Agenda and minutes

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Contact: Keith Durran Email:  01255 686580.

No. Item


Chairman for the meeting


In the absence of the Chairman of the Committee (Councillor Skeels), the Chair was occupied by the Vice-Chairman (Councillor Chittock).


Apologies for Absence and Substitutions

The Committee is asked to note any apologies for absence and substitutions received from Members.


Councillor Skeels and Councillor Clifton sent their apologies (no substitutions).


Declarations of Interest

Councillors are invited to declare any Disclosable Pecuniary Interests or Personal Interest, and the nature of it, in relation to any item on the agenda.



There were none on this occasion.


Questions on Notice pursuant to Council Procedure Rule 38

Subject to providing two working days’ notice, a Member of the Committee may ask the Chairman of the Committee a question on any matter in relation to which the Council has powers or duties which affect the Tendring District and which falls within the terms of reference of the Committee.



On this occasion no Councillor had submitted notice of a question.


Reference Report from the NEGC Ltd Joint Scrutiny Panel - A.1 - Scrutiny of NEGC Ltd and Governance of Future Council Controlled Companies. pdf icon PDF 142 KB

The report advises the Overview and Scrutiny Committee (OSC) of the work of the NEGC Joint Scrutiny Panel, to formally invite the Community Leadership OSC to note that that the Joint Scrutiny Panel was being dissolved and to consider the recommendations of the Joint Scrutiny Panel in respect of governance of future Council controlled companies.

Additional documents:


It was reported to Members that the Resources and Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee and the Community Leadership Overview and Scrutiny Committee, at their respective meetings held on 29 July 2019 (Minute 15 referred) and 5 August 2019 had both approved that a joint scrutiny panel be established in order to scrutinise the work of the North Essex Garden Communities Limited (NEGC) and, in particular, its interim business plan and future business plans.


The membership of the Joint Scrutiny Panel had been delegated to the Chairmen of the two Overview and Scrutiny Committees to determine, subject to ratification by those two Overview and Scrutiny Committees. The following Members had been appointed to the Joint Scrutiny Panel:


Councillor M Stephenson (Chairman)

Councillor Bush

Councillor Griffiths

Councillor Steady

Councillor Turner


The Resource and Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee (OSC) had endorsed the above membership at its meeting on 14 October 2019 (Minute 28 referred).  The Community Leadership OSC had also endorsed that Membership on 7 October 2019.


The Joint Scrutiny Panel had met three times as follows:


16 October 2019

12 February 2020

17 September 2020


The Committee heard that the Joint Scrutiny Panel had looked at the various responsibilities of the Council as community leader, shareholder of NEGC Ltd and having a Director of the Board of that Company.  The inherent conflicts and the management of those conflict points were also mentioned.


The absolute importance of Part 1 of the Local Plan in the critical path for Garden Communities and NEGC Ltd (and any future delivery vehicle for the Communities) was referenced at the meetings.  NEGC Ltd had been commissioned by the partner Councils (Braintree, Colchester, Essex and Tendring) to undertake work for those partner Councils to secure approval of Part 1 of their Local Plans.


While the process of adoption of the Local Plan was underway, the NEGC Ltd had developed interim business plans only.   The Interim Business Plans for NEGC Ltd from 2018/19 and 2019/20 had been submitted to the Panel for its consideration.


It was reported to the Committee that the work of the Council’s Monitoring Officer and Section 151 Officer with their colleagues in the other partner Councils in respect of protecting the interests of this Council in relation to NEGC Ltd and the governance arrangements had been reflected upon.


The Panel had also looked briefly at possible future delivery vehicles for the Garden Communities.


Members were informed that across all meetings of the Joint Scrutiny Panel there was reference to best practice models for governance arrangements for Council controlled companies such as NEGC Ltd.  In part that discussion was about what might be appropriate for the future development of governance around NEGC Ltd, but, also around future companies that the Council may have established or participated in where the Company was a Council controlled company.


At the Joint Scrutiny panel’s last meeting, it noted the decision of the North Essex Garden Communities Ltd Board on 6th July 2020 to take all the necessary steps  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.