Agenda and minutes

Scrutiny Board (Environment, Housing and Communities) - Wednesday, 2nd December, 2020 12.30 pm

Venue: Remote Access

Contact: Becky Atherton (0113 37 88642)  Email:

Link: to View Meeting Recording

No. Item


Appeals Against Refusal of Inspection of Documents

To consider any appeals in accordance with Procedure Rule 25* of the Access to Information Procedure Rules (in the event of an Appeal the press and public will be excluded).


(* In accordance with Procedure Rule 25, notice of an appeal must be received in writing by the Head of Governance Services at least 24 hours before the meeting).


There were no appeals against the refusal of inspection documents.


Exempt Information - Possible Exclusion of the Press and Public

1.  To highlight reports or appendices which officers have identified as containing exempt information, and where officers consider that the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information, for the reasons outlined in the report.


2.  To consider whether or not to accept the officers recommendation in respect of the above information.


3.  If so, to formally pass the following resolution:-


RESOLVED – That the press and public be excluded from the meeting during consideration of the following parts of the agenda designated as containing exempt information on the grounds that it is likely, in view of the nature of the business to be transacted or the nature of the proceedings, that if members of the press and public were present there would be disclosure to them of exempt information, as follows:


No exempt items have been identified.


The agenda contained no exempt information.


Late Items


To identify items which have been admitted to the agenda by the Chair for consideration.


(The special circumstances shall be specified in the minutes.)


There were no late items added to the agenda.


Declaration of Disclosable Pecuniary Interests

To disclose or draw attention to any disclosable pecuniary interests for the purposes of Section 31 of the Localism Act 2011 and paragraphs 13-16 of the Members’ Code of Conduct.


No declarations of pecuniary interests were made.


Apologies for Absence and Notification of Substitutes

To receive any apologies for absence and notification of substitutes.


Apologies were received from Cllr Peter Gruen and Cllr Nicole Sharpe. Cllr Denise Ragan and Cllr Karen Renshaw attended as substitutes.


Call In Briefing paper pdf icon PDF 222 KB

To consider a report from the Head of Democratic Services advising the Scrutiny Board on the procedural aspects of calling in the decision.


The Head of Democratic Services submitted a report in relation to the procedural aspects of the call in process.


Members were advised that the options available to the Scrutiny Board in respect of this particular called in decision were as follows:


Option 1- Release the decision for implementation


Having reviewed this decision, the Scrutiny Board may decide to release it for implementation. If the Scrutiny Board chooses this option, the decision will be immediately released for implementation and the decision may not be called in again.


Option 2 - Recommend that the decision be reconsidered


The Scrutiny Board may decide to recommend to the decision maker that the decision be reconsidered. If the Scrutiny Board chooses this option a report will be submitted to the decision maker.


In the case of an Executive Board decision, the report of the Scrutiny Board will be prepared within three working days of the Scrutiny Board meeting and submitted to the Executive Board. Any report of the Scrutiny Board will be referred to the next Executive Board meeting for consideration.


In reconsidering the decision and associated Scrutiny Board report, the Executive Board may vary the decision or confirm its original decision. In either case, this will form the basis of the final decision and will not be subject to any further call in.


Failure to agree one of the above options


If the Scrutiny Board, for any reason, does not agree one of the above courses of action at this meeting, then Option 1 will be adopted by default, i.e. the decision will be released for implementation with no further recourse to call in.


RESOLVED – That the report outlining the call in procedures be noted.



Revenue budget Update 2021/2022 and Budget Saving Proposals - Resolution 77(c) pdf icon PDF 297 KB

To consider a report from the Head of Democratic Services presenting the background papers to an Executive Board decision which has been called in in accordance with the Council’s constitution.


The call in relates to resolution 77(c) as recorded in the draft minutes of the meeting of 18 November 2020 and relates to Revenue budget Update 2021/2022 and Budget Saving Proposals.

Additional documents:


The Head of Democratic Services submitted a report that presented background papers to an Executive Board decision which had been called in in accordance with the Council’s Constitution.


The decision had been called in for review by Councillor Robert Finnigan.


The Scrutiny Board considered the following written information:

-  Call in request form – 24 November 2020.

-  ‘Revenue budget update 2021/22 and budget savings proposals’ – Executive Board Report 18 November 2020.

-  Minute 77 Executive Board 18 November 2020.


The following were in attendance:


-  Cllr Robert Finnigan, Leader of the Morley Borough Independent group

-  Cllr Debra Coupar, Executive Board member for Communities

-  James Rogers, Director of Communities and Environment

-  Shaid Mahmood, Chief Officer Communities

-  Michael Everitt, Head of Finance

-  Richard Jackson, Head of Service, Facilities Management

-  Sarn Warbis, Senior Policy and Performance Officer

-  Mark Turnbull, Head of Service Resources and Housing


As the lead signatory to the Call In, Councillor Finnigan was invited to outline his concerns regarding the decision taken by the Executive Board and to set out the outcomes he wished to secure from the Call In meeting.


Cllr Finnigan set out a number of concerns including:


-  The potential impact on an already disadvantaged community of losing a valuable asset if the Lewisham Community Centre were to close.

-  The likelihood that those most affected would be the same people who have been hardest hit by the consequences of the covid-19 pandemic.

-  His interpretation that the wording of a Service Review proposal suggested a decision had already been taken to close the Lewisham Community Centre with the associated cost saving having already been built into the budget for 2021/22.

-  There not being sufficient time to “galvanise the local community” to engage in a consultation exercise before February 2021 given the disruption caused by the ongoing pandemic and Christmas.

-  There being a lack of clarity about the anticipated costs of running the community centre during 2021/22.

-  Usage being adversely impacted by the way in which Leeds City Council’s centralised booking system operates.


Cllr Finnigan sought a recommendation from Scrutiny Board members that the Executive Board should remove Lewisham Community Centre from the “closure list” and instead provide the local ward members with 12 months to work with the community to explore alternative proposals for the centre.


Cllr Finnigan further indicated that organisations he has involvement with, including Morley Town Council, would be prepared to provide financial support to cover a proportion of the ongoing costs of running the community centre if an assurance were provided that an extended consultation could take place.


Members were invited to ask questions or raise points of clarification in regard to the information outlined by Cllr Finnigan. Discussion included:


-  The cost associated with the work of a mobile caretaking team.

-  The cost of water on the site and the potential measures that could be introduced to reduce these and other running costs.

-  Possible reasons for declining  ...  view the full minutes text for item 67.


Outcome of the Call In

To consider the Scrutiny Board’s formal conclusions and recommendations arising from theconsideration of the called-in decision.


The Scrutiny Board considered whether or not to release the decision for implementation. A vote was subsequently held and the Scrutiny Board agreed (by majority decision) that the decision be released.


RESOLVED – That the decision be released for implementation.



Date and Time of Next Meeting

The Board’s next meeting will take place on 14 January 2020 at 10.30am. There will be a pre-meetfor all Board members at 10am.


To note the date and time of the next meeting as 14 January 2021 at 10.30am.