Text Box: 4.1



of the Meeting of the

Community and Corporate Organisation

Policy & Scrutiny Panel

Tuesday, 22nd March 2016

held at the Town Hall, Weston-super-Mare, Somerset.


Meeting Commenced:  2.30 pm     Meeting Concluded: 4.45pm




P  Terry Porter (Chairman)

P  Jan Barber (Vice-Chairman)


    Mark Canniford 

P  James Clayton 

P  Sarah Codling 

     Peter Crew 

A  Bob Garner 

P  John Ley-Morgan 

P  Richard Nightingale 

A  Jerry O'Brien 

A  David Oyns 

P  David Shopland 



P: Present

A: Apologies for absence submitted


Other Councillors in attendance:  Ruth Jacobs, Liz Wells


Officers in attendance: Stuart Anstead, Mandy Bishop, Jo Buchan, Malcolm Coe, Seb Greene, Paul Morris, Philippa Penney, Richard Penska, Kieran Warren, John Wilkinson, Simone Woolley




Declarations of Interest by Members







Minutes of the Meeting held on 22nd September 2015 (Agenda Item 4)


            Resolved: that the minutes of the meeting be approved as a correct record.





Community Access Review (Agenda Item 6)


The Assistant Director of Development and Environment gave a presentation, a copy of which is filed in the minute book.  Officers were currently developing the business case and remained conscious of involving ward members and communities in this process.  Focus was on libraries and children’s centres, reviewing premises and co-location opportunities to retain a comprehensive service delivery. 


Detailed mapping data was available for ward councillors, and members were encouraged to make appointments for reviewing this by contacting the PA for the Director of Development and Environment.


Members discussed a number of issues including: mobile libraries; drop-off library facilities in more rural areas; the recognised value of volunteers; engagement with service users and key stakeholders; self-service.


Concluded: that the presentation be circulated to all councillors, to include the contact details to enable arrangements for ward-based discussions.





North Somerset Council’s website – (Agenda Item 7)


The new website had now gone live.  Feedback was good.  The website was simplified, easier to navigate and was also able to be used on mobile devices, including ‘phones.  The number of pages had been reduced.


Next steps, to rationalise the numerous different sites that comprised the website and simplify the customer journey to ease navigation.  Work was also being undertaken regarding behavioural intervention tools, such as a chat line enabling an online conversation with up to four people at any one time.


Members welcomed the improved website and thanked officers for the demonstration of the ‘at a glance’ customer use facility.





Corporate Customer Services (Agenda Item 8)


The Customer Services Manager introduced the team and gave an overview of the scope of the work areas within their remit, including: complaint management; corporate customer service training; and customer service policy development.


Members discussed the Gateway improvement plan and were encouraged to contact the customer services team with any general customer service feedback, both positive and negative.  Members were also invited to take part in monitoring activity, such as mystery shopping.


Concluded: that the presentation be circulated to all councillors, to include the contact details for the team and an invitation to take part in customer service monitoring activity such as mystery shopping.









Discretionary Rate Relief Policy implementation (Agenda Item 9)


The Head of Support Services Partnership & Customer Services gave an overview of the timetable for implementation and referred to the recommendations approved by the Executive on 2nd February 2016.  Implementation was not until April 2017, therefore 2016/17 was the final year under the original scheme.  Future awards would be time limited.


A review of all organisations under the scheme would take place between April and August inclusive, starting with larger leisure and sports organisations, then smaller such organisations, followed by community halls, youth organisations and finally any others remaining.  Officers would then be in a position to return to panel members for further discussion.


Concluded: further discussion regarding the impact of discretionary rate relief policy implementation be held with panel members following the conclusion of the review of organisations falling within the scheme.





Member Ways of Working, including the Panel’s Work Plan (Agenda Item 10)


The Scrutiny Specialist Practitioner presented the report, revisiting recommendations agreed by Council on 29th September 2015, enabling a more ‘hands on’ approach for councillors.  Following discussion, it was agreed that further information should be circulated to Panel members on this matter.  Members also discussed the Panel’s work plan.


Concluded: that the Panel agreed and updated the work plan.