Agenda and minutes

Virtual, Strategic Scrutiny Committee - Thursday 23rd July 2020 5.30 pm

Venue: Legislation has been passed that allows Council's to conduct Committee meetings remotely.

Contact: Sharon Sissons, Democratic Services Officer  Tel: 01392 265115 or email

Note: The deadline for questions to be submitted to the Strategic Scrutiny is 10am on Monday 20 July 2020 

No. Item




These were received from Councillor Lamb.



Minutes pdf icon PDF 684 KB

To approve and sign the minutes of the Strategic Scrutiny Committee held on 2 July 2020.



The minutes of the meeting of the Strategic Scrutiny Committee held on 2 July 2020 were taken as read, approved as correct, subject to the inclusion of Councillor Owen being in the attendance, for signing by the Chair at the earliest possible convenience.




Declarations of Interest

Councillors are reminded of the need to declare any disclosable pecuniary interests that relate to business on the agenda and which have not already been included in the register of interests, before any discussion takes place on the item. Unless the interest is sensitive, you must also disclose the nature of the interest. In accordance with the Council's Code of Conduct, you must then leave the room and must not participate in any further discussion of the item.  Councillors requiring clarification should seek the advice of the Monitoring Officer prior to the day of the meeting.




No declarations of interest were made by Members.


Presentation on Covid-19 by Portfolio Holders and Questions from Members and Answers pdf icon PDF 340 KB

Briefing notes attached from the respective Portfolio Holders.


Leader – Councillor Bialyk

Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Climate and Culture- Councillor Sutton

Portfolio Holder for City Planning and Development - Councillor Foale


Details of questions from Members relating to the Portfolios above on Covid-19 issues only should be notified to the Corporate Manager Democratic and Civic Support by 10.00am the Monday before the meeting – 20 July 2020.


Members please also see alink to the emergency budget Executive paper to assist with any specific questions


Additional documents:


The Chair invited the Leader and Portfolio Holders to present their respective briefing notes.


Questions from Members submitted in advance of the meeting with the responses given at the meeting, together with the supplementary questions and responses made at the meeting are set out below for each Portfolio.


The Leader, Councillor Phil Bialyk in presenting his briefing note highlighted the following:-


·         for the foreseeable future the Deputy Leader, Councillor Rachel Sutton would take his place on the leadership discussion within the Greater Exeter Strategic Plan (GESP).

·         he had been selected by the Devon Leaders as a representative on the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Board (HSWLEP) and that £35.4m was being allocated to the Board but, despite bring a major generator of jobs in the sub-region, only a portion of money had gone to projects like the Exeter Science Park. An application had been made for funding support towards the Bus Station and additional COVID-19 costs incurred.

·         he had walked around the Bus Station and the new leisure centre to see the progress being made and he felt that people could not fail to be impressed. 


Questions from Members of the Committee


1. Councillor C Buswell - The pandemic has had a huge, far reaching impact. It made unprecedented demands in short order on all elements of society, and none more so than the public sector, including this Council. Can the Leader please explain how the Council was able to respond so quickly and stay on top of the demand to sustain services, at the same time as launching new initiatives such as the co-ordination of community support?' -  


The team led by Director, Jo Yelland along with the remainder of the Strategic Management Board have played an important role in discharging those duties handed to the City Council as a result of COVID.  Local Government Districts were the important last mile. He acknowledged and was impressed by the work of the communities, and of the support to deliver services to shielded and vulnerable people.  We were quick to respond and although it was not possible to help everyone and despite problems with the budget, we were still supporting communities, and would continue to do so.


Questions from other Council Members


1.  Councillor Oliver - Can you tell us how the Place Board has helped with the Covid crisis and recovery?


The Place Board has the purpose of helping us to engage partners within the city with regard to Liveable Exeter and those eight or nine sites that are now within the GESP and out to consultation. We understand that if we are to be a city going forward that we need that collaboration. We have been in a unique position whereby we had an assembled group of people in Exeter from various organisations and businesses to work with them to start a recovery within Exeter. There have been many discussions in relation to their businesses and what they need to do. The City Council needs to work  ...  view the full minutes text for item 17.