Agenda and minutes

Overview and Scrutiny Committee (Regeneration and Skills) - Tuesday 15th September, 2020 2.30 pm

Venue: Remote Meeting

Contact: Olaf Hansen  Democratic Services Officer


No. Item


Appointment of Chair


In the absence of the Chair and Vice-Chair at the meeting nominations were sought for an elected Member to chair this meeting of the Committee.




That Councillor Robinson be appointed Chair for this meeting of the Committee.



Councillor Mike O'Brien


Councillor Robinson, Chair of the Committee, referred to the sad passing on 11 September 2020 of Councillor Mike O’Brien. Mike was a valued Member of this Committee and participated in many of its Working Groups; and indicated that he will be sadly missed by Members and officers of the Council.




That the deepest condolences of the Committee be extended to Mike’s wife Councillor Brenda O’Brien, his family, friends and colleagues at this sad time. 



Apologies for Absence


Apologies for absence were received from the Chair, Councillor Sayers and  Councillors Blackburne, Lewis and Sathiy.



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, including from the public gallery, 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.



No declarations of any disclosable pecuniary interests or personal interests were received.




Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 80 KB

Minutes of the meeting held 10 March 2020




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



Covid-19 Response

To receive a presentation from the Executive Director - Corporate Resources and Customer Services


The Committee received a presentation from Andrea Watts and Stephen Watson Executive Directors on the Council’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic.


Ms. Watts and Mr. Watson provided information on the following in relation to the Council’s response and activity:


·        Following the announcement of lockdown on 23 March 2020 the Council agreed a set of principles to support the most vulnerable; to work alongside partner agencies and businesses; communicate with communities; and to planning for recovery

·        Governance arrangements at the start of the pandemic

·        Immediate Council response

·        Sefton Covid-19 statistics

·        Support for residents and communities and the Council’s workforce

·        Economic impacts and the starting point for recovery

·        Core objectives for recovery planning

·        Strategic approach to recovery

·        Recovery planning progress update


Mr. Watson concluded by indicating that the unprecedented worldwide pandemic created a most complex set of circumstances; that the Council workforce was a credit and that the Council was able to operate a significant number of services and for staff to work agile during this time; that partnership working was very strong and enhanced relationships were established with all partners including Schools; that the Council was in a strong position going forward in terms of recovery but needed to ensure it received financial backing; and that tragically significant numbers of local people had died and families suffered loss.


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


·        Credit was paid to Council staff for their response to the pandemic and their performance of different work roles and ways of working

·        The transfer of staff to support clinically vulnerable residents and how these resources could be maintained when services return to normal

·        The objective to provide support and recovery planning with minimal disruption to services

·        The national crisis in the Covid-19 testing programme due to laboratory testing capacity and the effects this had on Sefton’s communities; and the measures being put in place to mitigate such impacts

·        The lobbying of Government to ensure that Sefton received its fair share of local Covid-19 testing capacity




That Ms. Watts and Mr. Watson be thanked for their informative presentation.




Work Programme 2020/21, Scrutiny Review Topics and Key Decision Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 89 KB

Report of the Chief Legal and Democratic Officer

Additional documents:


The Committee considered the report of the Chief Legal and Democratic Officer seeking the views of members on the draft 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 updating on the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority Overview and Scrutiny Committee.






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



the Work Programme be updated by the inclusion of the Head of Economic Growth and Housing being requested to submit bi-annual reports to the Committee on the progression of the Liverpool City Region Digital Inclusion Strategy;



no new Working Groups be established until the completion of one of the current Working Groups;



the Key Decision Forward Plan as set out in Appendix 3 to the report, be noted; and



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