Agenda for Overview & Scrutiny Committee. on Monday, 23rd March, 2015, 2.00pm

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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Hove Town Hall Council Chamber

Contact: Giles Rossington  Acting Head of Scrutiny

No. Item


Substitutes and Declarations of Interest pdf icon PDF 57 KB

    (copy attached)


    49.1    There were no substitutions or declarations of interest and the press & public were not excluded from the meeting.


    49.2    Cllr Summers sent her apologies for this meeting.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 74 KB

    To consider the draft minutes of the last meeting held on 27 January 2015 (copy attached).


    50.1    RESOLVED – That the draft minutes of the meeting of 27 January 2015 be approved as an accurate record.


Chairs Communications


    51.1    Cllr Janio stated that, since the Conservatives were the official opposition, and also because they presented an alternative view from the left-wing consensus that pervades the Labour and Green groups, a Conservative member should have been chairing OSC. This notwithstanding, Cllr Mitchell should be thanked for her patient and even-handed chairing of the committee.


Public Involvement

    To consider the following matters raised by members of the public:


    (a)               Petitions: to receive any petitions presented by members of the public to the full council or at the meeting itself;

    (b)               Written Questions: to receive any questions submitted by the due date of 12 noon on the (insert date);

    (c)               Deputations: to receive any deputations submitted by the due date of 12 noon on the (insert date).


    52.1    There were no items.


Member Involvement


    53.1    There were no items.


Report of the Scrutiny Panel on the Private Rented Sector pdf icon PDF 72 KB

    Report of the Assistant Chief Executive (copy attached)

    Additional documents:


    54.1    This item was introduced by Giles Rossington, the Acting Head of Scrutiny, who informed members that the panel had been established in response to a request from CAB. The panel was chaired by Professor Darren Smith of Loughborough University, and its other members were Cllr Chaun Wilson and Cllr Phelim Mac Cafferty.


    54.2    Cllr Wilson thanked everyone who had spoken to the panel. This was a huge issue, and it was unfortunate that the panel had to operate in a very restricted time-frame. It was also important that ‘scrutiny’ of the private housing sector was maintained: the sector is changing rapidly at the same time as its influence is growing.


    54.3    Cllr Mitchell commended the “brilliant” report, noting that its findings had worrying implications for the city going forward.


    54.4    RESOLVED – that the scrutiny panel report on Private Sector Housing be endorsed and referred to the relevant policy committee(s) for consideration.


Update on Short Term Lets Scrutiny Panel pdf icon PDF 79 KB

    Additional documents:


    55.1    This item was introduced by the Acting Head of Scrutiny.


    55.2    Cllr Bowden noted that, although it was stated that there was no record from Environmental Health of recent complaints about ‘party houses’, this should not necessarily be taken to imply that residents were not complaining about them. They could, for example, be complaining directly to the Short Term Holiday Lets Trade Association. Cllr Bowden was personally aware of at least one serious ongoing problem with a party houses operator.


    55.3    Cllr Mitchell agreed, noting that when there had been problems with a party house in her ward, the route of complaints had been to the council’s Planning team rather than to Environmental Health.


    55.4    RESOLVED – that the report be noted and a further monitoring report be considered at a later meeting.


Future Overview & Scrutiny Arrangements pdf icon PDF 85 KB

    For information: extract from P&R/Full Council report on changes to the council’s constitution (copy attached)

    Additional documents:


    56.1    This item was introduced by the Acting Head of Scrutiny, who explained that under future arrangements there would be one Overview & Scrutiny committee (OSC). This committee would discharge the council’s statutory scrutiny obligations, mainly in terms of health scrutiny; and would also monitor the implementation of previously agreed scrutiny panel recommendations. A programme of cross-party member-led task & finish reviews would continue, but these would principally be supported by officers from the relevant directorates rather than by an independent Scrutiny team. The OSC would have some role to play in co-ordinating this task & finish review work programme, although reviews would originate from the council’s policy committees.


    56.2    RESOLVED – that the report be noted.


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