Agenda and minutes

Overview and Scrutiny Board - Wednesday 7th February, 2024 4.30 pm

Venue: Mandela Room

Contact: Scott Bonner 

No. Item


Declarations of Interest


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


Minutes - Overview and Scrutiny Board - 10 January 2024 pdf icon PDF 199 KB


The minutes of the Overview and Scrutiny Board meeting held on 10 January 2024 were submitted and approved as a correct record.



Minutes- Overview and Scrutiny Board - 18 January 2024 pdf icon PDF 119 KB


A Member suggested paragraph three of Minute 23/54 should have read “Based on electorate projections the optimum ratio for Councillor to electorate was 2,112” rather than “Based on electorate projections the optimum ratio for Councillor to residents was 2,112.”



1.    The proposed amendment be accepted.

2.    With the accepted amendment, the minutes of the Overview and Scrutiny Board meeting held on 18 January 2024 be approved as a correct record.



Executive Forward Work Programme pdf icon PDF 263 KB

Additional documents:


The Chief Executive submitted a report which identified the forthcoming issues to be considered by the Executive, as outlined in Appendix A to the report. The report provided the Overview and Scrutiny Board with the opportunity to consider whether any item contained within the Executive Forward Work Programme should be considered by the Board or referred to a scrutiny panel.


A Member queried an exempt item entitled Phase one Asset Sales and if further information could be provided.



1.    That the Democratic Services Officer approach the Director of Regeneration for further information relating to the exempt item relating to asset sales and feedback this back to the Member.

2.    That the information presented be noted.


Executive Member Update - Environment


The Chair advised Members the Executive Member for Environment had submitted his apologies. This was for reasons outside of his control.


The Chair advised Members that an additional meeting of OSB was required to consider the Council’s submission to the Boundary Commission. It was proposed the meeting be held on 28 February at 4.30pm.


It was also suggested that the Executive Member for Environment be invited to that meeting.



1.    An additional OSB meeting be held on 28 February 2024

2.    The Executive Member for Environment be invited to the OSB meeting of 28 February 2024.


Boundary Review 2023/ 2024 - Update

Verbal update.


The Chair provided a verbal update about the ongoing work regarding the Local Government Boundary Review in Middlesbrough.


Members were advised the first workshops had taken place and had been productive. Spread over two sessions, the workshops had centred around the southern wards and involved Members from those areas.


Different groups of Members had suggested variations to some ward boundaries which they felt better reflected the needs of those communities. It was hoped the second round of workshops to be held on 22 February would be as productive.


While the workshops were focussed on either the northern or southern wards, Members were free to comment on wards across the town. After the second round of workshops a report would be collated to form the Council’s proposal.


A Member commented that, despite the scale of the task, a significant amount of progress had been made.


A Member commented the sessions had been positive and queried what weight the workshops would add to the Council submission. The Chair clarified the workshops were working to the Boundary Commission’s criteria and that OSB would have the opportunity to comment on the draft proposal at its meeting on the 28 February 2024.


A Member commented the statistical data presented at the workshops was not necessarily accurate. The Chair responded this would be examined.




OSB Work Programme - discussion


The Chair discussed the Board’s work programme with Members, specifically the review into Homelessness.


He advised that the homelessness topic had started with the Ad Hoc Scrutiny Panel in February 2023. At that meeting the Service Area had provided its view on how the homeless were supported and heard how homelessness impacted people’s lives. However, following that meeting no definitive Terms of Reference were agreed for the review.


It was also highlighted that homelessness was a wide-ranging topic that touched on a variety of different subjects. As such the Chair proposed the review should focus on how the Council supported the homeless but also what was being done to get people out of homelessness should they find themselves in that position.


The Board was advised that instead of receiving information on a meeting-by-meeting basis enquiry day may prove to be the best approach.


To do this it was suggested that best practice examples would be gathered with a range of expert witnesses being approached, such as Street Zero Shelter and Crisis.  


It was commented that Scrutiny worked best when it explored areas of best practice to understand where improvements could be made.



1.    That the Terms of Reference for the homeless review would focus on assistance provided to the homeless and efforts made to remove people from homelessness.

2.    Specific Terms of Reference would be created and agreed by OSB as part of the Review Planning process.




Scrutiny Chairs Update


The Chair invited individual Scrutiny Chairs to provide their update.


The Chair of the Children and Young People’s Scrutiny Panel advised the last time the Panel met it discussed the budget proposals for Children’s Services. While the Panel was scheduled to meet in February, this meeting had been cancelled. The next meeting would be March where the Panel would continue to look at school attendance.


The Chair of the Health Scrutiny Panel advised the Board the Panel had conducted a review into Opioid Dependency in 2021. The Director of Public Health would be in attendance at the Panel’s next meeting on 19 February to receive an update on actions associated with that review. 


The Chair of the Regeneration Scrutiny Panel advised Members the Panel had met on 17 January and considered the budget proposals for the Regeneration Department in information on the draft Local Plan. The Panel also received information relating to Planning Capacity by the Head of the Planning Service. At the Panel’s next meeting Members would receive information from the Assistant Director of Planning at South Hams and West Devon Council regarding shared services.




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