Places Scrutiny Panel (Special Meeting) – 30 June 2014

PRESENT:  Councillor Evison in the chair.

Councillors England, L Foster, Ogg and Oldfield.

Councillors T Foster, C Sherwood, Waltham and Whiteley and attended the meeting in accordance with the provisions of Procedure Rule 1.37 (b).

The panel met at the Civic Centre, Scunthorpe.


Member Minute

Nature of Interest

Councillor Evison 393 Member of UNISON trade union
Councillor Oldfield 393 Member of UNITE trade union

No whip was declared.

391  PUBLIC REQUESTS TO SPEAK – Further to Minute 389, Councillor Waltham again sought legal clarification on whether members of the scrutiny panel should declare a personal and prejudicial interest if their Trade Union contributed financially at a national and/or local level towards their political party.

The Assistant Director Legal and Democratic Services provided a legal opinion on the issues raised by Councillor Waltham.

392  EXCLUSION OF THE PUBLIC – Resolved – That the public be excluded from the meeting for consideration of the following item (Minute 393 refers) on the grounds that it involved the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Paragraph 1 and 2 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended).

393  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 5 of the Leader of the Council and Asset Management, Culture and Housing Cabinet Members meeting held on 18 June 2014 – Planning and Regeneration Review – The Chairman welcomed everyone to the meeting, and invited a nominee of the members who had requested the call-in to speak on the above decision and question the Cabinet Members.  Members outlined areas of concern as reasons for seeking a review of the above decision.  Namely, –

Members are not convinced that 2.2 and 2.5 of the Council’s Review protocol had been followed correctly.  JCC and Trade Unions comments should be sought – this did not happen, and despite requests, no comments were sought until after the review had been published.  This is contrary to council policy.

Furthermore, under the same Review Policy, the responses should be clearly set out within the report.  This did not happen.

Why wasn’t Appendix 3 added until the final minute was published and were the Trade Unions consulted and given sufficient time to review this before the decision was made?  Why was Appendix 3 not included in the originals?

We understand that there was a current backlog on planning determinations and the authority was actually having to regularly return fees when applications were not dealt with on time.  How would this review, which ultimately reduced those staff, effectively improve this process to enable targets to be met?

In Appendix 1 of the report, part of the plan was to ensure the Lincolnshire Lakes procurement policy would secure a proportion of local labour.  Can you explain why you had only set a target of a ridiculously low figure of 10%?

There would be further questions at the Call-In meeting.

Following a discussion on the above issues, the Leader of the Council and the Asset Management, Culture and Housing Cabinet Members 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 Director of Places and Assistant Director Planning and Regeneration were also invited to comment.

Resolved – That no further action be taken, and the above joint decision of the Leader of the Council and Asset Management, Culture and Housing Cabinet Members(minute 55 refers) be implemented with immediate effect.