Agenda and draft minutes

Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee - Tuesday 6th July 2021 6.00 pm

Venue: The Council Chamber, The Guildhall, St Giles' Square, Northampton NN1 1DE

Contact: Tracy Tiff, Democratic Services  Email: democraticservices@westnorthants.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

1.

Declarations of Interest

Members are asked to declare any interest and the nature of that interest which they may have in any of the items under consideration at this meeting.

 

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

2.

Chair's Announcements

To receive communications from the Chair.

Minutes:

The Chair welcomed all attendees to the inaugural meeting of the Committee and provided an opportunity for all Members and Officers in attendance to introduce themselves.

3.

Urgent Business

The Chair to advise whether they have agreed to any items of urgent business being admitted to the agenda.

Minutes:

There were no items of urgent business.

4.

Role of the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee pdf icon PDF 410 KB

Purpose of Report

 

To consider a report outlining the role of the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee.

 

Recommendation

 

The meeting is recommended:

 

1.1      To note the contents of the report.

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report from the Deputy Democratic Services Manager which highlighted the various roles that the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee could undertake in fulfilling its functions.

 

Resolved

 

(1)  That the contents of the report be noted.

5.

Remit of Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee pdf icon PDF 414 KB

Purpose of the Report

 

The purpose of this report is to set out the proposed remit of the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee.

 

Recommendation

 

The meeting is recommended:

 

1.1         To approve the remit of the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee as set out in Paragraph 5.1 of the report;

 

1.2         To note that the Overview and Scrutiny Coordinating Group may consider and recommend which Scrutiny Committee, or Scrutiny Committees, are best-placed to deal with any cross-cutting matters that may arise;

 

1.3         To consider how the level of public engagement with the work of the committee can be increased over time.

Minutes:

The Deputy Democratic Services Manager submitted a report which set out the remit for the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee as approved by the Overview and Scrutiny Coordinating Group and sought the agreement of Members to reflect on how the level of public engagement in local democracy could be increased.

 

In considering the report, Members acknowledged that the remits for each Scrutiny Committee meant that potential areas of interest may cut across the remit of more than one Scrutiny Committee, therefore it would be necessary and important for each Committee to work cohesively together.

 

The Chair explained to Members that a number of options existed which could maximise public engagement in local democracy and the Overview and Scrutiny process, such as live webcasting to make Committee meetings more accessible, engaging in consultations with the public, and making better use of local surveys to gauge public opinion on specific topics of interest. 

 

Members also felt that public engagement and engagement with Officers from across the Council was important, as it would work to promote inclusivity within the Overview and Scrutiny process.

 

Resolved

 

(1)  That the remit for the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee be approved.

 

(2)  That it be noted that the Overview and Scrutiny Coordinating Group may consider and recommend which Scrutiny Committee, or Scrutiny Committees, are best-placed to deal with any cross-cutting matters that may arise.

 

(3)  That, having given due consideration, the Committee agreed to reflect upon how the level of public engagement in local democracy could be optimised.

6.

Overview and Scrutiny Work Programming Process pdf icon PDF 634 KB

Purpose of the Report

 

The purpose of this report is to set out the Overview and Scrutiny Work Programming Process for 2021/2022.

 

Recommendation

 

The meeting is recommended:

 

1.1         To note the Overview and Scrutiny work programming process for 2021/2022.

 

1.2         To consider items for inclusion on the short-term Committee Work Programme for 2021-2022 as set out in Appendix A.

 

1.3         To consider a work programming event to be held on the autumn of 2021-2022 to further develop the Committee’s Work Programme.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee received a report from the Deputy Democratic Services Manager which set out the Scrutiny Work Programming process and timetable for 2021-2022 as approved by the Overview and Scrutiny Coordinating Group, and requested that Members consider the items that had been submitted to the Chair for consideration on the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee Work Programme for 2021-2022.

 

In introducing the report, the Chair explained that the Overview and Scrutiny Coordinating Group had agreed that each Scrutiny Committee would be required to develop a short-term Work Programme, and that the Coordinating Group was responsible for approving such Work Programmes, with longer-term reviews and topics to be considered at a specialised work programming event to be held in the autumn of 2021.

 

In response to questions from the Committee regarding the work programming event, the Deputy Democratic Services Manager explained that prior to the event, a questionnaire would be devised to steer discussions and maximise the focus of the event, with Cabinet members, Executive Directors and Assistant Directors invited to speak in order to set out their priorities for the year ahead.

 

The Chair thanked Members for their work in submitting topics of interest for potential inclusion on the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee Work Programme, and emphasised that a key role of the scrutiny process was to undertake focussed work programming to assist the Council in achieving its objectives, through a culture of honesty and a collegiate relationship between Members, Officers and the public.

 

Resolved

 

(1)  That the Overview and Scrutiny Work Programming Process be noted.

7.

Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee Work Programme 2021/2022 pdf icon PDF 367 KB

The Committee to discuss possible items for inclusion in the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee’s work programme for 2021/2022.

Minutes:

The Chair provided a verbal update to the Committee on the potential topics of interest submitted by Members for inclusion on the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Work Programme 2021-2022.

 

Members of the Committee proposed and considered a number of items of interest for inclusion on the short-term work programme, including a briefing on the Social Values Act 2013 and the procurement of contracts, contract management and social value, along with a further briefing on The Children’s Trust Budget, and a comprehensive Q&A session on School Budgets.

 

The Committee agreed to hold a Work Programming Event in the autumn of 2021 in order to consider longer-term reviews and topics of interest for inclusion on the long-term work programme for 2021-2022.

 

Resolved

 

(1)  That the draft Overview and Scrutiny Committee Work Programme 2021-2022 (annexe to the minutes) be endorsed.

 

(2)  That the Committee hold a Work Programming Event in the Autumn of 2021 to consider items for inclusion on the Long-Term Work Programme.