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Postal Address

Shropshire Council
Abbey Foregate

Agenda and minutes


Contact: Julie Fildes  Committee Officer


No. Item


Apologies for Absence and Substitutions


No apologies were received.


Disclosable Pecuniary Interests

Members are reminded that they must not participate in the discussion or voting on any matter in which they have a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest and should leave the room prior to the commencement of the debate.



None were declared.


Minutes of the meetings held on 29 January 2020 and 11 February 2020 pdf icon PDF 237 KB

To consider the Minutes of the Performance Management Scrutiny Committee meeting held on 29th January 2020 and 11 February 2020.

Additional documents:


RESOLVED: that the minutes of the meetings held on 29th January and 11th February 2020 be approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair.


Public Question Time

To receive any questions, statements or petitions from the public of which members of the public have given notice.  Deadline for notification for this meeting is 2pm on Monday 18th May 2020.


There were no public questions.


Member Question Time pdf icon PDF 360 KB

To receive any questions of which members of the Council have given notice.  Deadline for notification for this meeting is 4.30pm on Friday 15th May 2020.


The Chair advised that three Member questions had been received.  A copy of the report containing the detailed questions and their formal response is attached to the signed minutes.


i)     Received from Councillor R Evans in relation to the Financial Outturn report and the Recovery Plan being formulated in response to the pandemic. By way of a supplementary question Councillor Evans asked for confirmation that community leaders would be included in the development of recovery plans for town centres.  The Acting Interim Chief Executive, Andy Begley, confirmed that this was already included in the process.


ii)    Received from Councillor R Evans in relation to the media report that the Government proposed to pass responsibility for care homes to local authorities and the responsibilities this would impose on the Authority.  By way of a supplementary question, Councillor Evans asked whether the report on Radio Shropshire that the Government had requested that £4.6m of the Covid-19 additional funding allocation would be transferred to the Care homes to meet additional expenditure.  The Acting Interim Chief Executive, Andy Begley, responded that the Council was receiving regular guidance from Government on how the additional funds should be distributed.  This advice was changing rapidly but the current requirement was for an allocation to be made to each care home based on the bed numbers.  The precise amount of funding had not yet been advised.


iii)   Received from Councillor R Evans in relation to the pandemic’s impact on school budgets and provision for additional expenditure to meet extraordinary costs.  By way of a supplementary question, Councillor Evans asked if information on the amount of additional funding would be available to schools in time for their budget setting at the end of June.  The Acting Interim Chief Executive, Karen Bradshaw, responded that this information had not been released by the Department of Education and the Council continued to press its representatives for it.  She continued that the Council was working closely with schools and offering support and advice where required.



Covid-19 Supporting Communities and Community Response pdf icon PDF 457 KB

To receive a report from the Overview and Scrutiny Officer. [Report to follow]


Contact Danial Webb    Tel. 01743 258509


The Acting Interim Chief Executive, Karen Bradshaw introduced the report, outlining the rapid response to the Covid-19 pandemic in the County.  She referred Members to section 4.2 of the report which detailed the activities and interventions undertaken since the start of the crisis.  Member noted that the Council had been recognised as a beacon of national good practice for its policy relating to providing accommodation and subsistence for the homeless in the county.  Members noted that the Council was supporting the tremendous work of 539 community groups through the provision of funding and training.


In response to a Member’s query on the identification of need in rural areas, the Health and Wellbeing Co-ordinator added that there were 189 identified grass root community groups supporting rural areas. She continued that some of the groups were struggling with the volume of calls for support and in these cases the Council was filling the gaps. The groups had been provided with the information they required to support people in their areas, with the emphasis on the provision of food.  Food boxes had been distributed to residents required to shield as part of the National initiative and work was being undertaken with schools to identify families in receipt of free school meals and ensure that those families received provisions.  Grant funding had been allocated to the Food Poverty Alliance to support the increase in demand for the services of food banks.  She continued that it was recognised that there were more people in need and a list using various sources was being complied in cooperation with other recognised stake holders, such as Housing Associations, to ensure that everyone with unmet need was identified and offered assistance.


The Director of Public Health added that this identification process of those with unmet needs involved complex data sets and included residents with both social and clinical needs.  Members noted that a Power BI tool was being developed to show the location of volunteers so that they could be accessed by those who needed their assistance.  The Health and Wellbeing Officer confirmed that it was available on the intranet but required more work before it was easily accessible on the intranet. 


A Member observed that she had received mixed responses to requests for assistance for residents.  The Acting Interim Chief Executive agreed that there had been inconsistences in response in the early days of the crisis as processes were being developed and established.  She continued that this had now been resolved as staff found routes to assist residents and the establishment of the dedicated Covid-19 response line. The Wellbeing Coordinator agreed to resend information to Members on the routes available to the community for support.


In reply to a Member’s question, the Acting Interim Chief Executive, Andy Begley, confirmed that accommodation had been found for rough sleepers and homeless people in the County, and meals were being provided for those placed in accommodation without access to cooking facilities. He added that the Council faced the challenge of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 65.


Signs and Banners Task and Finish Group Final Report pdf icon PDF 478 KB

To consider the recommendations and findings of the Signs and Banners Task and Finish Group. [Report attached]


Contact  Danial Webb    Tel 01743 258509


The Chair of the Signs and Banners Task and Finish Group, Councillor Joyce Barrow, introduced the final report.  Members noted that the group had considered a variety of street advertising types and related permits and had taken evidence from a wide range of people.  The Chair of the Task and Finish Group stated that although she felt the group had produced a comprehensive report it had been completed before the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic and therefore she suggested that the recommendations of the group should be postponed until the crisis was over.


Councillor Andy Boddington was invited to speak. He observed that a policy for A boards was overdue and suggested that an effective policy should be in place before the recommendations were considered by Cabinet.  He continued that the recommendations in the report appertaining the introduction of charges were not supported by a relevant policy.  In the light of this, he suggested that the Task and Finish Group had not completed its work and it was unrealistic to delay the implication of charges for a further year to enable the policy to be developed. 


Councillor Boddington continued that the implementation of charges for A boards were an unfair tax on businesses in Ludlow and the Task and Finish Group had not taken into account the unique circumstances of the town.  Observing that A boards should add to the appearance of the street without creating clutter, it was important that traders had a clear understanding of what was expected of them in a difficult time for businesses.


Members responded that the report had not specified the type or positioning of A boards as this was felt to be a decision for individual Town and Parish Councils to suit their location, but the group had discussed concerns relating the proliferation of boards and the impact this had for less able pedestrians and the appearance of town centres.


Members concurred that the groups recommendations on charging should not be considered until the Covid-19 crisis was over and businesses were on a better financial footing and enforcement realistic.  The Scrutiny Officer observed that the charging recommended in the report was based on the area taken up by the sign. 


In response to a Members question regarding the policy for A boards in rural areas, the Chair of the Task and Finish Group observed that most A boards in rural areas were placed within the curtilage of the property and were situated on private land.  The recommendations only appertained to signage placed on public land. 


The Portfolio Holder for Communities, Place Planning and Regulatory Services stated that he welcomed the Task and Finish Groups report and acknowledged that the work had been undertaken before the start of the pandemic.  He continued that Economic Development Officers were working with traders to develop a raft of measures to assist their businesses through the Covid-19 crisis.  New policies could not be fairly implemented until a sense of how town centres would appear after the pandemic.  He  ...  view the full minutes text for item 66.


Future Work Programme pdf icon PDF 562 KB

To consider the future work programme of the Committee.  [Report to follow]


Contact  Danial Webb   Tel 01743 258509


The Future Work Programme report was introduced by the Scrutiny Officer, who outlined the changes to the Scrutiny Committees due to the new working practices imposed by the Covid-19 crisis and the need to establish Task and Finish Groups to undertake significant scrutiny work.


Members noted that the impact of the Covid-19 crisis on schools should be added to the work programme.


A Member proposed that Climate Change was another important topic that was in danger of being lost due to overriding concerns of the pandemic.  He suggested that the Committee should consider the Council’s response to the climate emergency and its development of an Action plan.


The development of the Local Transport Plan was also suggested as a work programme item.  The Scrutiny Officer responded that it was unlikely that the Local Transport Plan would be available for consideration before the end of the current year and suggested that the Road Safety Task and Finish Group may be minded to widen its remit to look at other road safety issues and road usage. 


The Chair advised that limited time was available for meetings and it was anticipated that only two substantial items would be placed before the Committee for consideration at each meeting. 



That the impact of the Covid-19 crisis on schools, and the Quarter 4 Performance and Finance reports be considered by the Committee at its June meeting; and that Highways and Climate Change be considered by the Committee at its July meeting. 



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