Agenda and minutes

Scrutiny Committee
Thursday, 27th September, 2018 5.00 pm

Venue: Shield Room, Civic Centre, West Paddock, Leyland, PR25 1DH

Contact: Louise Hawkins  Email: lhawkins@southribble.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

17.

Welcome and Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

The Chair, Councillor Matthew Tomlinson welcomed everyone in attendance to the meeting.

 

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Jim Marsh, Mike Nathan and Barrie Yates.

18.

Declarations of Interest

Members are requested to indicate at this stage in the proceedings any items on the agenda in which they intend to declare an interest. Members are reminded that if the interest is a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest (as defined in the Members’ Code of Conduct) they must leave the room for the whole of that item. If the interest is not a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest, but is such that a member of the public could reasonably regard it as being so significant that it is likely that it would prejudice their judgment of the public interest (as explained in the Code of Conduct) then they may make representations, but then must leave the meeting for the remainder of the item.

 

Minutes:

There was no declarations of any interests.

19.

Cabinet Agenda Item 5 - Communicating with Residents and Businesses pdf icon PDF 29 KB

Cabinet Member: Leader of the Council, Councillor Mary Green

Lead Officer: Chief Executive, Heather McManus

 

The reason for call in is attached for consideration.

 

Report of the Chief Executive attached.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Leader of the Labour Group (Councillor Paul Foster) was invited by the Chair to explain the reasons for making the call-in request on behalf of those who had signed the request.

 

Councillor Paul Foster requested that the Committee refer the decision back to Cabinet as a priority.

 

The Leader of the Council, Councillor Mary Green and Director of Neighbourhoods and Development, Jennifer Mullin were in attendance to answer questions of the Committee.

 

Although Cabinet approval for the production of the FORWARD was not sought previously it was considered appropriate to do so on this occasion.  There had been a lengthy gap in its production and the Council wanted to remain open and transparent about the process. 

 

The FORWARD publication would cost £5190 to produce through a company called Newsquest. The company had been used previously and they could also deliver the publication at a cost of 0.14 pence a copy (£500 in rural areas). However, if Royal Mail were used, delivery would reduce to 13p per copy.

 

The Leader explained that the full costings of producing the FORWARD publication had not been included in the report as they had not been finalised at that time.

 

It was further explained that the FORWARD cross party editorial group was convened after the Cabinet decision was made. This raised concerns amongst members, as this was different to the previous arrangements.

 

In response to queries raised in relation to publication dates around Purdah and the Publicity Code, the Monitoring Officer advised that a more ideal time for publication of the proposed third edition would be the end of February or beginning of March 2019.

 

In response to Members concerns about the publication of three FORWARD editions in the relatively short period of time from now until the May elections, the Leader clarified that there had never been a decision taken to stop its production, and had been put on hold whilst under review. Recent consultation with residents on the Community Strategy had prompted the Council to rethink its strategy following feedback received by various groups that had asked for hard copies of FORWARD (this had included many younger residents). The Committee considered that a more formal public consultation process may have been more appropriate to better evidence the reintroduction of the publication.

 

RESOLVED: (Unanimously)

 

1.    That Scrutiny Committee would support the call-in request for the reconsideration of the decision and asked for a more detailed report to be considered at a meeting of Cabinet.

2.    That the role of the FORWARD Editorial Group be formalised in terms of role, membership and process.

3.    That future Cabinet reports include more detailed financial information and evidence to make decisions more robust and transparent and demonstrate cost effectiveness.

4.    That Scrutiny Committee expresses concern at issuing FORWARD in March due to the Election (Purdah) and the issuing of three publications in six months.

20.

Cabinet Agenda Item 9 - Council Tax Support Scheme pdf icon PDF 29 KB

Cabinet Member: Finance, Councillor Susan Snape

Lead Officer: Specialist Consultant (Leadership and Organisational Development), Tracy Boustead/Section 151 Officer

 

The reason for call in is attached for consideration.

 

Report of Specialist Consultant (Leadership and Organisational Development) attached.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Leader of the Labour Group (Councillor Paul Foster) was invited by the Chair to explain the reasons for making the call-in request on behalf of those who signed the request.

 

Councillor Paul Foster requested that the Committee refer the decision back to Council. 

 

The Cabinet Member (Finance) Councillor Susan Snape, Specialist Consultant – Leadership and Organisational Development, Tracy Boustead and Section 151 Officer, Gary Hall attended the meeting to explain the decision and process followed.

 

In response to a question from the Chair, the Section 151 Officer explained that a decision made at Full Council could not be overturned by Cabinet.

 

Concerns were raised over the length of time that the process was taking, the decision had been made back in February 2018 and the consultation was only just starting. Councillor Snape explained that this delay had been due to a change in Cabinet responsibilities, however, meetings had subsequently taken place in June and July 2018 and that consultation would be starting soon.

 

RESOLVED: (Unanimously)

 

That Scrutiny Committee would support the call-in request for the decision to be reconsidered by full Council. The Committee also:

 

1.    Asked for any future reports be more detailed and provide all the relevant information to ensure that Members are clear on the decisions they are making at meetings.

2.    Expressed concern that the consultation had been delayed.

21.

Exclusion of Press and Public

To consider the exclusion of the press and public for the following items of business on the ground that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972.

 

By Virtue of Paragraph 3: Information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information)

Condition:

Information is not exempt if it is required to be registered under-

The Companies Act 1985

The Friendly Societies Act 1974

The Friendly Societies Act 1992

The Industrial and Provident Societies Acts 1965 to 1978

The Building Societies Act 1986 (recorded in the public file of any building society, within the meaning of the Act)

The Charities Act 1993

Information is exempt to the extent that, in all the circumstances of the case, the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.

 

Information is not exempt if it relates to proposed development for which the local planning authority may grant itself planning permission pursuant to Regulation 3 of the Town & Country Planning General Regulations 1992(a).

 

Minutes:

RESOLVED: (Unanimously)

 

That the press and public be excluded from the meeting during the consideration of the following item of business as it involved the discussion of information defined as exempt from publication under paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972, ‘Information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information) ‘ and in which the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighed the public interest in disclosing it.

22.

Cabinet Agenda Item 14 - Campus Programme (Contract Award)

Cabinet member: Deputy Leader and Environment and Community Safety, Councillor Caroline Moon

Lead Officer: Director of Neighbourhoods and Development, Jennifer Mullin

 

The reason for call in is attached for consideration. 

 

Report of Director of Neighbourhoods and Development attached.

Minutes:

The Leader of the Labour Group (Councillor Paul Foster) was invited by the Chairman to explain the reasons for making the call-in request on behalf of those who signed the request.

 

Councillor Paul Foster requested that the decision be referred back to Cabinet.

 

The Cabinet member (Public Health, Leisure and Wellbeing), Councillor Karen Walton and Cabinet Member (Assets and Transformation) Councillor Warren Bennett attended the meeting along with the Director of Neighbourhoods and Development, Jennifer Mullin to explain the Cabinet decision.

 

Councillor Bennett circulated a background information document titled ‘Leyland Health and Wellbeing Campus – Notes for Scrutiny Committee’

 

The Scrutiny Committee was adjourned to allow the Scrutiny Committee to leave the room to consider and discuss this new information.

 

After the adjournment, the Chair commented that Members were concerned over the detail contained with the report and clarity of information presented, particularly in light of the additional information brought to the meeting by the Cabinet Member for Assets and Transformation.

 

RESOLVED: (Unanimously)

 

1.    That Scrutiny Committee would support the call-in request for reconsideration of the decision and asked for a more detailed report to be taken to the next meeting of Cabinet.

2.    That the quality of decision making reports be improved in terms of detail, advice provided and content.