Agenda and minutes

Scrutiny & Overview Committee
Tuesday, 11th June, 2019 6.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Town Hall, Katharine Street, Croydon CR0 1NX. View directions

Contact: Simon Trevaskis
0208 7266000  Email: simon.trevaskis@croydon.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

3/19

Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 120 KB

To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 30 April 2019 as an accurate record.

 

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 30 April 2019 were agreed as an accurate record.

 

4/19

Disclosure of Interests

In accordance with the Council’s Code of Conduct and the statutory provisions of the Localism Act, Members and co-opted Members of the Council are reminded that it is a requirement to register disclosable pecuniary interests (DPIs) and gifts and hospitality to the value of which exceeds £50 or multiple gifts and/or instances of hospitality with a cumulative value of £50 or more when received from a single donor within a rolling twelve month period. In addition, Members and co-opted Members are reminded that unless their disclosable pecuniary interest is registered on the register of interests or is the subject of a pending notification to the Monitoring Officer, they are required to disclose those disclosable pecuniary interests at the meeting. This should be done by completing the Disclosure of Interest form and handing it to the Democratic Services representative at the start of the meeting. The Chair will then invite Members to make their disclosure orally at the commencement of Agenda item 3. Completed disclosure forms will be provided to the Monitoring Officer for inclusion on the Register of Members’ Interests.

 

Minutes:

There were no disclosures made at the meeting.

 

5/19

Urgent Business (if any)

To receive notice of any business not on the agenda which in the opinion of the Chair, by reason of special circumstances, be considered as a matter of urgency.

 

Minutes:

There were no items of urgent business.

 

6/19

Question Time: Leader of the Council pdf icon PDF 180 KB

Question time with the Leader of the Council, Councillor Tony Newman.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Leader of the Council, Councillor Tony Newman was in attendance at the meeting to provide an update for the Committee on the implementation of the Corporate Plan, which was adopted in September 2018 and plans for the forthcoming year. During the introductory presentation the following points were noted:-

·         It was highlighted that the positive work delivered by the Council should be considered against a framework of cuts equating to a reduction of approximately 65% in funding from central Government over the past 9 years. In particular the £10m shortfall in funding support for unaccompanied asylum seeking children (UASC) was having a significant impact upon the Council’s budget.

·         In the past year the Council had launched its Cultural Strategy and continued to develop the Music City initiative. Croydon had also been identified by the Mayor of London as one of the capital’s first Creative Enterprise Zones.

·         The redevelopment of the Fairfield Halls was now nearing completion with its reopening scheduled for September 2019. The project represented a huge investment by the Council, but would deliver a modern cultural venue for the people of Croydon.

·         The Legacy Onside Youth Zone was another major project that was nearing fruition. The project had been funded through a combination of Council, private and charitable investment and would deliver a youth hub for young people across the borough. A number of soft openings of the centre were due to be held across the summer before a full launch in September 2019.

·         A deal had been agreed with Southbank University to base part of its campus in Croydon. This would not prevent the Council exploring further opportunities with other university providers in the future.

·         Croydon’s Violence Reduction Network continued its work making the borough safer for residents. Initial results from this work had been encouraging with a small reduction in the amount of knife crime in the borough, but it was acknowledged that there was still a long way to go on what was a long term project.

·         Work continued towards creating a sustainable Croydon, with a Green Summit at Box Park later this month. Other initiatives being delivered included a campaign to discourage the most polluting vehicles from outside school gates and increasing the number of cycle ways in the borough. Following changes made to bin collections in 2018, there had also been a 9% increase in recycling in the borough.

·         Affordable Housing continued to be a priority, with developments equating to thousands of homes currently on site and being delivered through Brick by Brick.

·         The most recent monitoring visit of Children’s Services by Ofsted had been positive. It was encouraging to see that the amount of work being put into delivering improvement for the service was being recognised.

·         Funding for local government continued to be one of the key risks to service delivery, particularly as there had been no indication from central Government about the expected level of funding in 2020-21. Additionally there had been no indication about any cap on the level by  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6/19

7/19

Statutory Guidance on Overview and Scrutiny in Local and Combined Authorities pdf icon PDF 163 KB

The Committee is asked to review the new Statutory Guidance on Overview and Scrutiny in Local and Combined Authorities.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chairman of the Committee, Councillor Sean Fitzsimons introduced the report which summarised the Statutory Guidance that had recently been published on Overview and Scrutiny in Local and Combined Authorities. The report was presented to the Committee for its information, with is suggested that the three Scrutiny Chairs could lead on preparing a response to the guidance that would be brought back to the next meeting on 16 July to be finalised.

From a discussion of initial observations there was a general level of support for many of the proposals set out in the guidance. In particular the reiteration of Scrutiny’s powers to access information was welcomed as this would help with planning the work programme. It was agreed that consideration should also be given to how Scrutiny engaged with the public to influence its work programme.

It was questioned whether there could be a mechanism put in place to use the call-in process to review decision making on a more frequent basis. It was highlighted that effectiveness of the call in process could be limited due to the timeliness of decision making and if Scrutiny was given greater opportunity to undertake pre-decision scrutiny, it would negate the need for using a call-in.

It was agreed that the comments made at the meeting would be taken into consideration by the Scrutiny Chairs when preparing their response to the guidance for the next meeting.

8/19

Exclusion of the Press and Public

The following motion is to be moved and seconded where it is proposed to exclude the press and public from the remainder of a meeting:

 

“That, under Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act, 1972, the press and public be excluded from the meeting for the following items of business on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information falling within those paragraphs indicated in Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972, as amended.”

 

 

Minutes:

This motion was not required.