumn 2019.  The recommendations will be circulated to Members upon receipt, however a date cannot be provided at this time.


Brickhouse Farm
This scheme is run by Essex County Council (ECC) and a start date for ecology works was yet to be confirmed.


Central Area Masterplan
The Director of Strategy, Performance and Governance advised the Committee that funding for the High Street had been unsuccessful.  It was acknowledged that Butt Lane Car Park required further funding and signage.


There were links from the Central Area Masterplan to high-street improvement:

·       Project 1 related to the upper high-street; and

·       Project 2 related to the lower high-street.


Revenues and Benefits
The processing of new claims had slipped outside of the target date by 0.9 days.  Figures were considered an improvement on the previous year, where the quarter 1 2018/19 figure was 35.2 days.

Change in Circumstances had slipped outside of the of targets but was also considered a significant improvement from quarter 1 2018/19.

Drops in performance had been identified and it was acknowledged by the Director of Strategy, Performance and Governance that this was partly due to staffing.


Planning Applications
It was noted that, at the behest of the Committee, indicators had been amended to reflect those used nationally.  The Director of Strategy, Performance and Governance acknowledged that performance had slipped, however the department was considered vulnerable due to the restructure and staff losses.  To mitigate this interim staff had been brought in to ensure business continuity.


Review of Performance
The Committee was advised that the current format of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 336.


Programme of Work pdf icon PDF 195 KB

To consider the report of the Director of Strategy, Performance and Governance (copy enclosed).


Additional documents:


The Committee received the report of the Director of Strategy, Performance and Governance which provided an update on the Programme of Work for 2019/20 and requested that the content of the report be noted.


In addition to comments made by the Committee, both the Director of Strategy, Performance and Governance and Director of Service Delivery provided further information on the report as detailed below:

Monitoring of the Organisational Change Programme

Members were informed that the Director of Strategy, Performance and Governance had a productive meeting with Councillor R H Siddall on the Organisational Change Programme. 


Councillor R H Siddall advised that a report on the first item identified would be brought back to the Committee.


Business Opportunities for the Council

In response to Members questions, the Director of Service Delivery advised that negotiations were underway with the Police.  Their estates department had identified certain needs including additional parking and more space for lockers.


Communications were also underway with Blackwater Surgery who were considering leasing some of the Council’s office space.  The Director of Service Delivery acknowledged that in addition to available space, the age and efficiency of the building would also need to be considered.


Waste Contract – Reliability of the Contractor Vehicles

Members asked for a verbal update on any developments.  The Director of Service Delivery advised that recent delays to service were a result of ongoing roadworks around the Dengie area.


RESOLVED that the points raised, as detailed above, be noted by Members and the Programme of Work updated accordingly with any further points for action.



Any other items of scrutiny Members wish to consider


At the request of the Corporate Leadership Team (CLT) the following items were presented for inclusion in the Programme of Work:


Essex Highways

Members requested the opportunity to review the process undertaken by Essex Highways. 


A short discussion ensued with CLT advising Members that highways were managed by Essex County Council (ECC), however they would invite ECC to present to Members at a future meeting of the Committee.


Self-Policing of Maldon District Council

Councillor M S Heard proposed that following a number of complaints to the Joint Standards Committee, the Council needed to demonstrate that they were policing themselves appropriately.  This was duly seconded.


The Chairman put the proposal to the Committee and upon a vote being taken the addition of Self-Policing to the Programme of Work was agreed.



                  (i)                That the Director of Service Delivery approach Essex County Council with a request for a presentation on Highways to Members.

                (ii)                That Self-Policing of Maldon District Council be added to the Programme of Work.



Any other items of business that the Chairman of the Committee decides are urgent


There were none.