Agenda and minutes

Overview and Scrutiny Committee - Thursday 20th January 2022 7.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Maldon District Council Offices, Princes Road, Maldon. View directions

Contact: Committee Services  Email:


No. Item


Chairman's Notices


The Chairman welcomed everyone present and went through some general housekeeping arrangements for the meeting.



Apologies for Absence


Apologies for absence were received from Councillors B B Heubner, C P Morley and R P F Dewick.



Minutes of the last meeting pdf icon PDF 130 KB

To confirm the Minutes of the meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee held on 14 October 2021 (copy enclosed).




(i)               that the Minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 14 October 2021 be received.


Minute No. 334 – Apologies for Absence


That apologies of absence were received from Councillor A M Beale.




(ii)        that subject to the above amendment the Minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 14 October 2021 be confirmed.


Public Participation

To receive the views of members of the public of which prior notification in writing has been received (no later than noon on the Tuesday prior to the day of the meeting).


Should you wish to submit a question please completed the online form at


No requests had been received.


Disclosure of Interest

To disclose the existence and nature of any Disclosable Pecuniary Interests, other Pecuniary Interests or Non-Pecuniary Interests relating to items of business on the agenda having regard to paragraphs 6-8 inclusive of the Code of Conduct for Members.


(Members are reminded that they are also required to disclose any such interests as soon as they become aware should the need arise throughout the meeting).



There were none.


Review of Recent Scrutiny Requests by Members pdf icon PDF 203 KB

To consider the report of the Overview and Scrutiny Working Group, (copy enclosed).                                                                                               

Additional documents:


TheCommittee considered thereport ofthe Overview and Scrutiny (O&S) Working Group that updatedthe Committee on recentWorking Group meetings andrecommended courses ofaction on recentMember requestsfor scrutiny items.


TheChairman introduced thereport and tookthe Committeethrough thedetail. Sheadvised that the O&S Working Group hadmet on two occasions last year, in November andDecember 2021, and consideredfive Member suggestionforms.


Section 3.3 ofthe reportprovided a high-level summary ofthe five items together with suggestions from theO&S Working Group.  Two items in particular,Parks TeamCulture and PlanningEnforcement were recommendedfor watching brief reviewas work was alreadyunderway to addressissues.  Members were encouragedto feedbackon the informationthey would like tosee by way ofassurance onthese areas.  The Committee agreed that in respect of parks team culture qualitative data aroundsatisfaction, and information about what forums are given forstaff feedback, would be helpful.


It was further noted that,under the Learning from a RecentTribunal item, (attached atAppendix B,pages 16/17) the learningoutcomes from therecent review led byHuman Resourceshad beenendorsed by Corporate Leadership Team and afull response hadbeen provided tothe O&S Working Group,therefore, nofurther scrutiny was required.  There were no additional items recommended for inclusion on the Committee Workplan.


TheChairman put the duly seconded recommendations to the Committee,and they wereagreed byassent.




(i)               That the Committee reviewed the detailedforms attachedas Appendix B and isassured thatthe Working Group processis happeningeffectively;


(ii)              That the Committeeapproved the recommended courses ofaction suggestedby theWorking Group asset out in section 3.3 of the report.


Process Improvement Representatives pdf icon PDF 113 KB

To consider the report of the Director of Strategy, Performance and Governance (copy enclosed).



TheCommittee considered thereport ofthe Director of Strategy,Performance andGovernance that soughtto appoint two Members to work alongsidethe Process ImprovementTeam forwebsite and customerfeedback.


The Chairmandeferred to the Programmes, Performance and Governance Manager who introduced thereport.  The Chairman then opened the debate andnominated herself. CouncillorM WHelm then nominatedCouncillor C Mayes.  Both thesenominations wereduly seconded.


TheChairman put the nominationsto theCommittee forapproval and they wereagreed by assent.


RESOLVEDthat thefollowing Memberswere appointed towork alongside theProcess ImprovementTeam:

·                  CouncillorV J Bell;

·                  CouncillorC Mayes.


Scrutiny Workplan Item - Proposed Conversion of Seating Shelter at Promenade Park Maldon into a Service Kiosk pdf icon PDF 111 KB

To consider the report of the Director of Strategy, Performance and Governance (copy enclosed).


Additional documents:


TheCommittee considered thereport ofthe Director of Strategy,Performance and Governancethat required the Committeeto receive and considerinformation in responseto theagreed scrutinyquestions tobe addressed in relationto the proposedconversion ofseatingshelter atPromenade ParkMaldon into a service kiosk.


TheChairman introduced thereport and deferred tothe Programmes,Performance and GovernanceManager to present the detail. She tookthe Committeethrough the reportand advised that the Committeehad agreed to include thisin the Overviewand Scrutiny workplan inOctober 2021.  The Corporate Governance Project Officerhad since conducted an investigation, andthis was set out in 2.2 ofthe report.  Thefindings confirmedthat Officers acted within delegated powers.


It was noted that whilst the informationprovided assurance that Officersacted appropriatelythe reportalso highlighted a wider findingthat ‘morecould be doneto improve thetransparency ofdelegated decisions’. A new internalprocess for recordingdelegated decisionshad been introduced, with the aim ofpublishing aquarterly list tothe website by April 2022.


A lengthy debate ensued where Members discussed both the emotional and financial dimensions to be considered when managing assets.  Further issues were raised about the status of various management plans and whether this item of business was appropriate for closure at this point in time or further scrutiny was required.


Inresponse to issuesraised by Members, Officers provided thefollowing information:

·                 That therecommendation on thisitemwas thatit be closed ascovered in Section 2.2 ofthe report. Officerswere happyto bring a separatereport backto Committee toclarify the delegated decision process.

·                 That the Annual Report to theOverview and Scrutiny Committee will include an overviewof progresson all actions takenacross the year.

·                 Thatshould theoutstanding workon themanagement plans, namely, Promenadepark, Riverside park and Cemeteries Servicesrequire external supportdue to capacity issues,additional funding would be sought through the Strategy and Resources Committee.


CouncillorLagan who had originally submittedthis scrutinyitem thenaddressed theCommittee. He said he was disappointed at the level of communication with Members during the delegated decision-making process and felt that with earlier and better interventiondifferent decisionsmay have come about. It was agreed that transparency was paramount.


In response to concerns expressed Officers responded as follows:-

·                 That Officers were acting within the scheme of delegation, no procurement process was required therefore there was no need to go out to tender.  Decisions were taken within the delegated powers process, above market valuation was reached, thus achieving best value for money.

·                 That whilst communication could have been better, it was noted that Member briefings and one to one briefings were organised, however attendance was low due to a lack of availability.

·                 That the work being undertaken on this and other assets was supporting the Council’s Commercial Strategy that Members have signed up to.

·                 That the delegated  ...  view the full minutes text for item 470.


Any other items of business that the Chairman of the Committee decides are urgent


There were none.