Waverley Borough Council Committee System - Committee Document
Meeting of the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee held on 17/11/2003
MINUTES of the MEETING of the CORPORATE OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY COMMITTEE
held on 17th November 2003
(To be read in conjunction with the agenda for the meeting)
Mr P D Harmer (Chairman)
Mr D C Inman
Mr M J D Allan (Vice-Chairman)
Mr P B Isherwood
Mr M H W Band
Mrs S R Jacobs
Capt P G Burden
Mrs A E Mansell
Mr M A Clark
Mr M W Marshall
Mrs C Cockburn
Mr P S Rivers
Mr M A Edgington
Ms M Taylor
Mr B A Ellis
Mr K Webster
Mr P Haveron
Mr M J Blower, Mr V Duckett, Mrs P Ellis, Dr M-G Lane and Mr J C S Mackie
attended as substitutes
Mr C H Mansell was also in attendance
The Minutes of the Meeting held on 23rd September 2003 were confirmed and signed.
APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE AND SUBSTITUTIONS
(Agenda Item 2)
Apologies for absence were received from Captain P G Burden, Mrs C Cockburn, Mr M A Edgington, Mr M W Marshall and Mr K Webster. Substituting at the meeting were Mr M J Blower, Mr V Duckett, Mrs P Ellis, Dr M-G Lane and Mr J C S Mackie.
DISCLOSURE OF INTERESTS
(Agenda Item 3)
All members of the Committee declared a personal interest in Agenda Item 11 relating to the report of the Independent Remuneration Panel, for the reason that passing an opinion on remuneration for councillors would be of interest to all members. Under paragraph 10(2)(g) of the Waverley Code of Local Government Conduct, members may regard themselves as not having a prejudicial interest in a matter if that matter relates to allowances or payments under Sections 173 to 176 of the Local Government Act 1972.
EXECUTIVE FOUR-MONTH ROLLING PROGRAMME
(Agenda Item 5, Appendix A)
RESOLVED that the Executive Four-Month Rolling Programme of Key Decisions, adopted by the Executive at its meeting on 28th October 2003, be received.
FUTURE COMMITTEE WORK PROGRAMME
(Agenda Item 6.1)
RESOLVED that the following issues be selected from the Executive Rolling Programme and placed on the Committee's Work Programme, and that reports on issues of policy, including those specified below, be directed through the Overview and Scrutiny Committee in advance of the Executive, as long as time permitting:-
1. Liquor Licensing
2. Gaming Bill
3. Review of Mayoralty
4. Best Value and CPA
5. Emergency Planning.
COMMITTEE WORK PROGRAMME – UPDATES
(Agenda Item 6.2)
East Street, Farnham Redevelopment
RESOLVED that the update report be noted.
Housing Capital Receipts and other pertinent Financial Issues
RESOLVED that the report be received and noted and the following observation previously agreed by the Community Overview and Scrutiny Committee be supported:-
"This Committee notes with horror that the Government has announced that Waverley Borough Council will receive no transitional relief in respect of the cancellation of Local Authority Social Housing Grant (LA SHG), contrary to the indications given earlier in the year shortly after the cancellation was announced, and in response to extensive cross-party representations led by Waverley. As the Government well knows, the effect of this will be the loss of important schemes for the provision of affordable housing, in direct contradiction of the Government's own clearly stated objectives.
In order to be able to judge whether it would be appropriate to make further representations, this Committee requests officers (a) to circular all other Councils affected by the cancellation of LA SHG, to establish whether there is a clear pattern for the distribution of transitional relief, and to ask the Government what are the criteria for that distribution and (b) to report back partially or fully as appropriate to the next meeting of the Committee".
DRAFT CAPITAL PROGRAMME 2004/2005
The Committee received a report on the draft Capital Programme in respect of the General Fund services within its remit and the officers responded to questions and observations made by members. The Committee noted the importance of the provision of air conditioning in the central offices for the benefit of staff and their working conditions, and also considered that priority should be given to the redecoration of the civic suite and public areas of the Council Offices.
RESOLVED that the draft Capital Programme be commended to the Executive.
DRAFT REVENUE ESTIMATES 2004/2005
The Committee received a report on the draft Revenue Estimates for the services within its remit and officers responded to questions and observations from members relating primarily to Licensing, Borough Elections and the Register of Electors, Community Safety and the Local Government Pension Scheme.
RESOLVED that the draft Revenue Estimates for 2004/2005 be commended to the Executive.
COUNCIL TAX CONSULTATION
The Committee received a report on the proposal to undertake a council tax consultation exercise in the future, for Waverley's element of the charge. Members supported council tax consultation being undertaken in such a way that effective results were produced for analysis. It was suggested that the questions would need to be carefully devised to ensure that the consultation was reasonable and appropriate. The Committee also commented that the success of any consultation would be dependent on an integrated communications service. It was anticipated that this would encourage communication with members of the public throughout the consultation process.
RESOLVED that the Executive be informed that future work should be undertaken in preparation for council tax consultation in the future.
[Mr D C Inman left the meeting at 8.07 p.m.]
(Agenda Item 10.1; Appendix G)
The Committee received a report setting out the results of the best value review of corporate communications and proposing a draft Communications Strategy.
RESOLVED that the Executive be informed that the recommendations relating to the communications review were strongly supported, and particular emphasis should be given to the recommendation requesting that regular reports were forthcoming to monitor progress of the Improvement Plan for the service and the delivery of an integrated communications service.
CONTINUATION OF MEETING
In accordance with Procedure Rule 9, at 9.52 p.m. the Chairman proposed, and the Committee concurred, that the meeting should continue until the business on the agenda had been completed.
(Agenda Item 10.2)
1. the Committee would wish to proceed with ward meetings to assist in the community strategy process, with the assistance of one Waverley officer; and
2. members would endeavour to take as much of the associated workload as possible to enable the programme to be fulfilled.
[Mr M J Blower left the meeting at 10.18 p.m.]
MEMBERS' ALLOWANCES – REPORT OF THE INDEPENDENT REMUNERATION PANEL
RESOLVED that the following observations be passed to the Executive:-
1. that it may be useful for the Chairman of the Independent Remuneration Panel to be invited to the meeting on 2nd December to answer any questions or points of clarification;
2. that the Local Government Pension Scheme option should not be supported for those members in receipt of Special Responsibility Allowances for the reason that the process would be difficult to administer;
3. that members should look closely at the recommendations in the Panel's report and consider:-
i. the balance between those roles receiving Special Responsibility Allowances and those not;
ii. the balance between different roles receiving Special Responsibility Allowances; and
iii. whether the overall level of allowances was right.
The meeting concluded at 10.53 p.m.