Agenda and draft minutes

Moved from 13 October 2020, Scrutiny & Overview Committee - Tuesday, 17th November, 2020 6.30 pm

Venue: This meeting will be held remotely to view the meeting, please click here.

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

Items
No. Item

37/20

Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 250 KB

To approve the minutes of the meetings held on 22 July and 25 August 2020 as an accurate record.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The minutes of the meetings held on 22 July and 25 August 2020 were agreed as an accurate record.

 

38/20

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 none.

 

39/20

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.

 

40/20

Croydon Renewal Plan Update pdf icon PDF 335 KB

The Committee will be provided with an update on the Croydon Renewal Plan. The Committee is asked to consider what comments and any recommendations to make prior to the Croydon Renewal Plans’ consideration by Cabinet on 25 November 2020.

 

 

Minutes:

The Chief Executive of Croydon Council and the Leader of the Council outlined the details of the Croydon Renewal Plan in a Presentation

 

Following the presentation, Members were given the opportunity to ask questions.

 

Reassurance was sought from officers that going forward a higher level of care would be taken to ensure that risks were identified and appropriate mitigation put in place during the development of planned savings to prevent any repetition of past mistakes. Officers reassured Members that they were working diligently on testing proposed savings options to feed into the financial strategy. Extensive work was being undertaken with budget managers responsible for forecasting to ensure that extra care was being taken which included monthly budget monitoring. Rigorous development was also underway on the plan for lost income to ensure that the recovery plan was deliverable.

 

The Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources added that whilst it was unfortunate that a significant proportion of the identified savings had been double counted, once identified, corrections had been made immediately. Extra resources had now been pooled into that department to mitigate against the possibility of similar errors being made in the future.

 

A Member highlighted that the description of the culture of emerging policies alluded that Councillors could play a formative role in shaping of the policies and asked what this meant. Officers advised that they had listened to both Members and the Leaders’ request for greater involvement in shaping policies. The early dialogue and engagement with councillors and staff had been beneficial in exploring improvements to culture which would be good for governance.

 

In response to a question on the timing of the different reviews that were taking place alongside the renewal plan, the Leader said that all reviews were currently on track to be finalised shortly with recommendations being written. Strategic reviews had been commissioned to look in greater depth at specific work streams such as Brick by Brick and Croydon Affordable Homes with a paper due to be presented to the next Cabinet meeting to share work to date and initial analysis, with further work needed to identify the next steps. It was acknowledged that more work was needed on the Capital Programme Review which was due to be presented at the November meeting.

 

A Member questioned the extensiveness of the process for identifying savings proposals, including whether there was sufficient challenge and public consultation. The Leader responded that in terms of the savings proposals, there would be a number of areas that required consultation and the principles of co-design would further explore how to seek public responses in processes.

 

It was further questioned how the Council would seek to demonstrate to the Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government (MCLG) that there was a thorough understanding of the financial challenge to give confidence that the capital directive would not leave room for underestimating of the Councils’ requirements. The Cabinet Member advised that officers were challenging budget assumptions and using a number of techniques to test their understanding  ...  view the full minutes text for item 40/20

41/20

Membership of the Scrutiny Sub-Committees pdf icon PDF 110 KB

The Committee is asked to confirm the changes to the membership of the Scrutiny Sub-Committees, as set out in the report.

Minutes:

The Committee agreed the changes to the membership of the Sub-Committees in accordance to the report. The Committee also agreed that Councillor Louisa Woodley would replace Councillor Callton Young as a committee member on the Children and Young People Sub-Committee.

 

It was noted that there was now a vacant co-optee role for the Parent Governor representative on the Children and Young People Sub-Committee following resignation of Geoff Hopper.

 

The Chair took the opportunity to outline the agenda of the meeting of 8 December and advised Members that the focus would be to consider the effectiveness of the action plan of the Report in Public Interest.

 

It was suggested and agreed that the Sub-Committees would convene informal meetings to reviews parts of the action plan that referenced their areas of Scrutiny and the Chairs of the sub-committees would report back their findings to the Scrutiny and Overview Committee on 8 December.

 

42/20

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 was not required