The report of the Scrutiny Officer advised that in accordance with the Overview and Scrutiny Procedure Rules set out in the Constitution, five members of the Committee had raised a valid ‘call-in’ request in relation to the decision taken by the Cabinet in respect of Sports Development and Youth Provision.
Decision Notice D220099CAB (attached at Annex 1) had been published on 10 November 2022 and subsequently called-in by Councillors Clark, Cope, Hoskins, Oakley and Thornewell.
The grounds for call-in were set out in the report, at paragraph 1.1.2, and the decision was ‘deferred’ pending consideration by the Overview and Scrutiny Committee.
Members of the Committee considered the grounds for the call-in and had regard to the responses provided by the Cabinet Member for Community Services. There was detailed discussion on the merits of the proposals and the concerns raised around the disproportionate impact on vulnerable, disadvantaged and/or disabled young people; the performance of the service and its impact on local communities. In response, the Cabinet Member recognised the importance of embracing diversity and reassured the Committee that this would be reflected in any future decisions in respect of new youth projects. Particular reference was made to the Leisure Pass Scheme and consideration would be given on how to improve diversity and disability access.
However, the Cabinet Member reminded the Committee of the challenging financial position faced by the Borough Council, that sports development and youth provision were discretionary services and that these services were offered by alternative providers. In addition, the Leader of the Borough Council indicated that funding from the UK Shared Prosperity Fund could be available to support new youth projects in the future. It was important to recognise that services could be provided in a different way and strong relationships with partners would be pursued to avoid duplication of youth based projects and to reduce gaps in provision.
It was proposed by Councillor Hoskins and seconded by Councillor Thornewell that the decision be referred to Cabinet to:
· identify any gaps in service, including adverse impacts on disadvantaged/disabled users; and
· consider how funds received from central government could be used in relation to youth engagement/activities
Following a formal vote this proposal was rejected with 11 Members voting against and 5 voting in favour.
The Overview and Scrutiny Committee felt that there should be no further recommendations made to the Cabinet and that the decision should be implemented as taken.
Following a formal vote this opinion was supported with 11 Members voting in favour, 4 voting against and 1 abstaining.
As the Overview and Scrutiny Committee had no further recommendations to make to the Cabinet the grounds for call-in were not supported.
RESOLVED: That, as there were no further recommendations to make to the Cabinet the decision would come into immediate effect. Therefore, the proposals in respect of Sports Development and Youth Provision could be implemented from 18 November 2022.
(Note: Vice-Chair (Cllr M Davis) was in the Chair for this item as the Chair (Cllr A Oakley) was one of the five Members who had requested the call-in)