Agenda and draft minutes

Place and Resources Scrutiny Committee - Thursday, 28th March, 2024 10.00 am

Venue: Council Chamber, County Hall, Dorchester, DT1 1XJ. View directions

Contact: Lindsey Watson  01305 252209 / Email:


No. Item


Minutes pdf icon PDF 220 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 26 February 2024.


The minutes of the meeting held on 26 February 2024 were agreed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.


Declarations of interest

To disclose any pecuniary, other registrable or non-registrable interests as set out in the adopted Code of Conduct. In making their disclosure councillors are asked to state the agenda item, the nature of the interest and any action they propose to take as part of their declaration.


If required, further advice should be sought from the Monitoring Officer in advance of the meeting.


There were no declarations of interest.


Chairman's Update pdf icon PDF 97 KB

To receive any updates from the Chairman of the Place and Resources Scrutiny Committee.


At the request of the Chairman, the committee received an update in respect of ‘Road/Streetworks, Traffic Management and Reinstatement’, provided by the Traffic Team Leader.


Councillors noted the issues arising from the briefing note and during discussion, points were considered in the following areas:


·       Repairs to grassed/verge areas after works and the need to raise awareness amongst councillors of the role of highways inspectors in this area

·       There was regular communication between the Council and Hampshire County Council on highways issues including damage to verges by lorries

·       Regular public communications were undertaken in respect of road works

·       Work undertaken with partner organisations e.g. utility companies, with regard to their works on the highway

·       Further information requested on financial penalties associated with the permit scheme

·       How issues and complaints about road works could be raised

·       Inspections undertaken to ensure the quality of reinstatements following works

·       There was a role for ward councillors to report any issues in their area

·       Further information would be provided to all councillors in the new Council term.


Public Participation

Representatives of town or parish councils and members of the public who live, work, or represent an organisation within the Dorset Council area are welcome to submit either 1 question or 1 statement for each meeting.  You are welcome to attend the meeting in person or via MS Teams to read out your question and to receive the response.   If you submit a statement for the committee this will be circulated to all members of the committee in advance of the meeting as a supplement to the agenda and appended to the minutes for the formal record but will not be read out at the meeting. The first 8 questions and the first 8 statements received from members of the public or organisations for each meeting will be accepted on a first come first served basis in accordance with the deadline set out below.  Further information read Public Participation - Dorset Council


All submissions must be emailed in full to  by 8.30am on 25 March 2024.


When submitting your question or statement please note that:


         You can submit 1 question or 1 statement.

         a question may include a short pre-amble to set the context.

         It must be a single question and any sub-divided questions will not be permitted.

         Each question will consist of no more than 450 words, and you will be given up to 3 minutes to present your question.

         when submitting a question please indicate who the question is for (e.g., the name of the committee or Portfolio Holder)

         Include your name, address, and contact details.  Only your name will be published but we may need your other details to contact you about your question or statement in advance of the meeting.

         questions and statements received in line with the council’s rules for public participation will be published as a supplement to the agenda.

         all questions, statements and responses will be published in full within the minutes of the meeting.


There were no questions or statements from members of the public or local organisations.


Questions from Councillors

To receive questions submitted by councillors.  


Councillors can submit up to two valid questions at each meeting and sub divided questions count towards this total.   Questions and statements received will be published as a supplement to the agenda and all questions, statements and responses will be published in full within the minutes of the meeting. 


The submissions must be emailed in full to by 8.30am on 25 March 2024.


Dorset Council Constitution – Procedure Rule 13


There were no questions from councillors.


Planning Convergence and Transformation pdf icon PDF 666 KB

To consider a report of the Head of Planning.


The committee received and considered a report of the Head of Planning, which provided an overview of the 5-year planning convergence and transformation programme, designed to help shape and support the restructure of planning following the transitional arrangements put in place as part of Local Government Reorganisation.


For openness and for the public record, a number of councillors stated that they were members of planning committees as follows; Cllr S Bartlett – Strategic and Technical Planning Committee, Eastern Area Planning Committee and Local Plan Executive Advisory Panel; Cllr J Andrews - Northern Area Planning Committee; Cllr B Heatley - Northern Area Planning Committee; Cllr D Tooke – Strategic and Technical Planning Committee, Eastern Area Planning Committee and involvement with planning at parish council level.


Councillors considered the issues arising from the report and during discussion the following areas were covered:


·       The importance of appropriate communications with residents, councillors and town and parish councils relating to enforcement activities

·       Opportunities for improvements to reporting from bringing together systems

·       A discussion on progress with the emerging Local Plan, the status of former councils’ legacy plans and awaited Government guidance. It was noted that there was a need to progress at pace whilst taking into account consultation responses and new legislation and guidance

·       Resourcing issues including reducing the dependency on use of agency staff and opportunities for apprenticeships. Resilience had been built across teams and this was supported by the new systems in place

·       Detail of the service-wide change group put in place to build a one-team approach and wider engagement taking place, including with external partners

·       Further information could be provided on the uptake of pre-application advice. This could be monitored through the performance dashboard

·       Timescales for the audit work related to planning enforcement and the potential role for the committee for review in this area

·       Budget available for the convergence and transformation programme.


At the conclusion of the discussion, a summary of key points arising was provided and further action points noted as follows:


·       It was noted that there were opportunities for improved reporting from bringing planning systems together

·       There was a need to continue to improve key communications around enforcement for residents, councillors and town and parish councils

·       Further information to be provided to committee members on uptake of pre-application advice. The committee could continue to monitor uptake through the performance dashboard

·       There was a future role for councillors in the work towards the review of the enforcement policy and a request for a regular report to the scrutiny committee in relation to enforcement issues

·       Information to be provided to all councillors as part of the post-election induction programme on progress with the emerging local plan and status of legacy plans and the alignment with the national planning policy framework. In addition, a briefing note to be provided to the committee.


The Chairman thanked the planning team for their work undertaken in this area.


Performance Scrutiny

A review of the relevant Dorset Council performance dashboard to inform the scrutiny committee’s work programme and identify items for deep dives.


The following link is the dashboard for the committee:


Place and Resources Scrutiny Committee dashboard


Operational – Corporate: Councillors Piers Brown, Barry Goringe and David Shortell.


Operational – Place: Councillors David Tooke and Jon Andrews.


HR: Councillors Rod Adkins, Andy Canning, Brian Heatley and Bill Trite.


The Chairman, Councillor Shane Bartlett, maintains an overview of all the above areas.


The committee considered the performance dashboard and highlighted some areas of interest. These included:


·       Staff sickness levels were being monitored and work undertaken with HR Business Partners on the metrics being used. Some trends were improving and it was noted that target levels may require review

·       There was a request for a future report to the committee on benchmarking data associated with staff turnover levels

·       There was a need to review targets set in some areas to allow for more flexibility. The committee asked for Legal to reconsider the current target associated with land charges – this would be picked up by the Service Manager for Business Intelligence and Performance

·       The format and display of the dashboard was currently being reviewed.


Place and Resources Scrutiny Committee Work Programme pdf icon PDF 133 KB

To review the draft Place and Resources Scrutiny Committee work programme.


Councillors noted the draft work programme for the committee for 2024/25.


Executive Arrangements Forward Plans pdf icon PDF 164 KB

To consider the Executive arrangement draft forward plans.


Forward Plans are provided to members of the Place and Resources Scrutiny Committee to review and identify any potential post decision scrutiny to be undertaken, by scheduling items into the work programme to review after a period of implementation.

Additional documents:


Councillors considered the Cabinet Forward Plan, which the committee could use to identify potential areas for post decision review.


In addition, the committee noted the forward plan for the Shareholder Committee for Care Dorset Ltd and the Shareholder Committee for the Dorset Centre of Excellence.


Urgent items

To consider any items of business which the Chairman has had prior notification and considers to be urgent pursuant to section 100B (4) b) of the Local Government Act 1972. The reason for the urgency shall be recorded in the minutes.


There were no urgent items.


Exempt Business

To move the exclusion of the press and the public for the following item in view of the likely disclosure of exempt information within the meaning of paragraph x of schedule 12 A to the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended). The public and the press will be asked to leave the meeting whilst the item of business is considered.  


There are no exempt items scheduled for this meeting.


There was no exempt business.

Chairman's closing remarks

In closing the meeting, the Chairman thanked the committee for their participation and input into the committee during the Council term and in addition, thanked all officers who had attended and supported the committee.