Scrutiny Co-ordinating Panel (Special Meeting) – 7 July 2009
PRESENT: Councillor Davison in the chair.
Councillors Barker, Cawsey, Glover, C Sherwood, Smith, Waltham, Wells and Wilson.
Councillors Kirk and Swift attended the meeting in their positions as Cabinet Members for Leader of the Council Regeneration, Marketing and Strategic Finance and Corporate Services respectively.
Councillors J Briggs, Mrs Bromby and N Sherwood attended the meeting in accordance with Procedure Rule 1.37 (b)
The panel met at Pittwood House, Scunthorpe.
80 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.
81 EXCLUSION OF THE PUBLIC – Resolved – That the public be excluded from the meeting for consideration of the following item (Minute 82 refers) on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraphs 1 and 2 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended).
82 (3) 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 1 of the Leader of the Council Regeneration, Marketing and Strategic Finance and Corporate Services Cabinet Member meeting held on 25 June 2009 – The chair invited a nominee of the members who had requested the call-in to speak on the above decision and question the Leader of the Council Regeneration, Marketing and Strategic Finance and Corporate Services Cabinet Members. Members outlined areas of concern as reasons for seeking a review of the above decision. These included: –
(i) In light of the fact that footfall at the Scunthorpe Tourist Information Centre had declined and was significantly lower than that currently experienced at the Brigg Tourist Information Centre, coupled with the fact that the value of tourist visits to North Lincolnshire had increased so significantly, it was not the optimal course of action to improve the service provided in Scunthorpe, at the cost of the service provided in Brigg. Whilst the majority of the proposals appeared sensible, measures could reasonably be developed which improved flexibility across the service, whilst improving service levels in Scunthorpe, with no detriment to the Brigg service’.
(ii) The decision was also contrary to the policy framework or contrary to, or not wholly in accordance with the budget as the council should not seek to instigate the upgrading of a tourist information point at the cost of downgrading another tourist information centre to a tourist information point. At a time of massive growth in the area’s tourism industry, the council should not be seen to pursue a policy of prioritising urban areas above rural. The equal treatment of urban and rural areas and equally the perception of this, should be visible in council policy implementation.
Following a discussion on the above issues, the Cabinet Members for Leader of the Council Regeneration, Marketing and Strategic Finance and Corporate Services were invited to respond to the concerns and reasons for the decision being called in, and be held to account for the decision taken. The Service Director Asset Management and Culture was also invited to comment.
Resolved – That the decision be referred back to the decision makers to re-consider within five working days to either (a) confirm the original decision, or (b) agree to change the decision having considered the representations made by the Scrutiny Co-ordinating Panel.