(Chairman of the Select Committee) 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
It was noted that the last meeting had been held on 21 September when progress had been reported to the Committee at the meeting on 12 October 2021. The next meeting was due to be held on 11 January 2022.
Councillor J H Whitehouse queried if twice a year updates of the Customer Services Strategy would be more appropriate rather than quarterly. Councillor M Sartin advised that select committee members had the opportunity to discuss their work programme at each meeting.
(b) Stronger Council Select Committee
Councillor P Bolton, Select Committee Chairman, reported on the meeting of 16 November 2021 when the select committee reviewed the quarter 2 corporate performance reporting, the updated Medium-Term Financial Plan 2022/23 to 2026/27, Capital Programme Update 2022/23 to 2026/27 and quarter 2 Budget Monitoring Report. There would be cost pressures next year, but the Council had no plans for specific cuts. Members also discussed the closure report for the Accommodation Project, but what happened when projects were completed and there would be no further feedback? It had been agreed that if members wished to pursue an outcome there could be a further update.
On the Cabinet’s KDL, customer satisfaction was a corporate aim aligned to Stronger Council, so it was requested that this be discussed at the next joint meeting in January 2022 as to where this sat, as it was related to how the Council worked. The Committee noted this action for the next joint meeting.
Councillor S Murray asked about item 11, report on new election legislation on Voter ID and any financial implications for the Council, was that waiting to be confirmed because it was dependent on national legislation? G Woodhall agreed this was the case.
(c) Stronger Place Select Committee
Councillor A Lion, Select Committee Chairman, reported on the extra meeting held on 4 November 2021. He noticed that Princess Alexandra Hospital Trust representatives would now be attending Overview and Scrutiny Committee on 7 December. Members had received an Essex Highways update from County Councillor L Scott mainly on its generic policy, for instance, looking at potholes. The select committee reviewed the off street parking tariffs and electric vehicle charging points at the Oakwood Hill East car park. It also considered a report on improving payment options for leaseholders. The Council had gone some way to help mitigate this for leaseholders and come up with a payment plan. Scrutiny training, which was outstanding for this year, would be welcomed especially by new members. The select committee also reviewed the waste and recycling collection / street cleansing contract, which although a confidential item, was an indication of where the waste management contract would be going, so more was to be discussed on this. The work programme was considerably enhanced, so some items would be carried forward to the next municipal year.
Councillor M Sartin advised that G Woodham had sourced two trainers for scrutiny member training, but the dates were yet to be confirmed.
(1) That the Overview and Scrutiny Committee noted the progress of the three select committees against their work programmes; and
(2) That the next joint meeting consider alignment of the select committees’ Terms of Reference with the Council’s corporate aims as detailed in the Cabinet’s forward plan.