Agenda item

Chairmen to Report on their Select Committee Business

(Chairmen of the Select Committees) To report to the meeting on progress against achievement of the current work programme, as 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


Following the meeting on 15 November, Councillor J Lea reported on the Museum rationalisation project and detailed presentation. Lots of good work was being done on the collections by officers with the help of volunteers. The select committee reviewed the refreshed Epping Forest Health and Wellbeing Strategy 2022 – 2026 and the associated revised partnership delivery structure arrangements. The Annual Lettings report for 2021/22 was also noted. The Housing and Community Portfolio Holder, Councillor H Whitbread, acknowledged the very detailed rationalisation process being followed for items some of which might or might not be of any value but had a link to the Epping Forest District.


Qualis’ performance on housing repairs (continued from Min no 48)

Councillor S Murray asked which scrutiny committee work programme should scrutinise housing repairs? Councillor H Kane advised that she had spoken directly with the Qualis Group Managing Director, S Jevans, on the quality of the service and how quantitative scrutiny could be undertaken. The Housing and Community Services Portfolio Holder added that there was a need for the Interim Housing Services Director to report in-depth data on the quantitative KPIs, so the Stronger Communities Select Committee could scrutinise performance. This could also include feedback on tenants’ experiences. Councillor H Kane agreed it was more appropriate for this select committee to undertake in-depth scrutiny and decide whether to add it to the work programme. In addition, the Overview and Scrutiny Committee would look at an overview of the service at the meeting on 31 January 2023, as public transparency was important. The Democratic and Electoral Services Manager, G Woodhall, was asked to invite S Jevans to this meeting.


Epping Forest District Museum

It was noted the Museum had been awarded Hidden Gem status in Visit England’s 2021-22 Visitor Attraction Accolades. Councillor S Murray remarked that a consultant had briefed the Cabinet on future ideas and models for the museum, but this information had not been shared. Could the select committee have access to the current thought processes? It would also be preferable to undertake early scrutiny before any decision was made by Cabinet on the museum’s future plans. Councillor H Kane advised she had attended this meeting. It had not been a decision-making meeting but rather to explore future ideas. It would be for the select committee to decide how to scrutinise this.


(b)           Stronger Council Select Committee


The Chairman advised that as the next meeting had been rescheduled to 24 November, there was nothing to report.


Mental health

Councillor J McIvor remarked this was an interesting subject, so a report could go to Stronger Council on the support that was available for members.


(c)           Stronger Place Select Committee


Councillor R Balcombe reported the select committee’s workload had been reorganised as the September meeting could not go ahead. There had been lots of discussion on the litter strategy, which was a working document and members’ previous comments had been taken into consideration. The Committee raised concerns during the Leisure Services update about the effect of rising energy costs on membership fees. Also, as parking was an additional cost, the Committee thought it would be helpful if there were reduced parking charges for leisure centre members. During scrutiny of the Waste Management Contract update mostly concerns centred on the large number of missed collections.




That the select committee Chairmen reported on business undertaken at their last meetings.




(6)        That the Stronger Communities Select Committee decide whether to add to the work programme scrutiny of the quantitative KPI performance data for housing repairs; and


(7)        That G Woodhall invite the Qualis Group Managing Director to the Overview and Scrutiny Committee on 31 January 2023, to give an overview of quality and quantity for the housing repairs service.

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