Lambeth council’s overview and scrutiny committee hold their first meeting of the new council next Thursday with a new chairman –  Cllr Donatus Anyanwu  – and Conservative Cllr Tim Briggs being joined by Cllr Jonathan Bartley (Green party opposition leader).

Regular readers will be aware the council’s overview and scrutiny committee have come in for a lot of flak for not referring various contentious issues back to a full council meeting or cabinet meeting for further consideration – mainly on estate demolitions or ‘regeneration’ as Lambeth call them..

A report to next week’s meeting includes the following (words in bold print by News From Crystal Palace):

Adding Value:  It is vital that scrutiny brings something new to reviews of local service provision / policy areas and does not duplicate existing work.  Scrutiny activities should be credible and have a clear purpose.

There should be a focus on producing well-evidenced recommendations that:  result in a shift in policy;  lead to resource savings;  improve services;  make things fairer; or  solve problems …for those who live, work or study in Lambeth.  Scrutiny should be prepared to examine issues that cross service or agency boundaries

A separate report records a scrutiny induction event – 5 June 2018 Overview & Scrutiny Committee “breakout session”  attended by Cllr Anyanwu, the committee’s two vice-chairs Cllr Danny Adilypour and Cllr Mary Atkins and Green Cllrs Cllr Jonathan Bartley and Becca Thackray .

The report lists the following as “potential issues for scrutiny”:

Housing· – Estate regeneration (cf Resident Involvement in Housing Commission – reported to Cabinet in 2016; action plan update to March 2017 OSC, due to return to OSC this year) –

Delivery of more social housing  Mental Health (inc Living Well Network Alliance) (cf Dec 2017 OSC)·

Cycling (cf Equality Streets / Lambeth Long Term Transport Strategy – Dec 2017 OSC)·

Youth opportunities / NEETs·  Crime and disorder· – Impact of reduction in police numbers / closure of front counters – Serious youth violence (cf May 2017 OSC / March 2018 Cabinet)

Lambeth Customer Centre / digital inclusion (cf Accessibility Commission – March 2018· Cabinet)

Adult social care funding / impact of levy – cumulative impact assessment of impact of· funding cuts on the elderly?  Health Trusts – financial position·  Culture 2020 (inc whether local groups get an appropriate level of funding from events in· parks) – cf Events Strategy call in – Aug 2016

Waste· & recycling

The report adds: Scrutiny has an important role in seeking service user input as evidence to help shape policy – this needs to include a broad range of voices including those ‘hard to reach’ groups who do not tend to respond to consultations.


News From Crystal Palace received the following email this week:

I’m surprised that your admirable blog has not updated its readers on the latest news of Sir Craig Tunstall since your report on 17 May last year of his suspension from being Executive Headteacher of the Gipsy Hill Federation.

As well as for the suspension, you will recall that he also received a lot of attention in the national media for his gob-smackingly extraordinary salary.

The latest is that, without any announcement being made that I can find, it appears that Sir Craig has quietly departed (dismissed?; resigned?; who knows?) from the Federation because all mention of him has recently been removed from their website.

Whilst the fact of the suspension and of an investigation being undertaken was officially stated publicly, the nature of the alleged misconduct wasn’t revealed.

In any event, sufficiently newsworthy for a follow up don’t you think?

(Thanks for your email. We heard a rumour back in early February and asked Lambeth council for a comment. None was forthcoming. In the wake of your email we again asked Lambeth council for a reply. No reply has been received at the time of publication – Ed.)


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