Agenda item

Performance Monitoring Panel - conclusions and the way forward

Prior to the meeting, members of the Panel are asked to give consideration to: 1) the work it has undertaken over the last four years, specifically any conclusions that can be drawn and any advice for the future; and 2) potential subjects for inclusion on a future Work Programme.

 

A discussion on these issues will be undertaken at the meeting to see how these conclusions can assist the Panel in its work going forward in the next administration

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the Panel’s Work Programme and the way forward, following District Council elections in May 2019.  Prior to the meeting, members had been asked to consider the work that the Panel had undertaken over the last four years, specifically any conclusions that could be drawn and any advice for the future, and also any potential subjects for inclusion on a future Work Programme.

 

The following issues were raised:

 

·         It was requested that an Overview and Scrutiny Away Day be arranged early on in the municipal year.  Consideration needed to be given to the scrutiny process and what it was required to achieve.  The event should combine both scrutiny panels but with some independent sessions being held.  It was necessary that the roles of each Panel should be understood, and that there was some overlap in their work.

·         Planning work programmes in advance was useful however, the Panel needed to be able to accommodate issues that arose unexpectedly.  The Chairman agreed that it needed to be more fleet of foot, but that extra meetings could be arranged should any unplanned or urgent business arise.

·         Members commented that the Panel should be involved sooner in the consideration of some decisions.  Where an issue arose, following consideration and agreement by the Chairman, the item could be added to the next meeting of the Panel.

·         Scrutiny training needed to be available to all members following the District elections.  It was also felt that the Panel itself needed to provide support to newer members, in conjunction with any training provided.

·         The role of Portfolio Holders at Scrutiny meetings should be made clearer to both officers and members.  Any member could attend any meeting of the Council however, the scrutiny panels were able to scrutinise executive decisions and could call in Portfolio Holders to do this.  Scrutiny held a unique position and this needed to be protected.  The Panel should always be made aware if a Portfolio Holder was to attend a meeting and officers, and members should be aware of the protocol around scrutiny.

·         Spend within parishes of Section 106 monies was raised as an issue to be considered by the Panel.  It was felt that some Parish Councils were not aware of how to apply for monies to be spent on a project within their area.  The following issues could be considered by the Panel as part of its Work Programme:

·         A representative from the County Council could be invited to a future meeting of the Panel to explain how Section 106 monies were allocated in respect of areas it controlled, such as education.

·         Where Section 106 monies were awarded to a particular area, the Panel could investigate the way in which the monies were spent on projects within the area.

·         A weakness seemed to be that some Parish Councils did not understand the process for submitting bids for Section 106 monies – had Parish Councils been advised of how to do this? If not, what could be done to rectify this?

 

AGREED:

 

That the issues raised by the Panel during its discussion be addressed under the new administration, following the District Council elections in May.