Venue: Virtual Meeting
Contact: Neil Barnett Scrutiny Adviser
Declaration of Interest
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 a brief introduction to the Service Plan Mid-year review. The report indicated that the Service Area had performed very well in relation to meeting targets, however, this failed to highlight the extreme effort behind the scenes in order to achieve this. The Head of Service wished to pay tribute to all staff that had helped to deliver the Service Plan during this highly challenging period. The last 6 months had been slightly different as we had been in the Covid recovery phase although significant challenges from the Covid legacy would continue for the remaining 6 months of the year. Covid Test, Trace and Protect would continue until next June and the Environmental Health team were still involved in the enforcement of Covid regulations. However, as these regulations gradually relaxed, staff would be moving back slowly to their original business work.
The legacy of the past eighteen months would remain for a significant time and there were a number of areas of backlog including food inspections, birth registrations and local land charge searches. Also, a large piece of work would be the preparation for the upcoming elections in May with the Local Government and Elections Wales Act to implement and work in democratic services in terms of preparing for hybrid meetings. The Constitution had to be rewritten, which would be a significant piece of work in itself to incorporate all the new legislative changes that would be brought into effect together with a new induction training programme for members, as well as delivering the elections themselves.
Members asked the following questions:
· Members had been told that there was a lack of taxi drivers in the City meaning some failed to turn up as arranged. What was the impact of any work backlog on the taxi licensing process?
The Head of Law and Regulation confirmed that there hadn't been a reduction in terms of numbers of licences granted during that period and no backlog in terms of applications being dealt with. Clearly the initial lockdown period had been very difficult for the taxi and private hire drivers. There had been a reduction in the number of applications submitted and income had reduced but as soon as the renewal applications had come in, they had been processed. If any taxis failed to turn up to a pre-arranged booking this would be a beach of their licence and could be investigated by the licensing team.
· Members queried the graph contained in the report with regards to the budget as the figures did not match with the narrative.
The Head of Law and Regulation confirmed that the graph in the report was incorrect and the correct one would be re-circulated. The budget figure was £6.7 million and due to an increase in hardship funds in terms of loss of income we now had a ... view the full minutes text for item 4.
a) Forward Work Programme Update (Appendix 1)
b) Actions Plan (Appendix 2)
- Neil Barnett – Scrutiny Adviser
a) Forward Work Programme Update
The Scrutiny Adviser presented the Forward Work Programme, and informed the Committee of the topics due to be discussed at the next two committee meetings:
Monday 29th November 2021 at 4pm, the agenda items;
· 2021-22 Service Plan Mid-Year Review for:
- Regeneration Investment and Housing
- City Services
Monday 13th December 2021 at 4pm, the agenda items;
· Economic Growth Strategy and Economic Recovery Plan – Recommendations Monitoring