Agenda item

ANNUAL WORK PLAN

To discuss options for addition to the Annual Work Plan and to agree how these options should be undertaken e.g. Task and Finish Group, Working Party, Evidence Panel etc.

Minutes:

Councillor Waller briefed attendees on the draft annual work plan, which had been compiled by the Corporate Leadership Team and Portfolio Holders.  During the discussion, the following pointed were noted:

 

·       The draft work plan and the list of options for addition to the work plan included items carried over from the previous scrutiny committee meetings and proposed upcoming items.

·       Eight items were proposed for scrutiny by the committee:

 

               i.         Grounds Maintenance

              ii.         Museum and Castle (including future options)

             iii.         Local Plan – what are other Local Authorities doing?

            iv.         Use of CIL and S106 monies

              v.         Cost of home to school and SEND transport

            vi.         Speeding (including work done by the Highways Transport Working Group)

           vii.         VAR Closure – where have services re-located to?

          viii.         Prioritisation of sites for footpaths etc.

 

·       Other items proposed by members included:

 

               i.         Homelessness

              ii.         Impact of Rail Expansion

             iii.         Children’s Services (including OfSTED readiness and Family Hubs)

            iv.         Fees and Charge – do we recover all costs?

              v.         Asset Review

 

·       The Chief Executive reported that ambitious targets had been set for the Council to be net carbon zero so a Carbon Reduction Plan was required to achieve this.  The committee was requested if it wanted to be involved in the creation of the plan e.g. by examining best practise of carbon reduction by other Local Authorities, private organisations and companies and so make recommendations for inclusion into the Carbon Reduction Plan.

·       The Leader suggested looking at parish council re-charging as a whole rather than the specific charges just for grounds maintenance.

·       The Chief Executive proposed that the committee included the scrutiny of the museum and castle as part of the Culture Review as this could include examination of other local authority best practice and the proposition of recommendations for inclusion into the Culture Review.

·       Members were reminded that the committee must identify what difference would be made by scrutinising a subject and how the subject should be best scrutinised i.e. report to the SOSC, a Task and Finish Group, Evidence Panel, etc. 

·       Matters members needed to be aware of would not be brought to the SOSC ‘for information’ as done previously but would instead be circulated to all members for their attention.

·       Members agreed that homelessness within the county should be a priority for the SOSC.

·       It was agreed that the following items should be removed from the list of options to be scrutinised:

 

               i.         Local Plan – what are other Local Authorities doing? 

Work had already been done on this subject matter so the SOSC would not add anything new.

 

              ii.         Cost of home to school and SEND transport

Can be dealt with directly by officers.

 

             iii.         VAR Closure – where have services re-located to?

Can be dealt with directly by officers.

 

            iv.         Prioritisation of sites for footpaths etc.

Can be dealt with directly by officers.

 

·       The subject matter of SEND: Delivery Better Value for investigation by the committee was raised.

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Councillor Leah Toseland declared a conflict of interest as her children received support from the SEND service.  It was deemed that Councillor Toseland could stay in the meeting as the subject matter itself was not being discussed, just the proposed method of scrutiny.

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·       At the meeting of the Children and Young People’s Scrutiny Committee on the 21st April 2022, Children’s Services had confirmed the provision of a mediation service and that the committee had recommended active engagement with SEND Active Rutland to assist in the improvement of communication with parents.  It was confirmed that the first mediation meeting had been held week beginning the 6th June 2022 and that the second mediation meeting was due at the end of June 2022.

·       The Chief Executive emphasised that each Task and Finish Group, Evidence Panel etc must have clearly defined Terms of Reference detailing its purpose, aims and objectives, methodology and timetable.  

·       The Leader and the Chief Executive requested the committee’s assistance in assessing the experience of customers when they contacted/dealt with the Council and its services.  Understanding the journey and identifying what the Council does/does not do well would provide valuable information to the council as part of its transformation programme.  The assessment could be undertaken by members through various means including discussions with customers and mystery shopper events. 

 

RESOLVED

 

a)    Residents’ access to dentistry services within Rutland was identified as a priority for scrutinising by the Strategic Overview and Scrutiny Committee (SOSC). An update on Dental Services, providing information on the recovery of services across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland (LLR) following COVID-19 and access to dentistry was presented at the LLR Joint Health Scrutiny Committee in November 2021. A further update would be considered at its next meeting on the 27 June 2022. However, it was felt that more detail relating to Rutland was needed and so the issue would be considered by the Rutland SOSC.

 

b)    An Evidence Panel comprising of Councillors Toseland, Lambert and Waller would be established to gather evidence regarding the issue of homelessness in the county and their findings reported to the SOSC.

 

c)    Councillor Begy would lead/establish an Evidence Panel to gather information about the implementation of the Council’s Minerals Authority Contract and report back to the SOSC.  This item was first discussed by the Growth, Infrastructure and Resources Scrutiny Committee on the 10th February 2022, with an update report to follow within six months.

 

d)    Highways and transport remained an area of concern for Rutland residents – particularly the issue of speeding.  It was agreed that the Chief Executive and the Leader would discuss this matter with the Portfolio Holder for Planning, Highways and Transport and the Portfolio Holder for Communities, Environment and Climate Change to help inform the committee on the best method of scrutinising this important issue.

 

e)    Councillors Ainsley, Baines, Begy, Webb and P Browne would consider how to follow up on the SEND work that was started by the last Children and Young People's Scrutiny Committee; especially in light of the Government's support via the Delivering Better Value programme. 

 

f)      Councillor Waller would contact the non-executive councillors about the creation of a ‘Customer Experience’ Task and Finish Group to learn more about what Rutland residents experience when accessing Council services. The Task and Finish Group would be chaired by Councillor Begy.

 

g)    Councillors Waller and Webb would discuss with portfolio holders the following items for possible inclusion on to the Committee’s Work Plan, ready for final approval at the next meeting:

 

               i.         Devolution

              ii.         Economic Development Strategy

             iii.         UK Prosperity Fund

 

h)    The Leader would discuss with the Portfolio Holder for Communities, Environment and Climate Change the possibility of an informal briefing session for all Councillors regarding the current status of the Culture Review and to identify what the SOSC could do to assist the Council as part of the review process.

Supporting documents: