of a meeting of the

Joint Scrutiny Committee


held on Thursday, 21 September 2023at 6.30 pm

at the Abbey House, Abbey Close, Abingdon OX14 3JE.



Open to the public, including the press

The meeting was streamed live on our YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0xhQRw1K8BE


Present in the meeting room:


South Oxfordshire District Councillors: Stefan Gawrysiak (co-chair), Alexandrine Kantor, Leigh Rawlins, Jo Robb and Ed Sadler

Vale of White Horse District Councillors: Katherine Foxhall (co-chair in the chair), Diana Lugova (sub), Lucy Edwards, Judy Roberts and Andrew Skinner

Cabinet members: Councillor Sue Cooper (South, Cabinet Member for Environment), Councillor Mark Coleman (Vale, Cabinet Member for Environmental Services and Waste), Councillor Debra Dewhurst (Vale, Cabinet Member for Leisure Centres and Community Buildings) and Councillor Maggie Filipova-Rivers (Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Community Wellbeing)


Officers: Adrianna Partridge (Deputy Chief Executive for Operations and Transformation), Andrew Busby (Head of Development and Corporate Landlord), Candida Basilio (Democratic Services Officer), Ben Whaymand (Leisure Facilities Team Leader) and Mark Foster (Property Assets Manager)


Guests: Gary Starkey and Kevin Williams from Greenwich Leisure Limited (GLL)


Members of the public: seven


Council members observing: Councillor Ian Snowdon


Remote attendance:

Council members observing: Council Leader Councillor Bethia Thomas, Councillor Ken Arlett

Officers: Patrick Arran (Head of Legal and Democratic), John Backley (Technical Services Manager)

Guests: Nigel Griffith, Saba








Sc.8   Apologies for absence


Councillor Andy Cooke sent his apologies, and Councillor Diana Lugova was in attendance as substitute committee member.

It was noted that Adrian Lear, Technical Projects Team Leader, and Andy Marr from Saba were unable to attend.




Sc.9   Urgent business and chair's announcements


There was no urgent business, but chair ran through some housekeeping matters.




Sc.10               Declaration of interests


No declarations were declared.




Sc.11               Minutes



The minutes of the Joint Scrutiny Committee meeting held on 10 July 2023 were agreed as a correct record and the co-chair shall sign them as such.


It was commented that it was hoped that the item discussed at the above meeting on the Integrated Care Board (BOB ICB) would be revisited in a year’s time.




Sc.12               Work schedule and dates for Joint scrutiny meetings



Committee noted the work programmes.




Sc.13               Public participation


Mr. Salmons addressed the committee, providing a statement on the withdrawn planning application for a maintenance depot site, which he objected to. He was thanked for his statement and provided with a response from the Head of Legal and Democratic, who explained the correct process would be the review of his recently submitted corporate complaint on this matter.




Sc.14               Performance review of Saba (car park operators) 2022-23


Cabinet Member for Environment (South), Councillor Sue Cooper, and Cabinet Member for Environmental Services and Waste (Vale), Councillor Mark Coleman, were present to introduce the report and answer any questions.

Officers supporting the item were Head of Development and Corporate Landlord, and the Technical Services Manager. Saba representative Nigel Griffin was present to answer questions.


Councillor Coleman gave an introduction to the report. The contract end was in three years’ time. In summary, overall performance was 97%, despite a few KPIs not meeting targets, and the Head of Development and Corporate Landlord considered that performance for the year 2022-23 should be rated ‘good’. Scrutiny were asked for any comments before the assessment was formalised.


Comments for officers and Cabinet members were as follows:


In summary, the chair stated that committee would like to see the following:



It was proposed that the committee was satisfied with the performance rating within the report of the Head of Development and Corporate Landlord for Saba contract performance during 2022-2023. Committee provided their comments which can be considered during contract negotiation and future service.






Sc.15               Performance review of Greenwich Leisure Limited (GLL) 2022-23



Cabinet Member for Leisure Centres and Community Buildings (Vale), Councillor Debra Dewhurst, and Cabinet Member for Community Wellbeing (South), Councillor Maggie Filipova-Rivers, were present to introduce the report and answer questions.

Supporting officers present were Leisure Facilities Team Leader, Property Assets Manager and Head of Development and Corporate Landlord. GLL representatives present were Gary Starkey and Kevin Williams.


Councillor Filipova-Rivers introduced the report. GLL had been contracted with since 2014. There were differences between South and Vale, but the contract was shared. The management fee had changed for South – a reduction was made due to the Covid support package - see paragraph ten of the report.

Contextually, the reporting year was a Covid recovery year, with impacts still being felt. Energy costs had been the newest development, with little government support (although a new funding scheme was being developed). Uncertainty was still an issue, but to the credit of both councils and the work of GLL, we had kept all services running for residents. The only exception was some tweaks to opening times when needed. Decarbonisation schemes were picking up momentum, which was positive, supported by successful funding bids and contributions. There was a strong relationship between council officers and GLL staff, which was based on check and challenge, with regular meetings held to challenge performance and have frank discussions about challenges to delivery.


Comments to officers and Cabinet members were as follows:


Members debated the need to reassess the customer satisfaction rating as a member made a proposal that the assessment made in the report should be revisited, considering the varying performance of individual centres (for example, reported complaints). It was explained that the current KPTs needed to be adhered to contractually, and it was how GLL were contracted to be assessed at present. Members then agreed that the assessment should remain as it was.



Committee accepted the performance rating in the report of the Head of Development and Corporate Landlord and provided the comments above. Committee would like officers and Cabinet members to work with GLL to:

1. Consider how we look at customer satisfaction as a whole, and

2. Provide a granular look at individual centres in future reporting, where the KPT can be appropriately broken down to that level. This would be for officers to decide the format and what was achievable.








The meeting closed at 8.24 pm