Waverley Borough Council Committee System - Committee Document
Meeting of the Community Overview and Scrutiny Committee held on 15/03/2005
Overview and Scrutiny Developments
OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY DEVELOPMENTS
This note updates recent developments in Overview and Scrutiny by the three Waverley Committees.
Policy Development and Review
All three Committees have considered reports on major policy issues and put forward observations to the Executive. Committees are starting to adopt a more proactive approach to identifying matters on the Executive Rolling Programme which they would like to have an input on.
In depth analysis
The A3 Tunnel investigation and analysis by the Environment and Leisure Overview and Scrutiny Committee was a successful example of an Overview and Scrutiny Committee conducting an in depth review and inviting outside statutory and amenity bodies to give evidence. Meetings were well attended and all the contributors felt that it offered a less formal way of contributing to Waverley's response to a key issue of the Borough. There was also an element of the broader community role of scrutiny of the role of the Highways Agency and Surrey Highways to ensure that they had protected the interests of the Waverley community and environment.
Fly tipping Review
This was both an overview of policy and some scrutiny of how effectively Waverley's current processes and inter agency co operation worked.
It is the first in-depth review which will potentially involve service developments which could have budgetary implications. The Executive will also pass the report to partner organisations to seek their help in improving a co-ordinated response to this problem.
The Environment and Leisure Overview and Scrutiny Committee also conducted a select committee type role in questioning Waverley Officers and Officers of other Councils.
Review of Citizens Advice Bureaux Operation in Waverley
The Community Overview and Scrutiny Committee in its scrutiny role undertook an in-depth review of the CABx that operate in the Borough. This review served to define the Council's policy position in respect of the level of service it wants to see CABx providing across the Borough and the financial implications of such choices. As part of the review Members were afforded the opportunity to visit the four CAB offices and following these visits, a workshop was held to assist in the information gathering process. Each of the CAB managers attended and gave presentations, along with a representative of NACAB, the national body.
O&S Members have asked to submit their own suggestions as to how CABx in Waverley should be funded so that this could help inform the final report and recommendations to the Executive. The Executive has adopted the proposal to commission a review by the National Association of CABx.
Review of the Mayoralty in Waverley
As part of its work programme, the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee reviewed the role of Waverley's Mayor. This involved holding a meeting in 'select committee' mode on 6th July, at which oral evidence was given by three former Mayors of Waverley and a former Mayor or Guildford. A questionnaire was also sent to Waverley residents through the Citizens Panel seeking views on the purpose and role of the Mayor. The Committee reviewed the evidence obtained and considered how this answered a number of questions relating to the role of the Mayor.
Review of Development Control
As part of its work programme for the current year the Environment and Leisure Overview and Scrutiny Committee undertook an in-depth review of the Development Control service with the objective of improving performance as measured by Best Value Performance Indicators. As part of the review the Committee, with the agreement of the Council, set up a Sub-Committee of four Members to consider interviews with appropriate planning and other staff. The Committee will also received oral evidence from high performing Council's at the Autumn meeting in 'select committee' mode. The final report was submitted to the Executive in December and formed an invaluable independent assessment of service needs which reinforced the Officer review considered at the same meeting.
Holding Portfolio Holders to account
Portfolio Holders often attend O&S Meetings, and have formally been requested to attend Select Committee Mode Meetings. Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee has requested the East Street Portfolio Holder to attend its next meeting.
There has been one recent call-in of an Executive decision, which was resolved by discussion between the Chairman and Portfolio Holder resulting in called-in decision being referred to Full Council for debate.
Developments have been made. The Overview and Scrutiny Committees consider performance indicators on a more regular basis and have even selected key criteria which they wish to pay particular regard to at their meetings.