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Reports from Scrutiny Committees

Meeting: 17/12/2013 - Overview and Performance Committee (Item 454)

Reports from Scrutiny Committees

The Chairman of the Resources and Environment Scrutiny Committees will report on the work of their respective committees in the current municipal year to date.


The Head of Partnerships and Community Engagement was in attendance for this item.


Councillor Griffin reported that Environment had looked at community transport and were going to further scrutinise why, in disputes over neighbour’s high hedges, it was the complainant who had to pay the £400 fee.


Councillor Hoeksma reported that Resources had received the annual update on Police Community Support Officers and on the Ward Improvement funds.


The Committee discussed the need for a consistent remit and timescale across all the Infrastructure Scrutiny Reviews. The Committee confirmed the following points:

-        to balance out the sizes of the groups, Councillor Gilligan be asked to move to the Radlett group as Shenley issues could be accommodated in its remit. Councillor Clapper be asked to join the Radlett group. Councillor Swallow be asked to join the Potters Bar group.

-        the main purpose of all the groups was data gathering. They were not expected to deliver recommendations or implement recommendations. The groups should investigate existing provision, establish what the future need was likely to be and define the planning gap between existing provision and future needs. The information that was found would feed into the next version of the Corporate Plan and the Core Strategy. If the groups did generate recommendations, these could be presented in an appendix to their report.

-        to work efficiently, rather than expect witnesses to repeatedly turn up at different groups to present the same information, the groups should meet jointly to interview such witnesses. Logistically speaking, it was likely that not all Members in the groups would be able to attend such joint sessions, so it was acceptable if only one representative of each group was present at such joint sessions.

-        the regional groups should not look at individual planning matters or community centres/village halls. They should look at community provision such as doctors, dentists, medical care, social care, libraries, childcare/provision, leisure facilities.

-        the transport group should split its research into short-term opportunities and long-term (decades ahead) possibilities. The employment group should seek to establish a long-term vision for the area and not focus on individual employers or the business rates.

-        funds were available from the Scrutiny budget. Any spend must be approved by the relevant parent Committee.

-        all groups should meet in January 2014 to elect a chair, consider their remit and plan their work.

-        a special meeting of Overview and Performance Scrutiny Committee would be held on 1 May 2014 at which all groups would present their final reports.