Agenda and draft minutes

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

Contact: Rose Blaney  Tel: 07385362773

No. Item


Apologies for Absence


There were no apologies for absence received.


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.


There were no declarations of interests made.


Minutes of the meeting held on 6th February 2020 pdf icon PDF 95 KB


Councillor Meteer commented on the Strategic Nuclear Energy Board (SNEB) and the Nuclear Position Statements. In the previous meeting, it was noted that the position statements were going to SNEB to avoid duplication of work. Steve Smith, (Nuclear Projects and Programmes Manager), highlighted the current position of the position statements and it was agreed that the Scrutiny Officer would facilitate the wish of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee (OSC) members to bring the position statements to the next meeting by working with Senior Officers.


Councillor Meteer also noted that the minutes stated that Councillor Pollen would give a written report regarding STTUG, yet there was no written report. Councillor Pollen informed OSC that following that meeting, he was advised (which was clarified and confirmed by the Chief Executive) that it was not appropriate to have those minutes brought from a closed meeting with sensitive and confidential information to a public forum. It will be noted and the minutes of the previous meeting will be updated to show that the initial request for a written report for STTUG is no longer viable and will continue to be a verbal update.


A request was also raised from Councillor Pollen regarding the invitation to meet with Sellafield which had been mentioned at the previous meeting, but had not been received and required an updated. The Scrutiny Officer agreed to follow up.




a)     The minutes of the meeting held on 6 February 2020 be signed by the Chair as a correct record, with two members abstaining from the vote as they were not present at the previous meeting, subject to;

·        It being highlighted that the advice given is for the STTUG update to be given via a verbal update and not through a written report due to the sensitive nature of the meeting minutes.

b)     Nuclear Position Statements be an agenda item at the next meeting.

c)     The Scrutiny Officer provide an update to Councillor Pollen regarding the meeting with Sellafield.


[An adjournment was granted by the Chair at this point to allow officers time to fix the technical problems preventing members of the press and public from watching the live stream of the meeting.]




Covid 19 Update and Recovery Plan pdf icon PDF 1 MB


Due to officer time constraints, Agenda Item 12 was moved forward to Agenda Item 4 so that the Chief Executive could give a presentation to the OSC regarding the Copeland Borough Council COVID 19 plan to reboot, re-energise and re-engineer Copeland rather than just recover. The presentation also included an update on how Copeland is going to work with the rest of Cumbria.


The Chair asked the Chief Executive to comment regarding the situation with the number of Doctors within the Borough, which at the start of the year noted that there was a low number, would be impacted via COVID. The Chief Executive noted that it had been difficult to recruit within that sector but, post COVID, the place based system might help with that from people moving out of the cities. It was also noted that people must be encouraged to use/access the NHS when in need of medical assistance even though it may be more difficult in some parts of the Borough.


Councillor Dinsdale questioned, should there be another lockdown, if there would be an option to utilise Sellafield and the workforce with their skills as well as volunteers. The Chief Executive noted that there was a huge will from Sellafield to want to do more, but they were very mindful of the health of their workforce. The Chief Executive continued that as we now have more experience dealing with the virus, and the willingness to deploy resources more rapidly, the Council is now in a stronger positions to respond to a second wave of COVID-19 infections than we were the first.


Councillor Pollen wanted to pass on his personal thanks to the Chief Executive and Council officers for all their hard work and support. Councillor Pollen wanted to also note that the aspiration to ensure that no one is left behind is commendable but must not be underestimated, as pre-COVID there were still numerous children and households that were reliant on foodbanks and were struggling. The Chief Executive noted that there is an incredibly dedicated team of officers at Copeland, all of whom did the Borough proud, who were redeployed willingly to wherever they were needed but agreed and endorsed Councillor Pollen’s point. There is a lot of work that still needs to be done, as there has always been, but there is now a renewed commitment and renewed focus with greater understanding of the issues within our community.

All councillors wanted to thank the Chief Executive for an update on an ever evolving situation with such a detailed presentation.


Executive Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 60 KB


The Chair noted that they did not intend to go through the Forward Plan page by page and invited members to make comments or ask questions should they wish.


RESOLVED – That the Executive Forward Plan was noted.



Update from Cumbria Health Scrutiny Committee


The Chair noted that the Cumbria Health Scrutiny Committee are currently trialling a webpage solution to their current technical difficulties of holding face to face meetings.


There have also been no meetings since the last OSC meeting, but there are two before the next meeting, when an update will be provided to OSC



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


STTUG have met a few times since the previous OSC meeting. Topics have includes; the implementation of the COVID Return to Work guidelines, reviewing best practice with neighbouring councils and input from Trade Unions. It is a continuous process.


Councillor Pollen noted that he was given a concern regarding working from home and upon bringing it to the meeting, there was a lengthy discussion where they were informed by the Chief Executive and the HR Manager that all aspects of agile working, including legal and Health and Safety were paramount and put into place to protect staff. It was also noted that there has been an improvement over the years of the relationship between managers and staff and commended the HR Manager for all their hard work.


There was an update on Health and Safety, which included an update on the Health and Safety Committee which had been created last year. Courses and training for all members of staff were also available and a brief report was given on the Beacon, with the Council committed to improvement.


Devolution and post-COVID life were also discussed, along with mention of vacancies.


Councillor Pollen ended his update by noting that STTUG continues to be a positive vehicle for industrial relations with the Council, resolving issues and concerns, as well as sharing issues, information and opinions before it becomes a major issues. If there are any concerns councillors can contact either Councillor Pollen or the Chief Executive.





There were no housing updates available and, as this is a standing item, will be rolled over into the next meeting.



OSC Annual Report 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 43 KB

Additional documents:


The Scrutiny Officer presented the 2019/2020 OSC Annual Report. They noted that the OSC work programme has been significantly impacted by the pandemic which is reflected in the report in Appendix A.


Councillor Pollen commented that he agreed with the Chair’s comments that OSC is crucial going forward as part of the recovery with this pandemic with a major role to play. Councillor Pollen also commented on the need for partnership between OSC the Executive, noting that the change to Executive membership during the pandemic is a cause for concern.




a)     The Scrutiny Officer will make minor clerical amendments to the report,

b)     OSC Annual Report 2019/20 be noted.


Outside Bodies Report 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 53 KB

Additional documents:


The Director of Corporate Services and Commercial Strategy (Monitoring Officer) was invited to present the report which provides analysis and overview of the Outside Bodies where there has been member representation and champions assigned to those bodies. The objective of the report is for members of OSC to acknowledge where members have been active in their outside bodies with a return rate of the feedback forms fifty-two percent higher than last year with forty percent feedback from twenty-five representatives and six member champions.


It was noted that there was one recommendation from Councillor Weir in her report to remove representation from the Maternity Ward Trust, but Councillor Weir noted that, upon further consideration, it would be best to keep representation within the Trust.


One of the main talking points to come out from further discussion regarding Outside Bodies was the need for further training, information and expectations regarding being a representative and a champion to help members feel comfortable in their roles. Possibly the creation of an induction course for representatives and champions, which could possibly include a job description.




(a)    The Outside Bodies annual review reports and any recommendations to Full Council on the detail provided be noted; and

(b)   The Chair and Scrutiny Officer to look into further training and information regarding roles as representatives and champions.



2019/20 Council Performance Plan - Quarter 4 pdf icon PDF 122 KB

Additional documents:


The Director of Corporate Services and Commercial Strategy (Monitoring Officer) was invited to present the report which presents an overview for the final quarter of 2019/20 progress and performance. The report is marked against twenty Key Deliverables which the council aims to achieve between 2019/20, of which fourteen of those were completed, marking seventy percent completion. All other Key Deliverables were partially completed and making good progress prior to the evoking of the Councils Business Continuity Plan in response to the Covid19 pandemic. Eighty percent of KPIs met their target for the end of Quarter four and eighty-eight percent of comparable KPIs exceeded target and or improved or maintained performance compared to the same quarter last year.


RESOLVED: – That the performance against the Corporate Strategy Delivery Plan and KPIs and any actions taken to improve compliance with targets be noted.



2019/20 Finance Report - Quarter 4 pdf icon PDF 134 KB


The Director of Financial Resources was invited to present their report for the 2019/20 provisional outturn budget monitoring report presented to the Executive on 21st July 2020. The report highlights the projected overspend for Quarter 3, as well as the outturn for Quarter 3, the changes in finance, the impact on general reserves and the capital outturn position.


Councillor Weir questioned the Director on the Beacon overspend and whether or not the deficit was the cause for members of staff no longer being employed by the Beacon. The Director confirmed that this was not the case and that the Beacon Director left the council of her own volition.


Councillor Meteer asked the Director to clarify the impact on COVID for Quarter 4, as this was before the introduction of Lockdown. The Director clarified and informed Councillor Meteer that the increase in the overspend from Quarter 3, and that the impact from COVID, was starting to be seen from the reduction of income from car parking and the increase of spending on IT to enable the council to work more remotely in preparation for the lockdown.


RESOLVED: – That the provisional outturn budget monitoring report to the Executive attached be noted.




Task and Finish Group Updates pdf icon PDF 82 KB


The Scrutiny Officer gave OSC a brief overview of the current Task and Finish groups and activities which were active before lockdown was initiated.


The Committee decided that the substantial change to the recycling service has operated since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the scope of the review has changed significantly due to impact of pandemic. The Chair of the Recycling Review Task and Finish Group is no longer part of OSC and the membership of the group needs to be refreshed. Due to these issues, it was recommended that the Review itself be overhauled and a new task and finish group be set up, with a new scope set, to review recycling as it is following COVID-19.


Following conversation and discussion, it was decided that the Older People Task and Finish Group would need some further work. The Scrutiny Officer will speak to the social pre-scribers and report to OSC with their findings before the task and finish group would restart.


The decision was taken to defer restarting both task and finish groups until following the September OSC meeting when further information could be received allowing for groups to be scoped correctly.


RESOLVED – That the Scrutiny Officer would contact the relevant officers to collate the information required to restart the task and finish groups once possible.



Overview and Scrutiny Committee Work Programme pdf icon PDF 61 KB


The Scrutiny Officer gave members an update on the work programme which had been severely impacted by COVID-19 and currently needs refreshed. Members will need to contact the Scrutiny Officer and the Chair know any items they believe need added to the work programme.


Members will also need to take into account the impact of COVID-19 and how Overview and Scrutiny works in light of that.


Councillor Pollen noted that we are in unprecedented times and that members need to prioritise what OSC focuses on in the upcoming months so that OSC can help the Council help communities.


The Scrutiny Officer highlighted the Executive Forward Plan that may contain items of interest for members and they then can be added to the Committee’s Work Programme.


Date and Time of Next Meeting:

The next meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee will be held on Thursday 10th September 2020 at 2:00pm. This will be a virtual meeting.


The next meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee will be held on Thursday 10th September 2020 at 2pm via virtual meeting.



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