Agenda and minutes

Overview and Scrutiny Management Board - Thursday, 25th October, 2018 5.00 pm

Venue: City Hall, College Green, Bristol, BS1 5TR

Contact: Lucy Fleming 

Link: Watch Webcast Here

No. Item


Welcome, Introductions and Safety Information pdf icon PDF 126 KB


The Chair welcomed all attendees to the meeting.



Apologies for absence


Apologies were received from OSM Members; Councillors Stephen Clarke, Estella Tincknell and Carole Johnson.  Councillor Stephen Clarke was substituted by Councillor Eleanor Combley.


Councillor Helen Holland, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care also sent apologies.



Declarations of Interest


None received.



Minutes of the previous meeting - 3rd September 18 pdf icon PDF 204 KB


The minutes from the meeting on 3rd September 18 were agreed as a correct record.



Chair's Business

To note any announcements from the Chair


There was no Chair’s business.



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 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*.



The following public forum was received and a copy placed in the minute book;






Councillor Paula O Rourke

Chair’s Progress Report – Growth and Regeneration

Scrutiny Commission


Councillor Stephen Clarke

Chair’s Progress Report – Resources Scrutiny



Councillor Tom Brook

Chair’s Progress Report – Assets Task Group


Councillor Clive Stevens

Chair’s Progress Report – Budget Task Group


Councillor Stephen Clarke

Chair’s Progress Report – Social Value Task and Finish




Equality and Inclusion Strategy pdf icon PDF 210 KB

Additional documents:


Members received an introduction to the report from officers, setting out the key information in relation to the Equality and Inclusion Strategy.  The Commission went on to consider the matter and ask for additional information in a number of areas.  The discussion was as follows;


  • Publication of information in relation to the gender pay gap was already being undertaken by the Council and consideration was being given to extending this to include other demographic groups.
  • Currently there were insufficient numbers of Black and Minority Ethnic teachers (26 out of 1300), so positive action was being undertaken by the Council to improve the situation. 
  • It was important to ensure that the needs of Older People were also recognised and addressed as part of the Strategy.  Those with mental health needs could also be included.
  • Equalities Impact Assessments were routinely conducted as part of the Council’s decision making process and should be sufficiently robust. 
  • The Council led ‘Stepping Up’ programme had been established in order to improve diversity amongst leaders across the city.  The first cohort had included 46 participants and recruitment of the second cohort was underway, which would include a broader range of disadvantaged groups. 
  • It was vital to ensure that candidates for forthcoming local elections were representative of the local community. 
  • A report setting out progress on implementation of the Equality and Inclusion Strategy would be brought to the Commission in summer 2019.


RESOLVED; That the draft Equality and Inclusion Strategy be noted and an update on implementation be brought back to the Commission in summer 2019.



Corporate Performance Report pdf icon PDF 137 KB

Additional documents:


The Commission received an introduction to the report from officers, who confirmed that the purpose of the paper was to clarify the process around reporting with responsibility for in-depth review of the Council’s performance residing with the individual Scrutiny Commissions.   The Commission went on to consider and comment on the information provided.  Details as follows;


  • Key commitments for the Council were set by the Mayor and Cabinet in line with the Corporate Strategy.
  • The Council’s performance was reviewed on an ongoing basis, but also annually as part of the business planning process.
  • Concern was raised about the number of invoices to the Council that were being paid late (19%) and officers confirmed that steps were being taken to address this. It was agreed that the Resources Scrutiny Commission could be tasked at looking at this in the future if the situation didn’t improve, particularly because of the potential impact on Small and Medium Size Enterprises (SMEs).
  • Members queried KPI BCP425, noting that the Number of Affordable Homes Delivered in Bristol appeared to be below target, but were advised that the deadline was not until 2020 and the objective was expected to be met.  


RESOLVED; That the performance update be noted.



Corporate Risk Register pdf icon PDF 124 KB

Additional documents:


Following a brief introduction from Officers, the Commission made the comments set out below;


  • Some of the items listed on the Risk Register also brought benefits, for example trees.
  • It was important to recognise that most issues carried an acceptable level of risk, which was known as the ‘tolerance level.’
  • All Cabinet (‘key’) decisions should include a risk assessment, although consideration would be given to improving how the information was displayed.


RESOLVED; That the updated Risk Register be noted.




Standing Item - Chair's Updates


The Chairs of the Task and Finish Groups were invited to provide updates on their work areas, some of which had been circulated in advance as public forum business (see above).  It was agreed that the Chairs would continue to provide written precis for future meetings.   The following points were made during the discussion;


  • The Assets Task Group were focussing on Community Asset Transfers but some felt the remit should be broader.
  • The Budget Task Group were doing a deep dive into the Council’s finances, including any areas of risk.  Key areas of focus included the cost of Adult Social Care, the Direct Schools Grant and also Brexit.
  • The Communities Scrutiny Commission was interested in looking at the Community Infrastructure Levy and public toilets at future meetings.  Housing was also a priority although this was the responsibility of more than one Scrutiny Commission.
  • Concerns were raised about the potential loss of the Communities Scrutiny Commission following the Council directorate restructure, however, confirmation was provided that a reduction in Scrutiny was not anticipated at the current time.


RESOLVED; That the updates be noted and the Chairs be asked to continue to provide written updates for future meetings.




Standing Item - Mayor's Forward Plan (information only) pdf icon PDF 162 KB


Members noted the Mayor’s Forward Plan.  The Chair advised that future editions were likely to list forthcoming decisions in the longer term. 


RESOLVED; That the Mayor’s Forward Plan be noted.




Work Programme pdf icon PDF 82 KB

To note the work programme and agree the process for Budget Scrutiny in 18/19


The Board considered the Scrutiny Work Programme for the remainder of the 18/19 Municipal Year.  The following matters arose;


  • Scrutiny had been invited to become involved in a piece of policy development work looking at the future of high streets and a report setting out the position would be brought to the next meeting on 27th November 18.
  • A report detailing the current situation regarding the library service would also be brought to the Commission on 27th November 18.  Once the paper had been published, Members were asked to notify of any areas of interest in advance so that officers could prepare for the meeting.   It was agreed that the reports of recommendations from previous scrutiny of the library service would be circulated to all Members of OSM.  ACTION.
  • Scrutiny of the Council’s budget proposals for 19/20 would be taking place in advance of the budget setting Full Council meeting on 26th February 18.  It was agreed that the process would be led by the Resources Scrutiny Commission (who would be informed by the work of the Medium Term Financial Plan Task Group) with the final comments to the Cabinet being prepared in conjunction with OSM at the meeting on 17th January 19.


RESOLVED; That Scrutiny of the budget proposals for 18/19 be led by the Resources Scrutiny Commission in early 2019, with comments to Cabinet  to be finalised at the OSM meeting on 17th January 19.