(Chairmen of the Select Committees) To report to the meeting on progress against the achievement of the current work programme, as is required under Article 6 (Overview and Scrutiny) of the Constitution, and for any recommendations for consideration by the Overview and Scrutiny Committee.
For information: the current work programme for each select committee is attached as an appendix to this agenda.
(a) Stronger Communities Select Committee
Councillor J Lea, Chairman, reported that at the meeting on 12 July 2022 W Marshall, Chairman of the Tenant’s and Leaseholders Forum, had been appointed as a non-voting co-opted member of the select committee. The Committee had reviewed a report on cash paying customers at the Debden Broadway office which detailed that cash paying customers would be issued with Allpay cards. When this was in place, the Debden cash office could be closed, as other services would be transferred out of the Broadway Housing office. The Committee heard about the successful sheltered housing refurbishment of Frank Bretton House. There were lots of policy changes happening in the Housing sector, as the Committee reviewed the Housing Strategy 2022–2027 and the Changing Landscape of Housing Paper 1.
A Small commented that people would still be able to pay by cash, it would just be provided in a different way. Councillor D Wixley added that as most people using the Broadway Housing office lived in Debden, he could not support the suggestion that the office could be moved to Loughton High Road as this was approximately two miles away and would therefore, be inconvenient for local residents. However, he had subsequently heard that there would still be an office in The Broadway, located in the premises previously occupied by the Restore Community Church, which he found acceptable.
(b) Stronger Council Select Committee
Councillor J McIvor, Chairman, reported that the committee reviewed three reports – the People Strategy Overview 2022, Azure – move to the Cloud business case and the quarter 4 Budget Monitoring Report 2021/22. It had helped that officers had attended the meeting in person. The effectiveness of officers attending meetings via Zoom was an item that had been added to the work programme, but the parameters for scrutiny had yet to be determined. Hybrid meetings could be very effective but also ineffective as sometimes had happened at planning committee meetings, so a procedural and practical way forward with Zoom would be scrutinised.
Councillor H Kane commented that you would not be able to have all officers present, but it was helpful if they could attend via Zoom. Other comments received included that it would be important for people to share their experiences, so feedback from members and officers would be helpful.
(c) Stronger Place Select Committee
Councillor R Balcombe, Chairman, reported that its Terms of Reference had not been completed as the agenda had been published for the 5 July 2022 meeting before the Joint Meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Chairmen on 28 June. The Committee had scrutinised the EFDC Litter Strategy but could not recommend the policy as there had not been enough detailed information within the strategy and a lack of solutions provided for rural communities. The Interim Acting Contracts Service Director would be recirculating an updated Litter Strategy, for members to review at the next meeting on 13 September 2022.
That the select committee Chairman reported on business undertaken at their last meetings.