Agenda and minutes

Overview and Scrutiny Committee - Friday 18th March, 2022 1.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Allerdale House

Contact: Gayle Roach  01900 702502

No. Item


Minutes pdf icon PDF 123 KB

To sign as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 4 February 2022.



The minutes of the meeting held on 4 February 2022 were signed as a correct record.



Declaration of Interests

Councillors/Staff to give notice of any disclosable pecuniary interest, other registrable interest or any other interest and the nature of that interest relating to any item on the agenda, in accordance with the adopted Code of Conduct.


None declared.




To answer questions from members of the public – submitted in writing or by electronic mail no later than 5.00pm on a working day, allowing two clear working days before the day of the meeting.



None received.



Public Participation

To hear representations from members of the public on items which appear on the agenda – submitted in writing or by electronic mail no later than 5.00pm, 2 working days before the meeting.


None received.



Quarter 3 Performance Report 2021/22 pdf icon PDF 227 KB

Additional documents:


Members considered the Quarter 3 performance report for 2021/22 which reported progress on the key projects and activities and corporate KPIs which are based on Council Strategy Delivery Plan.


Members raised comments in relation to auditing of grant allocations, the Otley Road Scheme in Keswick, the future of the AIP as part of the LGR process, disabled facilities grants and payments to local Cumbrian businesses.


Regarding the KPI ‘Review the council’s property and asset management strategy’ members asked whether arrangements were still in place to make community asset transfers?.

It was explained that yes arrangements were still in place through the Councils Acquisitions and Disposals Policy.


In relation to the KPI ‘Progress strategic green infrastructure and biodiversity projects and encourage environmental volunteering’ members enquired about the status on the Northside non-statutory allotments.

It was explained issues were still being worked through with the two remaining tenants.


Members also asked what was the plan for the Water Environment Grant?.

Officers agreed to get a response from the relevant team on what options were available for moving forward.


In relation to the Maryport Regeneration Programme members asked for an update on the plans, in particular following the change around the Empire Yard project and on contingencies in relation to increasing costs.


Officers provided the following response ‘although the scheme will not be progressing as originally planned it is proposed to continue with the planned acquisition of the land at the centre of the scheme with the aim of creating an open accessible space that can be used for parking, markets, and access. The council may need to resort to Compulsory Purchase to acquire the land. It is also important to say that the funding element for the Empire Yard will not be lost from the Maryport programme.

Every Future High Street scheme in the country has been affected by an increase in construction costs. By amending the scope of the Empire Yard project this will release funding and ensure that key projects including, The Carlton, The Wave, Christchurch and public realm will still be delivered to a high standard’.


In relation to KPI ‘Complete the commission for the Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Assessment and evaluate the outcome against the site allocation in Local Plan Part 2’, members asked what the plan was now that the draft report had been received.


It was explained that from the Assessment report it was clear that a single site would not address the accommodation issues currently being experienced in Workington therefore, the Council had commissioned a further study from the same company to go back and look at what other solutions could work and be accepted in our area. It was hoped that piece of work could be completed in a couple of months and therefore Scrutiny asked for the item to be included in the next years’ work programme for consideration.




Members noted the contents of the report.



Quarter 3 Finance Update Report pdf icon PDF 362 KB

Additional documents:


The Finance update report for quarter three was noted.



Affordable Housing Scheme Policy pdf icon PDF 455 KB

Consideration of the draft Affordable Housing Scheme Policy documents.

The scheme describes how the Council administers housing that bridges the gap between social rent and open market properties. The over-arching document details the policy context and outlines the process the Council uses to assess applications for affordable housing. Behind that document sits a suite of documents specific to each tenure of affordable housing – Affordable Rent, Discounted Sale, First Homes and Shared Ownership.

The Housing Manager will be present to provide an overview and answer any questions.


Additional documents:


The Housing Manager provided the Committee with a verbal presentation on a review of the Councils Affordable Housing Scheme Policy documents.

A review had been carried out to streamline current policies, provide consistancy and formalise the Council guidance as a policy document.

All draft documents had been sent to key stakeholders for feedback.


Once the consultation exercise had closed on 25 March 2022 the draft documents were to be considered for adoption by the Executive on 20 April 2022.




That the update presentation and draft documetns be noted.



Feedback reports from Scrutiny Outside Bodies pdf icon PDF 112 KB

To consider feedback reports from Council Representatives on other Scrutiny Bodies.



The Committee noted update reports for the Council representatives who sat on the following outside bodies: Cumbria Health Scrutiny Committee, Cumbria Police and Crime Panel Joint Committee and the West Cumbria Site Stakeholders Group.


It was noted that a report had not been received on the Local Enterprise Partnership Scrutiny Board.



Verbal Update on Local Government Reorganisation


The Assistant Chief Executive (Policy, Performance and Economic Strategy) provided an update on the current position in relation to Local Government Reorganisation.


The Structural Changes Order (SCO) had now passed through Parliament and had been signed by the Minister today 18 March 2022 which meant it was now in force.

The SCO sets out the process of creating the two new councils and provided the legal basis on which to implement the change to local government structures. It confirms the details and puts them into law.


It was also noted that the first meeting of the Cumberland Joint Committee was now confirmed to take place on 30 March 2022, with two further dates pencilled in if required on 14 April and 12 May.



Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 335 KB


The forward plan was noted.



Work Programme and Outcomes Monitoring pdf icon PDF 410 KB


The Chair reviewed the work programme and provided the following

-  The Culture and Leisure Provision TFG was on track to report back to Committee in April,

-  The Community Leadership and Engagement TFG also on track to report back in April,

-  The Young People and Corporate Parenting TFG for various reasons had not been able to meet therefore this work was to be moved on to the work programme for 2022-23,

-  The Public Value item was also to be moved on to the 2022-23 programme.


Members were reminded of an upcoming informal session arranged for 24 March to begin discussions on work programme items for the next year.


Following a request sent out to the wider Council membership for suggested items for consideration one suggestion had been made, which was to look at the issue around the shortage of GPs in Workington.

The Committee members agreed to include that item on the draft list and also to include dentists.



Task and Finish Group/Working Group Updates


An update on the current TFGs was provided in the previous item.