Agenda and minutes

Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee
Thursday, 9th January, 2020 2.00 pm

Venue: Committee Suite 1,2 & 3, Westfields, Middlewich Road, Sandbach CW11 1HZ. View directions

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

No. Item


Apologies for Absence

To receive any apologies for absence.


Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Bratherton and Crane, who were substituted for by Councillors Braithwaite and Hogben. 


Minutes of Previous meeting pdf icon PDF 82 KB

To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 31 October 2019





That the minutes of the meeting held on 31 October 2019 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 the existence 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.


Note: In order for officers to undertake any background research, it would be helpful if members of the public contacted the Scrutiny officer listed at the foot of the agenda, at least one working day before the meeting to provide brief details of the matter to be covered. 


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


Financial Implications of a Committee System

To receive an oral update on the financial implications of a committee system form of governance.


Brian Reed, Head of Democratic Services and Governance and Jan Bakewell, Director of Governance and Compliance Services (Monitoring Officer), provided a verbal update on the financial implications of a committee system form of governance.


Jan Bakewell advised members that an agreement needed to be reached on what the desired final structure of the committee system would be, before its financial implications could be fully understood and costed. It was noted that the current recommendation regarding the potential committee system structure was to have five service committees and one corporate committee (for cross cutting issues.)


Members had the opportunity to ask questions and sought clarity on whether or not the call-in function would apply under the new arrangements.  Brian Reed advised there could be the opportunity to ‘reference up’ issues or matters that required additional scrutiny.


Councillor Clowes summarised that the process was as not as far forward as had been hoped for by the end of 2019, and that based on current projections there should be neutral cost implications arising from the change in governance arrangements. It was also noted that the way in which this council, being a unitary authority, would operate under a committee system, would potentially differ to borough or district councils under the same governance arrangements.




That the update be received and noted.







Budget Proposals, 2020/21 to 2023/24 pdf icon PDF 84 KB

To review the budget proposals for 2020/21 to 2023/24.


Please bring your pre budget consultation document to the meeting.


Additional documents:


Consideration was given to the budget proposals for 2020/21 to 2023/24, in advance of a decision being taken by Cabinet. The committee also observed the comments made by each of the other three overview and scrutiny committees in relation to the budget proposals within their remits.


More detailed consideration was then given to the budget proposals in relation to outcome six of the councils’ Corporate Plan 2017-20: a responsible, effective and efficient organisation, following which questions and comments were put to the relevant portfolio holders and officers. These included;


·         whether the recent announcement to increase the cost of the living wage would impact the ‘Pay Inflation and Structure Review (Revenue Investment)’ proposal. The Executive Director for Corporate Services advised that the changes would be factored in and added that the Council does not fund the entire cost as there is an assumption that vacancies are carried across the organisation

·         asking for greater clarity on the ‘Alternative Service Delivery Vehicle (ASDV)’ proposal; and

·         Members questioned whether the figures would be adapted in light of the Autumn Statement and were advised that it was a statutory requirement for the Council to hold reserves, any under or over spending would be published as part of the Third Quarter Review.





That the comments made by the four overview and scrutiny committees be submitted to Cabinet for consideration.



Update from ASDV Shareholder Committee pdf icon PDF 114 KB

To receive an update from the ASDV Shareholder Committee.


Frank Jordan provided members with an update on the work of the ASDV Shareholder Committee, a body that provided advice to shareholders, but did not make decisions.  This was the first piece of work undertaken by this committee.




1          That the presentation be received and noted.


2          That this item be added to the work programme to ensure that committee receives further updates.




Media Relations Protocol Review 2020 pdf icon PDF 103 KB

To review the draft Media Relations Protocol, prior to consideration by Cabinet.

Additional documents:


Consideration was given to the protocol and, following some debate, comments and questions were put in relation to;


·         that the successes of the overview and scrutiny committees/function should be promoted through the media; and

·         how quotes from local ward members and committee chairmen would be obtained, and whether or not it was appropriate for these to be done only in agreement with the relevant portfolio holder, as they may be independent of the executive.



That this committee recommend to Cabinet that the draft Media Relations Protocol be approved.



Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 191 KB

To review the areas of the forward plan which fall within the remit of the committee.


Consideration was given to the council’s forward plan of key decisions.




That the forward plan be received and noted.


Work Programme pdf icon PDF 71 KB

To give consideration to the work programme

Additional documents:


The committee reviewed its work programme.




That an update from the ASDV Shareholder Committee be added to the programme.