To consider the report of the Overview and Scrutiny Working Group, (copy enclosed).
The Committee considered the report of the Overview and Scrutiny Working Group (Working Group) that updated Members on Working Group discussions and recommendations to build on the Committee’s workplan of scrutiny items.
The Chairman introduced the report and deferred to the Programmes, Performance and Governance Manager to present the detail.
The Manager advised that the report updated the Committee on the outcomes from the Working Group held on 8 December 2020. She drew Members’ attention to section 3.2 of the report that detailed the Working Group’s agreed ways to raise awareness of the new process and reporting form to all Members. It was noted that following the agreed working procedure and discussion at the meeting that two items were recommended for inclusion in the workplan. These were available at Appendix A) a review of Transformation and B) a review of the Debt collection process submitted on the approved standard template for items being put forward to the Committee.
She took Members through the appendices noting that the Lead Officer would conduct the investigation agreed by the committee and produce a report and that the Lead Member would be responsible for ensuring the investigation remained on track and in line with the Committee’s agreed terms. It was suggested that whilst the Member putting forward the item would play a key role in feeding into the process, the Lead Member would be separate to allow for neutrality. However, it was also noted that the Committee and or the Chairman could choose any committee member for the role or leave it vacant if the item was straightforward and the lead officer could report back to Committee.
Following the Officer’s presentation, the Chairman moved the recommendations as set out in the report and these were seconded by Councillor Mayes.
A brief discussion ensued in respect of Appendix B and the designated Lead Member on the Debt collection process. Councillor Morris said that whilst he acknowledged the benefit of having a neutral lead it was also important to bring knowledge and experience to bear. He asked that he be made lead in this instance. Councillor Mayes, the designated lead, concurred with this and said that Councillor Morris would bring the necessary knowledge and experience required. The Chairman, whilst acknowledging the concept of a neutral Member, agreed, and said that in this instance someone that brought knowledge and passion to the subject was the appropriate lead.
Councillor Mayes then proposed that Appendix B under recommendation (ii) below be amended and that Councillor C Morris replace her as Lead Member. This was seconded by Councillor Bassenger.
The Chairman then put the recommendations, including the aforementioned amendment, to the Committee and they were agreed by assent.
(i) That the report of the Overview and Scrutiny Working Group activity be received and assurance that the process for Overview and Scrutiny is effective be confirmed;
(ii) That the recommended scrutiny items and their timetable set out below and additionally in Appendix A and updated Appendix B to the report be adopted.
· Transformation – learning from what we have done;
· A review of the Debt collection process and policy and the impact on residents.