Scrutiny Co-ordinating Panel – 7 October 2009

PRESENT:  Councillor Davison in the chair.

Councillors Ali, Barker, T Foster, Glover, Smith, K Vickers, Wells and Wilson.

The panel met at Pittwood House, Scunthorpe.

85  DECLARATIONS OF PERSONAL OR PERSONAL AND PREJUDICIAL INTERESTS – There were no declarations of personal or personal and prejudicial interests.

No Whip was declared.

86  MINUTES – Resolved – That the minutes of the meeting of the Scrutiny Co-ordinating Panel held on 1 July 2009, and special meetings held on 7 July and 9 September 2009 having been printed and circulated amongst the members, be taken as read and correctly recorded and be signed by the chair.

87  PUBLIC REQUESTS TO SPEAK – There were no requests received

88  WORK PROGRAMME 2009/2010 – Update from the Chair and Vice-Chair of each Scrutiny Panel – The chairs and vice-chairmen of each of the four   scrutiny panels for North Lincolnshire Council were invited to provide the panel with a brief update on recent work completed and future work to be undertaken.

Resolved – That the position be noted.

89  (5)  OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY ANNUAL REPORT 2008/2009 – The Service Director Legal and Democratic submitted the Overview and Scrutiny Annual Report 2008/09 for consideration, prior to its approval by Council.

An oral overview of the report was provided.  Members were advised how the report outlined the developments within Overview and Scrutiny in 2008/2009, the effective working relationships that had been developed with external partners, a summary of the work carried out by each of the four panels in the last council year and the future challenges faced.  .

Discussions ensued over main-streaming of performance monitoring, the introduction of the Councillor Call for Action and the impact this may have on the work undertaken by scrutiny.  In addition members expressed concerns about the operation of the Local Strategic Partnership (LSP) and changes to the names and roles of the thematic boards without any consultation.

Recommended to Council – That the Overview and Scrutiny Annual Report 2008/09 be approved.

Resolved – (a) That the panel expresses its concern about the lack of communication from the LSP on its matters of business, and (b) that the panel re-emphasises the need for scrutiny officer/member observer status on the Children’s thematic board.

90  (6)  STRENGTHENING LOCAL DEMOCRACY – The Service Director Legal and Democratic submitted a report which summarised the scrutiny element of the governments recent ‘Strengthening Local Democracy’ consultation document.

The report updated members on government proposals for strengthening and extending the role of overview and scrutiny.  The document confirmed planned action in relation to scrutiny, namely that the range of partners engaged with overview and scrutiny would be widened further, that government may make further proposals to increase public engagement, perhaps through giving local people statutory representation on scrutiny panels, and that scrutiny may be asked to work at a higher and more strategic level.

Resolved – (a) That the report be noted, and (b) that members be kept informed of relevant legislation and guidance, and that all partners who plan and deliver LAA targets be reminded of their duty to engage with overview and scrutiny.

91  MEMBER TRAINING – COUNCILLOR CALL FOR ACTION – The Service Director Legal and Democratic reminded Members of the training session organised for 8 October 2009.

Resolved – That the position be noted.