Agenda and minutes

Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee
Thursday, 7th January, 2021 2.00 pm

Venue: Virtual Meeting

Contact: Joel Hammond-Gant  Tel: 01270 686468 Email:

Link: Meeting recording

No. Item


Apologies for Absence


Apologies for absence were received from Councillors B Murphy and R Vernon.


Minutes of Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 65 KB

To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 26 November 2020.





That the minutes of the previous meeting held on 26 November 2020, be approved as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.


Declarations of Interest

To provide an opportunity for Members and Officers to declare any disclosable pecuniary and non-pecuniary interests in any item on the agenda.


There were no declarations of interest.


Declaration of Party Whip

To provide an opportunity for Members to declare the existence of a party whip in relation to any item on the agenda.


There were no declarations of a party whip.


Public Speaking Time/Open Session

A total period of 15 minutes is allocated for members of the public to make a statement(s) on any matter that falls within the remit of the Committee. Individual members of the public may speak for up to 5 minutes, but the Chairman will decide how the period of time allocated for public speaking will be apportioned, where there are a number of speakers.


Members of the public wishing to make a statement should provide notice in writing at least three clear working days before the meeting takes place.



There were no members of the public present who wished to speak.


Pre-Budget Consultation 2021/22 pdf icon PDF 166 KB

To consider the Pre-Budget Consultation 2021/22 proposals from the Corporate Services Directorate.

Additional documents:


Consideration was given to the Medium Term Finance Strategy for 2021 to 2025 and a presentation on the Corporate Services budget proposals, with a view to providing feedback and comments to Cabinet prior to it taking a decision on it on 2 February 2021.


The committee asked questions and put comments in relation to;


·         the financial figures given for the Adult Social Care precept, and that these be clarified and reported back to the committee;

·         requesting that the detail of the memberships and subscriptions that had been proposed for the council to withdraw from, be circulated to the committee;

·         concerns about the debt recovery savings proposals and the potential impacts this would have on residents and businesses that had struggled due to the Covid-19. (It was reported that the proposals would lead to greater efficiencies, collecting money upfront and having better debt recovery processes in place);

·         concerns regarding the proposed staff savings and efficiencies and the impact this would have on the council’s ability to deliver services, particularly legal support for enforcement activities; and

·         the revenue implications of the proposed essential IT investment and procuring service systems.


It was reported that a pay inflation of 2.5% had been assumed within the budget consultation, however, following the announcement from the Chancellor of the Exchequer, national negotiations had begun. The committee noted that the potential pay freeze would not affect key workers or those affected by the minimum wage requirements




1          That Cabinet be asked to consider appointing permanent staff rather than agency staff, and that legal expertise be prioritised to support the council’s enforcement activities.

2          That the comments raised by the committee be collated and passed on to Cabinet for consideration.

3          That the Director of Governance and Compliance report back to the committee on how enforcement matters were being addressed by the legal department.

4          That an item be added to the committee’s work programme on the council’s IT spend.



Amalgamation of the Council's Member Forum and Panels pdf icon PDF 99 KB

To consider and comment on a proposed amalgamation of the council’s three informal member panels; the Brighter Future Members’ Forum, the Member Technology and Development Panel and the Members’ Enquiries Service Panel, into one body.

Additional documents:


Prior to consideration by the Members Forum, the committee was requested to comment on a proposal to amalgamate the council’s three informal Member panels; Brighter Futures Members Forum, the Member Technology and Development Panel and the Members Enquiries Service Panel.


The committee commented and recommended that;


·         the amalgamation of the three panels be supported;

·         in relation to the proposed workstreams, it was agreed that a sixth workstream of risk management be added;

·         the minutes of the amalgamated panel be circulated to all members of the council; and

·         the amalgamated panel be formalised by the Constitution Committee.




That the comments raised by the committee be passed on to the Members Forum for consideration.



Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 185 KB

To review the council’s Forward Plan of key decisions.


The committee reviewed the council’s Forward Plan of key decisions.




That the Forward Plan be noted.


Work Programme pdf icon PDF 71 KB

To review the committee’s work programme.

Additional documents:


The committee reviewed its work programme.




1          That the work programme be noted.


2          That an item on the council’s IT spend be added to the work programme.


3          That the item on Members Survey Results be removed from the work programme (due to having been previously considered by the Members Forum), and the results of the survey be circulated the committee for information.