Agenda and minutes

Overview and Scrutiny Board
Tuesday, 14th March, 2017 6.00 pm

Venue: Crompton Suite, Civic Centre, Oldham, West Street, Oldham, OL1 1NL. View directions

Contact: Lori Hughes 

No. Item


Apologies For Absence


Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Goodwin.


Declarations of Interest

To Receive Declarations of Interest in any Contract or matter to be discussed at the meeting.


There were no declarations of interest received.


Urgent Business

Urgent business, if any, introduced by the Chair


There were no items of urgent business received.


Public Question Time

To receive Questions from the Public, in accordance with the Council’s Constitution.


There were no public questions received.


Minutes of Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 185 KB

The Minutes of the Overview and Scrutiny Meeting held on 17th January 2017 are attached for approval.


RESOLVED that the minutes of the Overview and Scrutiny Board held on 17th January 2017 be approved as a correct record.


Minutes of the Joint GMCA and AGMA Scrutiny Pool Meetings pdf icon PDF 201 KB

The minutes of the Joint GMCA and AGMA Scrutiny Pool meetings held on 9th December 2016 and 13th January 2017 are attached.  The Board is requested to note the minutes.

Additional documents:


RESOLVED that the minutes of the Joint GMCA and AGMA Scrutiny Pool meetings held on 9th December 2016 and 13th January 2017 be noted.


Minutes of the Health Scrutiny Sub-Committee Meetings pdf icon PDF 183 KB

The minutes of the Health Scrutiny Sub-Committee meetings held on 8th November 2016 and 10th January 2017 are attached.  The Board is requested to note the minutes.


RESOLVED that the minutes of the Health Scrutiny Sub-Committee meeting held on 8th November 2016 be noted.


Report on the Work of the Virtual School pdf icon PDF 233 KB


Consideration was given to a report of the Headteacher of the Virtual School which provided information on the current work of the Oldham Virtual School and included the role and purpose of the Virtual School and the year on year comparison of results of Looked After Children.


The role of the Virtual School Headteacher was “about championing the educational needs of the children looked after by the authority, monitoring and tracking their educational progress as if, in fact, they all attended a single school”.  Local authorities had a duty under the Children Act 1989 to safeguard and promote the welfare of a child looked after by them.  In 2012, the All Party Parliamentary Group for Looked After Children and Care Leavers recommended making the Virtual School Headteacher post statutory and this was included in the Children and Families Bill in 2013.


The key responsibilities for the work of the Oldham Virtual School were outlined in the report.  The report highlighted that the Virtual School ensured that schools, social care professionals and corporate parents worked together to champion the educational needs of Looked After Children.  The Oldham Virtual School headteacher was supported by a Life Chances Team.  The Corporate Parenting Panel and Children’s Assurance Group received regular reports and supported the development of the Virtual School.


The report also highlighted:


·       Personal Education Plans and the new Oldham ePEP;

·       Pupil Premium Plus;

·       Changes to the Virtual School Approach from April 2017 onwards;

·       Current Looked After Children Cohort Performance;

·       Key Stage 2 Pupil Performance 2016; and

·       Key Stage 4 Pupil Performance 2016.


Members sought and received clarification on the number of pupils attending schools outside the borough and the financial implications.  Members were informed the pupils remained the authority’s pupils, there were no cost implications if attending another authority’s schools, but costs were incurred at some residential or special schools. Every effort was made to bring students back within the borough. However, in some cases there were particular reasons for the students to be at a distance.


Members sought clarification on the 20% increase and asked what could be done to be judged good or better.  Members were informed that a new online Personal Education Plan (ePEP) would be launched shortly and every PEP would be subject to quality assurance.  In the quality assurance exercise, 60% of PEPs has been judged as being good or better.  The target was for 80% to be at least good.  The Virtual School provided regular training for social care staff and designated teachers to further improve the quality of PEPs. 


Members sought clarification on other vulnerable groups.  It was clarified that analysis was done year by year and actions plans would be put into place for underperforming cohorts. 



1.       the report and information on the Work of the Virtual School be noted.

2.       an update on the work of the Virtual School be brought back to the Overview and Scrutiny Board in 12 months’ time.


Oldham Local Authority Policy and Process on Free Schools pdf icon PDF 36 KB

Additional documents:


Consideration was given to a report of the Head of Education Support Services on the Local Authority Policy on Free Schools.


The provision of new school places in Oldham would necessitate the establishment of a number of Free Schools over the duration of this Parliament.  It was important that the Local Authority had maximum influence over the choice of trust/sponsor for every Free School established in Oldham.  The policy on Free Schools outlined what criteria the local authority insisted upon for any provider who hoped to run a Free School within Oldham.  This included working in partnership with the local authority and working with the Oldham Education and Skills Commission for the development and improvement of the education offer for parents, young people and the community.


The principle issue related to Free Schools was the track record and capacity of the Trust to establish the school and the acquisition of suitable buildings and land. The final approval to run Free Schools was not with the local authority.  However, the local authority would be consulted and could exert a degree of influence.


The advantage of having a comprehensive Free School Policy was that such a policy would be the basis for establishing local authority support for Trusts seeking DfE approval and enabled the local authority to shape the provision of education in Oldham in line with its corporate objectives.  The currently policy was adopted in December 2016.


Members sought clarification on the track record of sponsors and were informed that that the authority had a good working relationship with the Regional Schools Commissioner and only those sponsors who met the criteria would be approved.  The final decision was with the Regional Schools Commissioner.  Members sought clarification that if there was a good sponsor could they be approached to do another one.  It was explained that multi-academy trusts were being developed and the focus had been on smaller arrangements.




1.       The report and the information provided at the meeting on the Local Authority Policy on Free Schools be noted.

2.       An update on the Free School Policy be brought back in twelve months’ time with the Academies update.


Draft of Inclusion Policy for Oldham pdf icon PDF 118 KB

Additional documents:


Consideration was given to a report of the Head of Inclusion which outlined progress on the Inclusion Review, the draft Inclusion Policy and details of consultation and engagement on the draft policy with stakeholders and partners.


The Oldham Education and Skills Commission had identified a number of key themes which the Commission believed would form the building blocks which would lead to transformational change.  Recommendation Four highlighted the need to address the high level of exclusions in the secondary phase and that all partners should work together through existing arrangements and via the new Oldham Education Partnership, to design and commit to new ways of working in order to tackle the issue.  An Inclusion Review had been undertaken and the outcome was captured in the draft Inclusion Policy.


The Commission recommended that through existing arrangements and a new education partnership, schools design and commit to:


·       A new approach as to how exclusions and managed moves were brokered across the borough;

·       Improving early identification;

·       Sharing information/data and joint research/analysis;

·       Increasing focus on preventative measures;

·       Availability of social, emotional and psychological support; and

·       Incentivising inclusion.


The Council was currently leading on an Inclusion Review on the effectiveness of inclusive education provision/practice across Oldham with a view to the development of an Inclusion Policy and subsequent Inclusion Strategy for implementation in the Borough.  A project group had been established in September 2016.  The draft Inclusion Policy had been co-produced with input from a range of key stakeholders and partners.  It was intended to develop an Inclusion Strategy following the endorsement of the Policy.  The strategy would set out various projects and initiatives that would be required from 2017 to 2020.


Members were informed the illustrations contained within the document were visual minutes taken during the development day.  The Youth Council had given good feedback.


Members commented on the link between inclusion, austerity and deprivation and how that could be changed.  Members were informed that partnership working was key which included Healthy Young Minds, Early Help and working with neighbourhood teams and looking at the whole family and community.  Progress would be measured during the three year programme.


Members asked what would be seen as success and what reductions were anticipated.  Oldham was currently in the bottom quartile, it was hoped to reduce exclusions to zero by 2020 and other ways to be found for children to be included without being at risk.  A number of issues from the review had already been implemented.  Members sought clarification if there were any ‘hot spots’ and were informed that there were no ‘spikes’ in behaviours.  Exclusions were not made lightly and only in the best interests.


Members commented on increasing the involvement of parents, not just at presentation or parents’ evening.  Members were informed that this was in the policy along with the importance of community.  Schools were of the same view as well as the importance of early identification and intervention.


Members sought and received clarification on the Alternative Provision (AP) free schools.  It was  ...  view the full minutes text for item 10.


Selective Licensing Scheme - Update pdf icon PDF 226 KB

Additional documents:


Consideration was given to a report of the Head of Public Protection which provided an update on the progress of the Selective Licensing Scheme.


Selective Licensing was a tool that local authorities could use to deal with areas where there was low-demand or which experienced a significant and persistent problem caused by anti-social behaviour.  When a Selective Licensing area had been designated, any private rented property must apply for a licence.  A number of areas had been designated under the selective licensing scheme in St. Mary’s, Hathershaw, Waterhead, Primrose Bank, Hollinwood, Oldham Edge, Alexandra and Coldhurst.  The scheme was now in Year 2.  The Board were provided with information on the number of applications received, number of licences granted and number of prosecutions and other information related to the impact the enforcement of the scheme had in the designated areas.


Members were informed of work with partners and other Council directorates to establish where privately rented properties were.  There had been a significant reduction in the number of requests related to disrepair issues.  Inroads had been made into tenant/landlord relationships.  Other benefits of the scheme included the green dividend and single point of contact for neighbourhoods.  Information was on the website for landlords as well as a closed Facebook page.  Progress on the scheme would be reported annually.  Consideration was being given to rerunning the criteria under the Selective Licensing Scheme as set down in the Housing Act to identify if any other areas met the criteria as outlined in the report.


Members asked if district teams reported back on hotspots such as flytipping and if this would be assessed under the Selective Licensing criteria.  It was clarified that information was captured related to flytipping and other anti-social behaviour.  However, areas would have to meet all the criteria within the scheme.


Members raised issues related to tenants and were informed of responsibilities of the tenant and landlord and the behaviour agreement available in the landlord pack.


Members raised concerns related to the figures and those properties which had not yet been registered.  Members informed of the process by which applications were granted which could be a lengthy process.  The scheme was self-financing and there was a problem in the borough with unfit properties being bought cheaply and rented dearly.




1.       The progress of the Selective Licensing Scheme as detailed in the report and the information as provided in the meeting be noted.

2.       The reporting mechanisms as outlined in Section 3.5  and 3.6 of the report be agreed.

3.       An update on the Selective Licensing Scheme be reported to Overview and Scrutiny in 12 months’ time.

4.       A meeting be arranged for Councillor McLaren and Councillor Dean to meet with the Head of Public Protection on the concerns raised related to unlicensed properties.


NOTE:  Councillor Toor left the meeting during this item.


Resident First Programme Overview pdf icon PDF 715 KB


Consideration was given to a report of the Customer Development Manager regarding the delivery of the Resident First Programme.  The programme had been designed to deliver the Council’s approved co-operative customer strategy to embed the Council’s co-operative approach with residents and services.  ‘Resident First’ meant that residents would increasingly be expected to self-serve and self-solve first before interacting with the Council.  It also meant that the Council committed to considering the needs of residents first in the way that Council services were delivered.  The programme had been designed to support Council directorates transform the way they interacted with residents and service users and included improvements to processes and supporting technology.  The programme was centred on transforming the experience of residents as part of the Council’s co-operative ambition. 


The Board were provided with an overview of the Resident First Programme which included:


·       The background to the programme including programme objectives and benefits;

·       Programme approach including methodology, business change and benefits management;

·       Programme scope;

·       Programme governance including roles & responsibilities and risk; and

·       Financial management.


The Council wanted to ensure that it was easier for residents to access Council services and serve themselves which would be delivered through programme methodology.  A framework had been developed which supported effective business change and a communications plan had been developed.  The programme methodology and scope was outlined in the report.


Members were informed of the need for a good quality service, but residents wanted more self-service options.  Research had identified that in terms of customer services previously, there was not an end-to-end record, inconsistent quality and no common record of transactions.  Resident First was putting capability in place with end to end journeys.  There would be a strong focus on benefits with improved tracking and management.  Members were asked how members themselves could be engaged with the programme and were asked to be involved in the forum.


Members raised the issue of providing evidence with residents having to come to the Civic Centre whilst other agencies accepted scanned documents. In the past residents could use libraries and asked why this had changed. Members were informed that this was a complex area and that self-scanning was being investigated.  Members raised the notification of council tax letters on-line and were informed that e-notification was being implemented but there would not be a mandatory opt-in.  Information needed to be clear due to the ongoing council tax scam.


Members sought clarification on how often the member forum would meet and were informed that this would be on a quarterly basis.  The members would be used as a sounding board.  Members asked if there was a basic information pack available when speaking to groups and it was confirmed there was as part of the communications plan.  The District Executives were recommended to receive information related to the programme as all members attended one of the District Executives.


The Board suggested that an email be circulated to all members, sponsored by the O&S Board, inviting members to the the forum and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 12.


Tourism Strategy pdf icon PDF 130 KB


Consideration was given to a report of the Director of Economy and Skills which provided an update on the Tourism Strategy that supported the development and growth of the Tourism sector in the borough.  The project would be developed in line with national and Greater Manchester context and priorities.  In developing the Tourism Strategy and Action Plan the following would be considered:


·       Existing visitor offer;

·       Oldham Town Centre, The Gallery and Coliseum Theatre;

·       Improving offer for business visitors with a number of new developments;

·       Oldham as part of the GM family works closely with Marketing Manchester to promote tourism in Oldham as well as the wider sub-region;

·       Strategy to be developed working with residents, businesses and other organisations to identify a co-operative approach; and

·       Use of Scarborough Tourism Economic Activity Monitor (STEAM) metrics to support the development of the strategy.


The draft strategy identified two potential primary destinations: Oldham Town Centre and Saddleworth.  The strategy also outlined a number of product/market areas that could be developed.  The strategic approach to the development of tourism was based around six action areas:


·       Events

·       Evening Economy

·       Rural Development

·       Heritage

·       Town Centre Development

·       Marketing and Promotion


Members raised the issue of the lack of disabled parking, especially for older residents with mobility issues to access the town centre amenities.  Members were informed that this had been raised as part of analysis and this was being addressed by officers in Regeneration as part of the car parking strategy given the significant demand for car parking but less disabled parking.


Members suggested the recognition of national days featuring music and dance in Parliament Square.  Members were informed that a creative group was being set up, as well as Hack Oldham and the music scene.  Parliament Square was a good public realm space, ideal for large events.


Members raised the issue of the delay in the completion of Parliament Square and the prices at certain venues.  Members were informed that negotiations were ongoing about deals.  The future of the high street would be about the leisure offer.




1.       The scope of the Tourism Strategy be endorsed.

2.       The potential primary destinations for visitors to the Borough be endorsed.

3.       The offer that had been identified as part of the Tourism Strategy be endorsed.

4.       The strengths, opportunities, issues and threats of the Tourism Strategy be endorsed.

5.       The primary aim for intervention of the Tourism Strategy be endorsed.

6.       The six action areas of the Tourism Strategy be endorsed.

7.       A further update be brought back to the Board in September 2017.


NOTE:  Councillor Dean left the meeting during this item.


Sustainable Food Cities Network and Encouraging Better Food and Drink Related Recycling Practices Across Organisations in Oldham pdf icon PDF 212 KB


Consideration was given to a report which provided information about a variety of avenues for further exploration regarding the more sustainable use of plastic bottles and cups by businesses and other organisations across the borough.


A motion had been referred to the Overview and Scrutiny Board related to the reduction of wasted and the ecological footprint of the food system and proposed resolutions.  The report outlined the results of the initial investigations on each topic which included drinking cups in Council buildings being recyclable; local coffee outlets to be encouraged to adopt recyclable cups, on-site recycling facilities, multi-use cups an offer discounts to those who brought their own cups; drinking water in schools; Courthauld Commitment and plastics recycling.


Members were informed that currently cups were not recycled in the Civic Centre and other Council buildings.  This could be addressed with the application of environmental standards with the Environmental Policy Team.


Local coffee outlets, as highlighted in the press, systems were being trialled including an initiative in Manchester.  There were a range of significant challenges and more environmentally friendly behaviour was being encouraged but was subject to funding.


With regard to drinking water in schools, primary schools have free water supplies and with regard to secondary school provision there was an initiative through Public Health for the same provision and work was already ongoing.


The Courthauld Commitment was explained to members which was a voluntary pledge across the food and drinks industry regarding was prevention practices.  Another phase was aimed at local authorities regarding food waste prevention practices.  The Greater Manchester Waste Disposal Authority (GMWDA) had signed up to the agreement in October 2016.  This fitted well with the Authority’s priorities on waste prevention.  One of the key aims of the GMWDA’s communications strategy was waste prevention and minimisation including the reduction of food waste across Greater Manchester.  There were no major requirements to be a signatory.  Consideration was requested to the resources needed to realise the benefits and the risks to reducing the message of the last twelve months on telling residents what goes in which bin.  Food waste was another subject matter and the main responsibility for this had fallen within the GMWDA on behalf of all Greater Manchester Councils.


GMWDA already had a semi-formal position on plastics recycling and had taken the stand that investment in technology was secondary to the primary issue due to the different types of plastics.  The GMWDA was lobbying for consistency in the use of plastic polymers.


Members asked about recycling bins being placed in the town centre and were informed that recycling bins were being trialled but if not introduced effectively there was a risk of other waste being put in those bins.




1.               The positive actions that could be taken regarding some of the avenues and others that are either legislated for already in terms of producer responsibility regulations, as outlined at Appendix 1 to the report, and were already more appropriately being lobbied at regional or national level  ...  view the full minutes text for item 14.


Oldham: A Cooperative Borough - Refreshing the Plans pdf icon PDF 127 KB


Consideration was given to a report which provided information on the process for refreshing the Oldham Plan and Corporate Plan; the timelines and the role of Overview and Scrutiny.  Members were informed that the Corporate Plan and Oldham Plan would be taken to Annual Council in May.  A workshop would be organised in April for all elected members.  The invitation would be issued through Overview and Scrutiny. 




1.       The timelines for the development and approval of the refreshed Corporate Plan 2017 – 2020 be noted.

2.       The proposed workshop for all elected members in April be endorsed.



Report on Community Shop pdf icon PDF 222 KB


Consideration was given to a report which provided an update on the Community Shop and the opportunity for Oldham.  This included an update on:


·       The developing partnership between Community Shop and the Trussell Trust;

·       The revised ‘Community Food Hub’ Model outlined by the Community Shop and the Trussell Trust partnership;

·       The offer of the ‘Community Food Hub’ model to users in Oldham; and

·       The discussion with representatives from the Community Shop and the Trussell Trust.


The current position was outlined and Members were informed of the various models of Community Food Hubs and the key offers which included café and hospitality space; learning and development space; retail space; food storage and warehouse space; social business space and start up incubator space.  It was important to consider what the offer would be.  A recommended model would be considered in consultation with elected members.


Members expressed concern that not many elected members knew about the Community Food hub.  Members were informed there were a host of activities being driven through by a number of partners that included Get Oldham Growing, the End Hunger Campaign and the End Hunger Campaign.


Members expressed concern that there were a number of activities ongoing which included affordable warmth, energy and food but seemed disjointed.  The food hub was showcased as one issue amongst a number of activities. 




1.       The new Community Food Hub be considered further in consultation with local partners and elected members in the context of existing activity in Oldham and the findings be reported back to Overview and Scrutiny.

2.       A meeting be convened with Councillor McLaren, Councillor Ball and relevant officers on the communication of the number of strands of activity.



General Exceptions and Urgent Decisions

The Board is requested to note the decisions that have been taken under Rule 16 or 17 of the Council’s Constitution since the last meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Board held on 17th January 2017.


There are no urgent decisions to note.


There were no General Exceptions or Urgent Decisions to be noted.


Overview and Scrutiny Board 2016/17 Work Programme pdf icon PDF 220 KB

The Board is requested to note the Overview and Scrutiny Board Work Programme for 2016/17.


RESOLVED that the Overview and Scrutiny Board Work Programme for 2016/17 be noted.


Overview and Scrutiny Board 2017/18 Draft Work Programme pdf icon PDF 139 KB

The Board are requested to give consideration to the 2017/18 Draft Work Programme and provide any areas which members may want to consider during the next municipal year.



Consideration was given to the draft 2017/18 Overview and Scrutiny Board Work Programme. 


RESOLVED that the draft 2017/18 Overview and Scrutiny Board Work Programme be noted.


Key Decision Document pdf icon PDF 162 KB

The Board is requested to note the Key Decision Document.


RESOLVED that the Key Decision Document for decisions to be taken from 1st March 2017 be noted.



Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 63 KB

The Board is requested to note the GMCA Forward Plan.


RESOLVED that the GMCA Forward Plan for the period 1st March 2017 to 30th June 2017 be noted.



Joint GMCA and AGMA Executive Board Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 131 KB

The Board is requested to note the Joint GMCA/AGMA Executive Board Forward Plan.


RESOLVED that the Joint GMCA/AGMA Executive Forward Plan for the period 1 March 2017 to 30 June 2017 be noted.