Agenda and minutes

Overview and Scrutiny Committee - Friday, 17 March 2017 2.00 p.m.

Venue: District Council Chamber, South Lakeland House, Kendal. View directions

Contact: Jason Habbershon 

Items
No. Item

O&S/64

Minutes pdf icon PDF 137 KB

To authorise the Chairman to sign, as a correct record, the minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 17 February 2017 (copy attached).

Minutes:

Following a query regarding progress made in relation to Minute No.O&S/63, the Director People and Places explained that discussions were ongoing between officers and the North East Kendal Flood Action Group. He also confirmed that the suggestions made by the Overview and Scrutiny Committee were being given full consideration by officers in the development of the final documents.

 

RESOLVED – That the Chairman be authorised to sign, as a correct record, the minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 17 February 2017.

O&S/65

Minutes of the Performance Sub-Committee pdf icon PDF 144 KB

To receive the minutes of the meeting of the Performance Sub-Committee held on 25 October 2016 (copy attached).

Minutes:

Whilst the item was withdrawn from the agenda having been previously considered by the Committee, it was reported that the previous issues with town centre cleansing in Ulverston, referred to in Minute No.PS/20, were now being addressed.

O&S/66

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/67

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/68

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/69

Public Participation

After the Overview and Scrutiny Committee has discussed an item on the agenda, but before a decision is taken, there is an opportunity for those present at the meeting who are not Committee Members to ask questions.

 

More information can be found on the South Lakeland District Council website, www.southlakeland.gov.uk , or by contacting Committee Services on 01539 733333.

Minutes:

RESOLVED – That it be noted that there was no public participation in respect of this meeting.

O&S/70

Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 199 KB

To consider the contents of the Forward Plan as at 24 February 2017.

Minutes:

RESOLVED - That the contents of the Forward Plan as published on 24 February 2017 be noted.

O&S/71

Work Programme pdf icon PDF 37 KB

To consider the Overview and Scrutiny Committee Work Programme 2016/17.

Minutes:

Reference was made to a recent briefing for councillors on the Community Led Housing Fund and the Housing and Innovation Portfolio Holder confirmed that future sessions would be arranged. The Portfolio Holder also offered to circulate the presentation used at the session to Members.

 

RESOLVED – That the revised Work Programme for 2016/17 be approved.

O&S/72

Outcomes of the Income Generation Workshop pdf icon PDF 163 KB

To consider the outcomes of the Income Generation Workshop.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Outcomes of the Income Generation Workshop report was presented by the Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee. A number of suggestions had been made by Members during the workshop; these comments were set out in Appendix 1 to the report, alongside responses from officers which highlighted which of the proposals were appropriate to pursue at this time.

 

It was suggested that the Beetham Road car park in Milnthorpe and the area close to M6 Junction 36 should also be considered as further potential sites for additional motorhome parking.

 

The reasons behind the recommendation not to pursue the expansion of car parks at this time was queried. The Finance Portfolio Holder explained that a number of factors were taken into consideration in assessing the potential for the development of both current and new Council-owned assets. He also explained that suggestions for new sites were always welcome.

 

Reference was made to the Committee’s forthcoming asset management review and it was suggested that this review should consider whether the development of income and commercial activity from the Council’s assets matched the needs of residents. It was also suggested that the review should focus not only on the Council’s assets but also the wider issues affecting them, such as transport connections.

 

In response, the Finance Portfolio Holder explained that the income generated by assets assisted in funding additional services which were provided for residents. He also described the financial strength which resulted from the Council’s diverse income streams.

 

RESOLVED – That

 

(1)        the outcomes of the Income Generation Workshop, as attached at Appendix 1 to the report, be noted; and

 

(2)        Cabinet be recommended to consider the outcomes of the Income Generation Workshop, as attached at Appendix 1, along with the comments made by the Overview and Scrutiny Committee, in the development of the Council’s future income generation.

O&S/73

Tackling Poverty Together pdf icon PDF 226 KB

To consider the outcomes of the Tackling Poverty Workshop.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee presented a report which set out the findings of the Tackling Poverty Workshop held in December 2016, as well as a Tackling Poverty Together Position Statement which would set out a collaborative and strategy-led approach to addressing the causes of poverty in South Lakeland.

 

The outcomes of the workshop had identified three clear areas of work: understanding the nature and extent of poverty in South Lakeland, helping those in immediate need, and focussing the work of the Council and partners in the long-term to help to address the root causes of poverty in the area. The Tackling Poverty Position Statement set out a number of ways in which the Council’s work could support these three areas.

 

Members welcomed the collaborative nature of the workshop, as well as the joint working that was a clear focus of the work of the Tackling Poverty Together Position Statement. A number of projects, including the Community Flood Recovery Group, the Ulverston Healthy Town initiative and community schemes in Kendal, were highlighted as recent and successful examples of schemes involving a number of partner organisations working together for the benefit of residents.

 

Attention was drawn to the health, social, economic and environmental impact assessment and it was suggested that more of the areas included within the document could be considered to receive a positive impact from the work of the Tackling Poverty Together Position Statement than were currently indicated.

 

The Chief Executive reported that the Leader of the Council had recently raised the issue of poverty in Cumbria with the Joint Districts Leaders’ Board and more information for districts on the County Council’s Anti-Poverty Strategy would be requested. In reference to the collaborative approach of the Position Statement, he explained that organisations, including the NHS, Local Enterprise Partnership and Public Health Teams, continued to work together to better understand the problems facing residents.

 

RESOLVED – That

 

(1)        the findings of the Tackling Poverty Workshop be noted; and

 

(2)        Cabinet be recommended to endorse and adopt the proposed Position Statement, as attached at Appendix 2 to the report.

O&S/74

Draft Scrutiny Annual Report 2016/17 pdf icon PDF 156 KB

To consider the draft Scrutiny Annual Report 2016/17.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee presented the draft Scrutiny Annual Report 2016/17. 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, and to outline the work planned for 2017/18.

 

The Scrutiny Annual Report, if approved, would be presented to the Annual Meeting of Council on 17 May. 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.

 

A Member highlighted the number of different approaches to scrutiny, and the Committee was urged to continue to make use of a range of different methodologies to ensure that it was able to make the most of its opportunities.

 

RESOLVED – That the draft Scrutiny Annual Report 2016/17, as attached at Appendix 1 to the report, be referred to Council, subject to any relevant updates arising following this meeting.

O&S/75

Review of Effectiveness and Future Scrutiny Arrangements pdf icon PDF 172 KB

To consider a review of effectiveness and future scrutiny arrangements.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The 2016/17 annual review of effectiveness was introduced by the Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee. She explained that this year’s review had introduced a checklist framework currently used by the Audit Committee.

 

In addition, a review of the Council’s current scrutiny arrangements had been conducted to ensure that the function was as effective and efficient as possible. A number of proposals had arisen from that review, with the primary recommendation being the removal of the Performance Sub-Committee and the return of its responsibilities to the parent Overview and Scrutiny Committee. A number of other proposals, including changes to the meetings timetable, terms of reference and the content of meetings, were suggested within the report.

 

Following discussion it was

 

RESOLVED – That

 

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

 

(2)        the following be recommended to Council:-

 

            (a)        the recommendations for the future arrangements of the Council’s scrutiny function, as set out in paragraphs 3.6 to 3.12 of the report, be approved with effect from the commencement of the 2017/18 council year; and

 

            (b)        a review of the effectiveness of the new scrutiny functions be carried out after a period of two years.

O&S/76

Work Programme Setting 2017/18 pdf icon PDF 164 KB

To agree the Overview and Scrutiny Committee’s Work Programme for 2017/18.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members were asked to consider the development of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee’s 2017/18 Work Programme. A number of topics had been submitted for consideration, and these had been given an initial prioritisation at a meeting between the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Committee and members of the Council’s Senior Management Team.

 

The Committee was reminded that the reviews on the current work programme had been completed, with the exception of the asset management review which had been delayed until late in 2017. Members were asked to take this into consideration when selecting topics for the 2017/18 Work Programme.

 

It was queried whether the review of outside bodies, considered a high priority, could be conducted by another method, such as a Member questionnaire. The Committee Services/Scrutiny Officer confirmed that this would be the case should the Committee choose not to include the topic within its 2017/18 Work Programme.

 

The Chairman emphasised that the value of those topics submitted was recognised and that the reason for some topics being “rejected” was to prevent duplication of work and not a dismissal of their importance.

 

Clarification was provided on the feasibility study referred to within the “Vision for the Lakes Line” submission. It was also suggested that the study, and the work arising from its findings, could also raise awareness of issues surrounding the Furness Line.

 

RESOLVED – That the following topics be included on the Overview and Scrutiny Committee’s 2017/18 Work Programme:-

 

(1)        Access to health and leisure activities for older residents (task and finish group);

 

(2)        Asset management review (task and finish group);

 

(3)        Development of neighbourhood working through Customer Connect (task and finish group); and

 

(4)        Review of the Council’s Active Travel Action Plan (one-day review).

O&S/77

Cumbria Health Scrutiny Committee Update

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

Minutes:

Councillor Vivienne Rees, the Council’s representative to the Cumbria County Council Health Scrutiny Committee, provided an update on the recent work of the Committee. She explained that a recent meeting of the Committee had been productive, although there remained some concern that progress in rural area delivery tended to be slower.

 

Councillor Rees informed the Committee about the new Lancashire and South Cumbria Sustainability and Transformation Plan, and the new Morecambe Bay Clinical Commissioning Group which would cover North Lancashire, South Lakeland and Furness. She also drew attention to recent scrutiny of the North West Ambulance Service and the Helme Chase Midwife-led Maternity Unit at Westmorland General Hospital, Kendal.

 

Councillor Mark Wilson, a County Council member of the Health Scrutiny Committee, suggested that a presentation from Better Care Together would be beneficial for members of South Lakeland District Council.

 

RESOLVED – That the report from Councillor Rees be noted.