Overview and Scrutiny Board Minutes

Overview and Scrutiny Board Minutes

Thursday 21 April 2016
3:00 p.m.
Oberhausen Room,Town Hall, Middlesbrough

Attendance Details

Councillor J Sharrocks (Chair), Councillor J G Cole, Councillor E Dryden, Councillor T Higgins, Councillor C Hobson, Councillor N Hussain, Councillor J McGee, Councillor D Rooney and Councillor J A Walker.
Councillor L Lewis
A Crawford and J Dixon.
Apologies for absence:
Councillor T Mawston, Councillor F McIntyre, Councillor J Rathmell
Declarations of interest:

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

Item Number Item/Resolution

The Minutes of the Overview and Scrutiny Board meeting held on 29 March 2016 were submitted and approved as a correct record.


The Chair of the Economic Regeneration and Transport Scrutiny Panel outlined the Panel’s main findings, conclusions and recommendations following the Panel’s scrutiny investigation of the topic 'Withdrawal of Supported Bus Services'.


The Board considered the following recommendations of the Panel, based on evidence submitted and conclusions reached:-

  1. That Middlesbrough Council continues to work closely with all local bus operators to ensure that:-

a)  Wherever possible, the Government-funded Bus Services Operators Grant be used to support services that might otherwise be unprofitable and could be cancelled.

b) Local Councillors be kept informed of any bus service withdrawals or significant bus service changes.


2.  That a feasibility study be undertaken to determine whether there were any further roads in Middlesbrough that might benefit from the introduction of bus lanes and, if so, that a bid be prepared for future Capital Programme funding. In doing so:-

a) Account must be taken of the potential impact on local businesses and the impact of future housing developments.
b) The results of the exercise should be reported to the Scrutiny Panel.


Clarification was sought in relation to paragraph 22 of the submitted report which stated that "...the Council will help and support any community groups who wish to seek funding to run community transport initiatives and an existing budget of £20,500 will be used as development/match funding for innovative transport solutions to reduce the gaps in public transport provision in Middlesbrough." It was queried whether this money could be allocated to plug any gaps in public transport in Middlesbrough in the future. The Scrutiny Support Officer stated that the service area had advised that this budget had been available during the last financial year, therefore, he would clarify whether this was still the case.


It was suggested that if the budget still existed, this be added as an additional recommendation with the following wording:-

"That further consideration be given to how the budget of £20,500 to support community transport initiatives could be best promoted to ensure that it was used for maximum benefit. This should include involving local Councillors as appropriate."


Members also discussed the issue of parking in Middlesbrough and considered that this could potentially be a worthwhile topic for the Economic Regeneration and Transport Scrutiny Panel to investigate, particularly with regard to identifying potential areas for additional parking, parking charges and potential bus lanes.


ORDERED as follows:-

  1. That the findings and recommendations of the Economic Regeneration and Transport Scrutiny Panel be endorsed and referred to the Executive.
  2. That the Overview and Scrutiny Board refer the topic of parking in Middlesbrough to the Economic Regeneration and Transport Scrutiny Panel for possible inclusion in its Work Programme for the 2016/17 Municipal Year.

The Head of Democratic Services submitted a report identifying the forthcoming issues to be considered by the Executive, as outlined in Appendix A to the submitted report.


The report provided the Overview and Scrutiny Board with the opportunity to consider whether any item contained with the Executive Forward Work Programme should be considered by the Board or referred to a Scrutiny Panel.




The Head of Democratic Services submitted a report to advise Members in relation to the decisions of the Executive on the Overview and Scrutiny Board’s Final Report on Re-offending and Rehabilitation. This report represented the formal notification to the Board of the Executive’s decisions in respect of the reports.


At its meeting on 12 April 2016, the Executive considered the findings of the Community Safety and Leisure Scrutiny Panel - Response - Re-offending and Rehabilitation. The Executive also considered the Service Responses which were attached at Appendix A.



Individual reports of the Chair of each Scrutiny Panel were submitted outlining progress on current activity.

The Chair of the Health Scrutiny Panel made reference to the Panel’s last meeting on 15 March 2016 when an update was received on the current position in relation to the Hemlington GP Practice.


The Chair updated the Board that the practice currently had a time-limited Alternative Provider Medical Services (APMS) contract which ended on 31 March 2016. NHS England had advertised the practice to other providers to deliver the service as a 'branch' of one of their existing contracts in Middlesbrough but unfortunately no applications were received from providers in the South Tees locality.


NHS England had agreed a short term extension of the current contract until 31 May 2016 to allow further options to be assessed.


Reference was made to the 'Urgent Care Review' undertaken by the South Tees Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), for which the consultation period had now ended. There were plans to replace the Resolution Walk-in Centre at North Ormesby with improved access to GP services from either four, six or eight extended hours GP centres that would open seven days a week. Overview and Scrutiny Board Members considered that the Health Scrutiny Panel should be asked to explore how potential additional funding being made available to the CCG could be used to shape GP services and support health services in South Middlesbrough. Hemlington Medical Centre could potentially be included as part of that piece of work.


The Chair of the Children and Learning Scrutiny Panel updated the Board in relation to the Panel’s last meeting on 6 April 2016 where an update on its 2013 review of Child Poverty, Deprivation and Attainment was received. A number of actions were agreed by the Executive on 3 December 2013 arising from the Panel’s review and an update on the implementation of those actions had been requested.


The Chair of the Panel stated that the Officers who had attended the Panel meeting had advised that none of the agreed actions had been implemented. The Panel was very disappointed in the lack of progress and had requested a full explanation for the actions not being implemented and a further update in six months' time.


During the ensuing discussion, several points were highlighted including:-

  • The importance of Panels requesting updates on past reviews in relation to the implementation of agreed actions, particularly when those actions related to statutory duties and areas subject to external inspection or where the non-implementation of actions would have real implications for the authority.
  • Reference was made to the scrutiny monitoring database which had previously been in operation and whether there was any possibility of this being resurrected. The Scrutiny Support Officer advised that the specific post that dealt with the facility was deleted in 2010 as part of the budget cuts and further reductions in staffing and resources were likely to be made as part of the review of Democratic Services. It was noted, however, that there were plans to include scrutiny recommendations in a new database being developed to monitor Executive and LMT decisions/actions.

ORDERED as follows:-

  1. That the Overview and Scrutiny Board commission the Health Scrutiny Panel to undertake an investigation into how potential additional funding being made available to the CCG could be used to shape GP services and support health services in South Middlesbrough.
  2. That all Scrutiny Panels ensure they request an update in relation to the implementation of agreed actions following a scrutiny review.


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