Agenda and minutes

Performance Scrutiny Committee - Place and Corporate - Monday, 7th June, 2021 4.00 pm

Venue: Virtual Meeting

Contact: Neil Barnett  Scrutiny Adviser

No. Item




Councillors Chris Evans, Malcolm Linton and Martyn Kellaway. Cllr Al-Nuaimi took as Chair for the meeting in Councillor Evans’ absence.



Declaration of Interest




Minutes of the previous meeting held on 22 March 2021 pdf icon PDF 103 KB


The minutes of the meeting held on 22 March 2021 were accepted as a true an accurate record.



2020/21 Service Plan End of Year Reviews pdf icon PDF 109 KB

Additional documents:


Law and Regulation


-          Gareth Price - Head of Law and Regulation

-          Councillor Ray Truman - Cabinet Member for Licensing and Regulation 


The Head of Law and Regulation gave an overview of the report. The Committee were advised how the out term report performance last year was remarkable given the circumstances of the many challenges faced from the pandemic. The Committee was informed that most of the service’s attention was diverted into dealing with response to COVID.


It was stipulated that the service area still managed to sustain normal level of service, indicating that most of its performance was still exceedingly good. Head of Law and Regulation commented that this is a testament to the hard work of the staff from the service area and paid tribute to their dedication to keep things going with the addition to the extra tasks that came with the Council’s Covid response. It was further stated that the biggest test was setting up the Test, Trace, Protect (TTP) service from scratch – in last May/June they were instructed to set it up with just two weeks’ notice.


It was outlined to the committee that by 1 June 2020, the system had 50 council staff from other service areas that were redeployed to work on the temporary IT systems over first few weeks and then in the following 6 months, they built the service up from nothing with a budget of £1.7 million. The explained to the committee that this was only successful due to the organisational support and professionalism from environmental health experts, the managers and support staff. Their dedication over the last 12 months was complimented by the Head of Service. The committee was informed that at one point, the TTP system in Newport had reported 260 cases in a day, this emphasised how busy they were with work and that it is a significant achievement to be able to manage.


It was explained that the second element of the response in containment of the virus, was the Covid Enforcement work undertaken by the Public Protection and Trading Standards teams. They checked licence premises and business premises, many local organisations were given advice on compliance with social distancing and PPE. The team dealt with around 3000 inspections during that period which echoes the point that all of the staff within that section were fully employed with Covid work so it was inevitable that other services within the area would have been forced to be put on the backburner during that period.


It was explained to the committee that due to the work of Covid response being so time consuming and due to the restrictions; food hygiene and housing inspections could not be carried out, mainly also due to infection control and outbreaks in care settings, schools and dealing with the compliance work. However, regulatory work did suffer by comparison, this was also inevitable due to the precedence of Covid work being the priority. It was stressed that there was no underperformance  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.


Draft 2021-22 Annual Forward Work Programme pdf icon PDF 132 KB

Additional documents:



-          Neil Barnett – Scrutiny Adviser

The Scrutiny Adviser presented the Draft Annual Forward Work Programme for 2021-22 and outlined the draft topics for the year. It was emphasised that the Committee has ownership of the Work Programme and would continue to have the opportunity at each meeting to adapt, reprioritise, add or replace items on its Work Programme. Members’ attention was drawn to the proposed schedule of meetings for the year.





The Committee approved the Annual Forward Work Programme, the schedule of meetings for 2021-22 and agreed the start time for Committee meetings of 4pm.