Agenda and minutes

Overview and Scrutiny Management Committee - Tuesday 21 March 2023 10.30 am

Venue: The Kennet Room - County Hall, Trowbridge BA14 8JN

Contact: Ben Fielding - Senior Democratic Services Officer  01225 718656, Email:


No. Item



To receive details of any apologies or substitutions for the meeting.


Apologies for absence were received from Cllr Gordon King, Cllr Tony Pickernell, Cllr Jerry Kunkler and Cllr Jon Hubbard.


Minutes of the Previous Meeting

To approve and sign the minutes of the meeting held on 7 February 2023.

Supporting documents:


The minutes of the meeting held on 7 February 2023 were presented for consideration. Minor amendments were highlighted by the Committee to be corrected before approval.


After which, it was;




To approve and sign as a true and correct record of the minutes of the meeting held on 7 February 2023 following the completion of the suggested amendments.


Declarations of Interest

To receive any declarations of disclosable interests or dispensations granted by the Standards Committee.


There were no declarations of interest.


Chairman's Announcements

To receive any announcements through the Chair.


There were no Chairman’s Announcements.


Public Participation

The Council welcomes contributions from members of the public.



If you would like to make a statement at this meeting on any item on this agenda, please register to do so at least 10 minutes prior to the meeting. Up to 3 speakers are permitted to speak for up to 3 minutes each on any agenda item. Please contact the officer named on the front of the agenda for any further clarification.



To receive any questions from members of the public or members of the Council received in accordance with the constitution.


Those wishing to ask questions are required to give notice of any such questions in writing to the officer named on the front of this agenda no later than 5pm on Tuesday 14 March in order to be guaranteed of a written response. In order to receive a verbal response, questions must be submitted no later than 5pmon Thursday 16 March. Please contact the officer named on the front of this agenda for further advice. Questions may be asked without notice if the Chairman decides that the matter is urgent.


Details of any questions received will be circulated to Committee members prior to the meeting and made available at the meeting and on the Council’s website.


There were no questions or statements submitted by members of the public.


Corporate Peer Challenge 2022

The Local Government Association (LGA) conducted a corporate peer challenge in November 2022. The report of its findings, as received by Full Council, is provided, and an action plan for approval by Cabinet on 28 March 2023 will follow.

Supporting documents:


The Chairman noted that in Agenda Supplement 1, was the action plan produced by the Council in response to the Report of the LGA Peer Challenge that was undertaken last year. The Peer Challenge Report itself was included in the agenda pack and was considered by Full Council in February. The action plan would be considered by Cabinet next week.


The Chairman noted the comments in the Peer Challenge that related to the Council’s Overview and Scrutiny function, with it suggested that the comments indicated towards a steer towards the Committee getting involved in policy formation at an earlier stage. The Chairman therefore suggested that the Committee consider this when developing forward work plans and discuss future work with the Executive. Additionally, that the Executive consider involving the Committee at an early stage whenever they were planning a policy or strategy.


The Chairman stated his disappointment that the Committee had received the Action Plan late for their consideration.


Perry Holmes, Director for Legal and Governance and Monitoring Officer introduced the action plan and apologised for the late publication of the report, with it explained that this had been partly due to the way in which the process was structured by the LGA. It was outlined that the report reflected positive comments regarding the way Wiltshire Council performs across a range of topics and areas. It was suggested that the second part of the Challenge was to consider the areas which were suggested that Wiltshire Council could do better and that the Action Plan sought to identify individual leads who could work and collaborate to improve those areas. Suggestions were provided for how the Action Plan could be further developed, including to provide a narrative of place to explain what the Council is attempting to do as well as ensuring that there is also an external focus.


The following comments were received from Cllr Richard Clewer, Leader of the Council, which included but were not limited to, that there is an awareness that there can be confusion surrounding the term “place” and that the LGA has a different definition of this which must be reflected. Importance was placed on recognising how positive the feedback from the Peer Challenge was, with it noted that Wiltshire Council is not Member or Officer controlled but rather an environment that challenges through conversation to build and improve. Additionally, the comments received regarding Governance and Scrutiny had been welcomed as previously the LGA had found reasons for concern, which had since been resolved.


Cllr Richard Clewer also made the following comments regarding the recommendations made from the Challenge, with reference made to Area Boards and the need for Place Boards, with Westbury referenced as a positive example of a Market Town working in this way. It was acknowledged that the most challenging recommendation would be for Wiltshire Council to speak positively about itself on a national level, which is an area that had not previously came naturally. The LGA also stated a desire to learn from  ...  view the full minutes text for item 29.


Management Committee Task Groups

To receive updates on recent activity on the following Task Groups:


·       Evolve Programme Task Group

·       Financial Planning Task Group

Supporting documents:


A report was received on the Task Groups and Panels established by the Management Committee.


Evolve Programme Task Group


It was noted that the task group had not met since the last meeting of the Committee, it would now meet quarterly until the end of the Evolve programme. The next scheduled meeting of the task group would be 20 April 2023.


In addition, Cllr Ruth Hopkinson provided a further verbal update that there had been ongoing concerns regarding the progress of the implementation of the project and that it was hoped that by the time of the next meeting that there would be a positive update. Additionally, it was noted that implementation had been deferred to November.


Financial Planning Task Group


The Chairman noted that the task group had not met since the last meeting of the Committee and that the task group’s forward work plan 2023/24 was attached as Appendix 2, and that the roles and responsibilities for financial scrutiny were set out at Appendix 1.


The Chairman noted that Cllr Bill Parks had stepped down from the group having taken up a position on the Executive. Following a request for expressions of interest, it was proposed that Cllr Richard Britton be appointed to the Task Group.


In addition, Cllr Pip Ridout provided a further verbal update that conversations had taken place with the Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Management Committee. It was suggested that the Quarterly Budget Updates be considered by the Financial Planning Task Group the Friday before the Tuesday meeting of Cabinet, followed by the Overview and Scrutiny Management Committee and, where appropriate, Select Committees for exploration of any service impacts. It was noted that further discussions would take place regarding contracts and procurement and that the next consideration for the Task Group would be the Quarter 4 report.


At the conclusion of discussion, it was,




The Overview and Scrutiny Management Committee agreed:


1.     To note the update on the task group activity provided.

2.     To note the Financial Planning Task Group’s forward work plan.

3.     To thank Cllr Bill Parks for his work on the Financial Planning Task Group and to appoint Cllr Richard Britton to the Task Group’s membership in his place.


Forward Work Programme

To receive updates from the Chairmen and Vice-Chairmen of the Select Committees in respect of the topics under scrutiny in their areas, including any recommendations for endorsement by the Management Committee.

Supporting documents:


The Committee considered the forward work programmes for each select Committee, as well as updates from the Chairman for each Select Committee.


Henry Powell, Democracy and Complaints Manager, provided a verbal update on behalf of the Health Select Committee due to apologies being received from Cllr Johnny Kidney and Cllr Gordon King. Following the verbal update, it was suggested that the forthcoming piece of work looking at access to NHS dental care should include analysis of the impact on military families.


Cllr Bob Jones MBE provided a verbal update on behalf of the Environment Select Committee.


In addition, the Chairman provided an update on the procurement of cleaning contracts, with it noted that next week, Cabinet would be asked to give permission for the procurement of a contract for the cleaning of the council’s operational estate. Last week the Chairman and Vice-chair received a briefing on the proposals from Vincent Albano, Asset Manager, and Cllr Ian Blair Pilling, Cabinet Member with responsibility for Operational Assets. Overall, the Chairman and Vice-chair had no concerns about the proposals, which were presented in a report in the agenda for next Tuesday’s Cabinet meeting.


At the conclusion of discussion, it was,




The Overview and Scrutiny Management Committee agreed:


To note the updates on select committee activity and approve the Overview and Scrutiny Forward Work Programme.


Date of Next Meeting

To confirm the date of the next meeting as 23 May 2023.



Urgent Items

Any other items of business which the Chairman agrees to consider as a matter of urgency.


There were no urgent items.