Councillor R M Deed has requested that a discussion take place with regard to the decision made on 18th December 2018.
Councillor R M Deed had requested that a discussion take place with regard to the decision made on 18th December 2018. He stated that he fully supported the NHS Crediton Hub project but requested a discussion on the process used for the urgent decision.
He stated that he had asked for the discussion to be included within the agenda so that Members could:
· Fully understand the decision route
· Understand the project details
· Discuss the process for urgent decisions
The Committee discussed the reasons why the decision was urgent and the reason that it had not been presented to a Full Council meeting which was held the day after the urgent decision was made.
The Monitoring Officer explained that the urgent decision was made in line with the Constitution and that Full Council would not have had the power to make the decision as only the Cabinet could do this. Therefore there would have been no reason to raise this at the Full Council meeting when the urgent decision had already been made. She explained that if Members were unhappy with the urgent decision process they would need to amend the Constitution.
There was further discussion regarding the Crediton NHS Hub project and Members expressed their backing for the council to support the creation of the Crediton NHS Hub. Members expressed concerns about exactly which entity the council were lending money to and the due diligence that had taken place.
The Chairman of the Scrutiny Committee explained that before he had signed the decision he had been fully briefed by the Deputy Chief Executive (S151) and had been presented with a business case which outlined the due diligence that had already been completed and which was yet to be completed by both the council and the NHS before the decision was to be implemented. He explained that the urgent decision made was in principle.
Officers were questioned about the information stated on the published decision and requested that the declaration that planning permission had already been granted for the Hub be explained. The Deputy Chief Executive (S151) stated that the information would be clarified to Members.
In response to a question about why the council should be getting involved in this project, the Chief Executive explained that officers felt that this commercial decision was not only of low risk financially, but that he believed there to be significant policy alignment on the issue given that the NHS Hub was generally supported by Members, as had already been stated by members of the Committee.
The Chairman of the Audit Committee explained that the only reason that the decision could have been referred to the Audit Committee was to understand the risk and to ensure that the Constitution had been followed. He said that he did not feel that members of the Audit Committee had enough experience to complete due diligence on their own and would have had to defer to the officers who had already completed this as part of the urgent decision business case.