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Appointment of Chair and Vice Chair
The Lead Officer – Scrutiny – opened the meeting and invited nominations for Chair of the Combined Authority Scrutiny Panel. It was moved by Councillor Woolfall and seconded by Councillor Hurley and :-
RESOLVED: That Councillor Kevan Wainwright be appointed Chair of the Combined Authority Scrutiny Panel.
(COUNCILLOR KEVAN WAINWRIGHT IN THE CHAIR)
Members were advised that Councillor John Hale (Opposition Group nominee) had resigned from the Panel. A replacement nomination would be invited.
The Chair then invited nominations for Vice Chair of the Combined Authority Scrutiny Panel. It was moved by Councillor Stuart and seconded by Councillor Lappin and:-
RESOLVED: That Councillor Andy Moorhead be appointed Vice Chair of the Combined Authority Scrutiny Panel.
The Chair invited nominations for two Members to sit on the Combined Authority’s Audit Committee.
RESOLVED: That Councillor Lappin and Councillor Hurley be appointed to sit on the Combined Authority’s Audit Committee.
The Panel considered a report of the Lead Officer – Scrutiny, which outlined the role and responsibilities of the Combined Authority.
The Panel noted that the remit of the Combined Authority (CA) covered the functions of economic development, regeneration, transport, strategic housing and employment and skills. The arrangements for the discharge of these thematic functions were set out in the report.
It was reported that at its first meeting on 1 April 2014, the CA had appointed Officers to undertake specific functions on behalf of the CA under delegated authority. This information was set out in paragraph 3.5 of the report. Contact details for these Officers would be circulated separately.
RESOLVED: That the report be noted.
The Panel considered a report of the Lead Officer – Scrutiny, which outlined the arrangements for the Combined Authority’s Scrutiny function, as detailed in the Constitution approved on 1 April 2014.
The Panel noted that Part 5, Section B of the Constitution set out the Scrutiny Arrangements for the Authority, the Merseytravel Committee and Merseytravel. This covered the following issues:-
· Function of Scrutiny at City Region level;
· Operation of Scrutiny arrangements;
· Meetings of Scrutiny Panel;
· Key Principles for the Operation of the Scrutiny arrangements;
· Scrutiny Working Groups;
· Reviews and Recommendations;
· Budget and Administration; and
· Support and Advice to Scrutiny arrangements.
RESOLVED: That the report be noted.
The Panel considered a report of the Lead Officer – Scrutiny, on the development of a Work Programme for the Scrutiny Panel.
The Panel noted the role of the Scrutiny Panel as set out in the Combined Authority’s Constitution as being:-
· to provide the role of ‘critical friend’ to policy and development;
· to undertake scrutiny reviews into areas of strategic importance for people in the City Region; and
· to monitor the delivery of the Authority’s Strategic Plan.
It was reported that, at the Scrutiny Panel’s Development Day in September 2014, Members present had identified a shortlist of four areas which they felt would warrant scrutiny activity. These were endorsed as being:-
· European funding;
· Skills and Learning/Leadership;
· Housing; and
· Affordable Transport links.
The priority area would be European Funding.
Following discussions, it was agreed that a Work Programme would be developed and circulated, which would set out the process and arrangements for scrutiny, and would include:-
· Terms of Reference;
· Witnesses; and
· Lessons learned.
It was also agreed that any scrutiny work would be undertaken by all Members of the Scrutiny Panel.
RESOLVED: That a Work Programme be developed and circulated, as set out above.
The Panel considered a report and attachment of the Lead Officer – Scrutiny, on the Combined Authority’s (CA) approved Forward Plan.
It was noted that the Forward Plan set out the planned work of the CA to March 2015, and that the rolling plan was regularly updated.
Panel Members raised the following items:
· The recent announcement on plans for HS3 and the importance of the inclusion of the Liverpool City Region (LCR) in any proposals. As details of this announcement had not been formalised, Members requested that this be included in the Forward Plan;
· The One North document which reinforced the case for East/West and North/South connectivity in transportation in the region;
· The Northern Futures Programme, which advocated the strength of LCR investment and which would be considered by the CA at its next meeting. The document would be circulated to Panel Members.
RESOLVED: That the Combined Authority Forward Plan and Members’ comments be noted.
The Panel considered a report of the Lead Officer – Scrutiny, on a proposed calendar of meetings.
The report set out proposed dates for future meetings of the Scrutiny Panel for twelve months. However, the Chair advised that these may need to be reviewed to accommodate Member availability and to co-ordinate the timing of evidence gathering meetings.
RESOLVED: That, following consultation with the Chair, a calendar of meetings be set and circulated to all Members of the Panel.