Agenda and minutes

Extraordinary Call-In, Overview and Scrutiny Management Committee
Monday, 3rd September, 2018 7.00 pm

Venue: David Hicks 1 - Civic Offices, Shute End, Wokingham RG40 1BN

Contact: Neil Carr  Democratic & Electoral Services Specialist

Items
No. Item

31.

Apologies

To receive any apologies for absence.

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were submitted from Councillors Guy Grandison, Mike Haines, Philip Houldsworth and Ken Miall.

 

John Jarvis attended the meeting as a substitute.

 

Malcolm Richards attended the meeting as a witness in relation to his former role as Executive Member for Highways and Transport.

32.

Declarations of Interest

To receive any declarations of interest

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

33.

Public Question Time

To answer any public questions relating to the Call-In item on the Agenda.

 

A period of 30 minutes will be allowed for members of the public to ask questions submitted under notice.

 

The Council welcomes questions from members of the public about the work of this Committee.

 

For full details of the procedure for submitting questions please contact the Democratic Services Section on the numbers given below or go to www.wokingham.gov.uk/publicquestions

Minutes:

There were no public questions.

34.

Member Question Time

To answer any Member questions relating to the Call-In item on the Agenda.

Minutes:

In accordance with the agreed procedure the Chairman invited Members to submit questions.

 

Gary Cowan had asked the Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Management Committee the following question:

 

Question

 

Can the Chair clarify if a declaration of interest should be declared by any member/s of the Committee who have a crossing under consideration in which the evidence would indicate that a correct safety audit and proper costing was not carried out of which that member was aware?

 

In Councillor Cowan’s absence, the following written reply was provided.

 

Answer

 

The Council’s Code of Conduct sets out the rules relating to the disclosure of pecuniary and personal interests. The list of subjects requiring declaration include employment, contracts, land, licences, corporate tenancies and securities.

 

It is unlikely that the work carried out to install pedestrian crossings would require a Member to declare an interest. This position may change if, for example, the crossing was being installed adjacent to a Member’s property or he/she had a financial interest (such as shares) in the contractor carrying out the work.

 

Consequently, I do not believe that Members are required to declare interests in relation to the scenario you raise.

35.

Call-In of Executive Decision - School Crossing Patrol Service - Consultation Report 2018

To consider the Call-In of the Executive decision (26 July 2018) relating to the termination of the School Crossing Patrol service and its replacement by permanent crossings.

Minutes:

The Committee considered the Call-In of the decision taken by the Executive, at its meeting on 26 July 2018, relating to consultation on the proposed replacement of the School Crossing Patrol Service with fixed crossing facilities.

 

The Executive decision was that:

 

1)     WBC continue with its proposal to provide safe, permanent crossings at the seven locations that currently have a school crossing patroller, and, following their installation, remove the school crossing patrol service once the permanent crossings are complete as set out in Option 2, Appendix 1 of the report;

 

2)    all affected schools are reminded that they have access to the Council’s road safety and My Journey teams who can facilitate further road safety training for pupils if requested.

 

The decision had been called in by Councillors Prue Bray, Clive Jones, Helen Power, Imogen Shepherd-Dubey and Rachelle Shepherd-Dubey.

 

The following witnesses were invited to submit evidence and/or answer questions in order to assist the Committee in its deliberations.

 

·           Councillor Imogen Shepherd-Dubey to set out the reasons for the Call-In, supported by Diane Burch, Keith Malvern and Annette Medhurst.

 

·           Councillor Anthony Pollock to provide justification for the Executive decision supported by Councillor Malcolm Richards, Josie Wragg (Director of Locality and Customer Services), Clare Lawrence (Assistant Director, Place) and Matt Gould (Lead Specialist, Highways and Transport).

 

Councillor Parry Batth (Chairman) welcomed the witnesses and explained the format of the meeting.

 

Witnesses would be invited to make a short address to the Committee followed by a question and answer session. Following the witness sessions the Committee would consider all the written and oral evidence and either confirm the decision or make appropriate recommendations to the Executive.

 

Councillor Imogen Shepherd-Dubey addressed the Committee and confirmed that the Executive decision had been called in on the following grounds:

 

1)     The decision had contravened Section 1.4.2 a) of the Council’s Constitution, in that the action being proposed was not proportionate to the desired outcome.

 

a)     A blanket decision had been made to replace all remaining School   Crossing Patrols (SCP) with pedestrian crossings, despite the different characteristics and requirements of the locations.

b)     The desired outcome appeared to be to save money yet the costs both of the crossings and the school crossing patrol had not been fully or correctly stated. None of the other options quoted had any costs provided.

c)      The decision had been made on the basis of costs for crossings which had not yet been designed – as a redesign was taking place at four sites due to the first design not being suitable; it was therefore unclear whether a crossing was actually the right answer for those locations, as well as the costs being unknown.

 

2)     The decision had contravened Section 1.4.2 b) of the Council’s Constitution, in that due consultation and the taking of professional advice from Officers had not occurred.

 

a)     The consultation was not complete at the point at which the decisions to withdraw the service were made.

b)     The consultation was not carried out at an early  ...  view the full minutes text for item 35.