Agenda and minutes

Overview and Scrutiny Management Board - Monday, 5th October, 2020 3.15 pm

Venue: Virtual Meeting - Zoom Committee Meeting with Public Access via YouTube. View directions

Contact: Lucy Fleming 

Link: Watch Live Webcast

No. Item


Welcome, Introductions and Safety Information pdf icon PDF 100 KB


The Chair welcomed the attendees. The meeting was conducted via video conference.



Apologies for absence


No apologies were received.



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.



Councillor Phipps is a Friend of Greville Smithe Park.



Minutes of the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 190 KB


The minutes of the previous meeting were approved as a correct record.

RESOLVED; that the minutes of 26th August 2020 be approved as a correct record.



Chair's Business

To note any announcements from the Chair


The Chair noted that additional items were added to the Mayor’s Forward Plan without sufficient detail, and would be discussed under item 10 and 11.

The Chair had attended a shareholder advisory group meeting to discuss City Leap. It was understood that this would also go to Scrutiny.

The Chair noted that Cllr Lovell had resigned from the Overview and Scrutiny Commission due to changes in proportional representation.

RESOLVED; That City Leap be added to the Scrutiny Work Programme.



Public Forum pdf icon PDF 269 KB

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 Tuesday 29 September


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 Friday 2 October



Public Forum questions and statements were published prior to the meeting and can be viewed here.

Questions from Jim McEwan of BS5 Secondary School Forum queried g the timescale for development of the planned Oasis Secondary School. A written response setting out some information and the process for answering the additional questions was provided.

The Chair of the People Scrutiny Commission proposed that this item be added to the PSC Work Programme. This was agreed.

David Redgewell presented his Public Forum statement concerning public transport and work needed to support social distancing. This was noted and Mr Redgewell was thanked.

RESOLVED; That the development of the Oasis Secondary School be brought as an item to the People Scrutiny Commission.

RESOLVED; That the Public Forum be noted.


Clean Air Zone - Update pdf icon PDF 172 KB

Report to follow


The Chief Executive spoke to the Clean Air Zone (CAZ) report and commented on actions taken to progress the Clean Air Zone project. This was requested because OSMB members felt that the timescale for key decisions was unclear.

It was noted that Cabinet would be the considering the Full Business Case for the Clean Air Zone in February 2021. The Chief Executive stated that Scrutiny involvement would be welcomed either to examine a draft Cabinet report in February or prior to this. It was agreed that it would be most useful to involve Scrutiny at an earlier stage, once the outcome of modelling work gave an indication of how to proceed. The aim was to coincide with the planned OSMB meeting on 30th November 2020, if possible.

It was noted that the date for the February Cabinet was scheduled for 2nd February. It was surmised that this was too early in the schedule and would require an additional later meeting.

Members asked how consultations with businesses (particularly around the Bristol Bridge area) had progressed. The Chief Executive confirmed he and the Head of Strategic Transport had visited The Old Vic, and encouraged them to submit a formal response to the consultation. Meetings were to be held with key stakeholders, and Councillors were asked to encourage local businesses in their wards to respond.

RESOLVED; That a Clean Air Zone update paper be brought to the Overview and Scrutiny Management Board at the next meeting on 30th November 2020, ideally to include the outcome of the Clean Air Zone modelling exercise.



Bristol Energy Company - Position Statement pdf icon PDF 153 KB


The position statement on Bristol Energy was requested as an opportunity for Members to raise questions or issues of concern, while it was acknowledged that it was not possible to answer these in a public setting due to being in the ‘live transition’ stage post sale. Further information was commercially confidential.

Members asked whether the renewable energy payment due in August had been paid by Bristol City Council. An answer could not be given due to commercial sensitivity, but it was confirmed that a payment position had been agreed with both the regulator and the buyer.

The importance of OSMB viewing the company business plans and accounts was raised. The intention was to view all Holding Company business plans at OSMB in January 2021. It was queried whether the business plans and performance information could be viewed at the same time. Officers said they would inquire if when the Companies Business Plans come to OSMB in January this can also include the performance information as well.

Members queried when any Bristol Energy losses would be recognised in the accounts. The Chief Executive agreed to refer this to the Service Director for Finance. While a figure could not be given, a timetable for the process of establishing this was agreed to be made available.

The Chair expressed disappointment that the shareholders of Bristol Energy had not been informed of the change of the company name until 3 weeks after the decision was made.

RESOLVED; Officers to make enquiries about both the Company’s business plans and performance information being presented to OSMB in January 2020.



Finance Task Group - Update pdf icon PDF 62 KB

The report of the Finance Task Group will be published here after their final meeting on the 2nd October.


The Finance Task Group report will refer to the Medium Term Financial Plan and Capital Strategy report, published with Cabinet papers available here





The Chair of the Finance Working Group presented a report outlining the work of the group and emphasised the excellent engagement with Officers. The Chair thanked the Finance Team for their support.

The report covered information on the Capital Strategy and Medium Term Financial Plan (MTFP). The Capital Strategy considered long term regeneration, particularly housing investments, while the MTFP was a long term strategic approach to finances in which the estimated financial impact of Covid-19 was included.

Highlighted items included;

-        that a number of infrastructure assets require maintenance and associated costs;

-        the costs of a high rate of Rough Sleeping; and

-        that losses from Bristol Energy were funded by risk reserves and therefore had limited impact on the ongoing revenue budget.

-        The Service Director – Finance added that there was an unprecedented level of uncertainty, and that the shortfall in the budget was an indicative figure only.

Members discussed the potential Bristol Energy losses. The Service Director for Finance clarified that earmarked reserves did not need to be replenished once no longer relevant, so losses from the specific risk reserve do not need to be replaced. There was no immediate financial risk to the 2020/21 year

RESOLVED; That the prepared Finance Working Group report be submitted to Cabinet on 6th October 20.



Cabinet - 6 October 2020

This is an opportunity for OSMB Members to raise any queries relating to the Cabinet agenda

for 6 October 2020, following publication of the papers for that meeting (on the 28 September).


This may include discussion on the following 4 Cabinet agenda items, and any others the scrutiny Chair’s deem appropriate:


·         Revision to Local Development Scheme and Application of Adopted Local Plan Policy

·         Children in Care Sufficiency Strategy 2020-2023

·         Procurement of Data Delivery Partner

·         Sports Facilities in Parks and Green Spaces



The following items were highlighted:

Sports Facilities in Parks and Green Spaces. Members queried whether coordinating other organisations in the City with an interest in this item would have been mutually beneficial. The Cabinet Member for Communities, Equalities and Public Health stated that meetings were held with bowls clubs across the City, and conversations were ongoing. It was noted that the affordability of these clubs was important as they provided a ‘lifeline’ for some, and reassurance that people would not be priced out was sought. Members were advised that a commissioning document was being prepared, and the intention was to demonstrate that it would be accessible to those on lower incomes. The Council’s Social Value policy would apply where relevant..

Revision to the Local Development Scheme and Application of Adopted Local Plan Policy.The Chair of the Growth and Regeneration Commission considered this proposal to be a ‘stop gap’ measure.

The Chair of the Communities Scrutiny Commission raised the Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO) Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) as a concern, as it did not include purpose built student accommodation in the calculations. There was also no guidance on AirBnBs. The Cabinet Member with responsibility for Spatial Planning and City Design clarified that the SPD had examined, based on data, the potential impact on the public realm. It was considered that purpose built student accommodation met the needs of the population better than converted residential properties and therefore had lower impact. It was recognised that the Local Plan and the SPD were different issues. Differing views were taken.

Children in Care Sufficiency Strategy 2020-2023. The Chair of the People Scrutiny Commission provided further information on this item. This is a legal requirement to publish every 3 years. Members supported the plans and strategy.

Procurement of Data Delivery Partner.The Procurement of Data Delivery Partner item was referred to the Chief Executive.  Concern was raised that this item appeared to be seeking financial approval without sufficient information on which specific projects would be sought. It was agreed that further information would be provided.

The Temple Quarter Working Group was raised and Members were supportive of the initiative.

RESOLVED; That Officers provide further information on the Procurement of Data Delivery Partner item; and

That the Chair of OSMB submit a statement to Cabinet summarising the comments above and highlighting that in the view of the Board the Forward Plan should include additional details of reports in the future. 



Mayor's Forward Plan - Standing Item pdf icon PDF 209 KB


No further comments were made on the content of the Mayor’s Forward Plan. It was noted that there were few items scheduled for the next Cabinet meeting. Members suggested this would likely mean that new items would be added at a later date. It was re-emphasised that this was not ideal. The Chief Executive stated that Members were welcome to make additional enquiries regarding any item on the Forward Plan.



Corporate Risk Report pdf icon PDF 124 KB

Additional documents:


Members raised that there were certain risks that they would have expected to see listed that were not present on the Corporate Risk Report (CRR). These included:

-        Littering and Clean Streets. This was raised by the Mayor as a reputational risk.

-        Limited options for challenge to key decisions

-        Insufficient secondary school places

-        The likelihood of vulnerable people requiring care.


Additional questions for listed risks included:

-        Why the existing risk against the Clean Air impact appeared to be low

-        Whether JAQU compliance was included under indicator CRR30.

The Chief Executive clarified the development of the risk management process and provided assurance that challenge on risks was provided by the wider Council and beyond individual managers. It was agreed that the questions raised would be checked with performance officers and other managers to clarify how the decisions were reached.

It was queried whether the Audit Committee would perform this same function. It was agreed that this would be checked and a ‘wiring diagram’ demonstrating overlap would be developed.

The purpose for OSMB viewing the CRR was to remind Members where there was significant corporate risk, and help to inform Scrutiny priorities.

RESOLVED; That consideration of the management of risks be added to the Scrutiny Work Programme as a provisional item for future discussion.  This could include;

-        The relationship between the Audit Committee and Scrutiny

-        Littering and clean streets

-        Challenge to key decisions

-        Provision of secondary school places

-        Clean Air compliance


Call In Chairing Arrangements pdf icon PDF 193 KB

Members to note the content of the report.

Additional documents:


Members supported the proposals set out in the published paper.

The voting procedure in light of the change to the political balance of the Council was also discussed.

The Call-In Chair Arrangements proposal was AGREED by Members.


WECA Overview and Scrutiny Committee - for information (standing item) pdf icon PDF 155 KB

The WECA Forward Plan as published at the previous OSMB agenda is the most up-to-date version;

Minutes of WECA meeting 17th June 2020 attached.



This item was submitted for Information only. It was anticipated that more information would be available following the next WECA meeting.



Work Programme pdf icon PDF 346 KB

To note the work programme.


Some additions and amendments to items on the Work Programme were discussed.

An additional concern over the governance issues around City Leap was raised. Members requested a paper on how Scrutiny could be involved in City Leap in a constructive way, before the projects governance arrangements were finalised.  It was requested the paper also include milestones and timescales so that Members could determine when it would be most appropriate to request up-date and information going forward.  This was agreed. The Chair of the Health Scrutiny Sub Committee raised that due to pressures on the Work Programme there was no opportunity to look at Adult Social Care Transformation, which was a substantial topic. It was agreed that Members would discuss this at the next OSMB Leads meeting, raising the possibility for a Members briefing.

RESOLVED; Officers to bring a paper on how to involve Scrutiny in City Leap before the governance arrangements were agreed; and

That Adult Social Care Transformation be added as an agenda item for the next OSMB leads meeting.