Agenda item

Scrutiny Reviews - Oral Update


Street Cleanliness Scrutiny Review Group 


The Chair invited the Vice-Chair to speak to the Committee regarding the Street Cleanliness Scrutiny Review.


The Vice-Chair updated the Committee on the Street Cleanliness Scrutiny Review and its arrangements:  


·         Firstly, the Vice-Chair apologised to the Committee as he had been very ill since the last meeting to discuss the Terms of Reference and was unable to progress as much as he wanted. Additionally, apologies were given for Cllr Croxston as he was unable to attend the meeting tonight

·         Cllr Croxston asked the Vice-Chair, at the request of the Director (Housing & Operations) and the Director (Corporate Services), if he would amend the Terms of Reference to reduce the scope of the review as it was officers view that it was too wide covering and very onerous on the requirements of officers

·         After careful consideration, the Vice-Chair advised that he had no objection to reviewing the arrangements for proceeding the review and reminded the Committee that the 6 month target was indeed a target and not a definitive deadline


The Vice-Chair inquired about the comment regarding onerousness for officers and sought clarification if the review asked too much from officers to be achievable.


The Chief Executive clarified that the level of work needed for the climate change working group far exceeded what was originally planned for and it involved a lot of the officers that would be required for the Street Cleanliness Review. Due to that carbon neutral commitment and the requirements under the resolution to bring a report back to Full Council in six months (Decembers Full Council meeting), the officers involved in the review group would be too hard pressed to meet the scrutiny reviews six month target as well.


The Chief Executive had already relayed the concerns to the leader and it had been accepted that a phased approach would be necessary with regards to the review. The Chief Executive asked the Committee if they would be willing to accept a phased approach breaking down the review into smaller manageable chunks.


The Vice-Chair thanked the Chief Executive for the explanation and expressed his concern for officer’s wellbeing as well; he suggested the following way forward:


·         The first meeting of the Scrutiny Sub-Group needed to be held during the week of 21-25 October 2019 to investigate what a phased approach would mean and how the review group should operate

·         The four work streams noted for the review couldn’t be easily dealt with one by one as they interlinked across the work stream and directorates. The first subcommittee meeting would also ask lead officers to look at how the work streams interlink with each other

·         The 6 month target could remain the target; it was not a set in stone deadline and it may take longer. An interim report could be submitted to Cabinet in March detailing the progress made, giving Members a chance to discuss it at the next Full Council meeting

·         The suggested start time from the  Committee Services Officer (Scrutiny) was 4pm-5pm for the meetings however due to Members having different working hours, the meetings of the Street Cleanliness Scrutiny Review Group would commence at 7pm

The Committee agreed with the Vice-Chairs suggested way forward.


Maritime Strategy Scrutiny Review Group


The Vice-Chair made a request to the Chair that the starting times of his Scrutiny Review group also started at 7pm to help the Labour Members attend the meetings.


The Chair shared his concern with the Vice-Chair about timing and advised that he would consider the request as best he could but could not fully agree to it as in some cases external bodies would be invited to the review group meetings and the timing would depend on their availability. The Chair agreed to liaise with the Committee Services Officer (Scrutiny) on a case by case basis to determine the time and date of the meetings.


The Chair gave an update on the Maritime Strategy Review Group:


·         He met with the Town & Twinning Manager to discuss strategic partnerships that the Council may already have and asked for a list to be created so that they could be contacted and invited to future Committees. They could then be asked to attend the sub groups to deliver presentations and give further information

·         The Chair was unable to attend a people & place meeting so Cllr Wardle attended in his stead; he will be giving up update on that meeting at a future Committee meeting

·         The Chair met with the Leisure & Resilience Manager to review recreational usage of the river

·         The Chair also met with the Assistant Director (Communities) and the new Economic Development Officer to see how the sub group could also review economic and maritime development

·         A meeting was held with the Assistant Director (Planning) to look at how the review could be incorporated into the Local Plan process; future discussions will  be held

·         Once the Committee Services Officer (Scrutiny) had returned from leave a meeting would be booked with support from the Port of London Authority (PLA)