Decision details

Work Programme Update

Decision Maker: Overview and Scrutiny Committee

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: Yes

Is subject to call in?: No

Purpose:

To provide an update on the work undertaken by the various Work Groups.

Decisions:

The Scrutiny and Democratic Services Team Leader had submitted a report outlining a summary of the progress made in respect of each topic as follows:-

 

Flooding on Walney Promenade

 

At the previous meeting, the Committee had requested the Scrutiny and Democratic Services Team Leader to make contact with United Utilities to establish if they would be in a position to provide an update. She reported that United Utilities had advised that with the area being a SSSI site, they were not able to start the work until permits had been issued from Natural England and the Marine Maritime Industry. They would be in touch once permits had been received and works had started, in order to attend the next available meeting.

 

This review had therefore been paused for the time being.

 

Discretionary Housing Fund and Supported Housing Payments

 

At the previous meeting of the Committee the Chair had raised that the review had been taken out of the Committee’s hands which they had originally been tasked to do. The Committee had requested that contact be made with the Chair of the Executive Committee to obtain an update on the issue. The review had been paused for the time being whilst further discussions took place regarding the scope of the review.

 

The review had been initiated by Cllr Ann Thomson, Leader of the Council.  Following the last meeting, the Scrutiny and Democratic Services Team Leader had contacted the Leader to seek clarity on the scope of the review.  However, it had since been agreed by the Executive Committee at their meeting on 9th March, as part of the Annual Review of the Constitution, to recommend the Council to agree that the Leader of the Council should not sit on Overview and Scrutiny Committee.  The Committee had therefore been requested to consider whether they wished to continue the review and if so, the scope of the review and expected outcomes would need to be determined.

 

It was moved by Councillor Morgan and seconded by Councillor McEwan that the review into Discretionary Housing Fund and Supported Housing Payments should continue.

 

The Scrutiny and Democratic Services Team Leader had requested nominations for a Member to replace Councillor M. A. Thomson on this Work Group.

                                                                                                                                         

Arrangements for the Management of Piel Island

 

At the previous meeting of the Committee, Councillor McClure Chair of the Work Group had confirmed that following the meeting of the Work Group on 25th January, 2022 the Work Group had been satisfied that the review could be concluded.  The Chair had requested Councillor McClure to report her recommendations at the next Committee meeting to conclude the review.  The final report from the Piel Island Work Group had been covered under a separate agenda item (Minute No. 46 refers).

 

Impact of Covid-19 Going Forward

 

The Work Group had met on 7th February. Information had been noted including:-

 

  • The number of cases in Cumbria throughout January had reduced, with the most significant reduction seen in the second week of January, then a steady decline thereafter;
  • The rolling seven day average number of cases in Barrow at the time had been around 500 cases per 100,000 population which was similar to the other Districts in Cumbria.  It was envisaged that case numbers would likely remain at that level as the Omicron variant was highly transmissible;
  • It was anticipated that by the end of March, isolation rules would be lifted, although it was envisaged that PCR testing would remain in some form to test for new variants;
  • The Council’s Contact Tracing Team continue to assist the NHS Test and Trace System by contacting ‘hard to reach’ cases;
  • Covid Marshalls had reduced to one session per fortnight on a Saturday morning at the Alfred Barrow Health Centre with around 500 vaccinations each session plus walk-ins.

 

The Work Group had considered that it would be appropriate to meet again at the end of March when it was anticipated that isolation rules would be lifted.

 

At the meeting the Chair advised that the vaccination programme would be increased with the new programme seeing around 5,000 over 75’s or extremely vulnerable being offered vaccinations.

 

It had been noted that with rising case numbers and the virus still very active in the community, the Work Group would continue to meet regularly.

 

Crellin Street

 

At the previous meeting, the Committee had agreed that a Work Group be established to look further into ongoing issues in the Crellin Street vicinity emanating from food takeaway delivery services including parking on double yellow lines, obstructing delivery wagons and other road users, as well as reports of residents feeling intimidated walking past crowds of Uber Eats Drivers.

 

Following the initial meeting of the Work Group on 8th February, Members of the Work Group had requested for additional representatives to be invited to meet with them including Graham Barker (Head of Public Protection, Barrow Borough Council), as well as a representative from the Police and Cumbria County Council.

 

Councillor McEwan provided an update to the Committee stating that Barrow Local Committee had presented the issue to Cumbria County Council’s Cabinet the previous week where the Cabinet had agreed to support Barrow Local Committee’s request and explore the process and feasibility of adopting the DVLA devolved powers from the Secretary of State for Transport to take enforcement action on untaxed vehicles.  He had suggested that in view of that, this review should be paused.

 

RESOLVED:-

 

1.         To note the updates on progress in respect of each of the Work Groups;

2.         To agree that the review into Discretionary Housing Fund and Supported Housing Payments should continue and that Councillor Assouad would join the Work Group and Councillor Morgan would be appointed the Lead Member on the Work Group; and

3.         To agree that the review into Crellin Street should be paused.

 

Report author: Paula Westwood

Publication date: 13/04/2022

Date of decision: 24/03/2022

Decided at meeting: 24/03/2022 - Overview and Scrutiny Committee

Accompanying Documents: