Agenda and draft minutes

Overview and Scrutiny Committee - Wednesday, 22nd July, 2020 10.15 am

Venue: Meeting to be held remotely

Contact: Lisa Backstrom 

Media

Items
No. Item

1.

Appointment of Chair for 2020/21

To appoint the Chair of the Liverpool City Region Overview and Scrutiny Committee for 2020/21.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chief Legal and Monitoring Officer, Jill Coule opened the meeting and invited nominations for the appointment of Chair of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee for the ensuing year 2020/21.

 

Councillor Andy Corkhill MOVED and Councillor Dr John Pugh SECONDED that Councillor Tom Crone be appointed Chair of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee for 2020/21.

 

The motion was agreed.

 

The Chief Legal and Monitoring Officer, Jill Coule reported that Councillor Crone was unable to attend this meeting of the Committee and he had indicated his agreement to be nominated again this year to be Chair of the Committee.

 

RESOLVED - that Councillor Tom Crone be appointed Chair of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee for 2020/21.

 

 

2.

Appointment of Vice Chair for 2020/21

To appoint a Vice Chair of the Liverpool City Region Overview and Scrutiny Committee for 2020/21.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

In the absence of the Chair of the Committee, the Chief Legal and Monitoring Officer, Jill Coule invited nominations for the appointment of Vice-Chair of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee for the ensuing year 2020/21.

 

Councillor John Pugh sought clarification on the qualification for nomination for the position of Vice-Chair.

 

The Chief Legal and Monitoring Officer, Jill Coule clarified that following the receipt of legal advice, the nomination for Vice-Chair must be one of the 5 opposition members on the Overview and Committee.

 

Councillor Dr John Pugh MOVED and Councillor Louise Whitely SECONDED that Councillor Andy Corkhill be appointed Vice Chair of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee for 2020/21.

 

RESOLVED - That Councillor Andy Corkhill be appointed Vice Chair of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee for 2020/21.

 

Councillor Andy Corkhill

Vice Chair of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee

(in the Chair)

 

 

3.

Vice Chair's comments

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Andy Corkhill took the opportunity to thank colleagues for the nomination to the position of Vice-Chair of the Committee.

 

The Vice-Chair reported that Councillors Andy Bowden, Carl Cashman and Jimmy Jackson had not been to the Overview and Scrutiny Committee for this Municipal Year.

 

He took the opportunity to place on record the Committee’s our thanks for their contribution to the work of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee.

 

The Vice-Chair also extended a warm welcome to Councillors Lynn Clarke and Derek Long, who, along with himself had been appointed to the membership of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee.

 

 

 

4.

Apologies for Absence

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Tom Crone, Adrian Jones, Kevan Wainwright and Sir Ron Watson CBE.

 

Councillor Tricia O’Brien reported that Councillor Sam Gorst had been having technical difficulties and had been trying to access the meeting for over an hour.  She asked if this could be noted as there was a special event being held within their Ward today and both herself and Councillor Gorst had prioritised attendance at the Committee.

 

Councillor Gorst was also added to the list of apologies.

 

 

5.

Declarations of Interest

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

6.

Minutes of the last meeting held on 4th March 2020 pdf icon PDF 173 KB

To consider the minutes of the last meeting of the Liverpool City Region Overview and Scrutiny Committee held on 4th March 2020.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting of the LCR Overview and Scrutiny Committee held on 4 March 2020 were approved as a correct record.

 

 

7.

Work Programme 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 220 KB

To consider the report of the Statutory Scrutiny Officer.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Overview and Scrutiny Committee considered the report of the Statutory Scrutiny Officer which provided information on arrangements for a working planning session scheduled for 29 July 2020 which would assist Committee Members in developing a work programme for 2020/21.

 

Trudy Bedford, Statutory Scrutiny Officer referred the Scrutiny Annual Report and reported that this would be presented to the meeting of the Committee in September 2020, which would allow the LCR LEP Board and Combined Authority to consider the recommendations of the LCR LEP Task and Finish Group prior to it being reflected within the Annual Report

 

Trudy Bedford, Statutory Scrutiny Officer also referred to section 6 of the report, and the two questions submitted to the LCR Combined Authority by ‘Unlock Democracy’ in relation to the Overview and Scrutiny Committee and the response from the Metro Mayor, Steve Rotheram detailed at Appendix 2 to the report.  The questions related to 2 issues, firstly a request for members of the public to be able to submit questions to the Overview and Scrutiny Committee. Secondly an expression of concern regarding poor attendance by some Committee members and a request that the Committee be reminded of the importance of the Scrutiny function.

 

Members of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee were invited to raise questions or comments.

 

At this point, Jill Coule, the Monitoring Officer and Chief Legal Officer reported that a number of Committee members were having difficulty indicating via the chat facility that they wished to speak on this item.  Members were advised that they could contact Jill Coule by mobile telephone, or verbally as an alternative to indicate that they wished to speak.

 

Councillor Dr John Pugh asked if it was common practice for public question and answer sessions to be facilitated at Scrutiny meetings as it was normally Executive Bodies who were quizzed by members of the public.

 

Trudy Bedford, Statutory Scrutiny Officer responded and stated that it was generally a practice at Executive meetings, but there was a recognition that more public engagement with the scrutiny function of the Combined Authority was needed and facilitating public questions was one of a number of ways to improve this.

 

The Vice-Chair, Councillor Andy Corkhill stated that Councillor Kevan Wainwright had sent an e-mail indicating that he wasn’t able to join the meeting due to technical issues.  He added there were a few Members having difficulties getting online and asked Jill Coule if she could provide her telephone number to them as a point of contact for assistance.

 

The Monitoring Officer and Chief Legal Officer, Jill Coule responded and provided her mobile number via the chat facility.  She added that she was currently assisting Councillor Marshall who had also been experiencing difficulty accessing the meeting.

 

RESOLVED –

 

(i)       That the arrangements for the work planning session scheduled for 29

          July 2020, be endorsed; and

 

(ii)      That proposals for the 2020/21 Overview and Scrutiny Work           Programme be presented to the meeting of the Committee on 5           September 2020, for approval.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.

8.

Appointment of Scrutiny Members to the Audit & Governance Committee 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 128 KB

To consider the report of the Monitoring Officer.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered the report of the Statutory Scrutiny Officer relating to the appointment of scrutiny members to the Liverpool City Region Audit and Governance Committee for 2020/21.

 

The Monitoring Officer and Chief Legal Officer, Jill Coule reported that nominations were sought for four members of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee comprising of two Labour Councillors, one Liberal Democrat Councillor and one Conservative Councillor to sit on the Audit and Governance Committee for 2020/21.  In addition, nominations were also sought for four substitute members of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee comprising of two Labour Councillors, one Liberal Democrat Councillor and one Conservative Councillor.

 

The following Councillors were nominated for appointment as Members of the Audit and Governance Committee for 2020/21:-

 

Labour – Councillors Edna Finneran and Louise Whitley

Liberal Democrat – Councillor Dr John Pugh

Conservative – Councillor Helen Cameron

 

The following Councillors were nominated for appointment as Substitute Members of the Audit and Governance Committee for 2020/21:-

 

Labour – Councillors Christine Howard and Samantha Marshall

Liberal Democrat – Councillor Andy Corkhill

 

In the absence of Councillor Sir Ron Watson CBE and the ability to formally nominate a conservative representative to act as a substitute member on the Audit and Governance Committee, it was agreed that this nomination be deferred for consideration at the next meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee in September 2020.

 

During consideration of this item, Councillor Helen Cameron expressed her thanks to Democratic Services and Monitoring Officer for their time and effort in dealing with nominations and appointments to Committee positions. She noted that earlier in the meeting it was mentioned that legal advice had been sought.  Councillor Cameron asked if any expenses were incurred by the Council Tax payer to bring us into line with other Combined Authorities in relation to the Chair and Vice-Chair being from opposition parties  She added that she did not expect an immediate answer and was happy to receive it via e-mail. 

 

The Monitoring Officer and Chief Legal Officer, Jill Coule responded and stated that a small cost was incurred which was minimal due to the use of a framework partner via the North West Legal Consortium.  She added that she would follow this up and respond to Councillor Cameron via e-mail.

The Vice-Chair, Councillor Andy Corkhill echoed Councillor Cameron’s thanks to Democratic Services and Jill Coule.

 

RESOLVED – That the following members of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee be appointed to the Audit and Governance Committee for 2020/21: -

 

Members

Labour – Councillors Edna Finneran and Louise Whitley

Liberal Democrat – Councillor Dr John Pugh

Conservative – Councillor Helen Cameron

 

Substitute Members

Labour – Councillors Christine Howard and Samantha Marshall

Liberal Democrat – Councillor Andy Corkhill

 

Conservative – to be determined at the September meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9.

PUBLICATION OF THE POST COVID-19 ECONOMIC RECOVERY PLAN pdf icon PDF 118 KB

To consider the report of the Metro Mayor and the Director of Commercial Development and Investment.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Overview and Scrutiny Committee considered the report of the Metro Mayor and the Director of Commercial Development and Investment which informed the Committee that following the COVID-19 pandemic, the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority had drafted an Economic Recovery Plan on behalf of its members and dozens of key stakeholders and following agreement had submitted it for consideration by government.

 

          The final version of the plan ‘Building Back Better’ had been circulated to members of the Committee in advance of the meeting.

 

          Mark Bousfield, Director of Commercial Development and Investment gave a verbal presentation which covered four main parts:-

 

·       An update on the context of the Economic Recovery Plan;

·       The engagement undertaken in the preparation and drafting of the Plan;

·       The Drafting of the Plan and the themes contained within it; and

·       Use of the Plan

 

          Mark Bousfield, Director of Commercial Development and Investment highlighted:

 

·       The Economic and Government context of the plan;

·       The specific engagement undertaken with various groups, stakeholders, business networks, Local Authorities and the formal links with the Merseyside Resilience Forum’s recovery cell;

·       The four themes of the Plan:

v   Business eco-system;

v   People focussed recovery;

v   Place; and

v   Green recovery.

·       The use of the Plan for focus discussions with Government on what the City Region needed and how it could contribute to the recovery;

·       The Plan being the best path for recovery for the City Region; and

·       The Plan being a ‘living’ document in response to the ever-changing situation.

 

          Members of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee were given the opportunity to raise questions or comments.

 

          Councillor Tricia O’Brien welcomed the Plan.  She referred to her position as Chair of the Liverpool City Council Planning Committee and her role in supporting the re-use of retail areas in the City Centre.  She referred to consideration of planning applications and asked if the Combined Authority would look at developing a policy which could feed into local Planning decisions in order to revive the economic activity and culture in the City Centre.

 

          Mark Bousfield, Director of Commercial Development and Investment stated that he was not an expert in planning and he was aware that the Government were doing their own planning review.  He added that he did not think that a new policy would make a difference, given the timescale for recovery. The focus was more on projects and programmes needing to be funded quickly, rather than on policy development.

 

          The meeting was made aware that the Metro Mayor, Steve Rotheram was now in attendance and was able to respond to questions and comments on the Plan.

 

          Councillor Derek Long commented that the Government had very recently indicated a turn toward expenditure constraint and reduction and there was a feeling of fear as to how this would impact the economy.

 

          Councillor Long also asked if an Executive Summary could be provided for stakeholders and Government.

 

          Councillor Long referred to the City Region as a combination of economies.  He mentioned that consideration should be given to anchor industries and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9.