Agenda and minutes

Venue: Committee Room 3 - Civic Centre, St Peter's Square, Wolverhampton WV1 1SH

Contact: Julia Cleary  01902 555046 or Email: julia.cleary@wolverhampton.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies for absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Cllr Photay, Cllr Leach and Cllr Hardacre. Cllr Bolshaw and Cllr Singh were in attendance as substitutes.

2.

Declarations of interest

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

3.

Minutes of the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 89 KB

[To approve the minutes of the previous meeting as a correct record.]

Minutes:

Resolved:

That the minutes of the meeting held be approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair.

4.

Matters arising

Minutes:

There were no matters arising.

5.

The West Midlands Combined Authority Overview and Scrutiny Committee - Update

[To receive an update from the Chair of the Combined Authority Overview and Scrutiny Committee.]

Minutes:

The Board welcomed Councillor Ian Shires, Vice Chair of the West Midlands Combined Authority Overview and Scrutiny Committee (WMCAO&SC) and Lyndsey Roberts, Scrutiny Officer for the WMCAO&SC, to the meeting.

 

Cllr Shires provided a presentation to the Board outlining the set up and structure of the WMCAO&SC.

 

The Overview & Scrutiny Committee was a statutory requirement specified within the West Midlands Combined Authority Order 2016. The committee had a role in reviewing the work of the West Midlands Mayor and the WMCA and the power to call the Mayor, members and officers to account. The Overview & Scrutiny Committee could make recommendations to decision-making bodies and call-in decisions that had already been made.

 

The Committee had a big agenda covering all the delivery boards of the Combined Authority. 

 

There had been two Mayoral question times, the first one being hosted at Wolverhampton. Cllr Shires stated that this had gone very well with the Committee being well prepared with both initial and follow up questions.

The finance budget question time had been held just before Christmas.

 

Cllr Shires referred to the ‘Leaders Like You’ programme which sought to increase diversity across the regions; Cllr Shires suggested that the Scrutiny Board might consider undertaking some work around this.

 

The Committee were now looking at the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner function. The first phase of consultation had taken place and the second phase was now underway.  Some concerns had been raised by the Committee when looking at the original documentation as it was thought to contain a number of leading questions.

 

It was stated that the Mayor was the only person directly elected to the position, members of the Committee were elected councillors but not directly elected to the committee. 

 

Cllr Shires updated the Board on the WMCAO&SC’s upcoming work plan.  There was a desire to carry out more pre-decision scrutiny and to further promote public engagement in scrutiny. Cllr Shires stated that members of the public did not attend meetings but that there were some important issues that could come out of scrutiny and that the Committee needed to make more use of webcasting.

 

The Board considered the issues regarding members of the WMCA Board not being directly elected and did express some concern about this as it seemed to be moving further away from the Local Authority where councillors were directly elected and accountable and had an understanding of strategic direction.

 

The Board understood the high-volume workload the WMCAO&SC had and the good work that was being done.  An argument was put forward that a role should be created within the council with a level of responsibility similar to that of a cabinet member. The suggested role would include a requirement for the appointed member to feed into and back from the WMCAO&SC and encourage councillor and public engagement. 

 

The Board considered that there was a need to add value to issues being considered by the Combined Authority and that this needed to be driven  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.

6.

Work programme pdf icon PDF 110 KB

[To consider the Board’s work programme for future meetings.]

Minutes:

Resolved:     That the workplan be noted and agreed.

 

 

 

 

7.

The Forward Plan - January 2019 pdf icon PDF 761 KB

[To consider any items for pre decision scrutiny.]

Minutes:

Resolved:     That the following items be considered for pre-decision scrutiny:

 

·       Youth Council Annual Report

 

·       Housing Strategy

 

·       Move to enable buying Council Houses