To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee held on 15th March 2023.
Minutes of the meeting held on 15th March 2023 were approved as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.
Questions and Discussion
i. The Chairman noted that there was a matter arising from the minutes that he wished to discuss on the NWHSHAZ project, where there were still some outstanding actions to be completed. He added that whilst a response had been received, it did not provide the detailed information requested and it was therefore not possible to close the matter. It was noted that the issues had been discussed with the Vice-Chair and Cllr N Housden, and it had been suggested that a meeting could take place with officers to discuss the issues in more detail, in order to bring a conclusion to the next meeting. Cllr S Penfold stated that he was happy to have a meeting, but suggested that this should be done during a site visit to better understand the project. Cllr N Housden stated that he would support a site visit, but still required specific figures, as had been requested.
ii. The CE stated that it would be useful to understand what information had not been provided, as it was his understanding that all information had been provided. Cllr N Dixon stated that the information required was reflected in the minutes of the previous meeting. Cllr N Housden stated that the Committee had not seen specifics of the £400k funding uplift with a full breakdown of the expenditure. The CE stated that a breakdown of costs had been provided to the Chairman via email on the 15th May, which had included purchase of the land at Black Swan Loke, design/management fees and contractor costs. He added that if there was any further information required, he would require a specific request for information.
iii. Cllr S Penfold stated that the decision had been considered by the Overview & Scrutiny Committee, Cabinet and Full Council, with the project also reviewed by GRAC, so it needed to be clear what further information was required. The Chairman suggested that the discussion would require going into detail, and would therefore be better had on a separate occasion, to avoid delaying the meeting.
iv. Cllr L Shires stated that she was not aware of what was required, and would require details in order to provide further information. Cllr N Housden referred to an email from 15th March which referred to justification of how the £400k uplift funding would be spent. He added that the S151 Officer’s reply had not responded to the specific requests made in the email, and this was what was required. Cllr N Dixon suggested that without all Members having seen these emails, it was not helpful to discuss the matter with the wider Committee, and would be better discussed outside of the meeting, with a conclusion provided at a later date.
v. Cllr S Penfold raised concerns that he did not wish to reopen a decision related to the funding, which had already been agreed by Council.
vi. The CE Stated that he was happy to meet with Members to discuss any outstanding issues and would be happy for this to take place in North Walsham, if necessary, but in advance of this, an outline of the required information had to be made, so that it could be presented by officers. He added that it would be helpful to receive this request in writing to ensure transparency. Cllr S Penfold suggested that it would also be helpful to invite the wider Members for a site visit to North Walsham.
vii. Cllr V Holiday referred to responses received from the PCC that had been provided after the last meeting, and asked whether it was appropriate to raise these for discussion. The DSGOS suggested that he could circulate the responses to all new Members so that they could be discussed at the next meeting, if required.
1. Meeting to be arranged between Committee Chair/Vice-Chair/Cllr Housden and Officers to discuss outcomes and requested information on NWHSHAZ project.