Agenda and minutes

Communities Scrutiny Commission - Monday, 3rd October, 2016 10.00 am

Venue: The Writing Room, City Hall, College Green, Bristol

Contact: Jeremy Livitt 

No. Item


Welcome, Introductions and Safety Information


The Chair welcomed everyone to the meeting and started proceedings


Apologies for Absence


Apologies were received from the following:


Councillor Steve Jones (Liz Radford substituting)

Councillor Paul Goggin (Donald Alexander substituting)

Councillor Lesley Alexander (People Scrutiny Commission)

Councillor Ruth Pickersgill (People Scrutiny Commission)

Councillor Clare Campion-Smith (Cabinet Member for People)



Declarations of Interest

To note any declarations of interest from the Councillors. They are asked to indicate the relevant agenda item, the nature of the interest and in particular whether it is a disclosable pecuniary interest.


Please note that the Register of Interests is available at


Any declarations of interest made at the meeting which is not on the register of interests should be notified to the Monitoring Officer for inclusion.


No declarations of interest were made for the meeting


Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 216 KB

Members are requested to approve the minutes of the previous meeting on 7th July 2016 as a correct record.


Resolved – that the Minutes of the meeting held on 7th July 2016 be confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chair.


Public Forum pdf icon PDF 249 KB

Up to 30 minutes is allowed for this item.


Any member of the public or Councillor may participate in Public Forum.


 The detailed arrangements for so doing are set out in the Public Information Sheet at the back of this agenda.  Public Forum items should be emailed to and please note that the following deadlines will apply in relation to this meeting:-


 Questions - Written questions must be received 3 clear working days prior to the meeting.  For this meeting, this means that your question(s) must be received in this office at the latest by 5 pm on Tuesday 27th September 2016


 Petitions and Statements - Petitions and statements must be received on the working day prior to the meeting.  For this meeting this means that your submission must be received in this office at the latest by 12.00 noon on Friday 30th September 2016.


The Commission noted statements and answers to questions for the following items of Public Forum which had been received for the meeting:


Harriet Williams – Statement from the Pesticide Safe Alliance


Harriet Williams – Answers to Questions from the Pesticide Safe Alliance


Councillor Charlie Bolton – Answers to Questions Concerning Pets in Council Properties


Details of all of these Public Forum statements are held in the Minute Book for the meeting.


Councillor Negus indicated that he did not believe the answer gave all the relevant information concerning the glyphosate trial as it primarily focused on one trial. It was agreed that there should be an update report on this issue for a future meeting.


Action: Richard Fletcher


Annual Report of the Director of Public Health pdf icon PDF 117 KB

This is a Joint item with members of the People Scrutiny Commission who have also been invited to attend. A report of the Director of Public Health (Becky Pollard) is attached.


There will also be a presentation for this item.


Becky Pollard (Director of Public Health) gave a presentation on the above issue and made the following points:


(1)        It was important to assess how to keep the population healthy so that resources could be directed in the appropriate way

(2)        The following areas were important – healthy life expectancy, the impacts and influences on the population in terms of health, the costs and benefits of means for keeping them healthy and which areas to target

(3)        Current death mortality rates indicated a wide variation between different wards. There was a gap for healthy life expectancy between different wards (16 years between the highest and the lowest). There was some variation between sexes – whilst Clifton Ward showed the longest life expectancy in terms of men and women, the lowest life expectancy for men was in Lawrence Hill whilst for women it was in Southville;

(4)        In terms of quality of life, Clifton, Cotham and Redland showed the highest quality of life;

(5)        The average national life expectancy was 78 for men and 83 for women – in some wards, the life expectancy was under 75;

(6)        There were an estimated 1,111 early deaths each year in Bristol (including 439 cancer deaths, 230 Cardio Vascular-related deaths, 100 Respiratory Deaths, 45 Liver-Related deaths;

(7)        It was estimated that 61% of cancer deaths and 61% of Cardio-Vascular related deaths were preventable, that nearly half of all respiratory-related deaths and nearly all liver-related deaths were preventable;

(8)        The following factors were identified as being a high risk for premature death – diabetes, obesity, cancer and heart disease. Other risk factors included dietary factors, smoking, high body mass, index and drug abuse;

(9)        Data showed that 40% of health was due to socio-economic factors, a third was due to health behaviours and 20% was due to clinical care;

(10)      The 4:4:48  Prevention model in San Diego determined whether or not to invest in public resources;

(11)      The current percentage of those with risk factors were as follows – 19% of smoking, 57% due to dietary factors (ie obese/overweight), 28% due to alcohol, 39% due to physical activity and 47% due to people not eating the recommended daily fruit and vegetables intake. There had been great success in reducing the number of people smoking but more work was required in other areas;

(12)      The estimated costs of treatment for each health risk were as follows: Alcohol £21 Billion, Smoking £111 Billion, Unhealthy Diet £17 Billion, Lack of Exercise £6.5 Billion – cost effective campaigns through Public Health were an important mechanism for tackling this problem. Other campaigns included the successful Stoptober  and the smoke-free zone at Millenium Square;

(13)      Measures to tackle these problems included healthy procurement in schools, creation of cycle paths, green spaces and areas for spatial planning;

(14)      Whilst lifestyle choices remained an important factor, socio-economic reasons were the biggest factor for health risks. Issues such as mental health, well being and self esteem were important;

(15)      There was a need  ...  view the full minutes text for item 17.


Sexual Health Service Procurement

Members of the People Scrutiny Commission have also been invited to attend for this item. The Director of Public Health (Becky Pollard) will provide a verbal update on this item.


The Director of Public Health gave a verbal report on this issue and made the following points:


(1)        A report had been prepared earlier in the year concerning this issue;

(2)        Bristol City Council is the lead with 3 other Local Authorities and 3 Clinical Commissioning Groups in delivering specialist sexual health commissioning services;

(3)        Under the current timetable, it was hoped to award the contract for this service by no later than 1st December 2016 – a needs assessment had been made and extensive consultation as part of this process;

(4)        A preferred provider had been identified but could not yet be revealed as the contract process was still taking place. Following a scoring process, it was hoped that a decision to award the contract could be made on 18th October 2016 in conjunction with the Section 151 officer;

(5)        The mobilisation period  might need to be extended into the new contract in order to give provider sufficient time to deliver the Full  Integrated Service;

(6)        Every effort would be made to reduce any potential financial risk of this arrangementt.


Performance Report Quarter 1 2016/17 and Quality of Life Survey pdf icon PDF 400 KB

Councillors are requested to note the Performance figures for the 1st Quarter of 2016/17 and a copy of the Quality of Life Survey.

Additional documents:


In introducing this report, the Service Manager (Performance and Infrastructure) made the following points:


(1)        Although it was acknowledged that there were more indicators below the average than above, there were more travelling in the right direction than the wrong one;

(2)        A great deal more detail was included within the Quality of Life Survey. The Overview and Scrutiny Management Committee had indicated that they were intending that this survey should be used as a greater reference for indicators and for the direction of Neighbourhoods Scrutiny Commission work, in particular the perception within the community of how well or badly a service is performing.

Councillors made the following comments and officers responded to these as follows:

(3)        NH756 Number of Household In Temporary Accommodation for More Than 6 Months – This Performance Indicator was well above target. In response to a Councillor’s question, officers stated that they would investigate whether these figures included households that have changed temporary accommodation and are “re-set” at that point. Action: Alison Comley/Mark Wakefield to investigate

(4)        Bespoke written advice was being given to rough sleepers as part of a preventative approach. However, it was noted that in some cases where rough sleepers were responding, they continued to avoid going into accommodation. Officers stated they could provide more information on this; Action: Alison Comley/Mark Wakefield

(5)        NH617 Percentage of Non-Domestic Rates Collected – As Bristol City Council would be increasingly dependent on these in future, this needed to be greatly improved. It was noted that there was only one member of staff carrying out this work who was finding it difficult to keep up with their current workload;

(6)        NH370 Percentage of Tenancies Sustained Beyond 12 Months (To Include Total Number of New Tenancies) – It was a concern that there had been a reduction in the target for this Performance Indicator;

(7)        BCP123 – Percentage of Household Waste Sent for Re-use, Recycling and Composting – Although this was marked Amber as below target (ie not Red well below target), the cumulative effect of a failure to meet this target had a far worse knock-on effect;

(8)        The direction of travel did not always match the figures. In a number of cases, this could be because the figures had been terrible but were now very bad (for example, food testing). Whilst the direction of travel was good, there still needed to be an indication of the situation. A mechanism was required to pick these up. The Chair indicated that he would speak to officers concerning this. Officers pointed out that, in some instances, the commentary box helped to further explain the situation. In relation to Food testing, it was noted that there was a national regime which required action at a national level to address it. Action: Councillor Negus to speak to Alison Comley/Mark Wakefield

(9)        Whilst the trend in Alcohol Related Admissions was down, the figures were still above average. Bristol Drug Handlers had reported that there were currently 250 cases a month  ...  view the full minutes text for item 19.


Chair's Business


The Chair reminded Councillors of the work of the Youth Council which would become increasingly involved in Scrutiny Commission work.


Risk Register pdf icon PDF 421 KB

Members are requested to note the Risk Register. The Strategic Director of Neighbourhoods (Alison Comley) will present this item. Due to the size of his document, hard copies of the Risk Register  report will also be available for Councillors at the meeting.


The Scrutiny Commission discussed the Risk Register.


Councillors made the following points and officers responded to these as follows:


(1)        In addition the Long Term Strategy for 30 years in respect of the Housing Revenue Account (HRA), a medium term strategy was required. Officers confirmed that national policy changes required a greater focus in this area. As part of the budget analysis, this Commission might want to focus on the HRA;

(2)        In relation to Food Inspection, this should be on the Risk Register;

(3)        There was an increasing number of family households who were paying Council Tax into the business market. The loss of Council Tax revenue was likely to become serious since only 4 wards in the city had any control over the conversion of private accommodation to student accommodation.


Resolved – that the report be noted.





Neighbourhoods Directorate Structure Functions and Draft Scrutiny Work Programme pdf icon PDF 313 KB

A copy of a report from the Strategic Director of Neighbourhoods is attached which sets out the Directorate Structure Functions. The draft Scrutiny Work Programme is also attached as an Appendix.


The Scrutiny Commission noted the Directorate Structure Functions and stated that this was extremely helpful information. Councillors requested that officers ask if other Directorates could also provide similar information.


Resolved – that the report be noted.


Action: Tom Oswald ask the Scrutiny Officer team to provide similar information for other Scrutiny Commissions.


Positioning Briefing - Neighbourhood Partnerships

A presentation concerning Neighbourhood Partnerships is being prepared for this item and will be made at the meeting by the Service Director of Neighbourhoods and Communities (Di Robinson).


Di Robinson (Service Director – Neighbourhoods and Communities) gave a verbal presentation on a Position Statement for Neighbourhood Partnerships. During this presentation, she made the following points:


(1)        The current arrangements for Bristol Neighbourhood Partnerships for making decisions through devolved budgets was set out;

(2)        Details of how the £1.1 Million budget is spent were given;

(3)        Different academic governance models were given, including traditional, border straddling and complimentary;

(4)        Different citizen engagement models operating across the country were given, as follows: No Known Activity, Network Activity Without Resource (ie Liverpool, Torbay), Forums working with Councillors and partners (ie North Tyneside, Leicester, Newham), Bodies With Shared Councillor/Community Input (ie Lewisham, Tower Hamlets and Wiltshire), Neighbourhood Partnerships with Devolved Neighbourhood Budgets and Section 106 Budgets (Bristol, Edinburgh), Neighbourhood Partnerships with real devolved powers including SLAs (waste, young people, parks, residents) (ie Leeds);

(5)        The views of different stakeholders were noted;

(6)        What is working with the current NP model – collaborative approach, empowering Councillors to deliver, NPs acting as a link between the Council and the citizen, the role of the Neighbourhood Plan in making services more accountable, engagement with local residents, providing a mechanism to support grassroots projects;

(7)        What is not working with the current NP model – seen as too closely linked to the Council and too meeting-based, failure to see work that takes place outside of meetings, too many top down requests for resources, NP budgets applied equally across the city and not allied to local need, little change with decision-making despite ring fencing, assumption that NPs only discuss low level neighbourhoods issues rather than strategic issues, lack of engagement from certain key Departments, under engagement with the BME community and under 50, time and/or failure to respond to NP requests, limited devolution for NPs and they are not a statutory consultee, limited staffing capacity to deliver NP requests, opinion often requested too late in the process to significantly influence it;

(8)        There will be a Cabinet discussion led by Councillor Asher Craig in the next 3 to 4 weeks to discuss their priorities for this area of work in the future;

(9)        Scrutiny had expressed the intention to timetable further discussions into their Work Programme to discuss the way forward.


Councillors made the following comments and officers responded to these as follows:


(10)      Councillor Craig (Cabinet Member – Neighbourhoods) advised that the following Councillors had put their names forward to discuss how to drive this process forward: Eleanor Combley, Carole Johnson, Jon Wellington and Nicola Beech. The Chair (Councillor Anthony Negus) asked whether consideration could be given to representation from other Groups (ie Conservative and Liberal Democrats) and indicated that he was happy to also be involved;

(11)      CIL funding is a big factor is a big factor in this issue. The need for funding to be equally shared was crucial to interface properly with the community;

(12)      A lot of NPs had carried out work on governance – officers needed  ...  view the full minutes text for item 23.


Date Of Next Meeting


It was noted that the next meeting would be held at 10am on Thursday 27th October 2016 in the Writing Room, First Floor, City Hall, College Green, Bristol.


The meeting finished at 12.10pm.