(Chairmen of the Select Committees) Article 6 (Overview and Scrutiny) of the Constitution requires that the chairmen of the select committees report to the meeting in regard to progress with the achievement of the current work programme for each select committee and on any recommendations for consideration by the Overview and Scrutiny Committee.
The current work programme for each select committee is attached as an appendix to this agenda.
(a) Stronger Communities Select Committee
Councillor D Sunger reported that the Essex Police District Commander would be attending the next meeting of the Select Committee on 30 March 2021, as well as the Annual Report of the Community Safety Partnership. An additional meeting had been arranged for 22 April for the remaining business to be considered, which included universal credit and customer and social recovery items. At the last meeting in January 2021, the Councillor advised that he had attended a briefing to update stakeholders and community representatives on the progress of the Whipps Cross development and had considered an update on the Council’s response to rough sleeping in the District during the pandemic.
Councillor S Murray asked if the officer would be able to give the parameters that the report on social recovery, post-Covid, would cover? Councillor H Whitbread, Portfolio Holder Housing and Community Services, advised that the Homelessness Team had done a lot of work throughout the Covid crisis. Furthermore, social recovery linked into the Covid recovery work and a wider programme of support via the community hubs for people who needed it the most, post-Covid.
Councillor A Patel added that the Policy Advisory Group had received an overview from the Community and Wellbeing Service Director, J Gould, as social recovery was linked in with health and the report would provide details on the large amount of work being undertaken.
(b) Stronger Council Select Committee
Councillor P Bolton reported that the draft budget proposals had been discussed in detail at the last meeting in January 2021 with a recommendation to be approved. On the Accommodation Strategy, the Committee was reassured that there were partners interested in taking up accommodation in the refurbished Civic Offices. The withdrawal of Wi-fi from sheltered housing because it was uneconomical was a concern, but the Select Committee had asked officers to look at this again and report back to see if this could be rectified, as future library closures were a possibility.
(c) Stronger Place Select Committee
Councillor S Heather reported that the Select Committee had received an update on the Local Plan and the Interim Air Pollution Mitigation Strategy but there had been no decision-making process. Income was down from the leisure centres because of the Covid crisis and closures during the lockdowns. On the waste management contract, residential waste had increased but Biffa had done an excellent job collecting it. A demand responsive transport trial along the number 87 bus route seemed to be going satisfactorily but this was being monitored. Also, officers were doing a lot of work on town centre rejuvenation.
(1) That the Committee noted the work programmes of the three select committees;