Skip to main content

Update on Overview and Scrutiny


Last night we had our first Overview & Scrutiny Committee (OSC) meeting since the election. This is an update on how the meeting went.  I blogged last week about how I wanted to improve OSC by producing more real recommendations for improving services and making the proceedings of the committee more open.

We agreed a number of changes (including making progress on streaming meetings live online) and then set out our work programme for the coming year.  OSC will start by taking an in-depth look at the following:

-  School places across the borough
-  The implementation of free gym use and swimming
-  The council's procurement strategy (what services are contracted out and how is this done)
-  The detail of how Southwark Council will deliver on the pledge to build 11,000 new council homes
-  The quality and speed of responses to casework raised on behalf of residents.

We will also be looking at numerous other issues as and when they arise.  For example, next month we will be speaking to the independent investigator into the major works at Draper House.  In addition, Southwark's Cabinet members will be interviewed by OSC to ensure we keep a close eye on the policy areas in their portfolios.

There are also a number of major regeneration projects going on across the borough at the moment. Because of their importance, at alternate meetings we will include one of these regeneration projects on our agenda.

Finally, we are also going to be asking staff and members of the public to suggest scrutiny items via a survey which will soon be published.  Our view is that staff and service users are usually the first people to notice when things start to go wrong.  We hope that will give us even more to get our teeth into.

To start as I mean to go on, I also made sure we got down to the nitty gritty at the first meeting and we made a start at investigating one of our more in-depth topics:  the delivery of the 11,000 new council homes.  Following a detailed briefing from officers on progress so far, we questioned them regarding progress made on the action plan set out in the January Cabinet paper.  A crucial next step in the process is the setting up of a "Council owned vehicle" which can access and use all the funding needed to build the homes.  OSC requested that more details of the proposals came to us at our September meeting.

I'll now be working to sort out the agenda for next month's OSC and start gathering together evidence on some of our longer-term scrutiny topics.

Our next meeting is on 15th July and the agenda will be published soon.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Details of events in August and September funded through the Nunhead and Peckham Rye Community Council Fund

Below is a table showing a list of events that will be taking place in the Nunhead and Peckham Rye area thanks to funding from the community fund. If you're interested in any of the event and you want further details, please e-mail the contact addresses given in the table.

If you're having trouble reading the table, click on it to make it bigger.


Free schools: A project cooked up by Tories who claim to be committed to social mobility has failed our children

(This post from Victoria about the closure of 'Southwark Free School', first appeared on LabourList.)

Last week saw the demise of yet another free school. Southwark Primary, which opened four-and-a-half-years ago in temporary buildings, will hastily close by February half-term never having made it to its permanent site, after being developed at great public expense. As Southwark council steps in to pick up the pieces and find places for children at other local schools it is difficult not to grind the axe about the government’s free school programme. We remain pragmatic that the programme is here to stay. However the government must reconsider the need for free school applicants to have a local and outstanding educational experience. At a time when many areas are experiencing a shortage of school places, and schools’ budgets are being cut, they must also stop wasting money building schools where there is no established demand. The story of free schools in Southwark makes clear …

A Proud Record. A Fairer Future

Vote for Victoria & Renata on 3rd May – Two Local Voices for Peckham Rye, with Labour Values
Being a councillors for Peckham Rye since 2010 has been an honour and we're seeking your support once again in the forthcoming local elections on 3rd May.

We are proud of our record since 2010. We have:-

- Introduced free swim and gym for all residents;

- Introduced free healthy school meals for all primary school children and now plan to roll them out to school nurseries;

- Raised standards across our schools and created more school places;

- We’re building new council homes and making existing ones warm, dry and safe with quality kitchens and bathrooms so now 97% are decent;

- We’ve kept all our libraries open and opened new ones;

- We have the best recycling rate in inner London; and we have made the borough cleaner, greener and safer.

We have done all of this while the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats in government have slashed the council’s budget and made it harder to deliver…