Meeting documents

SSDC Scrutiny Committee
Tuesday, 29th November, 2022 10.30 am

Venue: Council Chamber, Council Offices, Brympton Way, Yeovil. View directions

Contact: Becky Sanders,Case Officer - 01935 462596  Email:

No. Item



To approve as a correct record the minutes of the previous meeting held on 4 October 2022. The draft minutes can be viewed at:


One member referred to the Millers Garage Call-In item that had been discussed at the previous meeting, and noted that at that meeting another member had suggested that District Executive receive the same presentation that had been made by a planning agent to the Scrutiny Committee during the Public Question Time item, however this appeared to be omitted from the minutes. She commented it would be helpful to know the reasons why the presentation had not been made to District Executive.


The Chairman noted he would enquire why the presentation had not been made to the District Executive.


Members were content that the minutes be approved as a correct record and signed by the Chairman, subject to an additional sentence being added to minute 57 to reflect the suggestion made by a member of Scrutiny Committee that District Executive also received the presentation made by the planning agent.


Apologies for absence


Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Barbara Appleby, Tim Kerley and Paul Maxwell. It was also noted that Councillor Lucy Trimnell would be leaving the meeting early.


Declarations of Interest

In accordance with the Council's current Code of Conduct (as amended 26 February 2015), which includes all the provisions relating to Disclosable Pecuniary Interests (DPI), personal and prejudicial interests, Members are asked to declare any DPI and also any personal interests (and whether or not such personal interests are also "prejudicial") in relation to any matter on the Agenda for this meeting.


There were no declarations of interest.


Issues arising from previous meetings

This is an opportunity for Members to question the progress on issues arising from previous meetings.  However, this does not allow for the re-opening of a debate on any item not forming part of this agenda.


There were no issues raised from previous meetings.


Public question time


A member of the public addressed members regarding the Millers Garage item which had been discussed at the previous meeting, and he read out a statement he had prepared, Some of his points included:

·        A member of Scrutiny had suggested that District Executive receive the same presentation from Boon Brown regarding the proposal for development on land adjacent to the site. However the Scrutiny minutes did not reflect this and were therefore not a correct record of the meeting.

·        District Executive did not receive the Boon Brown presentation but had an officer report which avoided mention of any proposed development on the adjacent field.

·        He felt from the outside it looked like that council would never build the car park but would use the site to unlock the adjacent field for development.

·        As the Millers Garage site had been purchased with public money for the purpose of providing the town with a car park and the potential for loss of open space, he felt the people of Crewkerne deserved an investigation into why the car park had failed to be provided after eight years, and why part of the Conservation Area had been left as a derelict site for same length of time.


The Chairman explained that the debate on Millers Garage could not be re-opened by Scrutiny Committee. He thanked the member of the public for his comments and asked if he would kindly leave a copy of his statement at the end of the meeting. The Chairman noted he would ensure the comments were passed up to the appropriate people at District Executive so that they had a copy of the exact wording as read out to members.


During a very brief discussion a member expressed his concern and frustration with the situation. In response, the Chairman commented he did not have the answers but he would raise the matter, and the concerns of Scrutiny Committee, at District Executive on Thursday.



Chairman's Announcements


There were no announcements from the Chairman.


Verbal update on reports considered by District Executive on 6 October and 3 November 2022 pdf icon PDF 39 KB


There were no verbal updates on reports considered by District Executive at the October and November meetings.


Reports to be considered by District Executive on 1 December 2022 pdf icon PDF 157 KB


Members considered the reports within the District Executive agenda the District Executive for 1 December 2022 and raised comments and questions as detailed below. Responses to many questions and comments were provided at Scrutiny Committee by the relevant officers – except those marked by an asterisk.


Corporate Performance Report 2022-23: 2nd Quarter (Item 6)

·        This report seems to be in a different format to the previous report, and seems to provide an overview.  Different formats of reports for corporate performance makes it less than easy to compare reports like for like.

·        Is this going to be the format for performance reports going forwards into the unitary authority?

·        *Page 13, ENv10 – re checking health of trees and using tablets – is this a good use of officer time? Is there a trail which shows every tree in SSDC care across the district? Who is going to undertake this work? What will happen to this work as we go into the new authority? Some members queried if this was a new KPI as they didn’t recall it from previous reports?

·        *Page 14, PL1 – PL4, members noted the poor performance. Some members were particularly concerned about the performance of PL2 and PL3 (affordable housing) as they didn’t believe affordable housing was impacted as much by the phosphates situation.

·        A member commented he could see no performance data relating to the Lufton site

·        *Page 8, para 16 (Places where we live) – there is reference to the impact of phosphates and the prospect of determining a significant number of applications in the second half of 2023 – we have yet to discover what the planning arrangements will be in the new authority. Will the three rural affordable housing schemes referred to be delivered by March 2023 is the year a typo?

·        *Page 13, Env7 - whilst acknowledging this was a specific query – a member noted that an EV charging point had been installed in Ilminster for a while but had yet to be commissioned – was a date known when the point would be active?

·        Members were pleased to recognise the positives in this quarter including improvement in the speed of dealing with Council Tax Support, planning enforcement, and average call waiting times.

·        Page 18 - The Octagon – not sure what value engineering works is – does it come at additional cost to the project?

·        The Octagon – what are the chances of the project staying within the £29million budget? A member sought clarity on the decision making process going forwards during transition to unitary. Will County also have to consider and agree?

·        *Page 19 – LGR 11 – it was noted that 92 days is a long time for someone to wait to find out if they are going to get some support. Could members have more monitoring / monthly data / reporting as it would be useful to provide reassurance for members that the issue is being addressed and that measures being put in place are effective.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 71.


Update on matters of interest pdf icon PDF 41 KB


There were no updates on matters of interest, as several matters had been raised during discussion of other items on the agenda.


Scrutiny Work Programme pdf icon PDF 145 KB


The Chairman acknowledged the frustrations of members raised earlier in the meeting regarding the Section 106 update report and reminded members he would raise the concerns of Scrutiny Committee at the District Executive meeting on 1 December.


The Chairman reminded members of the Task and Finish work undertaken regarding the Section 19 flooding reports for Chard and Ilminster and advised that the flooding reports were due to be considered by County Scrutiny Committee for Policies and Environment on 30 November. The work of the Task and Finish group had been acknowledged and appreciated by the County officers. Another member suggested that the Task and Finish group was kept on stand-by in case any further work was required following consideration of the reports at County.


It was also noted that earlier in the meeting during discussion of the Performance report on the District Executive agenda, members had a requested a specific update regarding KPI LGR11 regarding the reported 92-day wait for processing new Council Tax Support claims.


The representative on the Joint Scrutiny Panel of Somerset Waste Board and also the Local Government Reorganisation Joint Scrutiny Committee provided members with a brief verbal update, including:

·        The former Chairman of the Joint Scrutiny Panel of Somerset Waste Board had sadly passed away following a tragic accident.

·        The Joint Scrutiny Panel of Somerset Waste Board were due to meet shortly to consider a number of updates,

·        The Local Government Reorganisation Joint Scrutiny Committee was also due to meet shortly and would take place in the Council Chamber at Brympton Way. Anyone was welcome to attend, and reports could be viewed on the Somerset County Council website.


There being no further discussion, members were content to note the work programme.


Date of next meeting pdf icon PDF 39 KB


Members noted that the next meeting of Scrutiny Committee was scheduled for Tuesday 3 January 2023 at 10.30am, in the Council Chamber, SSDC Council Offices, Brympton Way, Yeovil.