Agenda and draft minutes

Scrutiny Management Board
Friday, 13th November, 2020 10.00 am

Venue: Via Teams

Contact: Lorraine Davis  Email: lorraine.davis@cumbria.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

76.

Roll Call and APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

To carry out a roll call of Members and Officers and to receive any apologies for absence.

 

Minutes:

Members and officers confirmed their attendance at the meeting.  There were no apologies for absence received for this meeting.

 

77.

MEMBERSHIP

To report any changes to the membership of the Board.

 

Minutes:

There were no changes in membership of the Board.

 

78.

DISCLOSURES OF INTEREST

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.

 

Note

 

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).

 

Minutes:

There were no disclosures of interest for this meeting.

 

79.

EXCLUSION OF PRESS AND PUBLIC

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

 

Minutes:

RESOLVED,that the press and public be not excluded from the meeting during consideration of any item on the agenda.

 

80.

MINUTES pdf icon PDF 83 KB

To confirm as a correct record the Minutes of the meeting of the Board held on 10 September 2020 (copy enclosed).

 

Minutes:

RESOLVED,that the minutes of the meeting held on 10 September 2020 be agreed as a true record.

 

81.

CALL-IN ITEMS

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.

 

Minutes:

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

 

82.

Strategic Planning - Feedback from Early Scrutiny Engagement pdf icon PDF 86 KB

To consider a report by the Executive Director – Corporate, Customer and Community Services (copy enclosed).

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Strategic Scrutiny and Policy Advisor presented the summary of Members’ discussions at the session held for all non-executive Members on 6 October 2020.   Members noted that 22 members had joined the session and received information on the context for the Council’s strategic and budget planning, the impacts of the Covid 19 pandemic and other events on the current position and the proposed next steps.  The collated summary of feedback was attached as Appendix 1 to the report.

 

It was noted that this session had been the first of three planned sessions over the autumn/winter period to ensure members were kept informed of developments and had opportunities to contribute.  The next session planned for 24 November, was within the Council’s budget consultation period for 2021/22 and would focus on forming a response to that consultation.  Members’ feedback would be used to develop a formal response to Cabinet from Scrutiny Management Board. 

 

To conclude the Strategic Scrutiny and Policy Advisor informed members that the final session, to be held in early 2021, would be to receive updated information and consider the implications of the planned Spending Review and financial settlement.

 

A Board member expressed disappointment on the lack of detail in the budget consultation paper that had been circulated to members.  The Executive Director – Corporate, Customer and Community Services confirmed that more details would be available for members at their session in November, including information on the Medium Term Financial Plan.

 

A member highlighted the difficulty in setting a budget in the uncertain and constantly evolving times.

 

RESOLVED, that

 

(1)  the approach to Scrutiny engagement in the Council’s strategic and budget planning process for the remainder of 2020/21 as set out in the report be agreed;

 

(2)  the Chair and Vice Chair of Scrutiny Management Board be delegated sign off of Scrutiny’s response to the Council’s budget consultation for 2020/21, following consultation with Scrutiny Management Board members.

 

83.

Task and Finish Group on Local Government Reform - Locality Models pdf icon PDF 83 KB

To receive a report from the Chair of the Local Government Reform Task and Finish Group (copy enclosed).

 

Minutes:

The Chair informed members of the ongoing work of the Task and Finish Group on Local Government Reform.  Members noted that the Group were looking at examples of counties that had moved to unitary council status to understand how they localised services and activities.  It was noted that the Group had four main work streams – planning, models of localisation, health and wellbeing and developing councillors of the future. 

 

Members noted that the next meeting of the Group would review the first draft of the report containing recommendations that would be submitted to Cabinet in December.  Members agreement was sought to delegate responsibility for sign off of the finalised report to the Chair and Vice Chair of Scrutiny Management Board, following consultation with Board members.

 

In discussion, members commended the work being undertaken by the Task and Finish Group and when commenting on the health and wellbeing work stream, welcomed the joint working that was taking place at community level, with locality managers and colleagues in the NHS.  It was suggested that the Group utilise previous work that had been undertaken on Local Government Reform and discussions take place with District Councils to look at alternative ideas and concepts.  The Chair confirmed that the Group were looking at lessons learned and good practice from other local authorities.  It was recognised that this work would benefit the residents of Cumbria at community level, economically and socially.

 

Members expressed an interest to see the work taken to date.  It was therefore

 

RESOLVED,that

 

(1)  the report be noted;

 

(2)  the Chair and Vice Chair of Scrutiny Management Board sign off the final report before submission to Cabinet, following consultation with Scrutiny Management Board members;

 

(3)  the Group’s work to date be circulated to members.

 

84.

Scope for the Remote Working Task and Finish Group pdf icon PDF 83 KB

To consider a report by the Executive Director – Corporate, Customer and Community Services (copy to follow).

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members received a report outlining the proposed scope for a Scrutiny Task and Finish review on exploring future ways of working in the context of the changes that had been implemented during and in response to the Covid 19 pandemic.  It was noted the review would make a significant contribution to the Council’s planning for future decision-making, engagement and service delivery arrangements.

 

Members were asked to consider and approve the scope and give consideration whether the work should be undertaken by full Scrutiny Management Board members or by a separate established Task and Finish Group with membership drawn from non-executive members.

 

Following a member’s suggestion to widen the scope to include maximising and embedding the efficiencies created by new ways of working, the Executive Director – Corporate, Customer and Community Services confirmed this work was ongoing and was included in the proposed scope.  A member suggested that clarity be sought from the Government on their intentions for the legislation after the temporary Remote Working regulations end in May 2021.  Members and the Executive Director – Corporate, Customer and Community Services welcomed a request that health and wellbeing be incorporated as a specific strand within the scope.

 

RESOLVED,that

 

(1)  the proposed scope, with the addition of health and wellbeing as a specific work strand, be agreed;

 

(2)  the review be undertaken through the formation of a small Task and Finish Group with membership sought from the non-executive members of the Council.

 

85.

Scrutiny Performance Working Group Update pdf icon PDF 77 KB

To consider a report by the Executive Director – Corporate, Customer and Community Services (copy enclosed).

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members received a report providing an update from Scrutiny Performance Working Group.

 

The Chair informed members that the Working Group had met on 8 October 2020 and had received a Highways update, an overview of the New Council Plan Delivery Plan 2020-22 and discussed future agenda items.  It was noted that the next meeting of the Group would be held on 12 January 2021.

 

RESOLVED,that the report be noted.

 

86.

SCRUTINY CHAIRS UPDATE pdf icon PDF 79 KB

To receive updates from the Chair of each of the following:-

 

            Scrutiny Panel - Communities and Place                  Mr S Collins

            Cumbria Police and Crime Panel                               Mr W McEwan

            Cumbria Health Scrutiny Committee                          Ms C Driver

            Scrutiny Panel - Adults                                                 Mr M Wilson

            Cumbria LEP Scrutiny                                                  Mr W Wearing

            Scrutiny Panel - Children and Young People           Mrs V Tarbitt

           

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Board received an update on the work of the Scrutiny Advisory Boards, Panels and Committees from each of the Chairs.

 

(1)       Scrutiny Advisory Board – Communities and Place

 

It was noted that the Communities and Place Scrutiny Advisory Board had met on 24 September 2020 and considered reports and presentations on the Digital Infrastructure Strategy, Cumbria’s Climate Change Group and Carbon Management and the Flood Response Plan. It was agreed that the Flood Response Plan be circulated to Scrutiny Management Board members. 

 

In answer to a question on IT platforms and suitability for the organisation, the Executive Director – Corporate, Customer and Corporate Services said that this could be explored at the Remote Working Task and Finish Group.

 

Members noted that the Infrastructure Task and Finish Group had conducted two witness sessions and work was underway to review all the evidence collected and produce a report for Cabinet in February.  The next meeting of Communities and Place Scrutiny Advisory Board was scheduled to take place on 17 November 2020.

 

(2)       Cumbria Police and Crime Panel

 

Members noted that the Cumbria Police and Crime Panel had met in October 2020 and the main points from the meeting were summarised.  These included the Police and Crime Plan, the Commissioners Annual Report, Appointment of two new Independent Co-opted Members of the Panel and the Election of Chair and Vice Chair of the Panel.  The Chair thanked the officers involved in the appointment process.

 

It was noted that the next meeting of the Police and Crime Panel was due to take place in January 2021 where the focus would be on the setting of the policing council tax precept.

 

(3)       Cumbria Health Scrutiny Committee

 

It was noted that Cumbria Health Scrutiny Committee had met on the 5th October and the discussions had focussed on the COVID 19 response and the impact of this on winter planning. 

 

It was noted that meetings between the Lead Health Scrutiny Members and Chief Officers and Chairs of key Health Partners had taken place periodically throughout the pandemic and were continuing on a quarterly basis and Cumbria Health Scrutiny Committee and Adults’ Scrutiny Advisory Board were having a series of joint meetings to look at areas covering the closer integration of Health and Care Services.

 

The Chair advised that agenda planning meetings were taking place to prioritise agenda items for the remaining meetings of this term’s Health Scrutiny Committee, with cross cutting work between Health, Adults and Children and Young People on mental health proposed for the meeting in February.

 

The discussion that followed included the importance of the podiatry service, the impact of the pandemic on elective surgeries and the closure of the dementia unit at Furness General Hospital.  Members were asked to feedback local issues so informed questions could be raised at Committee meetings.

 

(4)       Scrutiny Advisory Board – Adults

 

Members heard that the Adult Scrutiny Advisory Board had at its meeting on 16 October examined the new discharge from hospital arrangements and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 86.

87.

SCRUTINY MANAGEMENT BOARD UPDATE REPORT AND WORK PROGRAMME pdf icon PDF 93 KB

To receive a report from the Strategic Policy and Scrutiny Advisor (copy enclosed).

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members received a report that provided the Board with an update on issues and developments that had occurred since their meeting in September 2020.  The appendices to the report also provided Board Members with the Scrutiny Work Programme and the current Forward Plan of Key Decisions. 

 

Following a member’s request for some work on training for members and officers to maximise the benefits and efficiencies of IT and on using and interpreting statistics, the Executive Director – Corporate, Customer and Community Services agreed to refer the member element of this to the Chair of the Member Development Group and would investigate what was available for officers.

 

RESOLVED,   that

 

                          (1)          the range of activity report be noted;

 

                          (2)          the work programme presented in Appendix 1 be agreed;

 

                          (3)          authority be delegated to the Chair and Vice Chair of Scrutiny Management Board to provide the final sign off of the report from the Infrastructure Task and Finish Group, commissioned by the Communities and Place Scrutiny Advisory Board in advance of its presentation to Cabinet in February 2021;

 

                          (4)          the Forward Plan of Key Decisions be noted;

 

88.

DATE OF NEXT MEETING

To note that the next meeting of the Board will take place on 8 March 2021 at 10.00 am.

 

Minutes:

It was noted that the next meeting of the Board will take place on 8 March 2021 at 10.00 am.

 

A Board member suggested that a virtual tour be arranged of the newly remodelled library at Barrow for members of the public and councillors.  The Executive Director – Corporate, Customer and Community Services agreed to liaise with the Library and Communications Teams to arrange this.