Agenda and minutes

Overview and Scrutiny Committee - Thursday, 26th January 2023 6.30 pm app available
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Venue: Council Chamber, Town Hall, Chorley and YouTube

Contact: Matthew Pawlyszyn  Email:


No. Item


Minutes of Meeting Thursday, 6 October 2022 of Overview and Scrutiny Committee pdf icon PDF 226 KB


Resolved: That the minutes be approved as a correct record.


Minutes of Meeting Thursday 15 December 2022 of the Overview and Scrutiny Performance Panel pdf icon PDF 220 KB


Resolved: That the minutes be approved as a correct record.


Minutes of Meeting Thursday 12 January 2023 of the Overview and Scrutiny Performance Panel pdf icon PDF 214 KB


Resolved: That the minutes be approved as a correct record.


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.


No interests were declared.


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. 


There were no public questions.


Executive Cabinet Minutes pdf icon PDF 300 KB

To consider the Executive Cabinet minutes of the meeting held on 8 November 2022, 8 December 2022, and 19 January 2023 (enclosed).

Additional documents:


Resolved: That the minutes of the Executive Cabinet meetings that took place 8 November 2022, 8 December 2022, and 19 January 2023 were noted.


Notice of Executive Decisions pdf icon PDF 578 KB

To view the latest notice of Executive Decisions click here


The document is also attached and correct as of 18 January 2023.


Resolved: The notice of Executive Decisions was noted.


Health Scrutiny pdf icon PDF 239 KB

Councillor Alex Hilton to provide a verbal Health Scrutiny Update.


Councillor Alex Hilton provided a verbal update that covered Lancashire County Council Health and Adult Services Scrutiny Committees that took place 2 November, and 14 December 2022.


The Social Care Reform announced in September 2021 was due to be introduced October 2023 but was delayed to 2025.


New reforms to social care were considered including streamlining the financial and needs assessment online, however, despite assurances that additional support would be available, there were concerns that those with complex needs would be disadvantaged.


The waiting list for low level needs assessments was at six months.


Chief Medical Officer of Integrated Care Board (ICB) attended and presented information about virtual wards. Virtual Wards were said to be a safe and effective way to care for parents assisted by technology. The care received would be the same as in the ward, with patients monitored from their homes. Contact between health professionals and patients occurred over the phone. In events of deterioration, the ambulance service would be used to transfer the patient to hospital. Cooperation with pharmacists ensured deliveries of medication.


Across Lancashire and South Cumbria, there were 746 virtual beds, acute virtual trusts were created to be responsible for patients, and protocols were in place to ensure that only eligible patients with suitable homes were placed in a virtual ward. The virtual wards would prevent needed beds being blocked by patients that should be, but were unable to be discharged.


Recruitment continued and there was an acknowledged concern about the levels of staff. Sites were still under consideration for the new hospital programme.


Members requested, and the Chair agreed to write to the Health and Adult Services Scrutiny Committee to request the tendering and procurement for the Integrated Care Boards were added to the Work Programme. It was raised that residents were not being consulted in regards to the future of their local GP practices.


For the next Overview and Scrutiny Meeting, members requested information about the mental health update.


Resolved: The update was noted.


Budget Scrutiny pdf icon PDF 265 KB

To receive and consider the report of the Director of Finance.


Executive Member for Resources Councillor Peter Wilson presented the report.


The report set out the draft budget which had not yet been finalised.


The budget had been impacted by the cost of living crisis, increase in utility cost, staff wages and significant inflation.


The budget deficit was reported at £1.17 million, with an additional £1.1 million the following year.


It was believed that the budget could be balanced without cuts to services or staffing, the council intended to prioritise investment in the borough. Significant income had been gained over the years since purchasing Market Walk in 2013, after borrowing costs, the profit was £834,000. Strawberry Fields and Strawberry Meadows when fully operational would generate further income.


The council aimed to maintain the priorities of the council, to invest in new and affordable homes, provide jobs and skills, invest in providing and supporting the local economy and environment.


There was long term uncertainty around funding from central government, yearly income from central government had decreased despite increased costs and pressures. In 2016, the council received £17 million, the figure for 2023/24 was set at £14 million. The numbers for fair funding and business rates were only known for 2023/24, and the reviews of both were delayed.


The draft budget proposed a 1.99% increase in Council Tax. Consideration was given not to charge more than needed, however, the future budget gap of £1.3 million was excessive. With the rise, Chorley would still have the second lowest rate of Council Tax in Lancashire


Revenues from the New Homes Bonus, and Services Grant had decreased, however there was the Minimum Guarantee Grant which totaled £1.1 million.


It was confirmed that further information would be provided in relation to the extra £600,000 Shared Prosperity Fund.


In relation to car parks, it was estimated that for the 2022 budget, the council would receive £200,000 from the parking charge changes, the result was better than expected.


It was clarified that special expenses would be increased in line with the 1.99% increase.


Members appreciated the approach the administration held with the rise in tax, but warned that every penny of public money spent was required to be justified and be value for money


There remained empty units at Strawberry Meadows and Strawberry Fields, with optimism that the remaining units would be filled.


It was questioned if the £74,000 (2%) yearly return on investment was considered good against the £4 million investment for Whittle Health Hub. It was confirmed that the council believed that it was, and it was noted that the NHS was a safe and reliable tenant. It was also deemed to be a positive that residents that now had access to a new GP surgery.


Resolved: That the report be noted




Community Safety Partnership/Crime and Disorder pdf icon PDF 448 KB

To receive and consider the report of the Director of Communities.

Additional documents:


Councillor Bev Murray, Executive Member for Early Intervention, Lancashire Police Inspector Michael Moys, and Laura-Jean Taylor, Head of Public protection presented the report.


Background information was provided about the Community Safety Partnership, its role and purpose within the community.


The report highlighted an overall decrease in anti-social behaviour, but there was a group of young people that caused concern, with three or four young individuals identified as the ring leaders. In recent surveys, anti-social behaviour was cited as the greatest concern for the residents in Chorley. It was noted that teenage anti-social behaviour accounted for 22% of reported antisocial behaviour, but it was clarified that breaches of Covid restrictions, neighbour disputes, noise complaints, etc, all were collated within the antisocial behaviour figure.


Civil orders and interventions had been taken to prevent the key individuals from engaging in and encouraging antisocial behaviour in other young people. Support was available to direct young people away from that behaviour. Evidence of antisocial behaviour had been used against the perpetrators and their parents. One individual was now banned from entering the town centre, a breach of this this condition would result in their arrest. 


Other actions taken included a dispersal order enacted at the end of January that encompassed the town centre.


The police were proactively engaged with young people and parents, any evidence of failing or negligent parental oversight and any safeguarding issues would be referred to partner agencies as a child criminal exploitation (CCE) concern.


There was said to be a positive relationship between the police, the council and other partners. Within schools, work was underway to reduce knife possession and crime. Certain rumours were acknowledged and addressed as an incident was understood to have occurred, but exaggeration had taken place. The response taken had been tailored to deal with the problem effectively for the long term.


It was highlighted that although some non-police matters were passed on from the housing associations, they were receptive and were a positive factor within the partnership.


PCSO’s and Neighbourhood Officers could be dispatched to any area that would benefit from an increased presence. Roadshows and engagement stalls were also available upon request. Members expressed uncertainty about the effectiveness of the Neighbourhood Officers as incidents of drugs and anti-social behaviour were not actioned and was told “there was nothing to be done about it”. The inspector was unhappy that this was the experience some Members had faced and reiterated that things could be done, and Members should make contact in the event of a reoccurrence in the response.


The Community Safety Partnership was now meeting again, and relied significantly on voluntary, community and faith organisations. Work was underway with street pastors to provide support during the nighttime economy.


It was queried for clarity the line at paragraph 15 “Chorley is the only Local Authority within Lancashire in which Vulnerability Present, but no Ideology or Counter Terrorism Risk is not referred as an ideology.” It was explained that the figures and information about referrals could not be  ...  view the full minutes text for item 32.


Open Space, Sports and Recreation Strategy & Programme Update pdf icon PDF 305 KB

To receive and consider the report of the Chief Executive.

Additional documents:


Zoe Whiteside, Head of Spatial Planning and Lindsey Blackstock, Open Space Strategy Officer presented the report.


The Open Space, Sports and Recreation Strategy was approved by Executive Cabinet in 2021.


Appendix 1 of the report highlighted the completed schemes from 2019 onward.


There was currently no project to deliver cycling infrastructure but could come later.


Technical evidence documents were created by external consultants. Their assessment was used to understand the quality, the supply and demand for typologies.


Delays to identified schemes were caused by several issues but was primarily due to sourcing and securing funding.

There had been locations identified for five potential green bus stops, a decision was to be made by executive decision by the end of February. The Cabinet awarded £26,000 to repair the worst sections of towpaths in the borough.


It was confirmed that for the urban wildflower corridors, there was no spread risk of invasive species or damage to the local ecology. Due to the location, particularly Eaves Lane, there was little chance for seeds to migrate to other areas of the borough. The wild flower corridors were in place to provide colour and attract insects.


Members queried into the spending of £189,000 from a Section 106 for the community centre. It was explained that the fund was for the extension of the community centre and was used to drain the mini pitch.


The decision around the designs of open spaces came from local residents that live in the area of the open space, but it was acknowledged that there was a need for more diverse and dynamic equipment for all ages, as the focus appeared to be on young children.


Resolved: That the report be noted.





Period Poverty Update pdf icon PDF 143 KB

To receive and consider the report of the Director of Communities.



This item was deferred to the meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee due to take place 16 March 2023.


Reports from the Task and Finish Groups

Overview and Scrutiny Task Group: Empty Properties


To receive a verbal update on the inquiry from the Chair, Councillor Sarah Ainsworth.


Councillor Sarah Ainsworth provided an update on the progress of the Empty Property Task Group.


Resolved: That the update be noted.


Overview and Scrutiny Work Programme pdf icon PDF 214 KB

To consider the Scrutiny Work Programme for 2022/23.


Resolved: That the Work Programme be noted.