Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Room 116, 16 Summer Lane, Birmingham, B19 3SD

Contact: Lyndsey Roberts, Governance Services Officer 

No. Item


Apologies for Absence

Presented By: Chair


Apologies for absence were received from Dr Chris Handy (Black Country LEP) Mike Lyons (Greater Birmingham & Solihull LEP), Councillor Yvonne Mosquito (Birmingham City Council), Councillor John Mutton (Coventry City Council), Councillor John O’Shea (Birmingham City Council) and Sarah Windrum (Coventry & Warwickshire LEP).


Declarations of Interests

Members are reminded of the need to declare any disclosable pecuniary interests they have in an item being discussed during the course of the meeting. In addition, the receipt of any gift or hospitality should be declared where the value of it was thought to have exceeded £25 (gifts) or £40 (hospitality).

Presented By: Chair


Councillor Stephen Simkins declared a personal interest in respect of agenda item no. 4 ‘Findings of the Overview & Scrutiny Committee in relation to the WMCA Draft Budget and Mayoral Council Tax Precept for 2018/19’, as a student at Wolverhampton University.


Minutes of the meeting held on 21 November 2017 pdf icon PDF 199 KB

Presented By: Chair


The minutes of the meeting held on 21 November 2017 were confirmed and signed as a correct record.


Budget Report - Recommendations and Outcomes pdf icon PDF 115 KB

(including Transport Budget Commentary - Transport Delivery Committee - Councillor Richard Worrall)

Presented By: Sarah Sprung

Additional documents:


The committee considered a report of the Scrutiny Lead Officer, West Midlands Combined Authority on the findings of the scrutiny process and recommendations for the WMCA Board to consider both in terms of this year’s budget and suggestions for ways in which the process could be improved for next financial year.  The WMCA Board considered the draft budget on 12 January 2018.  At this meeting, the Board was minded not to support the Mayor’s proposed precept.


Overview & Scrutiny Committee held the first Question Time with the Mayor on 24 January 2018 and were able to question him on the Mayoral Precept and other elements of the proposed budget.  A report on the findings of the committee would be submitted to the WMCA Board on 9 February 2018 for consideration.


Following the Mayors Question Time, the committee requested additional information in relation to the Funding for Growth Programme (full membership, the project team supporting the programme and dates of meetings together with attendance, minutes and decisions made), which would help it to form its recommendations to the WMCA Board. 


The committee noted the late submission of this information, which might otherwise have supported the justification for a Mayoral precept.  The process in which constituent authorities had been consulted and the route in which it was agreed to have a Mayoral precept was considered by the committee to be lacking the proper levels of openness and transparency.


Councillor Izzy Seccombe provided an overview of the budget and the ambitions of the West Midlands Combined Authority.  She shared the concerns of colleagues in respect of the late submission of information and noted that there were a number of lessons to be learned about the process and how it could be improved in future years. 


Councillor Izzy Seccombe explained how the Funding for Growth Panel had been established, its membership and how this had been formed.  The Panel had investigated a number of alternative funding sources, however there was an issue in respect of time constraints and the decision to have a Mayoral precept was the very last option considered.


Councillor Izzy Seccombe commented that the ability to come together as a West Midlands Combined Authority had already proved to be beneficial for the region and asked colleagues to recognise the benefits and ambitions of the WMCA Board.


As the committee considered that the budget process this year was unsatisfactory, it was proposed that Overview & Scrutiny Committee commission a lessons learnt report and establish a Task & Finish group to review the process.


The committee considered a response to transport queries that were raised at the Overview & Scrutiny Budget Task & Finish Group on 15 January.  In respect of Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) branding and the capital investment of £1.8m that had been set-aside, Councillor Steve Simkins questioned whether this expenditure was a key priority for the citizens of the West Midlands.


The Director of Finance confirmed that the purpose of the £1.8m was for the future rebranding of TfWM and the money had been  ...  view the full minutes text for item 13.


Devolution Deal 2 Update

Presented By: Tim Martin


The committee received a verbal update from the Head of Governance on the progress being made in respect of Devolution 2.


The committee considered a short written submission received from the Police and Crime Commissioner for the West Midlands Police that expressed his concerns on the implications of the devolution deal and highlighted the importance of his involvement in the consultation process on the future policing governance across the West Midlands.


The Head of Governance provided an update on his recent telephone conference with officials from the Home Office and confirmed that the Office of the Police & Crime Commissioner would be involved in discussions, and noted the proposed way forward in respect of consulting with the Police and Crime Commissioner for the West Midlands.


The committee noted the submission received from the Police and Crime Commissioner and asked the Chair of their Governance Task & Finish Group, Councillor John McNicholas, to meet with the Chair of the Police & Crime Panel to discuss this matter further.




(1)   That the update be noted.


(2)   The Chair of the Governance Task & Finish Group, Councillor John McNicholas to meet with the Chair of the Police & Crime Panel to discuss the future governance of policing in the West Midlands.




General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Update

Presented By: Tim Martin


The committee agreed for this item of business to be deferred to its next meeting.




(1)   The Head of Governance to provide an update on General Data Protection Regulation at the next meeting of the committee.


Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 49 KB

Presented By: Chair


The items of business for consideration at future meetings of the Overview & Scrutiny Committee were noted.