Agenda and minutes

Scrutiny Management Board
Wednesday, 18th July, 2018 1.45 pm

Venue: Committee Room 1, County Hall, Kendal

Contact: Stewart Consterdine  Email:

No. Item



To receive any apologies for absence


Mr J Airey, Mrs P Bell, Mr W McEwan, Mr C Hogg, Mr J Mallinson and Mrs E Williamson had sent their apologies for absence.




To report any changes to the membership of the Board


The Chair advised the meeting that Mr C Hogg had replaced Mr N Hughes on the committee.




Members are invited to disclose any disclosable pecuniary interest they have in any item on the agenda which comprises


1          Details of any employment, office, trade, profession or vocation carried on for            profit or gain.


2          Details of any payment or provision of any other financial benefit (other than from the authority) made or provided within the relevant period in respect of any expenses incurred by you in carrying out duties as a member, or towards your election expenses.  (This includes any payment or financial benefit from a trade union within the meaning of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992.


3          Details of any contract which is made between you (or a body in which you have a beneficial interest) and the authority


(a)       Under which goods or services are to be provided or works are to be executed; and


            (b)       Which has not been fully discharged.


4          Details of any beneficial interest in land which is within the area of the authority. 


5          Details of any licence (alone or jointly with others) to occupy land in the area of the authority for a month or longer. 


6          Details of any tenancy where (to your knowledge)


            (a)       The landlord is the authority; and


            (b)       The tenant is a body in which you have a beneficial interest.


7          Details of any beneficial interest in securities of a body where


(a)       That body (to your knowledge) has a place of business or land in the    area of the authority; and


(b)       Either –


(i)      The total nominal value of the securities exceeds £25,000 or one            hundredth of the total issued share capital of that body; or


(ii)         If that share capital of that body is of more than one class, the total nominal value of the shares of any one class in which the relevant person has a beneficial interest exceeds one hundredth of the total issued share capital of that class.


In addition, you must also disclose other non-pecuniary interests set out in the Code of Conduct where these have not already been registered.




A “disclosable pecuniary interest” is an interest of a councillor or their partner (which means spouse or civil partner, a person with whom they are living as husband or wife, or a person with whom they are living as if they are civil partners).


There were no declarations of Interest made at the meeting.




To consider whether the press and public should be excluded from the meeting during consideration of any item on the agenda.


There were no items in respect of which it was resolved to exclude the press and public  from the meeting.



MINUTES pdf icon PDF 83 KB

To confirm as a correct record the Minutes of the meeting of the Board held on  6 March 2018. (copy enclosed)



RESOLVED That the Minutes of the meetings held on 6 March 2018 are agreed as a correct record.


The Chair provided an update on scrutiny of the Sustainable Procurement Strategy.  A “Deep Dive” will take place on the same date (20 September 2018) as the next meeting of Scrutiny Management Board. 





For members to be informed of any call-in items received by the County Council and to consider whether any further action needs to be taken by the Board.


The Chair advised that there were no Call in items for the Board to consider.



Developing The Council's Approach to Commercialism pdf icon PDF 2 MB

Presentation from the Executive Director – Corporate, Customer and Community Services.



The Assistant Director – Organisational Change gave a presentation on building a financially sustainable Council, updating members on progress on the enterprise strand of the Council Plan.


The Assistant Director reminded members of the Council’s vision and the challenge of saving £52 million over the next 3 years.  He explained the need for both creativity and realism in exploring how opportunities to maximise income could contribute to meeting the challenge.  He advised members that the challenge required cultural change in the way the Council thinks and works, that will take some time to embed.


The Assistant Director highlighted activities that were being undertaken by other local authorities, explaining that the Council would look at whether there are similar opportunities in Cumbria, consistent with the principles underpinning the Cumbria approach. 


The Assistant Director explained that the Council will need to develop greater commercial acumen, looking for example at whole life costs of an activity, as a business would.  He agreed with members’ suggestion that the Council would need to invest in commercial expertise in the early stages. He explained that the key was how the Council would create a culture of generating new ideas which would be challenged, tested and implemented.  He advised that having the appropriate skills was crucial and will require training, development and growth at an appropriate scale and pace.


Members discussed the presentation, including how members’ skills and experience could contribute to the development of commercialism.  Throughout the discussion, members drew on their experience in their local areas of successful social enterprise and made suggestions about possible commercial activities that the Council could investigate.


The Board focused on the need for creativity and innovation, coupled with an appetite for risk. Members felt that the Council is not well known for innovation, which some members thought could not be taught and agreed that the Council needs to think about how to generate creativity and innovation. An example was given in relation to “fan parks” associated with the World Cup, where it was felt that an opportunity had been missed in Cumbria. 


Members discussed what had been learned from the recent unsuccessful attempt to recruit an enterprise project lead, including a discussion of what might be appropriate qualifications for such a role. 


The Board expressed some frustration at the pace of change in the last 18 months.  Members felt that there needed to be a challenge back to Executive Directors to explore all possibilities for maximising commercialisation.


The Board went on to discuss how members could contribute to the enterprise work strand.  Members asked for more information about what statutory powers could be used to enable trading in local areas, and the potential for cross-border working and collaboration with district councils. The Board discussed how to bring the enterprise work strand into Local Committees. It was agreed that Area Managers would be best placed take up the conversations with members in their local areas and to maintain pace.


Members discussed their preferred approach to ongoing involvement and it was  ...  view the full minutes text for item 105.


Overview of Progress with Task and Finish Group Recommendations pdf icon PDF 70 KB

To consider a report from the Executive Director – Corporate, Customer and Community Services. 


Additional documents:


The  Senior Manager – Policy and Scrutiny presented a report on progress with recommendations from Scrutiny to Cabinet over the past two years.


RESOLVED To note the report.


Scrutiny Chairs Update pdf icon PDF 52 KB

To receive a report from the Chairs of the Scrutiny Advisory Boards:


Adults                                                             Mr M Wilson

Children and Young People                     Mrs V Tarbitt

Communities and Place                             Mrs P Bell

Cumbria Health Scrutiny                            Ms C Driver

Cumbria Police and Crime Panel             Mr S Bowditch 


Additional documents:


The Board received the reports from each of the Scrutiny Board Chairs.


A member asked how members could find out about issues mentioned in the reports, in this case closed landfill sites.  The member was referred to the minutes of the Communities and Place Scrutiny Advisory Board and the Senior Manager – Policy and Scrutiny agreed to circulate the briefing to members.


Members asked for a further update on integrated transport in particular for assurance that the implications of proposed changes had been fully investigated.  The Chair advised members that the information will be fed into Local Committees by Area Managers.



Scrutiny Management Board Update Report and Work Programme pdf icon PDF 75 KB

To consider a report from the Executive Director – Corporate, Customer and Community Services. 


Additional documents:


The Senior Manager – Policy and Scrutiny, introduced the report highlighting that the main focus of the Board in the next few months would be scrutiny of strategic planning.  This would start on July 25 2018 with workshops on the Council’s 4 new ways of working.  The Chief Executive and Deputy Leader will be attending.  Assistant Directors will host the event and provide an overview.  Members will have the opportunity to ask questions, generate ideas and discuss how they would like Scrutiny to be involved in the strategic planning process.


Members discussed the scrutiny self assessment and the Senior Manager outlined the approach which is based on guidance from the Centre for Public Scrutiny. The Senior Manager explained that there may be an opportunity to invite the Centre to Cumbria later in the year to support Scrutiny.


The Board reviewed the Council’s Forward Plan.  The Executive Director – Corporate, Customer and Community Services was asked if she was aware of any procurements that might miss their dates.  The Executive Director advised that she had reviewed procurements this week and nothing had been brought to her attention that would cause difficulty.


The Chair noted that he had received a letter from the Local Government Ombudsman relating to an Ombudsman Report on Social Care Complaints in the last 12 months. He stated that the report (which would be published on 25 July 2018) would be circulated to members and provided useful questions for Scrutiny to consider.  The Assistant Director – Organisational Change advised members that once received, the report would be compared with last year’s and benchmarked with other local authorities.


A member raised an issue about members not being informed about changes (in this case to bus services), which had meant he found out from the press.


A member referred back to the meeting on 6 March 2018 which had discussed notification of local members.  He had experienced a further incidence of not being informed about a change (in this case to bus services), which had meant he found out from the press.  He highlighted that this had left him unprepared to deal with questions that arose and asked the Assistant Director to ensure that members do receive communication about issues affecting them.




Date:        20 September 2018

Time:       10 AM

Venue:     Conference Room A & B, Cumbria House, Carlisle



The next meeting of the Board would be held on 20 September 2018 at Cumbria House, Carlisle.