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CORPORATE PERFORMANCE AND RESOURCES SCRUTINY COMMITTEE

 

Minutes of an Extraordinary meeting held on 1st September, 2016.

 

Present: Councillor M.R. Wilson (Chairman): Councillor G. Roberts (Vice-Chairman); Councillors Mrs. P. Drake, H.C. Hamilton, H.J.W. James, Mrs. A. Moore, R.A. Penrose and E. Williams.

 

Also present: Councillors L. Burnett and N. Moore.

 

 

279     APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE –

 

These were received from Councillors K. Hatton and A.C. Williams.

 

 

280     DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST –

 

No declarations were received.

 

 

281     REQUEST FOR CONSIDERATION (COUNCILLOR A. PARKER) –  COWBRIDGE LIVESTOCK MARKET REGENERATION PROJECT –

 

In the absence of Councillor Parker and the other Cowbridge Ward Members who had previously confirmed that they would not be in attendance, Councillor James referred to Councillor Parker’s Request and to the Cabinet minute (C3177) of 9th May, 2016 relating to the above subject matter.  He referred specifically to Councillor Parker’s point relating to the accuracy of the third paragraph of the said minute and to the comments attributed to the Project Manager and the Leader of the project who were “not aware of any formal approaches to the Council from interested commercial organisations”.  He also referred to the covering report which had been submitted in response to Councillor Parker’s Request for Consideration and in particular to the comments made that the Leader and the Project Manager’s comments had been made in good faith at the time.  He concluded that Councillor Parker and Councillor Jarvie were rightly of the understanding that there had been a third party interest in the site.  Having regard to this fact, he moved a Motion that “the Cabinet considers all matters and interests of any kind on the Cowbridge Livestock Market regeneration”.  This was duly seconded. 

 

The Leader, in referring to the proposed Motion, reminded the Committee that the Cabinet had considered all options.  He also referred to the Head of Planning and Regeneration’s report prepared in response to Councillor Parker’s Request for Consideration in that a letter had been received from a third party developer, and this letter had been referred to the relevant officers for consideration and further discussion with the developer concerned.  However, the developer had within the same month (February 2015) taken the decision to remove their interest in the site and clearly stated at that time that they did not want their previous interest in the site mentioned even in anonymous terms.   

 

The Vice-Chairman expressed the view that the proposed Motion implied that Cabinet had not considered all options and information before coming to a decision which clearly was not the case as indicated by the Leader.  Another Member concurred with the Vice-Chairman’s view that the proposed Motion clearly implied criticism.  At this juncture the Head of Regeneration and Planning reaffirmed that the developer no longer expressed an interest in the site and that the comments made in the consideration of the original Cabinet report and recorded in the related minute had indeed been made in good faith.  He went on to update the Committee on the current timetable for marketing the site.

 

Discussion ensued with the Leader and Councillor James expressing a difference of opinion and the necessity of disclosing the information.  Councillor Burnett, the Deputy Leader and the Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Education, reminded the Committee that it was imperative that the Council maintained the trust of prospective developers but, also acknowledged that it was important to be open and transparent at the appropriate time and referred to the previous development proposals by the Council of Nell’s Point, Barry Island.  She took the view that the report should be noted.

 

Councillor James accepted the point made however, it was clear to him that Councillor Parker was drawing Members’ attention to an approach which could only be considered as a formal approach.  The Leader reiterated that there had been no formal approach received but an “expression of interest” which had been quickly removed and the Cabinet minute concerned was factually correct.  The Vice-Chairman reiterated his previous view that the development of the site was a complex and sensitive issue and that Councillor James’ Motion whilst on the surface appeared to be innocuous, inferred the Cabinet had acted inappropriately which was further from the truth.  The Motion was put to the vote and it was lost (2 for and 6 against). 

 

It was moved by the Vice-Chairman and duly seconded that the report should be noted.  Upon putting the Motion to the vote, it was carried (7 for, 2 against).

 

RECOMMENDED – T H A T the report be noted.

 

Reason for recommendation

 

In acknowledgement of the reasons behind the comments of the Head of Regeneration and the Leader made at the Cabinet meeting on 9th May, 2016.

 

 

282     CORPORATE SAFEGUARDING UPDATE (REF) –

 

The above matter had been considered by the Cabinet at its meeting on 20th June, 2016 and referred to the Scrutiny Committee for consideration. 

 

In referring to the report, the Head of Human Resources intimated that the report should be viewed within the context of the remit of the Scrutiny Committee with elements of the report pertaining to Learning and Skills and Social Services having previously been reported to the relevant Scrutiny Committees for consideration.  He referred specifically to Appendix 1 and Annexure 1 to the report which set out the outcome of the recent Safer Recruitment Policy Audit and the Safer Recruitment Compliance Summary April 2015 to March, 2016.  He indicated the following: 

  • All schools within the remit of the Vale of Glamorgan Council had adopted the recommended Safer Recruitment Policy;
  • Regular audits continued to be carried out by Human Resources of new appointments within scope of the policy as shown in Appendix.  It was encouraging to note an overall improvement with regards to compliance of the policy, from 40% compliance in April 2015 to 80% compliance in March 2016.  The average figure for this period was 76%, an increase in compliance of 13% in comparison to last year’s outturn.  A full breakdown could be found in Annex 1.
  • In addition, it was encouraging to note that compliance rates were positive for the months of September and January, which represented the two traditional high points of recruitment activity within the school academic year.  In September 2015, 98 new starters commenced employment in various schools which resulted in an 87% compliance rate.  In January 2016, 22 new starters in schools commenced employment with an 82% compliance rate.
  • In a number of cases, non-compliance was the result of a signed risk assessment not being submitted before employment started.  As part of the audit process, Human Resources monitored the return of risk assessments, including those which were not submitted prior to the employee’s start date. Of the outstanding risk assessments, 35% were completed at the school during the employee’s first day of employment and therefore were not compliant with the policy. 
  • In December 2015 and February 2016, compliance rates reduced to 50% and 63% respectively.  This was likely to have been attributed to the low level of recruitment activity during those months, which meant that non-compliance in even a small number of cases would create a disproportionate effect on the overall compliance rate for that month.
  • Compliance rates for Corporate Services continued to be encouraging.  Apart from one breach in April 2015, 100% compliance had been consistently achieved.

The statutory framework introduced by the Act 2014 and implemented in April 2016, would require the Working Group to revise the interim policy as soon as possible. However, it was anticipated that new versions of “Working Together” and “In Safe Hands", the national documents that guide the statutory response to abuse and neglect, would not be available for some time.  In the meantime, some staff in the Council were obliged to follow the January 2013 version of the 'Wales Interim Policy and Procedures for the Protection of Vulnerable Adults from Abuse' (POVA), which would also need updating to ensure compliance with the Act.  This document took precedence over the Interim Corporate Safeguarding Policy for those exercising adult protection functions in the POVA and case management teams within the Social Services Directorate.  The Act 2014 created the duty on all Council staff, Members and partners to report all known or suspected incidents of abuse or harm. The Corporate Safeguarding Working Group had been active in ensuring that information had been provided to staff so that they could respond effectively to the new duty.

 

As a consequence of revised safeguarding arrangements in respect of recruitment processes, additional demands were being placed on headteachers and managers and upon TransAct in administering risk assessments, ensuring that these were completed and dealing with managers' queries with regard to their various roles in safer recruitment.  Meeting the need for additional training also had resource consequences for schools and the Safeguarding Officer in Learning and Skills.  Local Safeguarding Children Board commitments were time-consuming, particularly conducting Audits within Education, assisting in Child Practice Reviews and delivering training for 'Working Together'.

 

All DBS counter signatories, Human Resources and TransAct staff experienced considerable workload demands in administering the new DBS arrangements, in particular obtaining a copy of the DBS disclosure certificate from the applicant. These arrangements had increased the timescales necessary to determine the suitability of the applicant and to log the DBS response, which in turn had contributed to delay in concluding the recruitment process.  The Head of Human Resources was exploring opportunities including the potential cost of procuring a "DBS E Bulk" solution which may offer the benefit of an online response to whether the check was "clear" or if there were disclosures which would assist a reduction in the delay in determining suitability.

 

The duties of the Local Authority to ensure that children were properly safeguarded and protected from harm were set out in legislation.  Section 175 of the Education Act 2002 imposed a duty on a Local Authority to make arrangements for ensuring that their education functions were exercised with a view to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children.  Section 28 of the Children Act 2004 imposed a duty on Local Authorities to make arrangements for ensuring that their functions were discharged having regard to the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.  In fulfilling its responsibilities, the Local Authority should have effective quality assurance systems in place to ensure that the necessary checks and balances were in place to safeguard and protect children.

 

The Wales Interim Policy and Procedures for the Protection of Vulnerable Adults from Abuse was intended to guide the safeguarding work of all those concerned with the welfare of vulnerable adults.  These Procedures were based on certain principles of the European Convention of Human Rights and the Human Rights Act.  The provision of the Social Services and Well-Being (Wales) Act 2014 provided a new statutory framework for the protection of adults at risk.

 

The Welsh Government Guidance, “Safeguarding Children; Working together under the Children Act 2004” had been issued in accordance with the Children Act 2004 and under Section 7 of the Local Authority Social Services Act 1970 provided the working basis for the All Wales Child Protection Procedures.  The All Wales Child Protection Procedures reflected the values and principles enshrined in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.  The Welsh Government developed these values and principles in “Children and Young People: Rights to Action 2004”, and adopted core aims and four outcomes through which it was committed to work with all children and young people.  The key outcome for improving the wellbeing of children included the requirement that children live in a safe environment and be protected from harm.  The All Wales Child Protection Procedures took account of various legislation, guidance, research and reports.

 

Work was also progressing within Welsh Government to undertake a full review of its Guidance, "Safeguarding Children; Working together under the Children Act 2004" and "The Wales Interim Policy and Procedures for the Protection of Vulnerable Adults from Abuse" to ensure compliance with all safeguarding duties within the new Act.

 

In relation to DBS arrangements, key elements of the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 had been implemented, all of which were taken into account within the revised DBS policy and guidance recently approved by Cabinet.

 

Any application for employment for those posts included within the definition of regulated activity by candidates who were included on the relevant barred list would be considered a criminal act and reported to the Police and relevant registration body (if appropriate).

 

In concluding, the Head of Human Resources indicated that compliance with the Safer Recruitment Policy for Corporate Services was encouraging with no reported breaches since April 2015.  The situation still suggested an improving picture but this still required some improvements to ensure full compliance.  In recognition of this, he indicated that it was intended to keep in place the measures outlined above and the Safeguarding Group would continue to explore developments that may deliver improvements. 

 

A number of Members indicated that they were pleased with the report and a number of questions were asked regarding the compliance period for undertaking risk assessments and DBS checks with clarification being provided by the Head of Human Resources.  It was also indicated that under normal circumstances DBS checks would be completed within a couple of weeks and where highest turnover rates occurred during the summer, particularly regarding school teachers, this would take no longer than a four week period. 

 

The Chairman referred to paragraph 10 of the covering report and, in particular, to the “DBS E Bulk” solution and enquired of the progress into delivering this initiative.  In response, the Head of Human Resources indicated as stated in the report, that he was currently exploring opportunities including the advantages in terms of business benefits and was likely to be incorporated into a future HR Service Centre.  The Chairman also referred to the reference to a “Safeguarding Governor” and enquired if all school Governing Bodies were required to have such governors in place.  Clarification was provided and it was confirmed that this would be the case.  Therefore, the Chairman suggested that all Vale schools’ Governing Bodies should consider the issue at the start of the academic year.

 

A Member referred to the report and the future need to review governance arrangements in regard to the Council’s procedure and enquired if such a review was planned to be undertaken.  In response the Head of Human Resources referred to the Corporate Safeguarding Group which had a significant action plan in place, including, maintaining compliance with changing legislation to ensure Council policies were up to date.

 

Another Member referred to a project that he was involved with and considered that the DBS process taking six to eight weeks and being a bureaucratic process in particular, where multi-roles existed within the organisation with the process appearing not to accommodate changes to employees’ roles unless the DBS was updated within 19 days of it being originally confirmed.  The Member was advised that the Council’s DBS arrangements were portable which allowed staff to move within the organisation without the need to make a further application. 

 

Having regard to the above, it was

 

RECOMMENDED –

 

(1)       T H A T progress on the report be noted and that the Head of Human Resources include in his next update report progress on the feasibility of implementing a BDS E Bulk solution.

 

(2)       T H A T the Managing Director be requested to ensure through the Council’s Governor Support Team that all school Governing Bodies within the Vale of Glamorgan had a Safeguarding Governor appointed to their respective bodies.

 

Reasons for recommendations

 

(1)       As part of monitoring progress.

 

(2)       To raise awareness of the need for the appointment of Safeguarding Governors for all school Governing Bodies within the Vale of Glamorgan.

 

 

283     YOUTH EMPLOYMENT IN THE VALE OF GLAMORGAN COUNCIL (REF) –

 

The Chairman indicated that he would take Agenda Items 5 and 6 together. 

 

The above matter had been previously considered by the Cabinet on 11th July, 2016 and referred to the Committee for consideration.

 

The above report set out the Council’s approach to the increased employment of young people in line with the Council’s Workforce Planning objectives i.e. the need to increase the employment of 16-24 year old employees proportionate to the wider workforce as previously approved by the Cabinet at its meeting on 23rd May, 2016.  The Head of Human Resources indicated that the percentage of 16-24 year old employees within the Council’s workforce fell from 13.4% in 2013 to 12.6% in 2015.  This compared to 17.1% when taking account of the age profile within the Vale of Glamorgan area. 

 

The above objective was a medium to long term aim and was congruent to the Wellbeing Outcomes as set out in the Corporate Plan for 2016-20. 

 

The Head of Human Resources also reminded the Committee of its previous decision when it considered the possibility of a partnership arrangement with Caerphilly Council to implement their PASSPORT Youth Employment Scheme across the Vale of Glamorgan.  However, the above plans could not be progressed due to the withdrawal of WEFO funding resulting in the Caerphilly Council scheme being discontinued.  He indicated that in view of the above, it had been important to look at alternative options for strengthening the Council’s approach.  In addition, it was also important to note that the UK Government was also introducing a new apprenticeship levy from April 2017, to be paid by all employers at a rate of 0.5% of the wage bills.  It was still unclear as to how the scheme would be implemented in Wales, however the Council was in a position to fully utilise the levy once the parameters and working practices had been agreed. 

 

The Head of Human Resources’ attention then turned to the continuing good work that had been achieved by the Council with the existing employment of administratively based Foundation Modern Apprentices (FMAs) and Craft Apprentices within the Council’s Building and Housing Teams.  He indicated that whilst the Council’s existing arrangements were positive, they did not always reflect the diverse nature of the Council in terms of its services and occupational groups and may not, on their own, help the Council achieving its Workforce Planning objectives.  Having regard to this, he suggested that a more co-ordinated approach was required and specifically to “improve the employment of school, college and university leaves” as well as “launch a Council wide professional apprenticeship scheme”. 

 

In terms of a way forward, it was proposed that the Council broaden the provision of youth employment further developing the apprenticeship programme and building stronger relationships with school, local colleges and Career agencies to promote the available opportunities within the local employment market.  He indicated that strengthening the Council’s approach would meet the Council’s wellbeing objectives and also compliment the actions set out within the draft Corporate Strategy for Children Who Need Care and Support in prioritising Looked After Children in accessing opportunities for employment and skills. 

 

In order to deliver the above principles, it was proposed that work would continue surrounding the continued investment in the provision of FMAs across the Council with over the next 12 months it being proposed to increase the marketing of the FMA scheme within the Vale schools and in partnership with Career Wales and Job Centre Plus; to further broaden the provision of apprenticeships into a Council wide provision across a wider range of service areas and with this in mind, he indicated exploratory discussions had taken place recently with Cardiff and Vale College to develop a strategic partnership in the development of apprenticeship opportunities within the Council and followed the recent launch of the College’s Apprenticeship Training Academy (ATA) model.  He further indicated in exploring the above model, work would continue with managers across the Council to identify opportunities within the relevant service areas.  Under the ATA model, the College would employ the apprentices and provide the learning and support for employees to complete their qualification.  The salary and the administrative costs would be met from the relevant service areas out of existing staffing budgets.  Cabinet, at its meeting on 11th July had granted delegated authority to the Head of Human Resources, in consultation with the Managing Director and the Leader, to continue such exploratory discussions with the College and to develop a proposal for final consideration by the Cabinet. 

 

In addition to the above, the Council would continue to accommodate work experience placements where capacity and co-ordination allowed.  In addition, the Council’s Workforce Plan also referred to the strengthening of the Council’s approach to the use of trainees over the next year and seeking to build a Council wide scheme.  It was noted that the Council currently had a total of 15 trainees / interns employed cross the Council, but managed on a service by service basis.  He intimated that a more co-ordinated approach to this issue would provide the opportunity to strengthen the marketing and promotion of graduate / trainee recruitment and in liaison with universities and colleges. 

 

Plans were also proposed to develop the promotion of the available opportunities for employment within the Council, the profile and reputation of the Authority and the review of the methodology for advertising such opportunities.  The greater targeting of recruitment literature and communication methods through social media would both support the spirit of the initiative and to ensure greater cost effectiveness.  He indicated that work in this area would be helped through the development of a Human Resources Service Centre over the coming months and the capacity afforded through the appointment of a temporary Employment Officer as referred to in paragraph 37 of the report, who would assist to “pump-prime” the activity set out within the report and to develop a sustainable model of delivery which could be adopted across the Authority. 

 

In referring to the report, the Vice-Chairman considered that the Council should be a leader within the youth employment sector and should be aiming for a target percentage of 25% when looking at the age profile within the Vale of Glamorgan area.  He referred to his recent citing of the Council’s vacancy bulletin and referred to certain posts which were requiring experience, but in his view, considered such roles to be competency based with the requirement for experience blocking young individuals’ access into work.  He questioned whether service departments needed to be micro managed by Human Resources to ensure that appropriate measures were in place when advertising vacant posts.  In addition, the Vice-Chairman referred to Job Growth Wales and considered that the Council needed to look again at this initiative and importantly to revitalise the Council’s approach to youth employment.  He also alluded to the reference from the Environment and Regeneration Scrutiny Committee which raised concerns about the number of vacant posts in the Council’s Highways and Engineering Department, with the Scrutiny Committee suggesting that the Council consider a training programme to encourage “home grown” staff and develop appropriate skills.  He considered that the concerns raised by that Scrutiny Committee were legitimate and supported the suggestion. 

 

A Member of the Committee supported the comments of the Vice-Chairman and indicated that he would like also to see how effective the proposals were and whether there were indicators in place.  In response, the Head of Human Resources referred to the Workforce Planning Performance Indicators and suggested that he could bring a further report on the issue to a future meeting. 

 

Another Member made reference to the Council’s existing challenges in terms of its Reshaping Services Programme and considered it was still important to place the importance on experience within the workforce.  He also considered that there was a responsibility on the wider public sector across the Vale to look at partnerships to increase greater youth involvement in the employment market.  He felt it was important the Council should not be left alone to undertake such a task given that it had limited resources. 

 

In response, the Head of Human Resources indicated that similar issues were being experienced across other Local Authorities in Wales and particularly in relation to the promotion of career opportunities within Local Government.  On this basis he agreed to raise the issue with the Local Government network and particularly through the WLGA. 

 

The Chairman considered that given the wider context of youth employment within the county and the implications for the Council in meetings its Workforce Planning objectives, suggested that the matter be referred to the Cabinet for further consideration and requesting that the matter be referred to the Public Service Board for consideration.  In addition, he concurred with the view of the Head of Human Resources given the limited ability of the Council in regard to capacity and co-ordination to ask the Cabinet to raise with the WLGA the image of career opportunities within the Local Government and public sector given recruitment difficulties currently experienced by the Council. 

 

Having regard to the above, it was

 

RECOMMENDED –

 

(1)       T H A T the Head of Human Resources submit a report to a future meeting in respect of the Council’s Workforce Plan indicators / performance. 

 

(2)       T H A T the Cabinet be requested to raise the image of employment / career opportunities within the Local Government sector with the WLGA and the Public Service Board.

 

Reasons for recommendations

 

(1)       To allow the Committee to monitor the progress of the Council’s Workforce Plan.

 

(2)       To raise awareness of recruitment difficulties and career opportunities within Local Government and the Public Sector.

 

 

284     REVENUE AND CAPITAL MONITORING FOR THE PERIOD 1ST APRIL TO 31ST MAY 2016 (REF) –

 

The above matter had been dealt with jointly with the previous agenda item.

 

 

285     WELFARE REFORM – PROGRESS REPORT (MD) –

 

Members were updated by the Operational Manager on the work undertaken by the Council with regard to the implementation of the UK Government’s Welfare Reform agenda.

 

Since the last report in November 2015 the changes made and expected were:

 

 

Introduction   of Universal Credit

Universal   Support - Delivered Locally

Housing   Benefit Changes

Benefit   Cap

UC   Digital Service

 

 

February   2016

February   2016

April   2016

Autumn   2016

Spring   2017

 

From April 2016, the backdating of Housing Benefit claims had been limited to a maximum of four weeks.  It was too soon to give meaningful information with regard to the impact of this change however the effect of this reform would be monitored.

 

Universal Credit (UC) had been operating in the Vale of Glamorgan since 22nd February, 2016.  Since that time, the Department of Works and Pensions (DWP) had advised that in the Vale nine UC cases had commenced with regard to Vale residents.  Since that date, UC claims had been administered by the local Job Centre Plus.  These had been claims from new single claimants who would otherwise be eligible for Jobseekers Allowance (JSA) including those with existing Housing Benefit and Tax Credit claims.

 

The DWP rollout of UC was to be supplemented by the locally delivered “Universal Support” to provide advice and support to UC claimants.  The DWP anticipated that vulnerable and complex customers would require the Universal Support Delivered Locally Framework to assist them, which would be a partnership approach between the Council and the Job Centre Plus.

 

The slow pace of the implementation of UC had meant that the Council needed to continue to support those on JSA until they were eventually transferred to UC.

 

Universal Support was the arrangement being introduced by the DWP in partnership with Local Authorities to provide for local support for UC claimants.  Universal Support – Delivered Locally (USDL) was the new name for the Local Support Services Framework and was contained in a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which had been agreed in Cabinet on 25th January, 2016.

 

The work processes contained in the MOU would be monitored to ensure the Benefit Section assisted and supported local residents with the implementation of UC using the section’s skills in dealing with Housing Benefit Claims.

 

In respect of Personal Budgeting Support, the DWP had given an overview of how support would operate for UC.  On the provision of personal budgeting support, the DWP identified two main elements to such support – 

  • money advice to help claimants cope with managing their money on a monthly basis and paying their bills on time; and
  • alternative payment arrangements (APA) for some claimants who genuinely could not manage the standard monthly payment and where there was a risk of financial harm to the claimant or their family.  This might include rent paid directly to the landlord, a more frequent than monthly payment or a split payment between partners.

The DWP confirmed in October 2015 that the rollout of the digital application system for UC would begin in May 2016. 

 

The DWP have advised that the overall household benefit cap applying to Tax Credits, UC and Housing Benefit would be reduced from £26,000 to £20,000 in Wales in Autumn 2016. The first indication was that 160 households would be affected in the Vale of Glamorgan.

 

The Housing Services Income Team had continued to monitor income levels and support individuals who had experienced difficulties in paying their rent.  The data below highlights the statistics relating to recovery action for the period March 2015 to March 2016.  The figures in brackets are the numbers from the previous year 2014/15.

 

 

Affected by Under-Occupation Charge

Not Affected by Under Occupation Charge

Introductory Tenancies –   Notice of Possession Proceeding Served

1 (0)

121 (133)

Secure Tenancies – Notice   of Seeking Possession

146 (146)

677 (522)

Rent Possession   Proceedings

23 (26)

86 (116)

Evictions

 

1 (3) arrears not accrued   solely as a result of the U/O charge

11 (15)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The annual rent arrears figure in relation to all stock, as at 30th March, 2016, was £201,370.  Since the end of the financial year there had been a significant improvement to arrears which stood at £169,854 at 12th June, 2016, a reduction of circa £31,000 since the year end.

 

The underlying economic climate and changing welfare benefits continued to pose a challenge and the Income Team regularly found themselves working with households who were in a precarious financial situation. 

 

Over the last year the three advisors had made 561 home visits to clients and successfully secured benefits worth £236,392 via backdated claims, written off debt, additional benefits, preferential tariffs and grants / loans.

 

The Income team had also been preparing for UC, and the work had involved raising tenants’ awareness of the benefit changes, producing leaflets, staff training and establishing contacts and working practises with staff in other teams, as well as at the DWP who administer UC.  To date there were six tenants in receipt of UC and the team were working closely with them all to minimise any arrears.

 

Personal Independence Payments (PIPs) had been implemented for new cases of Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or where a review was requested by clients in the working age group.  In October 2015 the remaining stage of national PIP rollout started in a controlled way, however this did not mean that it was happening to everyone everywhere at the same time.

 

The Council also continued to monitor increase in debt outstanding however there did not appear to be a noticeable effect attributable to people having less money.

 

The Vice-Chairman expressed disquiet at the number of households adversely affected within the County by the Benefit Cap which represented a 20% reduction in household income.  The Operational Manager indicated that the figures provided were anticipated from 1st January, 2017.  The DWP would confirm the exact numbers and would provide specific support for those households affected.

 

RECOMMENDED – T H A T the report be noted.

 

Reason for recommendation

 

To allow the impact of the Reforms to be monitored. 

 

 

286     1ST QUARTER SCRUTINY DECISION TRACKING OF RECOMMENDATIONS AND WORK PROGRAMME SCHEDULE 2016/17 (MD) –

 

Appendix B to the report provided Members with progress in relation to recommendations for the first quarter decision tracking covering the period April to June, 2016.  Appendix A set out the progress of recommendations from the previous year 2015/16.  The Committee also confirmed its work programme for the remaining Municipal Year.

 

RECOMMENDED –

 

(1)       T H A T the following recommendations, deemed completed as indicated in Appendix B, be agreed.

 

19 April 2016 [previous Scrutiny Committee   (Corporate Resources)]

Min. No. 1030 – Improvement   Plan Part 1 (Improvement Objectives 2016/2017) (MD) – Recommended

(2)   That the Head of Performance and   Development submit a detailed progress report on the Council’s Reshaping   Services Programme as soon as practicable to the Scrutiny Committee.

Added to work programme   schedule.

Completed

Min. No. 1031 – Service   Plan 2016/20 – Resources (MD) – Recommended that the Service Plans in respect of   Legal Services, Finance Services, Human Resources, Performance and   Development, ICT and Democratic Services for 2016/20 be endorsed and referred   to Cabinet for further consideration.

Cabinet, on 9th   May, 2016, resolved that the recommendations of the Scrutiny Committee   (Corporate Resources) be noted and further considered alongside the Service   Plans from the remaining Scrutiny Committees in a consolidated report due to   be submitted to a future Cabinet meeting.

(Min. No. C3170 refers)

Completed

14 June 2016

Min. No. 91 – End of Year   Performance Report 2015-16 and Target Setting for 2016-17 (MD) – Recommended

(3)   That Cabinet be recommended to review and   endorse the proposed targets for 2016-17 aligned to Corporate Health.

Cabinet, at its meeting on   25th July, 2016 resolved

 [4]     That the proposed suite of performance indicators to monitor progress   against the Corporate Plan Well-being Outcomes and Corporate Health be noted.

[5]   That the   proposed targets for 2016-17, aligned to the new Corporate Plan Well-being   Outcomes and Corporate Health, be noted and endorsed.

[6]   That the draft Quarterly Well-being   Outcome report template be approved as the basis for preparing performance   monitoring reports for 2016-17.

(Min. No. C 3255 refers)

Completed

 

(2)       T H A T progress in relation to the outstanding matter set out in Appendix A be noted.

 

(3)       T H A T the Scrutiny Committee’s work programme set out in Appendix C be approved and published on the Council’s website.

 

Reasons for recommendations

 

(1&2)  To maintain effective tracking of Committee recommendations.

 

(3)       To agree the work programme.