Agenda and minutes

Overview and Scrutiny Committee (Regulatory, Compliance and Corporate Services)
Tuesday 12th January, 2021 6.30 pm

Venue: Remote meeting

Contact: Paul Fraser  Senior Democratic Services Officer

Media

Items
No. Item

21.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

An apology for absence was received from Councillor Brodie-Browne.

 

 

22.

Declarations of Interest

Members are requested at a meeting where a disclosable pecuniary interest or personal interest arises, which is not already included in their Register of Members' Interests, todeclare any interests that relate to an item on the agenda.

 

Where a Member discloses a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest, he/she must withdraw from the meeting room by switching their camera and microphone off during the whole consideration of any item of business in which he/she has an interest, except where he/she is permitted to remain as a result of a grant of a dispensation.

 

Where a Member discloses a personal interest he/she must seek advice from the Monitoring Officer or staff member representing the Monitoring Officer to determine whether the Member should withdraw from the meeting room, including from the public gallery, during the whole consideration of any item of business in which he/she has an interest or whether the Member can remain in the meeting or remain in the meeting and vote on the relevant decision.

 

Minutes:

No declarations of interest were received.

 

23.

Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 126 KB

Minutes of the meeting held on 20 October 2020

Minutes:

RESOLVED:

 

That the Minutes of the meeting held on 20 October, 2020 be confirmed as a correct record.

 

 

24.

Public Health Annual Report on Air Quality pdf icon PDF 114 KB

Report of the Head of Health and Wellbeing

Minutes:

Further to Minute No. 30 of 14 January 2020 the Committee considered the report of the Head of Health and Wellbeing (Statutory Director of Public Health) that provided an update on the Public Health Annual Report (PHAR) 2018/19, which explored the issue of Air Quality in Sefton; that advised that the PHAR was the independent annual report of the Director of Public Health and was a statutory duty; and that the latest report for 2019/20 focused on Health Inequality and the successful Well Sefton Programme.

 

The report indicated that the 2018/19 PHAR took an in-depth look at the largest environmental risk to population health in the UK, air pollution; that with regards to air quality and health in Sefton, air pollution was

the 12th highest modifiable risk to health in 2017 and had maintained this ranking in 2019 and that compared to high impact ‘behavioural’ risks the contribution to poor health from air pollution was around one fifth of that from obesity and one tenth the harm due to smoking; and provided information on the global and local impact of the Covid pandemic that had drawn public and scientific interest back to the contribution patterns that air pollution made to health inequality.

 

The report concluded by detailing that the 2018/19 PHAR on Air Quality set out some goals to capture different aspects of Sefton Council’s ongoing work to support emissions reduction and better air quality in Sefton. The report indicated that the Coronavirus pandemic had meant that some areas had progressed less than others in 2020 but that it was known from public engagement before and during the development of the PHAR report that these were still important priorities and would continue to shape the work of Public and Environmental Health and Highways teams, and others brought together through the Cabinet Member Reference Group on Air Quality.

 

Members of the Committee asked questions/commented on the following issues:

 

·        In respect of measures to inform residents about ways to reduce their exposure to air pollution at home information was sought on the use of Domestic Solid Fuel Burning, including wood-burning stoves and the regulations associated with such usage. Reference was also made to

leaflets providing clear information for public and professionals, covering health issues linked to particulate matter and the law on domestic burning, practical advice to lower health risks and

emissions and help with fuel poverty

·        Reference was made to the recent activity of the Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service to extinguish bonfires. It was noted that air pollution from a bonfire, such as smoke and fine particles, could have a damaging effect on people's health; and that children and the elderly were especially vulnerable to air pollution, as well as people with existing health problems, such as asthma, bronchitis, heart conditions or other lung conditions

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the report providing an update on the Public Health Annual Report (PHAR) 2018/19 which explored the issue of Air Quality in Sefton be noted.

 

 

25.

Air Quality and Clean Air Zone Update pdf icon PDF 2 MB

Report of the Head of Highways and Public Protection

Minutes:

Further to Minute No. 29 of 14 January 2020 the Committee considered the report of the Head of Highways and Public Protection that updated on air quality management and recent ongoing clean air zone work in Sefton.

 

The report indicated that Local Air Quality Management (LAQM) was introduced under the Environment Act 1995, that evidence had shown that certain atmospheric pollutants were linked to poor health and that the Act placed a statutory duty on all Local Authorities to review and assess air quality in their areas at regular intervals; that arising from National Air Quality Standard (NAQS) Objectives 2 pollutants, Nitrogen Dioxide and Particulate Matter PM10 were still of concern in Sefton; that the ongoing review and assessment process had confirmed that in most of Sefton Air Quality was of a good standard and complied with the NAQS objectives; but that four localised areas in South Sefton had been identified where levels of Nitrogen Dioxide had exceeded or were close to the annual average standard of 40 µg/m3. Accordingly, Air Quality Management Areas (AQMAs) had been declared in the four locations at:

 

·        A5036 Princess Way and Crosby Road South Junction, Seaforth

·        A5058 Millers Bridge and Derby Road Junction, Bootle

·        A565 Crosby Road North and South Road Junction, Waterloo

·        B5422 Hawthorne Road and Church Road Junction, Litherland

 

The report also provided information on real time automatic monitoring stations and the monitoring results in respect of Nitrogen Dioxide and Particulate Matter PM10.

 

The report advised that following on from the Preliminary Clean Air Zone (CAZ) feasibility study Cabinet gave approval for Officers to progress the development of a detailed Outline Business Case (OBC) for the creation of a Sefton Based CAZ, in line with the approach recommended by DEFRA. AECOM were commissioned in May 2020 to undertake the additional air quality and transport modelling work needed and prepare a draft OBC in conjunction with Council officers; that a temporary CAZ Project Manager had been seconded into the Council on a part-time basis, since May 2020, to oversee and input into AECOM’s work in conjunction with the CAZ Steering Group/Project Group, in addition to supporting wider tasks such as the Communication and Engagement strategy for Sefton’s overarching Clean Air Plan; that the four key overarching strategic objectiveshad been set for the OBC, as follows:

 

·        To improve air quality and achieve compliance with national standards in the shortest possible time in known hotspot areas i.e. within four AQMAs

·        To promote improved air quality in the wider area (outside AQMAs) through more rapid switch over to vehicles with minimal exhaust emissions

·        To reduce human exposure to air pollution and thus improve public health, particularly for areas with high deprivation

·        To reduce emissions relating to the A5036 for HGV vehicle travel, particularly around high-density residential areas.  

 

The report concluded that air quality in the majority of Sefton was within NAQS Objectives and that action plans were in place to work towards compliance in the four AQMA areas; that there remained areas  ...  view the full minutes text for item 25.

26.

Council Tax Reduction Scheme, Council Tax Base 2021/22 pdf icon PDF 148 KB

Report of the Executive Director of Corporate Resources and Customer Services

Minutes:

Further to Minute No. 81 of the meeting of the Cabinet held on 7 January 2020 the Committee considered the report of the Executive Director of Corporate Resources and Customer Services that provided details of the review of the local Council Tax Reduction Scheme for 2020/21,recommending that there was no change to the scheme for 2021/22 for working age claimants; together with an updated Council Tax Base for Sefton Council and each Parish area for 2021/22.

 

Regarding the Council Tax Reduction Scheme (CTRS) the report indicated that each financial year, the Council must consider whether to revise or replace its local CTRS; and that the Council must approve and adopt the 2021/22

CTRS by 11 March 2021, After consideration of the factors outlined in the report it was proposed that the local CTRS for 2021/22 remain unchanged for working

age claimants.

 

Regarding the Council Tax Base the report indicated that in accordance with Local Authorities (Calculation of Council Tax Base) (England)

Regulations 2012, as amended, the Council was required to set a tax base for both Sefton Council and each Parish Area for 2021/22 before 31January 2021.

 

The Council Tax Base Report 2021/22 was attached as Annex A to the report.

 

The Committee was advised that at its meeting held on 7 January 2021 the Cabinet had resolved (Minute No. 81) that:

 

(1)

the contents of the review of the Council Tax Reduction Scheme for 2020/21 be noted;

 

(2)

the Council be recommended to agree that there are no changes to the existing Scheme for 2021/22 for working age claimants;

 

(3)

the Council be recommended to approve the relevant Council Tax Base for Sefton Council and each Parish Area as set out in Annex A to the report.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the report detailing the review of the local Council Tax Reduction Scheme for 2020/21, recommending that there was no change to the scheme for 2021/22 for working age claimants; together with an updated Council Tax Base for Sefton Council and each Parish area for 2021/22, together with the decision of Cabinet on this matter be noted. 

 

 

 

 

27.

Financial Management 2020/21 to 2023/24 and Framework for Change 2020 - Revenue and Capital Budget Update 2020/21 including the Financial Impact of COVID-19 on the 2020/21 Budget - December Update pdf icon PDF 207 KB

Report of the Executive Director for Corporate Resources and Customer Services submitted to Cabinet on 3 December 2020

 

Minutes:

Further to Minute No. 72 of the meeting of the Cabinet held on 3 December 2020 the Committee considered the report of the Executive Director of Corporate Resources and Customer Services that advised of:

 

(1)

the current estimated financial impact of COVID-19 on the 2020/21 Budget;

 

(2)

the current forecast revenue outturn position for the Council for 2020/21;

 

(3)

the current forecast on Council Tax and Business Rates collection for 2020/21; and

 

(4)

 

 

 

 

 

the monitoring position of the Council’s capital programme to the end of October 2020 relating to:

 

  • the forecast expenditure to year end;
  • variations against the approved budgets and an explanation of those variations for consideration by Members;
  • updates to spending profiles and proposed amendments to capital budgets necessary to ensure the efficient delivery of capital projects are also presented for approval.

 

 

The Cabinet had resolved (Minute No. 72) that:

 

A.

in respect of the Revenue Budget:

 

(1)

the current estimated impact of COVID-19 on the 2020/21 Budget together with the key issues that will influence the final position, be noted;

 

(2)

the financial risks associated with the delivery of the 2020/21 revenue budget and the material variations that are to be expected to the current estimates contained in the report be recognised, and it be agreed that subsequent reports provide updates and where appropriate remedial action plans as appropriate;

 

(3)

the Government grant funding that has been received to support individuals and businesses with the response to the pandemic, and which has been distributed in accordance with central government guidance, be noted;

 

(4)

the current forecast revenue outturn position for 2020/21 be noted;

 

(5)

it be acknowledged that the forecast outturn position will continue to be reviewed to ensure a balanced forecast outturn position and financial sustainability can be achieved; and

 

B.

In respect of the Capital Programme:

 

(1)

the spending profiles across financial years for the approved Capital Programme (paragraph 7.1.1 of the report) be noted;

 

(2)

the latest capital expenditure position as at 31 October 2020 of £10.600m (paragraph 7.2.1 of the report) with the latest full year forecast of £33.233m (paragraph 7.3.1 of the report) be noted;

 

(3)

the explanations of variances to project budgets (paragraph 7.2.3 of the report) be noted;

 

(4)

the Council be recommended to approve the supplementary capital estimate of £0.352m for Ainsdale Coastal Gateway (paragraph 7.4 of the report);

(5)

the capital virement of £0.149m to the Bootle Strategic Acquisitions project from Council Wide Essential Maintenance (paragraph 7.5 of the report), be approved; and

 

(6)

the Executive Director of Corporate Resources and Customer Services will manage capital resources to ensure the capital programme remains fully funded and that capital funding arrangements secure the maximum financial benefit to the Council (paragraph 7.6.3 of the report), be noted.

 

Members of the Committee asked questions/commented on the following issues:

 

·        The provision of emergency funding during the year and from Government and via the Local Government Finance Settlement to mitigate, due to the Covid pandemic, against the reduced collection of Council Tax /  ...  view the full minutes text for item 27.

28.

Executive/Scrutiny Protocol pdf icon PDF 61 KB

Report of the Chief Legal and Democratic Officer

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Further to Minute No. 15 of the meeting held on 20 October 2020 and Minute No. 69 of the meeting of Cabinet held on 3 December 2020 the Committee considered the report of the Chief Legal and Democratic Officer advising of the of Cabinet’s decision to approve the Executive/Scrutiny Protocol for use in Sefton.

 

The Protocol, that was attached as an annex to the report, had been published on the Council’s website and would be used as part of future Member Induction and Member Development Programmes.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the decision of Cabinet in approving the Executive/Scrutiny Protocol for use in Sefton be noted and welcomed.

 

 

 

29.

Members' Welfare Reform Reference Group - Update pdf icon PDF 67 KB

Briefing Note of the Cabinet Member – Regulatory, Compliance and Corporate Services

Minutes:

Further to Minute No. 22 of its meeting held on 22 October 2019 the Committee considered an update of the Head of Health and Wellbeing and Cabinet Member - Regulatory, Compliance and Corporate Services on the operation of the Members’ Welfare Reform Reference Group.

 

The update provided information on the purpose of the Welfare Reform and Anti-Poverty (WRAP) Cabinet Member Reference Group and in particular on activities associated with:

 

·        Winter Programmes

·        Healthy start vouchers

·        Childhood poverty

·        Debt issues

·        Emergency Limited Assistance Scheme

·        Mental wellbeing

 

Councillor Lappin, Cabinet Member – Regulatory, Compliance and Corporate Services presented the update.

 

A Member of the Committee made a comment on the following issue:

 

·        The provision of laptops for those children who did not have access to any tools to undertake remote learning. It was noted that a lack of adequate ICT devices and/or suitable Wi-fi access would have a detrimental impact on home schooling 

 

RESOLVED:  That

 

(1)

the update on the operation of the Members’ Welfare Reform Reference Group be noted; and

 

(2)

Councillor Lappin be thanked for her update.

 

 

30.

Work Programme 2020/21, Scrutiny Review Topics and Key Decision Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 97 KB

Report of the Chief Legal and Democratic Officer

Additional documents:

Minutes:

 

The Committee considered the report of the Chief Legal and Democratic Officer seeking the views of the Committee on the Work Programme for 2020/21; the identification of potential topics for scrutiny reviews to be undertaken by a Working Group(s) appointed by the Committee; the identification of any items for pre-scrutiny by the Committee from the Key Decision Forward Plan; and providing an update on the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority Overview and Scrutiny Committee, the Armed Forces Covenant/Toolkit and Liverpool City Region Digital Inclusion Strategy.

 

RESOLVED That:

 

(1)

 

the Work Programme for 2020/21, as set out in Appendix 1 to the report, be approved;

 

(2)

the update on the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority Overview and Scrutiny Committee be noted;

 

(3)

the update on the Armed Forces Covenant/Toolkit be noted; and

(4)

the update on the Liverpool City Region Digital Inclusion Strategy be noted.

 

 

31.

Cabinet Member Report - October 2020 to December 2020 pdf icon PDF 71 KB

Report of the Chief Legal and Democratic Officer

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered the report of the Chief Legal and Democratic

Officer that included the most recent report from the Cabinet Member –

Regulatory, Compliance and Corporate Services.

 

Councillor Lappin, Cabinet Member – Regulatory, Compliance and

Corporate Services presented her report.

 

RESOLVED: That

 

(1)

the update report from the Cabinet Member – Regulatory,

Compliance and Corporate Services be noted; and

 

(2)

Councillor Lappin be thanked for her attendance at the meeting.