Agenda and minutes

Overview and Scrutiny Committee - Monday 5 July 2021 5.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber. View directions

Contact: Alec Dubberley  Democratic Services Manager


No. Item


Apologies for Absence and Substitutions.


Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Murray.


To approve, as a correct record, the minutes of the meeting held on 26 April 2021. pdf icon PDF 137 KB




That the minutes of the above meeting, having been circulated, be approved as a correct record.



Declaration of Interests.




Programme of Portfolio Holder Attendance pdf icon PDF 157 KB

Report of the Democratic Services Manager.

Additional documents:


Members welcomed Councillors Clarke and Payne to the meeting to examine their portfolios.


Councillor Payne first addressed the question raised in respect of the recent commercialisation internal audit. He said that the Senior Leadership Team had fully accepted the recommendations made in the audit, which mainly concerned the market research undertaken and business case building process for the Pet Cremation Service. He added that he would be happy to talk members through the individual recommendations if that was required.


In respect of the second question about scrutiny involvement in policy formation, the Deputy Leader said that the scrutiny committee was always welcome to engage with portfolio holders at any time on matters relating to their areas of work. He added that work was ongoing, led by the Chief Executive supported by Democratic Services, to produce a more relevant Executive Forward Plan which contained all forthcoming details for the short, medium and long term.


A further question concerning the progress of a climate action plan for the council was also submitted. The Deputy Leader advised that a Carbon baseline assessment and associated draft action plan had been completed using 2019/20 full year data. Additional funding had been allocated for a Climate Change Officer who would be in post shortly to work in partnership with external bodies and departments to deliver the program of work in the plan. The plan arising will be embedded in the Council’s Climate Change Strategy. Progress is being made on the strategy and an actionable action plan is being prepared for further consultation. It is aimed to have the Carbon Action Plan done by 18 July for consultation with the draft strategy document ready in the autumn.


A final question was asked about covid-19 Restart and Additional Restrictions grants. Information from the Deputy Leader was provided as follows:


·         A total of 736 applications for restart grants had been received taking an average of 25.4 days to process with 48 still being processed. A total of 2214 Additional Restart Grant applications (ARG) had been received with 0 outstanding and an average processing time of 19.4 days


·         A total of £3,362,042 has been paid out for Restart Grants and £4,504,196 for the ARGs


·         The average processing time was a crude estimate calculated using a random sample of 10 applications as accurate data on processing times was not a requirement for the scheme and to produce it would be onerous. The processing time statistics do not take account of applications that were received incomplete or without the required evidence.


·         In many cases the Portfolio Holder asked for officers to contact applicants to provide missing application information rather than reject those as per the guidance and exceptional cases were re-considered where the guidance was considered to be too restrictive for example car mechanics.


·         Initially the government gave a date of March 2022 for authorities to distribute ARG funds which led to a decision being taken to hold a small proportion of the funding back should the pandemic worsen. This date was  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.


Corporate Risk Management Scorecard Quarter 4 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 417 KB

Report of the Head of Finance and ICT.


Consideration was given to a report of the Head of Finance and IT, which had been circulated in advance of the meeting, updating members on the current level of assurance that can be provided against each corporate risk.




1)    Note the report; and


2)    Not to request further information in respect of any of the identified risks.


Scrutiny Work Programme pdf icon PDF 300 KB

Report of the Democratic Services Manager

Additional documents:


Previous work programme


Members noted the update on the economic development working group and the reply to the question on Policy Advisers.


The Executive response received to the recommendations on the Flooding Review was included in the agenda and noted by the Committee.


Councillor Roxanne Ellis, as Chair of the Domestic Abuse and Access to Emergency Accommodation Working Group gave a brief overview of the group’s findings, particularly emphasising the importance of the Sanctuary Scheme. She added that the work involved in domestic violence was very fast paced and ever changing and further examination of the work would be necessary in future. Members of the working group particularly wished to thank David Jayne, Community Safety Officer, for the tireless work he does to support this vital work.


Future work programme


As a result of items appearing on the Executive Forward Plan, it was decided to establish a working group to examine the forthcoming Waste Policy which was in draft and subject to public consultation in the autumn.


Alice Davey, Corporate Director responsible for Waste, explained that the Borough had some challenges in terms of recycling and contamination rates and this policy would be the first step in addressing these.


Councillors Clunie, Hope, Ellwood, Wilkinson, Creamer, Feeney, Boyle and Paling volunteered to be part of the working group which would meet over the summer with a view to making recommendations on the draft policy to Cabinet in the autumn.


Fly tipping was discussed as an area of concern and the committee may in future look at Environmental Enforcement which was a separate topic.


The Forward Plan also made reference to a forthcoming Carbon Reduction Plan. Members were minded to request information on this at the January meeting.


Another issue discussed was the availability of defibrillators in the Borough. Information on this would be brought to the next meeting if it was available.




1)    Note the information provide in relation to the previous work programme;


2)    Approve the final recommendations of the Domestic Abuse Working group which would be passed to the relevant portfolio holder;


3)    Note the response to the Flooding Working Group recommendations;


4)    Establish a working group to examine the forthcoming Waste Policy as part of the 2021/22 work programme; and


5)    Include the Caron Reduction Plan and location of defibrillators as topics for consideration at future meetings.


Any other item which the Chair considers urgent.