Overview and Scrutiny Commission

9 September 2021

6.30  - 7.45 pm




Councillors Angell (Chair), Virgo (Vice-Chair), Mrs Birch, Brossard, Gbadebo, MJ Gibson, McLean and Porter 


Apologies for absence were received from:

Councillors Mrs McKenzie-Boyle, Mrs Mattick, Mossom, Temperton

Tracey Wright, Parent Governor Representative

Mark Glanville, Parent Governor Representative


 Executive Members Present:

Councillor Birch, Executive Member for Adult Services, Health and Housing  


In Attendance:

Councillor Brown


Also Present:

Kevin Gibbs, Statutory Scrutiny Officer



25.          Minutes of previous meeting

Councillor MJ Gibson advised that the minutes for 3 August 2021 incorrectly recorded his apologies as he had been present for part of the meeting.


RESOLVED that, noting the clarification above, the minutes of the meeting of the Commission held on 3 August 2021 be approved as a correct record, and signed by the Chairman.


It was agreed that the Commission Chair and Vice-Chair write a joint letter to the Managing Director – Bracknell Forest Executive Lead for Urgent and Emergency Care, NHS Frimley CCG requesting a response to outstanding questions from the previous meeting.



26.          Declarations of Interest and Party Whip

There were no declarations of interest.


There were no indications that members would be participating while under the party whip.



27.          Urgent Items of Business

There were no items of urgent business.



28.          Public Participation

No submissions had been made by members of the public under the Council’s Public Participation Scheme for Overview and Scrutiny.



29.          Health Scrutiny arrangements

The Statutory Scrutiny Officer reported back to the Commission the findings of his review of health scrutiny at Bracknell Forest. The review was requested by the Commission in July 2021, to give the Commission assurance that this area of work was adequately covered in the Commission’s work plan. The findings confirmed that the arrangements were sound.


To ensure that it was clear when the Commission was formally considering health matters, the report recommended the following two changes:



In response to questions, the Statutory Scrutiny Officer confirmed that the Commission could call ad-hoc meetings of the Strategic Health Scrutiny Committee, in addition to its programmed meetings.


The proposed attendees for the O&S Commission, sitting as the Strategic Health Scrutiny Committee, would use the same template as the Crime and Disorder Committee. Therefore, the attendees list would be a senior representative of the Frimley Integrated Care System, the Executive Member for Adult Services, Health and Housing, plus the Executive Director: People. Other health or social care partners would be invited based on the substantive topic of the meeting.


It was RESOLVED that:


i)      the Commission reschedules one of its meetings per year to sit as the Strategic Health Scrutiny Committee


ii)     the Finance and Wellbeing Overview and Scrutiny Panel be renamed Health and Care Overview and Scrutiny Panel


iii)   the Commission leads on the Council Plan theme, Value for Money



30.          Evaluation of the Care leavers' review

The Commission considered the evaluation of the care leavers’ review undertaken by the Education, Skills and Growth Overview and Scrutiny Panel.


The Commission Chair recognised this was the first time the impact of a review had been followed up and it was agreed that this good practice should continue as standard for all reviews. It was noted that the impact of reviews may be discussed with Executive Members when they are invited to the Commission to discuss their portfolio.


It was RESOLVED that:


i)      the Overview and Scrutiny Commission endorses the Education, Skills and Growth Panel’s decision to conclude its scrutiny work into care leavers.


ii)     the Overview and Scrutiny Commission notes the lessons learnt, including:


·         reviewing future scoping documents to incorporate learning from this follow up review by making clearer the intended outcomes and impact of any recommendations.

·         considering what can be accomplished in one day when designing a programme of work.

·         reviews should take place no sooner than 6 months after the agreed implementation date to allow the impact to be embedded.



31.          Work Programme Update

Councillor MJ Gibson presented the draft scope for the mental health review by the Health and Care Panel.


The following updates to the draft scope document were requested:


i)      Panel name to change to the Health and Care Panel, as resolved under item 6.


ii)     The Commission Chair queried the reference to one third of residents having reported that the pandemic had negatively affected their mental health. The scope needs to be clear whether the data refers to all residents or only residents surveyed in the Bracknell Forest COVID Community Impact Assessment of July 2021.


iii)   The Commission requested that the actual numbers involved in the 31% increase in referrals to drug and alcohol services be included in the scope.


The Commission recognised that mental health is a huge topic with many different aspects. It was recognised that this scope focuses on early intervention, and on eating disorders and drug and alcohol services. It was noted that the review needs to focus on tangible, practical steps to improve outcomes. 


Subject to the three updates above, the mental health review scope was endorsed.



Each Panel Chair provided a verbal update on work programme progress.


Health and Care Panel


The blue badge review will be considered by the Executive on 21 September.


Councillor MJ Gibson thanked the chairs, councillors and officers for their support as he transitioned to Chair of the Health and Care Panel.


Environment and Communities Panel


Councillor John Porter advised that the food waste review will be considered by the Executive on 21 September. The residential parking review is next to be scoped.


Education, Skills and Growth Panel


Councillor Mrs Birch advised that the Community Infrastructure Levy review had agreed draft recommendations and the report was being prepared. The report is expected at the November Commission.


The review had benefited from very good engagement, with about 12-16 attendees at every meeting, and received good feedback from a parish clerk who had felt included and listened to.


Councillor Mrs Birch advised of a panel meeting on 22 September for all Education, Skills and Growth panel members to get together and reflect on the past year’s activity, as well as prepare for the upcoming SEND review.