Agenda item

Report from Chairs of Scrutiny Committees

To receive reports from the Chairs of the Council’s Scrutiny Committees in accordance with Standing Order 41.


16.1  Resources & Public Realm Scrutiny Committee


Councillor Kelcher (as Chair of the Scrutiny Committee) provided Council with the following update on matters considered by the Committee since the last update to Council on 10 July 2017:


·                The Committee had undertaken a useful visit to Harlesden High Street as part of its work around measures being used to boost business on local high streets, with a specific focus on initiatives relating to the role of town centre managers and litter patrols.  The Committee had been reassured in terms of the role being developed by the town centre managers and were keen to see the promising start made in terms of the litter patrols further developed.


·                The Committee were also pleased to have been able to review and help shape and influence the direction of the two Outcome Based Reviews relating to Gangs and Domestic Violence.  This had included a number of recommendations being put forward for consideration around the importance of early prevention.


·                Members had also received two call back reports monitoring progress on the implementation of reviews undertaken by Task Groups established by the Committee.  One area in which the Committee would be undertaking further work (in support of the ongoing budget review) was in relation to Business Rates.  This would involve a more detailed review of the way in which the London pooling arrangements in relation to Business Rates would operate and how funding would be allocated.  This work was being undertaken on a cross party and cross committee basis.


16.2  Community & Wellbeing Scrutiny Committee


Councillor Sheth (as Chair of the Scrutiny Committee) provided Council with the following update on matters considered by the Committee since the last update to Council on 10 July 2017:


·                On the basis that Brent was well below the national and London average for children’s oral health and incidents of tooth decay the Committee had received an update from NHS England on steps being taken to address the issue.  Members were pleased to note the award by the NHS of a new five year Community Dental Health contract covering the borough which included funding for oral health promotion activity.  In addition the Committee was advised of activity and funding being provided through the Council’s Public Health Service to assist in raising awareness and tackling the issue.  Whilst noting these improvements, members had agreed to continue monitoring the position.


·                Having recognised safeguarding as one of the most important areas of partnership working, the Committee had also considered both of the Local Safeguarding Adult and Children Boards Annual Reports.  Whilst Members had previously noted the effective safeguarding arrangements in place they had also identified the need to ensure that all partners were fully engaged in relation to their role and funding of the Boards, which was an issue the Committee would continue to monitor.


·                Finally the Chair commended Councillor Shahzad for the Task Group he had led reviewing Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service provision within the borough.  The review had generated a number of recommendations, which had been presented to Cabinet, including the need for increased investment by the Brent Clinical Commissioning Group in mental health support within Brent’s schools which the Committee would continue to monitor progress on.


16.2  Housing Scrutiny Committee


Councillor Long (as Chair of the Scrutiny Committee) took the opportunity to welcome Councillor Ms Shaw as the newly appointed Vice-Chair and provided Council with the following update on some of the key matters currently under review by the Committee:


·                The Committee had begun to develop a detailed monitoring brief in relation to Housing Management performance data.


·                Work continued in relation to a review on traveller site provision;


·                Finally Council was advised that the Committee continued to monitor activity being undertaken to address issues identified in response to the Grenfell Tower fire and had also established a Task Group to review Fire Safety in Housing Accommodation, which would include a focus on low rise and as well as hire rise accommodation.


The Mayor thanked each of the Scrutiny Chair’s for their updates and it was RESOLVED that the content of each of their reports be noted.

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