Agenda and minutes

Service Delivery Overview & Scrutiny Panel - Wednesday, 1st March, 2023 6.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Moorlands House, Leek

Contact: Sally Hampton - Democratic Services Officer  Tel: 01538 395429 Email:


Webcast: View the webcast

No. Item


Notification of Substitute Members, if any.

Additional documents:


Councillor Z. Routledge acted a substitute for Councillor Plimley.


To approve the Minutes of the Previous Meeting. pdf icon PDF 254 KB

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That the minutes of the meeting held on 25 January 2023 be approved.



Declaration of Interests:-

·         Disclosable Pecuniary Interests

·         Other Interests

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There were no declarations of interests made.


Work Programme pdf icon PDF 25 KB

Any additional items to be added to the Work Programme:

·         Chair’s Items

·         Members’ Items

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It was requested that a Housing Growth Strategy be added to the work programme.


Parkwood Annual Performance Update - Francois Smit, Regional Director & Ian Sales, Contract Manager pdf icon PDF 2 MB

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The Panel received a the annual performance update from the Regional Director and Contract Manager of Lex Leisure.  This included contract highlights, membership levels, swim school growth, customer feedback, maintenance/capital investment, carbon reduction, support for the Council’s Move More Strategy, grounds maintenance projects, recovery from Covid and utility cost increases.  Panel members raised issues relating to pay increases for freelance workers (further details would be provided), maintenance of bowling greens and deterrents for anti-social behaviour, levels of access for public swimming, possible use of dual use methods to increase capacity.




That the update be noted.


SMDC Renters Reform Bill - Head of Housing Services pdf icon PDF 220 KB

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The Panel received a briefing on the Renters Reform Bill that sought to remove so-called ‘no fault evictions’ in the private rental sector, creating increased security for those choosing this tenure option.  It further sought to address maintenance and quality of maintenance within the sector, brining standards in line with those of social housing.


Panel members raised issues relating to the potential for tenants to be evicted before the enactment of the legislation, issues with regards to the supply of affordable housing and powers of enforcement in the private rented sector.




That the content of the report be noted.



SMDC Homelessness Review & Strategy - Head of Housing Services pdf icon PDF 226 KB

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The report advise the Panel in relation to the Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Strategy 2023- 2027 and sought approval to undertake consultation. The Housing Act 1996 (as amended) placed a statutory duty on local authorities to undertake a review of homelessness and use those findings to develop a Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Strategy. The review identified local trends and challenges to inform priorities and actions within the strategy, which set out a proactive partnership approach to address and prevent homelessness.


Members discussed issues relating to domestic violence, the costs related to rough sleeping, the supply of affordable housing connected to the strategy and difficulties in delivering such homes as part of planning permission conditions.




That the contents of the report be noted and that Cabinet be recommended to approve consultation (Appendix C) in connection with the Homelessness Review (Appendix A) and Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Strategy 2023- 2027 (Appendix B).



Questions to Portfolio Holders, if any. pdf icon PDF 128 KB

(At least two clear days notice required, in writing, to the Proper Officer in accordance with Procedure Rule 15).



Additional documents:


Q1. Received from Cllr Proudlove


“What plans do the SMDC regeneration team have to engage with Biddulph members and Biddulph Town Council to develop a programme of projects and initiatives for Biddulph in order to capitalise on any future funding opportunities?”


Response from the Portfolio Holder for Tourism


“We value the working relationship we have we all our communities and the regeneration team work across the whole of the Staffordshire Moorlands area to ensure opportunities can be accessed by all.


You will remember that we were successful in securing over £3m though UK Shared Prosperity Fund Staffordshire Moorlands. The funding will support a wide range of interventions as set out in the Investment Plan for the District and I’m thrilled to confirm that this includes investment in capacity building and infrastructure support.  


Through this funding, we aim to grow the local social economy, including for community businesses, cooperatives and social enterprises, including the creation of jobs within the sector.  With the funding, the Regeneration Team will bring on board a competent social enterprise support provider to work with existing community businesses in Staffordshire Moorlands to provide advice on their growth and business planning. This will involve assisting them with the development of a business case to apply for a grant from the Staffordshire Moorlands UKSPF which must create new jobs and safeguard existing jobs within the organisation.


In addition to opportunities within the UK Shared Prosperity Fund we support our Towns and Parish Councils through the Parish Forum work.”


In response to supplementary questions the Portfolio Holder would reply with regards to officers time spent on the Levelling Up Fund bid and that a meeting would take place at Biddulph Town Hall on 15 March with regards to the UKSPF, the rural fund and the Outside initiative.  The review of strategic land holdings would include options for the delivery of affordable housing.



Q2. Received from Cllr Swindlehurst


“Reflecting on the agreed Tourism Strategy, alongside the need to maintain our day-to-day business efficiently and effectively, does the Council have an agreed operational plan to deliver this transformation?”


Response from the Portfolio Holder for Tourism


“I’m delighted that the Tourism Strategy was approved at Cabinet in February. The Strategy was developed with support from key partners and stakeholders and will help to ensure Staffordshire Moorlands is recognised for all it has to offer tourists and visitors; including market towns and villages, ancient river valleys, canals and reservoirs as well as the Alton Towers Resort.


We want that commitment to collaboration to continue so an important action identified within the Strategy is to establish a Tourism Partnership Forum. This will bring together key organisations involved in the Staffordshire Moorland’s visitor economy to oversee progress against the key objectives and actions set out in the Strategy.  The focus of the Forum will be to align priorities, programmes and activities, identify and take opportunities to enhance and build on what each organisation is doing and potentially establish new collaborations or projects which cut across  ...  view the full minutes text for item 51.