Agenda and minutes

Overview and Scrutiny Committee - Thursday 14 July 2022 5.00 pm

Venue: Conference Chamber, West Suffolk House, Western Way, Bury St Edmunds, IP33 3YU

Contact: Christine Brain: Democratic Services Officer  Email:

No. Item



Any member who is substituting for another member should so indicate, together with the name of the relevant absent member.


The following substitution was declared:


Councillor David Smith substituting for Councillor Diane Hind.




Apologies for absence


Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Diane Hind, Joe Mason, Sarah Stamp and Ian Shipp.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 152 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 16 June 2022 (copy attached).


The minutes of the meeting held on 16 June 2022 were confirmed as correct record and signed by the Chair.


Declarations of interest

Members are reminded of their responsibility to declare any pecuniary or local non pecuniary interest which they have in any item of business on the agenda, no later than when that item is reached and, when appropriate, to leave the meeting prior to discussion and voting on the item.


Members’ declarations of interest are recorded under the item to which the declaration relates.


Announcements from the Chair regarding responses from the Cabinet to reports of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee


No announcements were made on this occasion regarding responses from the Cabinet to reports from the Overview and Scrutiny Committee.


Public participation

Members of the public who live or work in the district are welcome to speak and may ask one question or make a statement of not more than three minutes duration relating to items to be discussed in Part 1 of the agenda only.  If a question is asked and answered within three minutes, the person who asked the question may ask a supplementary question that arises from the reply.


A person who wishes to speak must register at least 15 minutes before the time the meeting is scheduled to start.  This can be done online by sending the request to or telephoning 01638 719729 or in person by telling the Committee Administrator present at the meeting.


Due to applying coronavirus health and safety measures, precautions taken will apply to members of the public in attendance registered to speak, and therefore, would urge anyone who wishes to register to speak to notify Democratic Services by 9am on the day of the meeting so that advice can be given on the arrangements in place.


There is an overall limit of 15 minutes for public speaking, which may be extended at the Chair’s discretion.


There were no members of the public in attendance on this occasion.



Draft West Suffolk Annual Report (2021 to 2022) pdf icon PDF 127 KB

Report number: OAS/WS/22/013

Additional documents:


The Leader of the Council, Councillor John Griffiths thanked the Committee for the opportunity to present Report No: OAS/WS/22/013, which outlined the draft West Suffolk Councils’ Annual Report (2021 to 2022) and was before the Overview and Scrutiny Committee for their comments.


Throughout this year the Council had seen dedication, support and community spirit, which made West Suffolk such a very special place to live and work.


The Leader was proud that the Council was at the forefront during 2021 to 2022 as it responded to and began to recover from the impact of Covid 19.  At the same time, the Council never lost sight of its core values of supporting its communities and businesses and planning for current and future housing needs.  Alongside this, the Council continued to deliver high quality services in waste and recycling, determining planning applications and helping local organisations through the families and communities’ work.  As part of the response to Covid 19, the Council continued to administer grants for local businesses.


In collaboration with the Anglian Revenues Partnership the Council distributed its entire allocation of the Hardship Fund, helping residents with rent shortfalls to remain in their homes.


Six town centres benefited from projects undertaken to encourage shoppers back into town centres and support local businesses with Government “Welcome Back” funding.  Community groups across West Suffolk were also supported through the Government’s “Community Restart” fund for Covid specific projects.


The Council had delivered on a number of significant projects including the Mildenhall Hub, bringing together a range of services for the benefit of local people and the new Brandon Leisure and Health Hub, which included upgraded fitness facilities and community health facilities.


The draft West Suffolk Council Annual Report (Appendix 1) before the Committee provided highlights of all the work that all members and staff had achieved over the past year.  The annual report was a small insight into the good work and positive outcomes which the Council delivers day in and day out.  The Leader wished to thank everyone involved on delivering another excellent year of achievements during a difficult time which was fast-moving and ever-changing.  The Council had never been busier or had greater challenges to face. 


The Council was continuing the approach taken in the 2020 to 2021 Annual Report, by producing a shorter document using infographics, as opposed to the full written report.  Feedback received suggested that infographics gave a stronger and more easily digestible summary of the Council’s work and could be used in a number of ways, including for example, for briefing materials, social media and parish councils.


The Chair thanked the Leader for his presentation.  The Committee then examined the document in detail and asked a number of questions of the Leader, to which comprehensive responses were provided. 


In particular, discussions were held regarding electric vehicle charging points; Covid business grants; the Clinical Commissioning Group; homelessness levels and how families and individuals could be supported to maintain a tenancy and the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.


Comments and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 187.


Cabinet Decisions Plan: 1 July 2022 to 31 May 2023 pdf icon PDF 154 KB

Report number: OAS/WS/22/014

Additional documents:


The Committee received report number: OAS/WS/22/014, which informed members on forthcoming decisions to be considered by the Cabinet for the period 1 July 2022 to 31 May 2023.


The Committee considered the Decisions Plan and did not request any further information on items contained in the Plan.


There being no decision required, the Committee noted the contents of the 1 July 2022 to 31 May 2023 Decisions Plan.



Work programme update pdf icon PDF 114 KB

Report number: OAS/WS/22/015

Additional documents:


The Committee received report number: OAS/WS/22/015, which updated members on the current status of its rolling work programme of items for scrutiny during 2020-2021 (Appendix 1).


The Committee considered the report, and there being no decision required, the Committee noted the update.