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Declaration of Pecuniary Interests
Under Standing Order 4.4, where any councillor has a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest (as defined in the Members’ Code of Conduct (para. 4)) in any matter to be considered at a meeting of the Council, a committee, sub-committee or joint committee, they must withdraw from the meeting room during the whole of the consideration of that matter and must not participate in any vote on that matter unless a dispensation has been obtained from the Monitoring Officer.
Cllr Liz Atkins, Chair, opened the meeting and welcomed all attendees.
There were no declarations of pecuniary interest.
To agree the minutes of the meeting of 30 January 2020 as an accurate record of the meeting.
RESOLVED: That the minutes of the meeting of 30 January 2020 be approved as an accurate record of the meeting.
Council Response to Covid-19
A question and answer session with the organisational leadership regarding the Council’s response to the Covid-19 emergency.
The Chair explained that the main item on the agenda was a question and answer session with the organisational leadership on the Council’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic. While this was formally an Overview & Scrutiny Committee (OSC) meeting, members of the Children’s Services Scrutiny Sub-Committee (CSSC) had also been invited to attend and contribute in order that issues pertaining to Children’s Services could be considered at the same meeting.
In order to make the meeting as productive as possible, committee members had been invited to submit questions in advance which were then circulated to the leadership representatives a week before the meeting. The questions had been split into themed sections and each theme would have its own dedicated portion of the meeting consisting of an introduction by the relevant Cabinet Member(s)/officer(s), followed by supplementary or additional questions on that theme from committee members.
The deadline for public representations was 12pm on Friday 15th May. The Chair noted that the committee had received one such request by the deadline, from Nicola Kingston, Co-Chair, Lambeth Patient Participation Group (PPG) Network. This representation was made via pre-recorded audio message, while supporting documents submitted by Ms Kingston had also been circulated to members earlier in the day.
The representation made the following key points:
Due to time constraints and the number and nature of the questions already submitted to the leadership by members, the Chair explained that there would unfortunately not be time in the meeting for a detailed exploration of these issues, though members agreed that they be followed up by the relevant officers and responses reported back to the committee and Ms Kingston in due course.
The Chair then moved on to Children’s Services issues. Councillor Ed Davie, Cabinet Member for Children & Young People, and Merlin Joseph, Strategic Director, Children’s Services, provided an introduction during which the following points were made:
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The Chair introduced the report and stated that preliminary discussions had already taken place between the Chair, Vice Chairs and relevant officers with regards to the agenda for the July meeting, which it was proposed would focus on the council’s finances (by way of the July Finance Review report expected at Cabinet later that month) and the current state of play with regards to the council’s climate change work, in light of Covid-19. This was unanimously agreed.
A brief discussion then took place regarding possible topics for future scrutiny to be considered when planning the committee’s work programme for the 2020-21 municipal year.
- July Financial Planning Report
- Update on the Council’s response to the climate emergency in light of Covid-19
- The impact of the emergency transport programme and how this would be taken forward
- Poverty in the borough
- Changing work patterns in town centres and commercial spaces and the potential impact with regards to housing