Agenda and minutes

Overview and Scrutiny Committee - Monday, 31st July, 2023 6.30 pm

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Venue: Council Chamber, Town Hall, Royal Tunbridge Wells, TN1 1RS

Contact: Caroline Britt  Senior Democratic Services Officer


No. Item


Apologies for Absence pdf icon PDF 28 KB

To receive any apologies for absence.

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Apologies were received from Councillors Curry, Ellis, Morton, Palmer and Rogers.  Councillor Le Page was not present. 


Declarations of Interest and Party Whip pdf icon PDF 69 KB

To receive any declarations of interest by Members in items on the agenda in accordance with the Members’ Code of Conduct. For any advice on declarations of interest, please contact the Monitoring Officer before the meeting.


To receive any declarations by members of instruction given by or on behalf of a political group as to how that members should speak or vote on any items on the agenda. For any advice on declarations of interest, please contact the Monitoring Office before the meeting.


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There were no disclosable pecuniary or other significant interests declared at the meeting.  There were no declarations that any Member was subject to a party whip.


Notification of Persons Registered to Speak pdf icon PDF 31 KB

To note any Visiting Members or members of the public wishing to speak, of which due notice has been given in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 18 or 19, and which item(s) they wish to speak on.

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There were no members of the public or visiting Members registered to speak.


Minutes of the meeting dated 19 June 2023 pdf icon PDF 159 KB

To approve the minutes of a previous meeting as a correct record. The only issue relating to the minutes that can be discussed is their accuracy.

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Members reviewed the minutes.  No amendments were proposed.


RESOLVED – that the minutes of the meeting dated 19 June 2023 be approved as a correct record.


Items Called- In pdf icon PDF 66 KB

To consider any items ‘Called-In’ under Overview and Scrutiny Procedure Rule 13, details of which will have been circulated to Members under separate cover.

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There were no items which had been called in.


Work Programme pdf icon PDF 110 KB

To consider the Committee’s future work programme.

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Councillor Dawlings introduced the item and provided an initial summary of the proposed work programme for 2023/24 as follows:


-       At the last meeting held on 16 June, Members agreed that they would like to invite Portfolio Holders to come and give presentations on issues within their areas of responsibility.

-       Unfortunately, due to holiday commitments and invites being sent at short notice, it was not possible to include any Portfolio Holders on the agenda for this evening’s meeting.

-       At the meeting on 16 June  there was a request for the Head of Planning to be invited to this meeting to discuss Planning Enforcement.  Following a discussion with the Head of Planning it had now been agreed he would attend the next meeting on 25 September 2023.

-       South East Water was another issue Members were keen to have a discussion about.  Since the last meeting the Chair of Overview and Scrutiny had had a discussion with Steve Andrew from South East Water and it was agreed in principle that a representative would attend a future meeting. 

-       The appropriate procedure would be to write to the Chief Executive of South East Water which had now been done. 

-       Staffing issues were another issue that Members were keen to hear more about.  Since the last meeting, an All Member Briefing on staffing had taken place.  Members were assured that this matter was in hand and no further action was needed at this time.

-       Co-working arrangements at the Town Hall and in particular an update from Town Square was another topic of discussion.  There was quite a lot of work currently going on with Town Square, including arrangements to sign a lease with the Council.  It was hoped there would be some positive news in the near future. 

-       It would be prudent to await the outcome of  these discussions.  Members could then decide whether they would like to invite Town Square to a future meeting.  Alternatively, whether an All Members Briefing would be more appropriate.

-       The JTB was also raised, but no action had yet been taken.

-       In terms of scheduling Portfolio Holders to attend future meetings, there was a natural fit for the Portfolio Holder for Finance and Performance to  attend the November meeting to discuss the budget.

-       For September, the Head of Planning had already agreed to attend to discuss Planning Enforcement.  The Portfolio Holder for Housing and Planning, Councillor Hugo Pound would also be invited to attend. 

-       As the Portfolio Holder for Housing and Planning would be in attendance, it would be a good opportunity for Members to decide what other issues they might like to include in the discussion.

-       Members were given the current list of responsibilities for each of the Portfolio Holders.  Members were asked to consider which issues were of particular importance/concern.  This would enable the relevant Portfolio Holder to prepare in advance and help focus discussions.

-       It was suggested and agreed that Members give some  ...  view the full minutes text for item OSC18/23


Urgent Business pdf icon PDF 28 KB

To consider any other items which the Chairman decides are urgent, for the reasons to be stated, in accordance with Section 100B(4) of the Local Government Act 1972.

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There was no urgent business.


Date of the next meeting pdf icon PDF 28 KB

To note that the next scheduled meeting is Monday 25 September 2023 at 6:30pm

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The next meeting is scheduled for Monday 25 September 2023.