Venue: Committee Room, Municipal Buildings, West Street, Boston PE21 8QR
Contact: Pippa Rose, Democratic Services Officer Tel. no: 01205 314228 Email: Pippa.email@example.com
To receive apologies for absence and notification of substitutes (if any).
Apologies were received from Councillors Alan Bell and Martin Howard. Councillor Paul Goodale attended as Councillor Bell’s substitute and Councillor Judith Welbourn attended as Councillor Howard’s substitute.
To sign and confirm the minutes of the last meeting.
The minutes of the previous meeting were agreed by the Committee and signed by the Chairman.
DECLARATION OF INTERESTS
To receive declarations of interests in respect of any item on the agenda.
Councillor Tom Ashton declared an interest in the report relating to Mayoral Support due to holding office as the current Deputy Mayor.
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 Monday 4th April 2022
A report by the Assistant Director – Governance and Monitoring Officer
The Monitoring Officer introduced a report which explained that in 2016, the Council approved the Council’s transformation plan, which included a target for financial savings of £90,000 from the Civic and Mayoral budget. A review was undertaken and consideration was given to the proposals by the Corporate and Community Committee on 4January 2018 and Cabinet on 21 February 2018.
The decisions taken included removing the services of a Mayor’s Officer and the Mayoral car, with future Mayor’s being expected to drive themselves to engagements and be responsible for the Mayoral chains whilst on duty. A copy of the report was attached at Appendix A.
The Chairman of the Committee had asked that Mayoral support be considered by the Committee in order to evaluate whether the current circumstances remained adequate and fit for purpose.
Those members who had previously held the office of Mayor spoke of their experiences for the information of the Committee. Members who held the office before 2018 shared their experiences of being Mayor prior to the changes in support being introduced.
Some members expressed their concern following the release of a news article which related to the arrangements for storage of the Mayoral chains and their estimated value. Members voiced their disappointment that the information had been published in the public domain based on comments from fellow Councillors, which had consequently raised concerns for the Mayor’s safety when attending public engagements.
All members were in agreement that having a Mayor’s Officer not only provided safety assurance to the Mayor but also provided a ceremonial and stately image to the office of Mayor, particularly when attending public events, which was then held in high regard.
Having fully debated the issues raised by the previous review of civic arrangements, the Committee proposed that the most productive way forward would be to establish a Task and Finish Group to fully investigate the options available going forward and the future role of the Mayor.
RESOLVED: That a Task and Finish Group be established to conduct a detailed review of the current level of support to the Mayor.
A report by the Assistant Director – Governance and Monitoring Officer
The Monitoring Officer presented a report, which outlined a proposal for the three Council’s in the South & East Lincolnshire Councils Partnership to undertake joint scrutiny on matters of common strategic importance and the proposed process to achieve this. The report, also proposed the establishment of a Joint ICT Strategy Task and Finish Group.
The report stated that the establishment of a joint scrutiny function to consider matters in depth from a partnership perspective would be beneficial and support the co-ordinated partnership approach.
At an initial meeting between the Chairmen of the Council’s scrutiny committees a list of potential scrutiny items was considered, largely taken from the Annual Delivery Plan. It was recognised that whilst scrutiny committees would wish to identify their own priorities for joint scrutiny there was general support for a Joint Task and Finish Group to consider an ICT Strategy. The proposed scope for the review was set out at Appendix B of the report. It was noted that the Group would not begin to meet immediately as it was anticipated that transport would be the first scrutiny topic to be considered.
The Chairman of Environment and Performance informed the Committee that at the last meeting it was agreed that a Joint Transport Task and Finish Group be created.
1. That the proposals for joint scrutiny arrangement, as set out in Appendix A, be approved.
2. That the scope for the proposed Joint ICT Strategy Task and Finish Group, as set out in Appendix B, be approved.
3. That three members be appointed to the proposed Joint ICT Strategy Task and Finish Group.
4. That the Task and Finish Group be authorised to determine the detail of its remit and the required lines of enquiry and witnesses.
A report by the Anti-Social Behaviour Officer
The Community Safety Officer presented a report which provided an overview of the Council’s safeguarding activity from 1 April 2021 to 31st March 2022, which sought to provide assurance that the Council was vigilant in keeping people safe and to challenge any areas which could further improve the Council’s current approach to guard against complacency.
The report stated that all agencies, including District Councils, were required to comply with national legislation, statutory guidance and locally agreed multi-agency policies and procedures in order to safeguard children and adults, including those affected by domestic abuse, child abuse, violent extremism, hate crime, county lines and modern slavery.
The Council’s Safeguarding Policy was subject to an annual review to reflect any changes in national legislation or guidance, local procedures and learning from audits and case reviews. The policy, which was now a joint policy with East Lindsey District Council, was approved in May 2021 and all staff and councillors had been asked to sign the updated policy.
The Council was proactive in supporting the Prevent agenda which sought to identify, support and protect those at risk of becoming involved in violent extremism. A senior manager had been identified as the Prevent lead for the Council. Training was provided as part of the safeguarding training programme for staff and Councillors, which was currently being updated as part of the policy review.
The Council’s Safeguarding Strategic Plan for 2021/22 was attached at Appendix B and identified key tasks for the year. The plan remained flexible to meet needs which could not be foreseen, such as an incident which required officer involvement in a Serious Case Review or a Domestic Homicide Review and resulted in other activity being rescheduled.
A full overview of the activity undertaken from 1 April 2021 to 31 March 2022 was set out in Appendix A and identified which tasks had been completed, or were on track/in progress or overdue/concerns for delivery.
Members questioned why a number of the actions in the activity summary were red which indicated being overdue or areas of concern for delivery. The Community Safety Officer assured Members that activities with a red status had been improved upon since the report was produced.
The Committee noted the report.
(For Members to note/discuss the Committee’s current work programme)
The Committee added; Housing Benefit Update, Guildhall Covid Recovery update and Cultural Strategy to the next meeting on the 26th May.
Members also discussed bringing the United Lincolnshire Hospital Trust item to a joint scrutiny meeting at a later date, allowing members from both Committee’s the opportunity to be a part of the meeting.