Agenda and minutes

Venue: Three Counties Hotel, Belmont Road, Belmont, Hereford, HR2 7BP

Contact: Ben Baugh, Democratic Services 

Link: Watch this meeting on the Herefordshire Council YouTube Channel

No. Item

Messages of appreciation

On behalf of the committee, the chairperson expressed his gratitude to Councillors Hewitt and Matthews for their crucial roles and contributions on the committee in recent years; Councillors Bowen and Summers were welcomed as new members of the committee.  The chairperson also asked that the thanks of the committee be sent to Tim Brown, the former clerk who had retired recently, for his long service and fantastic job in supporting the committee.


Apologies for absence

To receive apologies for absence.


Apologies for absence had been received from committee member Councillor Sebastian Bowen.


Named substitutes

To receive details of any member nominated to attend the meeting in place of a member of the committee.


No named substitutes were present.


Declarations of interest

To receive any declarations of interests in respect of schedule 1, schedule 2 or other interests from members of the committee in respect of items on the agenda.


Councillor Summers declared an ‘other’ interest in agenda item 7, Herefordshire Council’s response to the covid pandemic, due to attendance at meetings of the Covid 19 engagement working group.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 218 KB

To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 26 April 2021.


The minutes of the meeting held on 26 April 2021 were received.


Resolved:      That the minutes of the meeting held on 26 April 2021 be approved as a correct record and be signed by the chairperson.


Questions from members of the public

To receive any written questions from members of the public.


No questions had been received from members of the public.


Questions from councillors pdf icon PDF 174 KB

To receive any written questions from councillors.


A question received from a councillor in advance of the meeting and the response is attached as appendix 1 to these minutes.


Herefordshire Council’s response to the covid pandemic pdf icon PDF 390 KB

To advise scrutiny on the work undertaken and the lessons learned from the response to the pandemic.

Additional documents:


In accordance with paragraph 4.2.13 (b) of the Council’s constitution, the chairperson considered that this item should be discussed at this meeting as a matter of urgency to provide the committee with the opportunity to consider how well the council had performed during the pandemic.


The chairperson noted that the Covid situation was unprecedented and had caused huge problems but the council and its officers had done a good job in reacting to the challenging circumstances.  Nevertheless, this was an opportunity to reflect upon lessons learned for the council and its partners.


The solicitor the council introduced the report by commenting that: this was an emergency that had never been encountered by the council before; officers had responded positively and collaboratively, working as a single organisation; to capture the position, the report had been informed by many people and it was acknowledged that it may appear disjointed in parts; decisions had to be made which had never been made before; the situation had been managed through a gold and silver command structure; and the local resilience forum had recently decided that the situation was no longer an emergency and public bodies were entering a recovery phase.


Questions and comments were invited from committee members and responses were provided by attending officers, the principal topics included:


1.           The effectiveness of the Covid 19 engagement working group.


2.           The accessibility and visibility of mental health resources and support, including for members of staff and care workers.


3.           The need to capture issues that could have been handled better or where more could have been done.


4.           The involvement of subject matter experts and people with lived experiences in the co-design and co-production of service areas.


5.           The Talk Community response which provided a coordinated support offer for vulnerable residents and the plans to support different areas of the recovery.


6.           The rapid transformation to deliver services in different ways and provide wellbeing support.


7.           The need to consider the lessons learned from the operation of the gold and silver crisis management methodology.


8.           The identification of clinically extremely vulnerable people and communication issues with this cohort.


9.           The coordination of information on the multiple sources of national and local support for schools and the development of initiatives to support the welfare of pupils.


10.        The effectiveness of relationships between local, regional and national bodies, including issues with communications between government and the council in terms of the application of the tier system.


11.        The local decision to procure sufficient stocks of personal protective equipment (PPE) in advance of national guidance, avoiding subsequent shortages and potentially saving lives.


12.        The need to explore and understand the experiences of residents and other stakeholders.


13.        The importance of gathering key metrics, such as infection rates and care home deaths, in order to obtain a whole picture of how well the Herefordshire system performed.


14.        How changing guidance from different departments of government, often involving short timescales, had been handled by partners locally and regionally.


15.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.


Committee work programme pdf icon PDF 238 KB

To consider the committee’s work programme.

Additional documents:


Attention was drawn to the work programme included in the agenda (appendix 1, agenda pages 21-23).


It was reported that the following would be presented to the next meeting: the scoping statement for the task and finish group on litter; and the executive responses to the committee’s further recommendations in respect of the waste management strategic review and the review of the climate and ecological emergency.


The terms of reference and the membership of the standing panel on the climate and ecological emergency (as set out on agenda page 17) were agreed.


It was noted that the committee had requested an item to be brought forward on the New Model Institute for Technology and Engineering (NMITE) and it was clarified that the committee would wish to consider updates on all the council’s activity with NMITE, including the situation with funding and with estate matters.






a)      the work programme as set out at appendix 1 to the report be approved; and


b)      the terms of reference for the standing panel on the climate and ecological emergency, as set out at paragraph 15 of the report, and the membership be approved, and the chairperson be elected by the membership of the panel from their number.


Date of next meeting

Monday 12 July 2021, 10.15 am


The next scheduled meeting was to be held on Monday 12 July 2021 at 10.15 am.