Scrutiny Co-ordinating Panel (Special Meeting) – 5 July 2010

PRESENT: Councillor Waltham in the chair.

Councillors Mrs Bromby, Ellerby, Jawaid MBE, C Sherwood, N Sherwood, Simpson, Whiteley and Wilson

Councillor Kirk (Leader of the Council) attended the meeting on behalf of the decision maker Councillor L Foster (Neighbourhood, Environment and Communities Cabinet Member).

Councillors Barkworth, J Briggs and Eckhardt attended the meeting in accordance with Procedure Rule 1.37 (b).

The panel met at Pittwood House, Scunthorpe.

103 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.

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

105 (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 91 of the Neighbourhood, Environment and Communities Cabinet Member meeting held on 25 June 2010 – 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. Appropriate members outlined areas of concern as reasons for seeking a review of the above decision. These included: –

(i) ‘The Haxey public conveniences were the only ones conveniently available for the use of visitors to the site of special scientific interest at Haxey Carr and also the significant number of HGV drivers delivering in the area or passing through. The parish was quite large and the public convenience was the only one that was readily accessible at all times, when public houses etc. may be closed. In light of the fact that there was no implication in the report of a firm commitment from the parish council to provide North Lincolnshire Council with a significant capital receipt, the annual saving that was identified does not outweigh the loss of the amenity value provided by this facility, and it was proposed that the council continue to provide the service.’

(ii) The three members also consider the decision to be contrary to the policy framework or contrary to, or not wholly in accordance with the budget as ‘It appeared probable that declaring the site surplus to requirements prior to the negotiation of any capital receipt may undermine the council’s ability to satisfy its best value obligations, and thus not be in accordance with budgetary protocols. The decision was also contrary to section A1.02 of the constitution in that whilst the council was committed to increasing democratic involvement and accountability, it chose to only consult with trade union officials on this issue, with service users having no input.’

Following discussions on the above issue, the Leader of the Council was invited to respond to the concerns and reasons for the decision being called in, and be held to account for the decision taken. The council’s Service Director Neighbourhood and Environmental Services was also invited to comment.

It was then –

Moved by Councillor C Sherwood and seconded by Councillor N Sherwood –

That the decision be referred back to the Neighbourhood, Environment and Communities Cabinet Member for further consideration.

Motion Lost

Resolved – That no further action be taken, and the above decision of the Neighbourhood, Environment and Communities Cabinet Member (minute 91 refers) be implemented with immediate effect.