To consider the Overview and Scrutiny Committee Work Programme 2021/22, and the contents of the latest Forward Plan.
The Legal, Governance and Democracy Lead Specialist informed Members that the purpose of the item was to look at the Work Programme for the municipal year ahead, to make changes and add new items where appropriate. She also drew attention to the latest Forward Plan published on 22 June 2021 and noted that the covering report for the item had been submitted as a supplemental item and that paper copies had been left on the desk for each Member.
The Legal, Governance and Democracy Lead Specialist informed Members that the Work Programme had been prepared in collaboration with the Chair and aimed to capture everything due to come to the Overview & Scrutiny Committee throughout the year as well as any outstanding workshops that were still due to report back to the Committee. She then noted that the Work Programme can change throughout the year and ultimately will be subject to the resources and budget available to support it.
The Director of Innovation, Strategy and Resources highlighted that in some instances there were items on the Work Programme that had been superseded and noted that the Work Programme would need to be updated to reflect that and proposed the following:-
· Green Team Update – Superseded by the Climate Change Action Plan and Board – Update to be received in March 2022 to coincide with Climate Action and Biodiversity Portfolio Holder Report;
· Strategic Review of Council’s Health and Wellbeing Policy – Workshop predates COVID-19, alongside other key changes and is no longer in cline with the Council Plan – Update to be received in August 2021 to coincide with the Health, Wellbeing and Poverty Alleviation Portfolio Holder Report; and
· Brexit Update Workshop – Update to be received as part of Performance Monitoring Reports and the Economic Strategy Report.
Members discussed the proposals put forward by the Director of Strategy, Innovation and Resources and noted they were minded to agree provided that matters were adopted as specific agenda item and questions are submitted through the Chair / Vice-chair for the Portfolio Holder to consider and prepare for prior to the meeting. Members highlighted the struggling economy and the impact of Brexit on the fishing industry, particularly around Morecambe Bay, and that it would be good to look at this as soon as possible. Members also noted that more updates would be welcomed.
Further discussion highlighted the absence of an update on Local Government Reorganisation (LGR) from the August work programme. Members suggested spending a day or half day meeting to discuss LGR and the potential outcomes, looking at things such as Parish Councils, other authorities with similar arrangements and the role of Scrutiny.
Members also highlighted the re-occurring Cumbria Health Scrutiny Committee update item and whether the approach should be refreshed and groups / individuals invited to come and speak to the committee, for example Hospital Trusts.
RESOLVED – That:-
(1) the Overview and Scrutiny Committee’s Work Programme for 2021/22 be agreed; and
(2) the Forward Plan published on 22 June 2021 be noted.