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Agenda and minutes

Overview and Scrutiny Management Board
Friday, 24th June, 2011 9.30 a.m.

Venue: Town Hall, Moorgate Street, Rotherham.

Contact: Alan Harston Ext. 22056 

No. Item


Declarations of Interest


There were no Declarations of Interest reported.


Questions from Members of the Public and the Press


There were no questions from members of the public or the press.


Centre for Public Scrutiny Annual Conference


Deborah Fellowes, Scrutiny and Policy Manager, reported on the sessions and workshops with keynote speakers that she and Councillor Hughes, Vice-Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Management Board, had attended as part of the Centre for Public Scrutiny Annual Conference CfPS 2011- Accountability, Transparency and Commissioning - Delivering for People and Places held on 2nd June, 2011.


Discussion ensued on the data hub project referred to by Emer Coleman and the effective use of data to engage people.  It was suggested that further investigation into this project take place.


Reference was also made to the session on accountability by David Walker and the distinct roles of the executive and scrutiny.


Resolved:-  That the information be noted and the actions referred to progressed.


Government Consultations pdf icon PDF 31 KB

Additional documents:


Consideration was given to a report presented by Deborah Fellowes, Scrutiny and Policy Manager, which followed up one presented previously to the Performance and Scrutiny Overview Committee in February this year, which recommended a process dealing with forthcoming Government consultations. 


Since this was agreed by Cabinet the process had been communicated across Directorates and Policy and Scrutiny Officers had worked with their contacts to ensure that as many consultations as possible, as identified in the last report, had adhered to this policy.  The end result was that, in the large majority of cases, consultations had been submitted by the Council and where they had been submitted they had been approved in some way by Elected Members (both Scrutiny and Cabinet). It was anticipated that this situation would improve further as the policy was embedded in practice across the Council as part of the new process and the next phase of consultations.


Reference was made to the list of live consultations and a suggestion made that the date of receipt or publication of the consultation be included as part of the spreadsheet.


The response date required for the Reform of the Planning System in relation to planning for traveller sites was the same day as the Improving Places Select Commission meeting.  Action was to be taken to ensure that this was included as part of the agenda.


It was also pointed out that a meeting had been arranged with the Cabinet Members for Safeguarding Children and Adults and Lifelong Learning and Culture and the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Improving Lives Select Commission on Monday, 27th June, 2011 to consider the consultation response with regards to Special Educational Needs – Support and Aspiration.


Resolved:-  (1)  That the progress made to date be noted.


(2)  That the schedule for forthcoming consultations, with the inclusion of the receipt/publication date, be approved.


(3)  That the proposed consultation response in relation to the Reform of the Planning System - planning for traveller sites be included on the agenda for the 6th July, 2011 Improving Places Select Commission.


Review of Overview and Scrutiny Arrangements - Update pdf icon PDF 39 KB

Additional documents:


Consideration was given to a report presented by Caroline Webb, Senior Scrutiny Adviser, which set out details of progress made to date in implementing the recommendations of the review of Overview and Scrutiny arrangements in Rotherham.


With very few exceptions, Overview and Scrutiny was seen to be a valuable part of the governance arrangements of the Council and had widespread support from both Members (Executive and non-Executive) and officers.  However, there was a strong view that scrutiny needed to be different both in approach and its arrangements. 


Following the reviews approved by Council, an action plan had been developed to outline how the review recommendations were to be implemented. 


The plan proposed how each action was to be addressed; estimated timescales and responsible officer. 


Resolved:-  That the contents of the action plan be noted.


Nominations to the Recycling Group


(Overview and Scrutiny Management Board to consider whether to appoint to the four vacancies or whether to refer on to each Select Scrutiny Commission to appoint one representative).


Consideration was given to the membership of the Recycling Group, which would be chaired by Councillor R. S. Russell, Cabinet Member for Waste and Emergency Planning.


There were currently four vacancies and it was suggested that these be submitted to each of the Select Commissions for nomination.


Resolved:-  That the Chairs of each Select Commission seek a nomination.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 46 KB


Resolved:- That the minutes of the meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Management Board held on 10th June, 2011 be approved as a correct record for signature by the Chairman.


Reference was made to Minute No. 10 (Draft Work Programme) by Councillor License and his concerns about unproductive work that was taking place within the Council, referring to the need for staff to be given the responsibility to shift and prioritise duties, for example, during periods of inclement weather.  It was suggested that this be explored further and the methods of managing and monitoring work be broken down and included as of this Board’s future work programme.


With regards to Minute No. 11(b) (Work in Progress – Breastfeeding) Councillor G. A. Russell pointed out that she was making reference to the lack of information and guidance about suitable accommodation and its availability for breastfeeding rather than the lack of advertising about such facilities.  


Work in Progress


The Overview and Scrutiny Management Board took account of the short timescale since the last meeting and the plans for the forthcoming meetings of the Select Commissions.


Deborah Fellowes, Scrutiny and Policy Manager, reported on briefing sessions that had been arranged for Chairmen and Vice-Chairmen of the various Select Commissions to help focus and take forward areas of work on the draft programme of work.


Staff within the Scrutiny Team had also suggested that, as part of the item on the agenda relating to Work in Progress, an opportunity be given to providing a more structured progress report on activity and that this form part of the agenda on a monthly basis with invitations extended to the Strategic Leadership Team to address and give guidance on specific areas.


Resolved:-  That the actions referred to above be approved.


Call-in Issues


There were no formal call-in requests.