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No. Item


Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 310 KB


The minutes of the meeting held on 8 October 2020 were approved as a correct record.


(Moved by Councillor Dr Simon Peaple and seconded by Councillor Simon Goodall)



Declarations of Interest

To receive any declarations of Members’ interests (personal and/or personal and prejudicial) in any matters which are to be considered at this meeting.


When Members are declaring a personal interest or personal and prejudicial interest in respect of which they have dispensation, they should specify the nature of such interest.  Members should leave the room if they have a personal and prejudicial interest in respect of which they do not have a dispensation. 




There were no declarations of interest.


Chair's Update


The Chair reported to the Committee that at the Cabinet meeting on 22 October there was an item on Reset and Recovery which outlined the Council’s proposed approach to recovery and reset in response to the pandemic.  As part of that item, Cabinet agreed to establish a Recovery and Reset meeting to monitor, scrutinise and support the delivery of the programme.   At the Cabinet meeting on 12 November 2020 the Leader confirmed the membership for that meeting. 


Responses to Reports of the Corporate Scrutiny Committee


The Chair reported that he had attended Cabinet on 22 October 2020 to make this Committee’s recommendation to Cabinet in respect of the Update on Potential Legal Actions and he reported that Cabinet noted the recommendation that the Leader of the Council be involved in any decisions in respect of any legal proceedings, in addition to the relevant Portfolio Holders. 



Consideration of Matters referred to the Corporate Scrutiny Committee from Cabinet / Council


There were no items referred for the Committee’s consideration.


2020/21 Forward Plan

Discussion item – Link to the Forward Plan



There were no new items identified for this Committee’s consideration from the Forward Plan at this time, which were no otherwise covered by the regular review of the Quarterly Performance Report.


Quarter Two 2020/21 Performance Report pdf icon PDF 117 KB

(Report of the Leader of the Council)

Additional documents:


This Report of the Leader of the Council provided the Committee with a performance update and financial healthcheck for the Quarter 2 2020/21.


The Chair welcomed the Executive Director Finance and the Knowledge Performance and Insight Co-ordinator to the meeting.


The Executive Director, Finance introduced the report and invited any questions from the Committee.


The Committee sought clarification in the following areas:


1.    the Customer Portal project:


The Committee requested further information on the reasons for the delays to delivery of the project and sought a greater understanding of any issues encountered with interactions between different software suppliers. The Executive Director, Finance reported that since the end of quarter 2 he understood that the issues had been resolved and completion was now expected by 31 December 2020.


The Committee discussed the RAG status reporting for the project.  The Executive Director reported the report reflected the RAG status as at the end of September 2020.


The Committee considered that it could be appropriate to undertake a post implementation review of the Customer Portal project, and that this item be added to the Committee’s work plan, with a date for consideration to be agreed.


2.    Cleaning Service:


The Committee requested clarification on the scope of the cleaning service and specifically whether or not the service would include the Castle. 


3.    Leisure Strategy & Leisure Services Review:


The Committee considered the milestones and queried when scrutiny could be engaged on these activities.  The Committee considered that it would be appropriate for Officers to engage with scrutiny chairs in respect of the timelines for key projects to enable scrutiny to be engaged in the process in a timely manner. 


4.    Universal Credit:


The Committee queried why Council Tax data for Quarters 1 and 2, regarding arrears, showed as N/A.  The Executive Director, Finance reported that the data for these parameters was not available in its normal format as this performance indicator relied on court summonses data (and courts had not been sitting).  The Executive Director, Finance provided alternative data to the Committee.  The Committee requested further details be circulated to enable members to understand the position further.


The Committer sought clarification on the reasons for arrears in housing rents occurring in respect of recipients of universal credit, and whether this resulted from initial delays in the first payments for universal credit being made.  It was reported that there had been some changes by the Government in respect of this initial period and further details would be provided on this.


Revenues and Housing Income collection team staff were thanked by the Committee for their hard work in both achieving the reported income levels while supporting people at this difficult time.



5.    Financial healthcheck queries:


The Executive Director, Finance reported that some funding for the CCTV project from the Housing Revenue Account had always been planned.


6.    Town Centre Programme:


The Committee queried the green RAG status for the Gungate Masterplan.  The Committee further commented and queried the accuracy of the RAG status scoring in some areas,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 44.


Corporate Scrutiny Committee Work Plan pdf icon PDF 105 KB

To consider the Committee’s Work Plan


It was agreed that the Committee’s work plan would be as set out below, with the Chair, Councillor Jay, continuing to use discretion to update as necessary.


Corporate Scrutiny Work Plan

Work Plan 2020 – 2021







10th December 2020

Update on corporate prioritisation


August 2020

3rd February 2021

Quarter 3 2020/21 Quarterly Performance Report



3rd February 2021

Review of Write-Offs (interim)


July 2020

3rd February 2021

Update on Potential Legal Actions


October 2020

3rd February 2021

Review of Legal Services (post implementation)

November 2019


11th March 2021

Solway trading company update



Quarter 4 2020/21

Asset Management update


December 2019

June 2021 (tbc)

Review of Write Offs (full update)


July 2020

Dates to be agreed


Market tender progress Update

August 2019


Parking Toolkit review

October 2019


Housing Repairs & Investment Contract Review

November 2019


Solway Trading Company Update (2x per year)

December 2019


Gungate Masterplan

January 2020


Review of Cabinet decisions over previous 12 month period (circulate to members post June meeting for comment)

June 2020


Customer Portal - post implementation review

November 2020




Upcoming Corporate Scrutiny Committee Meetings

10 December 2020

3 February 2021

11 March 2021