Agenda and draft minutes

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Venue: Council Chamber, Town Hall, Chorley and YouTube

Contact: Matthew Pawlyszyn  Email: matthew.pawlyszyn@chorley.gov.uk

Media

Items
No. Item

22.OS.46

Minutes of Meeting Thursday, 30 September 2021 of Overview and Scrutiny Committee pdf icon PDF 229 KB

Minutes:

The minutes were approved as a correct record.

22.OS.47

Minutes of Meeting Thursday 28 October 2021 of Overview and Scrutiny Performance Panel pdf icon PDF 284 KB

Minutes:

The minutes were approved as a correct record.

22.OS.48

Minutes of Meeting Thursday 16 December 2021 of Overview and Scrutiny Performance Panel pdf icon PDF 227 KB

Minutes:

The minutes were approved as a correct record.

22.OS.49

Minutes of Meeting Thursday 13 January 2022 of Overview and Scrutiny Performance Panel pdf icon PDF 210 KB

Minutes:

Correction raised by Councillor James Nevett, in relation to the time credits, it was directed towards members of the public, and not staff.

 

22.OS.50

Declarations of Any Interests

Members are reminded of their responsibility to declare any pecuniary interest in respect of matters contained in this agenda.

 

If you have a pecuniary interest you must withdraw from the meeting. Normally you should leave the room before the business starts to be discussed. You do, however, have the same right to speak as a member of the public and may remain in the room to enable you to exercise that right and then leave immediately. In either case you must not seek to improperly influence a decision on the matter.

Minutes:

No declarations were made.

22.OS.51

Public Questions

Members of the public who have requested the opportunity to ask a question(s) on an item on the agenda will be asked to put their question(s) to the Committee.  Each member of the public will be allowed to ask one supplementary question within his/her allocated 3 minutes. 

Minutes:

There were no public questions.

22.OS.52

Executive Cabinet Minutes pdf icon PDF 229 KB

To consider the Executive Cabinet minutes of the meeting held on 11 November 2021, 9 December 2021 (enclosed) and 20 January 2022 (to-follow).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Executive Cabinet mintues were noted.

22.OS.53

Notice of Executive Decisions pdf icon PDF 695 KB

To view the latest notice of Executive Decisions click here: https://democracy.chorley.gov.uk/mgListPlanItems.aspx?PlanId=928&RP=115.

The document is also attached and correct as of 19 January 2022.

Minutes:

Members raised about the purchase of Yarrow Valley and asked if there were further plans in addition to tree planting. It was confirmed that the plan was to allow a growth in biodiversity, with an increase in habitats.

 

Members cited difficulties in the presentation of the Notice of Executive Decisions and queried if there was an alternative format to present them to the Committee.

22.OS.54

Health Scrutiny Update pdf icon PDF 191 KB

To consider the Work Plan of Lancashire County Council’s Health Scrutiny Committee. The Council’s representative on the Committee will give an update.

Minutes:

Councillor Margaret France provided an update from the 16 November Lancashire County Council Health Scrutiny Meeting.

 

The focus of the meeting was the vaccination programme. At the start of November 2021, 80% of eligible residents received their first dose, 70% their second. Vaccine uptake for those aged between 12 and 15 remained low at 31%.

 

Due to low uptake of the vaccine by those with protected characteristics efforts had been taken to expand vaccination sites to schools, shopping centres, homeless centres, Gypsy and Traveler site. Improved efforts were made to engage with the Caribbean and African Health Network.

 

All eligible care homes in the County were visited to deliver vaccinations.

 

The figures showed that Lancashire had one of the highest vaccination uptakes in the UK.

 

The Committee were informed that the Health Scrutiny Committee received the report of the Lancashire Steering Group. The hospital programme was to be reviewed, but the list of 10 options had to be reduced to a shortlist. 

 

Mental Health activities had been added to the Work Programme 2021/22.

 

Members expressed concern that the clinic in Adlington had been closed since the start of the pandemic, transport to other clinics involve time and cost, rumors had spread across the village impacting moral.

 

It was explained that the transition and change between Clinical Commissioning Groups, to Primary Trusts and then to Integrated Care Systems and Partnerships. The change to the structure significantly impacted decision making. It was unlikely that a decision would be made until July 2022.

 

At the Teaching Hospital Trust Governors meeting, it was said that there was the intent for a new hospital programme ranging from a combined super hospital to leaving matters as they were. It was warned that the process was likely to be long and drawn out.

 

There was no update related to the Nightingale Hospitals, it was said that at the Royal Preston Hospital expected to hold 60 beds in a temporary ward in the carpark and staff canteen for non Covid medical patients that were unable to be discharged. At present, a significant number of care homes have policies in place preventing any admissions for 28 days after a positive Covid-19 case.

22.OS.55

Budget Scrutiny pdf icon PDF 440 KB

To consider the report of the Deputy of Finance.

 

The Executive Member for Resources will be present at the meeting and answer questions the Committee may have.

Minutes:

The Committee welcomed Peter Wilson, Executive Member for Resources and James Thomson, Deputy Director of Finance presented the report.

 

Funding had continued to decrease since 2016, there was challenged born from uncertainty for the medium term as it was hoped that the Council would receive a three year settlement figure but instead the Council received 12 month retention notice, which included Business Rate and New Homes Bonus.

 

The income stream for the council was just over £14 million. Projected to be £12.5 million in 2023 and 12.6m in 2024. This resulted in a deficit of £2.2 million for this year which will increase to £4 million in 2023 and £4.3 million in 2024. The Council intended to bridge the gap with a consistent approach to savings.

 

The Councils approach to efficiency had made financial savings over the previous 6 or 7 years, and Shared Services expected to save both Chorley and South Ribble significant figures.

 

The Council had gained income through investment sites such as Market Walk, Primrose Gardens, Strawberry Meadows, and Logistics House. With future sites to include Tatton Gardens, and the Whittle Health Hub.

 

The combination of efficiency saving, and investment revenue significantly reduced the deficit to £281,000 for this year and up to £1.9 million and 2.2 million

 

It was proposed that Council Tax increased by 1.99%. The fair funding review had yet to be released, but the process would include an assessment of the Council’s core spending power with an assumption of a 2% yearly increase in Council Tax. An increase was not legally required but would consequently increase the gap to make up. With the 1.99% rise, the average band D rate would still be the second lowest rate in the County.

 

Members expressed caution about the rise of 1.99% council tax due to the increase of the cost of living including fuel, electric, gas and food.

 

It was stated that the document was still in draft and were waiting for Parish Councils to provide their precepts and the County Council’s input

 

The investment priorities for 2022/2023 include £1.5 million revenue investment and over £40 million in capital investment.

 

The investments made aim to either to support the economy, support Council priorities such as the Climate Fund, with £500,000 allocated, or to support local communities. Play and community facilities have been allocated £2.7 million, with one of the biggest schemes Milestone Meadows allocated £74,000.

 

The investment package provided a broad overview that matched residents’ priorities. The Council considered the future and understood the risk of investment. The General reserve fund contained £4 million, which was to rise to £4.4 million. The Equalisation Reserve, which was to prepare for potential downturn equaled £1.2 million. In total, the balance was balanced finely between resident interest and a pathway to a balanced budget.

 

Members asked for additional details around ‘special expenses’ and how the calculations were made. It was explained that special expenses ensured that Council Tax was levied to what was required, e.g playing pitches and changing  ...  view the full minutes text for item 22.OS.55

22.OS.56

Community Safety Partnership pdf icon PDF 137 KB

Minutes:

The Overview and Scrutiny Committee welcomed Irene Elwell,Public Protection Team Leader and Chief Inspector Chris Abbott to provide an overview of the Community Safety Partnership.

 

The previous Crime and Disorder report was presented to the Overview and Scrutiny Committee in July 2020. Within, it stated that the Council would actively engage with the Community Safety Partnership. In addition to Chorley and South Ribble Council’s. the Community Safety Partnership was made up of the County Council, registered social landlords, drug and alcohol services, the Citizens Advice Bureau as well as volunteer, community, and faith groups.

 

For the previous two years, resources have been allocated in response to the pandemic and its implications. Work had continued to focus on reducing knife crime and antisocial behaviour and Prevent work.

 

A new three-year Lancashire Strategic Assessment was recently published which included crime and its impact on Community Safety. Efforts had been taken to strengthen the Partnership, and the Responsibly Authorities Group had been reestablished to meet twice a year.

 

A Monthly priorities meeting to be held monthly that featured the local police analyst report. The first to take place the week commencing 31 January 2022. One of the first priorities was to develop an action plan for serious and organised crime referrals. Other fixed items on the agenda include safeguarding and Prevent.

 

Due to the unprecedented nature of the Covid-19 pandemic, it was acknowledged that the Community Safety Partnership became reactive rather than proactive, and a further update was offered for a future Overview and Scrutiny Committee.

 

To reduce knife crime and anti-social behaviour, Operation Edge was still ongoing. The JJ Effect had been expanded into Chorley and South Ribble high schools, the programme in cooperation with the police provides support and education to young people around knife crime, grooming and criminal exploitation. To combat violence against women, Operation Night Guardian was underway with plain clothed officers in premises to quickly respond to reports spiking.

 

Lancashire Talking pushed to target areas that lacked police visibility to address concerns raised.

 

Overall, a decrease in reports of crime, and antisocial behaviour in Chorley.

 

Members raised concerns related to cross border crimes from Greater Manchester, reports of car crime and drug dealing. With reports of drug dealers targeting schoolchildren. It was explained that reporting every instance was crucial to build a case. Efforts have been made to prevent criminals crossing the border from Greater Manchester into Adlington. Arrests had been made relating to burglaries and car crime, with the suspects responsible for 56 burglaries in a week in the Bolton area venturing into Adlington. Further ongoing work was in process building intelligence.

 

The Rural Task Group was raised by Members and the role they played. It was clarified that the task group was only 4 officers and were extremely productive and was recently rewarded for recovering more plant and farming equipment than any over force in the country. It was recgonised that the 4-person Rural Task Group couldn’t engage with all 3000 farmers at once, but  ...  view the full minutes text for item 22.OS.56

22.OS.57

Magistrates and Transport

Verbal update to be provided by Irene Elwell.

Minutes:

Irene Elwell provided a verbal update from the Director of Communities as it was raised in a previous Overview and Scrutiny Committee that there were concerns about residents attending magistrates’ courts across Lancashire.

 

The Council did not have significant involvement, although was noted that support was offered by the Court, The Council also supported Dial-a-Ride. Members raised that Dial-a-Ride was used primarily by elderly people to do shopping, it was also highlighted that Dial-a-Ride spoke to Members at the Overview and Scrutiny Sustainable Transport Task Group and explained their difficulty in recruiting drivers and was unlikely to be offering trips to courts. It was also clarified that there was flexibility with some cases for instance driving offences did not requiring a hearing in the Court where the infraction took place.  

 

 

22.OS.58

Reports from the Task and Finish Groups

Overview and Scrutiny Task Group – Select Move

To receive a verbal update on the inquiry from the Chair, Councillor June Molyneaux.

Minutes:

The Chair of the Overview and Scrutiny Task Group – Select Move updated and informed the Committee that the Task Group had scoped the review, with aims to build upon the previous Task Group that was conduced in 2014. The Task Group heard from non-Task Group Members about their experiences with Select Move.

 

The next Task Group will feature Preston and South Ribble, to share experiences and to explore if there were shared issues. The Task Group will also formulate questions to ask in a survey/questionnaire.

 

 

22.OS.59

Overview and Scrutiny Work Programme pdf icon PDF 233 KB

To consider the Scrutiny Work Programme for 2021/22.

Minutes:

Members raised an outstanding recommendation from the Overview and Scrutiny Task Group – Sustainable Public Transport being the Cycling Task Group. As Select Move was chosen to be the task group, further consideration would be taken to best decide the format of the item.

 

Members wished to explore special expenses relating to the budget for further information and explanation.

 

Related to access to school places, more detail had been provided about strategy for places. The reduction in southlands in addition to the deficit, and not enough for a new school which was a concern as there required journeys in and out of the borough. May be returned as an item.

 

Plans to request Councillor Adrian Lowe to provide an update relating to grass cutting for the following year.