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Agenda and minutes

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Items
No. Item

248.

Attendance by Reserve Members

To note the attendance at this meeting of any duly appointed Reserve Members.

 

Reserve Members may attend meetings:-

 

(i)                 to take the place of an ordinary Member for whom they are a reserve;

(ii)               where the ordinary Member will be absent for the whole of the meeting; and

(iii)             the meeting notes at the start of the meeting at the item ‘Reserves’ that the Reserve Member is or will be attending as a reserve;

(iv)              if a Reserve Member whose intention to attend has been noted arrives after the commencement of the meeting, then that Reserve Member can only act as a Member from the start of the next item of business on the agenda after his/her arrival.

Minutes:

RESOLVED:  To note the attendance at this meeting of the following duly appointed Reserve Member:-

 

Ordinary Member

 

Reserve Member

 

Councillor Barry Kendler

Councillor Michael Borio

Councillor Jean Lammiman

Councillor Norman Stevenson

 

249.

Declarations of Interest

To receive declarations of disclosable pecuniary or non pecuniary interests, arising from business to be transacted at this meeting, from:

 

(a)               all Members of the Committee;

(b)               all other Members present.

Minutes:

RESOLVED:  To note that no declarations were made by Members of the Committee.

RESOLVED ITEMS

250.

Local Government Association Peer Review - Action Plan Update pdf icon PDF 431 KB

Report of the Interim Chief Executive

Minutes:

The Interim Chief Executive introduced the report, briefly outlining the background to the Council’s response to the Peer Review report and highlighting the key aspects of its recommendations and the action plan to address them.  He confirmed that, beyond the tasks identified in the action plan, there were insufficient resources to undertake additional work. 

 

The Chair had prepared a number of questions on the review and action plan; these were tabled at the meeting.  The Chair put his questions to the Leader, Councillor Swersky and the senior officers present, and received responses as follows:

 

Para 2.4.1 (of the covering report): What mechanisms exist to ensure the Leader of the Opposition, Shadow Portfolio Holders and Scrutiny Leads are briefed on major issues?  How many times have such mechanisms been activated?

 

The Interim Chief Executive reported that he met with the Leader of the Opposition on a fortnightly basis and the Corporate Directors also typically held regular meetings with relevant Opposition lead members.  The Corporate Directors present confirmed that this was the case.

 

Para 2.4.7 (of the covering report):  What mechanisms exist that provide space for more effective cross-party policy development?  Are their plans to introduce more?

 

The Interim Chief Executive reported that a meeting had been held the previous week involving the Chair and Vice-Chair of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee and the Leaders of the political groups, to discuss the development of cross-party mechanisms to steer and monitor scrutiny work in future.  There was a shared appetite for more cross-party work on prioritising the scrutiny programme and establishing a coordinated mechanism for the future.  The Chair added that the group would be meeting again before the election. 

 

Para 2.4.9 (of the covering report):   Do we have capacity to keep focused on “The Day Job “?

 

The Leader of the Council pointed out that, given that this was the eighth or ninth year of austerity in local government budgets, there was much reduced capacity across the organisation.  While the Council would be positive about finding ways to develop scrutiny work, the financial and operation constraints had to be recognised. 

 

A Member asked about the recent collapse of Carillion and suggested that there had been insufficient cross-party liaison about the implications.  The Leader of the Council disagreed with this, pointing out that he had spoken to the Leader of the Opposition on the very day the liquidation of the company had been announced and that email exchanges between them had followed.  He had given assurances to the Leader of the Opposition about the issuing of future contracts of such scale. 

 

The Member referred to the meeting of the Cabinet the previous week, arguing that the option in respect of Carillion proposed by the Administration at the meeting could have been shared with the Opposition in advance since its substance had already been placed in the public domain by Ealing Council.  He said this approach flew in the face of the undertakings in the Peer Review action plan about closer joint working across  ...  view the full minutes text for item 250.