Agenda and minutes

Due to technical difficulties, the meeting was adjourned to 27 July 2021., Overview Select Committee - Tuesday, 27 July 2021 5:30 pm, POSTPONED

Venue: Meeting Rooms G.01 and G.02, Ground Floor, City Hall, 115 Charles Street, Leicester, LE1 1FZ

Contact: Francis Connolly, Scrutiny Manager, tel: 0116 454 6353, email:  Angie Smith, tel: 0116 454 6354, email:


No. Item



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Apologies for absence on 15th July 2021 were received from Councillor Govind.


The start of the meeting on 15th July 2021 was then delayed due to technical issues that prevented external participants being able to connect into te main meeting at City Hall.



The Adult Social Care Scrutiny Commission submit a scoping document on the proposed review of the increasing cost of care packages within Adult Social Care budgetary pressures.


The review will aim to:


·         Better understand what drives the increasing cost of care services and

·         Identify the impacts on budget pressures

·         Seek to recommend ways of managing the impact on service users


The Committee is recommended to note the report.

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The Chair proposed and was seconded by Councillor Joshi that the scoping documents for ‘Adult Social Care: Understanding the Increasing Cost of Care Packages within Adult Social Care Budgetary Pressures’ be accepted


The Chair proposed and was seconded by Councillor Joshi that a second scoping document ‘Examining the role and effectiveness of the proposal to establish a central housing Anti-Social Behaviour Team’ be accepted.


Due to continuing technical issues, the Chair proposed and was seconded by Councillor Kitterick that the meeting be adjourned to a date to be confirmed.


The meeting closed at 6.08pm.



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The meeting reconvened on Tuesday 27th July at 5.30pm.



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Apologies for the reconvened meeting were received from Councillors Govind, Halford and Joshi. Councillor Melissa March, Vice Chair Adult Social Care Scrutiny Commission was present as substitute for Councillor Joshi.


The Chair led on introductions from those in person and participating in the meeting online.


Post meeting note: Councillor Porter was absent on 27th July 2021 as he did not receive notification of the date of the reconvened meeting.



Members are asked to declare any interests they may have in the business to be discussed.

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There were no declarations of interest.



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The Chair wanted to place on record the Committee’s continued thanks for the efforts of all those who were working tirelessly to assist Leicester’s recovery in response to the pandemic. The Chair said he was pleased that Leicester was away from the spotlight in terms of the overall level of local cases and that was a huge testament to the local response team. The Chair added he was aware that there was a long way to go in the city’s local recovery and was hugely appreciative of the work of all involved and for the continued communication with Members.


The Chair noted the sad loss of people who had died as a result of the pandemic and the families and communities in mourning.



The minutes of the meeting of the Overview Select Committee held on 27 May 2021 are attached and Members are asked to confirm them as a correct record.

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An amendment was made to the minutes of the last meeting to include Councillor Westley as being in attendance.



1.    That the amended minutes of the Overview Select Committee meeting held 27 May 2021 be confirmed as a correct record.




To note progress on actions agreed at the previous meeting and not reported elsewhere on the agenda (if any).

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A full set of updates on progress had been provided to all Overview Select Committee Members on 14th July 2021 by email.


Councillor Kitterick informed the meeting that he was in discussion with the Deputy Director of Finance with regards to approach taken on applying for court costs and how much it cost to administer that service. The Deputy Director was in the process of preparing a note for Councillor Kitterick.


The Review of Treasury Management Activities 2020/21 report at the previous meeting had prompted a request from Councillor Kitterick and subsequent response that the return for Travel Lodge at Haymarket Centre was expected to be 2.25% annually. Councillor Kitterick requested information to be provided to him on whether the 2.25% return was before or after inflation.



1.    That the Deputy Director of Finance to provide information on the 2.25% return to Councillor Kitterick.



The Monitoring Officer to report on the receipt of any questions, representations and statements of case submitted in accordance with the Council’s procedures.

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The Monitoring Officer reported that no questions, representations or statements of case had been received, in accordance with Council procedures.



The Monitoring Officer to report on any petitions received.

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The Monitoring Officer reported that no petitions had been received, in accordance with Council procedures.



The Monitoring Officer submits a report that updates Members on the monitoring of outstanding petitions. The Committee is asked to note the current outstanding petitions and agree to remove those petitions marked ‘Petitions Process Complete’ from the report.

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The Monitoring Officer submitted a report, which provided an update on the current status of responses to petitions against the Council’s target of providing a formal response within three months of being referred to the Divisional Director.


A verbal update was provided on the progress of petition 21/04/01 for Green Lane Road, which had been completed since the publication of the agenda.



1.    To note the current status of outstanding petitions and to remove those petitions marked ‘Petition Process Complete’ from the report.



A verbal update will be given at the meeting on the current position regarding the Covid-19 pandemic. The Committee is recommended to receive  the update and comment as required.

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The Chair invited Rob Howard, consultant in Public Health (Medicine) to provide a verbal update on the Covid-19 data for the City.


It was reported that:


·         Officers were cautiously optimistic, with the rate of infection quite a long way below the national rate of 499 per 100k. The City was at 422 per 100k.

·         Infections had gone up in past weeks but not as fast as many other areas. Figures were now coming down alongside national numbers.

·         One area of concern was the rate for the ‘at risk’ group over 60s which was higher than national average.

·         The rate in 17-21 years was high, at just over half the national rate.

·         School age children were lower than the national rate.

·         There was a small increase in the number of people in hospital.

·         The city was doing well in terms of statistics for vaccinations. 82% in the Over 50s had had both doses and were fully protected.

·         Both doses were needed to protect against the delta variant.

·         Only 39% of the overall population (including children) was fully vaccinated. As the country opened up there was still a risk of the virus spreading through the population.

·         Numbers were down in Leicester due to a combination of really intense work over the Easter period when the Delta virus was taking over, the theory that there was a high level of natural immunity in Leicester (vaccinated or had had virus). The pattern of infections had changed recently with highest rate of infections now in areas that had lower immunity from earlier infections, such as New Parks.

·         In terms of ethnicity the White British population had one of the highest numbers of infection rates, whereas in the past it had been areas of high Asian / Indian / Pakistani communities.

·         There was some indication that the recent increase in rates was related to the Euros (being seen nationally) and school holidays. What will soon be seen will be the impact of the opening up of the night time economy, in particular night clubs.

·         Overall the city was in a good place, but people needed to be cautious and keep vigilant as to what was going on around them.

·         Vaccination needed to continue to be pushed, particularly amongst young people, with testing and contact tracing continuing.


Councillor Kitterick noted the figures for the city centre and West End of the city in terms of vaccination rates was worrying and questioned whether people were not going for vaccinations because of lack of confidence or whether there had been a data cleanse of who was on GP lists at surgeries because they had gone away. The officer responded it was down to a number of factors and that they were actively looking at the situation with CCG colleagues in looking at vaccination figures, such as looking at the number of the younger Chinese population who were largely students and there was a feeling that they had now left the city but were still registered with GP practices in  ...  view the full minutes text for item 32.



A verbal update will be given at the meeting on the current position regarding the Local Plan. The Committee is recommended to receive  the update and comment as required.

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A verbal update was provided at the meeting on the current position regarding the Local Plan. Fabian DCosta, Team Leader Planning, provided the update. The following information was noted:


·         Public consultation commenced on the Draft Plan from September to December 2020, on allocated sites for potential growth and Council polices on areas such as housing, retail and employment. Around 3.5k consultation responses were received which would be responded to.

·         The final plan timings were uncertain as there was a need to adjust evidence and plans to address changes made by government.

·         Officers were discussing with districts to accommodate unmet housing / employment need, the figures for which had been increased by government.

·         The Planning White Paper made fundamental changes to planning guidance and would be addressed in the plan.

·         The Class E changes placed retail and offices into one class, which had implications for retail and employment.

·         Evidence was being updated on climate change with regards to, for example, future homes.

·         The timetable had slipped from Autumn 2021 to February 2022 in terms of a submission plan. There would be a formal plan and consultation.

·         The plan would be taken to Scrutiny Commissions then Full Council in January 2023for approval prior to sending to the Secretary of State, following which it would be examined by the Government Inspector around March 2023 following which any modifications required would be made and a plan hopefully adopted mid-2023.


In response to Members’ questions the following points were made:


·         It was hoped the final plan would have been ready for Autumn 2021. Since 2018 frustratingly there had been a requirement to adapt to changes in guidance and changes in housing numbers set by Government. A meeting had been held with the Government Office in terms of where the City’s plan was in the system. It was noted they were happy with the Council’s progress made, even going out to consultation during lockdown. Evidence had been updated to ensure the plan was in the best position to be taken for inspection and it was hoped the plan would be adopted in 2023. The Government had recognised there was a process to follow which would be more streamlined in the future.

·         In comparison with other authorities Leicester was one of the first to produce its plan. Charnwood had taken their plan in 2019, and the City would be next to follow. The City would continue to work with the districts to ensure it met its housing need. Information on comparison with other major cities would be provided to Members in writing on the Council position in relation to other authorities.

·         In terms of the policies it was safe to use policy when adopted. The authority did have a current core strategy and safe policy in terms of planning applications to determine growth and development in the city. There was a danger in using draft policy until it had been through examination and formally adopted.


The City Mayor shared Members’ frustration at the many hurdles put in  ...  view the full minutes text for item 33.



The Director of Neighbourhood and Environmental Services submits a report to the Committee to outline the current community safety work around ensuring women’s safety, the process used to improve women’s safety further within Leicester City and to outline the opportunity to access government funding to undertake proactive community safety work which will make a difference to the daily lives of women and girls.


The Committee is recommended to note the current work being undertaken and comment on the proposed way forward.

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The Director of Neighbourhood and Environmental Services submitted a report to the Committee which outlined the current community safety work around ensuring women’s safety, the process used to improve women’s safety further within Leicester City and to outline the opportunity to access government funding to undertake proactive community safety work which would make a different to the daily lives of women and girls. The Committee was recommended to note the current work being undertaken and comment on the proposed way forward.


The report was introduced by Councillor Clair, Deputy City Mayor, and noted the report was a summary of what Leicester City Council as a local authority did for the safety of women in the city. He asked that the Committee provide their comments on the report and informed the meeting that updates would be provided to the Committee.


The report was presented by Daxa Pancholi, Head of Community Safety and Protection. Salient points highlighted were:


·         For the over a decade a considerable amount of work had been done around sexual and domestic violence, affecting predominantly women, though services were open to both genders.

·         At 4.2 in the report the four Leicester City Council domestic and sexual violence and abuse (DSVA) services were outlined, which provided support for children and young people affected by domestic violence, refuge provision, the supporting of perpetrators to change behaviours and helpline provision and outreach work.

·         The Team had also recently been successful in gaining more funding of £360,000 for respite rooms for those individual women fleeing domestic violence. The funding would be for one year from October 2021 to September 2022.

·         Safer Leicester Partnership had worked with partners such as the two universities and Business Improvement District (BID) around the night time economy to support individuals such as “Ask Angela” where the code words could be used by women who felt unsafe to alert bar staff, and the CityBus placed in the city centre on Jubilee Square where individuals could report crime or receive treatment, and was serviced by St Johns Ambulance Staff and PCSOs.

·         Officers were exploring a digital platform to provide people with information on safe ways home, but by being careful not to ghettoise certain areas of the city.

·         There had been success in getting Changing Futures funding. £3.5million was applied for and £2.6million was obtained. The funding would be used taking the street lifestyle approach to ensure support mechanisms were in place for people with multiple disadvantages, to VIP fast track people to get the help and support they need.

·         The Safer Leicester Partnership 3-year plan was available on the Council’s website. The focus for 2021 was around women’s safety, what types of issues were being faced and in a partnership context identify a set of actions.

·         The Safer Streets Fund Round 3 was being specifically focussed around increasing the safety of public spaces of concern for women and girls. £424k out of a total bid of £500k was focussed on the city, for example, in parks extra lighting, CCTV,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 34.


LIVING WAGE pdf icon PDF 458 KB

The City Barrister and Head of Standards submits a report to update the Overview Select Committee on progress on implementing the Living Wage through Procurement for contracts and services not delivered in house by the Council, and the implementation into the Council’s procurement procedures.


The Committee is recommended to note and comment upon the contents of the report.

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The City Barrister and Head of Standards submitted a report which updated the Committee on progress on implementing the Living Wage through procurement for contracts and services not delivered in house by the Council, and the Council’s procurement procedures.


The report was introduced by Councillor Myers, Assistant City Mayor (Jobs, Skills, Policy Delivery and Communications). It was noted the wages in Leicester were below the national average, and the motivation for the authority was to have Real Living Wage accreditation, and for the estimated 40k people directly employed by public sector across the city to be paid at least the Real Living Wage.


It was further reported that, as a procurer, progress had been made and that proportionally more contracts secured were compliant. It was a timely report as the authority was in process of reviewing suppliers. The long-term growth strategy in response to the pandemic and economic situation now faced had to be built as much as possible on well paid, sustainable sectors. It was noted there was an emphasis on well paid sectors such as Tech and Science, and to support people to enable them to be employed in those sectors, but also to look at the less well paid sectors such as catering and hospitality to support them to raise wage levels.


The ambition was to enable as many organisations in the city to become accredited as Real Living Wage employers.


The report was presented by Colin Sharpe, Deputy Director of Finance, and the following points were made:


·         The Real Living Wage (RLW) was calculated independently by the Living Wage Foundation (LWF) and was currently at £9.50 per hour, 59p above the National Living Wage (the legal minimum wage) at £8.91.

·         There was various criteria for employers to become accredited as a Living Wage Employer set out at 3.4 in the report.

·         Processes had been implemented to assess whether contracts met criteria for the Real Living Wage prior to them being let for procurement.

·         Agency staff engaged by the Council for more than eight weeks were paid at the Real Living Wage level.

·         An exemption was negotiated for social care contracts due to affordability implications and pressure on Adult Social Care funding.

·         The Council’s PFI contracts for waste and schools were let before the Council’s Living Wage accreditation. It was thought that most staff employed by the contractors were paid above the National Living Wage, however confirmed data was not to hand.

·         Contract monitoring was receiving further work, and audits could be requested with contracts to check Real Living Wage compliance.


The Chair said he was shocked when he read the report that for the most needy of services, proper wages could not be afforded.


Members then provided comment on the report:


·         It would cost extra to pay the social care services the Living Wage. It was asked when it was felt it could be achieved, but noted it would require broader discussion.

·         It was a valid conclusion to reach that in terms of adult social care  ...  view the full minutes text for item 35.



The City Mayor will answer questions raised by members of the Overview Select Committee on issues not covered elsewhere on the agenda.

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1.    Question from Councillor Cassidy, Chair – Please can you explain the proposals of the Boundary Commission Review and how they will affect our administrative area, and to outline how you intend to respond to these proposals.


Response from the City Mayor:


·         The Boundary Commission had made proposals for the new constituency boundaries that were unnecessarily complicated, would cause administrative and practical difficulties.

·         What they had proposed was a significant reshuffling of constituencies, and in particular that they would add the Glenfield area to Leicester West.

·         As well as being unnecessarily complicated, it was unnecessary as the population of the city was more than adequate to justify having three constituencies within the administrative boundaries, and it made sense to keep them consistent with the parliamentary constituency boundaries.

·         It was possible to rebalance the constituencies slightly without needing to look outside for additional electors. It was true Leicester West was on the small side, and Leicester East on the larger side.

·         It would be argued to favour alternative proposals to keep the constituencies in keeping with the present city boundaries, minimise disruption between the constituencies, and that they rebalance by looking not at wards in their entirety, but at the polling districts, and a limited number of moves of polling districts between Leicester East and West, and perhaps Leicester South and West, by keeping the majority of polling districts intact.


The Chair and Committee supported the approach outlined by the City Mayor that constituencies should remain in the city council boundaries with minimum disruption to ward boundaries.


The City Mayor would copy the response made to Members, which would include a number of possible options to move polling districts.


2.    Question from Councillor Westley – There used to be Bus Users Panel in the authority. Recently there have been more and more complaints regarding bus services from constituents, and the worst thing was to take them out of local authority’s control. He asked what accountability was there for the bus services for passengers.


The City Mayor invited Councillor Clarke, Deputy City Mayor (Environment and Transportation) to respond.


·         Members were reassured that there was still a Bus Users Panel which during the pandemic had been consulted on remotely. The Council was currently consulting on a Local Transport Plan, and was looking to develop an Enhanced Partnership Scheme through legislation, to draw down significant funding to invest in bus services in the city. What was hoped the Enhanced Partnership Scheme would do would give it more levers to pull with the bus companies. If it didn’t there was the opportunity to franchise which was a much more laborious process for a city like Leicester. It was hoped the bus companies would work with the partnership.



The current work programme for the Committee is attached.  The Committee is asked to consider this and make comments and/or amendments as it considers necessary.

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The Work Programme for the Committee was noted.


·         The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Leicester had been invited to the next meeting of the Committee. It was then anticipated to invite the new Vice-Chancellor of De Montfort University to the Committee meeting in November 2021.

·         A session on Corporate Parenting and the council-wide responsibilities for it would be included on the agenda for the November meeting.

·         The Smart Cities agenda item would be moved to the November meeting (from September).

·         The Police and Crime Commissioner to be invited to the meeting in September.



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Summer Holiday Food Provision


The report provided an update on the progress of the holiday activities and food programme for the year, summarising the delivery over Easter and setting out the arrangements for the summer.


Councillor Russell, Deputy City Mayor presented the report, which built on what had been provided before, to more children, more places, with additional support through Feeding Britain, and also using the Covid Local Support Grant, to particularly work with families including for children with learning and physical disabilities to be able to access the food offer.


The Government had updated its guidance to state that the Holiday Activities and Food Programme funding was only for children that received free school meals during term time which had placed additional pressure on other family budgets, leaving families in significant debt by the end of school holidays. Frustration was felt that the Government should have focussed on food, rather than being tied in with childcare and sending children every day to activity centres. The expansion of provision in the future would also be looked at.


Information on the Easter programme was included in the report, which had included giving out food bags and activities because of Covid.


It was noted that if Ward Councillors had relationships with local schools, they should help broker conversations to get them involved with holiday food provision in all areas of the city. It was further noted that the heat map included in the report showed that the areas in the city with the highest need had in the main some level of provision.


Councillor Russell gave thanks to the team, schools and voluntary sector in the city that had helped to pull the programme together.


Nicola Bassindale, Service Manager, informed the meeting that in terms of numbers, registrations were increasing week on week over the summer as expected. It was reported a lot of children were taken out of school during the last week due to Covid which had an impact on the numbers of children at the start of the school holidays in taking part in activities.


Following Members questions, the following points were made:


·         For families having to self-isolate there continued to be the Covid-19 support grant so that any family or individual that needed support, whether for food, utilities or a range of other things, the Covid-19 support email was still in use and continued to supply support through that route.

·         Children were regularly divided in school on the basis of whether or not they received school meals, whether it be for trips, etc, and was a system that was not approved of by Members.

·         The Council had worked with Feeding Britain to get funding to provide the same offer of meals to children during the school holidays.

·         Also observed was a number of provisions across the city that had decided to things a bit differently such as the provision at the Women’s Hockey Club on St Margaret’s Way, run as a holiday club for all children, charging  ...  view the full minutes text for item 38.



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The meeting closed at 8.03pm.