Agenda and minutes

Overview and Scrutiny Committee - Thursday, 16th December, 2021 6.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Ryedale House, Malton

Contact: Owen Griffiths  43313

Link: View live stream

No. Item


Apologies for absence


Apologies were received from Councillors Cussons, Garbutt Moore, King, Raine, Raper, and Riby.


Minutes of the meeting held on 16 November 2021

Supporting documents:





That the minutes of the meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Meeting held on 16 November 2021 be approved and signed by the Chair as a correct record.


Voting Record




Urgent Business

To receive notice of any urgent business which the Chairman considers should be dealt with at the meeting as a matter of urgency by virtue of Section 100B(4)(b) of the Local Government Act 1972.


There was no urgent business


Declarations of Interest

Members to indicate whether they will be declaring any interests under the Code of Conduct.


Members making a declaration of interest at a meeting of a Committee or Council are required to disclose the existence and nature of that interest.  This requirement is not discharged by merely declaring a personal interest without further explanation.


There were no declarations of interest.



The Chair of Council has been invited to attend, under the overview and scrutiny provisions in the Constitution, to answer questions on her decision to postpone the meeting of Full Council scheduled for 2 December 2021.




The Chair of Council, Cllr Frank, was invited to attend the meeting, under the overview and scrutiny provisions in the Constitution, to answer questions on her decision to postpone the meeting of Full Council scheduled for 2 December 2021.


The Chair of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee, Cllr Middleton, started the proceedings by thanking the Chair of Council for accepting the invitation and agreeing to answer questions that the Committee had.


Below are a summary of the questions asked to the Chair of Council and the answers given. 


1)    Article 5.1 of the Constitution relates to the role of the Chair in being able to interpret the Constitution at necessary times. What evidence was your decision to postpone the meeting, at short notice, made?


The Chair of Council responded that she had a personal responsibility and liability for the safe conduct of the meetings, and those who took part in them. The unknowns of the new variant Omicron, alongside the fact that cases of Covid were higher in Ryedale than anywhere else in North Yorkshire, meant that she was urged to postpone the meeting. She did this with the agreement of 5 of the 6 Council Group Leaders.


2)    The Chair of the Committee said that the number of Covid cases were in decline on the week of the Full Council meeting. Where did the evidence base lie?


The Chair of Council’s evidence was based upon numbers found on the County Council website which showed the different levels of Covid at the different district areas.

Her information indicated that they were higher than elsewhere and that is what the decision was based upon.


3)    Every Councillor was given a questionnaire ahead of the Council on whether they felt like they could attend the meeting. Was that taken into consideration?


The questionnaire was not taken into account, by the Chair of Council, as the survey did not take into account the unknowns of the new variant of Coronavirus.


4)    But if the questionnaire suggested that a majority would attend the meeting, why was that not taken into account when considering the different views?


The Chair of Council reiterated that 5 of the 6 Group Leaders had concerns over the safety of the participants. She did agree, though, that the largest individual group, the Conservative Group, did not share her viewpoint.


5)    The Head of Corporate Governance was asked when the questionnaire had gone out. 


He confirmed that it had been sent out to all members a few days before the Council was due to take place.


6)    The Chair of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee returned to the Constitution. Article 5.2 concerns the way in which Council meetings need to be run to ensure “business can be carried out efficiently.” The decision to postpone the meeting would have had an financial consequence, did that cost to the Council play any role in your decision making?


The Chair of Council said that the financial cost was not a part of her thinking,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 60.


Statement of Accounts 2020-21

Supporting documents:


Considered- The Report of the Chief Finance Officer




That the Committee noted the Audit Risk Assessment Presentation, 2020/21 Statement of Accounts (including the Annual Governance Statement), the proposed letter of representation, and the External Auditors Audit Findings ISA 260 document.


Voting Record




Decisions from other Committees

Policy and Resources Committee held on 29 November 2021


The Committee received the Minutes of the Policy and Resources Committee held on 29 November 2021.


O&S Forward Plan

Supporting documents:


The Committee received the Forward Plan.

Since the agenda was sent out, there were several changes to the Forward Plan.


The January meeting would no longer consider the “External Audit Plan.” This will be considered at a later date.


The January meeting would now be considering two additional items. These would contain the report on the “Model Code of Conduct” and a report that feeds back the progress made on the “Scrutiny Task Group on the Performance Appraisal System”.


Any other business that the Chairman decides is urgent.


There being no further business the meeting ended at 7:58pm.