Agenda and minutes

Scrutiny Board - Tuesday, 25th April, 2017 6.00 pm

Venue: Committee Room 3 - 3rd Floor - Civic Centre. View directions

Contact: Julia Cleary  01902 555046 or Email:

No. Item


Apologies for absence


Apologies for absence were received from Cllr Brookfield and Cllr Patten. Cllr Thompson attended as a substitute for Cllr Patten and Cllr Evans attended as a substitute for Cllr Brookfield.


The Chair also welcomed Cllr Tersaim Singh to the meeting. Cllr Singh was the Authorities representative on the Combined Authority Overview and Scrutiny Committee.


The Chair thanked members and officers for their work throughout the year.  


Declarations of interest


There were no declarations of interest.


Minutes of the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 78 KB

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



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


Matters arising


It was noted that in relation to page 4 of the minutes that the Board had agreed to support work being done to encourage younger people to register to vote and to support any initiatives aimed at lowering the voting age to 16.


Scrutiny Arrangements in relation to the Combined Authority pdf icon PDF 298 KB

[The Chair of the Combined Authority Overview and Scrutiny Committee will be in attendance.]

Additional documents:


The Chair welcomed Councillor Peter Hughes to the meeting; Cllr Hughes was the Chair of the Combined Authority Overview and Scrutiny Committee.


Cllr Hugh’s thanked the Board for inviting him to attend the meeting and introduced Sarah Sprung who was currently seconded on a part time basis to support the Combined Authority Overview and Scrutiny Committee.


Miss Sprung referred to the document entitled Principles of Scrutiny between WMCA Overview and Scrutiny Committee and Local Authority Scrutiny which had now been ratified. Miss Sprung also confirmed that a job description for a West Midlands Combined Authority Overview and Scrutiny Member had been produced and would be circulated in due course.


Cllr Hughes provided a presentation which included a section on Councillors and LEP Governance Structure. Cllr Hughes highlighted the area relating to the Combined Authority Commissions which were:


·         Mental Health Commission

·         Productivity and Skills Commission

·         Land Commission


Cllr Hughes stated that these areas were constantly under review and reflected the work undertaken by the Combined Authority.  Overview and Scrutiny Task and Finish Groups had already been set up to reflect these commissions along with a standing Task and Finish Group focused on scrutiny of the budget.


Cllr Hughes stated that each member authority had been requested to nominate a lead officer and a lead member to attend meetings relating to the CA Overview and Scrutiny Committee and that there had been a lot of initial ground work covered over the last 12 months even though the regulation had not been published until January 2017 and there had only been 4 meetings of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee to date.


It was stated that a workshop had been held in November 2016 with Leaders and Chief Executives to establish a work programme.


Cllr Hughes confirmed that the Mental Health Task and Finish Group had already presented some findings. Cllr Hughes explained that the task and finish groups would work on a less formal basis and have a less rigid structure with a less prescribed quorum thus allowing a larger range of witnesses or participants to attend.


Miss Sprung provided an overview of the membership of the committee including the different roles of constituent and non-constituent members and that as far as possible political balance was to be maintained. Miss Sprung stated that the Combined Authorities (Overview and Scrutiny Committees Access to Information and Audit Committees) Order 2017 would be going live on 8th May 2017, that there was a  2/3 quorum requirement for Board meetings, that the Chair had to be from a different political party than the mayor and that Constituent members had to be majority.


Members considered the importance of communication between the member authorities and the CA and agreed that this had to be effective in both directions and that work was required in relation to this especially in relation to understanding all the different work programmes that would be in place and where there might be duplication, overlap or gaps identified. Miss Sprung stated that it was probable  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.


Outcome of the Local Government Association Corporate Peer Review pdf icon PDF 81 KB

[To consider a report in relation to the recent LGA Corporate Peer Review and to consider the recommendations and action plan arising from it.]

Additional documents:


The Panel considered a report from the Managing Director informing the Scrutiny Board of the outcome of the recent LGA Corporate Peer Review and requesting it to consider the recommendations and action plan arising from it.


The Managing Director introduced Mr Matt Vins to the Board and thanked him for all of the work he had done in relation to organising the Peer Review and for making staff and councillors feel very welcome at the City Council. 


The feedback from the Peer Review had been very positive and Members congratulated the Managing Director and agreed that the feedback appeared good and fair whilst also allowing room for further improvement. Members noted that the role of councillor was rapidly changing alongside changing expectations from constituents and a constantly moving social media landscape and that this necessitated additional training for members.


Officers thanked all members for getting involved in the Peer Review and for providing vital evidence and feedback.


Resolved:      1.         That the comments of Members on the Local Government Association’s (LGA) Corporate Peer Review final report be noted.

2.         That the comments of Members on the draft action plan arising from the recommendations within the LGA Corporate Peer Review final report be noted.