Agenda and minutes

Overview & Scrutiny Committee - Monday, 28th January, 2019 10.00 am

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

Contact: Trish Corns  Email:

No. Item


Minutes pdf icon PDF 72 KB

Confirmation of the minutes of the previous meeting.



The minutes of the meeting held on 14 January, 2019 were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.




Public questions under Council Procedure Rule 5.8(h)


There were no public questions.


Councillor Questions under Council Procedure Rule 5.8(i)


There were no councillor questions.



Declarations of interest


Councillor Cox declared an Appendix B, paragraph 12 interest in minute 15 below by virtue of his position with Community and Voluntary Services. He did not vote on the matter. 


Connecting Devon and Somerset

Members will be updated on the broadband programme.


The Chairman welcomed Mr Matt Barrow from the Connecting Devon and Somerset Partnership Group, the main objective of which was to support the community and transformation by connecting properties and businesses in the rural areas of Devon and Somerset with superfast broadband.


The Partnership Group was working with BT and contracted businesses Gigaclear and Airband to provide broadband to the rural areas, particularly Dartmoor and Exmoor.  Nationally there are some 50,000 properties, amounting to 5%, that were not yet connected to superfast broadband, of which 15,000 are in Devon and Somerset.


Gigaclear’s laying of a new network has suffered significant setbacks, particularly with the former Carillion group being a subcontractor for the project. Gigaclear subsequently received investment from Prudential. Prudential is taking a leading role in how the company is managed, and how the fibre coverage will be met for rural areas. Funding is secured until December 2019 and an extension will be required.


The CDS Partnership engaged with communities, and taxpayers monies were most efficiently spent. European monies were also available and this would be invested to expedite the project and reinvestment opportunities.


In response to questions, Mr Barrow advised that: Gigaclear has authority to utilise the BT poling infrastructure; it was not currently possible to provide clear information on the Gigaclear website in relation to significant dates for the progress of the project because these dates were not yet known; the website would be updated when this information becomes available; there is continual engagement with the community and developers, and he has personally visited some 500 Parish Councils; some developers were willing to engage and others were not so forthcoming unless the development is over a certain number of dwellings; it is acknowledged that broadband is an essential utility, more pressure was being put on developers, and broadband would soon be a legal requirement for new developments; and taxpayers monies could not be used to connect commercially. 


The Committee thanked Mr Barrow for attending the meeting and providing the update.






The Community Safety Partnership pdf icon PDF 89 KB

To note the report attached, summarising the work of the Community Safety Partnership over the past 12 months.


The Committee welcomed Superintendent Caper and referred to the report circulated with the agenda which highlighted the key achievements of the Community Safety Partnership (CSP) across south Devon and Dartmoor.


Superintendent Caper advised on the South Devon Base Command Unit, (BCU), run by Chief Superintendent Perking. The BCU covers the areas of Torbay, Teignbridge and South Hams. The command of a larger area enables resources to be tailored for community need.


The Senior Community Safety Officer referred to the successful work of the CSP to work with the annual priorities identified from the Strategic Assessment. As a result, over £500,000 funding had been received from the Home Office to tackle local issues and deliver key operational objectives.


Key issues to deal with included child slavery, exploitation of people, safeguarding and vulnerability, increased risk taking attitude of the youth, organised crime groups, cultural changes, vehicle speeding, youth gang crime, drugs and fire arms. A multi-agency approach, and community intelligence was used to tackle crime.


In response to questions, Superintendent Caper and the Senior Community Safety Officer advised that dedicated neighbourhood resources were available for tackling crime. The BCU was working with other agencies and organisations to secure funds for CCTV projects throughout the area. The BCU was proud of its neighbourhood policing teams and benefited from a larger team compared to other BCUs. Training for speed watch volunteers was ongoing. Extra resources were focusing on the youth gang culture. The CSP had regular meetings with secondary schools, particularly to build resilience in young people. £100,000 was available to fund this project. Deployment of staff was focused around the priorities for the BCU. Connecting with communities was paramount. Vulnerable people were at risk of several forms of exploitation. Multi agencies assisted with threats of terrorism and radicalisation, risks to the older population such as domestic and elderly abuse. The procedure to enable the public to report non-emergency issues through the 101 system would be looked into.


The Committee congratulated the work of the CSP and thanked Superintendent Caper and the Senior Community Safety Officer for the update.


Councillors Community Fund pdf icon PDF 84 KB

To consider the report attached.


Councillor Cox declared an Appendix B, paragraph 12 interest by virtue of his position with Community and Voluntary Services. He did not vote on the matter. 


The Chairman referred to the report circulated with the agenda. 


The BID Team Leader advised that a review of the administration of the Councillors Community Fund had highlighted a number of issues for possible change which were detailed in the report, and Members thoughts were sought on these issues.


It was acknowledged that the fund was a valuable and successful project providing funds to community groups. It was originally set up to assist small groups with small grants which would also help pump prime additional funds from other grant systems. Ward Councillors often added their contributions together for cross political support for local groups. Information on the amount of funds each councillor had available to spend could be added to the Council’s website to keep Councillors updated and to advise groups seeking funding. There was general agreement that funds should not roll over to the following financial year, that schools could continue to benefit from the scheme, and that small grants should continue to be available for small community groups.


It was noted that Members views would be collated and analysed, and be brought back to Committee for further discussion.







Executive Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 68 KB


The Committee noted the Executive Forward Plan circulated with the agenda.


Work Programme pdf icon PDF 90 KB

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

Additional documents:


The Committee received and noted the Committee work programme circulated with the agenda. It was noted that items on the South East Devon Habitats Regulations Group, and Community Infrastructure Levy would be added to the programme. A possible item of the review of the Constitution would be deferred for consideration of the Council following the elections, as agreed by the Group Leaders.