Agenda and minutes

Governance Select Committee
Tuesday, 27th November, 2018 7.15 pm

Venue: Committee Room 1, Civic Offices, High Street, Epping. View directions

Contact: J Leither  Tel: (01992) 564756 Email:

No. Item


Chairman's Apologies


In the absence of the Chairman Councillor Chambers, the Vice-Chairman Councillor Dorrell presided over the meeting.


Substitute Members (Council Minute 39 - 23.7.02)

To report the appointment of any substitute members for the meeting.


It was reported that no substitute members had been appointed for the meeting.


Notes of Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 92 KB

To agree the notes of the meeting of the Select Committee held on 23 October 2018.




That the notes of the previous meeting of the Select Committee held on 23 October 2018 were agreed as a correct record.


Declarations of Interest

To declare interests in any items on the agenda.


In considering whether to declare a pecuniary or a non-pecuniary interest under the Code of Conduct, members are asked pay particular attention to paragraph 9 of the Code in addition to the more familiar requirements. This requires the declaration of a non-pecuniary interest in any matter before an overview and scrutiny committee which relates to a decision of or action by another Committee or Sub-Committee of the Council, a Joint Committee or Joint Sub-Committee in which the Council is involved and of which the Councillor is also a member.


Paragraph 9 does not refer to Cabinet decisions or attendance at an overview and scrutiny meeting purely for the purpose of answering questions or providing information on such a matter.



No interests were declared by members of the Select Committee in any item on the agenda for the meeting, pursuant to the Council’s Code of Conduct.


Terms of Reference & Work Programme pdf icon PDF 49 KB

(Chairman) The Overview and Scrutiny Committee has agreed the terms of reference of the Select Committee for the current municipal year. These are attached as an appendix to this agenda, along with the ongoing work programme for the Committee and Members are requested to review the terms of reference and progress towards the achievement of the work programme.

Additional documents:




That the Select Committee noted their terms of reference and work programme for the current municipal year.


Corporate Plan 2018-2023 - Performance Report Q1 & Q2 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 205 KB

To consider the attached report.

Additional documents:


The Service Director (Governance and Members Services) presented a report to the Committee he advised that the Corporate Plan 2018-2023 was the authority’s key strategic planning document. A corporate specification (previously called the Key Action Plan) for each year was being delivered through operational objectives, which in turn were linked to annual Service business plans. The previous regular performance reports that had covered the annual Corporate Plan Key Action Plan, Key Performance Indicators and Transformation Highlight Report had now been superseded by this single integrated performance report.


The success of the Corporate Plan was being assessed through the achievement of a set of benefits, each measured through one or more performance indicators. This provided the Council the opportunity to focus on what could be achieved for its customers – on how specific improvements would be addressed, opportunities exploited and better outcomes delivered. The Corporate Plan when viewed as a set of benefits maps had one map for each of the ten corporate aims. A benefit was a measurable improvement from an outcome that was perceived as an advantage, and contributed to an organisational objective(s). All benefits from individual corporate objectives connected back to four key benefits, which were:


·          K1 Improved customer value – recognising what customers’ value about our services and placing them as the heart of everything we do;

·          K2 Increased efficiency – focussing on our speed of delivery and getting things right first time;

·          K3 Increased agility – reducing red tape, simplifying how we work through joined up services; and

·          K4 Increased savings and income – delivery of resource savings and income generation, to keep Council Tax low.


The Service Director went through some of the objectives for the current municipal year:


8.1.1 Gain approval for the electoral review


Approval for the electoral review had been due by 31 March 2019. It was now likely that a report would be brought to members in the 2019/20 municipal year.


8.1.3 Delegated authorities review within the Constitution Working Group


The Constitution Working Group had reported to Council in July 2019 on proposals to amend officer delegation in respect of planning matters. This was anticipated to increase delegation by 5-10%. A further review of the implementation will be held in the 2019/20 municipal year.


M8.1 Cabinet Structure


Members had received an email communication informing them of the changes to the Cabinet. There were 9 members of the Cabinet, Leader, Strategic Projects and 7 Cabinet Members which had been aligned to the Service Directors’ areas of responsibility.


M8.3 Number of Governance meetings


There was a typographical error under the heading 2018/19, the base line figure read 61 but should read 16.


M8.4 Cost of Governance meetings


This indicator will ‘go-live’ in the 2019/20 municipal year and would look at how many meetings there were and how much they cost. Data for this indicator was being collected as a baseline for performance reporting from 2019/20.


M8.6 Delegated authorities for officers


This measure had been discussed under 8.1.3. above.




That the progress of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 27.


Review of the Local Enforcement Plan pdf icon PDF 114 KB

To consider the attached report.

Additional documents:


The Select Committee received a report from the Service Director (Planning Services) regarding a review of the Local Enforcement Plan. He advised that the Council formally adopted the Local Enforcement Plan (LEP) on 16 October 2013 with an addendum on 11 December 2013. This was in accordance with the suggestion under Section 207 of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) that such a plan should be adopted by Councils.


The LEP clarified the authority’s policy for taking effective action when justified on the evidence gathered by Officers. The Plan sets out the principles of good enforcement and investigation, it explained what would and what would not be investigated. The Plan sets out the priorities for responses to complaints and clarified the timescales for response by Officers. The Planning Enforcement Team receive a high number of allegations of breaches of planning control, and it was impossible to investigate all of these allegations with equal priority. Resources were limited, therefore the LEP made clear what breaches were and the prioritisation involved.


A review of the LEP was scheduled for 2018, five years after its adoption, there had been no significant change to planning legislation (in respect of enforcement).


All District Councillors, Town and Parish Councils were consulted as part of the review process. Comments were received from Theydon Bois and Nazeing Parish Councils, their comments are summarised below.


Theydon Bois


Paragraph 2.8


The Parish Council noted paragraph 2.8 of the LEP stated that ‘a site visit should be carried out within 14 working days’ and asked if it would not be more reasonable for a visit to occur within 7 days rather than 14 days as building works could advance significantly in 2 weeks.


Paragraph 3.13


The Parish Council noted paragraph 3.13 of the LEP and asked if there were requests consistently made for formal applications for Certificates for Lawful Development (CLD). A number of examples of building works have not had a CLD made. How then was an assessment made, and by whom, as to whether the development was lawful.


The Parish Council also questioned whether the review period for the LEP should be every 3 years.



Paragraphs 2.8, 3.7, 3.8 and 3,1


The Parish Council stated that paragraphs 2.8 and 3.7 set out timescales for site visits. Paragraph 3.8 provided that if these timescales could not be met then the Officer would notify the complainant. This was completely open ended and was not satisfactory. Provision should be made to extend the timescale by e.g. 7 days.


Paragraph 3.1 provided that enforcement action would be taken if an acceptable solution was not negotiated within a reasonable time. The question would arise as to what was reasonable and accordingly a maximum time should be specified.


i) – Time limits for visits. Officers currently visit 99% of all sites well within the time limits laid out in the LEP Those sites where there are ongoing building works are already prioritised by officers for visits for the reasons laid out by Theydon  ...  view the full minutes text for item 28.


Reports to be made to the next meeting of the Overview & Scrutiny Committee

To consider which reports are ready to be submitted to the Overview and Scrutiny Committee at its next meeting.


There were no reports to be made to the next Overview and Scrutiny Committee on the 18 December 2018.


Future Meetings

To note the dates of future meetings of the Governance Select Committee:


          05 February 2019

          26 March 2019


It was noted that the next meeting of the Governance Select Committee would be held on 5 February 2019 at 7.15pm.