Agenda and draft minutes

Overview and Scrutiny Commission - Monday, 5th September, 2022 5.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber - Civic Centre, St Luke's Avenue, Harrogate HG1 2AE. This meeting will be livestreamed here: https://bit.ly/HarrogateYouTube (Copy and paste the link in your browser).. View directions

Contact: Claire Wilson - Scrutiny Officer  Tel: 01423 500600 ext. 58323 Email:  claire.wilson@harrogate.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

30.

Apologies for absence and notification of substitutes:

Minutes:

Notification had been received that Councillor Victoria Oldham was to act as a substitute for Councillor Sue Lumby and Councillor Paul Haslam was to act as substitute for Councillor Michael Harrison.

(5.32 pm)

31.

Declarations of interest:

Members to advise of any declarations of interest

Minutes:

No declarations of interest were made at the meeting.

 (5.31 pm)

32.

Minutes: pdf icon PDF 238 KB

Of the meeting of 15 August 2022.

Minutes:

The Minutes of the meeting of the Commission held on 15 August 2022 were approved as a correct record.

 

(Seven Members voted for the motion and there were two abstentions)

(5.31 pm)

33.

Exempt information:

To determine whether to exclude the press and public during the consideration of any exempt items.

Minutes:

There was no exempt information.

 (5.32 pm)

34.

Public arrangements- questions:

To consider any questions under Standing Order 27.

Minutes:

There were no public questions under Standing Order 27. The Chair explained that members of the public could contact Democratic Services via the Harrogate Borough Council website and submit a question to be answered at a future meeting of the Commission.

(5.33 pm)

35.

Local Government Reorganisation Update:

Management Board to attend.

Minutes:

In introducing the item the Chair advised that, Local Government Reorganisation (LGR) and the matters affecting the Harrogate district was the agreed focus for the Commission for the 2022/23 year. The Chair and Vice-Chair had attended a meeting of Management Board on the 15 August 2022 and an outcome from this was that Management Board agreed to attend a future meeting of the Commission to present an LGR update and respond to questions from Members.  The Chief Executive (CE),  the Director of Economy, Environment and Housing (DEEH) and Director of Harrogate Convention Centre (DHCC) delivered a presentation that covered

 

·                LGR programme update

·                Harrogate Borough Council (HBC) priorities and major projects update

·                Key challenges

·                HBC specific areas

·                Community Governance Reviews and Charter Trustees

·                “Let’s Talk” North Yorkshire

 

The CE outlined the content and format of LGR information that was reported at Implementation Team meetings. The Implementation Team comprised the Chief Executives of all eight councils, and the Management Board of North Yorkshire County Council. LGR work had been split into 16 different workstream areas and meetings of this group included the consideration of highlight reports for each workstream including a consolidated report. Different areas were given a red, amber or green status depending on progress, risks and other factors. The overall assessment was amber, which was not considered a cause for concern. The LGR update included:

 

·                Resourcing – recruitment and retention was a challenge, this was considered a national issue, not just affecting local government. It was noted that staff were dealing with the their normal work and the additional demands of LGR

·                PwC review of the Project Management Office – the outcome was considered good with PwC reporting that the work was ‘on track’

·                Member working groups – engagement with elected Members was underway, HBC’s CE was the sponsor for the customer working group

·                Human Resources – there were varying pay days across councils, these needed to be harmonised and the decision had been made to pay staff on the date most councils paid staff. This was the last working day of the month and would mean there would be no change for HBC employees. Work, including a pilot was underway to facilitate moving staff onto a single payroll system

·                Website – work developing a single website for customers was underway and having one online gateway was seen as important, there was a freeze on updates of non-essential content on current websites

·                Devolution – whilst this work was adding to resource challenges, efforts had been made to align with LGR work and involve the same staff and avoid any duplication

 

The Director of Economy, Environment and Housing referred to the prioritisation work undertaken as part of service planning. This had resulted in a list of around 50 priorities and had previously been shared with Members at Council with details  available on the Hub. Prioritisation had included a detailed evaluation methodology that considered factors such as community benefit, economic impact, carbon reduction and all items were considered within the context  ...  view the full minutes text for item 35.

36.

Overview And Scrutiny Commission Draft Work Programme 2022/23: pdf icon PDF 327 KB

The Scrutiny Officer to submit a written report.

Minutes:

The Scrutiny, Governance and Risk Manager updated the Commission, outlining the schedule of meetings including future special meetings with key regional stakeholders. The Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner was due to attend the next meeting of the Commission to be held on 26 September, this was a special meeting and all Members were invited to attend. Questions in advance of the meeting were invited.

 

Following discussion about developments close to existing residential areas at the previous meeting of the Commission held on 15 August 2022,it was noted that information provided by the Place-shaping and Economic Growth service had been circulated to Members. The Scrutiny, Governance and Risk Manager confirmed that it was not the remit of the Commission to consider specific complaints or act as an appeals mechanism for issues. The Director of Economy, Environment and Housing summarised the concerns, noting that Members were primarily seeking to improve their understanding of the approach and constraints and look at developing beneficial relationships with developers and communities.

 

All Members were invited to quarterly planning training and the next scheduled session would be held online on 20 September 2022. It was agreed that session would include a focus on enforcement and address the associated concerns as summarised by the Director of Economy, Environment and Housing. Members noted that the approach was satisfactory and thanked the Director and colleagues for their support. Members indicated that the session could help facilitate a co-operative approach that could potentially have good and timely outcomes for residents.

 

(7.02 pm - 7.12 pm)

37.

Forward Plan of Key Decisions: pdf icon PDF 123 KB

To consider current Forward Plan items.

Minutes:

The Scrutiny Officer confirmed that, since the agenda had been published, two new Key Decisions had been listed, they were HCC catering provision and strategic housing and employment, with decisions due to made by Cabinet on 12 October 2022.

(7.12 pm – 7.14 pm)