Agenda and minutes

Overview and Scrutiny Board - Tuesday 7th December, 2021 10.00 am

Venue: Virtual meeting

Contact: Caroline Breheny 

No. Item


Declarations of Interest


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


Minutes - Overview and Scrutiny Board - 9 November 2021 pdf icon PDF 171 KB


The minutes of the Overview and Scrutiny Board meeting held on 9 November were submitted and approved as a correct record.


Executive Forward Work Programme pdf icon PDF 299 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.





Executive Member Update: Deputy Mayor and Executive Member for Culture and Communities pdf icon PDF 224 KB


The Deputy Mayor and Executive Member for Culture and Communities, Cllr Mieka Smiles, was in attendance to update the Board on her aims and aspirations, progress made to date and to highlight any emerging issues relating to her portfolio. The Director of Environment and Community Services was also in attendance.


It was advised that in the last presentation to OSB the Deputy Mayor and Executive Member for Culture and Communities had provided a general overview of the different areas of her portfolio and focussed on the Community Safety aspect. On this occasion the focus would be on her aims, aspirations and progress to date. Community Safety had been a strong focus during the last presentation and this time Creating Stronger Communities and Culture would be the main area of focus.


In terms of Communities the portfolio covered a vast amount, the main strands included: community hubs and libraries (located across the whole of the town); community safety, which included the Street Wardens (the numbers had increased from approximately 12 to 60) and now incorporated a range of responsibilities including community safety, environmental enforcement, car parking; CCTV; locality working; empowering communities through a wide range of schemes including the community growing projects to the amazing alleyways project.


The Deputy Mayor and Executive Member for Culture and Communities stated that the overarching aim was to create a safer Middlesbrough and support our local communities. With regard to her priorities reference was made to the new Southlands building and it was emphasised that one of her priorities was to improve the community hubs and develop new ones. It was anticipated that there would hopefully be some action on the Southlands site in the spring and the Deputy Mayor advised that she had been on the Town’s Fund Board and had advocated for the Southlands site to be included in that deal. As a result £500,000 of extra funding had been secured. Originally, it was proposed that the Southlands building would simply be a community hub style building but following work with ward Councillors and residents it was evident that their aspirations were to replicate the original Southlands Centre. A modular approach would therefore be taken and as more funding became available it was hoped that a sports hall and other facilities would be provided on the site. At the beginning of the process there was a requirement to find an organisation that would be able to manage the centre and the Tees Valley Asset Preservation Trust had been chosen to undertake that role.


Reference was made to Nunthorpe Community Hub, which was also in the pipeline and it was emphasised that the money received via the Towns Fund needed to be spread throughout the whole of the town. The majority of funding had been secured and two community groups had put their names forward to manage the centre and an independent scoring process would be undertaken to determine where it would be located and the type of services that would be provided. It  ...  view the full minutes text for item 20/54


Chief Executive's Update pdf icon PDF 702 KB


The Chief Executive was in attendance and provided an update to the Board in respect of the following:-


·         COVID-19 update

·         Executive update

·         Strategic Plan


In terms of the latest local COVID-19 data, as at 5 December 2021 the rolling seven-day rate of cases per 100k of the Middlesbrough population was as follows:


  • 82 new cases had been added to the system on 8 November 2021;
  • 390 new cases had been diagnosed in the last seven days;
  • 276.6 rate per 100k of population (last seven days); and
  • 309.30 COVID-19 deaths per 100k population.


Reference was made to the COVID case rate by age group and it was advised that the highest number of cases were amongst young people aged 0-19. With regard to the number of COVID patients in South Tees Hospitals it was noted that there were currently 56 inpatients, with 7 of those in critical care.  In terms of vaccination rates it was advised that 74 per cent of Middlesbrough’s population had received their first vaccination, 67 per cent had received their second vaccination and 32.1 per cent had received their booster.   


In relation to the Executive decisions taken recently it was noted that a number of reports had been considered. These included; an annual update on the work undertaken by the Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education (SACRE), a report on the findings of the Virtual School Peer Review; the Calculation of Council Tax Base for 2022/23; the Corporate Debt write-off policy and a report on the transfer of the International Centre to a community organisation.


A number of reports were expected to be considered by Executive in January 2022 and these included; Whortlton Road Industrial Estate Disposal; PSPO and CCTV Provision; Metz Bridge – Site Management Arrangements; Members Small Schemes Allocation; Digital Inclusion; Response to Scrutiny: Cultural Events; Response to Scrutiny: Middlesbrough Regeneration Post COVID-19: PSEA Timetable; BOHO X Audit Feedback; Council Tax Support Scheme for 22/23; Holiday Activities and Food Programme and Social Care White Paper.


Reference was made to Council’s Strategic Plan and the current process for the drafting of the plan was outlined. It was advised that some changes to the format had been proposed and that a presentation had been given to the Executive on 7 December 2021 with any confirmed changes to current priorities and initiatives to be agreed by 21 December 2021. With a view to any follow up work and any revisions being undertaken by 18 January 2022. A report on the Strategic Plan was scheduled to be considered by Executive on 14 February 2022 and subsequently by Council on 23 February 2022. It was noted that where significant revisions / additions to the Strategic Plan were required it was likely that the new plan would be submitted to Council for approval on Summer 2022, to take into account timescales for public consultation. 


The Chair thanked the Chief Executive for his excellent briefing and contribution to the meeting.




Scrutiny Chairs Update

Adult Social Care and Services Scrutiny Panel

Councillor J. Platt (Chair)


Children & Young People’s Learning Scrutiny Panel

Councillor D. McCabe (Chair)


Children & Young People’s Social Care and Scrutiny Panel 

Councillor D. Davison (Chair)


Culture and Communities Scrutiny Panel

Councillor C. McIntyre (Chair)


Economic Development, Environment and Infrastructure Scrutiny Panel

Councillor S. Walker (Chair)


Health Scrutiny Panel 

Councillor D. Coupe (Chair)



The Scrutiny Chairs/Vice Chairs provided updates in respect of the work undertaken by their respective panels since the last meeting of the Board.





Revenue and Capital Budget - Projected Outturn position as at Quarter Two 2021/22 pdf icon PDF 1 MB


The Director of Finance and the Head of Financial Planning and Support provided an update to the Board; the following points were highlighted:


  • The information detailed in the report was separated into two elements: COVID-19 related and non-COVID-19 related;
  • The 2021/22 Revenue budget for the Council was £116,492,035. The Council’s outturn position for 2021/22 for non-Covid-19 elements was projected to be an overspend of £2.605m (2.2%). It was anticipated that there would be a potential financial pressure due to COVID-19 of £1.550m in 2021/22. The total projected outturn at the end of the year was £4.155m;
  • The total projected overspend in 2021/22 would be covered by the full utilisation of the Social Care Demand Reserve of £0.5m and the Children’s Services Demand Reserve of £0.732m, which were created at the end of 2020/21. The remaining £2.923m of the total projected outturn pressure would be funded from the £4.512m Covid Recovery Reserve, which was created during 2020/21 to cover the potential costs arising from the Covid-19 recovery in 2021/22 and future years;
  • Paragraphs 80-100 of the report detailed expenditure against the Investment Strategy, which had a revised budget of £82.029m.  The current latest estimated outturn for 2021/2022 was £64.814m;
  • Paragraph 101 of the report indicated that borrowing had reduced by £11.6m in Q2 to £206.2m;
  • Total reserves were detailed in paragraph 108, which showed projections for 2021/22 to be £32.3m.   
  • Appendix 1 showed the revised Investment Strategy which would be used from this point onwards.


The Chair thanked the Director of Finance for his attendance and contributions to the meeting.


AGREED that the information provided be noted, and the agreed actions be undertaken.