To consider proposed actions arising following consideration of the results of the Members Overview & Scrutiny Questionnaire at the meeting held on 30 September 2020.
Consideration was given to the report of the Corporate Director of Transformation & Resources, which was to consider and review actions arising from the Overview & Scrutiny Questionnaire completed by Members, highlighted by the Commission at its meeting held on 30 September 2020.
Comments and questions were raised in respect of the following:
· Scrutiny Training
· Number of Members required for 'Call-In'
· Relevant Officers present at meeting to present reports
· Relevant Portfolio Holder attendance at meeting
· Scrutiny Topic Scoring Exercise
· Member Update / CCfA Items – Training / Examples of uses
· Scrutiny Committee model variations
A. That an in-house 'Overview & Scrutiny at West Lancashire' training session be held each year following a local election with a further session on 'Best Practice Scrutiny' being arranged with an external trainer in the year that there are no local elections, as detailed in paragraph 4 of the Report.
B. That it be recommended that the timetable of meetings for 2021/22 be prepared to allow for Executive Overview & Scrutiny Committee to be held prior to Cabinet, to accommodate pre-scrutiny, with a Special 'Call In' Meeting of Executive Overview & Scrutiny Committee being scheduled following Cabinet, as detailed in paragraph 5 of the Report.
C. That it be recommended that Members of Overview & Scrutiny Committees be asked to submit questions in advance of meetings.
D. That Overview and Scrutiny Meetings are open to attendance by Portfolio Holders at any time. The Committee (or Chair) may invite a specific Portfolio Holder to attend where item(s) include reference to their portfolio areas and / or relevant Officer.
That Paragraph 7.1 'The Overview & Scrutiny Procedure Rules at Constitution 14 be amended as follows:-
a) The leaders of the political groups on the Council shall be allowed to attend each Overview and Scrutiny Committee and to speak but not vote on any issue under consideration.
(b) The members of the Cabinet with responsibility for an area of Council
activity (i.e. the relevant Portfolio Holders) shall be allowed to attend the relevant Overview and Scrutiny Committee, speak and answer questions, but not vote on any issue under consideration.
E. That the process for scoring topics submitted to Corporate & Environmental Overview & Scrutiny Committee, as set out at paragraph 8 of the report, together with the Topic Submission Form and Topic Selection Assessment Form at Appendix 1, be noted and
(i) That comments / feedback be sought from Corporate & Environmental Overview and Scrutiny Committee and previous Municipal Year Chairman.
(ii) That are then scored by a Panel consisting of the Chairman, Vice-Chairman and Opposition Spokespersons'.
F. That Constitution 18.3: Protocol on Members Items & Councillor Call for Action and the form for submitting Items, attached at Appendix 2 to the report, be noted.
G. That Constitution 9.2: Members’ Update Procedure Rules - Information Items and the form for submitting Members Update Items, attached at Appendix 3 to the report, be noted and that Information Items are added to Agenda Papers.
H. That Constitution 3.6: Article 6 - Overview and Scrutiny Committees, attached at Appendix 4, and Constitution 9.1 'Overview & Scrutiny Procedure Rules', attached at Appendix 5, be noted.
I. That the recommendations of the Member Development Commission be referred to Executive Overview & Scrutiny Committee, Corporate & Environmental and Council as appropriate.
J. That the Member Development Commission recommend consideration of Council to develop a Scrutiny system consisting of three (or four, if required) Scrutiny Committees, with appropriately assigned areas of Overview & Scrutiny. Officers to present back the Overview and Scrutiny structures from other similar Local Authorities with a view to adoption in time for the new municipal year. The hosting of a further scrutiny committee may require additional staff resource. It is recommended that additional staff resource be allocated for this ongoing work.
Purely for demonstrative purposes, some options could be:
Executive, Corporate, Environmental
Executive, Internal, External
Executive, Environmental Leisure Health and Well-being, Corporate and External