Agenda and draft minutes

Policy Overview and Scrutiny Committee
Thursday, 19th January, 2023 6.00 pm

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

Contact: Constitutional Services 

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies For Absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Barnes and C. Phythian.

2.

Declarations of Interest

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

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest received.

3.

Urgent Business

Urgent business, if any, introduced by the Chair

Minutes:

There were no items of urgent business received.

4.

Public Question Time

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

Minutes:

There were no public questions for this meetimg of the Committee to consider.

5.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 374 KB

The Minutes of the meeting of the Policy Overview and Scrutiny Committee, held on 13th December 2022 are attached for approval.

Minutes:

Resolved:
T
hat the Minutes of the meeting of the Policy Overview and Scrutiny Committee, held on 13th December 2022, be approved as a correct record.

6.

Oldham's Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy - Delivery Update pdf icon PDF 250 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee scrutinised a report of the Assistant Chief Executive, which updated Members on the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy (EDI). The Full Council at its meeting in September 2021, had adopted a new EDI Strategy. This report summarises how we currently meet our duties in respect of equality in Oldham, as well proving an update on the delivery of the EDI Strategy.

 

The Committee was advised that those subject to the equality duty must, in the exercise of their functions, have due regard to the need to:

              Eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation and other conduct prohibited by the Act.

              Advance equality of opportunity between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not.

              Foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not.

 

The Committee’s report summarised how Oldham Council was currently achieving its objectives, as well as updating on the delivery of the EDI Strategy Action Plan. The Equality Act 2010 brought several separate pieces of equality legislation together into one Act. It also extended the public sector equality duties to cover eight protected characteristics, namely: age, pregnancy and maternity, disability, race, gender, religion and belief, gender reassignment and sexual orientation    

 

Members were advised that the Act had also introduced the Public Sector Equality Duty. Under this duty, local authorities must: publish service and workforce data annually and to set at least one equality objective for the organisation (maximum timeframe for achievement set at four years).

 

The main elements of Oldham Council’s approach to equality were:

a.            Considering the impact of decisions through the Equality Impact Assessment (EIA) process - In taking decisions the Council must demonstrate that it has given “due regard” to the need to eliminate discrimination, promote equality of opportunity and promote good relations between different groups. Demonstrating that “due regard” has been given involved: assessing the potential equality impact of proposed decisions at an appropriate stage in the decision-making process - so that it informs the development of policy and is considered before a decision is taken; ensuring that decision makers are aware of the equality duties and any potential equality issues when making decisions. It was important to note that having due regard does not mean the Council cannot make decisions which have the potential to impact disproportionately, it means that we must be clear where this is the case and must be able to demonstrate that we have consulted, understood and mitigated the impact, where possible.

b.            Publishing service and workforce data – The Equality Act 2010 requires the council to publish information showing compliance with the Equality Duty, on at least an annual basis. Over time we intend to collect even more service information and to strengthen the collection of equality related data across the council. This work is referenced in the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy.

c.            Setting Equality Objectives – The Equality Act 2010 requires the council to publish specific and measurable equality objectives. However, setting equality objectives  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.

7.

Selective Licensing of Private Rented Properties Scheme

Report to follow

Minutes:

The Chair advised that this item had been withdrawn and would be considered at the Committee’s meeting that was scheduled to be held on 21st March 2023.

8.

Oldham Council Resolution - Supporting Our Armed Forces Community pdf icon PDF 321 KB

Minutes:

The Committee considered a Motion that had been presented to the full Council meeting on 14th December 2022: ‘Supporting our Armed Forces Community’. At the Council meeting, it had been agreed that: ‘Council resolved to refer consideration of the Motion to the Policy Overview and Scrutiny Committee’, with a view to the Committee providing a response to Council in due course.

 

Resolved:

That the Chief Executive’s office be requested to provide a report to the Committee’s meeting on 21st March 2023 detailing the current provision of support to Armed Forces veterans in the Borough, including comparative information from neighbouring local authorities.  

9.

Policy Overview and Scrutiny Committee Work Programme 2022/23 pdf icon PDF 166 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered its Work Programme for 2022/23.

 

Resolved:

That the Policy Overview and Scrutiny Committee Work Programme for 2022/23 be noted.

10.

Key Decision Document pdf icon PDF 22 KB

Key Decisions scheduled to be taken by the Council/Cabinet.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee reviewed the Key Decision Notice which provided an opportunity for the identification of items or policy or service development, not otherwise listed on the Committee Work Programme.

 

Resolved:
That the report and the Key Decision Notice be noted.