Agenda item

Forward Plan

1.     Resolution from Council on 6 March 2024 regarding Exmouth sea wall.

2.     Cabinet Forward Plan of Key Decisions – for the 4 month period: 1 April 2024 to 31 July 2024 – to note the forward plan of key decisions and to agree any items for Scrutiny future work programming.

3.     Scrutiny Committee Forward Plan – to agree any amendments.


1 Forward Plan


Discussion on the Forward Plan included the following points:

·         It was noted that the Committee previously received reports on coastal monitoring.  The Portfolio Holder for Coast, Country and Environment advised that the reports are very technical and need interpretation by engineers.  The reports are continually referred to as part of the on-going beach management plan work for Exmouth, Sidmouth and Seaton.

·         The Corporate Lead – Communications, Digital Services and Engagement was requested to liaise with SWW regarding a date for the Committee to meet with them again in September.


It was noted that the Democratic Services Manager is currently preparing the Scrutiny Action Plan following the review by the Centre for Governance and Scrutiny (CfGS). 


As part of the CfGS review, it had been recommended that the Committee agree specific elements within a Portfolio on which the Portfolio Holder would be asked to report.  It was noted that the next Portfolio holder to report would be Cllr Davey, Portfolio Holder for Strategic Planning, reporting on 6 June 2024.  Issues to be covered by the report would be agreed by the Committee beforehand.


The Forward Plan was agreed.


2 Resolution from Council on 6 March 2024 regarding Exmouth sea wall


The Committee was asked to consider the resolution referred from Council on 6 March 2024 regarding the reasons relating to the failure of the Exmouth sea wall and the previous approvals that led to businesses and associated infrastructure being built next to it.   The Committee considered whether to carry out further investigation and set up a Task and Finish Forum to undertake the work. 


Discussion included the following points:

·         There is a need to scrutinise why the Council was not aware that the sea wall did not have good foundations and whether moving the road contributed to its failure.

·         The reason the sea wall failed is due to recent storms and a lack of foundations.  It is unlikely that the facts could be obtained due to the age of the wall, and the Council should concentrate on repairing the wall which is a huge and expensive undertaking.

·         It is crucial to agree the right terms of reference and further discussion on scoping is needed.

·         Concern was expressed as to what exactly would be scrutinised and whether the Committee could achieve a good outcome and learn anything for the future.

·         The sea wall failure was only one part of the issues raised by the public speaker and other items such as planning enforcement matters also need to be considered.

·         It would be prudent to understand what information is still available in the Council and to ascertain whether there is sufficient information to make the scrutiny task worthwhile.


The Assistant Director Planning Strategy and Development Management advised that he had made a note of the planning enforcement issues raised by the public speaker and would report back.


It was agreed to request a detailed scoping report for either the June or July meeting to include terms of reference, a timetable for the investigations to be conducted and a date for presenting the outcomes of a TaFF back to the Committee. 


The Committee also noted that a separate report on planning enforcement issues would be brought back in due course.





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