Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: This meeting will be a virtual meeting and therefore will not take place in a physical location

Contact: Clive Willoughby  Tel: 01946 598328

No. Item

OSC 20/149

Apologies for Absence


Apologies for absence were received from Councillors John Kane, James Date and Eileen Weir. Also from Sarah Pemberton (Director of Corporate Resources and Commercial Strategy).


The Deputy Chair took this opportunity to pass on a message of thanks from the Elected Mayor to the Overview and Scrutiny Committee (OSC) for all the work that has been done for Local Government Reorganisation. The Deputy Chair also passed on the thoughts and well wishes, on behalf of the entire committee, to the Chair of OSC Councillor John Kane and his family following his recent surgery.



OSC 20/150

Declarations of Interests in Agenda Items:


To receive declarations by Members and/ or co-optees of interests in respect of items on this Agenda.


Members are reminded that, in accordance with the revised Code of Conduct, they are required to declare any disclosable pecuniary interests or other registrable interests which have not already been declared in the Council’s Register of Interests. (It is a criminal offence not to declare a disclosable pecuniary interest either in the Register or at the meeting).


Members are advised however, in the interests of clarity and transparency, to declare at this point in the meeting, any such disclosable pecuniary interests which they have already declared in the Register, as well as any other interests.


Members are reminded that they may not, by law, participate or vote in any discussion in a meeting on a matter in which they have a disclosable pecuniary interest


Members are advised that they should leave the room during consideration of any items of business in which they have a disclosable pecuniary interest.


Declarations were made by Councillor Jeanette Forster regarding Agenda Item 4 due to working for West Cumberland Hospital.


OSC 20/151

Minutes of the meeting held on 17 November, 23 November & 26 November pdf icon PDF 514 KB

Additional documents:


Councillors reviewed the minutes of the previous meetings.


Following on from an action from the 26 November meeting, the Committee Clerk informed OSC that the Director of Financial Resources would circulate the information regarding the cost of Green Waste before Christmas. Due to needing to collate information from both the Finance Team and the Waste Team, the information was unavailable for the 17 December meeting. The Chair thanked the clerk for the update and requested that the Scrutiny Officer ensure that this is done before the next meeting.



a)     With a unanimous vote for, the Committee agreed that the minutes of the meeting held on 17 November, 23 November and 26 November 2020 were approved as a true and accurate record.

b)     The Director of Financial Resources provide Councillor McGrath and the rest of the Committee with further information regarding Green Waste.


OSC 20/152

Update on Town Centre Funding


With permission from the Chair, this item was moved up the agenda due to officer time constraints. The Chief Executive gave an update to OSC regarding the Whitehaven Future High Street Fund and the Cleator Moor and Millom Towns Deals. The Area Manager for Copeland from Cumbria County Council was then invited to give OSC an update regarding Egremont and their inclusion in the Borderlands Project.

Councillor Pollen thanked the Chief Executive, the Area Manager and the Mayor for their attendance at the meeting following his request at the last meeting. Councillor Pollen asked for confirmation from the Area Manager as to whether Egremont Town Council would be contacted to become involved in the Borderlands Project development. The Area Manager confirmed that either herself or the consultancy firm, Thinking Places Consultancy, will contact Egremont Town Council in the New Year to advise on how to move the project forward and which partners and stakeholders would need to be invited.

Councillor Hailes suggested spearheading creating a meeting with the Copeland Member of Parliament (MP) Trudy Harrison, to develop Egremont. Councillor Pollen welcomed working with the MP and any other support that could come to Egremont as there fantastic potential within the town.


OSC 20/153

Executive Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 409 KB


The Committee reviewed the Executive Forward Plan.


Councillor Forster asked for further information regarding the Collecting Clinical Waste item. The Scrutiny Officer informed members that, following the point being raised at the last OSC meeting, he had contacted the Public Protection Officer who was creating the report. They informed the Scrutiny Officer that once the information was available they would send the report to the Officer to forward to OSC.


Councillor Meteer queried the tight timescales for the Draft Budget coming to OSC in January for comments to then go to the Executive the following week. The Chief Executive answered that the Councillor’s point was noted, well made and was something that they were aware of. The settlement which the budget is based on, has yet to come to Copeland. Which means that the Budget cannot be written and provided to members sooner. Despite the tight timescale, any comments made by OSC will be taken into account before it will be agreed by the Executive.


Councillor Jones-Bulman requested further information regarding the Copeland Community Lottery. The Chief Executive informed OSC that this was originally a proposal for a community based lottery system for local areas to raise money for community projects. However, due to the pandemic, the Executive have decided to put the report on hold for the time being.



a)     The report be noted

b)     The Scrutiny Officer will provide members with further information on Collecting Clinical Waste once the information is available.


OSC 20/154

Update from Cumbria Health Scrutiny Committee


Due to the Cumbria Health Scrutiny Committee representative not being present at the meeting, the update was deferred until the next meeting.


OSC 20/155

Update from the Single Table Trade Union Group (STTUG) representative


Councillor Pollen noted that the last STTUG meeting was a one agenda item meeting, where the agenda item was confidential and therefore there was no update to be given.


Councillor Pollen did note that he had been unable to raise the Chair’s issue regarding staff at Millom. However, the Chair noted that they had been given updates by the Chief Executive on the ongoing issue, alongside other Millom Councillor’s, and would continue to receive those updates.


OSC 20/156



The Strategic Housing & Social Inclusion Manager gave OSC a brief update on housing. She noted that the results from the Housing Needs Survey, both the general evidence and the Parish specific outcomes, were available on the Copeland website. OSC were also given an update on the homelessness situation in Copeland; there was a large increase in need during the first lockdown, over 500%, from individuals and families but it was noted that  while the team were prepared for a further increase during the second lockdown this did not transpire with only two of the extra accommodation units secured being used. However, although there are still a number of residents who still require assistance, there have been some positives to take from the past few months. A case was then explained to OSC, where the impact of Covid-19 had been positive for a member of the public due to the lack of access to drugs and alcohol during lockdown, leading to an opportunity to focus and improve their lifestyle by being more willing to accept help.


The Chair gave their thanks to the Housing Team and Councillors for working alongside each other to try and alleviate the problems across the borough, and expressed their interest in having the manager returning to keep talking about the successes and problems the team are facing.


Councillor Pollen expressed his thanks to the team for all the hard work they have done, especially though the pandemic and the two lockdowns, for those who are vulnerable through homelessness.


OSC 20/157

Social Prescribing Presentation


The Strategic Housing & Social Inclusion Manager, one of Copeland’s Social Prescribing Officers and the Community Resilience & Social Inclusion Team Leader gave a presentation on Social Prescribing in Copeland. The presentation covered; the background of Social Prescribing, the benefits, how it works in Copeland, project updates, project outcomes so far, examples of outcomes and contact details for the Social Prescribing team.

The Chair thanked the team and noted that they were grateful to have a team that is so involved with all of the Borough, especially through such hard times.


Councillors Meteer asked if further information could be provided regarding the 11 potential opportunities that were mentioned in the presentation. The Social Prescribing Officer did not cover all of the potential opportunities, due to time constraints. However, they did comment that the potential opportunities had gone down from 11 to 10, as one of the opportunities had been converted and acclimated into an opportunity through an already existing online art session. Another potential opportunity being explored is the creation, in a rural area where there are no community halls, of a community garden and this is currently being explored.


The Community Resilience & Social Inclusion Team Leadernoted that the aim for Social Prescribing was to work together, with multiple partners and the wider community, to find a social solution for all of the community. The Social Prescribing Officer also commented that there was a collaboration between the North and South of Copeland, all working together for the betterment of the entire Borough.


Councillor Hailes thanked the team for all their hard work and the presentation given.


The Strategic Housing & Social Inclusion Manager assured OSC that they would be kept updated on the situation of Social Prescribing. She also highlighted that this was not a statutory service and that officers had gone over and above in creating these links and possible opportunities for Copeland.


RESOLVED: – That the Scrutiny Officer would ensure that the links between OSC and the Social Prescribing team are kept intact.

OSC 20/158

Task and Finish Group Updates pdf icon PDF 323 KB


The Scrutiny Officer noted that there had been no changes to the task and finish groups that the committee has agreed to go forward, this is due to the sheer frequency of meetings that the Council, OSC in particular, have had. The aim is to have these begin in the New Year. The Scrutiny Officer also highlighted that any member who has expressed interest in joining a task and finish group has been noted.


The Deputy Chair took this opportunity to express her thanks for all the hard work, especially over the pandemic, and best wishes for the future to the Scrutiny Officer who would be leaving the Council, this being his last OSC meeting. These sentiments were echoed by all members.


OSC 20/159

Overview and Scrutiny Committee Work Programme pdf icon PDF 355 KB


The Scrutiny Officer noted that there were some updates to the items which will be programmed into the OSC Work Programme. An email had been sent by the Scrutiny Officer regarding the Executive’s E-Scooter trial report to all OSC members. Information had also been sent out to Councillor’s regarding the Community Forest Plan, where members will be a key part in the environmental programming going forward. But the exact format of the committees and/or steering groups have not been confirmed, but members will be involved. However, due to the commercial sensitivity of the Property Acquisition as part of the Future High Street Fund, information had not been circulated and included on the agenda. The programme for the New Year would focus on the Budget and further finance and performance updates.


The Scrutiny Officer then took the opportunity to thank OSC for their hard work over the past few years during his time as Scrutiny Officer. He wished the Committee all the best going forwards, especially with Local Government Reorganisation, for which the work of OSC will be key.


Councillor McGrath expressed their disappointment and concern that, with the next OSC meeting focussing on the Mayor’s Draft Budget, they had not received the Quarter 2 Finance Report as had been scheduled in the Work Programme, despite efforts from the Scrutiny Officer to obtain said documents. Councillors echoed this concern, especially as it is a statutory right for the committee to receive quarterly reports.


OSC 20/160

Date and Time of Next Meeting:

The next meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee will be held on Tuesday 12th January 2021 at 2:00pm.  This will be a virtual meeting.



The next meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee will be held on Tuesday 12th January 2021 at 2pm via virtual meeting.


Before closing the meeting, the Deputy Chair thanked the members of OSC for their hard work over the year and wished them a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.



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