To consider any matters of concern to the Cabinet arising from the Council’s Overview and Scrutiny function and to identify any matters that the Cabinet would like the Overview and Scrutiny Committee to examine as part of its work programme.
The Chairman of the Overview & Scrutiny Committee reported that no meetings had been held since the Cabinet’s last meeting. However, at their November meeting they would have VAEF there to give a short presentation and answer any questions.
She noted that Whipps Cross Hospital had given a presentation, on their development plans, to Waltham Forest Borough Council and were looking for them to do the same for us in the near future.
For future meetings they were also looking for the local adult social services to give them a presentation as well as the local mental health services.
Councillor Patel endorsed having a presentation for Whipps Cross Hospital noting that about 40% of their patients were from Epping Forest and Redbridge. He noted that they had also been to Loughton Town Council and his concern was that they would use this as a tick box exercise to say they had consulted with our district.
Councillor H Whitbread noted that TFL had recently decided to change the service at peak times, by reducing the service by two trains and putting in a shuttle service on the loop. She had started a petition two days ago and it was already over the 5000 mark. She asked if O&S could consider this as well. Councillor Sartin said she would take this back and see if they could fit it into their agenda. She was conscious that this was quite time limited. The Chief Executive said that they would pursue this with TFL. Councillor H Whitbread added that the changes were due to come in by 26 January 2020 and noted that Redbridge were attempting to call this in.
Councillor Murray noted that Loughton TC had a presentation from Whipps Cross last night and he endorsed having this presentation and also having TFL come. He also commented that Overview and Scrutiny had not scrutinised some of the major decisions made by the Cabinet in recent months, especially around accommodation and the arm’s length companies that had been set up.
Councillor Lion also noted that Whipps Cross Hospital had also given a presentation to Chigwell Parish Council recently. He also noted that on the TFL side the loop would be seriously impacted by their proposals and it was important that we looked at that.
Councillor Sartin commented that a report on the group company structure would be coming to a future meeting of the O&S Committee. She also noted that it was for the members of scrutiny to bring these items to the attention of the scrutiny committees. The Leader of the council said it was right more scrutiny should be carried out and he knew that the accommodation project would be going to a future meeting.
Councillor Neville noted that the hospital had also visited Buckhurst Hill Parish Council; as for TFL they caused similar problems in the past and had promised better consultation. Councillor McCredie added that the hospital had also been to Epping Town Council.
Councillor Chris Pond commented that regarding Whipps Cross they were proposing to put 1700 dwellings near to the Special Area of Conservation (SAC). As for the Central line, we were getting in rather late for this; he had warned Councillors Mohindra and Knapman last year on what was likely to happen to the service, and it should have been questioned 9 months ago, but agreed that it should be scrutinised.
Councillor Philip responded that it was not only Whipps Cross talking about building near the SAC but also Waltham Forest.