Agenda and minutes

Overview and Scrutiny Board - Friday 20th November, 2020 2.30 pm

Venue: Virtual Meeting

Contact: Chris Lunn 

No. Item


Declarations of Interest

To receive any declarations of interest.


There were no declarations of interest received at this point in the meeting.


Call-in - Future Accommodation pdf icon PDF 227 KB

Additional documents:


The Chair welcomed attendees to the meeting and provided an outline of how the call-in would proceed.


The Chair confirmed that the subject of the call-in was the decision made by the Executive on 27 October 2020 – ‘Future Office Accommodation Update’.


The Mayor and the Director of Regeneration and Culture were in attendance at the meeting to explain the reasons and rationale behind the report, and the decision that was made.


Councillor Bell, the proposer of the call-in, and one of the supporting Members, Councillor Hubbard, were in attendance to explain why the decision had been called-in and what should be reviewed.


In terms of the procedure to be followed at the meeting, a copy was shown at Appendix 2 of the submitted report.  The Councillor proposing the call-in (Councillor Bell) would be afforded 15 minutes to present his case, which would include any statements from witnesses.  At the end of the presentation, the Mayor would have the opportunity to question the proposing Councillor for five minutes, which could include input from officers from the relevant service area.


The Mayor/service area would then have 15 minutes to provide the reasons for the decision, after which the proposing Councillor would have the opportunity to question the Mayor/service area for five minutes.


The Overview and Scrutiny Board (OSB) would then be given the opportunity to ask the proposing Councillor and the Mayor/service area questions.  Following this, the proposer and the Mayor would each be given five minutes to present a closing submission.


Following debate by the OSB Members, a vote would be undertaken as to whether OSB Members felt that the decision should be referred back to the Executive for reconsideration.


The Chair invited Councillor Bell to present his case to OSB, and explain why the decision had been called-in.  Councillor Hubbard would be sharing the 15 minute time allocation with Councillor Bell.   


Councillor Bell made the following comments as part of the presentation:


  • The decision had been called-in to ensure the residents and businesses of Middlesbrough that the Council had achieved value for money, and had followed due process.
  • The Council’s value for money statement in the annual accounts was unacceptable.
  • It was felt that the decision was taken improperly and without sufficient information to provide validity.  The decision concerned spending over £150,000 of Council Tax payers’ money, and no information was provided in respect of:


1.     Why the cost may be over £150,000;

2.     What the exact cost would be;

3.     What the money was required for;

4.     What the money would be spent on or how;

5.     What would be achieved on the spend; and

6.     No alternatives to spending £150,000 were provided.  No options exploring other ways of achieving the aim stipulated in the report were provided.


  • It was felt that, without the basic information described above, it was not possible for Members to be assured of correct decision-making, and value for money could not be demonstrated.


In terms of the value for money aspect, Councillor Hubbard  ...  view the full minutes text for item 20/48


Any other urgent items which in the opinion of the Chair, may be considered.