Agenda item

Work programme

Report by the Assistant Chief Executive.


36.1     The Chair and Senior Scrutiny Adviser introduced the report on the Committee’s work future work programme.


Scrutiny reviews

36.2     The Committee discussed and agreed the priorities for the scrutiny review topics as set out in the report, staring with scoping of a scrutiny review of Speed Limit Policy to be followed by Footway Maintenance and then Highway Drainage. The Committee asked what capacity there was to undertake the scrutiny reviews and whether it would be possible to undertake all four topics before March 2024. The Senior Scrutiny Adviser outlined that it would be possible to undertake the Speed Limit Policy review in the next six months and one other review, but this would be dependent on the agreed scope of reviews. The Chair suggested that the Committee start work on the first two reviews and then leave the others on the work programme to follow if time and resources permit. The Committee were in agreement with this approach.


36.3     The Committee agreed to establish a scoping board for a potential scrutiny review of Speed Limit Policy. Members of the Committee were invited to indicate if they wished to take part in this review work. Councillors Beaver, Hilton, Murphy, Redstone and Wright indicated that they would like to take part as well as Councillors Hollidge and Kirby-Green who had previously indicated that they wished to take part. The Committee agreed the above councillors would form the membership of the scoping board.


36.4     The Chair asked Committee members to let him, or the Senior Scrutiny Adviser, know after the meeting if they wished to take part in the scrutiny review work on the topics of Footway Maintenance or Highways Drainage.


Additional work programme items

36.5     The Committee discussed the suggestions for additions to the work programme as outlined in in paragraph 2.5 of the report. Councillor Murphy commented that he had used the services at The Keep and would recommend a visit to understand the work that is undertaken at The Keep. Councillor Hilton suggested that the parking policy item where it relates to Electric Vehicles (EVs) is included in an update report on the provision of EV charge points as a way of combining items on the work programme. Councillor Hollidge outlined that he considered that the parking policy should be urgently reviewed on the grounds of fairness as there is a disparity in charging between the different areas within the county (e.g. people pay more for residents parking permits in Hastings than in Bexhill) and other issues that determine the use of road space. Councillor Brett commented that there may be linkages between the Active Travel ratings and the Speed Limit Policy review and that might be a way of including this item.


36.6     The Chair suggested that the Committee could agree to include these additional items in the work programme and the Committee could undertake work on them if there is sufficient time. The Senior Scrutiny Adviser commented that the best way to include the item on The Keep may be to undertake the suggested work as part of a site visit and outlined that the Committee had carried out a previous review of services at The Keep which had included details of the income generation activity that was undertaken by the service to offset costs. In regard to the Active Travel ratings the Committee could see if this fitted within the scope of the Speed Limit Policy review and if not treat it as a separate report item on the work programme. The Senior Scrutiny Adviser suggested that the four additional items could be included in the work programme if the committee was in agreement with the suggested approaches. The Committee members confirmed they were happy with this approach.


Forward Plan and Training activities

36.7     The Chair asked the Committee to let him know if there were any items on the Forward Plan that they wished to include in the work programme and advise him or the Senior Scrutiny Adviser if there were any training topics they would like to cover.


Climate Emergency Action Plan (CEAP) Working Group

36.8     The Committee agreed to re-establish the Climate Emergency Action Plan (CEAP) Working Group with the existing membership and Chair, together with any other Committee members who wished to take part in this work.


Reports for information/briefings

36.9     The Committee asked for timings for the two reports/briefings listed under this section of the work programme on the Future use of County Hall, and the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) software technology within the Council. The Chief Operating Officer outlined that work was being undertaken on both of these topics over the next two months and reports or briefings for the Committee would follow on after that work.


36.10   The Committee RESOLVED to:

1) agree the agenda items for the future Committee meetings, including items listed in the updated work programme in appendix 1;

2) agree the topics and priorities for Scrutiny Reviews to be included in the Committee’s future work programme as set out in the report;

3) note the upcoming items on East Sussex County Council’s (ESCC) Forward Plan in appendix 2;

4) notify the Chair and Senior Scrutiny Adviser of any requests for training and development activities including the topics for ‘bitesize’ training sessions; and

5) agree to re-establish the Climate Emergency Action Plan (CEAP) Working Group to provide scrutiny input into an update of the corporate climate emergency action plan on behalf of the Committee as set out in section 5.4 of the report



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