Draft minutes

Select Committee Chairmen and Vice Chairmen's Group
Thursday, 4 July 2019 10.30 am

Proposed venue: County Hall, Kingston Upon Thames, KT1 2DN

Contact: Ross Pike 

Items
No. Item

16.

NOTES OF THE PREVIOUS MEETING

17.

REVIEW OF SELECT COMMITTEE SCRUTINY TO DATE

    Minutes:

    Key points raised during the discussion:

     

    Adults & Health

    1.    Cabinet Member for Adults and Public Health to meet with the Chairman and Vice-Chairmen monthly to share information. Jeff Harris is to stand down as Chairman. Have felt that the handover has left some gaps particularly on the health side. Agreed that a comprehensive induction to the health service was required.

    2.    Let the single item at last meeting go for as long as required. This meant it took two hours to conclude. Length of this item meant some Members did not stay for the afternoon session – need to make sure people are available for the whole of the allotted time for the meeting i.e. 10:00 to 15:00. Should de-brief sessions be added to the agenda to make Members aware of the commitment too?

    3.    The use of indicative timings on briefings was helpful for Chairmen but perhaps not for the other Committee Members. Consensus was that witnesses, particularly Cabinet Members, needed to devote their time to the meeting accordingly but that Cabinet Member attendance was generally good.

    4.    The group thought that there may be a gap in oversight around child social care cases transitioning to adult social care. A question was asked on how does the Council provide an understanding to CCGs on social care services.

    5.    The Vice-Chairman raised the extension of the sexual health services contract as an issue, Members did not receive any briefing. The Chairman of this group advised he would raise with the Chief Executive.

    6.    Members were reminded that the previous had a standing item covering the schedule of expiring contracts over £500K which could be reinstated.

    Actions:

    1.    Chairman of Group to raise issue of extending sexual health services contract without mention to relevant Select Committee with the Chief Executive. (Owner: Chris Botten)

    2.    Investigate whether scrutiny of social care transitions should be prioritised (Owner: Nick Darby, Bernie Muir)

    3.    Consider how to brief Members on the health system

    Children, Families, Lifelong Learning & Culture

    1.    Recent meeting brought together various witnesses for a good discussion on CAMHS performance and its transformation. Ran efficiently however, all three current co-optees were unable to attend which was a rare occurrence but unfortunate. The Chairman wrote to two Members who did not provide apologies to outline expectations and the impact on the committees of not attending or sending a substitute.

    2.    During induction there was agreement on Members staying until 15:00 if required. They discussed pre-meetings but these will not be with whole committee but did consider designating lead questioners. The Chairman and Vice-Chairman will sign off on suggested questions for Members and will expect Members to read papers so questions should not be asked solely for information purposes.

    3.    The Committee did agree to de-briefing sessions following each meeting.

     

    Resources & Performance:

    1.    This Committee has not met yet. There will be a fairly light formal agenda covering Cabinet Member priorities and the Q4 performance report. The Chairman advised that he will flag any  ...  view the full minutes text for item 17.

18.

FORWARD PLAN CHALLENGE SESSION

    Minutes:

    Key points raised during the discussion:

     

    1.    All forward plans were still draft and needed more work before they could be finalised. All Select Committees had attempted to not overload meetings so to allow them to react to emerging situations as required.

    2.    The exact timing of budget scrutiny sessions would need to be checked with Finance to make sure the requisite information would be available for scrutiny.

    3.    The topic of social care transitions was raised again. The Chairman of the group advised that a new Assistant Director for Learning Disabilities had been appointed in ASC which impact transitions. He would share details of other appointments as they are made by PPDC.

    4.    The Chairman of Children, Families, Lifelong Learning and Culture explained how the Committee would align with the Safeguarding Board to avoid duplication and to develop lines of enquiry. The Committee would not review Alternative Education provision in county in the medium term.

    5.    It was recommended that this committee take evidence from schools when scrutinising the Single Point of Access and that Local Committees may have a role in reviewing the implementation of the School Places Strategy. The Group agreed with the Leader’s plan for the Local Committees as a whole as they felt these could do more.

    6.    The Communities, Environment & Highways and Resources & Performance Select Committees would consider the formation of a joint task group to scrutinise the emerging asset strategy.

    7.    The Resources & Performance Select Committee would schedule budget scrutiny for October, November and January inviting the other Chairmen to participate in the latter meeting.

    8.    The Chairman of Communities, Environment & Highways would begin initial conversations with stakeholders to develop a scrutiny item that covers the work of the two LEPs in Surrey.

    9.    The Chairmen of Audit & Governance advised the group that his committee would be holding discussions on how to review the changes to the scrutiny model – how it would ascertain if the ‘feel’ of scrutiny had changed at the council.

19.

PROPOSAL FOR STANDING CABINET MEMBER ITEM pdf icon PDF 102 KB

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Key points raised during the discussion:

     

    1.    JO’R felt this item should be short, sharp and focused. The information should be circulated prior to the meeting. There was a risk that an item could impede accountability by giving it too much focus to the detriment of the rest of the agenda. There was agreement that papers that were too lengthy obscured real issues.

    2.    It was pointed out that there are already Cabinet Member reports to council. Should these be scrutinised more at our meetings?  How is this idea different? This would be more focused, more friendly and committees could seek more information beyond council report that is specific for more focus and attention.

    3.    The Chairman of the Group suggest that it provisionally adopt the suggestion and template before consultation with Leader in September.

    RESOLVED:

    To provisionally adopt the suggested item and template before holding consultation on the purpose, format and attendant demands on the Cabinet with the Leader at the September meeting of this Group.

20.

BUDGET SCRUTINY PROCESS pdf icon PDF 37 KB

21.

FORWARD PLAN pdf icon PDF 46 KB

    Minutes:

    Key points raised during the discussion:

     

    1.    Members recognised that the forward plan would be iterative and items would be added following discussion at each meeting.

    2.    The conversation with the Leader and Chief Executive should consider backbench involvement in the Cabinet’s responses to consultations such as the Heathrow expansion and more widely in ‘big ticket’ items that structurally impact the Council as a whole.

     

    Actions:

     

    1.    The Chairman of the Group and Committees Business Manager to develop an agenda for the item with the Leader and Chief Executive

    2.    The Committee Business Manager to draft a first version of an Executive – Scrutiny Protocol for comment by the Group prior to discussion at the September meeting

22.

DATE OF THE NEXT MEETING: 4 SEPTEMBER 2019