Agenda and minutes

Scrutiny Commission - Monday, 6th December, 2021 6.00 pm

Venue: Preston Room, Woodgate Chambers

Items
No. Item

63.

Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 218 KB

To approve the minutes of the meeting of the Commission held on 15th November 2021.

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting of the Commission held on 15th November 2021 were approved.

64.

Declarations of Pecuniary and Personal Interests

Minutes:

No disclosures were made.

65.

Declarations of the Party Whip

Minutes:

No declarations were made.

66.

Questions under Scrutiny Committee Procedures 11.16

No questions were submitted.

Minutes:

No questions were submitted.

67.

Commercialisation Scrutiny Panel - Update pdf icon PDF 414 KB

A report to enable the Commission to consider the implementation of the decisions taken by the Cabinet following its consideration of the report of the Commercialisation Scrutiny Panel and what, if any, further action may be required. To follow.

Minutes:

A report to enable the Commission to consider the implementation of the decisions taken by the Cabinet following its consideration of the report of the Commercialisation Scrutiny Panel and what, if any, further action may be required, was submitted (item 6 on the agenda filed with these minutes).

 

The Strategic Director for Commercial Development, Assets and Leisure assisted with the consideration of this item. The following summarises the discussion:

 

      i.        The ‘Options for Change’ referred to in the report was the process of identifying potential ways for the council to generate income or to make savings for SLT to formally consider.

 

    ii.        The tenancy agreements in place as part of the council’s commercialisation strategy had not been negatively impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic and there had been no issues with rent payments. The Council had carefully considered risks and had analysed the financial health of tenants in advance of the agreements.

 

   iii.        The tenancy agreements in place were long term and the Council was prepared for any unbudgeted occurrences relating to tenancy issues. The Council would ensure that properties were not vacant for extended periods of time.

 

   iv.        It was not possible for the Council to utilise properties within the Housing Revenue Account to generate income as this was governed by the Secretary of State.

 

    v.         It was acknowledged that the report was informative and thorough, and the actions taken in response to the recommendations outlined were praised.  

 

   vi.        In response to recommendation 16 regarding street cleaning services, it was highlighted that the current process of outsourcing the service was a lower cost option than undertaking the service internally.

 

  vii.        The funding for the Careers and Enterprise Hub which had recently opened in the town centre had been received as part of the Loughborough Town Deal. The property was a Charnwood Borough Council asset and occupation costs were being met by Loughborough College.

 

 viii.        Officers regularly compared service fees and charges to those of neighbouring authorities and figures were generally consistent. Any changes to current service fees and charges arrangements would involve Cabinet making a policy decision.

 

   ix.        The criteria outlined in the report had been used to increase revenue in existing services where possible.

 

    x.        The Council had utilised external experts in order to ensure robust due diligence had been undertaken.

 

   xi.        It was highlighted that a scrutiny panel on car parking charges had been completed at the Council a number of years ago. It was suggested that the recommendations and findings of this scrutiny panel be identified and reviewed. It was stated that SLT were in the process of car parks in the Borough and had provided a number of options to Cabinet for consideration.

 

RESOLVED

 

1.    That the Commission considered the information provided in respect of the implementation of the decisions taken by the Cabinet following its consideration of the report of the Commercialisation Scrutiny Panel and agreed with the progress suggested within the report.

 

2.    That the Democratic Services Manager identifies the recommendations and findings of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 67.

68.

Pre-decision Scrutiny of any specific financial matters to be considered by Cabinet

There are no items of this nature on the Cabinet agenda for the Commission to consider.

Minutes:

There were no items of this nature on the Cabinet agenda for the Commission to consider.

69.

Cabinet items for Pre-decision Scrutiny

No items have been identified for pre-decision scrutiny from the Cabinet agenda for 9th December 2021.

Minutes:

There were no items identified for pre-decision scrutiny from the Cabinet agenda.

70.

Scrutiny Commission Pre-decision Scrutiny - Cabinet Response pdf icon PDF 189 KB

A report of the Cabinet setting out its responses to recommendations of the Committee on pre-decision scrutiny items.

Minutes:

A report of the Cabinet was considered setting out its responses to the recommendations of the Commission on pre-decision scrutiny items (item 9 on the agenda filed with these minutes).    

 

RESOLVED that the Cabinet’s responses to the Commission’s recommendations be noted.

 

Reason

 

The Commission was satisfied that it added value where appropriate and welcomed the Cabinet’s consideration of the Commission’s views and recommendations as part of its decision making process.

71.

Progress with Panel work pdf icon PDF 256 KB

A report of the Head of Strategic Support to consider updates on scrutiny panels.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

A report of the Head of Strategic Support to review the progression of scrutiny panels was submitted (item 10 on the agenda files with these minutes).

 

The Democratic Services Manager assisted with the consideration of this item. Following the publication of the agenda, a supplementary report containing the scoping document for the ‘Combatting Loneliness’ scrutiny panel for approval was circulated. The following summarises the discussion:

 

      i.        It was highlighted that an amendment was required in the scoping document for the ‘Combatting Loneliness’ scrutiny panel. The section on ‘Resource Requirements’ stated that a Lead Officer and other officers with oversight of community and neighbourhood policy were required. However, the panel was informal and so there would be no resources of this nature available to the panel. The Lead Officer and other officers would act as witnesses only to support panel work. The scoping document for the panel would need to be amended to reflect this. The Commission approved the scoping document for the ‘Combatting Loneliness’ scrutiny panel, providing the amendment was made.

 

    ii.        It was agreed that Councillor Hamilton become Chair of the ‘Crime, ASB and Youth Crime’ scrutiny panel.

 

RESOLVED

 

1.    That the Scrutiny Commission reviewed the progression of scrutiny panels.

 

2.    That the scoping document for the ‘Combatting Loneliness’ scrutiny panel be amended, removing the Lead Officer and other officers from the ‘Resource Requirements’ section.

 

Reasons

 

1&2. To ensure timely and effective scrutiny of the matter/subject.

 

2. To enable panel work to commence.

72.

Scrutiny Work Programme pdf icon PDF 240 KB

A report of the Head of Strategic Support enabling the Commission to review and agree the scrutiny work programme.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

A report of the Head of Strategic Support to enable the Commission to review and agree the Scrutiny Work Programme. This includes reviewing the changes made by the Finance and Performance Scrutiny Committee and adding items to their work programme (item 11 on the agenda filed with these minutes).

 

The Democratic Services Manager assisted with the consideration of this item.

 

It was highlighted that the Finance and Performance Scrutiny Panel had discussed the annual Community Safety Partnership Review at their recent meeting. This item was already on the Finance and Performance Scrutiny Committee work programme and this was considered to be the most appropriate place for scrutinising this topic as it was performance related.

 

The Scrutiny Commission was due to consider the most appropriate place for scrutinising this topic at their meeting in either February or March 2022.

 

RESOLVED

 

1.    That the Scrutiny Commission reviewed the Finance and Performance Scrutiny Work Programme.

 

2.    To agree that the Finance and Performance Scrutiny Work Programme be updated in accordance with the decisions taken during consideration of this item and any further decisions taken during this meeting.

 

Reasons

 

1.    To ensure timely and effective scrutiny of the matter/subject.

 

2.    To ensure that the information contained within the Work Programme is up to date.

73.

Scrutiny Commission Work Programme pdf icon PDF 279 KB

A report of the Head of Strategic Support setting out the list of forthcoming Executive Key Decisions and the Group’s Work Programme for consideration, in order to identify items for future scrutiny.

 

For information, further meetings of the Group are scheduled as follows:

 

10th January 2022

7th February 2022

7th March 2022

 

                                                                       

Additional documents:

Minutes:

A report of the Head of Strategic Support was considered, to enable the Commission to consider its work programme and forthcoming Key Decisions and decisions to be taken in private by the Cabinet in order to schedule items for pre-decision scrutiny (item 12 on the agenda filed with these minutes).

 

The Democratic Services Manager assisted with the consideration of this item.

 

The Commission did not add any items to their work programme.

 

 RESOLVED

 

1.    That forthcoming Executive Key Decisions or decisions to be taken in private by the Executive, set out in Appendix 2 to the report, and scheduled scrutiny of those matters, be noted.

 

2.    That the Commission’s current work programme be noted.

 

Reasons

 

1.    To ensure effective and timely scrutiny, either to provide Cabinet with advice prior to it taking a decision or to ensure that the Council and external public service providers and partners were operating effectively for the benefit of the Borough.

 

2.    To ensure effective and timely scrutiny.