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Agenda and draft minutes

Overview and Scrutiny Management Board
Friday, 8th June, 2012 9.30 a.m.

Venue: Town Hall, Moorgate Street, Rotherham.

Contact: Debbie Bacon, Senior Democratic Services Officer. 

Items
No. Item

11.

Declarations of Interest.

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest to record.

12.

Questions from Members of the Public and the Press.

Minutes:

There were no members of the public or the press present at the meeting.

13.

Localism Act 2011. pdf icon PDF 55 KB

 

·         Steve Eling, Policy Officer, Commissioning, Policy and Performance, Resources Directorate, to report.

Minutes:

Further to Minute No. 110 of 16th December, 2011, Steve Eling, Policy Officer, presented an update on the above Act including issues that had arisen from specific provisions in the Act and the process of engagement of Members in addressing the issues identified.

 

Following Royal Assent to the Act, provisions were being commenced over a period of time with most now having been brought into force or dates announced for commencement.  Where provisions had been made enabling the Government to provide further detail in Regulations, in some cases no Regulations had yet been made.  Set out in the report were the provisions relevant to the Authority and the commencement dates.

 

Since the passing of the Act, there had been detailed reports and briefings made to Members including reports to Cabinet Members and Standards Committee, Cabinet and Select Commission as well as Members seminars focussing on 1 part of the Act.

 

Discussion ensued on the report with the following issues highlighted/raised:-

 

Neighbourhood Planning

-        County Councils were not affected.  Whilst members of the community might think it prevented new houses being built in fact it was the reverse – it facilitated the building of new properties

-        Councils’ ability to prevent inappropriate development would be more restricted

-        Did the Council have any knowledge of who may want to set up Local Plans

-        Parished areas may see an increase in independent candidates for Parish Councils

-        2 types of Neighbourhood Planning facilitated in Act:-

o             Neighbourhood Development Order - effectively gave planning permission to developers so did not have to come back to Planning Board

o             Community Right to Build Order where a Forum had a developer as a partner and not necessarily a whole neighbourhood.  The Government was to make £17M available. 

o             A Forum set up in a parished area could still have Community Right to Build Order

o             There was confusion between Neighbourhood Planning as part of the Area Assemblies and Neighbourhood Planning as referred to in the Act

o             Although the LDF set out the Plan Policy for the Borough it was not yet fully in place so did not offer all the protection it would do when adopted.  There would always be room for manoeuvre as it was not site specific

 

Community Right to Buy

-        Members of a community would have the opportunity to buy a building if it came up for sale but they were only given 6 months to get all the assets together to purchase.  It needed to be made very clear to parishes and community groups that it was not as simple as they thought

 

Community Right to Challenge

-        If a community or parish decided to challenge a Council service, it opened it up to a tender process so any company could submit a tender

 

Housing

-        Majority of the provisions had commenced

-        Under the new Act, a local authority would be able to claim that it had discharged its homelessness function once it had made  ...  view the full minutes text for item 13.

14.

Co-option onto Select Commission. pdf icon PDF 61 KB

 

  • Caroline Webb, Senior Scrutiny Adviser, Scrutiny Services, Resources Directorate, to report.  

Minutes:

Deborah Fellowes, Scrutiny Manager, presented a report on proposed interim co-optee arrangements for the Select Commissions.

 

The current group of co-optees were recruited in May, 2010, with their ‘term of membership’ ending in 2012.  The process for 2012-14 recruitment had not yet commenced.

 

In Autumn, 2011, the Board had agreed that co-option and wider public engagement arrangements should be reviewed to identify any potential gaps or areas for improvement with a view to recruiting co-optees for the beginning of the 2012/13 Municipal Year.  The review of public involvement commenced last year and would report its finding shortly.  It was suggested that the current co-option arrangements continue in the interim with a view to recruiting in line with the review recommendations after the August recess.

 

Emerging issues from the review suggested the need to ensure that co-optees were properly supported and were clear about their role.  The review also highlighted the need to reach out through the co-optees’ networks to draw on the knowledge and experience of the wider community to meet scrutiny’s priorities.

 

The Improving Lives Select Commission had a number of ‘statutory’ co-optees i.e. 4 Parent Governor representatives (PGR) and 2 Diocesan representatives.  These were subject to different selection processes and, in their statutory role, had voting rights and the power of call-in in relation to education matters.

 

There were currently 3 PGR vacancies and 1 Diocesan vacancy.  Both were subject to different recruitment arrangements.  The statutory requirement was for the inclusion of between 2 and 5 PGRs in the membership of the relevant scrutiny committee; their term of membership being 4 years.

 

Discussion ensued on the report with the following issues highlighted:-

 

-        Election for Parent Governors was run through the Council’s Governors’ Section

-        Representation from Special Schools had been lacking in the past

-        The non-attendance for 6 months rule did not apply to co-optees

-        Following the recruitment process a reserve list should be retained in case of resignations

-        Resource issues with regard to supporting co-optees

-        If the election for PGR co-optees was not successful it costs would be incurred for a further election

 

Resolved:-  (1)  That 4 Parent Governor representatives be sought for the Improving Lives Select Commission and recruitment be commenced in line with statutory guidance.

 

(2)  That a request be submitted to SACRE for a Diocesan representative for the Improving Lives Select Commission.

 

(3)  That existing co-optee arrangements continue in the interim pending the outcome of the Public Engagement Scrutiny Review to be reported in 3 months.

15.

Overview and Scrutiny Management Board Representatives.

 

To nominate representatives to: -

 

(a)               Members’ Training and Development Panel           - 2 nominees required.

Minutes:

Resolved:-  That the Overview and Scrutiny Management Board be represented by Councillors Whelbourn and Steele (substitute) on the Members’ Training and Development Panel for the 2012/13 Municipal Year.

16.

Legislative Programme, 2012/13. pdf icon PDF 68 KB

 

·         Steve Eling, Policy Officer, Commissioning, Policy and Performance, Resources Directorate, to report.

Minutes:

Steve Eling, Policy Officer, submitted an overview of the Legislation programme for 2012/13 as set out by the Queen at the State Opening of Parliament on 9th May, 2012.

 

The programme was set out against the Government’s stated ongoing first priority of reducing the deficit and restoring economic stability, focusing on economic growth, justice and constitutional reform.

 

Whilst the number of Bills affecting the Council were fewer, there were issues that would have significant implications.  These would be in addition to the commencement of Acts passed in the last session e.g. Localism, Health and Social Care and Welfare Reform:-

 

Children and Families Bill

Special Educational Needs

Adoption

Family Law

Flexible Parental Leave

Office of the Children’s Commissioner

 

Electoral Registration and Administration Bill

 

Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill

 

Local Government Finance Bill

Non-Domestic Rates

Council Tax

 

Draft Care and Support Bill

 

Draft Local Audit Bill

 

Resolved:-  (1)  That the legislative programme for 2012/13 be noted.

 

(2)  That the following issues be considered and further reports be submitted in due course if required:-

 

Special Educational Needs – Improving Places Select Commission

Electoral Registration and Administration Bill – Overview and Scrutiny Management Board

Draft Care and Support Bill – Health Select Commission

Draft Local Audit Bill – Chairs of Self-Regulation Select Commission and Audit Committee

Policy implications and options for the Local Government Finance Bill – Overview and Scrutiny Management Board

17.

Work programme

 

  • Deborah Fellowes, Policy and Scrutiny Manager, Resources Directorate, to report. 

Minutes:

Deborah Fellowes, Policy Manager, gave a powerpoint presentation on the 2013/14 work programme for the Board and Select Commissions as follows:-

 

Overview and Scrutiny Management Board

-        Fuel Poverty

-        Community Right to Challenge

-        VAR

-        Safeguarding

-        Police Reform

-        Community Safety

-        Flooding

 

Self Regulation

-        Budget

-        District Heating

-        Outsourcing of Parking Charges

-        Commissioning, Performance and Value for Money

 

Improving Lives

-        Welfare Reform

-        Safe Havens

-        Early Intervention

-        Special Educational Needs

-        Primary School Places

-        Sexual Exploitation

 

Health

-        Health Inequalities

-        Discharge Arrangements

-        Access to Health Care

-        Autistic Spectrum Disorder

-        Commissioning in respect of Health

 

Referrals to Improving Places (to be considered on 13th June)

-        Index of Multiple Deprivation

-        Road Repairs

-        Grass cutting – link with Parish Councils

-        Littering

 

Discussion ensued on safeguarding and the recent case, Child ‘S’, that had received press coverage.  It was felt that a meeting should be held as a matter of urgency to discuss the matter further.

 

Resolved:-  (1)  That the work programmes be noted.

 

(2)  That a meeting be convened as a matter of urgency with the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Management Board, Chairman of the Improving Lives Select Commission, Cabinet Member for Young People, Children and Families Services and the Strategic Director, Children and Young Peoples Services to discuss the findings of the Serious Case Review held into the case of Child ‘S’ with a report back to the 22nd June meeting.

 

(3)  That a review of Safeguarding be conducted as a matter of priority.

18.

Youth Cabinet/Young People's Issues.

Minutes:

There were no issues to report.

19.

Minutes of the previous meeting held on 25th May, 2012. pdf icon PDF 38 KB

Minutes:

Resolved:-  That the minutes of the previous meeting held on 25th May, 2012, be approved as a correct record for signature by the Chairman.

20.

Work in Progress

Minutes:

Health Select Commission

Councillor Steele reported that the Commission had responded to a Government consultation paper on Obesity and a proposal to introduce standardised packaging for tobacco.

 

Self-Regulation Select Commission

Councillor Currie reported that the District Heating review was to commence shortly.  Representatives had been sought from the Improving Places Select Commission to join the review.

 

21.

Call-in Issues - to consider any issues referred for call-in.

Minutes:

There were no formal call-in requests to report.