Agenda and draft minutes

Overview and Scrutiny Committee - Tuesday, 23rd February, 2021 6.00 pm

Venue: Via Skype for Business

Contact: David Penrose  Democratic Services Officer

Link: Watch_the_Meeting

Items
No. Item

78.

Apologies for Absence

To receive any apologies for absence.   

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Cllr Wigman.

79.

Minutes of Previous Meetings pdf icon PDF 124 KB

To note and approve the Minutes of the meetings held on the 11th November 2020 and the 26th January 2021.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Minutes of the meeting held on the 26 January 2021 were approved.

80.

Declarations of Interest

To receive and record any declarations of interest from members present in respect of any of the various matters on the agenda for this meeting.

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

81.

Chairman's Announcements

To receive any announcements.

Minutes:

There were no Chairman’s announcements.     

82.

Consideration of Amendments to the 2021/22 Budget submitted by the Liberal Democrat Group pdf icon PDF 117 KB

To give consideration to Amendments to the 2021/22 Budget submitted by the Liberal Democrat Group. 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee received the amendments to the 2021/22 budget submitted by the Liberal Democrat Group.

 

The Monitoring Officer reported that these amendments had come to Overview & Scrutiny under Standing Order 18.3 of the new constitution, under which any amendments to Cabinets’ recommendations to Full Council in relation to calculating the budget requirement and setting the Council tax must be submitted in writing and received by the Monitoring Officer by 4pm on the seventh day after the meeting of Cabinet. Such amendments, together with the recommendations of the Cabinet, would be referred to the Overview & Scrutiny Committee which would report to the Full Council meeting at which the Full Council calculates the budget and sets the Council Tax. 

 

The Committee noted the first proposed amendment together with the Section 151 Officer’s reply.  As the leader of the Lib Dem group, Cllr Hunt stated that this amendment had been submitted in order to help provide additional support to local businesses.  Following the Prime Minister’s announcement of a road map out of the present Covid 19 lockdown.  The Liberal Democrat Group were open to discussion as to ways that this might be achieved.

 

In the ensuing discussion the following points were made:

 

·         That there appeared to be no justification behind the proposed amendment, but that the Section 151 Officer’s statement had added clarity to the Council’s position.

 

·         That whilst the idea sounded sensible, it was financially impractical and had little impact on the high street, as had been shown when a similar scheme was introduced in Midhurst.

 

Councillor Hunt said that, given the additional information in the Section 151 Officers report, he was content to withdraw the second amendment on parking permit charges.

 

The Committee noted the third proposed amendment, and Councillor Hunt said that the £250k provision for Environmental Projects included in this years’ budget was welcome. He believed, however, that an assistant for the Climate and Environmental Officer would be helpful in conducting research and other activities in order to free up time for the Climate and Environment Officer to undertake project work. 

 

In the ensuing discussion, the following points were made:

 

  • That whilst the sentiment behind the recommendation was to be applauded, it was not a cost-effective suggestion and the Climate and Environment Officer was supported by officers within Corporate Support and the Regeneration and Placemaking. The council would seek to offer a placement for an apprentice to work with the Climate and Environmental Officer during the next financial year.

 

Councillor Hunt introduced the fourth proposed amendment which was a suggestion that a share of central government financial help for covid-19 that has been received by East Hampshire District Council be passed down to Town and Parish Councils. Provision should be made to grant Town and Parish Councils the same pro-rata support.

 

The Committee noted the Section 151 Officers comments in her report that Town and Parish Councils represented 4.6% of the overall Council Tax Bill, whilst EHDC proportion was 7.2%. Town and Parish Councils (TPCs) had no annual  ...  view the full minutes text for item 82.

83.

Work Programme pdf icon PDF 348 KB

The committee will

 

a)    note the Work Programme and suggest further items for consideration, where appropriate;

 

b)    Receive an update on the Hordean Community Association Funding Grant – Cllr Hill;

 

c)    Receive an update on the progress of the Task & Finish Group on Digital Strategy and;

 

d)    Receive an update on the progress of the Task & Finish Group on Property Portfolio.

Minutes:

Councillor Hill provided an update on the Work of the Task & Finish Group on the funding to Horndean Community Association.  He said that the Group had had its first meting shortly after the previous meeting of this Committee, on the 28 January, and had subsequently held several meetings a week from that point onwards.  The issue surrounding Hordean Community Association had a long history, as the Grant had initially been budgeted in 2011.   The Group had met with the Ward Councillor, had submitted a number of questions to the Hordean Community Association, and had met with the Trustees of the Association on the 22nd February.  A report would be provided to the next meeting of the Committee.

 

Councillor Hunt provided an updated on the Task & Finish Group on Digital Strategy.  There had been a delay in getting this Review off the ground, but he said that he had met with the Head of Programmes, Redesign and Quality and an updated path for the Review had been agreed.  The intention was to explore the approach and IT needs surrounding Digital Democracy in order to inform service design and ensure an inclusive approach across the Council.

Throughout this work, the Task & Finish Group would also test the fit with the relevant Digital Design Principles within the Digital Strategy. 

 

There would be meetings to discuss the MyEastHants Portal and the Planning White Paper and Implications for Future Service Design

 

RESOLVED: That the Work Programme be noted.

84.

Date of Next Meeting

To note that the next meeting will be held at 6pm on the 8th April 2021.

Minutes:

It was noted that the next meeting would be held on the 8th April 2021