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									  Crawley Borough Council’s
  Scrutiny Annual Report
  2007/08




www.crawley.gov.uk
Contents                                                                 Foreword
                                                                 Page    ‘Overview and scrutiny have become well estab-
Foreword – by Councillor C.C. Lloyd, the Chair of Overview               lished at Crawley Borough Council with increasing
and Scrutiny Commission 2007/08                                  1       acknowledgement of the contribution non-
                                                                         Executive Members of the Council make towards
Chief Executive’s Comment                                        2       holding the Council's Cabinet to account. This is
                                                                         seen in formal sessions of the Overview and
Scrutiny Principles                                              3       Scrutiny Commission itself, preparation for and
The Overview and Scrutiny Commission                             3-4     participation in Scrutiny Panels carrying out in
The Scrutiny Panels:                                             5       depth reviews of particular topics, use of the
• Highways Scrutiny Panel                                        5       Council's 'Call In' arrangements, reviewing the
• Transport Strategy Scrutiny Panel                              6       Leader of the Council's Forward Plan, willingness to
• Allotments Scrutiny Panel                                      7       update their skills and knowledge through involve-
• Licensing Scrutiny Panel                                       8       ment in training and development activities and
• Media Coverage Scrutiny Panel                                  9       sharing good practice with Members of other
• Electoral Turnout Scrutiny Panel                               10      Councils regionally and nationally.
• Essential Car User Schemes Scrutiny Panel                      11
• Neighbourhood Centres Scrutiny Panel                           12-13   Members of all parties represented on Crawley
• Language, Literacy and Numeracy (LLN) Scrutiny Panel           14      Borough Council have recognised the importance
• Call-In Scrutiny Panel                                         15      of maintaining a well-resourced and proactive
• Value for Money Scrutiny Panel                                 16      overview and scrutiny function as an essential part
                                                                         of open and transparent local democracy in
The Future                                                       17      Crawley. The contents of this first Annual Report
                                                                         demonstrate the value of this commitment from
Scrutiny in 2008/2009 – by Councillor R.G. Burgess,                      Members and officers alike.'
the Chair of Overview and Scrutiny Commission 2008/ 09           18
                                                                         Colin Lloyd
Appendix                                                         19      (Chair of the Overview and Scrutiny Commission
                                                                         2007/08)
                                                                         May 2008




                                                             1
Chief Executive’s
Comment
‘Good Scrutiny plays an important part in ensur-
ing that the Council and the services it provides
remain effective, efficient and focused on resi-
dents’ needs and the Council’s priorities.

The past year has seen a wide range of subjects
tackled through the OSC and a number of
important recommendations made for change
and improvement. Inevitably, with Scrutiny, not
everything that is recommended can or will be
agreed and/or implemented. However, the
process of challenging the status quo, reviewing
the impact of policy and testing the quality of
services remains fundamentally important.

During times of ever tighter financial circum-
stances, it remains important that our scrutiny
work focuses on where it can have most effect in
improving services or value for money. The pro-
portionate and varied approach to scrutiny set
out in this report confirms the development of
our processes to ensure that this remains the
case.

Involvement in scrutiny often presents opportu-
nities for Councillors and officers less often in the
limelight to make great contributions and
‘shine’. Credit should be paid to all who have
done so, in a busy and successful year for scruti-
ny. Special thanks must go to the officers of the
Democratic Services team, particularly Chris
Pedlow and Madeleine Shopland, and our
Scrutiny Manager, Steve Lappage for setting -
and delivering against - such high standards and
to Colin Lloyd, as Chair of the OSC during
2007/08.’

Michael Coughlin
Chief Executive
June 2008


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                                                                                                                perspective, it feels that due to the significance
Scrutiny Principles                                   Overview and Scrutiny                                     of the issues within the report, that further
What is Scrutiny?                                     and ‘adding value’                                        accountability should be sought from the
                                                                                                                relevant Portfolio Holder and report author.
The Oxford dictionary defines scrutiny as: ‘a close                                                             Examples of this include:
observation’ and ‘a critical investigation.’          Whilst scrutiny is important in terms of providing
However the four principles for effective scrutiny,   accountability, it is also essential that scrutiny is
                                                      seen to benefit or impact on the local community          Management of the Council’s Temporary
as outlined by the Centre for Public Scrutiny                                                                   Hostel Accommodation for the Homeless
(CfPS) and the Local Government Association           and add real value to the work of the Council.
                                                      This will help further justify the time and effort        Report (9 July). The Commission raised the
(LGA), are:                                                                                                     need to establish safeguards, which included
                                                      put in by both Members and officers.
                                                                                                                the need for effective and efficient monitoring
•   Critical Friendship (Holding to account)                                                                    arrangements; to ensure the protection of
•   Engaging the Public (Public Involvement)        The approach Crawley adopts to ensure scrutiny
                                                    adds value, in accordance with accepted good                Council land and property interests and to
•   Owning the Process (Member Lead)                                                                            provide for the long term care and needs of
•   Making an Impact (Critical investigation/       practice, is by the OSC and its Panels consistently
                                                    following the scrutiny principles and seeking to            users, as many were vulnerable and frequently
    Adding Value)                                                                                               found it difficult to cope with change. Also
                                                    contribute to the Council’s priorities, values and
                                                    roles (as defined in the Council’s Corporate Plan –         suggested was that Members have the
Why is Scrutiny Important?                                                                                      opportunity to input on any future proposals
Scrutiny is about assessing the situation and       Aiming for Excellence). Consequently, scrutiny
                                                    has helped to influence and produce improved                for changes of policy on the management of
trying to make things better.                                                                                   hostel accommodation
Scrutiny enables non-Cabinet Members to             outcomes (e.g.: better decision-making,
investigate services and propose improvements       performance, policy making and partnership
                                                                                                                Proposed Domestic Green Garden Waste
on behalf of the local people, challenge and hold working) and improved processes (e.g.: greater                Collection Scheme for Crawley
the Cabinet, senior officers and external bodies to accountability and transparency in decision                 (19 November). The Commission asked that
account for their actions.                          making; raised the profile of issues and provided
                                                    better challenges; greater Member involvement;              an additional recommendation be included
                                                    provided opportunities for greater community                that states ‘‘Residents currently using the
                                                    engagement).                                                Green Bag System would be given first refusal,
                                                                                                                in joining the new Domestic Green Garden
                                                      The Overview and Scrutiny Commission                      Waste Collection Scheme.’‘

                                                      Over the past 12 month the Commission’s work              Gypsy and Traveller Strategy 2007 (17
                                                      has included: -                                           December.) The Commission emphasised the
                                                                                                                need to keep the strategy under continual
                                                      • Critical Investigation – As part of its 9               review, to ensure against complacency in the
                                                        Commission meetings, the OSC has requested              absence of any unauthorised encampments
                                                        or referred 37 reports, for their investigation         during the current year.
                                                        and comments (not including Panel final
                                                        reports). Many of these reports and policy            • Scrutiny Panels and their Final Reports – The
                                                        framework documents then went on to be                  following 8 scrutiny reviews were established:
                                                        considered by the Executive and/or Council,             Allotments, Call-In, Electoral Turnout, Essential
                                                        including any Commission comments.                      Car Users, Highways, Language, Literacy and
                                                                                                                Numeracy (LLN), Media Coverage and Value
                                                        The Commission requests reports when it feels           for Money. The OSC also received and
                                                        that there is an opportunity for value to be            examined these panels’ final reports and
                                                        added, and/or from a ‘critical friend’                  recommendations along with the final reports

                                                                                3
  from a further 3 scrutiny reviews: Transport       considered in detail the proposal to close the        Hospital Link Bus Service and works with the
  Strategy, Licensing and Neighbourhood              Hospital Link Bus Service. It was proposed by         Council and other partners to re-commission a
  Centres, which had concluded their                 an OSC member, via a Scrutiny Suggestion              service for Crawley Residents”.
  investigations this year.                          Form, that a Scrutiny Panel be established to
                                                     investigate this matter further.                    • Training – OSC Members have attended a
  The Commission re-constituted the                                                                        number of training courses and seminars on an
  Performance Monitoring Scrutiny Panel, for         The Commission agreed that a Scrutiny Panel           individual basis over the past year, including
  further examinations of the Council’s              should not be established due to very tight           the Centre for Public Scrutiny (CfPS) 6th
  monitoring and performance processes,              timescales involved. However, they agreed that        Annual Conference and Member Development
  including, performance indicators (PI’s), ‘high-   a special meeting of the OSC be held and that         Day, the CfPS seminars ‘Life of the Party’ and
  level’ strategic projects, financial and           representatives from Surrey and Sussex Health         ‘How to Win Friends and Influence Partners’
  complaints monitoring.                             Care (SASH) NHS Trust be invited to answer            and meetings of the South East Employers
                                                     Members’ questions on the proposed service            Overview and Scrutiny Elected Members’
• Portfolio Discussions – The Commission invited     closure, and therefore be held to account for         Network.
  all eight of the Executive Members for a           the decision.
  discussion on their portfolio responsibilities,                                                          Two further training sessions on Overview and
  followed by a question and answer session, as      Four representatives from SASH Trust, (the            Scrutiny were provided for all Members and
  part of being a critical friend.                   Chair of the Trust Board, Chief Executive of the      scrutiny officers as well as Members and
                                                     Trust, the Director of Business Development,          officers from Worthing Borough Council.
  These discussions enabled the OSC to hold          and the Head of Marketing and
  each of the Portfolio Holders to account on an     Communication) attended the special OSC.
  individual basis, rather than purely through       They gave a presentation to the Commission
  scrutinising reports submitted under their         that explained and justified the reasons behind
  portfolio. This allowed for a more in-depth        the proposed cessation of the Link Bus service.
  discussion on each Executive Members’ remits,      The Commission Members then questioned
  against what had been achieved, and what           the representatives in detail on their
  they were proposing for the future.                reasonings and queried why further options
                                                     had not been considered and alternatives not
  The Q&A session also provided the                  provided. Questions were also raised as to why
  Commission with the opportunity to raise           there had been little communication with the
  concerns and make suggestions where they           Council when making such a significant
  felt value could be added.                         decision.

• West Sussex Health Overview and Scrutiny           At the close of the meeting the SASH Trust
  Committee – Councillor Dr Bloom, an OSC            representatives were presented with two
  member, is the Council’s representative on the     petitions, one collected through the Council
  West Sussex Health Overview and Scrutiny           and the second by the Save Our Shuttle (SOS)
  Committee. The Commission receives regular         campaign, many of whom had attended the
  briefings on the committee’s work, particularly    meeting, in the public gallery.
  that relating to health issues that may be of
  significance to Crawley residents.                 As a result of the Commission’s deliberations, it
                                                     was agreed at the Council, on the same
                                                     evening, “that the Council insists that the
• The Hospital Link ‘Shuttle’ Bus – Following        Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust
  widespread public concern, the Commission          reverses its decision to cease providing the

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                                                    What We Did:                                          • Request that WSCC ensure that cycleways are
The Scrutiny Panels                                  • The Panel asked the public via an article in         routinely inspected and maintained.
                                                       Crawley Live, to inform them of highway            • Members to be given feedback on the results
Eleven Scrutiny Panels, established by the                                                                  of works feedback cards issued in Crawley, on
                                                       defects within Crawley to help identify where
Overview and Scrutiny Commission, have been in                                                              an annual basis.
                                                       improvements were needed. (Making an
action over the last year. These Panels have                                                              • Request that regular meetings take place
                                                       Impact, Engaging the Public, Owning the
examined a wide range of services and issues,                                                               between the Cabinet Member for Highways
                                                       Process)
from internally focused reviews such as the                                                                 and Transport (now Strategic Planning and
                                                     • A number of residents gave evidence
Council’s Call-In process to the external investiga-                                                        Transport) for WSCC and a cross party group
                                                       regarding highway concerns in specific areas
tion of the condition of Crawley’s roads and                                                                of CBC Members to discuss highways issues
                                                       of Crawley. (Engaging the Public, Making an
paths, through the Highways Scrutiny Panel.                                                                 effecting Crawley.
                                                       Impact)
                                                     • We involved and acted as a ‘critical friend’ to    • A series of drop in sessions for Members on the
The next section is a brief summary of each of                                                              draft Integrated Works Programme to be given
                                                       the highway authority, West Sussex County
the reviews, their aims, how they were carried out,                                                         by designated CBC officers when it is issued for
                                                       Council. The Panel discussed the highways
some of the key recommendations made and                                                                    consultation.
                                                       maintenance budget for the county, how
any further developments since their completion.
                                                       highway inspections are carried out and
                                                       standards are determined and the Integrated        Developments
                                                                                                          • WSCC officers inspected those areas identified
Highways Scrutiny Panel                                Works Programme, with the Assistant Head of
                                                       Highways and Transport and the Highways              by residents as having highway faults such as
                                                       Manager (Crawley) from West Sussex County            potholes and overhanging vegetation. A
Some of the Borough’s roads and pathways are                                                                number of potholes have been upgraded and
                                                       Council. (Making an Impact, Critical Friendship,
privately owned, others are the responsibility of                                                           some other work such as the removal of
                                                       Owning the Process)
Crawley Borough Council (CBC). The highway                                                                  vegetation has already been carried out.
                                                     • Explored the process that the public needed to
authority, West Sussex County Council (WSCC), is                                                          • The Executive adopted a number of the
                                                       follow when reporting a highway fault. (Making
responsible for many of the town’s pavements,                                                               Panel’s recommendations, modified others
                                                       an Impact, Engaging the Public, Critical
paths and roads. The perceived poor state of                                                                and proposed an additional recommendation.
                                                       Friendship, Owning the Process)
Crawley’s paths and highways were identified as                                                           • A copy of the Panel’s recommendations in
                                                     • Discussed highway issues affecting Crawley
a recurring subject of public enquiries to                                                                  their final form, was given to relevant officers
                                                       with the Cabinet Member for Highways and
Members. As a result, between September and                                                                 and Members from West Sussex County
                                                       Transport for West Sussex County Council.
December 2007, the Highways Scrutiny Panel                                                                  Council, for their consideration.
                                                       (Making an Impact, Critical Friendship, Owning
focused on:
                                                       the Process)
• Examining the state of the town’s highways
                                                    Key Recommendations
  and pathways.
                                                    The Panel learnt that there are numerous ways in
• When a road could be considered to be of an
                                                    which highway defects can be reported. It was
  acceptable standard or below acceptable
                                                    also noted that the percentage of the Highways
  standard and increasing awareness of these
                                                    Maintenance Budget allocated to Crawley had
  standards.
                                                    decreased. Key recommendations that could aid
• Raising public awareness of how to report a
                                                    improvement included:
  highway related problem.
• Identifying areas of good practice and funding
                                                    • Encourage Members to attend estate walks
  to determine whether Crawley is receiving
                                                      and to report highway defects identified during
  sufficient funding to meet its highway needs
                                                      the estate walk to a WSCC highways officer if
  and where improvements could be made.
                                                      in attendance, or the CBC officer conducting
                                                      the estate walk if not.

                                                                             5
                                                        and Ride
Transport Strategy                                    • Working with WSCC to develop an improved
Scrutiny Panel                                          procedure for identifying areas in need of
                                                        maintenance and reporting street lighting
From October 2006 to July 2007, the Transport           problems
Strategy Scrutiny Panel scrutinised the execution     • Seeking the introduction of Local Authority
and effectiveness of the Council’s Transport            Parking Enforcement at the earliest
Strategy to aid the development of an updated           opportunity
version.                                              • Continuing to work with WSCC to develop a
                                                        cycle strategy for the town.
What We Did
• Examined and updated the Strategy’s Action          Developments
  Plan and scored all points A, B, C according to     The Executive agreed that the Panel’s recom-
  priority (A being the highest and C the lowest)     mendations should be noted and consideration
  (Making an Impact, Owning the Process)              given to how they will fit within the Council’s
• Sought the views of representatives from West       new Transport Strategy.
  Sussex (highways authority), Network Rail,
  Metrobus, Town Access Group, Crawley Dial A
  Ride, Licensing Officer (taxis) and the
  Executive Member for Planning & Economic
  Development on how effectively they felt
  Crawley Borough Council worked with their
  organisation on transport matters and
  whether improvements could be made.
  (Making an Impact, Engaging the Public,
  Critical Friendship, Owning the Process)
• Considered written evidence on transport
  matters from Southern and the charity 4Sight.
  (Making an Impact, Owning the Process)

Key Recommendations
It was felt that the Strategy had been effective,
as work had been carried out on many of the
action points it had identified.
Recommendations were made for consideration
for inclusion in the new Strategy to ensure that it
was relevant, focused and up to date. These
included:

• Improving provision for those with special
  needs using public transport.
• Working with Network Rail to encourage the
  redevelopment of facilities at Three Bridges
  Station
• Continuing to consider the potential for Park

                                                                             6
                                                           allotments by officers, inspecting for unused       Developments
Allotments Scrutiny                                        plots and making one to one contact with site       All the Panel’s recommendations were accepted
Panel                                                      representatives at the very least once a year
                                                           and organising an annual meeting of
                                                                                                               by the Executive subject to the Head of Amenity
                                                                                                               Services seeking to meet any additional costs
Between January and March 2008, the                        allotment holders and the Council to discuss        within existing budgets or submitting a growth
Allotments Scrutiny Panel examined the                     allotment issues. This would improve                bid for £20,000 to the Budget Advisory Group.
effectiveness and the implementation of the                communication between the Council and its
Council’s allotment service, in light of perceived         plot holders.
public dissatisfaction with the service. We also       •   That a full survey is undertaken with site
looked at developing proposals to help improve             representatives to identify all usable, used and
the service.                                               unused plots, allowing the Council to update its
                                                           plot records.
What We Did                                            •   To increase the number of smaller plots on all
• Engaged with approximately thirty-five                   sites as and when plots become available and
  allotment holders at several public meetings             as appropriate, to increase accessibility to a
  and listened to what they liked and disliked             greater number of individuals in the
  about the service and what improvements                  community.
  they felt could be made. (Engaging the Public,       •   Further investigation to be carried out to
  Owning the Process)                                      identify potential allotment sites in
• Visited a number of Crawley’s allotment sites            Maidenbower, Broadfield, Furnace
  and heard the views of several plot holders ‘on          Green/Tilgate border, Pound Hill North and
  site.’ These site visits also allowed the Panel to       Ifield West. These investigations to tie in with
  assess the service for themselves. (Owning the           the Council’s work regarding Planning Policy
  Process, Making an Impact, Engaging the Public)          Guidance Note 17. This would help to ensure
• Compared the service we provided to that                 adequate provision of allotments throughout
  provided by other local authorities that either          Crawley.
  surrounded Crawley or were part of its Audit         •   Interplant site boundaries with prickly plants
  Commission family group. (Making an Impact,              for example Berberis, Sea Buckthorn and
  Critical Friendship, Owning the Process)                 Pyracantha etc where appropriate, in
• Spoke to Sussex Police, officers, and the                discussion with site representatives, to improve
  Executive Member for Leisure and Cultural                security of the site and to act as a deterrent to
  Services about how aspects of the service                trespassers/intruders.
  could be enhanced. (Making an Impact,                •   Ensure all sites have access to manure from
  Owning the Process, Critical Friendship)                 Tilgate Nature Centre when available, on an
• Looked at the level of allotment site provision          annual basis. Where delivery is not possible,
  within the Borough. (Making an Impact,                   investigate a public area where allotment
  Critical Friendship, Owning the Process)                 holders can collect the manure on specific
                                                           days.
Key Recommendations
The Panel concluded that significant changes
should be made to improve the Council’s allot-
ment service. These included:

• Encouraging each site to have a site
  representative, increasing site visits to

                                                                                 7
                                                      on an annual basis.
Licensing Scrutiny Panel                            • All applicants applying for a premises licence
                                                      for a public house to be strongly
The Licensing Scrutiny Panel ran from June to         recommended to join the Pub-watch scheme
August 2007. It scrutinised the Council’s licensing • Licensing Officers to provide the Licensing
arrangements including the implementation of          Committee with feedback on premises licences
the Licensing Policy, in order to identify any        and variations that are approved by officers
possible improvements which could be made.            without the need to go to the Licensing
The review findings complemented the                  Committee. Licensing Officers also to provide
development of an updated Licensing Policy.           feedback on enforcement visits made by
                                                      Licensing and Environmental Health Officers.
What We Did                                         • That the training programme for the Licensing
• Spoke to West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service,       Committee be enhanced through a six-month
   Sussex Police Force, Ambulance Service and the     training programme covering more advanced
   Council’s Noise Team about whether they            issues, such as reviews and appeals and any
   thought the way in which we operated our           other areas the Members feel they require
   licensing arrangements was sufficient and if       extra knowledge on to assist them in the
   any improvements could be made. (Engaging          decision making process. This training to take
   the Public, Owning the Process, Making an          place as appropriate.
   Impact)
• Spoke to the current and former Portfolio         Developments
   Holders for Environmental Services and the       • The Executive accepted the majority of
   current and former Chairs of the Licensing         recommendations, amended one and asked
   Committee to gain their views. (Making an          the Licensing Committee and the Environment
   Impact, Owning the Process)                        and Housing Policy Development Forum to re-
• Engaged with representatives from Pub Watch         examine three other recommendations.
   and Business Watch, to gain industry             • The Council is in talks with the West Sussex Fire
   perspectives on the Council’s Licensing policy     and Rescue Service and Sussex Police Authority
   and how it was put into practice. (Engaging        to offer annual training to licensees and
   the Public, Making an Impact, Owning the           applicants on completing risk assessments.
   Process)                                         • The training programme for the Licensing
• Examined the current policy. (Making an             Committee has begun.
   Impact, Owning the Process)

Key Recommendations
As a result of the review, the Panel learnt from its
witnesses that the Council had implemented its
licensing arrangements and Licensing Policy in a
successful manner. Nevertheless, some changes
could be made to strengthen and enhance the
operation of these arrangements and policy.

• The Council, in conjunction with the West
  Sussex Fire and Rescue Service and Sussex
  Police Authority, to offer training to licensees
  and applicants on completing risk assessments,

                                                                             8
                                                       an Impact, Engaging the Public, Critical
Media Coverage                                         Friendship, Owning the Process)
Scrutiny Panel                                       • The Panel examined a small internal audit into
                                                       the Council’s Communications Service.
Concerns over the perceived negative portrayal of      (Making an Impact, Owning the Process)
Crawley and the Council by the national and local
media led to the formation of the Media              Key Recommendations
Coverage Scrutiny Panel. They looked at the          • That the Council should recognise the
Council’s and Crawley’s portrayal in the media         opportunity to work on joint campaigns with
and ways in which the Council could improve            the local media
relations with the local press. The Panel’s investi- • That an investigation be undertaken to
gations took place between December 2007 and           examine ways of improving the distribution of
March 2008.                                            Crawley Live to all households, with cost
                                                       alternatives.
What We Did                                          • The Head of Communications be requested to
• The editors and other journalists from the           develop a proposal for additional resources to
   Crawley Observer and the Crawley News were          enable further promotion of the Council
   invited to discuss how local papers operated        services via the ‘new media’ alternative
   and how the Council could improve its relations     e-formats.
   with the local newspapers. Members heard          • Media training be part of their initial induction
   the journalists’ views on how the Press             to the Council for all new Councillors and that
   influenced residents and the perception of the      Group Leaders should be strongly urged to
   town and Council. (Making an Impact, Critical       encourage all of their Party Members to take
   Friendship, Owning the Process)                     Media training.
• Sussex Police and West Sussex Fire and Rescue • Work be undertaken, through the Council’s
   Services gave their views on the influence of       Economic Development processes, in
   the local newspapers. (Making an Impact,            promoting Crawley as a town at the heart of,
   Owning the Process, Critical Friendship)            and underpinning, the Gatwick Diamond.
• The Panel heard the opinions of
  representatives from the business community        Developments
  on media perception. (Making an Impact,            • The Executive accepted all of the Panel’s
  Engaging the Public, Owning the Process,             recommendations.
  Critical Friendship)                               • Work, using the Council’s Economic
• The Panel met with Carol Grant, a                    Development processes, to promote Crawley
  Communications Consultant and considered             as being central to the Gatwick Diamond, is
  how the Council interacted with the local            being progressed.
  media and the town’s residents. The Council’s
  publication ‘Crawley Live’ and increased use of
  ‘e-media’ were discussed. (Making an Impact,
  Owning the Process, Critical Friendship)
• A letter was sent to the BBC concerning
  Crawley’s television coverage. Much of the
  town is on the fringe of BBC London’s range
  because of the positioning of the Surrey
  transmitter, and receive London news. (Making

                                                                              9
                                                        new electors under rolling registration, to 18
Electoral Turnout                                       year old attainers and to those who have just
Scrutiny Panel                                          become British Citizens. The guide also to be in
                                                        Crawley Live, available on the Council’s
The Electoral Turnout Scrutiny Panel was estab-         website, and at the Town Hall.
lished to explore ways in which electoral registra-   • Better connections be sought with local schools
tion and turnout could be improved in Crawley.          and colleges and the Crawley Young Persons
This review was carried out between January and         Council to promote registration and voting.
March 2008.                                           • Give further consideration to placing poll cards
                                                        in envelopes enclosing other election publicity
What We Did                                             such as the voters’ guide.
• Spoke to the Electoral Services Manager from        • That a costing of publicity methods, including
  the London Borough of Hammersmith and                 a Bespoke Press Campaign and lamppost
  Fulham, a beacon authority and heard what             banners be carried out.
  methods they had used to improve electoral
  registration. (Owning the Process, Making an  Developments
  Impact)                                       • A wrap around publicising the election
• Considered a range of useful background         appeared in Crawley News a week prior to the
  information concerning electoral registration   election.
  and voter turnout nationwide. (Making an      • The front page of the Council’s Website
  Impact, Owning the Process)                     publicised all aspects of the election and
• Examined a report on Electoral Registration     encouraged people to vote throughout the run
  and Turnout in Local Government, October        up to the 2008 election.
  2006, by Rotherham Metropolitan Council
  Scrutiny Panel. (Making an Impact, Owning the
  Process)
• Looked at a breakdown by ward of the voter
  turnout in Crawley since 2000. (Making an
  Impact, Owning the Process)

Key Recommendations
• To improve communication between Electoral
  Services, Benefits and Council Tax, with regards
  to sharing information on new properties and
  new residents.
• That a wrap around for the Crawley News
  publicising the election appear a week before
  the election.
• Front page of the Council’s Website be used in
  the run up to the election each year to
  publicise all aspects of the election and
  encourage people to vote
• That an informal Elections Forum be
  established.
• That a Voter’s Guide be produced and sent to

                                                                             10
                                                     Key Recommendations                                   Developments
Essential Car User                                   • In conclusion, the Panel acknowledged:              The Executive agreed the recommendations
Schemes Scrutiny Panel                                 i) that for those staff (i.e. posts) entitled to
                                                                                                           subject to two minor changes to ensure that the
                                                                                                           Portfolio Holder was fully aware of the progress
From December 2007 to March 2008, the ECUS                  essential car user schemes, it provided a      being made on the recommendations agreed
Scrutiny Panel reviewed the Council’s travel                significant benefit, was appreciated and       and to further enhance the Council’s
allowances, including essential and casual car              helped recruitment and retention;              environmental policies and on the basis that a
user arrangements, entitlement to lease cars,          ii) the relatively limited business mileage         number of the recommendations will need legal
associated free car parking; and also mileage               claimed by many essential car users and        advice, consultation and negotiation with the
allowances for Members.                                     the relatively high cost of providing lease    staff and Trade Unions as they involve contractu-
                                                            cars;                                          al changes to terms and conditions of
The review was initially approved in view of the       iii) that some of the changes/                      employment.
opportunities for better value for money, more              recommendations of the Panel will be
equitable schemes and environmental                         subject to legal advice, consultation,
improvements.                                               negotiation and agreement with the staff
                                                            and Trade Unions.
What We Did
• Considered the Council’s related policies,       • The Panel made 22 recommendations
  procedures and allowances and the National         grouped around five main themes:
  Agreement for Local Government on Car
  Allowances. (Making an Impact, Owning the          i) Providing tighter qualifying criteria for
  Process)                                                essential car user status whilst retaining
• Considered benchmarking information on                  protection for those currently entitled to the
  various lease car schemes operated by Councils           scheme;
  within the South East Employers area. (Making      ii) Encouraging use of more environmentally
  an Impact, Critical Friendship, Owning the              friendly vehicles – lease cars and pool cars
  Process)                                                and other vehicles used/procured
• Discussed reasons for providing essential car           by/through the Council;
  user schemes (e.g. for operational issues,         iii) Review/improve the procurement of leased
  equity, sustainability, recruitment & retention,        cars and rationalisation of contribution
  financial etc.) (Making an Impact, Owning the           rates to improve value for money/cost
  Process)                                                effectiveness;
• Considered alternative or complementary            iv) Further consideration of alternatives to a
  schemes. (Making an Impact, Owning the                  leased car scheme where this could secure
  Process)                                                savings to the Council compared to the
• Considered detailed information on essential            continued provision of lease car scheme.
  car user posts/profiles. (Making an Impact,             Any other form of buy out arrangements
  Owning the Process)                                     for those currently entitled to lease cars was
• Considered the costs and other financial info.          considered likely to be too expensive for the
  (Making an Impact, Owning the Process)                  Council and, therefore, the adoption of a
• Had discussions with Trades Unions                      more progressive approach to its
  representatives and with senior managers who            withdrawal was supported.
  had been involved in reassessments of              v) Extending the availability/use of pool vehicles.
  essential car user posts (Engaging the Public,
  Making an Impact, Owning the Process, Critical
  Friendship)
                                                                              11
                                                          some vacant spaces could be used more             Voluntary and Community Sector. (Critical
Neighbourhood Centre                                      effectively. (Owning the Process, Making an       Friendship, Making an Impact, Owning the
Scrutiny Panel                                            Impact)
                                                     iii) Consultation with retail tenants (Owning
                                                                                                            Process, Engaging the Public)
                                                                                                          • Although the Review only looked at Council
The NCSP was formed to undertake a review of              the Process, Engaging the Public)                 owned Centres the Panel believed that the
the neighbourhood centres because of concerns                                                               work of the suggested Management
about the condition and appearance of the built •        During the progress, Members felt that it would    Development Group should take into account
environment, community safety issues, and the            not be practicable to produce a strategy or        privately owned Centres as well. (Critical
long-term future of the Centres as a resource for        strategies for each of the Neighbourhood           Friendship, Making an Impact, Owning the
neighbourhood communities. The Panel operated            Centres. However, the development of a set of      Process)
between January and December 2007.                       strategic objectives and approaches to           • Following the research the Panel concluded
                                                         Neighbourhood Centres would be required.           that the following issues needed to be
The term Neighbourhood Centre was used                   (Owning the Process, Critical, Friendship)         addressed:
because the scope of the review extended             •   As part of its evaluation of work, the Panel
beyond simply looking at the parade of shops             investigated the Environmental Improvement         i) the absence of a strategic vision for the
and also incorporated the retail units, commercial       Programme (EIP). It was felt that                        Centres;
units, community centres, garages and areas of           environmental improvements should not be           ii) limited joined up working between various
landscaping.                                             considered in isolation to wider issues relating         stakeholders and Council Divisions;
                                                         to the Centres such as the potential of            iii) inconsistent maintenance and repairs;
It was acknowledged that there was an                    development opportunities, and that                iv) overall tired appearance of the parades;
Environmental Improvement Programme (EIP) in             accordingly, the EIP should be broadened to        v) poor management of business and
place but the Panel felt that their scoped went          take into account wider strategic issues.                residential waste;
beyond EIP objectives to incorporate the follow-         (Critical Friendship, Making an Impact, Owning     vi) level of weeds and litter at the rear of the
ing: the future needs of the Centres and how             the Process)                                             parades;
they can help deliver on a series of related com-    •   The Panel recognised that each of the existing     vii) access issues;
munity objectives.                                       streams of work is important. It is not the        viii) lack of controlled parking, and;
                                                         intention that a strategy for Neighbourhood        ix) anti social behaviour.
What We Did                                              Centres should replace them, but provide
• As part of the review, the Panel commissioned          additional clarity to existing planning policies Key Recommendations
  the following research:                                and property strategy principles. It was         • Develop and adopt a Neighbourhood Centres
                                                         considered that to improve communication           Strategy that sets out a common vision that
  i) A highly detailed audit of each of the              between services, a Management                     will act as a strategic driver for all Council
      Neighbourhood Centres covering property            Development Group would be needed. (Critical       Services.
      ownership, use, movement, maintenance/             Friendship, Making an Impact, Owning the         • Accelerate the Environmental Improvement
      upkeep (including costing of), access and          Process)                                           Programme to bring it back to the Council’s
      income and expenditure. (Owning the            •   The Panel believed that diversifying the use of    original schedule of one per year, and broaden
      Process, Critical friendship, Making an            the Centres will help to enhance them as a         its scope to look at the wider strategic
      Impact)                                            neighbourhood resource: the more people that       development opportunities.
  ii) The Panel visited each of the parades. As          use the Centres will add to their vibrancy, and  • A proactive approach to be taken to encourage
      part of the site visits, Members examined          accordingly help encourage a sense of local        diverse and quality retail that will serve and
      the use of space and the effective use of          neighbourhood cohesion. Encouraging public         enhance the surrounding area.
      land. When looking at garages to the rear          and community services to locate at the          • Work with partners, such as the County
      of the parades it was noted that in some           Centres is an important factor in achieving a      Council, the PCT and the Community and
      instances the land was currently occupied          diverse range of services but is dependent on      Voluntary Sector, to take advantage of
      by industrial units. It was thought that           the investment of other organisations such as      opportunities to locate community based
                                                         the PCT, West Sussex County Council and the        facilities within the Neighbourhood Centres.
                                                                              12
• Council to work in partnership with the           responsibility for specified external decoration
  businesses at the Centres to promote              to the front of the buildings that make up the
  economic viability.                               shop parades has been set up and a budget
• That the Council’s Community Liaison Officer      put in place.
  role be extended to cover liaison and           • New underground recycling methods are being
  relationship building with commercial and         considered to enhance waste management at
  retail tenants at the Centres.                    the parades. This will be piloted at Langley
• Strengthen and maintain the existing policy of    Green parade.
  taking a firm approach to landlord client       • An enhanced maintenance programme has
  relationships and enhance the practices for       been costed and a budget agreed for 2008-09.
  ensuring that tenants comply with the terms of • A progress report will be presented to the OSC
  leases with respect to maintenance and repair.    at the end of 2008.
• Ensure that the Public Conveniences are open
  at the times stipulated on the signs.
• That the Council undertakes a one off
  programme of works over a five year period to
  replace guttering, rain water pipes, fascias,
  soffits and bargeboards.
• Council undertakes responsibility for specified
  external decoration to the front of the
  buildings that make up the shop parades.
• Council’s Property Services further explore the
  potential benefits of de-highwaying the car
  parks and pavement areas in front of shops.
• Enhance existing arrangement for the cleaning
  the parades and managing waste.

Developments
• A draft Neighbourhood Centres Strategy has
  been produced, which will be taken before
  Cabinet in December 2008.
• The Council’s Property Services and Economic
  Development teams are developing
  programmes which will assist retailers.
• A Neighbourhood Centre Project Board has
  been established.
• The contract for public conveniences is being
  monitored to resolve the issue of public
  conveniences not being open during times
  stipulated on signage.
• A one off programme of works over a five year
  period to replace guttering, rain water pipes,
  fascias, soffits and bargeboards has been
  developed and a budget is in place.
• A programme where the Council undertakes

                                                                          13
                                                         a framework for this and help improve access            new post or existing resources) on which a
Language, Literacy and                                   to resources. (Making an Impact, Critical               LLN/SfL co-ordinator role should be established
Numeracy (LLN)                                           Friendship, Owning the Process)
                                                       • Explored the benefits of signing up to The Skills
                                                                                                                 in order to lead the development of a
                                                                                                                 corporate approach to Skills for Life.
Scrutiny Panel                                           Pledge - a voluntary, public commitment by
                                                         the leadership of a company or organisation           Developments
Skills for Life (SfL) (i.e. LLN) was defined as “the     to support all its employees to develop their         • Subject to an amendment to make it clear that
ability to read, write and speak English and to use      basic skills, to ensure that all staff are skilled,     the basis of the LLN/SfL co-ordinator role had
mathematics at a level necessary to function and         competent and able to make a full                       yet to be established, the Commission and
progress at work and in society in general.”             contribution to the success of the company/             Executive accepted all the recommendations
                                                         organisation. (Making an Impact, Critical               of the Panel and the adoption of a corporate
Between January and March 2008, the LLN                  Friendship, Owning the Process)                         approach to language, literacy and numeracy
Scrutiny Panel, concerned that LLN experience          • Noted the strong business case for developing           issues.
and knowledge developed within CBC could be              a corporate approach to LLN particularly where        • The Council signed the Skills Pledge at the Big
lost before it was consolidated, reviewed the out-       it was seen to be directly relevant to                  Skills Breakfast on 25 April 2008, organised
comes of language, literacy and numeracy work            supporting the Council’s strategic goals and            through the Gatwick Diamond, with Yo! Sushi
carried out with Council staff since 2004 and            day to day operational objectives (e.g. reduced         founder and Dragon’s Den star Simon
considered whether a corporate approach to this          sickness absence, reduced accident rates, fuller        Woodroffe and Professor Mike Campbell,
area could help to achieve further staff develop-        staff participation, improved customer                  adviser to the Leitch Review of UK Skill Needs.
ment and service improvement and if so, how              satisfaction, reduced complaints, improved CPA        • Therefore, the Council will now be able to
this might be done.                                      scores). (Making an Impact, Critical Friendship,        access the support and advice of a skills broker,
                                                         Owning the Process)                                     funded and managed by the Learning and
What We Did                                                                                                      Skills Council, to help the organisation design
• Examined the national importance attached to         Key Recommendations                                       training packages that suit the needs of the
  LLN and the local government context.                Members acknowledged that language, literacy              organisation. Other external resources will also
  (Making an Impact, Critical Friendship, Owning       and numeracy were highly important issues,                become more readily available when signing
  the Process)                                         nationally and locally, and were keen to see a            up to the GO Award.
• Took stock of the LLN activity at CBC to date        corporate approach implemented in view of the
  and the improvements which resulted. (Making         potential that a corporate approach to Skills for
  an Impact, Critical Friendship, Owning the           Life had for making improvements to the work of
  Process)                                             the Council, the performance of its employees
• Explored current practices and support               and the services it provided for the local
  available with representatives from the London       community.
  Borough of Barking and Dagenham, IDeA and
  UNISON. (Making an Impact, Critical                  It was recommended that:
  Friendship, Engaging the Public, Owning the
  Process)                                             • An awareness raising event on LLN for all
• Investigated how LLN activity can contribute           Members be arranged.
  further to improvements in service delivery and      • The Council sign up to both the GO Award
  developments in the workplace. (Making an              Scheme and the Skills Pledge and develop an
  Impact, Critical Friendship, Owning the                Action Plan for future work using the findings
  Process)                                               from the review.
• Examined the development of a corporate or           • A fuller assessment of SfL needs be undertaken
  “whole authority” approach to LLN by Councils          to help identify resource requirements and
  and how the GO Award Scheme could provide              determine the basis (e.g. part time, full time,

                                                                                14
                                                      Members, to examine any matter called-in at               Members could already utilise a clause in
Call-In Scrutiny Panel                                the Executive or at a Committee of the                    the Council’s Constitution which allowed full
                                                      Executive and to report directly to full Council.         Council to send an item to a Scrutiny Panel
The Call-In Scrutiny Panel, met during September      The Scrutiny Panel had favoured the practice              for consideration.
and October 2007 and was formed following             commonly operated elsewhere which provided           • Consequently, upon the recommendation of
Members’ concerns at the Council’s Call In            for a matter which had been called-in to be            the General Purposes Committee, full Council
Procedures which they considered an inefficient       considered, in the first instance, by a panel of       eventually agreed that the:
and ineffective way of dealing with Council busi-     the OSC. The advantage of that particular
ness, was not used to good effect and could be        option was that it provided the Scrutiny Panel         i) current call-in arrangements remain
improved to provide better opportunities for          with the opportunity to consider those aspects             unchanged;
Members, officers, other stakeholders and experts     of the decision, which it wished to examine in         ii) introduction of call-in arrangements for the
to debate and reconsider the proposals.               detail; to consider any additional evidence and            public be supported in principle, but that
                                                      to invite to the meeting the appropriate                   further consideration of this issue by the
What We Did                                           Portfolio Holder and officers together with any            Call-in Scrutiny Panel be deferred pending
• Examined an example of a call-in process            other third parties. That process would ensure             clarity of the arrangements relating to the
  included in Government guidance on local            that the Panel would be better informed and                “Councillor Call for Action” now contained in
  authority Constitutions. (Making an Impact)         would assist them in coming to a view.                     the Local Government and Public
• Examined Crawley Borough Council’s and            • Supported, in principle, the introduction of Call-         Involvement in Health Act.
  West Sussex County Council’s current call-in        In arrangements for the public but wanted to
  arrangements including details of the               defer it pending the enactment of the Local          • However, the General Purposes Committee
  incidence of call-in and of cases where call-in     Government and Public Involvement in Health            emphasised that although it was not
  resulted in an amendment to the decision.           Bill.                                                  recommending any changes to the call in
  (Making an Impact, Critical Friendship, Owning    • Otherwise, the Panel supported the retention           procedure it was nevertheless good practice to
  the Process)                                        of the current call-in period and that no further      review the Council’s processes on a regular
• Considered the Centre for Public Scrutiny’s         restrictions be made to the Council’s current          basis.
  research report (March 2006) which                  call-in arrangements.
  investigated the Call-In procedure across
  English local authorities. (Making an Impact)     The recommendations of the Panel were agreed
• Assessed the arrangements operated by the 5       by the Commission on the casting vote of the
  authorities, identified in the above research     Chair by four votes to three with one abstention.
  report, where the public were able to call-in
  decisions. (Making an Impact)                     Developments
• Considered the latest Community Call for          • Some concerns were subsequently expressed
  Action proposals arising from the Police and        that some of the changes proposed by the
  Justice Act 2006 and the Local Government           Scrutiny Panel:
  and Public Involvement in Health Bill. (Making
  an Impact)                                          i) could place disproportionate power in the
                                                          hands of a small group of Members, and
Key Recommendations                                       that if a decision was worthy of call-in then
• Changes to the Council’s Call-In arrangements           support would be obtained regardless of
  to enable minority groups with fewer than 4             political party;
  Members to call-in an item without necessarily      ii) would not add any value to the call-in
  having to seek the support of another political         process and would simply add another layer
  group.                                                  of bureaucracy, creating additional
• Establishment of a Call-In Scrutiny Panel,              unnecessary meetings particularly as
  selected from a pool of non-Executive

                                                                            15
                                                       • Examined comparative information from the               relevant expenditure, satisfaction and
Value for Money                                          CIPFA (Chartered Institute of Public Finance            performance comparisons for all services
Scrutiny Panel                                           and Accountancy) family groups on Cultural
                                                         Services and Central Services where the Council
                                                                                                                 using BVPIs at national and family group
                                                                                                                 levels.
The Value for Money Scrutiny Panel was estab-            was a relatively very high spender compared to
lished mainly in view of the Audit Commission’s          other local authorities; (Making an Impact,        • That the Performance Monitoring Scrutiny
concerns at the high cost of some of the                 Critical Friendship)                                 Panel and BAG be requested to suggest any
Council’s services which were not always reflect-      • Examined those services where we are high            service areas requiring review/ examination of
ed in performance or customer satisfaction, and          spenders – and the reasons for this; (Making         their potential to improve VfM.
the need for the Council to look at improving the        an Impact, Critical Friendship, Owning the         • That the Council continues to do all that it can
value for money it provides. The panel met dur-          Process)                                             to improve VfM for the Council and its
ing August and September 2007. A VFM review            • Examined the correlation between expenditure         residents which will also help to improve the
was potentially enormous but the review was              and levels of performance and satisfaction for       assessment by the Audit Commission of the
kept short, focused and manageable to ensure it          the Council’s services - and the reasons for any     Council’s use of its resources.
could feed into the budget preparation processes         variations; (Making an Impact, Critical
for 2008/9.                                              Friendship, Owning the Process)                    Developments
                                                       • Identified which specific CBC service areas        The Executive agreed all the recommendations
What We Did                                              required further analysis and why. (Making an      which, where appropriate, were fed into the
• Noted that VfM was identified as the                   Impact, Critical Friendship, Owning the            budget preparation process for 2008/9 and/or
  relationship between economy, efficiency and           Process)                                           future years. For the 2009/10 budget cycle the
  effectiveness and that in order to achieve high      • Identified actions required by Members and         Budget Advisory Group will review, at its first
  VfM or best value an optimum balance was               senior officers to improve VfM. (Making an         meeting, expenditure satisfaction and perform-
  required between all 3 (i.e. relatively low costs,     Impact, Critical Friendship, Owning the            ance comparisons for services. The Audit
  high productivity and successful outcomes).            Process)                                           Commission’s Annual Audit and Inspection Letter
  (Making an Impact, Owning the Process)                                                                    on the Council referred positively to the scrutiny
• Undertook a workshop (with the Budget                                                                     review and how it had raised awareness and
  Advisory Group - BAG), facilitated by 4ps who        Key Recommendations                                  acceptance by both Members and senior officers
  help manage the national efficiency skills           • That all Members and staff be encouraged to        of the VfM issues the Council needed to address.
  programme, to improve understanding of the             continuously take into account the 3 key
  efficiency and VfM agenda in the national              factors which CBC must consider to improve its
  context and of the major building blocks               VfM rating - the links between its priorities,
  required to achieve a successful VfM strategy          performance & costs - and to raise awareness
  (Making an Impact)                                     of ways of improving VfM.
• Considered presentations:                            • That continued efforts be made to further
                                                         improve the Council’s service and budget
  i) by the Audit Commission’s Performance               planning processes to ensure greater
      Specialist which included their assessments        alignment to corporate priorities and to
      of the performance of the Council and the          achieve better VfM.
      value for money; (Making an Impact,              • That the BAG be requested to:
      Critical Friendship)
  ii) by Council officers on its performance and         i) analyse more closely Cultural Services and
      value for money as reflected by Best Value             Central Services costs and VfM particularly
      Performance Indicators and Satisfaction                Sport and Recreation, Council Tax Collection
      Surveys. (Making an Impact, Critical                   and Corporate and Democratic Core;
      Friendship)                                        ii) review at its first meeting every year,

                                                                              16
                                                        • Commission Members and the Scrutiny Support           gory that the Secretary of State may exclude by
The Future                                                Team will continue to liaise with other Councils      order.
                                                          throughout West Sussex and the country,
2008/09 promises to be another busy year for              through the Centre for Public Scrutiny (CfPS) and     Crime and Disorder
Scrutiny at Crawley! We aim to build on and add           various networks such as the South East Employers     Under the Police and Justice Act 2006, (as
to the successes of the last year through the             Overview and Scrutiny Elected Members’ and            amended by the Local Government and Public
following ways:                                           Officers Networks to assist in the continued          Involvement in Health Act 2007) the Council
                                                          implementation of accepted good practice.             must ensure that it has a crime and disorder
• The Overview and Scrutiny Commission (OSC)            • Crawley will continue to be part of the West          committee (in Crawley’s case it will be the
  has agreed its Work Programme for the                   Sussex Health Overview and Scrutiny                   Overview and Scrutiny Commission) with the
  forthcoming year. They will continue to                 Committee, which looks at health related              power:-
  investigate services, propose improvements              issues that affect the County. In addition, we
  where they believe that value can be added              will sit on the new North East of West Sussex           (i) to review or scrutinise decisions made, or
  and further demonstrate the potential of                Review Task Force, which will scrutinise the                 other action taken, in connection with the
  overview and scrutiny.                                  West Sussex Primary Care Trust's (PCT's)                     discharge by the responsible authorities of
                                                          review of health services in the north east of               their crime and disorder functions;
• It will establish a number of time limited, task        West Sussex.                                            (ii) to make reports or recommendations to
  orientated Panels to carry out scrutiny reviews       • There is evidence of a positive correlation                  Council or Cabinet with regard to the
  of the following areas. These were suggested            (albeit not necessary causal) between a strong               discharge of those functions.
  as topics for review by Members and officers:           scrutiny function and high CPA scores in the
  - Trees                                                 past. We will ensure that that Scrutiny is in the     Members who are not members of the crime and
  - Access problems associated with Crawley               position to contribute positively, where appro        disorder committee (ie: OSC) will be able to put
    Borough Council parks, particularly Tilgate Park.     priate, to the Council achieving a good               local crime and disorder matters (a matter
  - Election processes                                    comprehensive area assessment in the future.          concerning crime and disorder (including, in
  - Subsidised Fees and Charges for Leisure and         • New legislation will strengthen scrutiny powers…      particular, forms of crime and disorder that
    Cultural Activities                                                                                         involve anti-social behaviour or other behaviour
                                                        Councillor Call for Action:                             adversely affecting the local environment), or the
Two Members of the OSC will also join the               Whilst we are awaiting further government guid-         misuse of drugs, alcohol and other substances
Adaptations Systems Thinking Service Review             ance on the matter later in 2008, current expec-        which affects all or part of the electoral area for
Team.                                                   tations are that….                                      which the councillor is elected or any person who
                                                                                                                lives or works in that area.) on this committee’s
• We will also ensure that there is sufficient          The ‘Councillor Call for Action,’ a provision of the    agenda and have them discussed. It is thought
  capacity to review any issues of great                Local Government and Public Involvement in              that this provision will also be implemented later
  importance to the town that might arise               Health Act 2007 will enable any Member to refer         in 2008.
  throughout the coming year and to which               a local government issue to the OSC on behalf of
  value may be added.                                   residents, if the issue was unable to be resolved       Further government guidance regarding Crime and
• The Commission examines the                           through the usual channels. The Commission will         Disorder is anticipated to be produced later in
  recommendations of all previous Scrutiny              consider the issue and determine whether to con-        2008. It is expected that it will cover aspects such
  Reviews, how they have been implemented               duct a scrutiny review into the matter or not,          as asking questions of the Responsible Authorities
  and investigates the reasoning behind any             make reports or recommendations to the Council          Partnership as a way of holding it to account,
  outstanding recommendations.                          or the Cabinet. It is likely that this provision will   scrutinising the annual statement that the
• The OSC and any Panels it establishes will            be implemented late 2008.                               Responsible Authorities Partnership is required to
  engage with external organisations and the                                                                    produce and the discretionary scrutiny of matters
  Cabinet and act as a ‘critical friend’ to ensure      Local government matters do not include local           known to be causing concern locally.
  that the town’s residents and other stakeholders      crime and disorder issues or any matter in a cate-
  receive the best from their services.

                                                                                 17
Scrutiny in 2008/2009
As the rest of the report shows, last year was very    Bob Burgess
busy for all involved in Overview and Scrutiny         (Chair Overview and Scrutiny Commission
processes at Crawley – not least its dedicated and     2008/09)
hard working officers. Our thanks go out to them       June 2008
and also to all Members and officers who
enabled much to be achieved in no small
measure to their commitment.

This year promises to be equally as challenging.
New government legislation, the full details of
which are not yet available, will provide a new set
of challenges but also opportunities to take the
role of Overview and Scrutiny to the next stage in
its development. Overview and Scrutiny is still
relatively young and fragile but it is an area of
local government that needs to flourish if any
Council is to be effective. At its best Overview and
Scrutiny is a powerful tool in helping to deliver
initiatives ensuring rigour, accountability and
value for money are at the heart of the Council’s
work.

If we can continue to look critically at the
Council’s work, if we can continue to offer help
and guidance, if we can continue to seek
clarification, if we can continue to challenge
positively then the Overview and Scrutiny
Commission will be continuing to exert a positive
influence.

These are our challenges for the coming year but
they are challenges which, given the
commitment, dedication and hard work of all
concerned, we can rise to and overcome.

On a personal basis, I am looking forward to the
possibilities provided by the work of the Overview
and Scrutiny Commission. There will be much to
do, there will be challenges to be faced, there will
be hurdles to surmount but I am confident it will
all be done in the usual professional, positive,
proactive, practical and pragmatic way it has been
in the past.

                                                                             18
                                                       Neighbourhood Centres Scrutiny Panel:
Appendix                                               Councillors G K Seekings (Chair), Dr Howard
                                                       Bloom, Keith Brockwell, Adam Brown, John
OSC Members in 2007/08:                                Denman, Robert Hull, Doug Murdoch and Jim
Councillors Colin Lloyd (Chair), Gordon Seekings       Smith
(Vice Chair), Dr Howard Bloom, Adam Brown,
Bob Burgess, Lee Burke, Jennifer Millar Smith,         Language, Literacy and Numeracy (LLN)
Chris Redmayne, Jarnail Singh and Brenda Smith         Scrutiny Panel:
                                                       Councillors Colin Lloyd (Chair), Bob Burgess Chris
Highways Scrutiny Panel:                               Cheshire and Jennifer Millar-Smith
Councillors Brenda Smith (Chair), Nigel Boxall,
Keith Brockwell, Bob Burgess, John Denman,             Call In Scrutiny Panel:
Brian Quinn, Linda Seekings and Jim Smith              Councillors Bob Burgess (Chair), Dr Howard
                                                       Bloom, Bert Crane, Robert Hull, Gordon Seekings,
Transport Strategy Scrutiny Panel:                     Jarnail Singh, Brenda Smith and Lenny Walker
Councillors Brenda Smith (Chair), Keith Brockwell,
Adam Brown, Lee Burke, Daryl English, Stephen          Value for Money Scrutiny Panel:
Joyce, Doug Murdoch and Mike Weatherly                 Councillors Adam Brown (Chair), Dr Howard
                                                       Bloom, Bob Burgess, John Denman, Robert Hull,
Allotments Scrutiny Panel:                             Stephen Joyce and Gordon Seekings
Councillors Gordon Seekings (Chair), Nigel Boxall,
Keith Brockwell, Lucy Brockwell and                    Scrutiny Team:
Chris Redmayne                                         Steve Lappage (Scrutiny Manager), Chris Pedlow
                                                       (Democratic Services Officer) and Madeleine
Licensing Scrutiny Panel:                              Shopland (Democratic Services Officer)
Councillors Chris Redmayne (Chair), Sally Blake,
Bob Burgess, John Denman, Marcella Head,               Thank you to all other officers who provided
Robert Head, Daniel Kavanagh and David                 support and expertise for the various scrutiny
Shreeves                                               panels.
Media Coverage Scrutiny Panel:
Councillors Jennifer Millar Smith (Chair), Bob
Burgess, Adam Brown, Chris Cheshire, Daniel
Kavanagh, Brian Quinn and Chris Redmayne

Electoral Turnout Scrutiny Panel:
Councillors Colin Lloyd (Chair), Adam Brown, Lee
Burke, Chris Cheshire, Bert Crane, Marcella Head
and Daniel Kavanagh

Essential Car Users Scheme Scrutiny Panel:
Councillors Jarnail Singh (Chair), Nigel Boxall, Lee
Burke, Stephen Joyce, John Mortimer and Doug
Murdoch



                                                                               19
20
Crawley Borough Council
Town Hall
The Boulevard
Crawley
West Sussex
RH10 1UZ
Telephone
01293 438000
Fax
01293 511803
Email
info@crawley.gov.uk

www.crawley.gov.uk



This document is available in other for-
mats on request. Please contact us if you
would like a translation or copies in large
print, or on computer disk, or if you know
anyone who would like copies in braille or
on audio tape.




                                              Printed and published by Crawley Borough Council
                                              on environmentally friendly paper in August 2008

								
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