Agenda and minutes

Overview and Scrutiny Board
Monday, 18th May, 2020 2.00 pm

Venue: Skype Meeting

Contact: Claire Johnston  Email: claire.johnston@bcpcouncil.gov.uk

Media

Items
No. Item

158.

Apologies

To receive any apologies for absence from Members.

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Cllr R Maidment and Cllr P Miles.

159.

Substitute Members

To receive information on any changes in the membership of the Committee.

 

Note – When a member of a Committee is unable to attend a meeting of a Committee or Sub-Committee, the relevant Political Group Leader (or their nominated representative) may, by notice to the Monitoring Officer (or their nominated representative) prior to the meeting, appoint a substitute member from within the same Political Group. The contact details on the front of this agenda should be used for notifications. 

 

Minutes:

Cllr R Burton was a substitute for Cllr R Maidment

160.

Declarations of Interests

Councillors are requested to declare any interests on items included in this agenda. Please refer to the workflow on the preceding page for guidance.

Declarations received will be reported at the meeting.

Minutes:

Cllr M Brooke declared a local interest in agenda item 10 - Children’s Services Capital Strategy as he was a Board member of the Castlemain academy trust.

161.

Confirmation of Minutes pdf icon PDF 472 KB

To confirm and sign as a correct record the minutes of the Meeting held on 20 April 2020.

Minutes:

 

The minutes of the meeting held on 20 April 2020 were approved as a correct record.

162.

Action Sheet pdf icon PDF 264 KB

To note and comment on the Board’s action sheet as required.

Minutes:

 

The action sheet was noted.

163.

Public Speaking

To receive any public questions, statements or petitions submitted in accordance with the Constitution. Further information on the requirements for submitting these is available to view at the following link:-

https://democracy.bcpcouncil.gov.uk/documents/s2305/Public%20Items%20-%20Meeting%20Procedure%20Rules.pdf 

The deadline for the submission of public questions is Monday 11 May 2020.

The deadline for the submission of a statement is 12.00 noon, Friday 15 May 2020.

The deadline for the submission of a petition is 12.00 noon, Friday 15 May 2020.

Minutes:

There were no public questions, statements or petitions.

164.

Chairman's Update

For the Board to consider any issues raised by the Chairman which are not dealt with elsewhere on the agenda.

Minutes:

The Chairman advised that the Chairmen of the Children’s Services and Health and Adult

165.

Scrutiny Between Board Meetings pdf icon PDF 365 KB

To consider a verbal update on scrutiny which has taken place since the last meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Board:

 

·       PPE Working Group

Minutes:

The Chairman advised that since the last meeting of the Board the working group on Personal Protective Equipment had met and its findings had been circulated to the Board and would be published on the Board’s webpage following this meeting.

The Chairmen of the Health O&S Committee explained the Scrutiny process undertaken by the working group and briefly laid out the findings of the group. A Board Member asked about the care home staff and feeling unsafe and what this could be attributed. The Board was advised that thus was due to personal feelings of concern rather than deficiencies in PPE.

166.

BCP Council's Response to Covid-19 Pandemic

To consider an update from the Chief Executive and relevant Portfolio Holders on the Council’s actions in relation to the Corona Virus.  Along with verbal updates at the meeting, a Cabinet paper provided by the Chief Executive on this matter will inform this discussion. 

 

The Cabinet report will be published on Thursday 7 May 2020 and available to view at the following link:

 

https://democracy.bcpcouncil.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=285&MId=4252&Ver=4

 

The following councillors are invited, along with relevant officers, to attend for this item and provide updates in relation to their service areas:

 

Councillor Vikki Slade, Leader of the Council

Councillor Sandra Moore, Portfolio Holder for Children and Families

Councillor Lesley Dedman, Portfolio Holder for Adults and Health

Councillor Lewis Allison, Portfolio Holder for Tourism, Leisure and Communities

Councillor Kieron Wilson, Portfolio Holder for Housing

 

The Chairmen of the other Overview and Scrutiny Committees of the Council are also invited to attend and participate in this item.

Minutes:

Overview – The Board were advised that as part of the consideration of this item the Board was asked to look at the associated Cabinet report which was attached at appendix A to the Cabinet minutes of 27 May 2020 in the Minute Book. The Chief Executive provided a summary of the current situation with particular updates on changes since the situation was last reported to the Board. It was noted that there had been a good community response in the local area and the Council had been working with the Police and Public Health Dorset. The profile of BCP Council had been raised through the Chief Executives role as one of three Chief Executives representing local Councils in the south west region with the Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government (MHCLG), this included direct calls with policy staff in central government. A number of services were beginning to resume including household recycling centres, green waste and car parks. The Leader of the Council explained that less staff were now being redeployed and were moving back into their normal roles. The Leader had also been undertaking regular live Facebook Q&A sessions. The Leader emphasised the importance of maintaining democratic engagement in a ‘new’ normal along with community engagement through the Q&A and community hub and use of apps and AI to help with community engagement. Work with town Centre business and the hospitality industry was underway. She advised that the unitary Councils network were now regularly included on fortnightly calls with the MHCLG. Local MPs had been supportive of the issues raised by the Council in terms of this engagement. Work on the Discretionary Business Grants scheme was also taking place following the issuing of guidance.

 

A number of issues were raised by the Board including:

·     In paragraph three of the report there was reference to an initial recovery impact assessment report. The Chief Executive advised that this was something that they were still working on with the Local Recovery Forum. South West Councils were also appointing consultants to work on the overall economic impact across the area.

·     Car Parking - A Councillor asked about the main pros and cons of reopening. The leader advised that conversations had taken place Conversations had taken place with the police which concluded that the police had no powers to prevent anyone from travelling anywhere they chose to with a day. However, the message from the Council being promoted was to ‘come back later’ and locally if it was busy to think again and return home. Therefore, as it seemed apparent that as people would travel anyway the Council wanted to reduce the impact on local residents and illegal parking.

·     In paragraph 9 of the report referred to testing for Covid-19 at Creekmoore Park and Ride. There were relatively low numbers of staff needing to be tested and questioned if this was the same across the area and asked about contact tracing and tracking. The Chief Executive advised that the numbers  ...  view the full minutes text for item 166.

167.

BCP Council's Recovery and Reset Phase in response to Covid-19

To consider an update on the Council’s actions in relation to how the recovery work and budget resolution is developing with regards to the impact of the Corona Virus.  Along with verbal updates at the meeting, a BCP Council Finance Update Cabinet paper will support the Board’s consideration of this issue. 

 

The report will be published on Thursday 7 May 2020 and will be available to view at the following link:

 

https://democracy.bcpcouncil.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=285&MId=4252&Ver=4

 

The following councillors are invited, along with relevant officers, to attend for this item and provide updates in relation to their service areas:

 

Councillor Vikki Slade, Leader of the Council

Councillor David Brown, Portfolio Holder for Finance

 

The Chairmen of the other Overview and Scrutiny Committees of the Council are also invited to attend and participate in this item.

 

Minutes:

The Chairman advised the Board that as part of this item they were also asked to consider the BCP Financial Update Cabinet Report a copy of which is attached at Appendix B to the Cabinet minutes of 27 May in the Minute Book. The Portfolio Holder for finance introduced the report and explained that Appendix 1 outlined how the first tranche of finance had been used. Three different scenarios were outlined. It was noted that for financial management purposes there was an assumption based on a 24-week period. A full budget review would be taken to the Cabinet meeting in June.

 

A Board member asked whether there were sufficient reserves to carry the Council through. The Portfolio Holder responded that the current financial situation would be addressed in a number of ways. It was noted that the adequacy of reserves would need to be reviewed and there may be a need to consider releasing the budget contingency.

Questions were raised regarding the modelling exercise and whether a more nuanced exercise was needed. The Portfolio Holder advised that the situation was obviously very fluid, and all estimates were based on professional advice but the number would change with the situation. The current modelling provided a good target to aim for in terms of savings and contingencies. A Board member commented that consistent and detailed review of modelling was needed on a regular basis and asked that this be shared outside of the Cabinet group.

There was a concern raised that there was nothing to respond to on the recovery phase at the present time.

A Councillor asked if the finance paper expected in June would cover both 24 week and 48 week budget scenarios. It was confirmed that the paper was anticipated to outline the 24 week scenario. It was felt that this was a fairly prudent approach. This would mean £31million budget gap but it was acknowledged that it was a changing situation. A Councillor asked about how the 48 week figures were arrived at as it looked almost like a doubling across all areas. Some would have been based on a straight line assumption but some were more nuanced based on the income receipt and impacts throughout the year.

The Chief Financial Officer commented that the 24 week scenario was based towards the end of August through to transition in September. This would still need to be kept under review as the year goes on due to the level of uncertainty and take action accordingly.

A Councillor requested further information on the science behind the report and asked if this could be shared wider. It was noted that some of the baseline information was contained within Appendix 2 of the report.

168.

Scrutiny of the Children's Services Capital Strategy Cabinet Report

To consider the Children’s Services Capital Strategy Cabinet Report

The O&S Board is asked to scrutinise the report and make recommendations to Cabinet as appropriate.

Cabinet member invited to attend for this item: Councillor Sandra Moore, Portfolio Holder for Children and Families

The Cabinet report will be published on Thursday 7 May and available to view at the following link:

https://democracy.bcpcouncil.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=285&MId=4252&Ver=4

 

The Chairman of the Children’s Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee is invited to attend for this item.

Minutes:

The Chairman asked the Portfolio Holder for Children and Families to introduce the report a copy of which had been circulated and which appears as Appendix J to the Cabinet minutes of 18 March 2020 in the Minute Book .The Portfolio Holder advised that the report set out the capital strategy for 2020-23. The report outlined the capital projects currently approved and proposed funding allocations for new projects. The Board raised a number of issues with regards to the report including:

 

·     The repurposing of the Bournemouth Learning Centre into a school for SEND pupils as announced today. The Director of Quality and Commissioning advised that information on this proposed project was provided to ward Councillors today and would be going out to further consultation. A Councillor expressed their disappointment that ward councillors had not been notified of this previously

·     A Councillor asked if there was already a significant shortage of places where were pupils currently. It was noted that the Council had turned to private providers to supply the additional places required which has an impact on both costs of provision and the costs of transportation to schools.

·     A comment was made regarding he cost of the feasibility study for Linwood School. It was noted that this did appear to be fairly excessive at an estimated cost of £100k. The Director explained that considerable invasive investigative work was required for this site. However, the cost provided in the report was considered to be the worst case scenario and that these costs would be minimised where ever possible.

·     A member of the Board commented that this was a three year strategy but the only financial details provided were for the first year of the strategy with no further figures suggested for future projects. The Capital funding shown in appendix B of the report was that had been currently allocated to the Council but future forecasts were not being made at present due to issues with changes to funding formulas and potential reprioritising of resources by the DfE and therefore historic allocations may not be appropriate. However more detailed funding would be brought back when appropriate.

The Board asked about the impact of home to school transport provision. In line with the SEND policy a school would be named on the EHCP and more local provision would help the options available. Pupils with EHCP may be travelling to schools further away and additional local provision should help reduce journeys.