Place Scrutiny Committee

Terms of reference

To consider cross-functional issues relating to Planning (except where specifically dealt with elsewhere), regeneration and development, transport, town centre business engagement, climate change, waste reduction, leisure, culture and museums. To monitor and challenge performance of the agreed targets for the Sustainable Community Strategy and the Local Area Agreement for those targets within its remits.

Membership

The Place Scrutiny Committee consists of 10 Members of the Council and is politically balanced to include seven Labour and three Conservative Members.

Ordinary meetings of Place Scrutiny Committee are held bi-monthly and are generally open to all members of the public to attend, except where an item is of a confidential nature. In addition to the ordinary meetings listed, special meetings of the Scrutiny Committee can be called.

Schedule of meetings

DateTimeVenueAgenda and papers
2 June 2016 9.30am Committee Room 1 View agenda and papers for this meeting (25/05/16)
1 September 2016 9:30am Committee Room 3 View agenda and papers for this meeting (24/08/16)
20 October 2016 9.30am Committee Room 3 View agenda and papers for this meeting (13/10/16)
15 December 2016 9.30am Committee Room 3 View agenda and papers for this meeting (08/12/16)
16 February 2017 9.30am Committee Room 3 View agenda and papers for this meeting (09/02/17)
6 April 2017 9.30am Committee Room 3 View agenda and papers for this meeting (30/03/17)

Schedule of special meetings

 DateTimeVenueAgenda and papers

 

Agendas for previous years can be found in Meeting Agendas, Minutes & Reports

Review groups

As part of the Committee's ongoing work and as a result of previous reviews and recommendations made to Cabinet, there have been a number of positive outcomes and improvements made to both service delivery and the facilities available to the people of Darlington.

The following Reviews have been undertaken by the former Environment Scrutiny Committee and former Economy and Environment Scrutiny Committee since 2001:

  • Highways MaintenanceThis Review Group was established to investigate how highway maintenance was programmed and prioritised and whether targets were being achieved in the light of increased resources available and the current arrangements for Statutory Undertakers taking into account Section 74 of the New Roads and Street Works Act which came into operation on 1 April 2001 with the objective of minimising the adverse effects of Statutory Undertakers works. Final Report of the Highways Maintenance Review Group [pdf document]
  • Play Areas for Disabled Children (Jointly with Social Affairs and Health Scrutiny Committee) - This Review was established, jointly with Social Affairs and Health Scrutiny Committee, to look at areas of best practice and the options available to the Council in developing an inclusive play facility for Darlington, this Review was influential in the development of a brand new inclusive play area, which was opened in North Lodge Park in August 2004.  It is hoped that the children of Darlington continue to enjoy these play facilities for many years to come. Final Report of the Play Areas for Disabled Children Review Group [pdf document]
  • European Directives (Jointly with Public Protection and Community Partnerships Scrutiny Committee)This Review was established, jointly with Public Protection and Community Partnerships Scrutiny Committee, to consider the European directives on the disposal of fridges and freezers, waste electronic and electrical equipment, waste tyres and 'end of life' vehicles. Final Report of the European Directives Review Group [pdf document]
  • Conservation - This Review was established to examine and investigate the existence of a Conservation Policy within this Authority and also sought to inform and educate agencies to engage the wider community about the extent of the Borough's architectural and historic assets.  It was also hoped to identify and make recommendations on gaps in public awareness of conservation within the Borough. Final Report of the Conservation Review Group [pdf document]
  • Street Signage and Furniture - This Task and Finish Review was established to assist the Best Value Review of Street Environment with issues relating to street furniture and signage.  Members undertook various inspections of the Town Centre and immediate surrounding area to assist with their information gathering exercise. Final Report of the Street Signage and Furniture Review Group [pdf document]
  • A167 North Road Corridor of Certainty - This Task and Finish Review was established at the request of the Cabinet Member with portfolio for Highways and Transport who requested the view of Environment Scrutiny Committee on the problems and issues which arose on a daily basis on the North Road Corridor. Final Report of the A167 North Road Corridor of Certainty Task and Finish Review Group [pdf document]
  • Tourism - This Review was established to investigate how the Council's Tourism Strategy could be improved in the light of regeneration.  Darlington has a great deal to offer as a historic market town but has been too modest in its effort in the past to establish its image. Final Report of the Tourism Review Group [pdf document]
  • Business Start-ups in Darlington - This Task and Finish Review was established to encourage local businesses to grow, investigate franchises and analyse how Darlington Borough Council could support new businesses.  After several meetings of the Group it was decided that the issue was too wide-ranging to consider as part of a Task and Finish Review and was deferred until the Environment Scrutiny Committee could give greater consideration to this Review once the main Review of Neglected Land was completed.
  • Derelict Land Sites - This Task and Finish Review was established to define dereliction and gain knowledge of any legal powers available to the Council and the public in dealing with the issue of derelict land within Wards classed as 'deprived'.  Following several meetings it was decided that this was too large and complex an issue to be dealt with under a Task and Finish Review Group. Final Report of the Derelict Land Sites Task and Finish Review Group [pdf document]
  • Gulley Cleaning (Jointly with Public Protection and Community Partnerships Scrutiny Committee) - This Task and Finish Review Group was established as a joint review with Public Protection and Community Partnerships Scrutiny Committee to investigate the gulley cleaning process and reporting process for blocked and/or flooded gulleys. Final Report of the Joint Review on Gulley Cleaning Task and Finish Review Group [pdf document]
  • Works of Art Purchasing - This Task and Finish Review Group was established to investigate financing the purchase of works of art for future generations, with particular attention to obtaining a budget and devising a purchasing policy on works of art.  As an audit of the Council's Works of Art Collection was to take place in April 2005 over a period of six months it was decided no further action on this Review be taken until the outcome of the audit was known. Final Report of the Works of  Art Purchasing Task and Finish Review Group [pdf document]
  • Neglected Land - This Review was established as a main review following the findings of the Derelict Land Task and Finish Review Group.
  • Financial Assistance to Business - This Review was established as a main review following the findings of the Business Start-ups in Darlington Review Group.
  • Grass Verges
  • Swimming Safety and Early Years Classes [pdf document]
  • Heritage Economic Regeneration Scheme (HERS)
  • Haughton Road Car Parking
  • Climate Change
  • Waste Minimisation - This Review was established to investigate ways of reducing and reusing waste across the Borough.
  • Report submitted to Cabinet of the Waste Minimisation Review Group [pdf document]
  • Final report of the Waste Minimisation Review Group [pdf document]
  • Development Control (formerly planning function) - This Review Group was established as a main review to address concerns raised regarding the performance of BVP109 which related to the speed of processing planning applications received by this Council.
  • Provision of the Arts - This Review Group was established to make a positive contribution to the Review of Cultural Services, the efficiency savings and new business models being examined.

The following reviews have been undertaken by Place Scrutiny Committee:

  • Speed Management Within the Borough of Darlington - This Review Group was established to seek a range of views as to the impact of 20 mph speed limits within the Borough. Final Report of the speed management within the Borough group [pdf document]
  • Medium Term Financial Plan
  • Provision of CCTV Within the Borough
  • Provision of Wheeled Bins within the Borough

The following are the reviews currently being undertaken by Place Scrutiny Committee:

  • Provision of Broadband
  • Cultural Provision
  • Refuse Collection
  • Markets Review