Agenda and minutes

Overview, Scrutiny & Policy Development Committee - Monday, 14th June, 2021 6.00 pm

Venue: Chamber - Quadrant, The Silverlink North, Cobalt Business Park, North Tyneside, NE27 0BY. View directions

Contact: Paul Wheeler  (0191) 643 5318 Email:

Note: (Due to Covid precautions anyone wishing to attend should first notify the contact officer) 

No. Item


Appointment of Substitute Members

To receive a report on the appointment of Substitute Members.



There were no substitute Members


Declarations of Interest and Dispensations

You are invited to declare any registerable and/or non registerable interests in matters appearing on the agenda, and the nature of that interest.


You are also invited to disclose any dispensation in relation to

any registerable and/or non-registerable interests that have been

granted to you in respect of any matters appearing on the agenda.


Please complete the Declarations of Interests card available at the meeting and return it to the Democratic Services Officer before leaving the meeting.


There were no Declarations of Interest.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 135 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 15 March 2021.


Resolved that the minute of the meeting held on 15 March 2021 be confirmed.


Covid Recovery Update

To receive a Covid Recovery update presentation.


The Committee received a Covid Recovery update presentation delivered by the Customer Service and Digital Strategy Manager, Senior Manager Technical & Regulatory Services and Senior Manager Public Health.

The recovery programme started in June – September 2020, progressing through to the transition phase in October 2020 – March 2021 and April – July 2021 to focus on further recovery to come back better.

The Committee was informed of the recovery programme objectives from the Local, Regional and National perspective.

At the start of the programme there were 33 workstreams objectives that had been identified to be delivered, which 27 had been delivered, leaving 6 workstreams where activity was continuing. 

The recovery when assessed at the end of phase 2 was rated Green/Amber, where all remaining workstreams could proceed to the next phase, with actions in place to mitigate risks identified. It was stated that the majority of services were now open with staff working either in council locations or from their homes following national guidance.

The Authority follows 4 tests in its progress tracking of the Government’s road map. Tests 1-3 for vaccine deployment, effectiveness and infection rates were very strong and graded Green. With regards to test 4 - risks of the new variants of concern was graded Amber. It was stated the Authority would follow data and not dates in its progress in recovery. 

The Committee was informed of the planning assumptions at the Phase 3 stage which began in April 2021, which provided detail to what was required for the recovery.  The presentation also provided information to what had been delivered through the recovery programme workstreams.

Information to the Variant of Concern response plan was provided for the Delta variant, which included

·       Mobile testing units

·       Door-knocking in targeted areas

·       Enhanced contact tracing

·       Focus on supporting self-isolation

·       Increased vaccination through pharmacies and use of a vaccination van.

A Member questioned the progress and spend of the Business Restriction Support Grants since COVID-19 restrictions came into force. In response officers indicated that further information would be provided to the member directly.


A Member questioned the reporting of the impact of different Covid-19 variants where reference was made to a newly published Lancet research report.


In response the Senior Manager Public Health stated the information provided was based on hospital admissions locally and regionally, where the data had suggested that Delta variant cases are not yet translated into significant hospital admissions.


Reassurance was given that all research was continually being reviewed by Public Health England to ensure the most appropriate response.


The Member also raised, and confirmation was provided that the 2nd dose vaccination was available and accessible through pharmacy clinics.


Agreed that (1) the Covid recovery Update be noted; and (2) further information in relation to Business Restriction Support Grants be provided.


Engie sub-group Report pdf icon PDF 106 KB

To receive the findings of the scrutiny undertaken by the Engie Sub-group into the Authority Partner.

Additional documents:


The Committee received a report that provided the findings of the Engie Sub-group, which had carried out an in-depth review of the Authority’s partner Engie on behalf of the Overview, Scrutiny & Policy Development Committee.


Members of the sub-group were in attendance and presented the report to the Committee. 


The report detailed the work that the sub-group had undertaken, which it proposed 3 recommendations to be referred to Cabinet for consideration.


A Member questioned the timeline it took the sub-group to undertake its work. In response it was stated that work commenced in late 2019, where all non-Executive Members were invited to be part of the review. The established sub-group then held meetings with officers that took place in early 2020, however, due to the outbreak of the covid-19 pandemic work ceased.


In December 2020, work resumed, the sub-group met on 10 occasions, where it received information from senior officers of the Authority and its Engie Partner. The review was concluded in March 2020, with the findings being presented at the first opportunity at the meeting.


Agreed that (1) the Engie sub-group report be approved; and (2) the Engie Sub-group report be referred to Cabinet 28 June 2021 for its consideration.


Cabinets Response to Children. Educations and Skills - Children's Readiness for School Scrutiny Sub-Group pdf icon PDF 374 KB

To note Cabinet’s response to the to the recommendations included in the Children, Education and Skills (CES) sub-group report into children’s readiness for school.

Additional documents:


The Committee received the response report from Cabinet to the recommendations submitted by the sub-group of the Children, Education and Skills Sub-committee to its review into Children’s Readiness for School.


Appended to the report were the actions to be taken with associated timescale for the completion of each of the recommendations


Agreed that the recommendation response from Cabinet in relation to the work of the sub-group of the Children, Education and Skills Sub-committee into Children’s Readiness for School be noted.