Agenda and draft minutes

Overview and Scrutiny Committee
Wednesday, 6th March 2019 6.00 p.m.

Venue: Morecambe Town Hall

Contact: Jenny Kay, Democratic Services - telephone (01524) 582065 or email  jkay@lancaster.gov.uk 

Items
No. Item

30.

Minutes

Minutes of the Meeting held on Wednesday, 20th February, 2019.

Minutes:

The Minutes of the meeting held on 20th February 2019 were signed by the Chairman as a correct record.

31.

Investment Strategy - Process for Overview and Scrutiny pdf icon PDF 82 KB

This item is being considered at the Council meeting on 27th February 2019 when the recommendation is to make a referral to the Overview and Scrutiny Committee.

 

The Council report is attached.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee was reminded that at the Council meeting on 27th February 2019, Council had agreed :-

 

“(4)      Council requires Scrutiny Committee to consider and approve the detailed             scrutiny process and recommend any changes to the procedure rules.

 

(5)        Council requires the Overview and Scrutiny Committee to consider a work             programme to include i) review the effectiveness and outcomes of any             individual decision ii) carry out a review of the investment portfolio. Such review             to make any recommendations for improvement to the decision making or             governance by January 2020.”

 

Members considered the Property Investment Strategy process chart that had been agreed by Council the previous month.

 

The Committee discussed the number of proposed investments that might come forward. It was envisaged that officers would dismiss a high percentage of proposals, the Capital Strategy Group would dismiss more, therefore only the most appropriate proposals would be taken forward to ascertain due diligence and incur costs. 

 

It was noted that if the Capital Strategy Group had any hesitation at the final stage, it was a sign that the proposal should not go forward.

 

Members went on to discuss the various types of proposals that could come forward and the various benefits for the City Council. It was noted that some investments might not see a return immediately, but the benefits for the local community might outweigh this.

 

It was proposed by Councillor Nigel Goodrich and seconded by Councillor Alan Biddulph :-

 

“That the Overview and Scrutiny Committee approve the detailed scrutiny process that was considered by Council.”

 

Upon being put to the vote, 5 Members voted in favour of the proposition and 1 abstained whereupon the Chairman declared the proposition carried.

 

It was then proposed by Councillor Nigel Goodrich and seconded by Councillor Tracy Brown:-

 

“That the Overview and Scrutiny Committee add to its Work Programme for 2019-20 :

(i)            Review the effectiveness and outcomes of any individual decision

(ii)           Carry out a review of the investment portfolio

 

Such a review to make any recommendations for improvement to the decision making or governance by January 2020”

 

Upon being put to the vote, 5 Members voted in favour of the proposition and 1 abstained whereupon the Chairman declared the proposition carried.

 

Councillor Mace asked that it be recorded in the minutes that he had abstained from voting on both propositions.

 

Resolved :-

 

(1)          That the Overview and Scrutiny Committee approve the detailed scrutiny process that was considered by Council.

 

(2)        That the Overview and Scrutiny Committee add to its Work Programme for 2019-20 :

(i)         Review the effectiveness and outcomes of any individual decision

(ii)        Carry out a review of the investment portfolio

 

Such a review to make any recommendations for improvement to the decision making or governance by January 2020.

 

 

32.

Updates on the Eden (North) Project

To consider any updates. 

Minutes:

A briefing note was circulated giving details of the current situation with second homes and the Council tax that was raised within the district. Members were reminded that at the Committee meeting in January 2019, Members requested information on second home ownership from the Planning and also request confirmation on the second homes Council Tax levies.

 

Resolved :-

 

That the information be noted.

33.

Work Programme

To consider any issues.

Minutes:

The Committee considered a briefing note that the Chairman had requested regarding the City Council’s obligations to provide public funerals, as there was an increasing demand for public funerals at the Council’s expense.

 

In addition, the City Council had been approached by University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMBT) who had previously been arranging and meeting the costs of public funerals when people died whilst staying in hospital, even though it was under no legal obligation to do so. The UHMBT had formally notified the City Council that it would no longer take responsibility for the funeral arrangements of people who died during a stay in hospital and where no other proper arrangements were being taken care of. 

 

The UHMBT had offered the services of their chaplain and to pay for the fee for opening the crematorium chapel for public funerals.

 

Members discussed the current situation and the necessity for a policy for the officers to work with to protect them.

 

Resolved :-

 

It was agree that :

 

(1)  The Overview and Scrutiny Committee request officers to define a policy for Public Funerals based on the City Council’s current practice.

 

(2)  That officers ascertain the length of time the UHMBT will provide a chaplain and pay for the chapel fees.