Minutes

of the Meeting of the

Community and Corporate Organisation Policy & Scrutiny Panel

Tuesday, 16th June 2015

held at the Town Hall, Weston-super-Mare, Somerset.

 

Meeting Commenced:2.30 pm†††† Meeting Concluded: 5.40pm

 

Councillors:

 

PTerry Porter (Chairman)

PJan Barber (Vice-Chairman)

 

-†† Mark Canniford

PJames Clayton

PSarah Codling

PPeter Crew

PBob Garner

PJohn Ley-Morgan

PRichard Nightingale

-†† Jerry O'Brien

PDavid Oyns

-†† David Shopland

 

 

P: Present

A: Apologies for absence submitted

 

Other Councillors in attendance: Felicity Baker, Chris Blades, Peter Bryant, Donald Davies, David Pasley

 

Officers in attendance: Stuart Anstead, Malcolm Coe, Mike Jackson, Paul Morris, Philippa Penney, Mike Riggall, John Wilkinson (Corporate Services), Mandy Bishop, Mark MacGregor, Colin Russell, Karuna Tharmananthar (Development & Environment), Cliff Graham (Agilisys)

 

CCO

1         

Declarations of Interest by Members

 

None

 

 

CCO

2         

Minutes of the Meeting held on 10th March 2015 (Agenda Item 4.1)

 

††††††††††† Resolved: that the minutes of the meeting be approved as a correct record.

 

 

CCO

3         

Chairmanís Introduction (Agenda Item 6)

 

The Chairman welcomed the Members to the Panel and gave a brief introduction to the Panelís remit.The focus for this meeting was to offer an overview of the key areas of work within the remit of the Panel, with a brief introduction from the lead officer in each area.This would assist Members in then agreeing the Panelís Work Plan.

 

 

CCO

4         

Memberís Introduction (Agenda Item 7)

 

Each Member gave a short introduction and identified their interests and experience.

 

 

CCO

5         

Transformation Programme (Agenda Item 8.1)

 

 

 

The Chief Executive introduced the presentation, a copy of which is filed in the minute book. The Transformation Programme was intended to contribute at least £12m in savings to the financial challenge faced by the Council.It comprised four key themes: driving employment growth; one council; digital first; and delivering together, collaborating with partner agencies and other local authorities.

 

Members reviewed the progress to date and the financial impact so far, and were reminded that implementation of a Ďone councilí principle had been previously identified by the Panel as an area with potential for further scrutiny.In response to a question regarding the approach to values and behaviours of all staff involved, Members were informed of the People Strategy, as overseen by the People Strategy Board

 

Concluded: that the Panel:

††††††††††† a)Engages in the implementation of a Ďone councilí principle including support services reviews;

b)Receives further information regarding the People Strategy and governance thereof.

 

 

CCO

6         

Support Services Partnership (Agenda Item 8.2)

 

 

 

The Commercial and Commissioning Manager, along with the Partnership Director of Agilisys, provided further detail on the scale of the contract including processing volumes and financial turnover.The contract administered services totalling just under £700m and employed 430 Agilisys and Liberata staff.

 

Members were pleased to hear that there had been no adverse effect on service delivery, and overall feedback had been very positive despite staff being asked to work in quite a different way.Members suggested a review of staff and service delivery in those areas that had identified their own concerns in advance of the contract commencement.

 

Members were provided with detail of the plan for business support service redesign activity.This had commenced in May and was scheduled for implementation in October 2015.Scrutiny engagement with the progress of this plan, as previously recommended by the Panel, was agreed.

 

Members discussed anecdotal concerns regarding the level of customer care and the complexities of the current website.Reassurance was given as to a robust and detailed monitoring regime in place to mitigate such instances, further information for which would be made available to Members.It was fully recognised that customer care was at the forefront of the success of the contract, and any concerns with regards to this were taken very seriously.

 

Concluded: that the Panel:

††††††††††† a)Engages in the implementation of the Support Services Contract, including a review of service areas who had identified concerns in advance of the contract commencement;

b)Receives further information regarding the contract monitoring regime.

 

 

CCO

7         

ICT Transformation and Membersí ICT (Agenda Item 8.3)

 

 

 

The Client ICT Officer updated Members as to progress of the overall ICT Transformation.This had been a huge undertaking which refreshed the entire server and device estate and moved the infrastructure to a Ďcloudí based system.All retained services were now complete, with any remainder being concluded by the end of July.It was confirmed that these new arrangements were fully compliant with information security requirements. Scrutiny engagement with the implementation of the wider digital transformation programme, as previously recommended by the Panel, was agreed.

 

With regards to Members ICT, the original brief had been intentionally discrete and focused on mobile devices (iPads) and paperless meetings.As this was now successfully complete, the second phase was now to look at additional functionality and information accessibility for Members.Councillors in the previous administration had been asked to submit their views and issues, and an initial meeting had been held in February to scope this work.It was agreed that this work could now progress and that Members would be asked for their views and expressions of interest accordingly.

 

Members also requested that consideration be given to identifying a single point of contact for Members in event of any ICT questions or issues.

 

In response to a question, Members would be provided with disclosure rules in accordance with Freedom of Information (FoI).

 

Concluded: that the Panel:

††††††††††† a)Engages in the implementation of the wider digital transformation programme;

b)Engages in the second phase of Membersí ICT development;

c)Receives further information regarding Freedom of Information.

 

 

CCO

8         

Corporate Finance and Budget Monitoring (Agenda Item 8.4)

 

 

 

The Head of Finance and Property presented an overview of the financial challenge.Emphasis was on the financial reward of increased business growth, and the reduced reliance on government grants.

 

Development of a robust commercial model for the council was being supported by work to integrate revenue and capital budgets to maximise expenditure, and analysis of intelligence on how the council currently spends its money. Members also discussed the importance of timely capital investment where necessary.

 

Members welcomed the progressive approach being taken to address financial management.

 

 

CCO

9         

The Corporate Plan and Performance Management (Agenda Item 8.5)

 

 

 

The Head of Performance Improvement and HR outlined the broad range of performance indicators that fell within the remit of the Panel and agreed to provide further detail on the proposed indicators for 2015/16 for the services within the Panelís remit.The Corporate Plan was being refreshed to capture the new Councilís priorities.A draft would be developed by October, for sign-off in alignment with the Councilís budget in February 2016.Members welcomed engagement with the planís development.

 

Members discussed the methodology behind the identification of performance indicators.Whilst the relaxation of government direction as to which indicators should be monitored by Councils allowed for greater flexibility for local selection, it also made benchmarking for performance between local authorities more difficult to measure.

 

Concluded: that the Panel:

††††††††††† a)Receives further detail of the key performance indicators that fall within the remit of the Panel;

b)Engages in the review of the Corporate Plan

 

 

CCO

10    

Community Safety (Agenda Item 8.6)

 

 

 

The Head of Performance Improvement and HR outlined the Panelís crime and disorder responsibility and gave an overview of the areas of work that the Panel had previously engaged with, including: domestic abuse partnership funding; community payback; community sentencing; and the night time economy in Weston town centre.

 

Concluded: that the Panel receives further detail of the Panelís crime and disorder responsibility.

 

 

 

CCO

11    

Community Response Project (Agenda Item 8.7)

 

 

 

The Assistant Director for Development and Environment outlined the remit and progress of the Community Response Project, focusing on joint working with Avon and Somerset Police.This was a two year programme of high visibility work enabling joint working practices and best use of resources.

 

Members were reminded that a working group already existed for this project, chaired by Cllr Crew, and that they would be invited to express their interest if they wished to become involved.

 

Concluded: that the Panel receives further detail of the project and the working group.

 

 

CCO

12    

Waste Services Management (Agenda Item 8.8)

 

 

 

North Somerset remains the second highest performing unitary authority in the country with regards to waste.The Waste Services Manager outlined the current waste management contract arrangements in North Somerset along with the options under consideration for renewal.Members were reminded of the briefing being held on this issue next Tuesday, 23rd June.

 

Additional challenges had been recognised by the Waste Working Group in their recommendations to the Executive Member, who thanked them for their engagement and support.These included an improved resolution to recycling facilities for flats and communal residences, and also further waste analysis with a view to reducing the amount of recyclable matter being discarded with residual waste.

 

Members asked for further information regarding the work that had already been undertaken by the panel, with a view to identifying future progress.

 

Concluded: that the Panel receives further detail of the activity of the waste working group

 

 

CCO

13    

Natural Environment (Agenda Item 8.9)

 

 

 

The Head of Streets and Open Spaces outlined the extent of the natural environment in North Somerset, as overseen by the Parks and Street Scene contract.There had been a focus on supporting and enabling community groups thus adding social value, such as the use of the community payback scheme, support for social enterprise and the encouragement for the apprentice scheme.

 

The Panel had also previously engaged with the ward-based property and asset review, and Members indicated that they would like to continue with this work.

 

Concluded: that the Panel further engages with the progression of the ward-based asset review

 

CCO

14    

Winter Gardens Ė protection of community facilities (Agenda Item 8.10)

 

 

 

The Deputy Director of Development and Environment presented an overview of the decision-base on this issue to date.Council had agreed to the freehold transfer of the Winter Gardens to Weston College on 13th January 2015, with final approval of details being delegated to the Executive Member.The Heads of Terms for the transfer were agreed by the Executive Member in March and referred to the provision of access for community use, and the establishment of a Community Board for the purpose of overseeing the community access/use of the property.

 

Members were pleased to hear that the principle of retaining community access remained fundamental to the contract, and emphasised the historic importance of the Ballroom itself.Members sought assurance regarding the scrutiny arrangements for the Community Board and were reminded that the Heads of Terms were available as an Executive Decision on the website.

 

Concluded: that the Panel receives further detail of the Community Board as it became established and the arrangements for scrutiny of the Boardís decisions.

 

 

CCO

15    

Response of the Executive Member to the recommendations of the Waste Working Group (Agenda Item 9)

 

 

 

(Note: this agenda item had been addressed earlier in the meeting, to which minute CCO 12 refers).

 

CCO

16    

The Panelís Role, Remit and Work Plan (Agenda Item 10)

 

 

 

The Scrutiny Officer presented an overview of the roles of both policy and scrutiny and identified areas in which the Panel had previously been engaged in these roles.It was agreed that Members would be provided with a brief written summary of this work to aid decisions for future work planning.

 

Membersí attention was brought to the publication of the Forward Plan as providing advance notice of key decisions being taken by the Council, Executive and Executive Members, and also to the link to the Executive Member Decisions page on the website.

 

Members were reminded of the Introduction to Scrutiny session which had been arranged as part of the induction programme, taking place at 3pm on Thursday, 2nd July in the Town Hall.

 

The work plan would be updated in accordance with todayís Panel meeting.

 

 

 

Concluded: that the Panel:

††††††††††† a)Receives further detail of the more recent work undertaken by the Panel to date;

b)Approves the updated work plan

 

 

 

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