Overview and Scrutiny Committee
Thursday, 31st January, 2019 7.00 pm - Agenda and minutes

Venue: Council Offices, Farnborough

Contact: Administrator, Adele Taylor  Tel. (01252) 398831, Email.  adele.taylor@rushmoor.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

23.

Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 74 KB

To confirm the Minutes of the Meeting held on 13th December, 2018 (copy attached).

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 13th December, 2018 were agreed as a correct record.

24.

Exclusion of the Public

To consider resolving:

 

That, subject to the public interest test, the public be excluded from this meeting during the discussion of the undermentioned item to avoid the disclosure of exempt information within the paragraph of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act, 1972 indicated against such item:

 

Item                Schedule      Category

No.                  12A Para.

                        No.

 

6                      3                      Information relating to financial or business affairs

 

Minutes:

RESOLVED: That, taking into account the public interest test, the public be excluded from the meeting during the discussion of the under mentioned items to avoid the disclosure of exempt information within the paragraph of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act, 1972 indicated against the items:

 

Minute                       Schedule         Category

Nos.                           12A Para.

                                    No.

 

25                                3                       Information relating to financial or                                                                          business affairs

25.

Call-In - Aldershot Regeneration Site Assembly

In accordance with the provisions set out in the Overview and Scrutiny procedure rules, a request has been received from the following Members to call-in minute No. 71 from the Cabinet meeting on 8th January, 2019:

 

Cllr Alex Crawford

Cllr Terry Bridgeman

Cllr Keith Dibble

Cllr Sue Dibble

Cllr Jennifer Evans

Cllr Barry Jones

Cllr Nadia Martin

Cllr Mike Roberts

 

The reason given for the call-in request is that the resolution of the Cabinet was made on the basis of inadequate information.

 

Attached for information are Exempt Report No. RP1901, which sets out matters regarding the acquisition of properties in relation to the regeneration of Aldershot town centre and a copy of the relevant draft minute of the Cabinet meeting on 8th January, 2019.

 

Minutes:

The Committee was advised of the submission of a request to call-in the resolution made by the Cabinet on 8th January, 2019 in relation the Aldershot Regeneration Site Assembly. The request for call-in had been submitted by Cllrs. Alex Crawford, Terry Bridgeman, Keith Dibble, Sue Dibble, Jennifer Evans, Barry Jones, Nadia Martin and Mike Roberts.

 

The Committee was advised that should the call-in request be rejected the decision made by the Cabinet on 8th January, 2019 would take effect as of 1st February, 2019. If the call-in request was accepted, a report would be made to Cabinet at its next meeting on 5th February, 2019.

 

Cllr. Crawford attended the meeting to present the call0in request and the reasons behind it. The Members who had submitted the call-in felt that the information given to the Cabinet at the time had been inadequate and had not provided a full picture of the current situation with the particular property referred to in Exempt Report No. RP1901. It was suggested that there was an absence of knowledge regarding the quality of work carried out in the past two years at the property and it was felt that the Council were unlikely to see a financial return and would subsequently have to write off the purchase price to allow the scheme to move ahead.  It was felt that the Council was taking a reputational risk in paying an inflated price for the property to save time and the information provided did not provide the necessary justification for the decision.

 

Cllr. Tennant, Major Projects and Property Portfolio Holder, addressed the meeting on behalf of the Cabinet. Cllr. Tennant advised that the Cabinet had received both Exempt Report No. 1901 and a verbal report from the Chief Executive on the evening of 8th January, 2019. It was noted that the purchase of the particular property would allow the redevelopment of the site as a whole. Other options would be to carry out a Compulsory Purchase Order, which could complicate/delay the process or not acquire the site and work around the property, this could have implications if the development was considered substandard and may affect the viability of the overall project. In addition, Housing Infrastructure Funding (HIF) secured for the regeneration of Aldershot to the value of £8 million, could be put at risk as the funding terms stated that the monies should be spent within a strict timeframe. He felt strongly that the council had considered the options thoroughly and based its decision on sound and comprehensive information.

 

The Chief Executive, Mr. Paul Shackley advised that the Council had previously agreed to give powers of delegation to the Chief Executive in consultation with the Major Projects and Property Portfolio Holder, to negotiate and acquire properties. In this case, the Chief Executive had referred the decision back to the Cabinet for consideration. The Committee also noted that due diligence was being carried out on the property and this was expected to take a few more days. The Chief  ...  view the full minutes text for item 25.

26.

Cabinet Champions - Work Programmes

The Cabinet Champions have been invited to the meeting to explain their current work programmes and progress to date. The work areas for the Champions in 2018/19 are as follows:

 

·       Cllr Sue Carter – Education and Youth

·       Cllr Liz Corps – Events and Civic Pride

·       Cllr Jacqui Vosper – Armed Forces

 

A Member of the Cabinet will also be in attendance.

Minutes:

The Chairman welcomed Cllr. Ken Muschamp, Deputy Leader of the Council, and Cllrs Sue Carter, Liz Corps and Jacqui Vosper who were in attendance at the meeting to give an overview of their role as Cabinet Champions.

 

The Deputy Leader gave an introduction to the Cabinet Champion roles and explained how they had been created under the new governance structure. The purpose of the roles was to focus on specific themes or priorities not sitting within a portfolio. For 2018/19 three areas, had been established:

 

·         Education and Youth

·         Events and Civic Pride

·         Armed Forces

 

Cllr Muschamp explained that the Champions’ focus was to influence areas where the Cabinet had no allocated resources, statutory right or other way to engage with. It was hoped that the Champions could liaise with, befriend and influence partners to build good working relationships.

 

The Committee then received an update from each Champion:

 

Education and Youth – Cllr Carter considered the Champion role was important to building relations with schools and local youth organisations and leading the Council’s work.

 

Key projects for 2018/19 had included:

           

·         Farnborough College of Technology Shadowing Programme – the project had been designed to encourage young people’s interest in local democracy. To date students had participated in an introduction to local government and a councillor/student engagement event. The next stage in the programme would be to pair students with councillors for shadowing purposes.

 

·         Raising Aspirations – The Council was supporting this project being run by Hampshire County Council. The Council had funded ten local primary schools to participate in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) projects, which would bring engineering and engineers into the classroom to inspire children and teachers through professional development and training, classwork and competitions. This project would commence in January, 2019. The Council was also working alongside Enterprise M3 to engage with secondary schools Robotics Challenge.

 

·         Youth Service Provider Forum – The Forum aimed to work locally to pull together providers of youth services to encourage multi agency joined up work. The first meeting of the Forum would take place on 11th February, to which 22 organisations had agreed to attend.

 

·         Youth Influence Group – The Champion had set up an all-inclusive group of young people to debate issues specific to them. Ultimately the Champion would like to create a Mayor’s Youth Council.

 

Cllr Carter also referred to a range of other activities that she was driving forward and answered members questions.

 

Events and Civic Pride – It was explained that the purpose of the role was to promote events and civic pride and complement other work in this area undertaken by the Council.

 

Cllr Corps then reported on the key projects being undertaken in 2018/19:

 

·         Aftermath Event – the Champion had supported the work to set up an event in November to mark the 100-year anniversary of the end of World War 1. Four local historians had presented a local perspective on the area at this time. An exhibition of pictures and artefacts had accompanied  ...  view the full minutes text for item 26.

27.

Decision Making Structure

To carry out a review of the new structure since it was introduced in May, 2018. A presentation will be made by the Head of Democracy, Strategy and Partnerships (Andrew Colver) on the background to the structure, progress and potential areas for consideration by the Committee.

Minutes:

This items was postponed until the following meeting.

28.

Work Plan pdf icon PDF 237 KB

To review the current work plan (copy attached).

Minutes:

The Committee noted the current work programme.