Agenda and minutes

Overview & Scrutiny Committee - Monday, 19th November, 2018 10.00 am

Venue: Council Chamber, Forde House, Brunel Road, Newton Abbot, TQ12 4XX

Contact: Sharon Sissons  Email:

No. Item


Minutes pdf icon PDF 61 KB

Confirmation of the minutes of the meeting held on 15 October 2018, previously circulated.


The Minutes of the meeting held on 15 October were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.


Declarations of interest


Councillor Nutley declared an Appendix B, paragraph 12 interest in minute ____ below, by virtue of his membership with the RSPB, and left the meeting.


Councillor Cox declared an Appendix B, paragraph 12 interest in Minutes___ below, by virtue of his position as Trustee of Homelessness in Teignbridge support. He spoke but did not vote on the items.


Councillor Thorne declared an Appendix A interest in minute ___  below, by virtue of his position at Exeter City Council.  


Public questions under Procedure Rule 5.8(h) pdf icon PDF 119 KB


Public questions were asked of the Portfolio Holder for Health and Wellbeing. The questions and answer can be found here.


Questioner 7 asked a supplementary question as to whether a Review Group could be set up to consult with representatives of dog walking businesses, so that these people feel part of the process.


The Portfolio Holder referred to the report circulated with the agenda and the results of the survey showing that representatives of dog walking businesses answered the survey. The Executive considered the annual dog ban should be from 1 April. All views of residents would be taken into account, including those who are not dog owners, and balancing all views.


Questioner 5 asked a supplementary question if the maximum number of dogs an individual dog owner could walk be restricted only for those that are not responsible dog walkers.


The Portfolio Holder referred to the need for some regulation because unfortunately, not all dog walkers kept their dogs under control and cleared up their dog faeces. This was unpleasant for other visitors and residents, and responsible dog walkers. Regulations would keep an eye on those not taking proper care and responsibility for their dogs.


Questioner 12 agreed that the number of dogs any one person could walk at one time should be restricted. She asked a supplementary question whether the formal process for reporting irresponsible dog walkers and the role of the Environmental Wardens in this process could be publicised.


The Portfolio Holder advised that the process would be more widely promoted. She acknowledged that some individuals are reluctant to formally report incidences. The Council was keen to work in partnership with the Council and a proper initiative would engage those members of the public keen to work with the Council.








Councillor questions under Procedure Rule 5.8(i)


There were no Councillor questions.


Call In of Executive Decision 30 October 2018 - Public Spaces Protection Order for Dog Control in Teignbridge pdf icon PDF 75 KB

To consider the call in of the Executive Decision 30 October 2018, Public Spaces Protection Order for Dog Control in Teignbridge by Councillor Cox, and supported by Councillors Connett, Dewhirst, Eden, Nutley and Wrigley.

Additional documents:


Consideration was given to the call-in of an Executive decision made on 30 October 2018 relating to the Public Spaces Protection Order for Dog Control in Teignbridge. The decision seeks the implementation of a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) for Responsible Dog Ownership under ss59 to 75 of the Anti-Social Crime and Policing Act 2014.


The decision has been called in by Councillor Cox and supported by Councillors Connett, Dewhirst, Eden, Nutley and Wrigley.  Councillor Cox’s reasons for call-in are:


1. To clarify the Executive’s proposals to extend the dog ban on Ness Beach and Holcombe Beach as it now seems they were included in error. 


2. To examine the decision to have only four as the maximum number of dogs on a lead in the light of the decision by East Devon District Council and the comments from the Kennel Club, the Dogs Trust and the Peoples Dispensary for Sick Animals.


Since the Executive meeting on 30 October 2018 there has been a large

public response to the decision. Members in considering the call-in should note the number of responses to the decision balanced with the number of people who responded to the consultation. The Environmental Protection Manager gave an update of the number of correspondence received which amounted to approximately 180, and a summary of the key points.  


The consultation with the public covered maintaining the existing seasonal dog exclusion areas. The Ness Beach and Holcombe Beach are not covered by the existing seasonal dog ban. It was not the intention that the PSPO restricted access to these beaches.


The Executive report detailed the outcome of the public consultation and included a number of comments from interested organisations. Overall the consultation results did not provide a consensus on the number of dogs a single individual should walk. 


In support of the call-in, Councillor Cox submitted that six was an acceptable number of dogs for any one individual to walk. The support for this was that this would be consistent with East Devon District Council, public liability insurance covers six dogs, for many dog walking businesses this is their only income and limiting the number of dogs to four could result in their businesses folding. He added that a Review Group should be set up to work with responsible dog owners/walkers, to identify volunteers to assist the Council wardens in engaging with offending and irresponsible dog owners/walkers to become more responsible, keep their dogs under control, and always clear up dog faeces from the dogs for which they have responsibility.


The period of the dog ban on beaches for inclusion in the PSPO was not part of the call-in. However the Chairman agreed that this issue could be discussed.


In response to a question on the details of the PSPO at agenda page 14, the Environmental Protection Manager advised that the ‘reasonable excuse’ under (i) of the heading No more than ‘x’ dogs, would be at the officer’s discretion.

In response to further questions, the Environmental Protection  ...  view the full minutes text for item 244.


Council Strategy 2016-2025: T10 Programme Overviews

A presentation will be made on the work being carried out, as part of the overall Council Strategy for the period 2016 - 2025, in relation to three of the Teignbridge Ten super-projects. These are ten connected areas of work, which will each have a widespread impact on the economy, community wellbeing, and the environment.


Neil Blaney, Donna Best and Fergus Pate will present the work of three of the programmes: Going to Town, Investing in Prosperity and Moving up a Gear.


Three presentations were made on the work being carried out, as part of the overall Council Strategy for the period 2016 - 2025, in relation to two of the Teignbridge Ten super-projects. These are ten connected areas of work, which will each have a widespread impact on the economy, community wellbeing, and the environment.


Neil Blaney - Economy Manager, Donna Best – Estates Manager, and Fergus Pate – Principal Delivery Officer will present the work of three of the programmes: Going to Town, Investing in Prosperity, and Moving up a Gear.


Going to Town: Neil Blaney - Economy Manager


The Council Strategy identifies the important role town centres play in providing social, cultural and economic experiences and services to the residents of Teignbridge.


The Going to Town programme is focused on how the Council can support the town centres across Teignbridge, with the outcomes sought including:

·      Creating new and expanded businesses, leading to more jobs;

·      Improved local environment;

·      Increased access to essential shopping and other services; and,

·      Bring more visitors to the towns.


To deliver those outcomes 7 actions were set out, including:

·      Regeneration and improvement schemes;

·      Running and improving Newton Abbot market;

·      Town centre health checks;

·      Supporting town centre management;

·      Positive application of our regulatory powers;

·      Accessibility and town centre living; and,

·      Supporting quality evening cultural and leisure opportunities.


While this project is focused on town centres, there is significant crossover of projects, outcomes and actions with the Investing In Prosperity programme.


The biggest progress made over the past three years has been embedding the philosophy and commitments of the Council Strategy into the way we work, ensuring decisions and actions always cross reference back to the strategy. This is an important point to make as it is not a measurable change as such, but an essential cultural shift.


There are a number of projects that have been developed over the last three years to deliver on the commitments made under the ‘Going to Town’ project.


Physical regeneration and other improvements

·      Newton Abbot: Market Walk purchase and shop front improvements; Market Hall/Alexandra Theatre refurbishment; Summer Nights; Markets Code of Practice being drafted, temporary coach parking, character hunts and walkabout characters. The footfall has increased on these days; and Heritage posts as part of Coastal Communities Team bid.

·      Teignmouth: Brunswick Street Local Development Order; Pavilions Teignmouth has been completed; and officer support has been given to the Taste of the Teign festival.

·      Bovey Tracey: Land for Town Hall project.


 Other completed District wide projects included:


·      We have met with 5 Town Councils (Ashburton, Bovey Tracey, Chudleigh, Buckfastleigh and Moretonhampstead) to look at the potential for creating a shared Town Centre Manager post. Bovey Tracey and Ashburton Town Councils are interested in taking this further.

·      Regular forums with the chairs of the local chambers of commerce or equivalent.

·      Visit South Devon promoting town centres. Between June 2016 and May 2018 there were a total of 390k views of town centre pages.

·      We have invested in the England’s Coast,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 245.


Homeless Reduction Act Update

To receive a presentation from the Housing Needs Lead Officer Tony Mansour.


The Housing Needs Lead Officer Tony Mansour updated Members on the Homelessness Reduction Act.


The Act was implemented on 3 April 2018 and has transformed the way that local housing authorities help homeless households, extending the duty. The emphasis is on preventing homelessness at an early stage rather than dealing with homelessness at the point of crisis. Many people who were not entitled to help under the previous legislation are now entitled to help and advice. Changes for the Council include: a training programme for staff members; enhancements to IT/ Digital delivery to meet the new requirements; increased staffing resources to meet the new legislation requirements and higher caseloads. The average time for each housing options interview has increased from approximately 40 minutes to 1.5 hours. The additional assessments are also subject to review in law and require scrutiny of assessment, process and decision to safeguard the service from legal challenge. There has also been a rise in approaches for housing advice compared to the two quarterly periods prior to the implementation of the new act.


The Homelessness Reduction Act has significantly extended the period for which interim accommodation must be provided to those households to whom duty is not discharged through a final offer of accommodation. As a result, there has been a significant rise in Bed and Breakfast placements.


A proposed Housing Needs Service restructure will ensure that the requisite staffing resources are in place to prevent and relieve homelessness where possible, and in so doing reduce the need to use emergency accommodation. 


In response to a question, the Housing Needs Lead Officer advised that approximately 50% of homeless people also suffered some sort of mental illness. There were multidisciplinary teams to assist these people.








Homelessness Strategy and Projects - Action Plan update

To receive a presentation from the Housing Needs Lead Officer, Tony Mansour.


The Housing Needs Lead Officer Tony Mansour updated Members on the Housing Strategy and Projects Action Plan.


A Teignbridge Members Steering Group is in the process of being set up. The group is intended to keep members informed of progress against the key strategic aims and specific projects under our Homelessness Strategy. The group will also provide input on, and insight into, the development of future projects designed to prevent and relieve homelessness in Teignbridge.


In addition, the Teignbridge Homelessness Forum, consists of the Housing Needs Service and partner agencies. It will continue to meet on a quarterly basis to take forward combined projects and keep partners informed of progress against the objectives of the Homelessness Strategy. The Forum is currently looking at creating a Giving Scheme where by local people can donate to local homelessness charities, rather than give cash to street beggars. 



The Single Persons Temporary Accommodation and Resettlement Project provides self-contained accommodation and bespoke support to people who have been confirmed to be rough sleeping, or are at imminent risk of rough sleeping, but to whom no full statutory housing duty is owed.


In addition to the Rough Sleeper Initiatives funding, the Council is leading on a joint bid for Teignbridge, South Hams, West Devon, East Devon and Mid Devon for a fund called the Rapid Rehousing Pathway. Finance is sought for four Rough Sleeper Navigators to operate across those district areas and work intensively with rough sleepers with complex needs to help them to access services and accommodation.


Finally, the Council is submitting a bid for a funding opportunity called the Private Rented Access Fund. Through this fund, we would seek to build on the work of the SPRINT team (Supporting People Renting in Teignbridge) to provide greater incentives and guarantees to Landlords, enabling people with historic arrears, or specific needs to access private rented tenancies. The fund would also finance a private rented prevention and resettlement role, facilitating move on into the private rented sector for those occupying, or who are at high risk of requiring temporary accommodation.





Unauthorised Traveller Encampments pdf icon PDF 138 KB

To consider the report of the Solicitor at the request of Councillor G Hook.


The Solicitor referred to the report circulated with the agenda and updated Members on enforcement powers that the Council has to deal with unauthorised encampments. The Council has had 17 incidents of illegal encampments since 2012.



Unauthorised encampments occur where trespassers enter and occupy land belonging to the local authority. The number of traveller caravans on authorised sites has risen from 14,498 in July 2010 to 19,071 in July 2017, a 32% increase.

The Equality Act 2010 makes it unlawful to treat someone less favourably because of a range of protected characteristics. The following of a nomadic lifestyle is lawful, and recognised and protected through legislation.


Existing powers included: application for a possession order in the County court, whereby a possession order may be secured quickly against trespassers; Section 77 Criminal Justice and public Order Act 194, which deals withpeople residing in vehicles on land forming part of a highway without the consent of the owner; Power of the police to direct unauthorised campers to leave the land where by sections 61-62 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 gives the police a discretionary power to direct trespassers to leave and remove any property or vehicles that they have with them should trespassers refuse to adhere to a request to leave the land; the use of certified enforcement agents, whereby all landowners have a common law right to recover land. An eviction notice giving travellers at least 24 hours’ notice to move must be served. If they fail to leave the land the Local Authority may proceed to evict them; an application of an injunction. Counsel’s advice to a neighbouring authority on the use of a blanket permanent injunction was that the Council “would be in little better position than it already is.” The Solicitor advised that Court would not consider it proportional to make either a blanket ban or an injunction for one specified area within the district, particularly when there is not a single piece of land that has seen a regular occurrence of illegal encampments.


Comments form Members included concern in relation to rubbish left at a site when travellers move on, and the effect on neighbouring residents when travellers are camping illegally.


None of the above methods of enforcement allow for the Council to deal with the clear up issues in respect of any fly tipping or litter left behind, because alongside the transient nature of the travellers, the Council has little power to establish the identity and the address of an individual in order to issue a summons for the offence of fly tipping. However, the Council does act as swiftly as possible once an illegal traveller encampment is reported to them. Whilst the public would be concerned regarding the arrival of the travellers on any council owned land, they should be reassured that the Council have no choice but to act using the powers that they have and abide by the relevant legislation.


The Interim Head of Service Delivery  ...  view the full minutes text for item 248.


Draft Teignbridge Asset Management Strategy and Policy pdf icon PDF 100 KB

To consider the report of the Interim Head of Commercial Services, Tony Watson and Cllr Timothy Golder Portfolio Holder for Economy Skills and Tourism

Additional documents:


Consideration was given to a draft Strategy and Policy documents in accordance with the Committee’s function to assist the Council and Executive in the development of policy framework procedure rules, supporting the Council’s key objectives and informing its spending decisions. The draft documents includes, a document setting out the benefits of strategic property asset management, a Land and Building Disposal Policy, and a Land and Buildings Acquisitions Policy.


A Members briefing on the draft strategy was held on 12 November when all member of the Council were invited.


The draft policy documents include the Council’s:

·      Land and Buildings Disposal Policy;

·      Land and Buildings Acquisition Policy; and

·      Town and Parish Council Service Devolution & Asset Transfer Policy


Asset management is about supporting the delivery of strategic goals and objections through the use of property assets such as: direct service delivery, leisure centres; support of service delivery, administrative offices and depots; and wider policy documents, regeneration, and delivery of SANGS sites to support growth. The strategy would be incorporated into the Capital Strategy the Council is required to produce annually under the Chartered Institute of Public Finance & Accountancy’s Prudential Code. It gives the overall approach to providing property to meet the Council’s needs in terms of what the corporate approach or attitude is to its property assets; what behaviours are expected; and what principles are going to be followed. It is anticipated that the Town and Parish Council Service Devolution & Asset Transfer Policy will be is shared with the Teign Association of Local Councils for consultation before adoption.


Asset management projects are already monitored within the Spar risk register, through the capital programme and service plans in terms of policy development; organisational arrangements, and property specific activities.




Following consideration of the draft Executive report in relation to the Council’s adoption of an Asset Management Strategy and supporting policy documents, the Executive be advised that the committee recommends approval of the draft strategy and supporting documents, as circulated with the agenda, without amendment.


Performance Monitoring - Q2 data pdf icon PDF 1 MB

To consider the report of the Business Improvement and Development Team.

Additional documents:


The Chairman referred to the updated report circulated at the meeting which replaced the report circulated with the agenda.   It was noted that three of the ten super projects (Going to Town, Investing in Prosperity, and Moving up a Gear) had been reported by officers and discussed earlier in the meeting.




The report and any actions being taken to rectify performance issues as detailed in the report be noted.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           


Executive Forward Plan


The Committee noted the Executive Forward Plan previously circulated.


Work Programme pdf icon PDF 88 KB

To identify any areas of work for future meetings of the Committee.

Additional documents:


The Committee received and noted the Overview and Scrutiny Work Programme circulated with the agenda.


Exclusion of the Public and Press

The Committee is recommended to resolve


That under Section 100(A)(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the Press and public be excluded from the meeting for the following items of business on the grounds that they involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule12A of the Act.





That under Section 100(A)(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the Press and public be excluded from the meeting for the following items of business on the grounds that they involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule12A of the Act.


Call-in of Portfolio Holder Decision 11-2018 Funding Contribution for a Cirl Bunting Nature Reserve


Councillor Nutley declared an Appendix B interest by virtue of his membership

with the RSPB, and left the meeting.


At the meeting on 10 September 2018, following initial discussion of the call in of Portfolio Holder decision 11-2018, the Committee considered the decision was unnecessary and could result in an unacceptable financial risk to the Council. The RSPB subsequently submitted further information which was discussed at the Overview and Scrutiny Committee on 19 November 2018.


Following discussions the Committee was satisfied with the additional information submitted by the RSPB, and that sufficient risk mitigations are and would be in place to protect the position of the Council. 




That the Executive is advised that Portfolio Holder decision 11-2018 is not challenged and the decision be reaffirmed.