Agenda and minutes

Rural Overview and Scrutiny Committee
Wednesday, 23rd January, 2019 10.00 am

Venue: Studio 1, Guildhall Arts Centre, St. Peter's Hill, Grantham. NG31 6PZ

Contact: Anita Eckersley 

No. Item






Disclosure of Interests


Transformation and Innovation Report pdf icon PDF 338 KB

    Report of The Deputy Leader.


    The Deputy Leader referred to the Rural Overview and Scrutiny Committee’s request for more information on the transformational changes made to services as well as details of future innovation and transformation. The Deputy Leader was happy to provide the Committee with this information and noted he would welcome the opportunity to attend on a regular basis to keep the Committee informed especially on issues relating to rural areas. 


    The presentation provided details of the work completed so far to modernise the provision of Council services. He noted that the presentation would also outline the transformation plans for the future so the Council could continue to improve access and quality of service for customers. Reviews and the introduction of innovative ways of delivering each service would be undertaken to achieve this. The Council had to take on board technological advancements and different ways of working in order to transform and provide enhanced and accessible service delivery. 


    The Committee was informed of the achievements to date. These being, Training Centre Prototype, BoxEY Collaboration, the testing of live dashboards and analytic performance, the Lottery SK, agile IT rollout, the creation of a new Corporate Strategy and growth in online demand and social media. Reference was made to the five main transformation themes, Intelligent Automation, Digitisation, Predictive Analytics, Operational Improvements and Service Reviews and how these would be the basis for improving the delivery of services and customer interaction.


    In respect of intelligent automation, reference was made to customers using the green waste services and how the interaction with the Council was now more efficient due to improving online accessibility.


    Using digitisation was not about removing staff it was about enabling staff to have more time to provide a better quality service to customers and more time for those residents who preferred face to face interaction. 


    Predictive analytics provided an opportunity to collect and use data in a better way, for example in customer services, to identify patterns in customer attendance especially the busiest periods.  This would enable better planning and informed decision making in respect of arranging staff cover for the busiest periods. Operational improvements would be fed through a variety of strands one being the Lightbox team which had been established to work with ideas and encourage new ways of thinking. The Lightbox team would look at the information gathered and for potential ways of improving service delivery.


    Reference was made to the rapid assessments undertaken of over ninety processes across the majority of SKDC service areas. These assessments had identified four main areas and covered around 12 processes. These were Revenues and Benefits, Housing and Repairs, Development Management and Customer Services. Also identified during the assessment process were a number of non-financial benefits such as, improving customer service, security, greater accuracy, greater staff satisfaction, better data collection and a reduction in void times.


    The service reviews looked at current methods of delivery, technology, procurement practices and income generating opportunities. The fundamental processes used to date would be utilised when reviewing these  ...  view the full minutes text for item 29.


Bourne CiCle Festival

    To receive a presentation.


    The Head of Visitor Economy attended the meeting to provide the Committee with an overview of the forthcoming Bourne CiCLE Festival.  He explained that discussions had taken place within InvestSK on the feasibilities of organising more events throughout the District in order to raise the South Kesteven profile. The decision to base the event in and around Bourne had been based on the other three market towns already having an event supported by SKDC. Discussions had also taken place with Bourne Town Councillors whom, after consideration of several other events, fully support the CiCLE Event.


    The event itself would be centred in Bourne Town Centre but would extend across the wider surrounding rural areas of Bourne, bringing activity to neighbouring villages and the rural area.  It would take place over 2 days, 31 August and 1 September 2019 which had been set by British Cycling to fit in with their national calendar to minimise confliction with other events. The event would not be part of the national series due to the constraints imposed by a sponsorship deal British Cycling had. A decision had been taken to proceed outside the national series arrangement as it had the potential to open up other sponsorship opportunities.  British Cycling were keen to have a regional spread of events across the Country which should mean the restraints could be relaxed. With the potential for participation in the national series opportunities could be created for the visitor economy and bring in greater support along with television coverage.


    The weekend would comprise of professional ladies and men’s races, a Women’s Team Time Trial and a Sportive (keen amateurs) events. Running alongside this would be a range of cycling related activities as entertainment for general participation on the Wellhead Memorial Grounds, South Street, Bourne. The intention was for it to become an annual event that would attract a larger following and field year on year. The event would need to run for three years before it qualified as an international event. Should this happened it would elevate the event to a wider audience and attract international teams.


    The event had been presented to the nine UK principal cycling teams, eight of which had expressed an interest in attending. The start and finish for all the events would take place in West Street Bourne with the routes looping back through Bourne and the rural areas.  A number of activities in the town centre were planned for visitors whilst the peloton was touring the countryside.


    The Stamford Mercury, Grantham Journal, SK Today, Evolve, SKDC’s Parish Update and coverage on BBC Radio Lincolnshire and in the cycling press had provided considerable coverage of the weekend prior to the launch of the festival in November.  A detailed plan and leaflets had also been produced and distributed to raise the profile of the event along the route.  


    The leaflet had been produced by the organising team and dispatched across the district. Information had been sent to parish council clerks requesting that parish members  ...  view the full minutes text for item 30.


Update from the Armed Forces Officer pdf icon PDF 184 KB

    Report of the Rural Overview and Scrutiny Chairman.

    Additional documents:


    The Armed Forces Officer reminded the Committee of the promise from the nation in the Armed Forces Covenant to those who serve or who had served and their families which stated that “all would be done to ensure they were treated fairly and not disadvantaged in their day-to-day lives”. The Armed Forces Covenant relied on the people, communities, and businesses of the UK to actively support it in order to make a difference. In recognition of this South Kesteven District Council was considering the viability of joining other Council’s in offering an Armed Forces Discount Card.


    South Kesteven District Council was working with Rutland County Council and Harborough District Council to respond to this promise. The main aims of the scheme were to give something back in recognition of service, enable improved understanding and provide links to veterans and dispersed serving communities as well as increase footfall for businesses within the local community.


    Reference was made to the successfully launched discount scheme by Rutland County Council in 2017 for the serving population from the main barracks and who lived within their district. An extension to the scheme meant that membership would now be available to local veterans and the wider Armed Forces community such as reservists, dispersed personnel and widows living within their district. The extent of the discount or incentive available would be determined by the participating outlet.


    South Kesteven currently had one operational military base within the District, the Prince William of Gloucester Barracks in Grantham, but there were a number of serving personnel living within the district who served at military bases positioned outside the South Kesteven border. Lincolnshire also had a rich RAF heritage and South Kesteven had a significant veteran population. Data figures in 2015 showed that the district had in excess of 3,000 veterans in receipt of a military pension. There were also veterans within South Kesteven not receiving a military pension either due to ineligibility or not being old enough to claim their military pension. With this in mind, the veteran population could be estimated as in excess of 4,000.


    The proposal was to operate the scheme through an online application process providing assistance if required to complete the form either in an electronic format or hard copy where necessary.  Entry to the scheme would be marked by issuing a card that detailed the surname, service number and expiry date to minimise any data protection issues. The outlets in Rutland were easily identified as they clearly displayed a window sticker. It was proposed that South Kesteven District Council mirrored this approach. The Council would need to recruit business owners within the district to make the scheme work. The extent of the discount or incentive available would be determined by the participating outlet.


    Discussions about the potential scheme had taken place between the Armed Forces Officer and Steve Bowyer (CEO of InvestSK). It had been agreed that InvestsK would support the engagement process with local businesses and any other relevant connections.  A number  ...  view the full minutes text for item 31.


Update on the Loneliness Workshop


    The Business Knowledge and Innovation Officer reported that a Loneliness Workshop had provisionally been arranged for 30 January 2019.  An email had been sent to all Councillors inviting them to attend but there had only been a few responses.


    Action point:


    ·         That a follow-up email is sent out to Councillors reminding them of the Loneliness Workshop.


Action notes from the meeting held on 21 November 2018 pdf icon PDF 185 KB


Updates from the previous meeting


    A Member queried what work was being undertaken to prevent prisoners from being homeless and whether housing provision was available for them. It was noted that the Member would need to provide further information in order that the issue could be raised with the appropriate department.


Close of Meeting