Agenda and minutes

Scrutiny Advisory Board - Communities and Place - Friday, 10th March, 2023 10.00 am

Venue: County Offices Kendal

Contact: Lorraine Davis  Email:

No. Item



To receive any apologies for absence.



Apologies for absence were received from Mr F Cassidy, Mr McEwan, Mr Hamilton, Mr D Wilson and Mr R Dobson.




To note any changes in membership of the Board.



There were no changes to membership to note.




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.



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



MINUTES pdf icon PDF 171 KB

To confirm as a correct record the minutes of the meeting of the Board held on 30 November 2022 (copy enclosed).



RESOLVED,that the minutes of the meeting of the Board held on 30 November 2022 be agreed as a true record and signed by the Chair.


Further to Minute 26 – Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment – members agreed to bring to the attention of the new Authorities, the need for safe methods of disposal of items that contain mercury, such as energy saving lightbulbs and florescent tubes.



Bus Services pdf icon PDF 120 KB

To consider a report by the Executive Director – Economy and Infrastructure (copy enclosed).


Additional documents:


Members received a report that provided an update on bus service provision across the county.  The background was explained by the Assistant Director Highways and Transport. 


Members heard on 21 October 2021 Cabinet considered a report from the Cabinet Working Group – Transport in Cumbria, attached at appendix 1 and 2.  The report and its associated appendix were based on witness sessions held by the Group, national and local policy context and research. Having considered the contents of the Group’s report a response was provided by the Executive Director – Economy and Infrastructure (appendix 3) which was considered by Cabinet.  Alongside the report of the Cabinet Working Group, on 21 October 2021 Cabinet also approved the organisation’s first Bus Service Improvement Plan (BSIP) (appendix 4).  The BSIP included a request to secure £64m of Government funding to deliver a range of improvements to local bus services across Cumbria.  Members noted that whilst 31 councils were successful in attracting additional funding over 40 including Cumbria County Council were not.  Despite the disappointing news the aspirations of the plan and the measures proposed within it still remained and officers would continue to work with partners to explore other potential sources of additional funding to help the new authorities realise their ambitions to improve public transport and public transport infrastructure.


Members were informed that BSIP was currently being reviewed and this would be utilised to reiterate the ambitions to the DfT and hopefully secure funding in future years. The Council would also shortly be agreeing an Enhanced Partnership Plan and Scheme (EPP&S) with the county’s bus operators which will formalise the content of the BSIP.  In due course it was likely that the 2 new authorities would publish their own BSIPs and develop their own EPP&S.


Members were aware that the Council had secured £1.5m funding from the DfT as part of its Rural Mobility Fund. In Summer 2023 a series of digital demand responsive transport solutions would be launched as pilot schemes serving the rural areas surrounding 4 of Cumbria’s market towns. These would cover a 15 mile radius of Penrith and Wigton and a 10 mile radius of Egremont/St Bees and Ulverston.  The schemes would serve rural areas surrounding the above stated towns currently with little or no scheduled bus services. It was anticipated that the transport would improve access to education, healthcare, employment and the leisure and retail offer in addition to supporting the night-time economy.  Engagement was undertaken with Members and the wider community in advance of the pilot scheme launch and during the subsequent evaluation exercises. It was hoped that if the schemes were successful and self-financing they could be implemented in other areas of the county.  The Council had £0.381m funding from the DfT as part of its Funding for Supported Bus Services initiative and following dialogue with Members it was suggested that a series of scheduled bus services were introduced serving areas with little or no current provision.  It was proposed that  ...  view the full minutes text for item 35.


Communities and Place Reflective Review pdf icon PDF 110 KB

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


Additional documents:


A report was considered that provided the Board with the opportunity to share their views on significant scrutiny areas for the future.  These views would be captured and shared with Members and Senior Officers of the two new unitary Councils established in Cumbria on 1 April 2023 to inform work programming within the new Scrutiny arrangements.


Members were aware that Scrutiny Members undertook some evaluation activity over the summer of 2022 on the Council’s scrutiny function and a review of the activity of each Scrutiny Board and Committee.  The findings of the evaluation and review activity were captured in the Scrutiny Review report considered by Scrutiny Management Board (SMB) in September 2022.  An abridged version of the report was attached as Appendix 1 of this paper for Members’ reference.  As part of the closure of the County Council and the transition of responsibilities to Cumberland Council and Westmorland and Furness Council from April 2023, each Council Scrutiny Board or Committee was being given the opportunity to reflect on the significant issues and service areas.


In discussion, Members recognised the value of scrutiny and its usefulness as a tool to influence decision making at both strategic and local levels and examples of this was given.  The importance of good officer support was highlighted. 


Members highlighted some future scrutiny items that they wished to be captured and shared going forward.  The Policy and Scrutiny Officer welcomed the feedback from members.


RESOLVED,that the report be noted.




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


This report informs members of new and updated items of significance to the Board (including relevant aspects of the Council’s Forward Plan and Key Decisions).


Additional documents:


A report from the Strategic Policy and Scrutiny Advisor was considered. This provided members with the County Council’s Forward Plan of Key Decisions.


As it was the last meeting of the Board, members were invited to submit final comments.




(1)  the Forward plan of Key Decisions be noted.




To note that this the last meeting of the Board in the life of Cumbria County Council.



It was noted that this was the last meeting of the Board in the life of Cumbria County Council.


The Chair thanked members and officers for their contribution to the work of the Board over the years.  The Assistant Director – Highways and Transport thanked members for their support.