Cheltenham Borough Council
Cheltenham Borough Council

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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Pittville Room - Municipal Offices

Contact: Pauline Hartree, Democracy Officer 

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies

Minutes:

There were no apologies.

2.

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

3.

Minutes of the last meeting pdf icon PDF 87 KB

To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 11 February 2019.

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 11 February were approved and signed as a correct record.

4.

Public and Member questions, calls for actions and petitions

Questions must be received no later than 12 noon on Tuesday 26 March 2019

Minutes:

There were none.

5.

Matters referred to committee

Minutes:

There were none.

6.

Feedback from other scrutiny meetings attended pdf icon PDF 52 KB

Gloucestershire Health and Care O&S Committee meetings on 20 February 2019 and on 5 March 2019 – update from Councillor Horwood

 

Gloucestershire Economic Growth Scrutiny Committee – meetings on 14 February 2019 and 20 March 2019 – update from Councillor Paul McCloskey

 

Police and Crime Panel on 15 March 2019   - update from Councillor Jonny Brownsteen

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Horwood circulated a written report he had prepared following a special meeting of the Gloucestershire Health and Care Overview and Scrutiny meeting on 20 February to discuss Gloucestershire walk-in services and general surgery only. The report also covered the scheduled meeting of HOSC which took place on 5 March. He went through the report in detail and the following points were raised by Members and responses given :

·         At the March meeting of the County Council a proposal to split scrutiny of health from social care and public health, due to the significant agenda of HOSC, was adopted resulting in the configuration of a health scrutiny committee and a social care scrutiny committee. (CHECK for terminology!). Some County Council Members felt that this ran contrary to what was happening nationally. Councillor Horwood, as CBC representative on HOSC, assumed he would remain on the Health Scrutiny Committee. Members proposed, with the agreement of the Leader, (who was in attendance), that the Leader write to the County Council jointly with the Chair of O&S to express their concerns about splitting health from care from the HOSC.

·         Concern was expressed by a Member that the Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group would be interpreting the NHS new plan for joined up care in a local context. Cllr Horwood suggested that the NHS would undertake further engagement and consultation and suggested that O&S write to the Clinical Commissioning Group to come to an O&S meeting and talk about the long term plan, both nationally and locally.

The report of Councillor McCloskey on the GEGSC was noted. It was noted that Councillor Brownsteen had not provided a report on this occasion.

7.

Cabinet Briefing

An update from the Cabinet on key issues for Cabinet Members which may be of interest to Overview and Scrutiny and may inform the O&S workplan. 

Minutes:

The Leader informed the meeting that the County Council had recently undertaken a review of the scrutiny process and one proposal was to amend the remit of the Gloucestershire Economic Growth Overview and Scrutiny Committee to include the environment portfolio. This proposal had been made without consultation with the districts so he reported that he had raised this directly with the County Council as a concern. That said, the County Council did not adopt this change at their Council meeting.

Members expressed concerns however with the decision by the County Council to split health and social care/public health and the impact this would have on district representation. They felt this was a reduction in the power of scrutiny which GCC had approved without consultation. It was agreed that this would be included in the aforementioned joint letter from the Leader and Chair of O&S.

The Leader then made reference to the enquiry from some O&S Members with regard to the spending of the £800k fine income from  Boots Corner and the letter received from the County Council Cabinet Member.  He explained that this would be a reducing income stream and the letter from Councillor Moor had confirmed it would be spent in Cheltenham with the priority on making the transport system function. In addition, the fines income was being used to fund the Clarence Street/Clarence Parade changes and any surplus would be spent in consultation with CBC in the normal way. Whilst this was a positive commitment the Leader was unsure as to what it meant in reality.

Some Members believed that the changes at Clarence Street/Parade were budgeted for as part of the original TRO and highlighted that funds should be more targeted at upgrading cycle paths and pavements.

The Leader clarified that the CTP had been funded by the sustainable local transport fund which had been allocated in early 2012. However, he was unsure of the remaining funds and had not seen an itemised spend to date. One Member felt that the letter from Councillor Moor was dismissive and unsatisfactory with no reference that the spend of the fines income would be on the upgrade of pedestrian and cycle facilities in the town as originally suggested.  It was proposed that further clarification be sought from the County with a request that information be presented in terms of a balance sheet to enable Members to see where the fine income was being spent and to see what funds remained. They felt that it was important to maximise sustainable transport around the town. Members agreed that as the Leader had written to Councillor Moor in the first instance that he be requested to write again to seek further clarification.

When asked who would fund the changes if, at the end of phase 4 of the CTP, it was decided that it was not viable and therefore the system reverted back, the Leader stated that the TRO order would not be implemented and would lapse after the 18 month  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.

8.

Review of Overview and Scrutiny pdf icon PDF 117 KB

Presentation and discussion on the scope of the future Overview and  Scrutiny review

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chair gave an introduction to the item as outlined in the attached report and informed Members that Darren Knight, Executive Director People and Change, would now be supporting Overview and Scrutiny as the Executive Leadership Team champion. This would enable scrutiny to move forward in a more structured way.

 

The Chief Executive, Pat Pratley, made reference to the attached report and explained that the last review of overview and scrutiny took place in 2011 with a review of the new arrangements taking place in 2013. It was now deemed timely to undertake a further review of scrutiny arrangements. As the Chair had already explained the Executive Leadership Team would now provide direct support and organisational oversight to the scrutiny Chair’s group via the Executive Director People and Change, Darren Knight, to be deputised by the Executive Director Finance and Assets, Paul Jones. This represented an obvious and definite commitment from the senior officer leadership of the authority and would assist in scoping the review of scrutiny.

 

The Executive Director People and Change, Darren Knight and the Strategy and Engagement Manager, Richard Gibson, then gave Members a presentation, the slides of which are attached to these minutes for information.

 

The Executive Director People and Change included in his presentation one proposal whereby the Chairs Group could set up a matrix for the O&S workplan and suggest some major cross cutting themes for O&S to consider. This could be prepared for the start of the year, i.e. the September meeting. The aim would still be to provide flexibility to address new suggestions by Members but would identify any resourcing issues going forward and thereby provide a more structured way of working.

The following points were raised by Members :

·         Some Members felt that they were already fully aware of what was important to residents due to case work and therefore generating topics for scrutiny was not an issue. Scrutiny registration forms were a means of addressing such concerns as this involved an officer response and a consideration of resource implications. The problem was that scrutiny did not have the resource available to it at the right level in order to address issues proposed in a timely and effective manner which had in turn an impact on council tax payers and the electorate.

·         The Chair supported the proposal to plan out the bigger issues as an option for O&S to consider as he could see how this would to a degree prevent slippage by providing a robustness to the structure of work.

·         A Member believed that there was not parity of esteem in terms of how Cabinet Members were supported by officers compared to Scrutiny Members. Scrutiny was a statutory function of the authority and she felt it was not working well. There were currently 20 items on the workplan which needed progressing and many of these were known issues and events of concern for residents.

·         A Member requested that the scope of O&S be extended to include  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.

9.

New scrutiny registration forms

To consider new scrutiny registration forms.

 

 

 

Minutes:

There were none.

10.

Review of scrutiny workplan pdf icon PDF 87 KB

Review of the workplan and prioritisation of any new items

 

Minutes:

The Chair took the opportunity to feedback on the recent seminar O&S had held with regard to travellers. He explained that one of the outcomes was to invite a high ranking police officer to come to the next O&S meeting to explain to Members what powers they have available to them and at what point they would implement them. It would appear that the process the council has to follow was significantly more onerous. Members agreed that the way forward would be to invite the police inspector to address the committee in this regard on both policy and operational issues in respect of travellers.

In terms of the work plan, it was suggested by the Chair, and supported by Members, that Gloucestershire Airport could be invited to address all Members on the available member seminar date of Monday, April 29. Democratic Services would ascertain whether this was possible.

The Executive Director People and Change undertook to provide an update to Members on Events at the next O&S meeting on 3 June.

11.

Date of next meeting

The next meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee is on 3 June 2019

Minutes:

Members were reminded of the scrutiny training arranged for 1 May.

 

Members requested that an additional meeting of O&S to discuss the review of scrutiny be arranged for May. Democratic Services would liaise with Members and schedule a date accordingly.

 

The next formal meeting would take place on Monday 3 June 2019.