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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.
There were no disclosures of interest made at the meeting.
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.
There were no items of urgent business.
The Committee is asked consider and respond to the Call-In in accordance with the procedure set out in the Council’s constitution.
The Chair of the Scrutiny & Overview Committee, Councillor Sean Fitzsimons introduced the Call-In item, outlining the reason why the ‘Proposed Closure of Virgo Fidelis Convent Senior School’ key decisions had been called in. It was confirmed that there were a number of reasons why the call-in had been made, which were as follows:-
1. To hold the decision takers to account on their decision and to the evidence that underpins their reasoning to recommend closure of Virgo Fidelis Secondary School.
2. To ensure that there are sufficient secondary school places in Croydon for Croydon pupils and that the decision will not adversely affect disadvantaged groups
3. To ensure that there is no undue negative impact on other Croydon schools as a result of this decision
4. To obtain reassurance on the future use of the site
5. To obtain reassurance on the treatment of the accumulated budget deficit
6. To ensure that the decision does not unduly restrict the choice of parents to send their children to a single sex school or a school of religious character.
In response to these concerns a report setting out additional information had been provided for the consideration of the Committee.
The Chair explained the process for considering a call-in, confirming that the Committee needed to agree whether to review the decision and if it was decided to proceed, to confirm how much time it wished to allocate for the discussion of the item. The Committee agreed that it would review the decision and allocated one hour and thirty minutes for consideration of the item.
The Chair went on to explain that there were three outcomes that the Committee could reach as a result of the review. These were:-
1. That no further action was necessary and the decision could be implemented as originally intended.
2. To refer the decision back to the Cabinet for reconsideration, outlining the nature of the Committee’s concerns
3. To refer the decision to Council, if the Committee considered that the decision taken was outside of the Budget and Policy Framework.
At the start of the meeting the Chair gave the representative from the Southwark Archdiocese and council officers the opportunity to respond to the call-in. During this introduction it was highlighted that any proposed school closures were not taken lightly and would be based on the standard of education provided and the safety of the children attending the school. Both the Council and the Roman Catholic Archdiocese were in agreement on the closure of the Virgo Fidelis Convent Senior School and had approved the closure after following the process for closing schools. The main reasons for the closure of Virgo Fidelis were the unfit estate, the declining roll and the impact of the increasing deficit. The Council and the Archdiocese were working together to manage the smooth transition of pupils to new schools.
The Ward Councillors in attendance, Councillor Stephen Mann and Councillor Pat Ryan, were also given the opportunity to provide the local view on the closure. ... view the full minutes text for item 7/20
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.”
This motion was not required.