The Scrutiny Officer presented the Work Programme Proposals 2020-21. It was noted that the performance function had been removed from this Committee’s remit and fell now within the remit of Overview and Scrutiny Committee.
It was noted a report from the Centre for Public Scrutiny (CfPS) on the overview and scrutiny function was expected soon, which would also give guidance on the governance role of this Committee.
The Scrutiny Officer said that there were plans for the establishment Constitution Review Work Group, and the Committee might wish to consider nominating a small number of Members to assist on the work of this Group She further added that following comments made during the evening that the Work Programme would need to be amended to reflect a request by Members regarding the need for further information on a Data Retention Schedule and Fraud Policies.
The Chairman asked that Members should be updated on Section 106 spending, as well as large capital projects, to ensure they were running on budget. He felt however, it would be prudent to await guidance from the external review as well as the opinion of the Head of Legal and Democratic Services. It was noted that Officers would be reporting later in the year in relation to a Section 106 update
The Scrutiny Officer said it was anticipated that the constitutional review and associated changes would define the governance function of the Committee more clearly.
Councillor Ward-Booth suggested that the Committee receive and update on Information Management and GDPR compliance and asked when the report from the Centre of Public Scrutiny would be received.
The Scrutiny Officer said that it was hoped that the report would be received by the end of the week.
The Committee discussed the review group to undertake the constitutional review. It was agreed that the particular details, including which Members would take part in this and the frequency of meetings would be arranged following further advice from the Head of Legal and Democratic Services.
Councillor Stowe asked whether the issue of Section 106 payments would form part of the future Work Programme. The Scrutiny Officer asked Members to specify what they would like to scrutinise in terms of Section 106 Agreement monies, given that they had been briefed the previous year on this matter and taking care not to encroach on the Overview and Scrutiny Committee’s remit.
Councillor Ward-Booth said it would be useful for a report to be received on the new processes, such as allowing local groups to bid for funding, which could be scrutinised from a governance point of view.
The Chairman said from an audit perspective, the Committee should ensure that the Council was receiving Section 106 monies from developers and that this was being spent within the limited time frame permitted.
It was moved by Councillor Corpe and seconded by Councillor Ward-Booth that the recommendations, as detailed, be approved. After being put to the meeting and a vote taken, the motion was declared CARRIED.
RESOLVED – that the Committee approved the report and the draft work programme as amended.