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20 JUNE 2023


Work Programming Report, 2023-24





Overview and Scrutiny Committee

20 June 2023



Will this be a Key Decision?





Not Applicable

Final Decision-Maker

Overview and Scrutiny Committee

Lead Director

Angela Woodhouse, Director of Strategy, Insight & Governance

Lead Officer and Report Author

Oliviya Parfitt, Acting Principal Democratic Services Officer



Wards affected




Executive Summary

This report outlines the process to be taken by the Committee in formulating its work programme for the 2023/24 Municipal Year.


Purpose of Report





This report makes the following recommendations to the Committee:

1.   To consider the suggested topics set out in Appendices A-E of the report and determine which, if any, should be include within the Committee’s Work Programme for the 2023/4 municipal year having given due consideration to the review’s weighting; and

2.   Determine whether any topics arising from additional submissions from Members (if any), should be included in the Committee’s Work Programme.



Work Programming Report, 2023-24







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 recommendations could materially improve the Council’s ability to achieve all corporate priorities, due to the Committee’s recommendations on its work programme topics. The Committee considers alignment with the strategic priorities as part of the scope of any reviews undertaken.

Director of Strategy, Insight & 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 recommendations could support the achievement of all the Council’s cross-cutting objectives due to the Committee’s recommendations on its work programme topics.

Director of Strategy, Insight & Governance

Risk Management

See Section 5 of the report.


Director of Strategy, Insight & Governance


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


Head of Finance


We will deliver the recommendations with our current staffing, however should the Committee choose too high a workload, the current staff resources may not be sufficient. See section 5 of the report for further information. 

Director of Strategy, Insight & 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 decision made, or other actions taken (LGA 2000, Section 9F) and work programming supports this function.


In order to be effective, Government Guidance strongly advises that a work programme be agreed by the Committee.

Russell Fitzpatrick (MKLS)

Information Governance

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

Information Governance Team


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 not negatively impact on population health or that of individuals.

Any impacts identified arising from topics chosen for the work programme will be reported to the Committee.

Democratic Services Officer

Crime and Disorder

No impacts identified.


Director of Strategy, Insight & Governance


No impacts identified.

Director of Strategy, Insight & Governance

Biodiversity and Climate Change

The implications of this report on biodiversity and climate change have been considered, and it is recommended to renew attention to Appendix A: Water Management Cycle (Second Phase Review), as this corresponds to:

Action 5.3 Conduct Borough Climate Impact Assessment to priorities and strengthen power and water supply and other critical infrastructure ensuring more resilient communities; and

Action 6.5 Implement a Nature Recovery Strategy (led by KCC), linking habitat restoration and creation to improve flood protection and water quality.

Biodiversity and Climate Change Officer




2.1     The Overview and Scrutiny Committee is able to undertake pre-and-post decision scrutiny, reviews and policy development. To properly support and structure the Committee’s work over the 2023-24 Municipal Year, a Work Programme needs to be agreed.


2.2     It is important that the Committee sets its own work programme, with Statutory Guidance stating that:


‘Effective scrutiny should have a defined impact on the ground, with the Committee making recommendations that will make a tangible difference to the work of the authority. To have this kind of impact, scrutiny committees need to plan their work programme, i.e. draw up a long-term agenda and consider making it flexible enough to accommodate any urgent, short-term issues that might arise during the year’.[1]


2.3     A virtual workshop was held with the Committee Members on 30 May 2023.  The workshop covered:


o   Introduction to Overview and Scrutiny

o   Lessons Learnt from 2022/23 (Members and Officers)

o   Review of 2023-24 Work Programme

o   Suggestion Session

o   Next Steps


The aim of the workshop was for the Committee Members to discuss the work programme topics it proposed to take forward for the 2023/4 municipal year and the scope of the work to be undertaken in respect of each topic.


2.4     During the workshop, significant focus was given to the Lessons Learnt from 2022/23. Members identified that the previous year’s work programme had been too ambitious and therefore had not been completed.


2.5     To assist in discussing topics for the 2023/24 work programme, specific weightings were given to the reviews completed by the Committee across  the 2022/3 municipal year. The weighting is based on the resources required to facilitate the reviews and the categories were Light, Medium and Heavy.

2.6     For the reviews completed last year the following weightings were given, with reasoning included for each review:  


Example Review Weightings


1. Review of the Waste Service

Weighting: Light


Focussed lines of enquiry, pre-scheduled meetings, easy access to information, easy to identify attendees.


2. Safety in the Town Centre Review

Weighting: Medium/Heavy


Less focussed lines of enquiry, multiple meetings, wide range of evidence and attendees required.


3. Water Management Cycle

Weighting: Heavy


Started with wide remit, further work needed to break this down. Required multiple meetings with Internal and External Attendees, and informal working group meetings, with a wide range of evidence required.


2.7     Following the workshop, revised scopes for the topics carried over to the 2023/24 Work Programme were considered and these are attached as Appendices A-D, with greater focus being placed on the review’s priority, scope and deliverability.


2.8     The Committee is asked to decide which of the reviews it proposes to include in its work programme for this 2023/4 municipal year.





3.1     Option 1 – Select between 2-4 reviews, dependent on review weighting.


For example:


o   3-4 Light reviews

o   1 Medium review, 2 Light Reviews

o   2-3 Medium Reviews (depending on review remit)

o   2 Heavy Reviews


This will ensure the reviews are focused, well-planned and supported, with flexibility for the Committee to undertake pre-and-post decision scrutiny, alongside its Crime & Disorder Committee function. This work could be supported sufficiently by the Democratic Services Team.


3.2     Option 2 – Select all and/or a high number of the topics included as Appendices A-E, including any additional requests received.


This is not recommended, as it is highly likely that the Committee would not complete the work across the year, given the number of scheduled meetings and officer support currently available.


3.3     Option 3 – Do Nothing. Failing to identify a work programme and items for review is not recommended as this would greatly reduce the effectiveness of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee.




4.1    Option 1 (as outlined in point 3.1) is the preferred option for the reasons outlined above.



5.       RISK

5.1    The risks associated with Option 1 have been considered in line with the Council’s Risk Management Framework.


5.2    The risks associated with Options 2 and 3 are that the Committee is unable to complete all of the reviews included within its work programme. This could lead to a mid-year work programme review, rushed reviews and/or a reduction in the quality of support provided by Democratic Services given the high workload currently being faced by the team.




6.1     Informal consultation took place with the Committee at an OSC Member Workshop held on 30 May 2023.  





7.1     Once the Committee has chosen the topics for inclusion within its work programme, work to commence the reviews will begin.





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

·         Appendix A: Water Management Cycle (Second Phase Review) Scope

·         Appendix B: Health Inequality Scope

·         Appendix C: Enforcement Review Scope

·         Appendix D: Leisure and Hospitality (previously night-time economy) Review Scope

·         Appendix E: Councillor Proposal (OSC Workshop), Digital Demand Responsive Transport  

·         Appendix F: Proposal Form



Overview and Scrutiny: Statutory Guidance for Councils and Combined Authorities: Overview and scrutiny: statutory guidance for councils and combined authorities - GOV.UK (

[1] Overview and Scrutiny: Statutory Guidance for Councils and Combined Authorities: Overview and scrutiny: statutory guidance for councils and combined authorities - GOV.UK (