Corporate Affairs and Audit Committee Minutes

Corporate Affairs and Audit Committee Minutes

Wednesday 10 October 2018
10:30 a.m.
Spencer Room, Town Hall, Middlesbrough

Attendance Details

Walkington, (Chair), Storey, Walters
S Lightwing, R Painter, B Roberts
Apologies for absence:
were submitted on behalf of Councillors Brady, C Hobson
Declarations of interest:

There were no Declarations of Interest at this point in the meeting.

Item Number Item/Resolution

The minutes of the meeting of the Corporate Affairs and Audit Committee held on 26 September 2018 were taken as read and approved as a correct record.


A report of the Strategic Director of Finance, Governance and Support was presented to provide the Committee with an update in respect of the recent review of scrutiny arrangements.

A review of Democratic Services took place in 2016 which resulted in changes to scrutiny support. The revised scrutiny arrangements had been in place for over a year and processes had been reviewed to ascertain whether any further improvements or changes could be made.


The review was undertaken through discussion with affected Members and Officers, a Member workshop, and benchmarking with other Mayoral authorities across the UK. In addition, the outcomes of a national inquiry by a Government Select Committee on The Effectiveness of Scrutiny had also been considered.


A list of the improvements already implemented was included in the submitted report and included continued training opportunities for Chairs and Members as well as revised investigation outline and final report templates.


Many of the recommendations from the Select Committee were already in place in Middlesbrough. There was only one recommendation of note from the Government’s review, which was the notion of Overview and Scrutiny Board reporting to Council rather than Executive. However, there was no appetite to accept this recommendation as it would impose unnecessary delays in the decision-making process and would severely lengthen Council meetings.


Whilst there was no requirement for the Council to support the scrutiny function with a specific level of resource, there was a requirement to designate a Statutory Scrutiny Officer. This post was currently vacant and was a role that could be assumed by the Members’ and Statutory Services Manager who currently managed the democratic processes.


Members commented that scrutiny was working well in Middlesbrough and paid tribute to the work of Democratic Services Officers in supporting the scrutiny panels.


AGREED as follows:
1. The information provided was received and noted.
2. The Members’ and Statutory Services Manager was appointed as the Statutory Scrutiny Officer.


ORDERED that the press and public be excluded from the meeting for the following items on the grounds that, if present, there would be disclosure to them of exempt information as defined in Paragraphs 1 and 2 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 and that the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighed the public interest in disclosing the information.


A report of the Executive Director of Children's Services was presented regarding vacancies for Local Authority appointed School Governors that had arisen as a result of resignations, the expiry of terms of office or the removal of Governors due to non-attendance and any vacancies deferred from previous meetings of the Corporate Affairs and Audit Committee. The nominations received for the current vacancies were outlined in the submitted report.


It was noted that there were currently 3 vacancies out of a total of 19 Governorships for Local Authority representatives. There were no nominations for the vacancies at Newham Bridge Primary School, Beverley School and Holmwood School.


The Governor Development Assistant explained that he worked with School Governing Boards to ascertain what skill sets they were looking for when seeking School Governors to fill the vacancies.  Elected Members were invited to contact the Governor Development Assistant direct if they were interested in becoming a School Governor.


ORDERED as follows:


1. That the following appointment, for a four year term of office, as agreed by Acklam Whin Primary School Governing Board on 18 September 2018, was approved:


Acklam Whin Primary School - Mrs J Lucas

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