Venue: Council Chamber, Moorlands House, Leek
Contact: Sally Hampton - Democratic Services Officer Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Webcast: View the webcast
Notification of Substitute Members, if any.
Substitutions were as follows:
- Councillor Pascall for Councillor Haines
- Councillor Parkes for Councillor Salt
- Councillor Herdman for Councillor Shaw
- Councillor Barks for Councillor Smith
DECIDED:That the minutes of the meeting of the Community Overview and Scrutiny Panel held on 13 March 2023 be approved.
Urgent Items of Business, if any. (24 hours notice to be provided to the Chairman).
An issue was raised regarding the appropriate Council logo being incorporated in documentation.
Declarations of Interest:-
· Disclosable Pecuniary Interests
· Other Interests
(At least two clear days notice required, in writing, to the Proper Officer in accordance with Procedure Rule 15).
Questions received from Cllr Porter:
1. What plans does the new Portfolio Holder for Climate Change have to release the Plan for Nature developed by Staffordshire Wildlife Trust, commissioned by me as his predecessor, over the last year and how does he intend to implement it?
Staffordshire Wildlife Trust has informed officers that they will provide them with a first draft of the Plan for Nature within the next fortnight. A meeting been arranged for the first week of July to discuss the draft and consider approaches for launching the strategy. Whilst these arrangements are yet to be determined, I can assure the Councillor that it will include a presentation by the Wildlife Trust to this panel. With regards implementation, the Council has successfully recruited to the role of Biodiversity Officer and this post will be key to implementation of the plan. I will provide further information on implementation of the plan once I have had opportunity to review its content.
By way of supplementary questions, Cllr Porter enquired if a budget was available to implement the Plan for Nature and how relationships with partners would be strengthened. Councillor Yates advised that the budget had been previously agreed, there were financial restraints but there was contingency for climate change work. Once the Plan for Nature had been received, it was anticipated that town and parish councils would be involved with the implementation of the strategy and be based around the seasons.
A meeting was planned with Jeff Sim – Staffordshire Wildlife Trust at the beginning of August and the Communities and Climate Change team had been initially invited to visit Biddulph Town Council. Reference was made to task and finish working groups and parish and town councils being empowered to deliver their green spaces.
2. Will the Portfolio Holder be carrying on my Climate Change Community Fund and will he commit to ensuring that value for money is obtained from all projects funded by the scheme?
Yes, the Council intends to continue to deliver the fund and will provide regular updates to this Panel.
In response to a query around maximisation of the take up of this fund and value for money, the Portfolio Holder advised, that he hoped task and finish working groups consisting of a geographical spread of members, could review different aspects of the plans to mitigate climate change. He had reviewed all of the current grants awarded and complimented Councillor Porter on the work carried out to date.
Going forward, he would continue to ensure all monies were spent wisely and that priority would be given to biodiversity and nature recovery projects.
Questions received from Cllr Ward
3. The previous administration created a new Community Lottery to raise additional funding for local volunteer groups. The contract was signed in January and had a 6-month lead in time for delivery. Could you please update this council on the progress of this and if it has fallen behind schedule, when we can anticipate its final roll ... view the full minutes text for item 5.
The Panel received a presentation from Neil Rodgers - Executive Director (Place). This included:-
· The Council’s Decision Making Process
· Forward Plan
· Overview & Scrutiny
· Review of Scrutiny
· Role of the Health & Community Overview & Scrutiny Panel
· Work Programme development
· Task & Finish Groups
· Role of Officers
DECIDED: That the presentation be received.