Agenda and draft minutes

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Items
No. Item

36.

Minutes of the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 200 KB

Meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee held on 7 January 2020.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee held on 7 January 2020 be confirmed and signed as a correct record.

37.

Members' Declarations of Interest

Members may make any declarations of interest at this point and may also make them at any point during the meeting.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest made at this stage of the meeting.

38.

Matters Arising Schedule pdf icon PDF 12 KB

Matters arising schedule setting out current position of previously agreed actions as at 10 February 2020.

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Minutes:

The Chairman stated all outstanding items had now been completed and the Matters Arising Schedule was noted.

39.

Partnership Working - Environment Agency pdf icon PDF 86 KB

The Committee will be joined by Mr John Ray and Mr Andrew Haigh, Senior Advisors with the Environment Agency.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chairman introduced Mr John Ray and Mr Andrew Haigh of the Environment Agency. She explained the initial invite to the Environment Agency had been made in the summer of 2019 and the purpose of inviting them had been to understand their roles and how to work together in times of need. She added that since making the first approach, there had since been several instances of flooding across the district and so there was an additional need to understand what had happened and how the Agency was working to reduce the risk of such incidents being repeated. She then handed the floor to Mr Ray and Mr Haigh.

 

Mr Ray introduced them both as Senior Flood Risk Advisors with the Environment Agency and although they covered different areas, West Lindsey sat in both catchments. He added that they had been provided with a brief for the evening, including a selection of pre-prepared questions and so in their presentation they had attempted to answer those questions. It was agreed that their presentation would be made available to Members after the meeting.

 

Members heard details of those involved with flood management including county councils, internal drainage boards, district councils and water and sewerage companies. Reference was also made to riparian landowners and the important role they could play in watercourse maintenance and oversight. The Committee was shown a map highlighting the area of West Lindsey, the split of the Environment Agency areas and the rivers and waterways covered within the district.

 

Information was given regarding the work undertaken by the Environment Agency including capital improvement projects (such as flood storage reservoirs and the Witham embankment strengthening), intermittent maintenance and the annual programme of maintenance. It was explained that aside from meteorological influences, the Agency also had to contend with ongoing difficulties such as badgers burrowing in embankments which, if left unchecked, could cause serious weaknesses in natural flood defences.

 

Members had specifically raised the issue of dredging, or de-silting, and whether the approach to this had changed in recent years. Mr Ray explained that the cost of such work was not always reflected in the result. He added that, where it would impact for example the workings of a flood defence structure, it would be routinely carried out to ensure the efficacy of the flood defence. In areas where it was not proven to have any significant benefit, dredging often proved too expensive. He noted that, as a result of recent floods, the Government had announced funding of £4billion nationwide and he demonstrated the improvement works this would effect for West Lindsey.

 

Mr Ray handed over to Mr Haigh who detailed the geographical area he covered and the programme of works which had been completed over recent years. There were many similarities in terms of routine maintenance and regular inspections however he stated there was increased inspection work underway at Morton as there were identified areas where the banks were lower and therefore at increased risk of flooding.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 39.

40.

Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 320 KB

The Committee can identify items for pre-decision scrutiny (also known as pre-scrutiny) from those detailed on the Forward Plan. These items can be selected during meetings of the Committee by a proposer, seconder and majority vote.

 

A maximum of four ‘pre-scrutiny’ items can be identified per municipal year, of which one remains as of 10 February 2020.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Note:              The meeting reconvened at 8:39pm

 

The Chairman explained that the Committee could identify items for pre-decision scrutiny (also known as pre-scrutiny) from those detailed on the Forward Plan. These items could be selected during meetings of the Committee by a proposer, seconder and majority vote. She added that a maximum of four ‘pre-scrutiny’ items could be identified per municipal year, of which one remained as of 10 February 2020.

 

A Member of Committee enquired about the report due at Regulatory Committee in March 2020 regarding the consultation on the extension of the district wide dog fouling Public Space Protection Order. It was felt that, as this was a district wide issue, it could be suitable for the Committee to have oversight of any actions. The Monitoring Officer explained that there would be further discussions around the issue of dog fouling at the meeting of Full Council in March and it would be prudent to await the outcome of those discussions.

 

With no further comments from Committee Members, the Forward Plan was noted.

41.

Committee Workplan pdf icon PDF 127 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee gave consideration to the work plan for upcoming meetings. The Democratic and Civic Officer highlighted there had been some suggestions for additions to the work plan at the previous meeting and explained that these would need to be formally proposed, seconded and voted upon in order to be added to the work plan.

 

The Democratic and Civic Officer brought Members’ attention to the suggested report for the Trinity Arts Centre, to look at the range of services and community outreach programmes, and explained this would be a standalone report to come before the Overview and Scrutiny Committee. She then explained that the suggestion to look at leisure provision across the district would be better suited as a theme for the Committee over the next civic year, rather than to ask for a one-off report. This would allow the Committee to look at all aspects of leisure provision, with regards to health and wellbeing, as well as inviting other agencies or involved parties to present at future meetings.

 

Members of the Committee agreed that this was a suitable way of addressing both areas of interest and so having been proposed, seconded and voted upon, it was

 

RESOLVED that

 

a)    a one off report regarding the work of the Trinity Arts Centre be requested for a future meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee; and

 

b)    the nominated theme for the Committee work plan for the 2020/2021 civic year be agreed as ‘leisure provision across the district’; and

 

c)    the work plan be received and noted. 

42.

Exclusion of Public and Press

To resolve that under Section 100 (A)(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the public and press be excluded from the meeting for the following item of business on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Act.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED that under Section 100 (A)(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the public and press be excluded from the meeting for the following item of business on the grounds that it involved the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Act.

43.

Pre-Scrutiny Caistor Southdale Development

Minutes:

The Monitoring Officer introduced the report regarding the proposed development in Caistor. He explained the purpose of pre-decision scrutiny was for the Committee to receive and review the details of the report as it was to be presented to the Corporate Policy and Resources Committee and to make recommendations to the policy committee where it was felt there were areas to be further addressed in order to support the proposed decision.

 

The Committee heard details of the proposals regarding the GP surgery and residential development. The history of the site was explained as well as the unique circumstances surrounding the proposed development. The financial implications of the proposals were explained in full as were the recommendations for the Corporate Policy and Resources Committee.

 

There was a question regarding the offset costs which was clarified by the Strategic Finance and Business Support Manager. It was also confirmed that the council would be employing the architect and so there would be the opportunity to have input into the design of the surgery with relation to an holistic health and wellbeing approach.

 

Following comments from several Members of Committee, there was consensus that the proposition was much needed in the area and was fully supported by Members. The Vice-Chairman asked, on behalf of Councillor Mrs D. Rodgers, whether the development would set a precedent for the council being able to influence similar schemes in other locations. The Monitoring Officer explained that, given the circumstances of this development, it was unlikely to be repeated across the district. However, Councillor O. Bierley as a Visiting Member commented that the potential to set an exemplar and be able to lobby for improvements in other areas of the district could not be underestimated.

 

Note:              Councillor D. Dobbie left the meeting at 9.12pm.

 

The Chairman thanked all present for their comments and reiterated what was being asked of the Committee. Based on the discussions and unanimous vote of Committee Members it was

 

            RESOLVED that

 

a)    The following pre-scrutiny comments and recommendations be provided in advance of the Corporate Policy and Resources Committee:

·         West Lindsey District Council to be involved with the planning and design of the medical centre;

·         A financial summary of the commitments involved in the project should be provided for ease of reference;

·         A further report to be brought before the Overview and Scrutiny Committee once the final specifications of the medical centre were ratified.

 

b)    The proposals contained within the report be supported and endorsed to the Corporate Policy and Resources Committee.