Agenda and minutes

Overview and Scrutiny Committee - Thursday 2 September 2021 5.00 pm

Venue: Conference Chamber, West Suffolk House, Western Way, Bury St Edmunds, IP33 3YU

Contact: Christine Brain: Democratic Services Officer  Email:


No. Item



Any member who is substituting for another member should so indicate, together with the name of the relevant absent member.


The following substitution was declared:


Councillor Jim Thorndyke substituting for Councillor Terry Clements.


Apologies for absence


Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Simon Brown, Terry Clements, Sarah Pugh and Marion Rushbrook.


Councillor Paul Hopfensperger was also unable to attend the meeting.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 117 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meetings held on 10 June 2021 and 8 July 2021 (copies attached).


Additional documents:


The minutes of the meetings held on 10 June 2021 and 8 July 2021 were confirmed as correct records and signed by the Chair.



Formal decision making on 'minded to' decisions

Taking into account the ‘minded to’ decisions made during the non-decision making virtual meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee held on 10 June 2021, the Committee is required to formally resolve the following matters:


1.       Minutes of the meeting held on 18 March 2021.


2.       Review of Council Markets – Membership:


-      Councillor Ian Shipp (Mildenhall)

-      Councillor John Burns (Haverhill)

-      Councillor Marion Rushbrook (Smaller Markets/Clare)

-      Councillor Patrick Chung (Bury St Edmunds)

-      Councillor Michael Anderson (Newmarket)

-      Councillor David Palmer (Brandon)



Taking into account the ‘minded to’ decisions made during the non-decision-making virtual meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee held on 10 June 2021, the Committee was required to formally resolve the following matters:


1.       Minutes of the meeting held on 18 March 2021.


2.       Review of Council Markets – Membership:


-      Councillor Ian Shipp (Mildenhall)

-      Councillor John Burns (Haverhill)

-      Councillor Marion Rushbrook (Smaller Markets/Clare)

-      Councillor Patrick Chung (Bury St Edmunds)

-      Councillor Michael Anderson (Newmarket)

-      Councillor David Palmer (Brandon)


It was then proposed by Councillor Margaret Marks, seconded by Councillor Tony Brown, and with the vote being unanimous it was:






1)   The minutes of the meeting held on 18 March 2021, be confirmed as a correct record, and signed by the chair.


2)   The membership of the Markets Review Group be approved.




Declarations of interest

Members are reminded of their responsibility to declare any pecuniary or local non pecuniary interest which they have in any item of business on the agenda, no later than when that item is reached and, when appropriate, to leave the meeting prior to discussion and voting on the item.


Members’ declarations of interest are recorded under the item to which the declaration relates.


Announcements from the Chair regarding responses from the Cabinet to reports of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee


The Chair informed member he attended Cabinet on 20 July 2021 and presented the Committee’s report from its meeting held on 8 July 2021.  As per the minutes above, the Chair thanked the Leader of the Council for attending its meeting and presenting the Draft West Suffolk Annual Report 2020 to 2021, and updated Cabinet on the nominations put forward on the Appointments to Outside Scrutiny Bodies (Suffolk County Council Health Scrutiny Committee), which were noted by Cabinet. 


The Chair also updated Cabinet on the Markets Review Group as a standing item.


Public participation

Members of the public who live or work in the district are welcome to speak and may ask one question or make a statement of not more than three minutes duration relating to items to be discussed in Part 1 of the agenda only.


If a question is asked and answered within three minutes, the person who asked the question may ask a supplementary question that arises from the reply.


In accordance with government guidance, the Council has developed general protocols on operating buildings safely in order to reduce the risk of the spread of coronavirus and will apply to members of the public registered to speak.


We would therefore strongly urge anyone who wishes to register to speak to notify Democratic Services by 9am on the day of the meeting so that advice can be given on the arrangements in place.


There is an overall limit of 15 minutes for public speaking, which may be extended at the Chair’s discretion.



The following members of the public spoke under this agenda item:


1. Vivien Gainsborough Foot, Chairman of The Churchgate Area Committee and Member of the West Suffolk Council Air Quality Group made a statement in connection with Item 11 on the Agenda, “Work programme update and suggestions for scrutiny” on 20mph speed limits and anti-idling.


    Chair and members thank you for allowing me to speak.  My name is Vivien Gainsborough Foot, Chair of the Churchgate Area Association (CAA), and represent the residents and business associations for the 620 houses in the grid.  We have a membership of over 300 residents and businesses and are an active and articulate group.  The CAA has formed a Sub-Committee of the West Suffolk Council Air Quality Group and we focus on pollution and the enforcement of the 20mph zone in the Bury St Edmunds town centre. 


    Regarding pollution, I refer to the Suffolk County Council Health and Wellbeing Board report of July 2021, which states clearly that there is responsibility at every level to improve air quality by providing training and resources to increase the technical knowledge of transport and planning officers and strengthening wider communication to the public and the CAA looks forward to seeing some action on this.


    Referring to the West Suffolk Council’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee meeting in January 2019, the options considered were:


a)   To undertake a targeted campaign to effect behavioural change, which was adopted, but we have seen nothing of this on our streets.


    Under the 2002 Regulations of the 1995 Environment Act, stationary vehicle idling is an offence, and powers have been given to local authorities to issue fixed penalty notices to drivers who allow their engines to run unnecessarily whilst the vehicle is parked. 


Option (b) considered by the Committee was to adopt delegated powers under the 2002 Regulations to issue Fixed Penalty Notices to drivers leaving their car engines running.  This was rejected but does West Suffolk Council now employ Civil Enforcement Officers to ticket illegally parked cars.


The CAA is requesting that these officers be trained to enforce anti-idling.  We see cars idling all the time, which is damaging to our children’s lungs.


The CAA has produced an anti-idling video on its Facebook page, and we plead with you all to put your full weight behind West Suffolk Council’s traffic management to tackle this issue.


The 20mph zone is widely ignored and causes more pollution.  The police have no enforcement policy.  The streets in the grid have not got sufficient sight lines for the CAA to employ speed indicator devices and I would urge this Committee to argue for Siemens SafeZone speed cameras, which records encrypted data.  The data is forwarded to a computer for decrypting and can then be viewed by the police who can then issue notices on a pending prosecution.


Thank you Chair.


2. Glynis Horton, a local resident from Bury St Edmunds made a statement in connection with Item 11 on the Agenda, “Work programme update and suggestions  ...  view the full minutes text for item 134.


Consideration of Councillor Call for Action pdf icon PDF 124 KB

Report number: OAS/WS/21/016

Additional documents:


The Committee received report number OAS/WS/21/016, which sought potential solutions on the impact of the Eastern Relief Road and A14, J45 on the Moreton Hall residential area, by means of convening a Councillor Call for Action (CCfA) Hearing.


CCfA came into force on 1 April 2009 and provided a mechanism whereby any Member of the Council may refer to the Overview and Scrutiny Committee any local government or crime and disorder matter which affected their ward or division.


On 10 June 2021, the Committee had resolved to refer the Councillor Call for Action (CCfA) submission presented by Councillor Trevor Beckwith to a CCfA Hearing on 2 September 2021.  The purpose of the Hearing was to seek a potential solution to the problems being encountered by residents. 


The following documentation was attached to the report:


Appendix A: CCfA Meeting Plan detailing the sequential order of speakers and witnesses

Appendix 1: Councillor Beckwith’s completed CCfA request form, in accordance with the District Council’s CCfA protocol;

Appendix 2: CCfA SCC post meeting letter – 5 October 2018

Appendix 3: CCfA Complaint against SCC

Appendix 4: CCfA Stage 1 response and email exchange

Appendix 5: CCfA SCC final response to complaint

Appendix 6: CCfA Map

Appendix 7: Written report from SCC officers

Appendix 8: Photographic evidence provided by (witness)


The Committee was informed that as this was the first CCfA Hearing undertaken by West Suffolk Council, a set procedure would be followed. 


The Committee would gather as much information as possible from a variety of organisations and witnesses who had been involved with the issue with the focus on attempting to reach a potential resolution to the problem. The meeting plan, attached as Appendix A, had been prepared using the CCfA protocol and the procedural order of the Hearing followed this plan.


Having welcomed all speakers and witnesses to the Hearing, the Chair asked Councillor Beckwith to explain to the Committee his reasons for instigating the CCfA. Councillor Beckwith provide the following statement to the Committee.


Councillor Trevor Beckwith’s opening statement:


As some members of the Committee would not be familiar with the area, Councillor Beckwith referred members to the annotated map, attached at Appendix 6 to help clarify the narrative.


In September 2017, the £15m Eastern Relief Road (ERR) was opened, funded by the former Council (St Edmundsbury Borough Council), Suffolk County Council and the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership.


At the official opening, a speaker said, “it will also bring much wider benefits to our families and communities for years to come, relieving some of the local congestion and providing better access to The Sybil Andrews Academy and community leisure facilities that were based there”.  I fully support that aspiration and deeply regret that the wider benefits to our families and communities had not worked out.  Along with local residents I hope to demonstrate what was needed to restore residential amenity to that enjoyed before the ERR opened.


The project incurred a £4.5m overspend, due mainly to Highways England requirements for the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 135.


Suffolk County Council: Health Scrutiny Committee - 7 July 2021 pdf icon PDF 112 KB

Report number: OAS/WS/21/017

Additional documents:


Councillor Margaret Marks, the Council’s appointed representative on the Suffolk County Council Health Scrutiny Committee presented report number OAS/WS/21/017.


The report, prepared by Councillor Margaret Marks, set out what was considered at its meeting held on 7 July 2021.  The focus of the meeting was on:


-      Introducing new members to the work of the Committee and providing background information to the structure of the NHS, following the elections held in May 2021.


-      Information on the current Clinical Commissioning Structure and the proposed changes to Integrated Care Systems.


-      West Suffolk Hospitals New Hospital Project; Maternity Services and Whistleblowing Report


Councillor Marks referred to page 59 of the report and explained that dentistry was significantly under-funded and responsibility for this service was about to be transferred from NHS England to the newly created Integrated Care Services (currently called the Clinical Commissioning Group).


The Committee considered the report in detail and asked questions to which Councillor Marks provided comprehensive responses.  In particular discussions were held on the shortage of General Practitioners (GPs), nurses and midwives; dentistry which was significantly under-funded; dementia clinics in GP surgeries and mental health services for young people.


In response to a question raised regarding dementia services, Councillor Marks explained that every doctor’s surgery was an independent practice and independently owned and they contract to the NHS for services they feel they can provide.  Therefore, they would only take on a dementia service if they felt they were capable of delivering that service.


In response to a question raised regarding staff shortages, Councillor Marks stated there was a “peoples plan”, which was starting to address the staff shortages, in particular the peoples plan was looking at retaining midwives and maternity nursing.


The Committee also discussed health, which had recently been added to Councillor Sara Mildmay-White’s Portfolio and suggested a written report setting out the role be included as an item for its 11 November 2021 meeting.


There being no decision required, the Committee noted the report on the Suffolk County Council Health Scrutiny Committee meeting held on 7 July 2021 from Councillor Margaret Marks.



Cabinet Decisions Plan: 1 September 2021 to 31 May 2022 pdf icon PDF 155 KB

Report number: OAS/WS/21/018

Additional documents:


The Committee received report number: OAS/WS/21/018, which informed members on forthcoming decisions to be considered by the Cabinet for the period 1 September 2021 to 31 May 2022.


The Committee considered the Decisions Plan and did not request any further information on items contained in the Plan.


There being no decision required, the Committee noted the contents of the 1 September 2021 to 31 May 2022 Decisions Plan.



Work programme update and suggestions for scrutiny pdf icon PDF 127 KB

Report number: OAS/WS/21/019


Additional documents:


The Committee received report number: OAS/WS/21/019, which updated members on the current status of its rolling work programme of items for scrutiny during 2021 to 2022 (Appendix 1), including working groups, and two work programme suggestion forms submitted by Councillor Diane Hind (Appendix 2 and 3).


At its meeting on 8 July 2021, Councillor Diane Hind agreed to complete a work programme suggestion form for the Committee’s consideration at its September 2021 meeting focusing on anti-idling.  Attached at Appendix 2 to the report was the competed work programme suggestion form proposing that a review be undertaken to introduce “fines for idling”.


On 27 July 2021, Councillor Diane Hind approached the Chair of the Committee about a potential scrutiny topic relating to possibly carrying out a review of 20 mile per hour zones and their signage and possibly requesting that Suffolk County Council arrange for 20 mile per hour zones (or limits) to be extended, adequately signed, and enforced.  Councillor Diane Hind had prepared a suggestion form, (Appendix 3) to undertake a review. 


Councillors Diane Hind and Julia Wakelam presented their suggestions and drew relevant points to the Committees attention and referred to the public participation which the Committee had heard earlier in the meeting.


The Committee considered in detail each work programme suggestion and officers provided comprehensive information to questions raised to enable members to reach a decision as to whether to include the suggestions into its forward work programme for 2021 - 2022. 


In relation to Appendix 2 (fines for idling) Councillor Diane Hind acknowledged the various pieces of work being undertaken by the Council in the Environment Action Plan in relation to air quality and suggested, instead that it receives a progress report on the various initiatives.  Councillor Diane Hind further suggested that Parking Services be asked to start educating and asking drivers as soon as possible, when idling, to switch off their engines, as this would not require any contractual changes to be made.  Members suggested more education was needed for drivers, and having more proactive campaigns, for example, targeted advertising at petrol stations with literature on pumps about anti-idling. 


In relation to Appendix 3 (20mph zones and signage) Councillor Diane Hind advised that a number of local authorities were introducing 20mph limits as part of a safe system approach.  However, zones would need to be accompanied with traffic calming measures.  In response, officers advised that the current process to implement 20mph zones was the responsibility of SCC.  The Council would need to be very clear about what it wanted to achieve by carrying out a review, which would be a significant piece of work and resource intensive.  Officers suggested the Council could work with communities where an interest had been identified by supporting them through the set process with SCC.


Members supported 20mph limits in the right areas, but felt it needed to be promoted more to make it easier for councillors and their residents to pursue further in their localities with their Suffolk County Councillor.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 138.