That the Committee review the Executive’s current programme of Key Decisions to enable the identification of appropriate matters for the overview and scrutiny work programme and the overview of specific decisions proposed to be taken over the period of the plan.
(Democratic Services Manager) Article 6 (Overview and Scrutiny) of the Constitution requires that the Committee review the Executive’s programme of Key Decisions (the Cabinet Forward Plan) at each meeting, to enable the identification of appropriate matters for the overview and scrutiny work programme and to provide an opportunity for the overview of specific decisions proposed to be taken over the period of the plan.
The Constitution (Article 14 (Decision Making)) defines a Key Decision as an executive decision which:
(a) involves expenditure or savings of £250,000 or above which are currently within budget and policy;
(b) involves expenditure or savings of £100,000 or above which are NOT currently within budget and policy;
(c) is likely to be significant in terms of its effect on communities living or working in an area comprising two or more wards;
(d) raises new issues of policy;
(e) increases financial commitments (i.e. revenue and/or capital) in future years over and above existing budgetary approval;
(f) comprises and includes the publication of draft or final schemes which may require, either directly or in relation to objections to, the approval of a Government Minister; or
(g) involves the promotion of local legislation.
Wherever possible, Portfolio Holders will attend the Committee to present forthcoming key decisions, to answer questions on the forward plan and to indicate where appropriate work could be carried out by overview and scrutiny on behalf of the Cabinet.
The Executive’s current programme of Key Decisions is attached as an Appendix to this report.
The Democratic Services Manager presented the Executive’s current Programme of Key Decisions for the Committee to consider.
Cllr J Philip, Planning Services Portfolio Holder, informed the Committee that the item on the Draft Latton Priory Masterplan would not be considered at the meeting of the Cabinet on 6 February 2020, as outstanding issues with the access road to the site were still being worked on, as requested by the Planning Inspector at the Examination in Public of the Local Plan last year. It would most likely be considered by the Cabinet on 23 April 2020.
Housing & Property Services
Cllr S Murray enquired when the papers would be available for the Stronger Communities Select Committee’s review of the project scope for the review of the Council’s Sheltered Housing Assets? The interim Strategic Director stated that the scoping exercise for the project brief had been completed and had been reviewed by the Stronger Place Select Committee. It was expected that the review itself, and any recommendations arising thereout, would be completed by April or May this year. Cllr Murray requested sight of the review of the project scope and this was agreed.
Cllr Murray also enquired whether the listed date of decision for the District Electoral Review of 1 April 2021 was accurate? Cllr C Whitbread, as Leader of the Council, stated that this review would not be undertaken until the Local Plan was completed and adopted, in order to see where the likely population growth was to be. Consequently, this item should probably be removed from the Programme.
Commercial & Regulatory Services
Cllr A Patel, as Portfolio Holder for Commercial & Regulatory Services, reported that the report on the proposed transfer of land site opportunities into the new Qualis Development Company would be submitted to the Cabinet scheduled for 26 March 2020.
Councillor J H Whitehouse enquired how far had the design of the new Leisure Centre (for Epping) progressed, and whether there would be an opportunity for the users of the current Leisure Centre to express their views on the design. Cllr C Whitbread reassured the Committee that there would be a consultation exercise, which would probably begin in the late Spring period, and Cllr J Philip added that as the St John’s Road Development was referenced in the Local Plan then a Development Management Forum would also be established.