Agenda and minutes

Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee - Tuesday 11th April 2023 10:00am

Venue: Oak Room, County Buildings, Stafford. View directions

Contact: Mandy Pattinson  Email:


No. Item


Declarations of Interest

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Minutes of the meeting held on 27 February 2023 pdf icon PDF 244 KB

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Resolved: – That the minutes of the meeting held on 27 February 2023 be confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.


Civil Contingencies Update pdf icon PDF 165 KB

Report of the Leader of the Council.

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The Leader of the Council introduced the report which outlined the partnership structure; the Local authorities’ responsibilities; and the partnerships key priorities.  A copy of the County Councils Civil Contingencies Policy (February 2023) was also considered.  


The Committee was informed that several key multi agency exercises had taken place over recent months including potential wide scale flooding; national power outages; fuel disruption and energy shortages.  The results of the exercises had been used to update and improve response procedures and plans for both the County Council and the Staffordshire Resilience Forum (SRF). 


The main issues discussed by members were:

·     There were combined plans and tests through the SRF and individual partners had their own plans such as the County Councils Civil Contingencies Policy.

·     The Civil Contingencies Act came into force in 2004.  A recent government review had taken place, the results of which would be published soon.

·     A communications plan was being developed, to enable better communications with elected members should an emergency happen.  This would help members to know what was expected; their role; and how to communicate with the public and their communities.

  • Members felt that cyber-attacks and contingencies for no or reduced technology needed to be considered.  It was reported that an in-house exercise had recently taken place which considered this scenario. The results of this would be shared with the committee.
  • Lack of funding and Multiple regression such as two events taking place at the same time needed to be considered.  Officers agreed to raise this with partners at a future meeting.  Concurrent exercises were arranged where 2 scenarios where run simultaneously during an exercise.
  • Benchmarking was done whenever possible and learning was shared.
  • Each local SRF was setup differently depending on local circumstances.
  • The next piece of work for the CCU would be on the voluntary sector.  A discussion took place on the need to encourage more volunteers of different ages, as all partners tend to pull on the same volunteer set.  The Councils HR team were currently capturing staff skills in order to tap into this under used resource.  Work was also taking place to train managers in flexible leadership so that resources could be released to help support projects/partners when needed.
  • Exercises were carried out both live and some virtual, depending on need.  A copy of the 3-year programme would be shared with the committee.

·     Key priorities for the SRF partnership were outlined in the report.

  • It was felt that Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) issues should have a standalone plan. A link to the current SRF plan will be shared with committee. 
  • Cyber security and backup systems was discussed.  Mobile phone connectivity and if there was a relationship with satellite providers (e.g. Starlink) which would enable a short term move away from grounds based systems.  Future exercises were being developed that would test telecommunications; supply chain failure and ‘cloud’ technology.
  • Cross boundary working did take place when needed and staff were transferred as part of mutual aid requests when necessary  ...  view the full minutes text for item 61.


Governance - Outside Bodies Update pdf icon PDF 128 KB

Report of the Leader of the Council.

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The Leader of the Council and the Head of Member and Democratic Services, introduced the report which detailed the work undertaken to establish if the list of Outside Bodies, which the Council appointed members to, was still current and adding value to the work of the Authority.  The report followed a previous report to the Committee in December 2022 which had considered a separate piece of work on the Local Authority Trading Companies (LATCos).


A discussion was held on the merit of appointed members, reporting back to the Leader, or providing reports to other members to share their knowledge.  Generally, it was felt that this was unnecessary and that any significant issues could be raised with the most appropriate lead member.  An example was shared of an issue with University Hospital Derby and Burton being shared with the Chair of the Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee rather than raising with the Leader.   The Leader reminded members that he, or the Member and Democratic Services team were always available should a representative on an outside body need support or have a concern relating to their appointment.


The following bodies were specifically discussed:

  • Campions Wood Quarry Liaison Committee – Mrs Perry attended this meeting on a regular basis and was concerned that it was on the red list, as she felt it was still active. 
  • Bermersley Civic Amenities Site Management Committee – Councillor Yates felt that this body was still needed.  It was reported that this had stopped operation some time ago.
  • Poplars Landfill Site Liaison Committee – There seemed to be some confusion with the Committee organisers over Council representation, with the substitute member being invited in place of the formal member.


It was agreed that the above 3 Committees would be investigated further.



That the Leader of the Council be recommended to:

a)   All of the outside bodies highlighted in red on the list appended to the report be reviewed again to ensure that they are no longer needed and then if not required, be removed from the annual appointments list.

b)  That the outside bodies highlighted in amber on the list appended to the report be continually reviewed.

c)   That there is a review of Outside Bodies taking place in the first year after SCC elections which should include a survey to SCC elected members who are appointed to them. Each year thereafter a review takes place with the Outside Bodies themselves.

d)  That the list of outside bodies be published on the council’s website for information.



Work Programme pdf icon PDF 803 KB

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The next meeting of the Committee would be held on 9th May 2023 at 2.30pm


Resolved: That the Work Programme be noted.