Economic Development and Corporate Issues Scrutiny Panel – 12 October 2009

PRESENT: Councillor Smith in the chair.

Councillors Glover (vice-chair), Ali, Bainbridge, Berry, Davison and Wells.

The panel met at Pittwood House, Scunthorpe.


Subject & Nature of Interest
Councillor Ali To be noted Licence Holder
Councillor Davison 118 Husband is employee of North Lincolnshire Council

No whip was declared.

116 PUBLIC SPEAKING – There were no requests received.

117 (11) ECONOMIC BOARD – QUARTER 1 REVIEW 2009/2010 – The Chair welcomed Caroline Barkley, Head of Strategy Development and Marcus Walker, Service Director Regeneration and Housing Development to the meeting and invited them to present the quarter 1 performance figures for the economic board.

The Head of Strategy Development explained the priorities for the Economic Board, that had been set by the Local Strategic Partnership, these included the creation of a strong identity for the area, the development of a dynamic economy, the enhancement of skills and employability and place making. It was hoped that the outcomes from these would be increased employment, increased growth, enhanced skills and improved local employment.

The Head of Regeneration, Housing and Development answered questions relating to a number of the performance indicators, explained the successes that had been made meeting certain targets, the difficulties faced with meeting targets that had been set before the recession and actions that had been agreed to help reach these targets.

Members discussed the South Humber Bank project and the impact that this would have on the local economy, the need for new housing to accommodate the increasing workforce in the area and the prospect of a new and improved business park combined within the development.

The Head of Regeneration, Housing and Development confirmed that there was a lack of information on the quarter 1 report outlining the outcomes achieved during the year and also the performance data. He advised the panel that this was currently under review and that a more robust recording system would be in place to provide figures. Members received assurances that this information would be reported as from quarter 2.

Specific reference was made to the issues identified by the performance team, specifically that the Board appeared to have limited partner contribution and lead, particularly in the skills area. The Head of Regeneration, Housing and Development confirmed that this had been acknowledged and that the Board was currently looking at reconfiguring its members list and that new attendees would be at the next Board meeting.

The Head of Strategy Development asked for comments on the new performance report format and asked that if Members would like any amendments to this they should contact the performance team.

Resolved – (a) That Caroline Barkley, Head of Strategy Development and Marcus Walker, Head of Regeneration, Housing and Development be thanked for their attendance at the meeting, and (b) that the information be noted.

118 POLICY REVIEW – RE-VISIT THE REVIEW OF SICKNESS ABSENCE IN NORTH LINCOLNSHIRE COUNCIL DECEMBER 2003 – Caroline Barkley, Head of Strategy Development was invited to address the panel. She explained that the performance improvement panel had not met its target of reducing the number of days lost due to sickness absence, and that the decision had been made to conduct a peer review.

This would call on the assistance of another council to come and review North Lincolnshire Council’s procedures, who would in turn provide constructive feedback on ways to make improvements.

Following discussions, it was agreed that the panel would continue with the interviews that had been arranged so far. They would then wait until the Peer review had been completed and then all the information could be consolidated and fed into the panel’s report.

Resolved – That the position be noted.

119 (12) LEADER OF THE COUNCILS FORWARD PLAN – OCTOBER 2009 TO JANUARY 2010 – The Service Director Legal and Democratic circulated the Leader of North Lincolnshire Council’s Forward Plan for October 2009 to January 2010.

The plan contained details of all matters and issues likely to be the subject of key decisions for a period of the next four months, updated on a monthly basis.

Resolved – That the Leader of the Council’s Forward Plan for October 2009 to January 2010 be noted.