Agenda and minutes

Overview and Scrutiny Committee - Thursday, 21st November, 2019 7.00 pm

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Contact: Andrea Tomlinson  Democratic Services

No. Item



Members of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee are asked to consider whether they have an interest in any matters on the agenda and, if so, to formally declare that interest.


Councillor Harris declared a personal interest in any item relating to Six Town Housing as she is a member of the Board.

Councillor Harris also declared a personal interest in any item relating to The Elton High School as she had previously been a Governor at the school for many years.


Councillor Walsh declared a personal interest in any item relating to Holy Cross College as she is an employee of the college.


Councillor Stella Smith declared a personal interest in any item relating to Holy Cross College as she is a Governor


Mr Mackay, Co-opted Member declared a personal interest in any item relating to The Elton High School as he is a Governor at the School.



A period of 30 minutes has been set aside for members of the public to ask questions on matters considered at the last meeting and set out in the minutes or on the agenda for tonight’s meeting.


There were no member of the public present to ask questions under this item.


Minutes of the Last Meeting pdf icon PDF 125 KB

The Minutes of the last meeting of the Overview & Scrutiny Committee held on 12 September 2019 are attached.


MATTERS ARISINIt was agreed:


That the Minutes of the last meeting held on 12 September be approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair.





·         Councillor Harris referred to Minute OSC.159, Business Growth and Development and the question that she had asked about Chamberhall. Councillor Harris stated that she had been promised an update at a future meeting and asked that this wasn’t forgotten.


·         Councillor Walker referred to the question he had asked in relation to Capital Receipts. He had been advised that the information would be provided but he hadn’t received any information as yet.


It was explained that this information would be provided as part of the Financial Monitoring Report.




Performance in schools pdf icon PDF 65 KB

Report from the Cabinet Member – Children and Families attached

Associate Headteacher Scheme - pen portrait briefs attached

Holy Cross Summary attached – David Frost, Principal

Elton High School Summary attached – Jonathan Wilton, Head

Vision Academy Trust summary attached – Carol McLachlain, Head

Hoyle Nursery attached – Rachel O’Neil, Head


Additional documents:


Councillor Tamoor Tariq, Cabinet Member for Children and Families and Julien Kramer, Interim Assistant Director, Education and Inclusion presented a report giving the Overview and Scrutiny Committee an update on the work being undertaken in relation to School Improvement.


Councillor Tariq explained the journey around school improvement since the implementation of the work in July 2019. There had been a number of meetings held with Head Teachers, Governors, Teachers JCC and the Overview and Scrutiny main Committee and Performance in Schools Working Group.


Councillor Tariq reported that the Regional HMI was due to attend a meeting with Head Teachers in January.


The Regional School’s Commissioner had approved the work that had been carried out so far and the plan to move it forward.


Julien Introduced David Frost, Principal – Holy Cross College, Carol McLachlan, Chief Executive – Vision Multi Academy Trust, Rachel O’Neil, Acting Head Teacher – Hoyle Nursery School and Jonathan Wilton, Head Teacher – The Elton High School.


Each of the Head Teachers had submitted a pen portrait of their school or college to the Committee and were given the opportunity to present this information.


Holy Cross

David Frost, Principal at Holy Cross College explained that he had been at the College for 12 years and from 2007 to 2017 had been Ofsted Outstanding with a high number of students (over 50%) attaining A*, A or B at A Level and a large number (85% plus) progressing to university.


In early 2017 Mr Frost reported to Bury Heads that there was a changing emphasis in Ofsted’s approach ‘Good was the new Outstanding’ with a stronger emphasis on Value Added. This places greater weight on the progress of students. Some schools had high percentages of students gaining good GCSEs but low progress scores – getting as good as expected GCSE scores, but not ‘better’ than expected.


Mr Frost explained that at that time, Holy Cross had received ‘Satisfactory’ progress measures and were later judged by Ofsted as requiring improvement stating that satisfactory progress was no longer deemed sufficient. The college set in place a strategy not only to maintain high grades and high university success but to work towards ‘Very Good’ progress as well. It was explained that this was rapidly achieved.


A very strong ‘Good’ was awarded in inspection in 2018 as a result of the rapid improvement in progress, added to the continuing success such as A Level high grades, progression to university, pastoral care and enrichment. Mr Frost reported that the 2019 results have maintained the ‘Very Good’ level of progress while doubling Oxbridge admissions and increasing A* grades.


The significant level of improvement was achieved and maintained by strong quality improvement planning focussing on the following 6 elements:-

·         Strong monitoring of progress/value added scores at a teacher, class and subject level: every teacher trained to monitor the progress score for every key assessment and exam; (not just senior and middle management) Governors also trained.

·         Relentless focus on improving Teaching, Learning and Assessment through observations and  ...  view the full minutes text for item OSC.246


Ombudsman Annual Report pdf icon PDF 86 KB

Additional documents:


Jayne Hammond, Assistant Director – Legal and Democratic Services presented a report setting out findings and recommendations of the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman.



The Council receives an Annual Report summarising all complaints dealt with by the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman.


Of the complaints received, 27 were referred back for local resolution, 20 were closed after initial enquires, 10 were not upheld and 5 were upheld.  The highest number of complaints were for Education and children’s services at 17, 11 for Adult care services and 11 for Benefits and Tax.


Those present were given the opportunity to male comments and ask questions and the following points were raised:


·         Councillor N Jones referred to the rise in the number of complaints received by the Ombudsman and asked what the reason was for this.


It was explained that figures could increase or decrease from year to year depending on a number of circumstances.


·         Councillor Jones asked what the cost was to the Council in relation to the complaints.


It was explained that 3 complaints had required a financial settlement which would normally be a nominal fee.


·         Councillor Powell asked how Bury compared to other Greater Manchester Authorities.


It was explained that this information was available through the Ombudsman website.


·         Councillor Caserta asked how many complaints were submitted to officers and why had the numbers of Ombudsman complaints increased.


Jayne Hammond explained that she did not have a breakdown of complaints received by each Directorate but that each Directorate would be able to bring insight into their own departmental complaints.


It was agreed:


That the contents of the report be noted and that the Assistant Director for Legal and Democratic Services be thanked for her attendance.



Corporate Financial Monitoring Report April - September 2019 pdf icon PDF 434 KB

Report attached


Councillor O’Brien presented the Corporate Financial Monitoring Report to the Committee.


Following questions raised in relation to Link Asset Management, Capital Receipts and Council owned investment properties, Mike Woodhead, Chief Finance Officer gave an update:


Link Asset Management received £14,500 per annum for its services.


Capital receipts received:

·         2017/2018 - £2.3m – 43 mostly small pockets of land. Highest value £1.3m Dale Street.


·         2018/2019 - £1.2m – Highest value £0.5m – 3 Bridgefield Mews.


·         2019/2020 - £0.8m – Highest Value - £0.6m – Land at Fountain Place.


Investment properties:

·         Café Istanbul

·         43 – 45 Lever Street Manchester – 2016 purchase –£2.5m income yrs 1 to 3 - £71,000, £165,000 and £104,000

·         Northern House, Huddersfield – Purchase £2.4m. Income £130,000pa

·         Q Park, Bury - Purchase £2.3m. Income £94,000-£129,000pa

·         St Anne’s commercial building Purchased 2015 income £60,000pa until 2018 when became vacant. Currently incurring utilities and insurance costs of £12,000pa.


Councillor Eamonn O’Brien the Cabinet Member for Finance and Housing and Mike Woodhead, Chief Finance Officer presented the Corporate Financial Monitoring Report, April to September 2019.


The report informed Members of the Council’s financial position for the period April 2019 – September 2019 and projects the estimated outturn at the end of 2019/2020.


Those present were given the opportunity to ask questions and make comments and the following points were raised:


·         Councillor N Jones asked whether the Council were planning on selling off Castle Leisure Centre or Ramsbottom Leisure Centre.


Councillor O’Brien explained that there was a review about to be undertaken in relation to the leisure centres and until that was completed no decisions would be made. There were currently no plans for closure. The day to day running of the facilities and how much investment was required was currently being considered for the review.


Councillor O’Brien stated that once the review had been completed a report would be brought to the Overview and Scrutiny Committee.


·         Councillor N Jones asked what the timescale of the review was.


Councillor O’Brien stated that any financial targets would relate to the next financial year and not the current one.


·         Councillor Walker asked at what point the Councillors would be involved.


It was explained that work needs to be carried out to put the review together and then consultation would commence.


·         Councillor Harris referred to the use of reserves and asked whether this would be the case for this financial year.


Mike Woodhead explained that he hoped that there would be contributions made to the reserves for the financial year.


·         Councillor Caserta referred to non-service specific and how the figures were calculated.


Mike Woodhead explained that the previous years’ figures would be used as a baseline figure.


·         Councillor Caserta stated that the pupil premium of £450,000 - £500,000 used to be allocated directly to schools but was now allocated to the Local Authority. £145,000 of this had not been spent so had been put into the LAC fund. Councillor Caserta stated that this was unfair as it should be used within schools for LAC.


Mike  ...  view the full minutes text for item OSC.248


Devolution/GM Combined Authority pdf icon PDF 111 KB

Report attached


Jayne Hammond presented a report from the Leader of the Council highlighting the most recent updates in relation to the work with the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) and Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership, both of which Bury has active involvement with.


The report updated on The Greater Manchester Strategy, Health and Social Care, Greater Manchester Plan for Homes, Jobs and the Environment, Adult Education and other activity.


It was agreed:


1.   That the contents of the report be noted


2.   That the overview and Scrutiny Committee continue to receive reports giving them an update of the work being carried out.


*Children's Social Care Complaints report - For information* pdf icon PDF 161 KB


It was agreed:


That the contents of the report be noted.



The next scheduled meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee was due to meet on 23 January 2020. This date clashes with the Bury Holocaust Memorial Day event.


Following consultation with the Leader of the Council and the Chair of Overview and Scrutiny it has been agreed that the January meeting of Overview and Scrutiny will be held on 30 January 2020.


It was explained that the scheduled meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee was scheduled to meet on 23 January 2019. The date of this meeting clashed with the Holocaust Memorial Service. Members were therefore asked if they would agree to a change of date to avoid a clash.


It was agreed:


That the January 2020 meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee would take place on Thursday 30 January 2020 at 7pm.



Any other business which by reason of special circumstances the Chair agrees may be considered as a matter of urgency.


Councillor Caserta reported that as Chair of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee he had Called-in the following Cabinet Decision:


To approve the use of the community asset transfer arrangements to change the control of Children’s Centres.


The reason for the Call-on set out on the Call-in notice was:


To understand the financial implications & social hardship that will be caused by transferring centres to private ownership.


It was agreed:


That the Overview and Scrutiny Committee would meet to consider the Call-in on Thursday 19 December 2019 at 6pm.