Places Scrutiny Panel (Special Meeting) – 3 April 2013

Councillors Davison (Vice-Chair), Clark, Oldfield and P Vickers.

Councillors Bunyan, Collinson, England, Glover, Poole, Rowson and Whiteley attended the meeting in accordance with the provisions of Procedure Rule 1.37 (b).

The panel met at the Civic Centre, Scunthorpe.

256  DECLARATIONS OF DISCLOSABLE PECUNIARY INTERESTS AND PERSONAL OR PERSONAL AND PREJUDICIAL INTERESTS AND DECLARATIONS OF WHIPPING ARRANGEMENTS (IF ANY) – There were no declarations of pecuniary or personal and prejudicial interests.

No whip was declared.

257  PUBLIC REQUESTS TO SPEAK – There were no requests received.

258  (31)  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 14 of the joint Customer Services, Sport and Leisure, Asset Management, Culture and Housing and People Cabinet Members meeting held on 26 March 2013 – Community Grant Fund Applications – The Chairman welcomed everyone to the meeting, and invited a nominee of the members who had requested the call-in to speak on the above decision and question the Cabinet Members.  Members outlined areas of concern as reasons for seeking a review of the above decision.  These included –

  • Whilst acknowledging that the placing of defibrillators in community buildings across the whole of North Lincolnshire would be an excellent community asset, members were concerned that this was an inappropriate decision because of the following reasons –
  • That this decision was based on political grounds as a favour to the Brigg and Goole MP as the grant was purely for Brigg and Goole and Cleethorpes areas.  No schools in the Scunthorpe area of North Lincolnshire would benefit, rural or urban.  This was an unequal decision.
  • That the Community Grant was for: ‘Grants to Individuals – The scheme helped talented individuals resident in North Lincolnshire who are able to demonstrate excellence in sport, art or culture.’ ‘Community Revenue Grant Programme – This scheme helped support the revenue costs of community groups.’  And, ‘Community Capital Grant Programme – This scheme helped community sport, arts or heritage capital projects.’  Therefore, this was not the appropriate avenue for such an application.
  • That the council officers themselves recognised that this does not fit criteria ‘Recommendation:  That the Cabinet Members consider whether to approve an exception to the normal grant criteria in this instance and if so, to determine the level of grant to be awarded’.
  • The Scrutiny Panel calls on the Cabinet Members to reconsider this decision on the basis of fairness to all schools in North Lincolnshire.  The council should not be seen to favour particular areas, whatever their political make-up.
  • The council should take into account access to such defibrillators 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and to identify properly trained individuals within all communities.
  • If all schools were identified as preferred hosts, then steps should be taken to ensure such open-all-hours access.
  • The decision was also contrary to the council’s policy framework as per bullet points 2 and 3″.

Following a discussion on the above issues, the Customer Services, Sport and Leisure, Asset Management, Culture and Housing and People Cabinet Memberswere invited to respond to the concerns and reasons for the decision being called in, and be held to account for the decision taken.  The Director of Places was also invited to comment.

It was then –

Moved by Councillor Davison and seconded by Councillor Oldfield–

That the decision be referred to Council as it was considered to be contrary to the policy framework or contrary to or not wholly consistent with the council’s budget.

Moved by Councillor P Vickers and seconded by Councillor Clark as an amendment –

That no further action be taken, and the above decision of the Customer Services, Sport and Leisure, Asset Management, Culture and Housing and People Cabinet Members(minute 14 refers) be implemented with immediate effect.

Amendment Carried
Substantive Motion Carried