Agenda and minutes

Liverpool City Region Combined Authority Overview and Scrutiny Committee
Wednesday, 19th October, 2016 10.15 a.m.

Venue: Authority Chamber - Mann Island. View directions

No. Item

Councillor Marie Stuart

          The Chair welcomed Councillor Marie Stuart (Knowsley Borough Council appointee), to the meeting.


Minutes of last meeting pdf icon PDF 143 KB


          The minutes of the meeting held on 6 July 2016, having been circulated, were taken as read and agreed as a correct record.


Short-Hop Bus Fares Scrutiny Review pdf icon PDF 193 KB

Additional documents:


The Panel considered a report of the Lead Officer – Scrutiny, on the response of Merseytravel to the review the Panel undertook into Short-Hop Bus Fares.


          As part of its Work Programme, the Panel undertook a detailed piece of scrutiny work which looked at the cost of short-hop bus fares across the City Region and made a number of recommendations to the Combined Authority (CA). It was reported that Merseytravel had now considered those recommendations and details of those responses were attached at Appendix 1.


Matt Goggins from Merseytravel attended the meeting to present the repsonses in greater detail, providing up to date information. He then dealt with Members’ questions seeking clarification, before being thanked for his attendance.




1)    the response be noted and Merseytravel be thanked for their response; and

2)    a further report be brought to the Panel in six months’ time on progress on the  actions.



Ethical Standards for Providers of Public Services pdf icon PDF 124 KB

Additional documents:


The Panel considered a report of the Lead Officer – Scrutiny, which provided a summary of the initial findings of enquiries in respect of the recently published Ethical Standards for Providers in Public Services Guidance.


It was noted that the issue was referred to the Panel by the Combined Authority (CA) following consideration by its Audit Committee. The CA was required to operate within an ethical framework in the same way as any other local authority. Although there was no standard statutory framework to adhere to, public bodies were expected to operate within the “Nolan Principles”. The document, attached at Appendix 1, set out six suggested measures which could be expected of, implemented and embedded by providers of public services.


It was noted that an initial fact-finding exercise had been conducted on behalf of the Scrutiny Panel, by Heads of Audit and Monitoring Officers of the six City Region Authorities, Merseytravel and the Combined Authority. A summary of responses was set out in Table 1 which enabled Members to consider the breadth of scope and consideration of ethical matters across each organisation.




1)    the results of the initial enquiries report be noted;

2)    the Combined Authority be requested to use that research in developing its own ethical framework, recognising where it is in its own development as an organisation; and

3)    a further report be made to the Panel in six months’ time on progress in developing that framework.



Scrutiny Work Programme and Recent Combined Authority Decisions pdf icon PDF 203 KB


The Panel considered a report of the Lead Officer – Scrutiny, on the Panel’s Work Programme and recent decisions taken by the Combined Authority (CA).


          Members were advised that, with the commencement of the Employment and Skills Review, the Panel will have completed its original Work Programme. In addition, it was reported that the Panel had also kept an overview on some key activities of the CA, via its formal meetings. This included the development of the Devolution Deal, progress on the City Region Growth Plan and progress on the Transport for Growth Plan.


          Members suggested the following potential items for inclusion in the Panel’s Work Programme;


·       Promotion of  a low carbon economy;

·       Waste reduction;

·       Ways to increase public participation in the democratic processes of the Liverpool City Region;

·       Potential scrutiny of the Area Based Review of Education;

·       Housing and Spatial Planning Statement of Co-operation; and

·       Local Growth Fund Performance.

It was agreed that these suggestions would be further considered, along with any other suggestions Members may have, and a final Work Programme be presented to the January 2017 meeting of the Panel for confirmation.


Councillor Leech had requested an update report on housing and planning, specifically on the issue of empty homes across the region.


Included within the report were details of the key issues which had been considered by the CA since the Panel last met.




1)    progress being made on the original work programme be endorsed;

2)    suggestions on potential future review activity be noted; and

3)    following further consideration, a revised Work Programme  be presented to the January 2017 meeting of the Panel.



Governance and Revised Constitution pdf icon PDF 131 KB

Additional documents:


The Panel considered a report and presentation of the Lead Officer – Scrutiny, which provided an update on developments in the delivery of the Liverpool City Region (LCR) Devolution Deal.


          It was noted that the Parliamentary Orders were awaiting publication, likely to be early November 2016. However, that which established the office of Elected Mayor had already been approved in July 2016.


          The Panel commented on the suggestion that the number of Members on the Panel be increased to twenty. It was agreed that the Panel would consider the Parliamentary Orders relating to Scrutiny once they were published, at a separately convened seminar meeting.  The Panel was advised that the number of Members required to participate in the call-in procedure would be clarified once the Orders were confirmed.


          RESOLVED: That


1)    the current position with Government be noted;

2)    the Panel’s comments on the Principles of Scrutiny document be noted;

3)    a further update report be brought to the January 2017 meeting of the Panel; and

4)    a seminar be held for Panel Members once the draft Parliamentary Orders have been received.