To consider the report from Scrutiny Committee regarding AECOM’s engagement.
The Chair of the Scrutiny Committee gave a summary of the report, which discussed a matter that Cabinet had referred to the Committee relating to the engagement of AECOM to review the Local Plan Sustainability Appraisal. The matter had since been discussed at Scrutiny Committee on 24 September 2019 and it had been agreed that a note prepared by the Chair of Scrutiny should be taken back to Cabinet.
The timeline included in the report showed officers had worked diligently and effectively, and there was nothing to be found in supporting documents. However there had been a failure to inform the public of the challenges to the Sustainability Appraisal. This was an uncharacteristic oversight by an officer. At some stage, relevant committees had been misled about the timing of certain events, and it was to be assumed that this was inadvertent. The Sustainability Appraisal was at the heart of the local plan process, and this could cause concern to some residents. Misleading statements were unhelpful to the overall status of the Council. The original complainant was happy that the matter had been dealt with robustly.
The Leader of the Council thanked the Chair of Scrutiny for the detailed investigation and report.