Agenda and draft minutes

Scrutiny Committee - Wednesday, 10th June, 2020 6.30 pm

Contact: Alison McEwan  Democracy Officer

Media

Items
No. Item

1.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 316 KB

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the previous meeting.

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 11th March 2020 were approved as a correct record.

2.

Additional Items of Business

To determine whether there are any additional items of business which, by reason of special circumstances, the Chair decides should be considered at the meeting as a matter of urgency.

 

Minutes:

In accordance with the provisions of Section 100 (B)(4)(b) of the Local Government Act 1972 the Chair decided that the following item on business should be considered at item 11 of the agenda, the reason being to enable a timely response to the re-opening of the market.

 

Item 11 – Burnley Market COVID 19 Response

 

The item to be taken in private as it contains information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information).

3.

Notice of Key Decisions and Private Meetings pdf icon PDF 206 KB

To consider the list of future Key Decisions.

Minutes:

IT WAS AGREED

 

That the 28 day Notice of Key Decisions and Private Meeting be noted.

4.

The Council`s response to COVID 19 pdf icon PDF 9 MB

A presentation will be made detailing the Council`s response to the COVID 19 pandemic.  Heads of Service and Executive members will be in attendance to take questions from members.  (presentation to follow)

Minutes:

The Chief Executive, the Chief Operating Officer and Heads of Service gave a presentation on the work that had been done during the COVID 19 pandemic within their service areas and with partner organisations and responded to questions and observations from members.

 

 All members before speaking praised the officers, staff and partner organisations for the significant work that they had done and were continuing to do during this time.

 

A summary of the questions and observations made by members and the responses given are as follows:

 

·         Cllr Gordon Lishman

 

Q.  looking forward what is the short and medium term impact on the council finances and levels of reserves?

 

O.  it would be unusual for things to return to normal quickly and the council should plan for possible 2nd and 3rd wave episodes of the virus before a vaccination became available. 

 

Q.  the North West economy was predicted to be the hardest hit by Brexit and this combined pandemic– what plans were there for the economy?

 

O. on the channels of communications and key messages to different audiences he said that a communication strategy was going to be essential if there was a second spike of the virus in the autumn and the council needed to plan now and ensure clear messages were given if this happened. 

 

Officers responded accepting that the recovery from the pandemic and Brexit would bring challenges.  In respect of communications the Council was not working alone but with the Lancashire Resilience Forum and all partners,  focusing on engagement with residents in Lancashire.  In respect of council finances  it was anticipated that there would be a £5m impact and the reserves situation was a critical issue,  regular reports were being given to group leaders and the Executive with more detail on the financial position.  The Chief Executive said that Burnley was in a similar position to other local authorities and the Local Government Association had anticipated there would be a £6b impact across all local authorities in the country.

 

Cllr Andy Fewings

 

O.  the 30 page presentation had been printed on one side which was wasteful and was also unnecessary as the presentation was being screened at the meeting. .

 

Q. was there any commitment from the Government on the projected  £5m shortfall?

 

Q. Homelessness during the crisis was being tackled but will this support continue after the pandemic? Could there be a commitment going forward.?

 

Q. Some residents were having a tough time personally and in areas where there was anti-social behaviour this had been exacerbated during lockdown.  Could the reporting of ASB be more flexible as some residents did not have internet access and filling in diary sheets was too much for some people?

 

O. there was a lot of empty properties and with a recession forecast the council need to do more in this area.

 

Officers responded that there was no commitment from Government regarding the shortfall but lobbying was taking place between all local authorities.  In respect of homelessness officers were  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.

5.

Exclusion of the Public

To determine during which items, if any, the public are to be excluded from the meeting.

Minutes:

That the public be excluded from the meeting before discussion takes place on the item relating to Minute  because in view of the nature of the business to be transacted if the public was present there would be a disclosure to them of exempt information within the meaning of Paragraph 12A of the Local Government Act 1972.

6.

Burnley Market COVID 19 Response

Minutes:

Kate Ingram reported on proposals being taken to the Executive on a recovery plan for Burnley Market including revised opening times and a rent support package and outlined the options that had been considered.

 

Councillor Mark Townsend commented on the options and said that option 2 (b) should be considered and gave the reasons. He asked that the Executive members present note his comments when considering the report at their meeting on 16th June.

 

IT WAS AGREED

 

That the report be noted.