Agenda and draft minutes

Overview and Scrutiny Committee
Friday, 26 April 2019 11.00 a.m.

Venue: Bindloss Room, Kendal Town Hall. View directions

Contact: Committee Services 

Items
No. Item

O&S/66

Minutes pdf icon PDF 348 KB

To authorise the Chairman to sign, as a correct record, the minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 1 February 2019.

Minutes:

The Solicitor to the Council reported that the minutes accurately reflected the meeting.  However, reference on the day to the Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust not attending the meeting was incorrect, as it was the Clinical Commissioning Group which had been invited to the meeting in error and not the Trust from whom the presentation had been expected.  The Solicitor to the Council reported that she had discussed the matter with the Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust and had undertaken to provide clarification to the Committee at today’s meeting.

 

RESOLVED – That the Chairman be authorised to sign, as a correct record, the minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 1 February 2019.

O&S/67

Declarations of Interest

To receive declarations by Members of interests in respect of items on this Agenda.

 

Members are reminded that, in accordance with the revised Code of Conduct, they are required to declare any disclosable pecuniary interests or other registrable interests which have not already been declared in the Council’s Register of Interests.  (It is a criminal offence not to declare a disclosable pecuniary interest either in the Register or at the meeting.)

 

Members may, however, also decide, in the interests of clarity and transparency, to declare at this point in the meeting, any such disclosable pecuniary interests which they have already declared in the Register, as well as any other registrable or other interests.

 

If a Member requires advice on any item involving a possible declaration of interest which could affect his/her ability to speak and/or vote, he/she is advised to contact the Monitoring Officer at least 24 hours in advance of the meeting.

Minutes:

RESOLVED – That it be noted that no declarations of interest were raised.

O&S/68

Declaration of the Party Whip

In accordance with Rule 17 of the Overview and Scrutiny Procedure Rules, any Member who is subject to a party whip on any item must declare the existence and nature of the whip.

Minutes:

RESOLVED – That it be noted that no declarations of the party whip were raised.

O&S/69

Local Government Act 1972 - Excluded Items

To consider whether the items, if any, in Part II of the Agenda should be considered in the presence of the press and public.

Minutes:

RESOLVED – That it be noted that there are no excluded items on the Agenda.

O&S/70

Public Participation

Any member of the public who wishes to ask a question, make representations or present a deputation or petition at this meeting should apply to do so by no later than 0:01am (one minute past midnight) two working days before the meeting.  Information on how to make the application can be obtained by viewing the Council’s Website www.southlakeland.gov.uk or by contacting the Committee Services Team on 01539 733333.

 

(1)        Questions and Representations

 

To receive any questions or representations which have been received from members of the public.

 

(2)        Deputations and Petitions

 

To receive any deputations or petitions which have been received from members of the public.

Minutes:

RESOLVED – That it be noted that no questions, representations, deputations or petitions have been received in respect of this meeting.

O&S/71

Council Plan Performance Monitoring Quarter 4 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 260 KB

To monitor progress against the measures of success as detailed within the current Council Plan and to consider any recommendations to be made to Cabinet.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Leader and Promoting South Lakeland Portfolio Holder presented the fourth quarter Council Plan Performance Monitoring Report 2018/19 which set out the Council Plan Priorities and Measures of Success.  The measures listed, details of which were set out within the report, were showing very good performance and demonstrated that South Lakeland was a very desirable place to live, work and explore.

 

The report also included the latest Strategic Risk Register.  Out of a total number of 15 risks, six were currently above the Council’s tolerance but were, however, being managed effectively.

 

In presenting the report, the Leader and Promoting South Lakeland Portfolio Holder thanked the Chairman and Members of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee for their service during 2018/19, stressing the importance of the Committee’s input into the activities of the Council.  He further wished to put on record thanks to the Chief Executive and officers for the achievements reached throughout the year, highlighting in particular work in relation to the provision of affordable housing, addressing Climate Change poverty, improvements to playgrounds, the provision of “Changing Places” toilets and promoting growth in the economy of South Lakeland.

 

Reference was made to and thanks expressed for the production and publication of a poster by the Council aiming to assist in the reduction of air pollution through turning off idling vehicle engines and it was suggested that more should be done to encourage people in this regard.  The Leader and Promoting South Lakeland Portfolio Holder reminded Members that suggestions from Members were welcomed.  Members’ attention was also drawn to the fact that “Clean Air Day” was on 20 June 2019.

 

In response to a query regarding the area of economy and a request for details of where new jobs had been created, the Chief Executive explained that the Economic Development Team monitored job opportunities and tried to help businesses in order to support economic growth.  The Leader and Promoting South Lakeland Portfolio Holder undertook to arrange for Overview and Scrutiny Committee Members to be provided with written details.

 

Concern was raised with regard to housing and those businesses without staff accommodation experiencing staffing shortages due to a lack of accommodation within the area.  The Leader and Promoting South Lakeland Portfolio Holder explained that he was aware of the difficulties in the hospitality sector, however, drew attention to the implications caused by the current political uncertainties and the devaluation of sterling which were not helping.  Also, of particular concern were the difficulties faced by young people wishing to embark on self-build but unable to obtain mortgages due to restrictions relating to defined parts of national parks.  The Deputy Leader and Housing, People and Innovation Portfolio Holder informed Members that he had met with mortgage providers in this regard and undertook to arrange further meetings in order to establish what the barriers were.

 

The need was raised for additional employment sites within the area, particularly around Junction 36.  The Housing, People and Innovation Portfolio Holder explained that the Council was currently looking at the  ...  view the full minutes text for item O&S/71

O&S/72

Portfolio Holder Report - Health and Wellbeing pdf icon PDF 278 KB

To consider the annual report from the Health and Wellbeing Portfolio Holder on the progress made within the portfolio area and their plans for the future.

Minutes:

The Health and Wellbeing Portfolio Holder presented his annual report on progress made and plans for the future within the portfolio area, and highlighted a number of areas within his report.

 

The Health and Wellbeing Portfolio Holder highlighted a number of areas within the remit of his Portfolio.  He referred to the presentations due to be made later in the meeting by Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust and Morecambe Bay CCG, drawing attention to the wider determinants of health conditions, such as the environment and job creation.  He referred to the launch of the Council’s “fill up” scheme which encouraged people to re-fill plastic bottles with water rather than drinking fizzy drinks with high sugar content.  The Portfolio Holder talked about localism and was impressed by the commitment shown by parish councils.  He reminded the Committee that Cabinet Members were open to invitations to visit local communities.  The Portfolio Holder drew attention to the work being carried out by the Building Financial Resilience Group, adding that this was not a statutory duty but something which the Council chose itself to address.  He commended the LEAP scheme which had been launched to provide free energy advice to residents, aiming to help people to cut down on fuel bills.  The Portfolio Holder praised the work being carried out by foodbanks in the area and which had seen an increase in use of 18%.  The Portfolio Holder referred to the work of the Community Safety Partnership, highlighting the ATiC Project which consisted of interactive performances for schools on decision-making and critical thinking related to drugs and county lines.  The Portfolio Holder closed in commending the Health and Safety work which had been carried out with drivers at the depots to address reversing issues.

 

Clarification having been sought with regard to the issue of Devolution, the Chief Executive explained that a framework was expected from the Government in the near future, however, that this continued to be delayed due to other business.

 

Information was sought regarding the process for grants for Changing Places toilets, concern being expressed in relation to the need for an initial grant to carry out feasibility studies.  The Principal Community Spaces Officer informed Members that the feasibility studies needed to be carried out prior to the award of full grants in order to assist communities in drawing up full plans and to ensure that the projects could be completed, with the right facilities being provided in the right places.  The Chief Executive added that the £25,000 set aside for feasibility studies would ensure that the process was open to more communities and enable them to research the potential for deliverability.  The Leader and Promoting South Lakeland Portfolio Holder further pointed out that the Council may be able to consider requirements relating to increased costs where necessary.

 

Discussion took place with regard to the issue of fuel poverty and elderly, widowed homeowners on pensions who were unable to access financial support which was mainly aimed at those with disabilities.  The Health  ...  view the full minutes text for item O&S/72

O&S/73

Draft South Lakeland District Council Homelessness Strategy 2019 - 2024 pdf icon PDF 227 KB

To consider the draft South Lakeland District Council Homelessness Strategy 2019-2024 and make any comments for recommendation to Cabinet.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Deputy Leader and Housing, People and Innovation Portfolio Holder introduced the report, explaining that the 2002 Homelessness Act required local authorities to conduct a review of homelessness and following on from this to develop a homelessness strategy.  The purpose of the strategy was the prevention of homelessness, to secure sufficient accommodation for people who were or may become homeless and to secure the provision of support for those who were or may become homeless so that they did not become homeless again.

 

South Lakeland District Council had been working in partnership with a range of partners from the voluntary and statutory sectors to develop a Homelessness Strategy for the period 2019 - 2024.  As a first step, the Council had conducted a Review of homelessness in 2018, the findings of which had been considered by the South Lakeland Strategic Homelessness Group and details of which were set out at Appendix 2 of the Strategy.  The Strategic Homelessness Group was a multi-agency group chaired by the Portfolio Holder for Housing, People and Innovation.  A workshop had held on 4 December 2018 with relevant stakeholders to discuss the priorities arising from the Review and agree actions that could be taken forward into the Homelessness Strategy 2019 - 2024.  The key actions had been replicated within the Strategy’s Action Plan, at Appendix 1 to the Strategy, and the feedback from this Workshop was detailed within Appendix 3 of the draft Strategy.  This work had helped to shape the priorities in the new Strategy which were, in no particular order:-

 

·        homelessness prevention;

·        increasing the supply of settled accommodation;

·        ensuring appropriate support was available; and

·        tackling complex needs.

 

The priorities were framed within the overarching priority of partnership working, as it was recognised that homelessness was not an issue that could be addressed by a single organisation.  However, the Council could work together with other statutory and third sector organisations to help achieve these priorities.  The Strategic Homelessness Group provided a mechanism to embed partnership working with other partners, such as Cumbria County Council, who had a duty to assist in the development of the Homelessness Strategy and were represented on the Group.  Developing commitment to collaboration should be strengthened by the recent adoption of the Cumbria Public Health Strategy which recognised the contribution that access to housing and preventing homelessness had in promoting health.

 

The draft South Lakeland District Council Homelessness Strategy 2019 – 2024 had subsequently been developed and was attached as Appendix 1 to the report.  Following consideration by Overview and Scrutiny Committee any necessary amendments would be incorporated before it was considered by Cabinet on 5 June 2019.

 

The Action Plan needed to be updated on an annual basis and would be reported to the Housing Advisory Group and Strategic Homelessness Group as stipulated in the Strategy, before being signed off by the Director of Customer and Commercial Services.  Updated Action Plans needed then to be sent to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.

 

Details in relation to  ...  view the full minutes text for item O&S/73

O&S/74

Parks and Open Spaces Strategy pdf icon PDF 279 KB

To consider the draft Parks and Open Spaces Strategy and make any comments for recommendation to Cabinet.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Environment Portfolio Holder introduced a report informing Members that the Parks and Open Spaces Strategy 2019-2019 was a ten year document which had been developed to provide a direction for the management and development of the Council’s parks and open spaces.

 

The Principal Community Spaces Officer, together with the Green Spaces Officer, presented the report.  The District’s parks and open spaces were critical elements of its green infrastructure network which delivered benefits in terms of meeting recreation needs, delivering health and well-being benefits for all ages, reducing pollution, encouraging social interaction, creating biodiversity networks and creating opportunities for active travel.  Parks and open spaces were also fundamental to the character of the Council’s places and the quality of life it offered to existing and future residents.

 

The vision for SLDC’s parks and open spaces was, “working together to create valued and sustainable parks and open spaces in South Lakeland.”

 

To deliver the vision, the following four key themes had been identified:-

 

·        Health and Wellbeing – opportunities for healthier lifestyles, to improve mental health, reduce health inequality and supporting physical activity;

·        Economy – Enabling and delivering opportunities for sustainable economic growth and investment in parks and open spaces;

·        Community – providing high quality parks where people meet, communities thrive and volunteer; and

·        Environment – protecting and enhancing our place.

 

The Strategy provided clear direction of the day to day maintenance activities completed by Continental Landscapes Limited, through the Grounds Maintenance Partnership.  It also identified areas to work closely with the Council’s communities, partner organisations and local businesses to improve and enhance its spaces.

 

The Strategy also identified the types of spaces, items it related to which included; trees and woodlands, cemeteries, playgrounds, sports pitches and parks.

 

The delivery of the Strategy was supported by a number of parks and woodland management plans, the Play Audit and the action plan which formed part of the strategy document.

 

The Strategy also identified the continued requirement to maximise the resources available to deliver day to day maintenance, close working with communities and partners to deliver developments and to obtain best value from all resources available to the management of the Council’s parks and open spaces.

 

Details in relation to consultation which had been carried out were included within the report.

 

Concern was raised with regard to parishes having to maintain their own play areas and a question raised as to what the District Council could do to assist.  The Environment Portfolio Holder indicated that both she and the Health and Wellbeing Portfolio Holder were willing to visit parishes.  The Leader and Promoting South Lakeland Portfolio Holder explained that the District Council collaborated and carried out safety inspections for parishes.  He reminded Members that the Council was open to communities seeking funding to enhance proposals through Locally Important Project grants and work to identify sources of funding.  Furthermore, he pointed out that communities were seeing money coming in through the Community Infrastructure Levy.  He looked to Members to maintain a connection between local councils  ...  view the full minutes text for item O&S/74

O&S/75

Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust and Morecambe Bay CCG

To receive a presentation from a representative of the Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust.

Minutes:

Anthony Gardner, Director of Planning and Performance, Morecambe Bay Clinical Commissioning Group, David Walker, Medical Director, University of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust and Simon Rigg, Acting Head of Communications, University of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust provided Members with detailed presentations on ‘An Introduction to the Morecambe Bay Integrated Care Partnership’ (ICP) and the Morecambe Bay CCG.

 

Mr Gardner outlined the general National Health Service (NHS) context and displayed a flowchart which demonstrated how money flowed through the system and further slides which detailed the commissioning and provider split and the system roles and responsibilities of the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG). He explained that there were contracts in place for providers to meet the needs of the people such as: acute trusts, physical community services, mental health trusts, local government health and wellbeing and leisure at District Council level and social care at County Council level. Mr Gardner went on to outline the members of the Morecambe Bay Clinical Commissioning Group Governing Body and explained that there had been a blurring of distinction and a joining up of the NHS at a local level with integrated care communities bringing together integrated teams which would focus on prevention and wellbeing. A further slide was displayed which outlined the geography and population of the Morecambe Bay area and the geographical difficulties of the area associated with working across Morecambe Bay in particular travel and recruitment. Mr Gardner went on to state that there were far too many people unnecessarily remaining in hospital and it was vital to enhance support at home, which would be better for the patient and better for NHS resources.

 

Mr Walker displayed further slides which outlined details of the Trust Board and he highlighted the stability and diversity of the team which he believed provided a strong professional core representing health, academia, research and partnership working. Further slides outlined the ‘Visions and Values’ of University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay Trust (UHMBT), ‘How are we doing at the moment?’ and ‘What is next?’

 

In response to a question raised by a Member, Mr Walker confirmed that a number of Non-Executive Directors were resident in Cumbria and that their terms of office were on a three year rolling programme. In response to a further question, he confirmed that data which related specifically to the mortality rate of vulnerable adults was currently unavailable.

 

In concluding their presentation Mr Gardner and Mr Walker outlined the complexities of working with Local Governments and with separate Counties, Districts and National Parks and highlighted the importance of working collectively and individually to offer integrated care in the community. They outlined their priorities to work on improvements in General Practice to strengthen the resilience of primary care and to continue to work with Local Authorities.

 

Mr Gardner and Mr Walker responded to questions and concerns raised by Members regarding population, boundaries and access to services in rural communities. They confirmed that they were working with communities, GP’s, social care teams and district nurses who  ...  view the full minutes text for item O&S/75

O&S/76

Morecambe Bay CCG

To receive a presentation from a representative of the Morecambe Bay CCG.

Minutes:

Note - The presentation of Morecambe Bay CCG was combined with the previous presentation on Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust.

O&S/77

South Cumbria Community Safety Partnership Review 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 349 KB

To consider an update on the South Cumbria Community Safety Partnership.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Health and Wellbeing Portfolio Holder introduced an update on the work of the South Cumbria Community Safety Partnership (CSP) during 2018/19.

 

Councillor Brendan Sweeney, Chair of South Cumbria CSP and Chair of Barrow Borough Council, Superintendent Matt Pearman and Police Constable Kevin Jackson of Cumbria Constabulary and Mike Conefrey, Public Health Locality Manager, Cumbria County Council were introduced to Members.

 

The substantive report outlined that South Cumbria CSP, one of three CSPs in Cumbria, covered the areas of South Lakeland and Barrow.  The CSP aimed to reduce crime and enable local communities to remain safe and reassured, without fear or threat of crime.  It did this through identifying priorities (related to crime figures and trends, consultation and the Police and Crime Plan) for its annual Partnership Plan.  Sub-groups were convened, where necessary, to develop projects and actions.  In April 2018, the CSP had agreed to focus on four local priorities: Alcohol and Violent Crime, Domestic Abuse, Mental Health (and its impacts on the criminal justice system) and child sexual exploitation.  There were four CSP meetings per annum and the Chair was currently Councillor Brendan Sweeney (Barrow Borough Council), the Vice-Chair being Police Superintendent Matt Pearman.

 

There had been a recent focus on serious and organised crime and Prevent (anti-terrorism) at recent meetings, with the Police providing verbal updates of the situation in South Cumbria, giving the opportunity for partners to be aware and work collaboratively where applicable.

 

The Crime and Community Safety Strategic Assessment for Cumbria 2017-18 stated that Cumbria was a relatively safe place in which to live, work and visit.  In many areas, levels of crime and community safety issues were better than those experienced nationally and/or in the North West region.  South Lakeland residents’ top three concerns were with regard to speeding vehicles, dangerous driving and rural crime.

 

The latest crime statistics for South Lakeland (from Cumbria Constabulary) were provided within the report.  The Police had stated that there were two significant contributory factors to rising crime.  Firstly, the continued increase in confidence from members of the public to report what had happened and secondly, statistics had been impacted by greater compliance by officers with crime recording practices.  This was something which had been recognised nationally by the Office of National Statistics.

 

County Lines was an emerging area of organised criminality that saw criminal gangs from other parts of the country seeking to supply controlled drugs, frequently heroin and crack cocaine in towns and counties geographically separate from where the gang was based.  South Cumbria had experienced this phenomena in all the main towns, a threat which had been tackled robustly by Cumbria Constabulary who had seen national media coverage of their approach to tackling these drugs gangs.  Offenders from cities such as London, Manchester and Liverpool had all been prosecuted in operations to tackle drug supply over recent months.  Operation Horizon, for example was a major operation which had lasted many months and, to date, had seen 26 offenders charged with drugs offences.  This enforcement  ...  view the full minutes text for item O&S/77

O&S/78

Portfolio Holder Report - Culture and Leisure pdf icon PDF 273 KB

To consider the annual report from the Culture and Leisure Portfolio Holder on the progress made within the portfolio area and their plans for the future.

Minutes:

The Leader and Promoting South Lakeland Portfolio Holder presented, on behalf of the Culture and Leisure Portfolio Holder, the annual report on progress made and plans for the future within the portfolio area, and highlighted a number of areas within the report.

 

He explained that South Lakeland was striving ahead in supporting leading cultural events such as the Lakes International Comic Arts Festival, Lakes Alive, Kendal Mountain Festival, Great North Swim and Tour of Britain and working in partnership with key Cultural Strategic Partners and organisations such as Arts Council England had identified and unlocked significant investment. The Leader went on to inform Members that the Council’s assets were being used and the Town Hall had become an increasingly popular venue and as it became more flexible it would attract more activities and become a social hub. He referred to the grant awarded to the Gateway Partnership and went on to highlight the success of partnership working with the Council’s leisure providers GLL and informed Members that following Cabinet approval in September 2018, further funding had been agreed to progress proposals for a new Leisure Centre in Ulverston.

 

In response to a question raised, the Leader assured Members that the Council was determined to work with Citizens Advice Bureau to continue to provide an excellent and invaluable service throughout South Lakeland.

 

RESOLVED – That the report be noted.

O&S/79

Community Governance Review - Second Consultation pdf icon PDF 166 KB

To consider the responses to the first stage of the public consultation carried out as part of the Community Governance Review.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Principal Performance and Intelligence Officer presented a report considering the responses to the first stage of the public consultation carried out as part of the Community Governance Review having regard to the South Lakeland Community Governance Review Terms of Reference as agreed by Council on 24 July 2018.

 

The first consultation period had commenced on 10 August 2018.  As part of Stage 1, as well as key stakeholders (including the Local Government Boundary Commission for England (LGBCE), Cumbria Association for Local Councils (CALC), Cumbria County Council, Lake District National Park Authority (LDNPA) and Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority (YDNPA)), Town and Parish Councils, residents associations, community groups and local people had been asked to make representations in connection with the Review.

 

The Review had to ensure that the proposed community governance reflected the interests and identities of the community.  It also had to make certain that the arrangements were effective and convenient for the electors of that community.  Parish wards had to be contained within district wards and county electoral divisions; that is parish wards, could not cross principal council ward and/or division boundaries.

 

After this round of consultation, the review would consider any submissions made on the draft recommendation, culminating in the provision of final recommendations for approval.  The second stage district-wide consultation, as detailed in the terms of reference, had commenced on 4 March 2019 and would end on 26 May 2019.

 

Final recommendations would be considered by Full Council on 23 July 2019, with any reorganisation order issued in August 2019.

 

Following consideration of the responses received in the first consultation round, draft recommendations had been drawn up, as set out in Appendix 1 to the report.  These draft recommendations had been presented at Full Council on 18 December 2018.  They contained a number of potential changes, including:-

 

·         reducing the number of councillors on Arnside Parish Council from 11 to eight;

·         the potential altering of the parish boundary of Kendal Town Council to include an area of proposed development of land north of High Sparrowmire - a map was provided at Appendix 2(D) to the report;

·         the potential altering of the parish boundary of Kendal Town Council to include properties on Natland Mill Beck Lane and The Beeches, and to include a small area of proposed development on land at Watercrook – maps were provided at Appendix 2(E) and Appendix 2(F) to the report;

·         abolishing the current wards of Dent and Cowgill and having Dent Parish Council as an un-warded parish - a map was provided at Appendix 2(A) to the report;

·         the creation of a new Parish which amalgamated the parish of Fawcett Forest with the parish of Whitwell and Selside to create the Parish of Selside - a map was provided at Appendix 2(B) to the report;

·         that the ward of Grange West be abolished and Grange Town Council be made up of two wards: Grange North and Grange South - a map was provided at Appendix 2(C) to the report;

·         changing the naming  ...  view the full minutes text for item O&S/79

O&S/80

Work Programme Setting 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 129 KB

To agree the Overview and Scrutiny Committee’s Work Programme for 2019/20.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members were asked to consider the development of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee’s 2019/20 Work Programme.  A number of topics had been submitted for consideration, and these had been subject to an initial prioritisation by the Chairman of the Committee and members of the Council’s Corporate Management Team. The Solicitor to the Council provided details on the recommendations that had arisen from that prioritisation and how the proposals would incorporate the suggestions submitted during the consultation period. A list of regular reports received by the Committee was distributed to Members and the Solicitor to the Council confirmed that the Work Programme would be updated to include reviews and workshops and a review of the Work Programme would take place in October 2019.

 

In response to a query regarding the suggested Financial Reporting in Parishes Work Programme topic, the Solicitor to the Council and the Finance Lead Specialist confirmed that at present there was no way of recording Council expenditure in each parish. However, as part of the Customer Connect Programme and with the introduction of Locality Teams and new ways of working, it could be possible to develop systems to capture this information within the parameters of GDPR.

 

RESOLVED – That the 2019/20 Work Programme be agreed.

O&S/81

Draft Scrutiny Annual Report 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 123 KB

To consider the draft Scrutiny Annual Report 2018/19.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Solicitor to the Council presented the draft Scrutiny Annual Report 2018/19.  The report was required by the Council’s Constitution and provided an opportunity for the Committee to demonstrate the work that it had undertaken during the past year as well as outlining the work planned for 2019/20.

 

The Scrutiny Annual Report would be presented to the Annual Meeting of Council on 21 May 2019.  Those areas of the report highlighted in yellow would be updated, in consultation with the Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee, prior to its submission for Council.

 

RESOLVED – That the draft Scrutiny Annual Report 2018/19, as attached at Appendix 1 to the report, be referred to Council, subject to any relevant updates arising following this meeting.

O&S/82

Review of Effectiveness and Scrutiny Recommendations Report pdf icon PDF 127 KB

To consider the annual Review of Effectiveness and an update on progress made by Cabinet in implementing the adopted recommendations of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Solicitor to the Council introduced a report which set out the findings of the annual Review of Effectiveness, as well as a progress report on recommendations made by the Overview and Scrutiny Committee to decision-makers.

 

The Review of Effectiveness had concluded that the Overview and Scrutiny Committee had continued to be effective over the past 12 months, but that more precise timetabling of the Work Programme would be beneficial in ensuring that resources were available to complete the agreed topics on time.

 

During 2018/19, the Overview and Scrutiny Committee had presented one formal report to Cabinet arising out of the review of the Asset Management Strategy; this had later become the Property and Land Management Strategy 2019 – 2024, including the creation of the Strategic Asset management Plan Board.  The recommendations of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee had been adopted by Cabinet.

 

In addition, the Committee had considered a number of other policy documents including, the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy, the Cost Recovery and Hardship Policy in respect of Contaminated Land and the Cumbria Health Strategy.

 

As well as the formal recommendations made by the Committee, a number of comments and/or suggestions had been raised throughout various items considered at committee meetings.  In situations where these comments had been raised against executive items, these comments had been highlighted during consideration by Cabinet.  Other changes requested of officers, for example in relation to grammatical or presentational issues, had typically been taken into account before the item had been presented to Cabinet.  Throughout 2018/19, Portfolio Holders had shown a strong commitment to the scrutiny process.

 

In March 2019, a Task and Finish Group had held its first meeting on Customer Connect Locality Working.  This group was due to meet on at least three further occasions before presenting its findings to the Committee.

 

Also in March 2019, a workshop had been held to consider the possible impacts of a ‘no-deal Brexit’ on the Council’s business.  A formal report would be presented to the Committee once central government had provided some clarity around any departure from the European Union.

 

Whilst not requiring any recommendations being made to Cabinet, the Committee had also paid attention to a number of issues affecting the local community, including the performance of Northern Rail and the effectiveness of the health offering within South Lakeland.

 

The Solicitor to the Council informed the Committee that a Member of the Corporate Management Team had requested that the effectiveness of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee and its contribution to the production of Policy and Strategy be highlighted and that it had been noted that the Committee had gone from strength to strength.

 

RESOLVED – That the following be noted:-

 

(1)        the findings of the Review of Effectiveness, as at Appendix 1 to the report; and

 

(2)        the progress made by Cabinet in implementing the recommendations of the Committee.

O&S/83

Cumbria Health Scrutiny Committee Update

To receive an update, if any, on the work of the Cumbria Health Scrutiny Committee from the Council’s representative or substitute.

Minutes:

No update was provided.

 

The Chairman, Councillor Vicky Hughes took the opportunity to pay tribute to Councillor Vivienne Rees who was retiring and thanked her for her contribution to the Overview and Scrutiny Committee.

 

Councillor Hughes also thanked Anthea Lowe, the Solicitor to the Council, who was leaving the Council at the end of May. Councillor Hughes acknowledged the help and support she had received from Anthea during her time as Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee.

 

Councillor Pat Bell echoed Councillor Hughes’ words of appreciation for Anthea’s advice and guidance.