Agenda and minutes

Overview and Scrutiny Management Committee - Friday, 2nd June, 2023 10.00 am

Venue: Hybrid Meeting

Contact: Samantha Schanzer  Scrutiny Adviser

No. Item




Councillors Claire Baker-Westhead and the Cabinet Members for Social Services (Job Share), Councillors Stephen Marshall and Jason Hughes.



Declarations of Interest




Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 95 KB


The Committee noted that in a prior meeting they had requested the University of South Wales be contacted in order to attend the Scrutiny Committee however there had still been no confirmation whether this had been addressed.

·       The Scrutiny Advisor confirmed it would be followed up again.

The minutes of the previous meeting held 28th April 2023 were accepted as a true and accurate record.


Electric Vehicle Charging Strategy pdf icon PDF 130 KB

Additional documents:


The report was presented by the Head of Environment and Public Protection and the Service Manager for Climate Change.


The Committee commended the report and queried what the definitive figure for charging ports in Newport.

·       The Service Manager for Climate Change noted there was a crowdsourced website as well as a government website that tracked this information but there may be discrepancies between those.

·       They Service Manager informed Committee that the Council does also keep track via their website.

The Committee queried the information in the report that highlighted renting electric cars by the hour.

·       The Service Manager for Climate Change noted this hasn’t been addressed as a specific aim of the strategy but to consider the viability of electric car clubs.

The Committee asked if Officers were doing anything to get a definitive answer on the amount of charging ports in Newport.

·       The Service Manager for Climate Change noted this can be taken away as an action point.

The Committee asked whether there was a statutory duty to provide electric charging points.

·       The Service Manager for Climate Change informed the Committee that there is no statutory requirement.

The Committee asked whether there is a duty for private companies to provide electric charging ports.

·       The Service Manager for Climate Change highlighted that the total number of charging ports also include private ports installed and noted the private companies work with retail outlets.

·       The Service Manager for Climate Change also raised that the private sector hasn’t felt the need to move into the public realm, especially with on street charging.

The Committee queried the process wherein residents request an electric charging port on their road.

·       The Service Manager for Climate Change informed the Committee that the Council keep a record of anyone whose requested a charging port and uses that information to see where the demand lies.

·       The Service Manager for Climate Change noted that they don’t deal with specific properties and highlighted that residents can’t install their own charger outside their property if it would then fall onto a public road or highway.

The Committee asked what integration had occurred between electric charging points and the electricity industry.

·       The Service Manager for Climate Change noted that with each charging port that is installed, the local grid is contacted in order to see if the location is viable or whether it has to be slower charging in order as to not cause any issues.

The Committee questioned how Officers will ensure the consultation would reach a wide audience as well as the metrics for measuring how successful it will be.

·       The Head of People, Policy and Transformation noted that a variety of forums are used to spread to the consultation such as social media, via the free bus Wi-Fi. The feedback from any successful consultation surveys would then be analysed.

The Committee asked whether there were any measures to increase the use of electric vehicles amongst taxi drivers.

·       The Service Manager for Climate Change noted studies have been undertaken by  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.


Corporate Safeguarding Annual Report pdf icon PDF 133 KB

Additional documents:


The report was presented by the Strategic Director for Social Services and the Head of Corporate Safeguarding.


The Committee asked what would be done with the real time data that the Officers had collected.

·       The Head of Corporate Safeguarding informed the Committee that the data can be used to keep better track of progress through individual and up to date spreadsheets.

The Committee felt like having two systems of measuring data was confusing and asked for one to be removed.

The Committee noted the importance of safeguarding. The Committee highlighted that the training platform was not user friendly and wondered if this system was still used.

·       The Head of Corporate Safeguarding informed Committee that training procedures from Wales Safeguarding would make things more straightforward but it had only been introduced in November 2022.

The Committee asked that the training platform be improved to be more functional.

·       The Head of Adult Services noted training is wide ranging depending on the role

·       The Strategic Director highlighted the meta compliance training can now indicate when training hasn’t been done

The Committee highlighted that the Metropolitan Police are stepping away from mental health work and asked whether there would be any impact on Newport’s services as a result.

·       The Head of Adult Services highlighted the work the Crisis Mental Health team does and noted Gwent was better able to deal with situations from an adult services and mental health services perspective.

·       The Head of Adult Services further reiterated that Newport would be okay if a similar occurrence happened.

·       The Head of Children’s Services detailed that the police are integrated into the service such as through joint services and are engaged in the safeguarding work.

Comments and Recommendations:

The Committee would like the data to be clear as the information in one section was misleading

The Committee recommended that Officers and training providers simplify training courses to ensure that they’re accessible.

The Committee felt that it would be beneficial for issues raised in reports to be highlighted in the following year’s report to feedback progress and resolutions.

The Committee were content with the work but would like a focus on outcomes.



Consultation Update pdf icon PDF 133 KB

Additional documents:


It was agreed that this item would be taken earlier in the agenda.


The Committee queried the demographics and their responses that the survey collected as responses were varied on topics such as Oaklands.

·       The Head of People Policy and Transformation highlighted that responses had more focus on issues that impacted everyone rather than had an impact on a smaller of number of people. The response trends for Oaklands were similar across social services items that were on the consultation.

·       The Policy and Partnership Manager highlighted that there were responses outside of the consultation survey in relation to the mentioned issues, as it was further explained that the survey did not reflect all the responses on the consultation topics.

·       The Committee asked for all responses to be reflected in the total responses received rather than consultation survey responses only.

The Committee highlighted that there was no option for an email address to be added in the survey so that other surveys could be sent out to the respondent.

·       The Head of People Policy and Transformation noted that this could be looked at.

The Committee asked how Officers were able to get a larger response pool for the next consultation.

·       The Head of People Policy and Transformation informed Committee that how to increase the range, responses and focus to surveys were always under review.

·       The Head of People Policy and Transformation also noted there is a balance to be struck between gaining a wide range of responses and allowing the public the choice of whether to give responses.

·       The Policy and Partnership Manager highlighted giving notice before events within the city alongside ward meetings could help gain more responses especially face-to-face.

·       The Strategic Director noted that there needs to be balance between responses and quality of responses, which may be worth putting into the work programme.

The Committee noted the quality of responses are important such as in this recent budget consultation, the voice of the unions and fairness commission were important.

The Committee felt the consultation was an improvement this year.

The Committee would like “other responses” including emails, meeting and calls etc included in the tally of responses.

The Committee highlighted there being no option to leave email address for future surveys.



Scrutiny Adviser Reports pdf icon PDF 145 KB

a)      Actions Arising (Appendix 1)

b)      Forward Work Programme (Appendix 2)

c)      Scrutiny Topic Referral (Appendix 3)


Additional documents:


Action Sheet

The Scrutiny Advisor agreed to further follow up regarding the university.

Forward Work Programme

The Committee noted looking at budget consultation as an agenda item for a meeting in October.

The Scrutiny Advisor agreed to query whether the Air Quality Report could be brought to the next meeting in order to make the agenda a two-item agenda.

Scrutiny Topic Referral

The Scrutiny Advisor presented this item and explained the process to the Committee.

The referrer expressed disappointment that Officers were not present.

The referrer noted several failed bids for levelling up as well as highlighting that other Councils have been successful in their bids where Newport had not been and therefore wanted this to be brought to Scrutiny to provide comments and recommendations to increase chances of success.

The referrer noted that it fit the criteria for Scrutiny Committees as the focus was how to improve submissions and bids.

The referrer felt like this was not a political issue.

The referrer asked whether the failed bids had any feedback.

·       The Strategic Director noted this can be looked at, and also highlighted that the decision is a Committee decision.

The Members of the Committee gave their comments on the proposed referral.

The referrer asked for a framework for how bids are created from inception.

The referrer asked that the report would include the bids and the feedback and ways to assist to make bids more likely to succeed.

The referrer would not like the report to be information only.

The referrer moved to have the report brought to the next Committee on the failed “levelling up” bids.

The Committee clarified that the Committee could make the decision to bring the item and clarified what they wanted.

·       The Strategic Director confirmed the situation that the Committee can determine whether they want the motion and will confirm the legal process after the meeting.

The Committee took a vote to ascertain whether the item would be brought to Scrutiny.

The vote was not carried to have the item brought to a Scrutiny Committee with three votes against, two votes for, and two abstentions.

The Scrutiny Advisor confirmed the date of the next meeting to be 23rd June 2023 at 10am.



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