Contact your Parish Council


19 July 2022


Scoping Report – 2022/23 Work Programming





Overview and Scrutiny Committee

19 July 2022



Will this be a Key Decision?





Not Applicable

Final Decision-Maker

Overview and Scrutiny Committee

Lead Head of Service

Angela Woodhouse, Head of Policy, Communications and Governance

Lead Officer and Report Author

Oliviya Parfitt, Democratic Services Officer



Wards affected



Executive Summary


This report outlines the action taken following the previous meeting of the Committee, with the four chosen topics that may be included within the work programme having been scoped and included within Appendix 1 to the report.


Purpose of Report





This report makes the following recommendations to the Committee:

1.   Consider the suggested scopes as set out within Appendix 1 to the report and determine which should be included within the Committee’s work programme



Scoping Report – 2022/23 Work Programming







Impact on Corporate Priorities

The four Strategic Plan objectives are:


·         Embracing Growth and Enabling Infrastructure

·         Safe, Clean and Green

·         Homes and Communities

·         A Thriving Place


Accepting the recommendation could materially improve the Council’s ability to achieve all corporate priorities, due to the Committee’s role in reviewing and recommending actions on its work programme topics.


Head of Policy, Communications and Governance

Cross Cutting Objectives

The four cross-cutting objectives are:


·         Heritage is Respected

·         Health Inequalities are Addressed and Reduced

·         Deprivation and Social Mobility is Improved

·         Biodiversity and Environmental Sustainability is respected


The report recommendation could support the achievement of all the Council’s cross-cutting objectives due to the Committee’s role in reviewing and recommending actions on its work programme topics.


Head of Policy, Communications and Governance

Risk Management

See Section 5 of the report.


Head of Policy, Communications and Governance


The proposals set out in the recommendation are all within already approved budgetary headings and so need no new funding for implementation.

Senior Finance Manager


We will deliver the recommendations with our current staffing, with an additional two members of the Democratic Services Team expected in the near future.

Head of Policy, Communications and Governance


In accordance with Part 1A of the Local Government Act 2000 (as amended by the Localism Act 2011) the Council is operating under Executive Arrangements.


These arrangements must include provision for the appointment of one or more Overview and Scrutiny Committees to review and scrutinise executive decisions made, or other action taken – LGA 2000, Section 9F.

Interim Team Leader (Contentious and Corporate Governance)

Information Governance

The recommendations do not impact personal information (as defined in UK GDPR and Data Protection Act 2018) the Council processes.

Senior Information Governance Officer


The recommendations do not propose a change in service therefore will not require an equalities impact assessment

Equalities & Communities Officer

Public Health


We recognise that the recommendations will have a positive impact on population health or that of individuals.

Senior Public Health Officer

Crime and Disorder

No impacts identified.


Head of Policy, Communications and Governance


No impacts identified.

Head of Policy, Communications and Governance

Biodiversity and Climate Change

There are no immediate implications on biodiversity and climate change until the Committee reaches it decision on review topics. If any implications arise through the Committee conducting specific reviews, these will be highlighted as they arise.

Head of Policy, Governance and Communications.





2.1     At its meeting on the 21 June 2022, the Committee considered a series of suggestions put forward by the Council’s Wider Leadership Team, the Executive and other Councillors for inclusion within its work programme.


2.2     The Committee decided that a suitable way of narrowing down the topics for inclusion in its work programme was to take a vote on the items. Each Committee Member was given three votes to exercise, with the four highest voted-for topics to be scoped and further considered at its next meeting. A decision is required on which issues are included and in what order the reviews will be conducted in accordance with the priority assigned by the Committee.  


2.3     The four chosen topics were:


·         Safety and Enforcement

·         Water Management Cycle

·         The Council’s Performance in relation to the Waste Strategy

·         Health Inequality


2.4     The topics have been scoped and are included within Appendix 1 to the report. In selecting which of the topics to include within its work programme the Committee is reminded that the scoping proposals are suggested approaches to conducting the reviews, rather than finalised scopes.


2.5     Included within the scopes are suggested timelines for conducting each review. In choosing which topics to take forward, the Committee should consider how many of its scheduled meetings will be taken up by the reviews. For example a review across three to four meetings, could cover October 2022 to January 2023. In this instance, two topics would be a guideline figure to include within the work programme. This would allow for flexibility should the issues overrun or for additional items to be considered. This further allows for smaller, one-off reviews to be completed in between. Two meetings will also be required to allow the Committee to sit as the Crime and Disorder Committee.  


2.6     A variety of approaches to conducting the reviews have been included within appendix 1 such as spotlight reviews, working groups, Member briefings and written and verbal evidence collection. Working Groups and Sub-Committees will be a feasible option in the future as two new Democratic Services Officers have been recruited, providing more resource within the team. However, this is unlikely to be immediate as training will need to be provided.


2.7     It is for the Committee to decide how they would wish to conduct the reviews, and for how long, i.e. how many of its scheduled meetings. This is to maintain the flexibility within the work programme to account for any unexpected items that occur over the year and allow for further time to be spent on a review if required.


2.8     The relevant Officers for each of the proposals were consulted on the scoping, to contribute to the information provided and highlight any particular lines of enquiry that it would be helpful for the Committee to consider as part of a review.







3.1     Option 1 – Consider the scoped proposals attached at Appendix 1 to the report and choose which of the items to include within the Committee’s work programme. As mentioned above in 2.5, two large reviews would be suitable, with smaller reviews to take place alongside as required.  

This is the recommended option.


3.2     Option 2 – Consider the scoped proposals and decide to review the topics on an ad hoc basis. This is not recommended as it will not provide the opportunity to plan and conduct the reviews in a timely and productive manner. The lines of enquiry for each review will have to be re-visited prior to each review.


3.3     Option 3 – Choose new topics to be scoped. This is not recommended as it will delay the Committee in undertaking any reviews and significantly reduce the reduce the effectiveness of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee by not having an agreed work programme in place. This is not recommended.


3.4     Option 4 – Do nothing. Failing to identify a work programme and items for review is not recommended and this would significantly reduce the effectiveness of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee. This is not recommended.





4.1    See point 3.1 above.



5.       RISK

5.1    The main risk associated with Work Programming is that the Committee chooses too many large review topics and is unable to conduct detailed reviews in a timely and productive manner. This would impact the Committee’s ability to flexibly respond to ad hoc issues, such as call-in requests and unexpected events and would likely prevent one-off reviews from taking place. This risk can be mitigated by the Committee having this in mind when choosing options for its work programme. For example, if two large review topics were chosen, the first would be completed before the second commenced. One-off reviews could take place as required in between the larger reviews.



6.1     The Committee previously considered its work programme at the 21 June 2022 meeting. This report is a continuation of that process.






7.1     Once the items for inclusion and associated prioritisation are agreed, the Committee can begin its review work. This will include contacting the relevant consultees as part of the process as required.


7.2     Prior to each review, the Chairman and Vice-Chair will be approached to give direction on the number and content of the questions for evidence collection. The Committee Members will then be informed.  





The following documents are to be published with this report and form part of the report:

·         Appendix 1A: Safety and Enforcement Scope    

·         Appendix 1B: Water Management Cycle Scope

·         Appendix 1C: The Council’s Performance in relation to Waste Strategy Scope

·         Appendix 1D: Health Inequality Scope





(Agenda Pack) Overview and Scrutiny Committee Meeting held on 21 June 2022:

Your Councillors - Maidstone Borough Council