Children and Young People Scrutiny Panel – 24 January 2011

PRESENT: Councillor Wilson in the chair.

Councillors Mrs Bromby, Cawsey, Sidell, Simpson, P Vickers and Whiteley.

Statutory Co-opted Members: Mr N Craven and Mrs A Dunkerley (Parent Governor Representatives) and Mr W Egan and Mrs W Witter (Church Representatives).

The panel met at Pittwood House, Scunthorpe.

198 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.

199 MINUTES – Resolved – That the minutes of the proceedings of this panel held on 25 October 2010 and 22 November 2010, having been printed and circulated amongst the members, be taken as read and correctly recorded and signed by the chair.

200 PUBLIC REQUESTS TO SPEAK – There were no public requests received.

201 SCRUTINY OVERVIEW – Safeguarding Children and Young People during election days on school premises – Discussion with Simon Driver, Chief executive and Returning Officer, and Mel Holmes the Head of Democratic Services. The chair welcomed the above officers to the meeting and asked them to outline their roles with regards to the elections. Simon Driver informed the panel that is was attending under a duel role but more with regards to being the Returning Officer for election purposes.

Discussions were held with the officers and members of the panel queried why school premises were still used for election purposes, and if alternative provision could be found. The current legislation on using premises for election purposes was also brought to the attention of the panel.

The panel was informed that the total number of polling stations used for District Council Elections is 120, and out of those seven schools are currently used as polling stations. Four of those have to close for the day. When questioned about these schools the Returning Officer indicated that they always look for alternatives where possible, however, he said there was currently no alternative to these schools, and it is his responsibility to make available the use of an appropriate building suitable for electors to cast their vote. Such building must be within the polling district and should be accessible to electors who are disabled.

Further discussions took place with the panel with regards to alternative venues, and questions were asked about safeguarding children on site during election days. The panel was informed that the safeguarding issues were a matter for the schools themselves.

Resolved – (a) That the officers be thank for their attendance, and (b) that the headteachers from the schools affected by elections be invited to attend the next meeting.

202 (22) LEADER OF THE COUNCIL’S FORWARD PLAN – JANUARY TO APRIL 2011 – The Service Director Legal and Democratic circulated the Leader of North Lincolnshire Council’s Forward plan for January to April 2010.

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

Resolved – That the Leader of the Council’s Forward Plan for January to April 2011 be noted.

203 ADDED ITEM – There was no added item for discussion at this meeting.