Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

Big plans, bright future

Executive Scrutiny Committee Minutes

Date:
Tuesday, 17th January, 2017
Time:
9.30 a.m
Place:
First Floor Committee Room, Town Hall , High Street, Stockton on Tees, TS18 1AU
 
Please note: all Minutes are subject to approval at the next Meeting

Attendance Details

Present:
Cllr David Harrington (Chair); Cllr Sonia Bailey, Cllr Derrick Brown, Cllr Carol Clark, Cllr Chris Clough, Cllr Gillian Corr, Cllr Philip Dennis, Cllr Mohammed Javed, Cllr Eileen Johnson, Cllr Maurice Perry, Cllr Paul Rowling, Cllr Norma Stephenson (Vice Cllr Jean O'Donnell), Cllr Tracey Stott, Cllr Laura Tunney, Cllr Matthew Vickers and Cllr David Wilburn.
Officers:
Peter Bell, Graham Birtle, Peter Mennear, Judy Trainer (DCE).
In Attendance:
None.
Apologies for absence:
Cllr Jean O'Donnell and Cllr Sylvia Walmsley.
Item Description Decision
Public
ESC
51/16
EVACUATION PROCEDURE
The evacuation procedure was noted.
ESC
52/16
DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
 
ESC
53/16
MINUTES - 25 OCTOBER 2016 - FOR SIGNATURE
The minutes of the meeting held on 25 October 2016 were signed by the Chair as a correct record.
ESC
54/16
MINUTES - 29 NOVEMBER 2016 - FOR APPROVAL
RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 29 November 2016 be approved.
ESC
55/16
SCRUTINY REVIEW OF FLOODING RESILIENCE
RESOLVED that the report be noted, and the information requested be provided.
ESC
56/16
SCRUTINY REVIEW OF DOG FOULING ENFORCEMENT
RESOLVED that:-

1. The report be noted, and the Committee's suggestions be forwarded to the Service.

2. Crime and Disorder Committee monitor levels of dog fouling on an on-going basis.
ESC
57/16
REVIEW OF STOCKTON LOCAL SAFEGUARDING CHILDREN BOARD (SLSCB)
RESOLVED that the report be noted, and the information requested be provided.
ESC
58/16
REVIEW OF DISADVANTAGE IN EARLY YEARS AND SCHOOL
RESOLVED that the report be noted, and the information requested be provided.
ESC
59/16
STATUTORY FORWARD PLAN
RESOLVED that the Statutory Forward Plan be noted.
ESC
60/16
SELECT COMMITTEE CHAIR UPDATES
RESOLVED that the updates be noted.
ESC
61/16
CHAIR'S UPDATE AND EXECUTIVE SCRUTINY COMMITTEE WORK PROGRAMME
RESOLVED that:-
1. The Work Programme be noted.

2. Pre-meetings be introduced prior to future consideration of Council Performance reports.
ESC
62/16
SCRUTINY DEVELOPMENTS
RESOLVED that Council Performance Reports be considered by each Select Committee following consideration by Executive Scrutiny Committee.
10.00 am to 12 noon.

Preamble

ItemPreamble
ESC
52/16
Councillor Philip Dennis declared a personal non prejudicial interest in respect of agenda item 9 - Review of Disadvantage in Early Years and School - Final Report as he was a governor at a school with the Borough.

Councillor Maurice Perry declared a personal non prejudicial interest in respect of agenda item 9 - Review of Disadvantage in Early Years and School - Final Report as he was a governor at a school with the Borough.

Councillor Gillian Corr declared a personal non prejudicial interest in respect of agenda item 9 - Review of Disadvantage in Early Years and School - Final Report as she was a governor at a school with the Borough.

Councillor Sonia Bailey declared a personal non prejudicial interest in respect of agenda item 9 - Review of Disadvantage in Early Years and School - Final Report as she was a governor at a school with the Borough.

Councillor Dave Wilburn declared a personal non prejudicial interest in respect of agenda item 9 - Review of Disadvantage in Early Years and School - Final Report as she was a governor at a school with the Borough.
ESC
54/16
Consideration was given to the draft minutes of the meeting held on 29 November 2016.
ESC
55/16
Consideration was given to a report that presented the Place Select Committee findings following the Scrutiny Review of Flooding Resilience.

The Committee's report made recommendations to assist the Council and partner agencies respond to the number and level of flooding incidents that were of increased concern to residents.

Members were given the opportunity to ask questions and make comment on the report and recommendations. Some these questions and comments could be summarised as follows:-

- The Environment Agency had lowered the risk level in the Lustrum Beck area where work had been undertaken for the provision of flood defences
- With regard to Emergency Planning, Members could play a key role in signposting members of the public to services.
- The issue of contamination of water in Coatham Wood was raised and whether it was being dealt with. This would be reported back to the Committee.
- Northumbria Water prefer smaller gullies as this makes the water move quicker and prevents stagnation

Member noted the findings and supported the recommendations contained in the report.
ESC
56/16
Consideration was given to a report that presented the Crime and Disorder Select Committee findings following the Scrutiny Review of Dog Fouling Enforcement.

The Committee's report made recommendations to assist the Council in providing an appropriate response to the level of dog fouling incidents that were a regular concern to residents reported to Members.

The review was undertaken at the request of the Lead Cabinet Member initially to examine the use of dog DNA to identify dogs and subsequently their owners failing to dispose of the faeces responsibly. The review also scrutinised other aspects of enforcement.

Members were given the opportunity to ask questions and make comment on the report and recommendations. Some these questions and comments could be summarised as follows:-

- Many records of micro-chipping owners of dogs were out of date. It was felt that it would be helpful if the one-stop on the SBC website could include change of address details for dog owners or include a reminder.
- Funding was a big issue for the review. The Dog Welfare and Enforcement Team were much stretched. New signage to cover legislation across the Borough would incur costs.
- Levels of dog fouling should be continued to be monitored by the Crime and Disorder Committee as part of its ongoing work.


Member noted the findings and supported the recommendations contained in the report.
ESC
57/16
Consideration was given to a report that presented the Children & Young People Select Committee findings following the Scrutiny Review of Stockton Local Safeguarding Children Board (SLSCB).

Members were given the opportunity to ask questions and make comment on the report and recommendations. Some of these questions and comments could be summarised as follows:-

- Details of the allowances paid to LSCB members would be circulated to the Committee
- The latest monitoring update in relation to the CSE Task and Finish recommendations would be circulated to the Committee

Member noted the findings and supported the recommendations contained in the report.
ESC
58/16
Consideration was given to a report that presented the outcomes of the People Select Committee's review of Disadvantage in Early Years and School. The main focus of the review was tackling disadvantage in the early years, including school readiness. The impact of disadvantage on a child's development and education was widely recognised, as was the crucial importance of the first five years of a child's life.

Some children in the Borough needed to be supported to catch up significantly on a range of factors such as socialisation. The review also intended to follow on from the review of Child Poverty and examine how Pupil Premium was being used in the Borough, and consider the role of the new Early Years Pupil Premium.

Members were given the opportunity to ask questions and make comment on the report and recommendations. Some these questions and comments could be summarised as follows:-

- The impact on universal school meals on free school meals should be circulated to the Committee
- Outreach workers were active in the community to increase take up of the funded childcare offer
- Free school meals was still the best indicator of deprivation
- The working poor may also qualify for free school meals
- Pupil premium can make a huge difference to the budget of a school
- An article advertising free school meal / pupil premium take up should be included in Stockton News

The Chair wished it to be recorded that the Select Committees were working exceptionally hard and producing some outstanding work.

Member noted the findings and supported the recommendations contained in the report.
ESC
59/16
Members considered the Statutory Forward Plan.
ESC
60/16
Members considered the Chairs' updates on Select Committees' reviews and other work.
ESC
61/16
The Chair also reported that due to health issues of both himself and the Vice Chair, the Committee should look to appoint an interim Vice Chair. Councillor Sylvia Walmsley would still be the substantive Vice Chair.

It was moved, seconded and agreed that Councillor Gillian Corr be appointed interim Vice Chair of the Committee. This would be ratified by Council.

Members considered and agreed the Work Programme.

The Chair suggested that immediately prior to the next meeting that consider a six-monthly Council Performance report, the Committee should hold a pre-meeting to ensure best value from the meeting.
ESC
62/16
It was suggested and agreed that future six-monthly Council Performance Reports be considered by each Select Committee following consideration by Executive Scrutiny Committee.

It was reported that the Centre for Public Scrutiny (CfPS) was starting work to draft a self-evaluation framework for Council's to assess the operation of their scrutiny functions. Details were available on the CfPS website.

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