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									Craven District Council                          15

                            OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY COMMITTEE

                                           12th June 2007

Present – The Chairman (Councillor Solloway) and Councillors Barrett, Beck, Butcher, Camacho,
Polly English, Mrs Firth, Harbron, Jaquin, Mason, Quinn and Whitaker.

Officers – Director of Corporate Services, Head of Democratic Services and Committee Officer.

An apology for late arrival was received from Councillor Barrett.

Start: 6.30pm                                                                        Finish: 8.35pm

Councillor Jaquin arrived at 6.36pm.
Councillor Barrett arrived at 7.20pm.
Councillor Polly English left the meeting at 8.07pm.

The minutes of meetings of the Overview and Scrutiny Corporate Sub-Group and the Overview and
Scrutiny Services Sub-Group held on 10th April 2007 and 26th February 2007 respectively were
confirmed and signed by the Chairman.

The Chairman welcomed those Members who were new to Overview and Scrutiny and also
thanked Councillor Julia Mulligan for her work as a member of the Overview and Scrutiny
Corporate Sub-Group. He also thanked former Councillors Alderson and Hill who had both served
on Overview and Scrutiny and wished them well for the future.

                                        Minutes for Report

OS.1                       AIREDALE NHS TRUST - PRESENTATION

The Chairman welcomed Peter Taylor and Anna Jackson of the Airedale NHS Trust, who had been
invited to the meeting to present the Trust’s plans to become a NHS Foundation Trust.

Mr Taylor and Ms Jackson highlighted the key issues associated with the bid for Foundation status.
In particular they summarised the key benefits of becoming a Foundation Trust and the differences
between a Foundation and a NHS Trust, including governance arrangements. In concluding their
presentation, Mr Taylor and Ms Jackson invited and responded to Members’ comments and
questions. Points raised, questions asked and answers given included the following:-

    1. Foundation Trusts were monitored by an independent body; Trusts could become insolvent.

    2. The National Health Service (NHS) would still set tariffs and Foundation Trusts had to
       operate within its rules.

    3. Standards would be set by the Healthcare Commission.

    4. Foundation Trusts were required to provide mandatory services and were more accountable
       to local people; the Council would be represented on the Trust’s Membership Council, the
       body to which the Trust was ultimately accountable for the proper use of the assets and
       resources at its disposal.

                                                            Overview and Scrutiny Committee 12 June 2007
Craven District Council                          16

    5. The new Trust would own its own land and property. If it wished to take back Skipton
       Hospital it would have to purchase it.

    6. Government targets would still stand. The important issue for the Trust was how it would go
       about meeting those targets.

    7. NHS tariffs took account of the average length of stay in hospitals. Discharging patients
       early who weren’t ready for discharge was not an option. Duty of care remained in place.

    8. If economically and clinically viable, clinics out, for example in Skipton, were encouraged
       and there was no desire to bring everyone to Airedale Hospital for treatment.

    9. As part of the consultation process, questionnaires were being mailed to a percentage of
       the population in the Trust’s area.

    10. Residents in the area would have a greater say in the Trust’s future existence and what it
        did if it acquired Foundation status.

    11. Accident and emergency was viewed by the Trust as critical to its service. Provision of an
        accident and emergency service in rural areas presented some difficulties, but work was
        ongoing with telecare and paramedics had been trained.

    12. Rules were in place to control the number of private patients a Foundation Trust can treat.

The consultation period on the Trust’s Foundation application would end on 13th July 2007, and in
drawing the discussion to a close the Chairman stated that he would be submitting a response and
encouraged all other Members of the Council to do likewise. Copies of the consultation paper had
been circulated to all members.

(Councillor Beck informed the Committee that he was employed by the Airedale NHS Trust. He
declared a personal and prejudicial interest and left the room.)

OS.2                       OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY - OPERATION

(a) Future Arrangements

Further to Minute CL.347/07-08, the Head of Democratic Services submitted a report asking the
Committee to consider putting in place arrangements to enable it to review how the Council’s
overview and scrutiny function currently operated, and how it could be improved, bearing in mind
the recent changes to the political management arrangements, in particular the appointment of a
single Policy Committee. It was suggested that during the course of their review Members, as a
minimum, should examine:

    (a) the need to strengthen the overview and scrutiny function, with a view to its having an
        important role in policy development/review, and performance management;
    (b) ensuring that overview and scrutiny is more involved in the development of policy, before
        those matters go to the Policy Committee; and
    (c) when considering means of improving the working relationship between the Policy
        Committee and Overview and Scrutiny, recommend whether the Policy Committee should
        be required to give reasons and/or evidence for not accepting recommendations in a report
        from Overview and Scrutiny.

Members were reminded that, at Minute CL.347/07-08, Council had decided that Members and
officers should make visits to see how the overview and scrutiny function operated at other

                                                            Overview and Scrutiny Committee 12 June 2007
Craven District Council                           17

Councils, which operated under both the modernised committee structure and executive

Resolved - (1) That a working group consisting of the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of this
           Committee and Councillors Butcher, Camacho, Mrs Firth and Whitaker is appointed to
           examine the working of the Council’s overview and scrutiny function and how it can be

              (2) That, as part of their review, Members of the working group appointed at (1)
              above, undertake visits or meet representatives of other Councils including, but not
              necessarily exclusively, Harrogate Borough and Selby District Councils to assess how
              the overview and scrutiny function operates at those Councils.

              (3) That, in undertaking their review, Members of the above working group take into
              account this Committee’s initial view that the Policy Committee should give good
              reasons if it chooses to not accept recommendations in an overview and scrutiny

(b) Member Training

Members were asked to consider their training requirements in relation to the overview and scrutiny
function, and provide an indication of the type of training that would assist them in performing their
role within the function. The Director of Corporate Services indicated that he would be willing to
frame some internal training, as appropriate, to assist Members in undertaking particular reviews.

Having listened to Members’ comments, the Head of Democratic Services stated that he would
report back with ideas for training based on a mix of internal and external, together with other
means of improving Members’ awareness and understanding of the scrutiny process. Any training
would be open to all Members.


The Committee was asked to give preliminary consideration to its work programme for the year
ahead. To assist in identifying possible areas for review, copies of the latest version of the Policy
Committee’s forward work programme for 2007/08, and the Overview and Scrutiny work
programme for 2006/07 had been circulated.

Resolved - That the Chairman and Vice-Chairman, together with Councillors Mrs Firth and
           Whitaker, are appointed to meet on an informal basis with a view to reporting back to
           this Committee with an outline work programme for the current year.

OS.4                            HOUSING REVIEW ACTION PLAN

Members were reminded that at Minute OSS.69/06-07, the Head of Environmental Health and
Housing had presented a report updating the Overview and Scrutiny Services Sub-Group on
progress made against the Action Plan from the 2005 Overview and Scrutiny Review of Housing.
In noting progress on the Action Plan, the Sub-Group had requested that they be provided with
details of the up-to-date position on a number of issues and, in particular, some of the “promises”
made to tenants at the time of the stock transfer.

The update requested had, to date, not been presented. The Committee was therefore asked to
consider how it wished to progress the matter.

                                                             Overview and Scrutiny Committee 12 June 2007
Craven District Council                         18

Resolved - (1) That the Chairman and Councillors Barrett and Whitaker are appointed to meet the
           Housing Manager and a representative of Craven Housing, as appropriate, on an
           informal basis to discuss the current position with issues of concern in relation to the
           housing action plan and housing allocations policy.

              (2) That the above Members report back to the meeting of this Committee to be held
              on 31st July 2007.

( Councillors Camacho and Jaquin declared personal and prejudicial interests in the above matter
and left the meeting drawing attention to their roles as Craven Housing Directors. Councillor
Whitaker indicated that a family member was employed by Craven Housing, he declared a personal


                                                          Overview and Scrutiny Committee 12 June 2007

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