Agenda and minutes

Overview and Scrutiny Committee - Thursday, 27th August, 2020 7.00 pm, NEW

Venue: Remote - Virtual Meeting. View directions

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No. Item


Apologies for absence and substitutions

To receive any apologies for absence and notification of any substitute Members in accordance with the Constitution.


Apologies were received from Cllr J. Paul. Cllr R. Feeney was substituted by Cllr J. Bray.


Declarations of interest

To receive any Declarations of Interest (including the existence and nature of any Party Whip).


There were no declarations of interest.


Call-in of Environmental Sustainability Executive Decision made on 28 July 2020 pdf icon PDF 2 MB

Report to follow.


Chair, Cllr N. Harrison, welcomed Members to the meeting and introduced the procedure to consider the call-in request of the Executive Decision ‘Environmental Sustainability’ made on 28 July 2020.The call-in was therefore the only substantive item of business on the agenda. The purpose of this meeting was for the Committee to scrutinise a decision which those members who signed the call-in request believed to be contrary to the authority’s decision-making principles rather than to scrutinise the strategy. It was confirmed that the environmental sustainability strategy and action plan would come for scrutiny at Overview and Scrutiny Committee at its meeting on 9 December 2020.

The call-in organiser, Cllr J. Essex, presented the call-in, and set out his reasons for calling in the decision for review. The signatories to the Call-in were: Cllr H. Brown, Cllr J. Essex, Cllr S. Kulka, Cllr S. McKenna, Cllr S. Sinden and Cllr R. Ritter. Scientists had reported recently that one trillion tons of ice (equivalent to an area the size of the UK) have melted worldwide since 1994. Increasing global temperatures every decade required an urgent response.

The call-in form was provided to the Committee and set out in Annex 2 of the report. In summary, the reasons for the call-in were that the decision was not taken in accordance with the decision-making principles that were set out in the Constitution:

·         Presumption in favour of openness (Article 14.2.4) – no council scrutiny of item, no wider sight of minutes to cross-party task group meetings, no evidence of public consultation on the action plan.

·         Clarity of aims and desired outcomes (Article 14.2.5) – not clear how the action plan meets overarching objectives and query on adequacy of targets.

 The Caller-in included the following points:

·         The paper to Executive on 28 July 2020 did not respond directly to the climate change emergency motion that was presented at Full Council on 26 September 2019.

·         Minutes of meetings of the cross-party task group and evidence of public consultation on the strategy before it went to Executive (separate to the Corporate Plan consultation) had not been made available.

·         The strategy and action plan should be benchmarked against sustainability action plans in other councils such as Waverley Borough Council and Stroud District Council.

The Executive Member for Neighbourhood Services Cllr N. Bramhall, responded to the Caller-in and included the following points:

·         February’s meeting of Overview and Scrutiny included a full review of the Neighbourhood Services portfolio including an update on environmental sustainability strategy, with the offer to come back to present an update at a future meeting.

·         No responses had been received on the environmental sustainability draft strategy when it had been sent to all Members for comment.

·         Objectives to respond to environmental concerns were included in the report.

·         The task group meetings had been well attended by Members. Environmental consultants had engaged openly with Members and spoken at the Member briefing. It was confirmed that the task group minutes would be shared and circulated. Pressure of work responding  ...  view the full minutes text for item 18.