Agenda and minutes

Venue: Council Chamber - Civic Centre

Contact: Adam Rees 

Items
No. Item

25.

Apologies for Absence and Substitutions

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors David Carter, Tony Edwards, Shona Johnson and Stefan Mullard.

26.

Declarations of Interest

To receive Councillors’ declarations of interest (if any) in relation to any matters on the agenda.

Minutes:

Councillor Maggie Hulcoop declared a non-pecuniary interest in Item 10, Review of the Closure of Osler House – Interview with Osler House Action Group, as a Ward Councillor for Harlow Common.

 

Councillor Joel Charles also declared a non-pecuniary interest in Item 10 as a director of a health and social care policy charity.

27.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 186 KB

To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 4 September 2018.

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 9 September 2018 are agreed as a correct record and signed by the Chair.

28.

Matters arising

Minutes:

None.

 

The Chair said that Item 10 would be considered as the first substantive item at the meeting.

29.

Written questions from members of the public

To receive any questions from members of the public in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 10.

Minutes:

None.

30.

Written questions from Councillors

To receive any questions from Councillors in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 11.

Minutes:

None.

31.

Responses of the Cabinet to Reports of the Scrutiny Committee

To consider responses (if any) of the Cabinet to reports and recommendations from the Committee.

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the following responses of the Cabinet to reports of the Scrutiny Committee were noted.

31a

Response of the Cabinet to the Review of Civic Pride and Education

The Cabinet considered the Committee’s recommendation arising from the Review of Civic Pride and Education at its meeting on 13 September 2018 and:

 

RESOLVEDthat:

 

A     Cabinet supports the events and activities with a theme of Civic Pride, as set out in paragraphs 10 to 13 of the original report attached as Appendix 1.

31b

Responses of the Cabinet to the Review of Universal Credit in Harlow

The Cabinet considered the Committee’s recommendation arising from the Review of Universal Credit in Harlow at its meeting on 13 September 2018 and:

 

RESOLVED that Cabinet:

 

A     Noted the continued operational issues that the transition to Universal Credit is having for the Council and its services during the first 12 months of the live scheme in Harlow and in particular:

 

                             i)        Delays in payments being made to housing providers.

 

                            ii)        The increased level of rent arrears.

32.

Review of the Closure of Osler House - Interview with Osler House Action Group pdf icon PDF 445 KB

Minutes:

The Chair invited the West Essex CCG to give a brief presentation. Peter Whiteman gave a high level overview of pressures on services, both nationally and locally. He then explained that the health care provider for Osler House had said they were no longer able to provide a service. There were no viable options and as a result a consultation did not take place on the closure. It had been noted that patients had received letters notifying them of the closure, two days before the Council and Councillors had been notified. This was an error for which the CCG had apologised for.

 

The Chair then invited members of the Osler House Action Group to speak. Jean Chivrall spoke about the distance to other surgeries throughout Harlow to Osler House. Although the distance to Church Langley’s surgery was 0.9 miles, this assumed the patient had the ability to drive. For those that couldn’t, two buses were required and the total distance was seven miles. This was a factor in deterring the elderly from visiting their GP. She hoped that an open day for affected residents would be organised.

 

Colin Thorpe then spoke about the viability of Osler House. In 2017, the CCG had said it was viable. It was also unclear how it was possible to pay the other surgeries in Harlow a premium for taking patients dispersed from Osler House, when Osler House itself was no longer supposed to be viable. He then noted that other, smaller, surgeries in west Essex had been put out for tender. He asked why this had not happened for Osler House.

 

Kevin Tucker explained that legislation surrounding surgeries required consultation to take place with both residents and key stakeholders. This had not happened with Osler House.

 

Councillor Hulcoop that Osler House had been threatened by closure twice before and both times there had been a dialogue with the CCG. She was disappointed that this time there had been no time to discuss a potential solution.

 

In response to a number of questions by Councillor Charles, Peter Whiteman explained that the same process had been followed for the closure of other surgeries in west Essex. Whilst the demographic in Harlow Common was older than average, Osler House’s patient list was younger than average.

 

He explained that there were a number of pressures surrounding health care provision in Harlow. These included attracting staff due to Harlow’s proximity to London. There was a need for larger teams and surgeries were being encouraged to work co-operatively to ensure the best service was achieved.

 

Ian Tomkins said that the CCG was looking to improve the way it communicated in order to build shared solutions, as well as involving more people in the decision making process.

 

The Chair said that a report would be presented to Cabinet on the findings of the review.

33.

Improving the Provision of Bus Services in Harlow - Interim Report pdf icon PDF 201 KB

Minutes:

The Committee received an interim report on improving the provision of bus services in Harlow. The report set of a possible programme of improvements that Officers were working with bus operators and the County Council to develop. This would be presented to the Committee with the final report.

 

The Committee agreed that the review’s scope should be widened to look at the reliability of bus services.

 

RESOLVED that:

 

A     The Committee noted the progress of the review so far.

 

B    The scope of the review be widened to include the reliability of bus services.

34.

Review of the Impact of Permitted Development - Interim Report pdf icon PDF 226 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee received an interim report on the review of the impact of permitted development, which set of the evidence gathered, work undertaken, and a potential work programme.

 

RESOLVED that the Committee notes the contents of the report and the work due to be undertaken.

35.

Work Plan pdf icon PDF 355 KB

To review the Committee’s work plan for the current year.

Minutes:

The Committee received a report summarising its work plan for 2018/19.

 

The Committee noted that a review of paddling pools had been referred to it by Full Council and agreed to receive a scoping report at its next meeting.

 

It was also agreed that due to work pressure placed on Community Wellbeing by the paddling pools review that the Review of the Provision of Health Care Services and Adult Social Care in the Town would now only consist of presentations. Additionally, the final report for the Review of Policing in the Town would now be considered at the first meeting of the 2019/20 municipal year

 

RESOLVED that:

 

A     The work plan be noted.

 

B    A scoping report on the Review of Paddling Pools be considered at the next meeting of the Committee.

 

C    The Review of the Provision of Health Care Services and Adult Social Care in the Town only consist of presentations.

 

D    The final report for the Review of Policing in the Town be considered at the first meeting of the 2019/20 municipal year.

36.

References from Other Committees

Minutes:

None.

37.

Matters of Urgent Business

Such other business which, in the opinion of the Chair, should be received as a matter of urgency by reason of special circumstances to be specified in the minutes.

Minutes:

None.