Agenda and minutes

Overview and Scrutiny Management Board - Thursday, 31st August, 2017 5.00 pm

Venue: The Writing Room - City Hall, College Green, Bristol, BS1 5TR

Contact: Allison Taylor  Allison Taylor

Link: Click here for video

Items
No. Item

10.

Welcome, Introductions and Safety Information pdf icon PDF 126 KB

Minutes:

 

 The Chair welcomed all Members to the meeting and explained the evacuation procedure in the event of an emergency.

 

11.

Apologies for absence.

Minutes:

 

 Apologies for absence were noted from Councillor Kirk.

 

12.

Declarations of Interest

To note any declarations of interest from the Councillors.  They are asked to indicate the relevant agenda item, the nature of the interest and in particular whether it is a disclosable pecuniary interest.

 

Any declarations of interest made at the meeting which is not on the register of interests should be notified to the Monitoring Officer for inclusion.

 

Minutes:

 

 There were no declarations of interest.

 

13.

Minutes of the previous meeting. pdf icon PDF 304 KB

Minutes:

 

 It was agreed that consideration of the minutes of the meeting on 24th July 17 would be deferred until the next meeting on 20th September 17.

 

RESOLVED; that consideration for the minutes from 24th July 17 be deferred until the meeting on 20th September 17.

 

14.

Chair's Business

To note any announcements from the Chair

Minutes:

The Chair advised that as the Resources Scrutiny Commission had not yet met in 2017/18 the Vice Chair for that body had not been elected asking the Commission to note that it was important that this position be filled due to the potential role for Scrutiny Chairs and Vice Chairs on leading future task and finish groups. The Overview and Scrutiny Management Board (OSM) unanimously agreed to appoint Councillor Stephen Clarke to the position with immediate effect (moved by Councillor Gollop and seconded by Councillor Goulandris).

The Board were then advised that feedback had been provided from Members regarding the length of previous meetings. As a result Councillor Gollop confirmed he would try to keep the meeting to time, if possible.

 

RESOLVED; that Councillor Stephen Clarke be elected as a Scrutiny Vice-Chair

15.

Public Forum

Up to 30 minutes is allowed for this item

 

Any member of the public or Councillor may participate in Public Forum.  The detailed arrangements for so doing are set out in the Public Information Sheet at the back of this agenda.  Public Forum items should be emailed to democratic.services@bristol.gov.uk and please note that the following deadlines will apply in relation to this meeting:-

 

Questions - Written questions must be received 3 clear working days prior to the meeting.  For this meeting, this means that your question(s) must be received in this office at the latest by 5 pm on *name deadline date*

 

Petitions and Statements - Petitions and statements must be received on the working day prior to the meeting.  For this meeting this means that your submission must be received in this office at the latest by 12.00 noon on *name deadline date*.

 

Minutes:

The Board received one public forum statement in relation to Metrobus, a copy of which can be found in the Minute Book.

Members noted that the statement had also been received by the Place Scrutiny Commission and commented that a reply to the resident had been provided by the Mayor. Some Members were concerned that the Mayor’s response did contain sufficient information and suggested that the current public forum arrangements did not enable enough opportunities for the public to engage.

Members discussed the need to work more closely with Cabinet Member to resolve ward issues where appropriate since not all issues needed to route through scrutiny. It was noted that in most cases the Cabinet Members were happy to engage with other Members on matters relating to their portfolios. Alternatively, Members could use the OSM Mayoral Question Time to direct queries to the Mayor if that was felt a more suitable avenue.

Members went on to discuss Mayoral Question Time generally, noting that to date it had not been fully utilised and often presented a missed opportunity. The Board were advised that one of the changes being put forward as part of the Constitutional review was that Mayoral Question Time be replaced with a less formal conversation between OSM and the Mayor but that in the meantime, until any such changes had been approved, the arrangements could be implemented informally if all parties were in agreement.

16.

Scrutiny and the Youth Council pdf icon PDF 154 KB

Minutes:

 

The Board was advised that Councillors Keen and Brooks would be visiting the Youth Council on 11th October 17 to discuss how Scrutiny can assist with delivery of their manifesto objectives and would provide an update in due course. Members agreed that it would be useful to be advised about Youth Council meeting dates and forthcoming agendas so they could embrace opportunities to work together more closely on shared objectives in the future, if it was something the Young People would be interested in pursuing.

RESOLVED; that the report be noted.

 School Admissions Inquiry Day Outcomes

 

The Board welcomed the report and thanked the relevant Members for the robust work they had done in order to understand the issues affecting school admissions in the city and prepare a set of recommendations that could make a tangible benefit for young people in the city. The following summarises the key points made in the arising discussion;

The Inquiry Day was a good example of how Scrutiny can operate effectively in order to help Members to gain better understanding in some areas and use that knowledge to develop and influence Council policy.

The report contained a balanced range of recommendations, some of which would be relatively simple to implement and therefore considered quick wins.

One of the findings was that an annual report on School Admissions be added to the scrutiny work programme for future years. This approach should be adopted more widely across scrutiny work streams to ensure key findings did not become lost. The item would be added to the OSM Work Programme and the appropriate methodology decided nearer the time.

 

RESOLVED; that the report of recommendations be referred to the Cabinet to be adopted.

 Scrutiny Ways of Working

 

Members considered and commented on the report. The salient points were as follows;

Chairing of task and finish

 The Special Responsibility Allowances (SRA) paid to Scrutiny Chairs and Vice Chairs for chairing Task and Finish Groups was a temporary arrangement until such time that the Scrutiny model going forward had been decided upon and appropriate discussions could take place with the Members Independent Remuneration Panel (IRP) in order to agree the appropriate recompense.

It was noted that some Members felt the temporary arrangements were not equitable (specifically the difference in SRAs between Chairs and Vice-Chairs) and would not necessarily secure the best outcomes but that they understood the constraints within which the SRAs could be changed. The Chair set out the intention to try and encourage engagement from interested and committed

 

 

members but that the SRA position did present difficulties until such time it can be changed. It was noted that the previous reports from the IRP had been discounted by Full Council. The Chair advised he had been in contact with all vice-chairs and members of OSMB not in receipt of SRAs and all were keen to progress under the new model.

 The following chairing allocation was agreed:

 

Air quality – Cllr Carey

Children’s Centres – Cllr Keen

Council Assets  ...  view the full minutes text for item 16.

17.

School Admissions Inquiry Day outcomes pdf icon PDF 180 KB

Additional documents:

18.

Scrutiny Ways of Working pdf icon PDF 138 KB

Minutes:

 

The work programme must evolve and not be static. Members (and officers) should highlight topics that they have concerns about so that they can be considered.

It was noted that the next approach to setting the work programme should be more scientific and should involve the whole member cohort.

One member expressed concern about the limiting of scrutiny activity, the risk of overload on OSM and the decision making being within the OSMB committee. The chair reminded the committee about the earlier decision to move forward with the trial.

 

Scrutiny Work Programme – Task and Finish Updates (verbal)

As not all groups had commenced only a small number had updates at this time.

MTFP

The scoping group has met three times and feel that it has been a very meaningful engagement on the MTFP. Members would like to thank the officers for their support in engaging with this.

It was noted that going forward this would be a significant area of work.

 

Council Assets

The council’s current policy direction is not clear in this area and this is a very live issue given our budget position. A policy review is required of this area and members are encouraged to be involved in this and work quickly.

 

Libraries

 Information is being chased from officers and this is required in order to progress.

 

19.

Work Programme pdf icon PDF 148 KB

To note the work programme and members to provide a verbal update on the work to date.