Agenda item

Overview & Scrutiny Annual Report 2018-2019

To receive a report from the Assistant Chief Executive presenting the 2018-19 Annual Scrutiny Report.


AGREED that Council note the Annual Overview & Scrutiny Report 2018-19.


The Mayor advised that, followingthe change agreed to the order of the agenda, the meeting would now move on to deal with the Overview & Scrutiny Committee Annual Report for 2018-19.


Referring to the accompanying report from the Assistant Chief Executive, which contained the Annual Report, he advised members that as this related to the work undertaken by all three of the Scrutiny Committees in the last year, his intention was to seek a variation to Standing Order 42 in order to allow each Chair to speak when introducing the report.  As no objections were received the variation to Standing Order 42 was agreed and the Mayor advised that he would therefore allow each Chair up to one and a half minutes in order to introduce their section of the Annual Report.


The Mayor then invited Councillors Long, Kelcher & Ketan Sheth to jointly introduce the Annual Report.


Councillor Long, began by introducing the report of the former Housing Scrutiny Committee, highlighting that whilst much had been achieved during the operation of the Committee some slippage had occurred in terms of the delivery of recommendations agreed following various reviews undertaken.  Specific reference was made to delivery of the Brent Housing Asset Management Strategy on which additional scrutiny had been recommended. Councillor Long advised that it had been an enjoyable experience serving on scrutiny and, highlighting a need to ensure a continued focus on housing, advised that this would be something she continued to monitor moving forward.


Councillor Kelcher then introduced the report relating to work undertaken by the Resources and Public Realm Scrutiny Committee highlighting what he regarded as the following five key achievements:

·             the ability to be able to set the agenda citing as examples the recommendations made as a result of the review of the draft budget proposals in relation to library hours and a tourist tax along with proposals (as a separate review) to increase recycling in flats;

·             the increasing levels of engagement with the local media;

·             the range of external visits undertaken by the Committee during the year in order to better understand issues and raise awareness;

·             the increasing levels of engagement with the public as a means of raising awareness around scrutiny; and finally

·             development of the external focus of scrutiny including, as an example, a review undertaken with the Football Association in relation to the economic impact of Wembley Stadium; work in relation to Air Quality and a visit to the House of Commons which had been reported in the Brent Magazine.


Councillor Ketan Sheth then concluded the introduction by highlighting what he felt had been the important principles underpinning the work undertaken by the Community and Wellbeing Scrutiny Committee as outlined within the Annual Report.  These had included:

·             the aim of the Committee to identify and commence work on significant issues at an early stage, with the example provided of the meeting held in order to review plans being developed for delivery of the London Borough of Culture;

·             seeking to engage and involve as wide a range of stakeholders as possible, with the example provided of the work undertaken with Brent’s Clinical Commissioning Group, Director of Public Health, Lead Member and other professionals from a wide number of national and local organisations and charities around tackling Diabetes; and

·             encouraging the Committee to get out and about as part of their reviews with the example provided of a visit to Bessborough Family Hub in Pimlico.

Councillor Ketan Sheth concluded by thanking all those who had contributed to work of the Committee and its achievements over the last year, including the co-opted members and other observers who regularly attended.


As no other members indicated they wanted to speak on the report the Mayor moved straight on to put the recommendation to the vote by a show of hands and it was unanimously CARRIED.


It was therefore RESOLVED to note the Annual Scrutiny Report 2018-19.


Before moving on the Mayor took this opportunity to formally thank Councillor Long and all other members involved for the work undertaken by the former Housing Scrutiny Committee.

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