To consider the attached report.
The Acting Chief Executive presented a report regarding proposals to establish a new Overview and Scrutiny Select Committee Framework that reflected the implementation of the Council’s People Strategy and reduced the number of Select Committees to two cross-service select committees.
Following the meeting on 29 October 2018, the Committee requested that members be consulted on the proposed new Select Committee Framework, which was undertaken through the Council Bulletin. This commenced on 2 November 2018 and ran for a four-week period, closing on 30 November 2018.The consultation was promoted within the Council Bulletin on two separate occasions during this period with 8 responses received. There were mixed responses and it was suggested that a task and finish panel should be set up to consider all the issues relating to the proposed establishment of a new Overview and Scrutiny Select Committee Framework and any other options that had not already been identified.
The Acting Chief Executive advised that the terms of reference, membership and work programme for the task and finish panel had to be approved by the Overview and Scrutiny Committee. The panels work would need to be completed quickly, in order for the Committee to consider the outcomes on 16 April 2019 and the appropriate select committee framework are in place for the commencement of 2019/20 municipal year. The formation of the task and finish panel was flexible in the number of members that could be appointed and it was thought that the best way forward, would to determine the Chairman and Vice-Chairman, agreed the terms of reference and work programme and invite other members to join the panel through the Members Bulletin.
The Committee was supportive of the recommendation in the report, although Councillor A. Patel commented that some of the information received by the select committees measuring the performance was not always clear, concise, relevant and included financial implications. He requested that a further point be added to the terms of reference, which was seconded by Councillor S. Neville.
Councillor D Wixley asked that the task and panel considered ways of encouraging pre-decision scrutiny. The Acting Chief Executive advised that this was incorporated into the regular standing item on the Committee’s agenda which reviewed the Forward Plan of Key Decisions. The Business Services Portfolio Holder advised that some of the larger contracts included Partnerships Boards and Portfolio Holder Advisory Groups also acted as pre-scrutiny of executive decisions.
Councillor A. Patel enquired who the lead officer would be of this task and finish panel. The Acting Chief Executive advised that the Strategic Director, G. Blakemore would be the lead officer and she would be supported by G. Nicholas and the Project Management Team.
Councillor G. Mohindra enquired whether executive members would be allowed to attend the panel. The Acting Chief Executive advised that this would be possible.
(1) That the Committee had considered the results of consultation undertaken amongst all members of the Council, with regard to the proposed establishment of a new Overview and Scrutiny Select Committee Framework;
(2) That a Task and Finish Panel be established to consider options for the establishment of an appropriate select committee framework with effect from the commencement of the 2019/20 municipal year, in accordance with the Overview and Scrutiny rules of the Council’s Constitution;
(3) That the draft Terms of Reference and work programme for the Panel be approved, subject to the following addition under Aims and Objectives:
(5) To consider how to ensure that the Performance Indicators’ quarterly reports brought to select committees are provided as close to the end of the relevant quarter as possible, and how best they can be presented to assist members in scrutinising performance against target, to include any financial and resource implications for the Council.
(4) That Councillor P. Bolton and R. Jennings be appointed as Chairman and Vice-Chairman, respectively for the Task and Finish Panel;
(5) That interest in the membership of the Task and Finish Panel be advertised within the Members Bulletin on 19 December 2018; and
(6) That the recommendations of the proposed Task and Finish Panel be considered by the Committee at its meeting to be held on 16 April 2019.