Agenda, decisions and minutes

Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee
Thursday, 18th March, 2021 4.00 pm

Venue: Virtual Remote Meeting

No. Item


ALTERNATE MEMBERS (Standing Order 34)

The City Solicitor will report the names of alternate Members who are attending the meeting in place of appointed Members. 



There were no alternate members.



(Members Code of Conduct - Part 4A of the Constitution)


To receive disclosures of interests from members and co-opted members on matters to be considered at the meeting. The disclosure must include the nature of the interest.


An interest must also be disclosed in the meeting when it becomes apparent to the member during the meeting.




(1)       Members may remain in the meeting and take part fully in discussion and voting unless the interest is a disclosable pecuniary interest or an interest which the Member feels would call into question their compliance with the wider principles set out in the Code of Conduct.  Disclosable pecuniary interests relate to the Member concerned or their spouse/partner.


(2)       Members in arrears of Council Tax by more than two months must not vote in decisions on, or which might affect, budget calculations, and must disclose at the meeting that this restriction applies to them.  A failure to comply with these requirements is a criminal offence under section 106 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992. 


(3)       Members are also welcome to disclose interests which are not disclosable pecuniary interests but which they consider should be made in the interest of clarity.


(4)       Officers must disclose interests in accordance with Council Standing Order 44.



There were no disclosures of interest in matters under consideration.



(Access to Information Procedure Rules – Part 3B of the Constitution)


Reports and background papers for agenda items may be inspected by contacting the person shown after each agenda item.  Certain reports and background papers may be restricted. 


Any request to remove the restriction on a report or background paper should be made to the relevant Strategic Director or Assistant Director whose name is shown on the front page of the report. 


If that request is refused, there is a right of appeal to this meeting. 


Please contact the officer shown below in advance of the meeting if you wish to appeal. 


(Yusuf Patel - 01274 434579)



No request to remove the restriction on a report or background paper was made.



No referrals have been made to this Committee up to and including the date of publication of this agenda.



There were no referrals to the Committee.



The Strategic Director Corporate Resources will present a report (Document “Z”) which examines the progress of, and future plans for, the roll out of Universal Credit, the impact of Covid 19, and the arrangements in place to support Bradford residents.


Recommended –


That Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee notes the progress being made in the roll-out of Universal Credit in the District.


(Martin Stubbs – 01274 432056)




The report examines the progress of and future plans for, the roll out of Universal Credit and the impact of COVID19, along with the arrangements in place to support residents.


Bradford Council officers explained to members of the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee that Universal Credit was first introduced in the District towards the end of 2015, replacing six existing benefits and tax credits, (often referred as legacy benefits) for working-age claimants.


Members were keen to understand if any groups had been negatively impacted by the pandemic.


Officers stated that they were not aware of any groups that had been negatively impacted by the pandemic.  The biggest impact of the pandemic has been that more people across the District were now unemployed.


Members seeked clarification that the number of people receiving Universal Credit had changed, due to people losing their jobs and that as we move out of the pandemic and things got better, with people moving back into work, would the levels of Universal Credit decrease?


In response, officers indicated that would be the case, as more people would move back into employment.


Members were keen to explore homelessness and whether the rules on eviction would stay the same and also whether there would be any effect on the ongoing local housing freeze.


Officers stated that as they did not know yet if and what impact the local housing freeze would have, they would respond to members at a later date.   



Resolved –


(1)  That a further progress report is presented in 12 months, with continued focus on the impacts of COVID19.


(2)  This committee requests that in relation to Universal Credit a report be presented in 6 months which focuses specifically on the homelessness, effects of the local housing freeze and the new mediation scheme.


Action:  Strategic Director, Corporate Resources.

              Strategic Director, Place.       


                                                                  (Martin Stubbs – 01274 432056)



The Strategic Director, Place will present a report (Document “AA”) which outlines the approach to delivering the national Prevent strategy in the Bradford district and highlights progress made in the last twelve months against the District Prevent Action Plan.


Recommended –


That the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee acknowledge the progress on work undertaken in implementing the Prevent agenda in Bradford and its approach to supporting vulnerable people.


(Ian Day – 01274 433507)


Additional documents:


The report outlined the approach to delivering the national Prevent Strategy in the Bradford District and highlighted the progress being made in the last twelve months against the District Prevent Action Plan.


Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee members commented on the projects being delivered as highlighted in the appendix and stated that they were not actually outcomes, but outputs and that describing what a project is, did not make it an outcome.  Furthermore, members indicated that this is an issue that members had raised before.


Continuing on, members also indicated that it was disappointing that there were no project outcomes identified and these needed to clearer. 


Furthermore, members also stated that there needed to be more than just one quote from a member of the public, to ensure that this work was worthwhile.


In response, Bradford Council officers that this was due to the structure of submission for these projects.


Members commented that there was level of distrust about Prevent in communities and whether there had been any engagement with communities relating to Prevent.


In response, Officers highlighted that they had not organised a questionnaire on thus, as it was a significant task to get a representative sample.  However, Officers did say that they undertake some dialogue with communities, but these had not been recorded or actioned.


Corporate Overview & Scrutiny Committee members requested that they be provided with information, which clearly shows the numbers of people who have participated on these projects.


Members also requested that their views and comments be requested, so that those could feed into the National Independent Review of Prevent.



Resolved –


(1)  This Committee requests that the Independent Review of the National Prevent Programme be presented to this Committee in September 2021, or as soon as it is available after its publication.


(2)  That more detailed outcomes against the projects being delivered as part of the Prevent Strategy for the District be presented to the Committee.


Action – Strategic Director, Place.


                                                            (Ian Day – 01274 433507)



WORK PROGRAMME 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 88 KB

The Chair of the Committee will present Document “AB” to which is appended the work programme for the Committee for 2020/21.


Recommended –


(1)  That members consider and comment on the areas of work included in the work programme.


(2)  That members consider any detailed scrutiny reviews that they may wish to conduct.


(Mustansir Butt – 01274 432574)


Additional documents:


The report included the Corporate Overview & Scrutiny Committee work programme for 2020-21, as well as the list of unscheduled topics.


The work programme also contained details of the scrutiny reviews, that the Corporate Overview & Scrutiny Committee, is currently undertaking.


Corporate Overview & Scrutiny Committee members discussed and made amendments to the work programme. 


Councillors were seeking clarification over the work the Committee had undertaken, in relation to Gambling.


The Overview and Scrutiny Lead explained the work that had taken place on relation to Gambling and said detailed information would be circulated again to members of Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee.



Resolved –


Members considered and commented on the 2020-21 Work Programme.


Action: Overview & Scrutiny Lead


                                                            (Mustansir Butt – 01274 432574)