Progress towards the achievement of the work programme for the Overview and Scrutiny Committee is reviewed at each meeting.
(a) Current Work Programme
The current work programme for the Committee is attached as an appendix to this agenda.
(b) Reserve Programme
A reserve list of scrutiny topics is developed as required, to ensure that the work flow of overview and scrutiny is continuous. When necessary, the Committee will allocate items from the list appropriately, once resources become available in the work programme, following the completion of any ongoing scrutiny activity.
Members can put forward suggestions for inclusion in the work programme or reserve list through the adopted PICK process. Existing review items will be dealt with first, after which time will be allocated to the items contained in the reserve work plan.
The Democratic Services Manager presented the Overview & Scrutiny Work Programme for 2019/20, including the Reserve List.
The Democratic Services Manager reported that the first two items on the Work Programme were now complete, scrutiny of the Cabinet’s Key Decisions were ongoing throughout the year, and the Customer Services item was an annual report presented to the Committee in March. The Committee had just agreed to remove the proposed scrutiny of Epping Forest College from the Work Programme for this year. For the next item, the review of the provision of local mental health services, a briefing for Officers had taken place this afternoon by the Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust and one option was to repeat this briefing for Members before a meeting of the Overview & Scrutiny Committee, possibly the next scheduled meeting in September. For the Local High Streets Viability & Regeneration item, the Service Director for Communities & Partnerships was considering the best way for this to be scrutinised, and the Economic Development Strategy was due to be considered by the Council at its next meeting on 30 July 2019. The scrutiny of Adult Social Care could also be scheduled for the next meeting in September as an invitation had already extended to Councillor Spence, who was the County Council Cabinet Member for Health & Adult Social Care. The Committee would need to consider the scope of the scrutiny that they wished to undertake for this item. Finally, no proactive action was being undertaken for the scrutiny of the Epping Forest Sixth Form Consortium at the current time.
The Democratic Services Manager then presented the two items on the Reserve List, both of whom had been brought forward from the Reserve List last year. The scrutiny of the Joint Governance of the Essex Police / Essex Fire & Rescue Service could be added to the formal Work Programme.
Councillor Mohindra stated that he had been at the Officer Briefing this afternoon for the provision of local mental health services and felt that it was an excellent session. He suggested that if the scrutiny of Adult Social Care was undertaken as an informal training session then this would benefit the Committee more than a formal presentation followed by a question-and-answer session.
The Chairman commented that there was no external scrutiny currently planned for the next scheduled meeting of the Committee and suggested that there was an opportunity to invite Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust to the next meeting as a follow-on from the Officer briefing today. The Committee concurred, and the Democratic Services Manager undertook to speak to the relevant Officers to assess the feasibility of bringing that item to the next meeting.
The Chairman also highlighted that the viability and regeneration of local high streets was a national issue at the moment, as there had been recent programmes and articles on BBC Radio 4 and in the Daily Telegraph.
(1) That the current Overview & Scrutiny Work Programme for 2019/20 be noted; and
(2) That Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust be invited to the next scheduled meeting of the Committee, on 3 September 2019, to brief Members on the provision of local mental health services.