Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

Big plans, bright future

Executive Scrutiny Committee Minutes

Date:
Tuesday, 27th January, 2009
Time:
09.30 a.m.
Place:
Lecture Hall, Stockton Library, The Square, Stockton-on-Tees
 
Please note: all Minutes are subject to approval at the next Meeting

Attendance Details

Present:
Cllr Robert Gibson(Chairman), Cllr Colin Leckonby(Vice-Chairman), Cllr Mrs Ann Cains, Cllr Dick Cains, Cllr Mick Eddy, Cllr David Harrington, Cllr Mrs Jean O'Donnell, Cllr Maurice Perry, Cllr Mrs Maureen Rigg, Cllr Bill Woodhead, Cllr Mrs Julia Cherrett, Mr P Connaughton, J Robson
Officers:
Judith Trainer, Graham Birtle; Margaret Waggott, Sarah Johnson, Chris Lunn (LD)
In Attendance:
No other persons in attendance
Apologies for absence:
Cllr Lee Narroway, Cllr Mrs Allison Trainer, Cllr Andrew Sherris, Cllr Michael Smith, Cllr Mick Stoker, Cllr Mick Womphrey, Cllr Mrs Liz Nesbitt, Mr Frank

Item Description Decision
Public
EXC
61/08
DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
 
EXC
62/08
MINUTES - 23RD DECEMBER 2008
RESOLVED that, subject to the amendments outlined above, the minutes be agreed as a true record.
EXC
63/08
MINUTES OF THE TASK AND FINISH GROUP - NEIGHBOURHOOD NURSERIES
RESOLVED that the minutes of the Task and Finish Group be noted.
EXC
64/08
SCRUTINY MONITORING UPDATE/OVERVIEW WORK/WORK PROGRAMME 2009/10
RESOLVED that:
- Progress updates be reported on a quarterly basis to Select Committees as part of their monitoring activity,
- The "overview" role for Select Committees be supported, and
- The process for setting next year's work programme be approved.
EXC
65/08
FINAL REPORT OF THE CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE SELECT COMMITTEE - REVIEW OF OBESITY
RESOLVED that the report be noted.
EXC
66/08
FORWARD PLAN
RESOLVED that the content of the Forward Plan be noted.
EXC
67/08
REPORT ON CHAIRS UPDATES
RESOLVED that the updates be noted.
09.30 a.m. / 11.15 a.m.

Preamble

ItemPreamble
EXC
61/08
Councillor Gibson declared a personal, prejudicial interest in respect of the item entitled 'Minutes of the Task and Finish Group - Neighbourhood Nurseries', as a result of his involvement as a Director of SMASH; and left the meeting room during the discussion of this item.
EXC
62/08
An amendment request regarding the item 'Declarations of Interest' was made - the word 'recipient' to replace 'recipricant'.

A second amendment request regarding the item 'Report on Chairs Updates: Health Select Committee - Review of Audiology' was made - the word 'February' to replace 'January'.

EXC
63/08
Councillor Harrington presented Members of the Committee with an overview of the findings of the Task and Finish Group - Neighbourhood Nurseries, which had met on 21 November 2008.

Members thanked the Officers for their hard work undertaken.
EXC
64/08
The Committee was presented with a report which provided an update on monitoring activity of Select Committees, presented a proposal for developing the overview role of Select Committees, and sought to confirm the process for setting next year's work programme in the context of a new efficiency and improvement framework.

(1) Scrutiny Monitoring Update

Members were presented with a Monitoring Update detailing the current process and an assessment of the current arrangements.
It was suggested to the Committee that following the initial progress report to the Committee, that further updates on progress be presented to the Committee on a quarterly-basis in a single update report.

(2) "Overview" Work

The Scrutiny Officer presented an update of "Overview Activity" to the Committee.

(3) Work Programme 2009/10

Members were presented with details regarding the 2009/10 work programme. In particular, the Committee was informed of the following in relation to the PICK System:-

- The 'Council's Performance' section of the pro-forma be amended to reflect the comment from the Scrutiny Liaison Forum that it gave inadequate recognition of organisational development topics in the scoring matrix.

- The PICK System should reflect the importance of efficiency work as well as organisational effectiveness, with reviews supporting the efficiency work taking a high priority - suggestions under the heading 'Council performance and Efficiency' would be given a greater weighting.

Members discussed economic efficiency and the consequences of the economic downturn. It was noted that whilst the efficiency review was fundamental to the work programme, there was still pressure on other Committees to respond to statutory consultations.
EXC
65/08
The Committee was presented with the Final Report of the Children and Young People Select Committee - Review of Obesity.

Members were informed that the wording of Recommendation 34 would be revised and circulated to Members of the Children and Young People Select Committee. The report would be forwarded to Cabinet on 5th February 2009 and to the Primary Care Trust board on 28th February 2009.

It was explained that Officers had met with the Communication Department to discuss publicity for the review, as Members considered that it was important to publicise the work of the Committee. As a result, concerns had been raised as to the process of publicising the work of Select Committees. Members of the Executive Scrutiny Committee requested that the Public Relations Officer be invited to a meeting of the Committee in order to discuss the process and raise the profile of Scrutiny in the future.

Members asked that once the report had been submitted to Cabinet, the action plan be presented back to the Executive Scrutiny Committee, as well as the Select Committee.

Councillor Harrington thanked health professionals, Officers and the Members of the Children and Young People Select Committee for their hard work on the review.



EXC
66/08
Members were presented with a copy of the Statutory Forward Plan.

The Committee discussed item 7 regarding the Review of Ingleby Barwick Community Access Point in relation to issues of having one static point. Members were informed that the review would be presented to Cabinet in February.

Members referred to the release of the Spence Bequest at Preston Park and Hall - page 5/6 item 6 of the report. Members were informed that plans for the Spence Bequest would be considered by a Museums Collection Rationalisation Members Panel, as a result of a report to Cabinet in January 2009 that considered rationalisation of Stockton Council's museums collection.
EXC
67/08
The Chairman/Vice Chairman of the following Select Committees provided an update on their current reviews/work programme:-

Arts, Leisure & Culture Select Committee - Review of Tees Active

It was noted that this review would be submitted to Cabinet in April 2009. Councillor Mrs O'Donnell informed the Committee that the Arts, Leisure & Culture Select Committee had examined the results of a benchmarking exercise in relation to leisure centre management, and received further information on the role of Tees Active in relation to the Council's Looked After Children.

Housing & Community Safety Select Committee - Review of Neighbourhood
Policing/Neighbourhood Watch/Outward facing aspects of CCTV

It was noted that this review would be reported to Cabinet in April 2009. Councillor Mrs Cherrett informed Members that the Housing and Community Safety Select Committee had investigated the issue of Neighbourhood Watch. Members discussed this, highlighting the appreciation that Cleveland Police had for Neighbourhood Watch initiatives; Community Support Officers had regularly attended Neighbourhood Meetings. In addition, the Committee also discussed the success of Neighbourhood Policing.
Members were informed that a visit to the Authority's security centre to consider the role of the Council's CCTV network would be organised.

Environment Select Committee - Review of Animal Welfare Service & Dog Fouling

It was noted that this review would be presented to Cabinet in April 2009. Councillor Mrs Rigg informed Members that the Environment Select Committee heard evidence from RSPCA representatives on standards of animal welfare across the Tees Valley.
Members were also informed that the Committee would be receiving progress reports in respect of the previous Cemeteries and Waste Management reviews.

Regeneration & Transport Select Committee-Review of Highway Network Management & Pavement Parking

It was noted that this review would be reported to Cabinet in April 2009. Councillor Perry informed Members that the Regeneration and Transport Select Committee had received all of the evidence identified in the scope for the review, and would be formulating draft recommendations at their February meeting.

Children & Young People Select Committee - Review of Obesity

It was noted that this review would be reported to Cabinet on 5th February 2009.

Health Select Committee - Review of Audiology

Councillor Mrs Cains informed Members that the Health Select Committee had received evidence from a Tees PCT representative regarding: Services and location of services, Care Pathways, and Identification/detection of hearing problems. Members were also informed that a very successful site visit to James Cook Audiology Department had taken place, where evidence regarding: 'Waiting lists', 'Medical treatments and interventions', and 'Do not attend rates' was received.

It was noted that the Health Select Committee would be formulating recommendations on 23rd February 2009; though a timescale in terms of reporting to Cabinet had not yet been finalised.


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