Agenda and minutes
Venue: Virtually - Microsoft Teams. View directions
Contact: Committee Section
No apologies for absence were received.
The minutes of the meeting of the Overview Scrutiny Board held on 9 July 2020 were signed by the Chair.
Declarations of interest
Cllr Conrad Broadley declared an ‘other interest’ in Item 5. The Re-starting of the Maritime Strategy Scrutiny Review in that he is a member of the following river organisations:
Trustee, Director and Secretary of Northfleet Harbour Restoration Trust (Voluntary Position)
Chairman of Broadness Cruising Club (Voluntary Position)
Chairman of Dartford and Crayford Creek Restoration Trust (Voluntary Position)
Member of Gravesend Sailing Club
Founder Member of both Dartford and Crayford Creek Restoration Trust and Northfleet Harbour Restoration Trust
Cllr Broadley also stated that he owns the following vessels:
· 27ft yacht, 1964 model
· 1955 Simmonds Speedboat
· 1960s Freeman Cabin Cruiser
· 2 inflatable dinghies / tenders
· 13ft open deck boat which he has donated to Dartford and Crayford Creek
· A boat which he allows use of in Northfleet harbour
· 8ft Tender boat
· 6.5ft Tender boat
Cllr Jordan Meade declared an ‘other interest’ in Item 5. The Re-starting of the Maritime Strategy Scrutiny Review in that he is a member of the Maritime Volunteer Service (operating at Gravesend Sailing Club).
The Committee Services Officer (Scrutiny) highlighted the progress made with the Maritime Strategy Review up to March 2020, when the review paused due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Several evidence gathering sessions had been held with various groups including; the Port of London Authority, Riverside Clubs (Gravesend Sailing Club, Gravesend Rowing Club, Gravesend Regatta Society, PLA Community Outreach Manager) Young People from the Youth Democracy Scheme and a visit to the Rochester Riverside Development.
The Committee Services Officer (Scrutiny) invited Members of the Committee to consider:
· Noting the work that has been undertaken on the review up to March 2020.
· Resuming the Review of GBC’s Maritime Strategy
· Setting a new target date for the completion of the review
· Which areas to explore next and the format of this exploration (bearing in mind Covid-19 restrictions)
The Committee discussed the review and the importance of GBC having a Maritime Strategy, especially with regard to riverside development.
The Chair highlighted the following to the Committee:
· The Chair has spoken to the Chief Executive and the Leader of the Council and they have confirmed that the resources are available to resume the review.
· The Chair proposed resuming the review with a new completion date of the end of November 2020 and a report to be finalised and published in December 2020 (Members also indicated their intention to resume the Street Cleanliness Scrutiny Review in January 2021)
· If there is another lockdown, this matter will be reconsidered and the review will be paused if necessary.
· It is envisaged that, due to Covid-19 restrictions, most meetings / evidence gathering sessions for the review will be virtual.
Resolved that the Overview Scrutiny Committee agreed the following:
· To resume the review with a new completion date of the end of November 2020 and a report to be finalised and published in December 2020.
· Cllr Emma Morley will replace Cllr Christina Rolles on the review sub-group.
· Any further decisions on the membership of the review sub-group will be taken by the Chair in conjunction with the Vice-Chair.
Following a request from the Chair of the Overview Scrutiny Committee; the Committee Services Officer (Scrutiny) provided Members of the Overview Scrutiny Committee with a summary of the Scrutiny training that is currently available and highlighted the following:
· There are many free training options currently available to Members including; e-learning modules, workbooks and webinars from the Local Government Association (LGA and the Centre for Public Scrutiny (CfPS)
· South East Employers are offering Scrutiny Training (for a fee) and this can be done via Zoom or Microsoft Teams.
· The LGA and CfPS have been contacted about the possibility of remote Scrutiny training and the Council is awaiting further detail about this option.
· There will be a broader report on Member Training that will be shared with Members at a later date. The report will include a Member Training plan for 2021-22
The Committee commended the Committee Services Officer (Scrutiny) and the Committee Services Team for their sterling work during the pandemic.
· The Committee agreed that Members should partake in the free Scrutiny training options that are currently available and consider bespoke scrutiny training options at a later date.
· The Committee Services Officer (Scrutiny) will collate the existing free Scrutiny training options and circulate to Members of the Overview Scrutiny Committee.