Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

Big plans, bright future

Executive Scrutiny Committee Minutes

Date:
Tuesday, 1st April, 2008
Time:
09.30 am
Place:
Ground 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 Lee Narroway (in the Chair), Cllr Mrs Ann Cains, Cllr David Coleman, Cllr Mick Eddy, Cllr Robert Gibson, Cllr David Harrington, Cllr Colin Leckonby, Cllr Mrs Jean O'Donnell, Cllr Maurice Perry, Cllr Mrs Maureen Rigg, Cllr Rix (vice Cllr Cains), Cllr Andrew Sherris, Cllr Mrs Allison Trainer
Officers:
G Birtle, N Hart, D Ladd, P Mennear, F Shayler (LD).
In Attendance:
Mr Frank (Diocesan Representative).
Apologies for absence:
were submitted on behalf of Cllr Cains, Mrs Nesbitt, Smith, Womphrey, Woodhead. Mrs Mustafa (Parent Governor Representative).
Item Description Decision
Public
EXC
78/07
DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
 
EXC
79/07
DRAFT MINUTES - 4TH MARCH 2008
The minutes of the meeting held on 4th March 2008 were agreed as a correct record.
EXC
80/07
FINAL REPORT-ENVIRONMENT SELECT COMMITTEE-REVIEW OF WASTES MANAGEMENT AND RECYCLING
RESOLVED that the report be noted and forwarded to Cabinet.
EXC
81/07
REVIEW OF RIVER BASED LEISURE FACILITIES - REPORT OF ARTS, LEISURE AND CULTURE SELECT COMMITTEE
RESOLVED that the report be noted and forwarded to Cabinet.
EXC
82/07
REGENERATION AND TRANSPORT SELECT COMMITTEE - SUSTAINABLE SCHOOL TRAVEL STRATEGY SCRUTINY REPORT
RESOLVED that the report be noted and forwarded to Cabinet.
EXC
83/07
FINAL REPORT - CHILDREN & YOUNG PEOPLE SELECT COMMITTEE- SCHOOL ORGANISATION PLAN
RESOLVED that the report be noted and the comments and report be forwarded to Cabinet.
EXC
84/07
FORWARD PLAN
RESOLVED that the Forward Plan be noted.
EXC
85/07
REPORT ON CHAIRS UPDATES
 
EXC
86/07
SCRUTINY WORK PROGRAMME 2008/9 - SELECTION OF IN DEPTH SCRUTINY REVIEWS
RESOLVED that:-

1. The priorities for review identified by the Scrutiny Liaison Forum be agreed and allocated as detailed above as commencement of the scrutiny work programme for 2008/09.

2. The Committee give future consideration to the comments of the Scrutiny Liaison Forum regarding the proposed changes to the process for establishing the Scrutiny Work Programme for 2009/10.

Preamble

ItemPreamble
EXC
78/07
Councillor Narroway declared a personal/non prejudicial interest further to being an employee of CAMHS.
EXC
80/07
The Chairman of Environment Select Committee provided Members with a presentation of the Committee's report 'Start Talking Rubbish: Scrutiny Review of Wastes Management and Recycling'. The report would be presented to Cabinet for endorsement on 24th April 2008.
EXC
81/07
The Chairman of Arts, Leisure and Culture Select Committee provided Members with a presentation of the Committee's report 'Review of River Based Facilities'. The report would be presented to Cabinet for endorsement on 24th April 2008.

The Chairman wished to make a special note of thanks to Alan Slater, River Manager, British Waterways, and to the Scrutiny Team for their assistance throughout the review.
EXC
82/07
The Chairman of Regeneration and Transport Select Committee provided Members with a presentation of the Committee's report 'Review of Sustainable School Travel Strategy'. The report would be presented to Cabinet for endorsement on 24th April 2008.
EXC
83/07
The Chairman of Children and Young People Select Committee provided Members with a presentation of the Committee's report 'School Organisation Plan'. The report would be presented to Cabinet for endorsement on 24th April 2008.

Discussion was held on pupil intakes from Nursery into Primary School. The current position for Stockton Borough Council Primary Schools's was two intakes which was felt preferential for parents. It was requested that these comments be forwarded to Cabinet.
EXC
84/07
The statutory forward plan for 1st April - 31st July 2008 was provided for Members information.
EXC
85/07
Corporate and Social Inclusion Select Committee

Task and Finish Group - Review of Community and Voluntary Sector

The task and finish group were continuing to take evidence and have previously met with:

Dawn Welsh - Neighbourhood Renewal Manager
Stephen Bray - Chair of Catalyst
Paul McGee - Consultant
Ian Jones - Chief Internal Auditor
Julie Harkin - Senior Finance Manager

At a meeting on 11 March, the Group met with representatives of those organisations which received core funding from the Council. A further meeting was to be arranged in order to hear evidence from the Tees Valley Community Foundation.

The review was due to report to Cabinet in May 2008.

Arts, Leisure and Culture Select Committee

Review of River Based Leisure Facilities

At a meeting on 5 March the Committee agreed a series of recommendations following their review of river based leisure facilities.

The Committee met on 26 March and agreed the final report. The report would be presented to Cabinet on 24 April, 2008.

Housing and Community Safety Select Committee

Following completion of the Travellers Transit Site Selection review, the Committee had completed their work programme for the year.

Environment Select Committee

Waste Review

The Committee had received all evidence as part of the review and had formulated draft recommendations. The Waste review would be presented to Cabinet on 24th April 2008.

Task and Finish Group - Vermin Control

The Task and Finish Group had received information from the Pest Control Service regarding issues concerning both rats and pigeons within the Borough. Input had been received from the Stockton Town Centre Manager and Independent Retail Operations Manager regarding the vermin control measures within the Town Centre area. The Group have also been made aware of the work undertaken by Liverpool City Council to discourage pigeon infestation in Town Centre areas and had been invited to visit Liverpool to see first hand the techniques and measures used to good effect. The estimated completion date for this review had therefore been extended to the May/June cycle of meetings to allow this evidence to be gathered.

Regeneration and Transport Select Committee

Review of Sustainable School Travel Strategy

The Committee had completed their review of the Sustainable School Travel Strategy and agreed the final report on the 25 March. The final report would be presented to Cabinet on 24th April 2008.

Children and Young People Select Committee

Review of School Organisation Plan

The Select Committee had completed its evidence gathering. The recommendations received agreement at the final tripartite meeting. The Committee met on Thursday, 27th March and agreed the final report.

The report would be presented to Cabinet on 24th April, 2008.

Adult Services and Health Select Committee

Discussions continued to be held regarding the First Phase Section 244 Consultation Committee set up with other local authorities to respond to the NHS plans for a new hospital north of the River Tees. Durham County, Hartlepool Borough, North Yorkshire County and Stockton-on-Tees Borough Councils would be represented on the Consultation Committee. The first meeting would determine the composition of the committee and the arrangements for the meetings that would take place between June and September.

The Committee continued to be updated about the development of a Local Involvement Network (LINk). Procurement of the Host organisation for the LINk was still expected to be scrutinised.
EXC
86/07
Members were provided with suggestions received from both Members and Officers for the Scrutiny Work Programme for 2008/09 together with the top 10 priorities following discussion at the Scrutiny Liaison Forum on 25th March 2008.

With the exception of two small task and finish groups which were currently ongoing, the Council's Select Committees had completed a programme of in depth scrutiny reviews during 2007/08 as follows:

Arts, Leisure & Culture Select Committee - Review of River Based Leisure Facilities.

Children & Young People Select Committee - Corporate Parenting and School Organisation Plan.

Adults and Health Select Committee - Alcohol Services and Parkview Care Home.

Environment Select Committee - The Management of Memorials, Waste Management and Recycling, Vermin Control (Task and Finish Group).

Housing & Community Safety Select Committee - Neighbourhood Enforcement Service, Travellers Transit Site Selection.

Corporate and Social Inclusion Select Committee - Theatre Subsidy, Community and Voluntary Sector (Task and Finish Group), Stockton/ Darlington Partnership Joint Scrutiny (Sub Group with Darlington BC)

Regeneration and Transport Select Committee - Employability, Sustainable School Travel Strategy

In addition to the in depth policy review and development work undertaken by the Select Committees, monitoring of previous reviews had also taken place. The Adults and Health Select Committee had also received presentations and updates on a range of other health developments affecting the Borough.

Topics have been sought from Members and Officers on a standard pro forma in line with previous practice. Following a suggestion from Executive Scrutiny Committee, an item has also been included on the agenda of other committees and panels and ideas have also been sought from the Local Strategic Partnership recognising the role of Select Committees in scrutinising external partners. In addition, this year, further justification for proposals had been requested based on public interest, impact, performance issues and context. This PICK system approach allows a score to be given to each suggestion to help with prioritisation of topics.

All of the suggestions received were summarised and each suggestion was cross referenced with supporting information. A PICK score was included to aid with the prioritisation of topics and an explanation of the PICK scoring method was provided together with details of each of the topics identified.

An Executive Scrutiny Away Day was held on 27 February 2008 where it was suggested that topics for in depth reviews should, in future, be prioritised across all themes rather than seek to develop a work programme allocating reviews to each individual Select Committee. As a result, a report had now been approved by both Cabinet and Council extending the terms of reference of all Select Committees to allow them to undertake review work not strictly falling under the remit of each committee. This would enable reviews to be prioritised across the board. In addition, the "adults" element which had come within the terms of reference of the Adults and Health Select Committee has been moved to the Corporate Policy and Social Inclusion Select Committee recognising the volume of other scrutiny work under the health scrutiny responsibilities.

The Scrutiny Liaison Forum at their meeting on 25 March 2008 identified the following 10 scrutiny topics as priorities for review by the Authority for 2008/9 based on the PICK scoring system:-

1. Older Peoples Strategy
2. Obesity
3. Registered Social Landlords
4. Audiology (prioritised in 2007/8)
5. Neighbourhood Policing/Neighbourhood Watch/Outward Facing Aspects of CCTV Monitoring
6. Customer First
7. Tees Active
8. Area Partnerships and Support Arrangements
9. Highway and Footpath Management
10. Taxis

With reference to the PICK system, members noted that it gave inadequate recognition of organisational development topics in the scoring matrix and the Executive Scrutiny Committee were asked to review this prior to next year's SLF process. It was also suggested that for the exercise in 2009/10, all members be advised of the outcome of the PICK scoring system prior to the meeting of the SLF in order that they may highlight their own top priorities prior to the Executive Scrutiny Committee meeting to determine scrutiny review priorities for the year.

Executive Scrutiny Committee were invited to consider the priorities for review identified by the Scrutiny Liaison Forum and allocate initial topics to each of the Select Committees as commencement of the scrutiny work programme for 2008/09. Members discussed the suggestions and allocated to Select Committees as follows:-

Corporate, Social Inclusion and Adult Services Select Committee - Older Peoples Strategy
Children & Young People Select Committee - Obesity
Regeneration & Transport Select Committee - Highway and Footpath Management
Health Select Committee - Audiology
Housing & Community Safety Select Committee - Registered Social Landlords (1st Review); Neighbourhood Policing/Neighbourhood Watch/Outward Facing Aspects of CCTV Monitoring (2nd Review)
Environment Select Committee - Customer First
Arts, Leisure & Culture Select Committee - Tees Active

Once the Work Programmes for each of the Select Committees had been determined and near completion the second review topics would be allocated in order of priority.

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