Agenda and minutes

Virtual, Strategic Scrutiny Committee - Thursday 2nd July 2020 5.30 pm

Venue: Legislation has been passed that allows Council's to conduct Committee meetings remotely.

Contact: Sharon Sissons, Democratic Services Officer  Tel: 01392 265115 or email

Note: The deadline for questions to be submitted to the Strategic Scrutiny is 10am on Monday 29 June 2020 

No. Item




These were received from Councillors Hannaford and Packham.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 190 KB

To approve and sign the minutes of the Strategic Scrutiny Committee held on 16 January and 12 March 2020.


Additional documents:


The minutes of the meeting of the Strategic Scrutiny Committee held on 16 January and 12 March 2020 were taken as read, approved as correct, for signing by the Chair at the earliest possible convenience.



Declarations of Interest

Councillors are reminded of the need to declare any disclosable pecuniary interests that relate to business on the agenda and which have not already been included in the register of interests, before any discussion takes place on the item. Unless the interest is sensitive, you must also disclose the nature of the interest. In accordance with the Council's Code of Conduct, you must then leave the room and must not participate in any further discussion of the item.  Councillors requiring clarification should seek the advice of the Monitoring Officer prior to the day of the meeting.




No declarations of interest were made by Members.



Questions from Members of the Public Under Standing Order 19

For a period of six months, all questions submitted to Scrutiny must only relate to Covid-19 matters.


For details about how to speak at Committee, please click the following link -


Questions must be submitted by 10am three working days before the meeting.  For example, if the meeting is being held on a Thursday, questions must be submitted by 10am on the Monday prior to the meeting.


No questions from members of the public were received.



Presentation on Covid-19 by Portfolio Holders and Questions from Members and Answers pdf icon PDF 383 KB

Portfolio Holder briefing notes


Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Physical Activity – Councillor Pearson


Portfolio Holder for Support Services and Procurement – Councillor Wood


Details of questions from Members relating to the two Portfolios above on Covid-19 issues only should be notified to the Corporate Manager Democratic and Civic Support by 10.00am the Monday before the meeting – 29 June 2020.




Additional documents:


The Chair invited the two Portfolio Holders to present their respective briefing notes which provided an update of their area of work during the current period of the CV-19 pandemic.  A schedule of questions from Members submitted in advance of the meeting, together with the responses provided at the meeting were set out on the appendix to these minutes.  The supplementary questions and responses provided at the meeting are set out below for each Portfolio.


The Portfolio Holder for Leisure & Physical Activity, Councillor Pearson presented his update.  He referred to the significant impact that CV-19 had on the City Council’s Leisure Services, their current closure, potential reopening and longer term future. The nature of risk had changed significantly and the re-emergence of the leisure facilities presented a number of challenges for the service, which had resulted in a proposal to bring the Leisure Services back in-house with reports to the Executive and Council.  The update provided a brief update on Exeter and Cranbrook’s Sport England's Local Delivery Pilot (SELDP), the ongoing build of St Sidwell’s Point where work had continued safely observing social distancing measures, progress of the Playing Pitch Strategy, the Riverside Swimming Pool and Leisure Centre refurbishment, and the development plans at Exeter Arena and Wonford, the latter being part of SELDP but nevertheless the creation of much enhanced facilities for those local communities.


Responses to supplementary questions arising from the original questions from the Committee Members indicated.


1)    Councillor J Moore – is it the intention that the in-house management will be via a Council owned private company or will it be fully incorporated in the services of Exeter City Council that we already have.


·         that is to be determined and the best model needs to be worked out to  achieve the best value for Exeter as well as making sure the service is run well and employees in the service are looked after. Initially given the timeframe, it will be necessary to transfer those staff directly into the Council.

2)    Councillor J Moore - our inner city green spaces have become so important over the lockdown and we need large amounts of accessible spaces to allow people to socially distance.  The Clifton Hill Golf Range occupied a huge area of publicly owned inner city space which could be potentially used more widely, and if the space could be used in some other way for the public and enhanced with bio diversity.  Is it possible to have a review of the Golf Driving Range at Clifton Hill?

·      there is no review of the Strategy planned,  but the Member will have seen or know the decision made on those spaces and the reference to the former Northbrook golf course and the decision to protect future use as a green space and consultation with the local residents. With regard to Clifton Hill, it is about listening to what the community wants on both spaces. With regard to the position at the Clifton Hill site, the Golf Driving Range  ...  view the full minutes text for item 13.