Agenda and minutes

Overview and Scrutiny Committee
Tuesday, 2nd June, 2020 7.00 pm

Venue: This meeting will be held virtually using Microsoft Teams.

Contact: James Dearling 

Note: As a member of the public, you can dial into the meeting using: 0203 855 4748 ID: 858 305 671# This will enable you to hear the meeting's proceedings live. You will not be able to view the meeting live; a recording will be uploaded afterwards. Please pre-fix the number shown above with 141 to ensure your personal telephone number is not shown online. Please check with your phone provider to ensure the 141 functionality works as you may need to restrict your number from within your phone's settings. 


No. Item


Apologies for Absence and Notification of Substitute Members

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The Committee was advised of an apology for absence from Councillor Patrick Sheard and a substitute as detailed above.



Local Code of Conduct and Declaration of Disclosable Pecuniary Interests

In accordance with the local Code of Conduct, a councillor is required to disclose at the meeting any Disclosable Pecuniary Interest (DPI) that they may have in respect of any matter for consideration on this agenda.  Any councillor with a DPI must not participate in any discussion or vote regarding that matter and they must withdraw from the meeting immediately before consideration of the matter.


If that DPI has not been registered, the councillor must notify the Monitoring Officer of the details of the DPI within 28 days of the date of the meeting.


Councillors are further invited to disclose any non-pecuniary interest which may be relevant to any matter on this agenda, in the interests of transparency, and to confirm that it will not affect their objectivity in relation to that matter.


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There were no declarations of Disclosable Pecuniary Interests.



Minutes pdf icon PDF 244 KB

To confirm the minutes of the Committee meeting held on 3 March 2020.


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The minutes of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee meeting held on 3 March 2020 were agreed.



Response to COVID-19 pdf icon PDF 738 KB

A presentation on the Council’s response will be given at the meeting.


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The Chairman stated that the aim of the meeting was to provide Councillors and the public with an overview and update about the Council’s response to COVID-19.  With reference to the critical friend role of overview and scrutiny, the Chairman indicated that the Committee would provide direct support and challenge to the Executive and senior officers and aim to be a forum for Councillors to feed into and help the Council response.


The Leader of the Council introduced the Council’s response to COVID-19.  She praised the efforts and adjustments made by Council staff and the Borough’s residents and businesses during the crisis.  The Leader of the Council indicated that the financial implications of the crisis would require the Council to review all its activities.  She advised the meeting that lessons for the future would be learnt from the experience of the crisis.


The Managing Director gave a presentation outlining the Council’s response to COVID-19.  He outlined the impact of the crisis, including its mortality rates, together with the restrictions on people’s lives and the economic implications.  The meeting was reminded of timelines and governance relating to COVID-19 and advised of the Council services that had been maintained and suspended in the crisis.  In addition, the Managing Director informed the meeting of the new and extended services delivered by the Council during the emergency.


The Managing Director provided details of the help and support for the Borough’s vulnerable residents, including food parcels and prescriptions delivered.  The meeting was advised of the communications efforts undertaken by the Council with residents during the crisis and the aid provided to local businesses, which included grants to local businesses totalling over £19 million and a business rates holiday totalling almost £41 million.


The Managing Director’s presentation outlined the impact of the crisis on staff, including redeployment of 87 staff and over 300 home working.  The Committee was advised that there had been no increase in sickness absence and low levels of COVID-19 symptoms amongst staff.  He indicated that a staff survey would be undertaken on home working and the levels of support staff needed and other experiences.


The Director of Resources presented headline details of the financial impact of the crisis on the Council.  She indicated that the Council had received £1.5 million emergency funding from central government.  She informed the meeting that no further funding from government would be forthcoming in the immediate future.  The Director of Resources advised that Council expenditure on the crisis was forecast to be £1.9 million by July 2020, with an additional £9.6 million projected as lost income.  The presentation to the Committee showed lost income from car parking to be over £5.5 million, from planning and development control over £850k, from sports and leisure over £400k, and from tourism over £200k.  The Committee was advised that the figures presented were based on a four-month lockdown period, rather than the shorter lockdown confirmed by recent government announcements.  The Director of Resources indicated that the Council could need to call  ...  view the full minutes text for item OS4


Date and time of next meeting

The next scheduled meeting of the Committee is Tuesday 7 July at 7.00pm.

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The Chairman advised that the next meeting of the Committee was scheduled for 7 July 2020 at 7.00pm.  He suggested that if Committee members wished to move to an earlier start time then they contact himself, the Vice-Chairman, or the Senior Democratic Services Officer (Scrutiny).


RESOLVED:  That the agenda for the 7 July 2020 Committee meeting include the following previously scheduled items: North Downs Housing Limited, a question session with the Lead Councillor for Environment, and the Overview and Scrutiny Annual Report.