Agenda and minutes

Scrutiny Co-ordination Committee
Monday, 16th March, 2020 6.00 pm

Venue: Committee Room 1 - Town Hall

Contact: Damian Eaton  (0161 474 3207)

Media

Items
No. Item

1.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 138 KB

To approve as a correct record and sign the Minutes of the meeting held on 30 September 2019

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Minutes of the meeting held on 30 September 2019 (copies of which had been circulated) were approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair.

Governance Arrangements in the light of the Coronavirus Pandemic

The Chair referred to the potential future challenges to the governance arrangements of the Council in the coming weeks and months brought about by the impact of the Coronavirus Pandemic. 

 

It was stated that is was likely that there would need to be changes to the way in which decisions were taken and that work was taking place to establish what that might look like.  The Chair commented that scrutiny chairs would have an important role to play in any future arrangements, but that the response to these challenges would be a whole-Council response and the whole ‘scrutiny team’ would need to work together closely during this difficult time.

Additional documents:

2.

Declarations of Interest

Councillors and officers to declare any interests which they have in any of the items on the agenda for the meeting.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillors and officers were invited to declare any interests which they had in any of the items on the agenda for the meeting.

 

No declarations were made.

3.

Call-in

To consider call-in items (if any).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There were no call-in items to consider.

4.

Update on the recommendations of the Scrutiny Review Panel - Undertaking Scrutiny in Stockport pdf icon PDF 191 KB

To consider a report of the Strategic Head of Service (Legal, Democratic Services and Estate & Asset Management).

 

In August 2018, the Scrutiny Co-ordination Committee agreed to undertake a scrutiny review in relation to ‘Undertaking Scrutiny in Stockport’.  The work of the review was focussed around the four key themes of (i) the business programme; (ii) the scrutiny work programme; (iii) culture; and (iv) training.  Eight recommendations were subsequently made within the Panel’s final report to address these.

 

This report details the recommendations that were made by the original review panel and documents the activities and progress that have been made thus far.

 

The Committee is recommended to comment on and note the report and the progress made towards implementing the recommendations of the Review.

 

Officer contact: Damian Eaton on 0161 474 3207 or email: damian.eaton@stockport.gov.uk

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Strategic Head of Service (Legal, Democratic Services and Estate & Asset Management) submitted a report (copies of which had been circulated) detailing the recommendations that were made by the original review panel in relation to ‘Undertaking Scrutiny in Stockport’ and documents the activities and progress that have been made thus far.

 

The following comments were made/ issues raised:-

 

·         It was acknowledged that significant progress had been made with regard to a number of the recommendations contained in the Committee’s Final Report.

·         The alternative ways of working undertaken by each of the scrutiny committees during the last Municipal Year were discussed.  These included the use of single one-off ‘deep-dive’ meetings and site visits.

·         Further consideration needed to be given by scrutiny committees, well in advance of its first meeting, on the development of a comprehensive work programme for the forthcoming year.

·         The role of the Scrutiny Co-ordination Committee needed to be better defined, which included the work towards achieving parity of esteem between the executive and scrutiny.  It was suggested that this should be included as an item within this scrutiny committee’s work programme for the forthcoming year.

·         It was commented that the job descriptions and role profiles that were being developed for each scrutiny committee should be circulated to members of the Co-ordination Committee for comment.

 

RESOLVED – (1) That the report and progress made thus far be noted.

 

(2) That an item be included on the Scrutiny Committee’s work programme for the forthcoming Municipal Year in relation to further progress made towards achieving the recommendations contained within the committee’s Final Report.

5.

Amendments to the Council's Constitution Regarding Reporting to Scrutiny Committees by Cabinet Portfolio Holders pdf icon PDF 263 KB

To consider a report of the Strategic Head of Service (Legal, Democratic Services and Estate & Asset Management).

 

To provide the Strategic Head of Service’s (Legal, Democratic Service and Estate and Asset Management) report regarding the recommendation made at the Scrutiny Co-ordination Committee on 17 June 2019, namely:

 

“(2) give consideration as to how, in future years, reporting to Scrutiny Committees by Cabinet Portfolio holders is agreed and that a report be submitted to the Council Meeting to approve any required changes to the Council Constitution”.

 

The recommendation arose from concerns in relation to the potential conflict between the Cabinet Leader’s statutory right to determine the number of Cabinet Members and their range of delegations; and the apparent rigidity of the scrutiny arrangements within the Constitution that provides for five named scrutiny committees with defined reporting arrangements between those committees and specified cabinet portfolios.

 

The Committee is recommended to comment on and note the report.

 

Officer contact: Vicki Bates on 0161 474 3219 or email: vicki.bates@stockport.gov.uk

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Strategic Head of Service (Legal, Democratic Services and Estate & Asset Management) submitted a report (copies of which had been circulated) detailing the work that had taken place to address the recommendation of the Scrutiny Committee in relation to the mechanism by which reporting arrangements to Scrutiny Committees by Cabinet Portfolio holders was agreed.

 

It was stated that it had now been agreed that the Co-ordination Committee would meet in advance of the first cycle of scrutiny committees after the Annual Council Meeting to make recommendations on the alignment of portfolios to individual committees.

 

It was commented that this approach was a sensible solution to this issue and officers were thanked for their work in bringing about a resolution.

 

RESOLVED – That the report be noted and the proposed approach endorsed.