Scrutiny Co-ordinating Panel (Special meeting) – 7 June 2010

Co-opted Members:- Mr N Craven and Mr W Egan

Councillor Gosling (Cabinet Member Children’s Service) and Councillor Regan (Cabinet Member Highways, Planning and Energy) attended the meeting as decision makers.

Councillors Barkworth, J Briggs, Poole and Mrs Redfern attended the meeting in accordance with Procedure Rule 1.37 (b).

The panel met at Pittwood House, Scunthorpe.

100 DECLARATIONS OF PERSONAL OR PERSONAL AND PREJUDICIAL INTERESTS AND DECLARATIONS OF WHIPPING ARRANGEMENTS (IF ANY) – There were no declarations of personal or personal and prejudicial interests. No whip was declared.

101 (1) ITEM REQUESTED FOR CALL-IN IN ACCORDANCE WITH PARAGRAPH 22 OF PART D RULE 5 (OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY PROCEDURE RULES) OF THE COUNCIL’S CONSTITUTION – Minute 158 of the Children’s Services Cabinet Member meeting held on 24 May 2010 – The chair invited a nominee of the members who had requested the call-in to speak on the above decision and question the Children’s Services Cabinet Member. Appropriate members outlined areas of concern as reasons for seeking a review of the above decision. These included: –

(i) ‘In light of the unprecedented economic hardships currently being experienced, many people, particularly parents on modest incomes were struggling to meet cost increases and the proposed increase could deter young people from modest income families continuing their education. As such, the proposals had a disproportionate impact upon the children of families already experiencing severe financial difficulties. It was proposed that the council not only acknowledges the hardships of parents on modest incomes, but acts to assist them in these economically trying times, by freezing post 16 transport costs for the coming year’.

(ii) The members consider the decision to also be contrary to the policy framework or contrary to, or not wholly in accordance with the budget as ‘the decision was contrary to policy A1.02 in that due to its disproportionate effect on modest income families, it goes against the principles of ensuring equality of access to services. Protecting vulnerable communities, developing self sustaining communities that were enabled to realise their full potential, promoting safe self supporting and caring communities and creating opportunities to improve lifestyle through education, health, culture and leisure’.

Following discussions on the above issue, the Children’s Service Cabinet Member was invited to respond to the concerns and reasons for the decision being called in, and be held to account for the decision taken. The council’s Head of Resources for Children and Young People Service and the Strategic Access Manager for Children and Young People Service were also invited to comment.

It was then :–

Moved by Councillor C Sherwood and seconded by Councillor Wells – That the decision be referred back to the Children’s Service Cabinet Member for further consideration.

Motion Lost

Resolved – That no further action be taken, and the above decision of the Children’s Service Cabinet Member (minute 158 refers) be implemented with immediate effect.

102 (2) ITEM REQUESTED FOR CALL-IN IN ACCORDANCE WITH PARAGRAPH 22 OF PART D RULE 5 (OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY PROCEDURE RULES) OF THE COUNCIL’S CONSTITUTION – Minute 95 of the Highways, Planning and Energy Cabinet Member meeting held on 26 May 2010 – The chair invited a nominee of the members who had requested the call-in to speak on the above decision and question the Highways, Planning and Energy Cabinet Member. Appropriate members outlined areas of concern as reasons for seeking a review of the above decision. These included: –

(i) ‘Local traders have stated in the Scunthorpe Telegraph that the last increase in car parking charges had a significant detrimental impact upon trade levels. In light of the current fragility of the local economy, this further increase for parking of any duration over one hour, would clearly further damage consumer confidence. It was proposed that to assist consumer confidence and local businesses, the council demonstrates that it recognised the fragility of the local economy and provided the first hour of parking free, with no increase in existing charges for stays over this duration, in accordance with the Conservative Group’s budget proposals and the wishes of local traders’.

(ii) The members consider the decision to also be contrary to the policy framework or contrary to, or not wholly in accordance with the budget as ‘the decision was clearly contrary to Section A1.02 of the constitution in that the council is committed to increasing democratic involvement and accountability, though the council chose not to consult on this issue, as previous experience has shown that “there will always be some objections”. The council should not only consult when it expects replies that meet with its approval’. Following discussions on the above issue, the Highways, Planning and Energy Cabinet Member was invited to respond to the concerns and reasons for the decision being called in, and be held to account for the decision taken. The council’s Head of Safer Roads was also invited to comment.

It was then :–

Moved by Councillor C Sherwood and seconded by Councillor Glover – That the decision be referred back to the Highways, Planning and Energy Cabinet Member for further consideration.

Motion Lost

Resolved – That no further action be taken, and the above decision of the Highways, Planning and Energy Cabinet Member (minute 95 refers) be implemented with immediate effect.