Overview and Scrutiny Board Minutes

Overview and Scrutiny Board Minutes

Tuesday 3 July 2018
4:00 p.m.
Mandela Room, Town Hall, Middlesbrough

Attendance Details

M Storey (Chair), Councillor D P Coupe, Councillor E Dryden, Councillor A Hellaoui, Councillor T Higgins, Councillor L McGloin, J A Walker.
A Humble, C Lunn, P Stephens.
Apologies for absence:
Councillors L Lewis, T Mawston, J McGee, P Purvis, M Saunders, J Sharrocks.
Item Number Item/Resolution

The minutes of the OSB meeting held on 5 June 2018 were submitted and approved as a true record, subject to the following amendment: 


A formatting issue at paragraph 3, point 6, which read: 'lsquo;step by step' be amended to read 'step by step'.

The Chair reminded the Board that the Director of Children’s Services was invited to attend OSB with regard to school reserves.  It was agreed that her attendance would be scheduled for the 4 September 2018 meeting.


The Head of Performance and Partnerhsips and the Senior Finance Business Partner for Children's Services provided a summary of the Budget and Balanced Score Cards: Quarter four (Year-End) 2017/18 report.

It was noted that the recommendations in paragraphs 2 and 3 of the report, namely in reference to transfers to the relevant reserves, had been mentioned at a previous OSB meeting.  However, it was confirmed that the figures cited in the report were now final and reflected the end of year position.

It was noted that after all transfers had been completed the Council’s underspend was £287,000, or 0.25%, as well as 3% over delivery against the Council’s capital budget.

It was also noted that the Council’s level of borrowing, the amount in its General Reserves, and other specific reserves, were in line with expectations at March 2018.

A member queried if, when Education Services reported on the School underspend, information relating to Academies would be included.  It was confirmed that this would not be the case, as information was only available from maintained schools.  It was noted that, on 31 March 2018, there were 22 maintained schools in Middlesbrough.  There were a further seven schools potentially moving to Academy status.

The Board discussed means by which information could be obtained from Academies including a possible approach to the Department for Education.

The performance results for the Council were summarised for Quarter four and it was noted that, overall, the Council’s target was to achieve 75% of its targets, and this had been achieved for 2017/18.  It was commented that two Directorates had fallen below this target, which could be attributed to factors including spending on buildings that remained open, but were scheduled to close, and children in need provision.

The Balanced Score Cards were highlighted at Appendix 2 of the report, and the Risk Register at Appendix 3.

It was commented that those areas of Risk associated with the Education department should be explored at the September 2018 meeting of OSB.

The Board commended the officers for the clarity of the report and the ease by which it could be read.  The Chair also commented that the information provided within the report provided a pleasing picture of Council performance.


The Head of Performance and Partnerships provided OSB with an overview of an example format for presenting Budget and Performance information.  It was commented that the new format was more streamlined than previous versions.

The new format was more infographic and focussed more on the Council’s Strategic Priorities.  There was also a greater emphasis on actions that needed to be carried out. It was noted that the example shown to OSB did not include Risks to the Council, but that this would be added going forward.

A Member commented that it would be beneficial to include an explanation for key terminology.

A discussion took place concerning the amount of information contained within the new report format.  A Member commented that, while the level of information provided would be useful, there would continue to be a need for officers to highlight important information.  Ultimately, a balance would be required to provide both summary and detailed information to provide a full picture.


Members welcomed the improvements that had been made.




The Scrutiny Work programme report was outlined for Members.


It was noted that the titles, and associated information, of Scrutiny Panels at Paragraphs 3(a) and 3(b) should be reversed so that the Children and Young People’s Social Care and Services Scrutiny Panel was cited at 3a, and the Children and Young People’s Learning Scrutiny Panel was cited at 3b.

It was also noted that at Paragraph 3(c) the wording "if time permits" should be removed, as this issue was statutory and something the Panel was required to examine.

The Chair of the Children and Young People's Social Care and Services Scrutiny Panel advised the Board of its work programme.  The main investigations for the Panel were as follows:

  1. Early Help and Prevention Services/Revolving Door Report; and
  2. Corporate Parenting.

The Panel also agreed that it wished to receive updates in relation to:

  1. Review of the Role and Functions of the Safeguarding Children’s Board (Wood Review); and
  2. Support to Help Children Living with Alcohol-dependent Parents/info on Young Carers.

The Chair of the Children and Young People's Learning Scrutiny Panel advised that, in addition to their reviews, the Panel would also seek updates regarding:

  • SEND Review - potential Members’ Briefing or Extraordinary meeting of the panel;
  • Attendance and Behaviour - to be carried out later in the year; and
  • Listening to the Voice of the Child.


  1. That the amendments listed be made to the Scrutiny Work Programme report.
  2. That the Scrutiny Work Programme be agreed. 

The Chief Executive submitted a report which identified the forthcoming issues to be considered by the Executive, as outlined in Appendix A of the report.

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



The Chair of the Economic Development, Environment and Infrastructure Scrutiny Panel advised OSB that the final meeting of the Housing Delivery Vehicle investigation would be taking place on 4 July 2018.  Croydon, North Kesteven and North Tyneside Councils would present information about their Housing Delivery Vehicles.  The Chair of the Panel advised that the expected recommendations would revolve around the kind of Delivery Vehicle Middlesbrough should have, and how it would operate best.

The Chair of the Children and Young People’s Social Care and Services Scrutiny Panel advised that the Panel had held their initial meeting, and its second meeting would be held on 29 July 2018.

The Chair of the Children and Young People’s Learning Scrutiny Panel advised that the Panel’s initial meeting had generated media coverage, and the Panel’s next meeting would discuss voluntary sector provision in schools.

The Chair of the Health Scrutiny Panel advised that the Panel had met and confirmed the Panel's work programme, including issues around Childhood Obesity and how this linked with the Council’s Local Plan.  The Panel was also continuing to progress the issue around the provision of respite care and the referral to the Secretary of State, as well as examining the fragility of Health Service finances.


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