Agenda and minutes

Virtual, Customer Focus Scrutiny Committee - Thursday 16th July 2020 5.30 pm

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

Contact: Howard Bassett, Democratic Services Officer  Telephone 01392 265107 or email

No. Item




This was received from Councillor Begley.




Minutes pdf icon PDF 359 KB

To approve and sign the minutes of the Customer Focus Scrutiny Committee held on 25 June 2020.



The minutes of the meeting of the Customer Focus Scrutiny Committee held on 25 June 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 the Public Under Standing Order No 19

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 before the meeting, in this case 13 July 2020.



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 308 KB

Portfolio Holder briefing note attached.


Portfolio Holder for Environment and City Management – Councillor Harvey

Portfolio Holder for Equalities, Diversity and Communities – Councillor Ghusain


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 – 13 July 2020.


Additional documents:


The Chair invited the two Portfolio Holders to present their respective briefing notes.


Questions from Members submitted in advance of the meeting with the answers given at the meeting together with the supplementary questions and answers made at the meeting are set out below for each Portfolio.


Portfolio Holder for Environment and City Management - Councillor Harvey - in presenting his briefing note highlighted the following:-


·                     The Parks and Opens Spaces team had continued business as usual with a number re-trained in case of a rise in sickness levels. Additional staff were trained as excavator operatives to keep the burial service running and green space operatives were trained as refuse loaders.

·                     Advantage had been taken of the quiet period to undertake deep cleaning of the City Centre and to complete maintenance and repair of our play parks; and

·                     With an ease of the Lockdown restrictions, toilets and car parks had re-opened with social distancing measures and enhanced cleaning regimes applications for new garden waste collections were being processed again.


Questions from Members of the Committee


1          Councillor Oliver - To follow Government safety guidelines, what work needs to be done so playparks can re-open safely?


All of our 75 play parks need a detailed Covid-19 risk assessment.  The risk assessment will highlight what frequent cleansing regime is appropriate for the equipment.  Additional resources including staff and chemicals have been identified to complete the cleansing regime. Appropriate signs which comply with the guidance also need to be designed, manufactured and erected. 

Progress is going well, the risk assessments have been completed, resources identified and signs ordered. We are currently waiting for a delivery and installation date and then all the measures will be in place to open our play parks safely. It is hoped that all play parks will re-open by 24 July 2020.



Supplementary question and answer.


With Valley Parks once more accessible and of such value to the elderly can more park benches be provided?


Other than the potential for identifying external funding sources, the City Council itself, because of the huge financial pressure it is under as identified in the Emergency Budget, will not have the resources at this point to provide additional benches.





2          Councillor K. Mitchell – Can the Portfolio Holder confirm the plans for the introduction of a doorstep food and glass collection service have not been affected by the pandemic and when are they scheduled to be introduced?


The effect of Covid-19 on the proposed changes to our waste and recycling collection is currently being assessed by officers. There are a range of companies which are critical to the introduction of the new service and all have been impacted by the epidemic in different ways but the extent of the impact on these companies is unknown at present. 



Supplementary question and answer.


Can an assurance be given that a report will be brought back to update Members on the collection service at the earliest opportunity?





3          Councillor M. Mitchell - Does the Council  ...  view the full minutes text for item 21.