Venue: Guildhall, South Street, Boston, PE21 6H
Contact: Janette Collier, Senior Democratic Services Officer Tel. no: 01205 314227 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
To receive apologies for absence and notification of substitutes (if any).
There were apologies for absence from Councillors Martin Howard, Frank Pickett and Yvonne Stevens.
DECLARATION OF INTERESTS
To receive declarations of interests in respect of any item on the agenda.
To answer any written questions received from members of the public no later than 5 p.m. two clear working days prior to the meeting – for this meeting the deadline is 5 p.m. on Thursday 15th July 2021.
(For Members to populate the Committee’s work programme for 2021/22)
The date of the next meeting, to consider a community governance review, was confirmed as 19th August (subsequently changed to 17th August).
The Chief Executives of United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust (ULHT) and the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), and other relevant representatives, would be invited to attend the Committee’s September meeting, though consideration would be given to arranging a joint meeting with East Lindsey District Council.
Members were urged to submit questions in advance to enable guests to have relevant information available. There was a request for the representatives to provide information regarding the knock-on effects of the loss of the urology service on other emergency services.
(A report by Rob Barlow, Joint Chief Executive)
The Chief Executive presented a report, which outlined a proposal to extend the Council’s existing strategic alliance with East Lindsey District Council (ELDC) to include South Holland District Council (SHDC). The draft Business Case was attached to the report at Appendix A and the Memorandum of Agreement at Appendix B.
On 28th June 2021, Full Council had agreed ‘in principle’ to explore the opportunity to create a three-Council strategic partnership, resolving that the Business Case be presented at a Member Briefing and forwarded to the Committee for scrutiny. The all-Member Briefing had taken place on 14th July.
The Chief Executive gave a PowerPoint presentation of the draft Business Case and Memorandum of Agreement. The model proposed was, essentially, an extension of the existing two-Council alliance model, with each Council retaining its political independence and public accountability, supported by a shared workforce. It was proposed to call the new partnership the ‘South East Lincolnshire Councils Partnership’.
Reviewing the draft documents as part of the scrutiny process gave Members the opportunity to provide feedback to shape the documents so that they would be acceptable to Full Council.
In addition to the Committee’s scrutiny, a joint scrutiny panel between the current alliance Councils, Boston and ELDC, was being formed to scrutinise the draft Council report and associated documents.
Members were asked to review the draft documents and provide their findings and recommendations for inclusion as an Appendix to the report to Council on 2 August 2021, to order to inform the debate and ensure the governing documents were satisfactory to allow Members to progress with the partnership. They would also be forwarded to those Councillors at BBC and ELDC involved in the joint scrutiny exercise.
The Chief Executive concluded by informing Members that the partnership would be the largest in the country and was arousing national interest. Moving ahead with the proposal would put the Councils in a good position in terms of any forthcoming Devolution proposals. It was noted that each authority would retain its workforce; therefore, recruitment would be carried out to fill any vacancies that arose.
Following the Chief Executive’s presentation, Members’ comments included:
· Recognition of the significant opportunities the partnership would present in terms of economic development and speaking as a region with one voice
· The important increase in resilience that a larger workforce would provide and the ability to access more experienced staff to achieve more ambitious projects and attract more funding
· The chance to improve marketing to increase tourism and attract more businesses to the area
· The opportunities for staff to advance their careers and specialise
· Appreciation of the pace the process was taking
Concerns raised by Members included:
· The Council could risk losing its individual identity; it needed to be strengthened, not simply retained
· Customer service staff should have local knowledge
· The whole of the borough’s offer should be promoted more visibly
· The financial projections appeared speculative; other partners seemed to benefit more than Boston; and staffing costs could increase
In response to ... view the full minutes text for item 12.