Agenda and minutes

Virtual, Customer Focus Scrutiny Committee - Thursday 8th October 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




These were received from Councillors Martin and Oliver.




Minutes pdf icon PDF 284 KB

To approve and sign the minutes of the Customer Focus Scrutiny Committee held on 16 July 2020.



The minutes of the meeting of the Customer Focus Scrutiny Committee held on 16 July 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 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 Monday 5 October 2020.



No questions from members of the public were received.



Presentation on Covid-19 Recovery by Portfolio Holders and Questions from Members and Answers pdf icon PDF 350 KB

Portfolio Holder briefing notes attached.


Portfolio Holder for Supporting People – Councillor Williams

Portfolio Holder for Council Housing Development and Services – Councillor Wright


Details of questions from Members relating to the two Portfolios above on Covid-19 recovery issues only should be notified to the Corporate Manager Democratic and Civic Support by 10.00am the Monday before the meeting – Monday 5 October 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 Supporting People - Councillor Williams - in presenting her briefing note highlighted the following:-


·                     expressed her thanks to Councillor Morse, the previous Portfolio Holder, for her dedication and hard work in this role;

·                     a recent virtual anti-social behaviour conference hosted by the City Council attended by local and regional leaders and partners including the Bishop of Exeter, the Chief Constable of the Devon and Cornwall Constabulary, Councillor Hart, Leader of Devon County Council, Ben Bradshaw MP as well as representatives from city’s in Portugal and the United States. The City Council would be progressing many of the initiatives discussed; and

·                     her attendance at the Exeter Community Safety Partnership, chaired by the local police commander.


Questions from Members of the Committee.


1          Councillor Wardle - Can the Portfolio Holder update us on the new test and trace Support payments?


From 28 September 2020, Government has changed the legislation so that certain people will have to self-isolate due to the current Covid-19 crisis. A package of legislative measures has been introduced both to ensure that those who are required to self-isolate, do so and, that those on a low income, receive a payment to assist their finances and to encourage compliance with the legislation. The Council is administering both the Standard Scheme and the Discretionary Scheme for Exeter. Both schemes are currently due to run until 31 January 2021.


The Standard Scheme has been determined by criteria set down by Government and is primarily aimed at all applicants who are working or self-employed; are unable to work from home and will therefore have a reduction in income and are in receipt of certain qualifying benefits (Universal Credit, Working Tax Credit, Income-related Employment & Support Allowance; Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance; Income Support; Housing Benefit or Pension Credit). Government has confirmed that it will reimburse the Council for all payments correctly made under the Standard Scheme.


The Discretionary Scheme is intended for any individual who meets all of the required criteria for the Standard Scheme except that they are not currently in receipt of a qualifying benefit. The reason for this could be, for example, that a claim for a benefit has not yet been made or is being appealed, or that the individual, whilst normally resident in the UK, is unable to gain access to public funds. The Council will be receiving £29,277.09 for the four months that the Discretionary Scheme is intended to last and the Government has confirmed that no additional monies will be given to the Council. This funding equates to only 58 awards. Given that the funding for the Discretionary Scheme is limited, Government has stated that it will be up to each Council to determine additional criteria that have to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 26.