Issue - meetings

Consideration of Scrutiny Group Work Programmesch

Meeting: 14/06/2023 - Corporate Overview Group (Item 7)

7 Consideration of Scrutiny Group Work Programmes pdf icon PDF 245 KB

Report of the Director – Finance and Corporate Services

Additional documents:


The Chair referred to Appendix 2 which set out matrices of items that had already been approved by the former Corporate Overview Group and included onto the scrutiny programme for 2023/24.


In relation to Biodiversity Net Gain item, the Service Manager for Corporate Services said that the Council sought to have a draft scheme in place in readiness for Government regulations due for release in November 2023. The Vice Chair of Governance Scrutiny Group asked for information about the timing of hedgerow cutting to be included.


Councillor Thomas joined the meeting to present her matrix for Housing density in new housing sites. She said that housing site applications would come forward with an expected number of houses which often increased during the planning process, which was of concern to residents and impacted on the infrastructure available. She said that her proposal was to review how the initial housing numbers were determined and whether that process could be more robust.


Councillor Thomas referred to housing density being closely related to housing mix with bigger houses requiring more space, including how much open space was provided on the estate. She referred to Government proposals that housing density should be looked at in terms of existing housing density in the area, which would lead to replication of housing mix rather than a wider diversity. She said that a broadbrush approach may not provide the best housing mix and that it was important to make best and most efficient use of each piece of land.  She said that the process for planning of estates needed to be reviewed and required more scrutiny and discussion than a briefing note


The Chair noted the recommendation for a briefing note in the first instance but said that this did not preclude it coming forward for scrutiny thereafter.


The Group asked about the process for determination and programming of scrutiny items and the Service Manager for Corporate Services explained that Appendix 4 set out the current programme, noting that each meeting reviewed one or two items which allowed a maximum of 8 scrutiny items per group per year. She said that time for Officers to collate and review information also need to be considered in the programming and that sometimes it could be more expedient to provide the information in a different way.


The Group asked whether housing density sat within an existing policy which was due for review and the Service Manager for Corporate Services said that it may fit within the Local Plan linked to the work of the Local Development Framework Group.


In relation to provision of the briefing note, the Service Manager for Corporate Services said that this would enable information to be provided sooner than the item could be programmed into the scrutiny schedule and which could then be refined as to what information was to be reviewed. The Group agreed for this item to be taken forward in the scrutiny work programme.


Councillor Thomas presented her matrix for Management of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7