Venue: Astley Room - Castle. View directions
Contact: Jayne Briscoe 2250
An apology was received from Councillor Driver. Councillor Rout attended the meeting as substitute.
DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
There were no declarations of interest stated.
The Party Whip
The Chair explained how scrutiny was intended to operate outside the party whip system and asked each member, on an individual basis, to declare whether or not they were subject to the party whip. All of the members of the Scrutiny Committee confirmed that they were not subject to the party whip.
The Chair confirmed the process for the Committee reviewing the call-ins and clarified that the debates would conclude with Members being asked to either reject the call ins or to support them and refer the matters back to Cabinet. He confirmed that there was no opportunity to refer the matters to full Council because the proposals fell within the budget and policy framework.
Councillor Stubbs, as the lead call in member presented the reasons for the call-in in respect of the University Growth Corridor as set out on the call-in form. Councillor Stubbs considered that the decision making process was inadequate for the size of the development proposed and sought a more detailed scrutiny of the proposal by the Finance, Assets and Performance Scrutiny Committee.
The Head of Paid Service and Interim Chief Executive confirmed that the proposal was within the budget and policy framework rules.
It was explained that the proposals represented a feed into the early stages of policy formulation which would ultimately result in the Local Plan adoption at a Full Council meeting. In addition it was confirmed that any legal and technical costs arising from the Local Plan process were included in the budgetary proposals.
Councillor Northcott, as Cabinet member for Planning and Growth, explained that the report under consideration was the first step on the consultation journey to include the site in the Joint Local Plan and that the process would offer future opportunities for challenge.
The Leader confirmed that the decision making process in respect of the Local Plan would conclude at Council.
Scrutiny members questioned the Call-In representative and the Cabinet members as decision takers.
Members pointed out that their concerns had been raised at the Scrutiny Committee (26/9/2018) and were assured that their views would be taken into account throughout the Planning process. The Leader gave a commitment that the Scrutiny Committee would be given a further opportunity to examine the proposals.
It was confirmed that affordable housing would be included in the development and that there was an opportunity for the Council to commission a Development Brief to address concerns about density, quality and layout of any new housing.
The potential benefits of the scheme including opportunities for new skilled and high value employment were outlined. Also the potential community benefits of the proposals that could be derived from such infrastructure improvements and community facilities were outlined.
Members resolved to reject the Call-In.
Resolved: That the Call-In be rejected.
Councillor Kearon, as the Lead Call-In member, presented the reason for the Call-In of the Recycling Strategy. Councillor Kearon acknowledged the work of officers and members but felt that the options needed further member level scrutiny.
Councillor Johnson, as Cabinet member for Environment and Recycling explained the background to the decision which had been taken and outlined how the proposed recycling service had been trialled within the Borough.
The Leader stated that there was no evidence to suggest that the charge for collection of green waste would lead to an increase in fly tipping.
The Leader asked the Committee to carry out a bi-monthly review of the recycling service.
Continuing members questioned the Cabinet members on the risk assessment carried out, the planned savings, the options in respect of green waste generated as a result of Community Work Days, self-funding alternatives to charging for green waste, communication plan, evidence in respect of impact of charges and measures to mitigate the effects of an increase of fly tipping.
Councillor Johnson explained that a specialised team would be available to remedy any ‘grot spots’ and that an increase in the activity of this team could be considered.
Resolved: That the decision to agree a preferred option for the introduction of a new kerbside recycling service which included a charge for the collection of green waste be referred back to the decision maker for further consideration.
DATE OF NEXT MEETING - 13 DECEMBER 2018