Governance Scrutiny Panel – 17 December 2019
Chairman: – Councillor Robinson
Venue: Room FO4e Church Square House, 30-40 High Street, Scunthorpe
Time: – 2.00 p.m.
Declarations of disclosable pecuniary interests and personal or personal and prejudicial interests and declarations of whipping arrangements (if any).
To take the minutes of the meeting of the panel held on 28 November 2019 as a correct record and authorise the chairman to sign.
Public speaking requests, if any.
Calculating the Council Tax Base
5.1 To receive a presentation from Becky McIntyre, Director: Governance and Partnerships and Adam Hopley, Financial Planning Accountant
5.2 Next stages, if any.
Added Item – Statutory Guidance on Overview and Scrutiny in Local and Combined Authorities
6.1 To consider an added item submitted in accordance with the council’s Procedure Rules by Councillor Collinson.
6.2 Next stages, if any.
Any other items that the Chairman decides are urgent by reason of special circumstances that must be specified.
PRESENT: – Councillor Robinson in the chair.
Councillors Gosling (Vice-Chair) and Longcake.
Councillor A Davison attended the meeting in accordance with Procedure Rule 1.37(b).
The panel met at Church Square House, Scunthorpe.
25 DECLARATIONS OF DISCLOSABLE PECUNIARY INTERESTS AND PERSONAL OR PERSONAL AND PREJUDICIAL INTERESTS AND DECLARATIONS OF WHIPPING ARRANGEMENTS (IF ANY) – There were no declarations of disclosable pecuniary interests and personal or personal and prejudicial interests.
No whip was declared.
26 MINUTES – Resolved – That the minutes of the proceedings of this panel held on 28 November 2019, having been printed and circulated amongst the members, be taken as read and correctly recorded and signed by the chairman.
27 PUBLIC REQUESTS TO SPEAK – There were no requests received.
28 ADDED ITEM – STATUTORY GUIDANCE ON OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY IN LOCAL AND COMBINED AUTHORITIES – The Chairman welcomed Becky McIntyre to the meeting, the council’s Director: Governance and Partnerships.
Mrs McIntyre was in attendance to discuss an added item submitted by Councillor Collinson on ‘the Statutory Guidance on Overview and Scrutiny in Local and Combined Authorities’. Due to the untimely and sad passing of Councillor Collinson, the Chairman, as a mark of respect, wanted the added item to still be considered by the scrutiny panel. Consequently, the Chairman invited Councillor A Davison to introduce the added item and the rationale behind its submission.
Councillor Davison informed the members that on 15 March 2018, the former Governance and Standards Scrutiny Panel considered the House of Commons Communities and Local Government Committee (the Select Committee) report of December 2017 on the Effectiveness of Local Authority Overview and Scrutiny Committees. The Labour Group on North Lincolnshire Council formally submitted a representation as part of the Select Committee consultation
The resolution (Minute 52 refers) of the former Governance and Standards Scrutiny Panel was –
- That a review of the council’s Overview and Scrutiny function be included on the Governance and Standards Scrutiny Panel work programme.
- That the House of Commons Communities and Local Government Committee report and associated recommendations on the Effectiveness of Local Authority Overview and Scrutiny Committees be used as a starting point for the review.
In May 2019, the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) published revised guidance titled ‘Overview and Scrutiny in Local and Combined Authorities’. The revised guidance was in response to the recommendations contained in the Select Committee report.
Therefore, following the publication of the revised guidance, and having regard to the minute of the Governance and Standards Scrutiny Panel, the Labour Group were respectfully requesting that a joint scrutiny panel, consisting of the Chairman and Vice-Chairs of all the scrutiny panels be convened to consider the councils overview and scrutiny arrangements.
The Chairman invited the Director: Governance and Partnerships to comment. The Director guided the Panel through her report, paying particular attention to the key findings in the revised guidance.
The Chairman then invited scrutiny panel members and others attending the meeting to comment on the matters discussed during the added item.
Resolved – (a) That consideration of the council’s overview and scrutiny arrangements following the publication of the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) revised guidance titled ‘Overview and Scrutiny in Local and Combined Authorities’ be included on the panel’s work programme, and (b) that the review be commenced as soon as practicable in quarter 1 of the next council financial year (April/May/June 2020).
29 CALCULATING THE COUNCIL TAX BASE – The Chairman welcomed Becky McIntyre and Adam Hopley to the meeting, the council’s Director: Governance and Partnerships and Financial Planning Accountant respectively.
The Director and Financial Planning Accountant had been invited to the meeting to answer member’s questions on the following –
- Collection of council tax for other public bodies,
- Number of band D equivalents in North Lincolnshire,
- The factors impacting the council tax base,
- The tax base by parish.
The Director delivered a presentation to members, before the Chairman facilitated a discussion on calculating the council tax base between the Scrutiny Panel and the Director and Financial Planning Accountant.
Resolved – (a) That the Director: Governance and Partnerships and Financial Planning Accountant be thanked for their attendance, presentation and for answering scrutiny panel members questions, and (b) that the information received be noted.