Top

Top

SCRUTINY COMMITTEE (CORPORATE RESOURCES)

 

Minutes of a meeting held on 10th September, 2013.

 

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

 

Also present: Councillor K.P. Mahoney.

 

 

387     APOLOGY FOR ABSENCE –

 

This was received from Councillor G. Roberts.

 

 

388     MINUTES -

 

RECOMMENDED - T H A T the minutes of the meeting held on 16th July, 2013 be approved as a correct record.

 

 

389     DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST -

 

No declarations were received.

 

 

390     REVENUE MONITORING FOR THE PERIOD 1ST APRIL TO 31ST JULY 2013 (MD) –

 

Overall, the forecast was for the Council to have a balanced Revenue Budget.  Similarly, there was a forecast estimated balanced budget on the Housing Revenue Account. 

 

The report detailed current variances within the Directorate’s budgets.  In presenting the report, the Head of Financial Services alluded to the current projected overspend for Social Services of £673,000.  Areas of savings had been identified to date which were £293,000 over the required target.  He indicated that the budgets in respect of Children and Young People and Adult Services would continue to be closely monitored. 

 

Reference was also made to the current favourable variance of £181,000 in respect of the Housing General Fund.  This was due to an underspend to date in respect of homelessness.  However, it was considered prudent that the provision should be retained in anticipation of potential implications of the changes in Welfare Reform. 

 

Referring to paragraph 17 of the report in respect of the Adult Services budget, the Chairman indicated he was still concerned regarding the increased expenditure and, referring to the introduction of the £50 cap for non-residential services, requested a further report on this matter, to which the Committee agreed. 

 

RECOMMENDED –

 

(1)       T H A T the position with regard to the Authority’s 2013/14 Revenue Budget be noted.

 

(2)       T H A T the Committee receive a further report in respect of the Social Services overspend.

 

Reasons for recommendations

 

(1)       That Members are aware of the projected revenue outturn for 2013/14.

 

(2)       To keep Members informed.

 

 

391     CAPITAL MONITORING REPORT FOR THE PERIOD 1ST APRIL TO 31ST JULY 2013 (MD) –

 

Appendix 1 to the report detailed financial progress on the Capital Programme as at 31st July 2013.  Appendix 2 provided non-financial information on capital construction schemes with a budget of over £100,000.  

 

The Head of Financial Services alluded to the current variances in respect of the demolition of St. Cyres Comprehensive School and the Welsh Housing Quality Standard.  In response to a question raised regarding the tender for demolition works, Members were informed that the sum of £300,000 currently provided for the works was still considered to be appropriate in order to allow for contingency works over and beyond the tendered amount. 

 

During the discussion, the Head of Financial Services referred to a query raised at the previous meeting regarding funding for the Ewenny Road Bridge Scheme.  He indicated that an e-mail had been forwarded to Members earlier in the day covering a number of issues, including this matter.  The position with regard to the scheme was that, as the Council was dependant on Network Rail, it was also reliant on them designing and procuring the work (including the undertaking of the bridge reconstruction). 

 

RECOMMENDED – T H A T the Committee endorse the following recommendations:

  • Demolition of St. Cyres Comprehensive School – include a budget of £300,000, funded initially from the School Investment Strategy.

 

Reason for recommendation

 

To allow the scheme to proceed in the current financial year.

 

 

392     IMPROVEMENT PLAN 2013/14 (MD) –

 

The Part 2 Improvement Plan, attached at Appendix A to the report, was a document primarily looking back over 2012/13.  It contained key performance measures along with targets and actions for 2012/13. 

 

The performance information would be used by the Wales Audit Office to assess the Council’s capacity to improve, and, therefore, was of critical importance to the reputation of the Council. 

 

The Plan was substantially complete, although further minor amendments would be required following additional information being provided by chief officers, changes to performance information provided the Local Government Data Unit and from proof-reading.  This information would need to be included prior to the final draft being presented to Cabinet.

 

During the discussion, a number of issues / queries were raised by Members, including the following:

  • page 17 – clarification of the Salex scheme.  It was explained that the scheme allowed for the funding of energy measures, with the costs subsequently paid back into the scheme (in effect achieving a constantly balancing funding source)
  • page 31 – clarification regarding the appropriate standards alluded to in respect of the Council’s buildings.  Members were informed that the requirement was to ensure that buildings were fit for purpose / use and addressed relevant access issues
  • page 33 – examples of 'space sharing'.  These included accommodation at Cadoxton House, the Dock Offices and the Alps as well as the sharing of accommodation with Bridgend Council in respect of the Audit service.  It was explained that such arrangements would, in essence, operate on a 'landlord / tenant' basis depending on which Authority’s portfolio the relevant property belonged to.
  • page 35 – in terms of space optimisation, whilst the 2012/13 figure seemed favourable, reference was made to a lack of a Welsh comparison for that year.  It was explained that a number of new Key Performance Indicators had been formulated.  As a result, new baseline figures had been set so no actual figures existed for the year in question.
  • page 35 – in terms of suitability / sufficiency assessments, Members were informed that this involved assessing the suitability of premises in terms of their appropriateness for the services delivered. 
  • page 35 – in terms of the condition categories in respect of buildings, these related to criteria set by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors.  

In response to a query regarding the operation of the joint audit service with Bridgend, the Operational Manager (Property) undertook to provide Members with details of the rental arrangements existing between the two Authorities.

 

RECOMMENDED – T H A T the Improvement Plan 2013/14 be endorsed.

 

Reason for recommendation

 

To ensure that actions are taken to improve the performance of the Council.

 

 

393     SICKNESS ABSENCE REPORT – FINANCIAL YEAR APRIL 2012 – MARCH 2013 (REF) –

 

The Corporate Management of Attendance Policy had been operational since October 2008 and, until the last financial year, had contributed to a sustained reduction in the level of absence across the Council. 

 

The report set out the absence figures for 2012/13 for corporately employed staff and also those employed directly by schools.  The figures for the period concerned totalled 8.7 days per employee (equating to 3.3% of available work days).  The previous year’s figure had been 8.1 days per employee. 

 

A more detailed analysis of the figures by Directorate and Service areas were set out in Appendix A to the report.  Cabinet had considered this matter on 1st July 2013 and resolved

 

(1)               That the report and the sickness absence outturn provided in Appendix 'A' attached to the report be accepted.

 

(2)               That the importance of the Management of Attendance Policy, achievement of targets and adherence to the Council's policy provisions be reinforced to all managers to respond to the previous years rise in the level of sickness absence.

 

(3)               That the report be referred to Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources) for consideration.

 

(4)               That the Head of Human Resources carry out a review of the Management of Attendance Policy as soon as practicable and report back to a future Cabinet meeting.

 

Notwithstanding the overall increase, the ratio between short, and long, term absences remained constant.  The Head of Human Resources alluded to the main causes of absence within the Social Services and Visible Services Directorates (where the overall figures remained high).  He considered it important to bear in mind that, despite the percentage increase, the Council’s figures were still amongst the best of Welsh local authorities and still below the public sector average.  Nevertheless, work would continue to further improve the situation. 

 

With regard to the two Directorates referred to above, specific measures were under consideration designed to deal with the main causes of absence which included 'operations and recovery' and 'muscular skeletal disorder'.  The figures did not include agency staff, but the Council’s ongoing relationship with its agency staff providers included actions to similarly monitor / keep to a minimum absence levels. 

 

Confirming that Adult Carers were included in the Social Services figures, the Head of Human Resources was asked whether there appeared to be any correlation between the absence figures and stress levels amongst carers.  He indicated that no research had been undertaken in this area within the Council.  Whilst reference to stress constituted one of the top three reasons for absence in Social Services, the relevant policies were stringently followed in such cases.  Increasingly, the 'stress factor' was being identified as being non work-related.  As a result, it was generally more difficult to manage such circumstances.  Previous attempts to obtain comparative information had indicated that levels within the Council were generally lower than elsewhere. 

 

The Head of Human Resources reminded Members of the high level of structural change and the potential effect of the Job Evaluation process during the year in question. 

 

Members considered it would be useful to receive Welsh comparative figures and it was agreed that the Head of Human Resources would build this information into future reports as a standard element.  It was further agreed that a report be submitted to a future meeting on practices adopted by other local authorities to identify whether any lessons could be learned. 

 

Members were informed that every effort was made to ensure consistency of approach amongst managers in dealing with sickness absence.  Managers received regular reports on their individual areas’ performance. 

 

In terms of the impact of Job Evaluation, the Committee requested that an exercise be undertaken to monitor comparative absence rates between staff who had been adversely affected and other employees.  In response to suggestions made during the discussion, the Head of Human Resources also undertook to discuss with relevant managers the possibility of initiatives involving exercise / warming up for those employees involved in daily physical work and manual handling. 

 

RECOMMENDED –

 

(1)       T H A T the report and sickness absence outturn submitted to the Committee be noted.

 

(2)       T H A T future reports to Committee include any available Welsh comparative figures.

 

Reasons for recommendations

 

(1)       To bring matters to the attention of Members in line with corporate objectives.

 

(2)       To maintain a continued focus on the management of absence throughout all services of the Council.

 

 

394     REGULATORY REPORTS – IMPROVEMENT TRACKING (REF) –

 

The Council was subject to a number of regulators, who passed judgements on its work and made various recommendations / proposals for improvements to services.  These were generally, but not always, submitted to the Audit Committee and also often considered by Scrutiny Committees and the Cabinet.  Service Plans also contained actions arising from regulatory reports. 

 

Previously, there had been no one document which would allow the overseeing and tracking of implementations of regulators’ recommendations / proposals.  With this in mind, a document had been prepared for consideration by the Committee.  It was intended that the Committee would receive six-monthly update reports in the proposed format.  The intention would be that the Committee would be asked to agree that actions identified as completed would be removed from the tracking report. 

 

The Chairman asked whether the proposed format could include an additional column indicating which recommendations / proposals had been submitted to the relevant Scrutiny Committee for consideration.  The Operational Manager (Corporate Policy and Communications) indicated that this could be accommodated, but pointed out that the only actions which would have gone to Scrutiny Committees would be those contained in Service Plans. 

 

Members considered the proposed format of the report and concluded that it would not be practical to simply receive an overall report comprising such comprehensive detail.  It was considered that the recommendations / proposals should, instead, be submitted to the relevant Scrutiny Committees for consideration and determination as to whether they had been completed. 

 

Mr. S. Barry (Wales Audit Office) had commented on the rationale for embracing the information in one report.  He pointed out that the WAO had, indeed, been critical of other councils who did not have adequate monitoring of regulators’ recommendations / proposals. 

 

In light of the above, the Committee did not agree recommendation (2) of the report relating to the Committee itself removing actions deemed to have been completed. 

Scrutiny Committees had already received details of the various actions in respective Service Plans.  This document was to be regarded as a 'Single Action Plan', covering a period of around two years.  Over time, actions would be followed up / completed / removed, with others being added to the report (i.e. those resulting from inspections from regulators such as Estyn).

 

A discussion ensued as to certain of the terminology used in the report such as 'ongoing'.  It was explained that, given the actions evolved from regulators’ reports, the Council was committed to such and that certain actions were, indeed, likely to remain continuing work.  Certain recommendations would, in fact, not come to an end.  Rather than use 'ongoing', the phrase 'now custom and practice' was, arguably, a more meaningful description.

 

A wide range of subjects were raised during the ensuing discussion.  These included:

 

-                 The Head of ICT clarifying for the Committee the approach to the Council’s ICT equipment replacement programme.  Discussions were underway with other partners regarding potential for collaboration on electronic storage of information.  A considerable amount of work was also taking place regarding areas such as connectivity, the Council’s security accreditation and the use of secure networks generally.  Use of various means of technology, including smart phones would continue to be progressed.

-                 The reduction in the response rates for dealing with Freedom of Information Requests within the 20 working day period.  Members were informed that over the last few years, the total number of requests received had almost doubled.  Whilst the percentage response rate had fallen, the actual number of requests being processed within the relevant timescale had increased considerably.  An additional resource (i.e. post) was being allocated to the area of Freedom of Information / Data Protection and the recruitment process was currently underway. 

-                 The timescale for the progression of the Corporate Asset Management Plan.  The Operational Manager (Property) indicated that it was anticipated that the new Plan would be submitted to Cabinet in December 2013. 

-                 Reference was also made to a perceived lack of progress regarding the Capital Programme for leisure centres following the transfer of such to Parkwood Leisure.  Members were informed that agreement had now been reached on the scope of the work and associated costs.  A programme for the phased undertaking of works was currently in the process of being agreed with the hope being that work would be completed by the Summer of 2014.  Work had already been undertaken but not necessarily in 'visible' areas. 

-                 Staff grievances – in response to the discussion, the Head of Human Resources undertook to 'anonymise' the information and submit details to the Committee of the number / nature of grievances across the Council.  He also reminded Members of the new Appeals process which had been agreed by the Council and which was designed to speed up the process in respect of disciplinary / grievance matters.

-                 Personal Development Reviews / Team Development Reviews.  The arrangements relating to these had been in place for many years.  Whilst clearly an effective means of compiling Training Needs Analyses, it was acknowledged that staff engagement levels could be deemed variable and the process was being looked at as part of the wider review of such matters within the Human Resources Division.

 

RECOMMENDED – T H A T the work achieved to address the recommendations / proposals made by regulators be noted.

 

Reason for recommendation

 

To achieve continuous improvement of Council services.

 

 

395     PENARTH LEARNING COMMUNITY: DELIVERY OF COMMUNITY BENEFITS – PROGRESS UPDATE (REF) –

 

Members were informed of the Community Benefits of the Penarth Learning Community Project.

 

The public sector in Wales spent a significant amount of money each year and there was a growing requirement to develop ways in which this expenditure could be used to deliver wider social, environmental and economic benefits to the local community. In this respect, the incorporation of social benefits in public procurement contracts was helping to maximise the impact of public spending through the wider community benefits such as targeted recruitment and training (TRAT).

 

The main principles of targeted recruitment and training for Penarth Learning Community were to ensure:

  • new opportunities were provided for new entrants, trainees and those leaving education including those currently not in employment, education or training.
  • the development by the contractor in conjunction with the Council and local agencies, realistic recruitment and training processes to ensure successful implementation of the Councils requirements.
  • the contractor used and promoted local procurement and looked to work with local suppliers to develop their capacity.
  • benefits to the local community of the scheme were maximised.
  • working with local education providers and training bodies including but not limited to Cardiff and the Vale College, local schools and 6th form provision. 

As part of the Penarth Learning Community construction and demolition process, it was envisaged that the substantial investment associated with the project should reap local benefit in terms of targeted recruitment and training as well as in many other ways.

 

The report outlined that, through the Targeted Recruitment and Training Method Statement, the Council had stipulated the following outcomes:

'The Council intends that for every £1m in contract value provided, the Contractor will provide a minimum of 80 weeks of employment for a New Entrant recruited from a source to be agreed with the Council.'

 

The Penarth Learning Community contract value was £39.45m, equating to a total of 3,156 Person weeks of New Entrant involvement to be achieved during the construction and demolition process.

 

The Operational Manager (Property) circulated additional information to the Committee in the form of the monthly progress report on the scheme for August 2013.  She informed Members that progress was reviewed on a monthly basis by the Project Team.  She referred to work having commenced with Working Links and alluded to the following information as contained in the progress report:

  • in terms of new entrant person weeks, the position was currently 546 Person Weeks above target
  • 105 previously unemployed people were now employed
  • 67 people had been provided with Skills to Succeed Training.  She acknowledged the importance of creating sustainable jobs and quoted the 'E Prentice scheme as an example of such.  The 'topping out' ceremony for the centre was to be carried out shortly.   

The Committee considered the scheme to represent an excellent 'good news' story and asked that it be publicised accordingly. 

 

RECOMMENDED – T H A T the contents of the Penarth Learning Community report be noted and the Committee’s acknowledgement of the excellent progress made be placed on record.

 

Reason for recommendation

 

To ensure Members are furnished with necessary information regarding the positive impact that the Penarth Learning Community is having on the local community.

 

 

396     SOCIAL MEDIA (MD) –

 

Cabinet had agreed a Social Media Strategy in September 2011. The Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources) requested an update on the use of social media by the Council at its meeting in January 2013.

 

The popularity of social media had increased significantly over recent years and its use by businesses and private individuals continued to grow and numerous examples of sites were alluded to in the report. 

 

The Council concentrated its limited communications staff resources on the most popular sites, Twitter and Facebook. These sites both offered the advantage of being interactive, creating an opportunity for two-way communication between the Council and its stakeholders.

 

The Council's Twitter account (@VOGCouncil) was introduced in May 2009 as a 'back up' for the website.  Twitter could be updated from any computer or smart phone, allowing the site to be used should the Council's website be unavailable for any reason, (particularly useful during an emergency situation).

 

The Council was one of the first Welsh councils to actively use Twitter and now had more than 6,000 followers, with the number increasing.  This was one of the highest follower rates of the Welsh councils.

 

The majority of posts on the Council's social media sites included links to further information on the Council's website, enabling the Council to promote its website and achieve the channel shift to the web for services, linked to the Council's Channel Strategy.

 

The Council's Facebook account, Vale of Glamorgan Life, was started in November 2010, in response to the Council's 2009 Public Opinion Survey. The survey found that 60% of those with Internet access questioned for the survey were Facebook users.

 

A decision had been made to not brand the Facebook page as a 'council' site, but as a 'community' site, which hosts the public's comments and promotes community events and news.  

 

The Council's Facebook site had nearly 2,000 likes; however neither Twitter and Facebook followers or reported 'likes' were totally representative of the number of people who might view the information on these sites.  Both were public, meaning that they could be viewed by anyone, whether or not they choose to formally link with the sites.

 

The number of staff requesting and using social media as part of their work had grown over recent years.  Staff were only allowed social media access on a Council computer after they had presented a suitable business case to their manager and the Council's Communications Manager.

 

Using social media to engage with the public was labour intensive and an officer looking to use it as part of their work was encouraged to consider what the return on the investment of staff time would be.

 

Several Council departments had created their own Twitter accounts and many Vale of Glamorgan schools were also actively using Twitter to engage with parents and pupils.

 

The Committee was informed that work was underway on a revised Customer Relation Strategy and that the issue of the use of Social Media would form part of that Strategy. 

 

Reference was made during the discussion to the usefulness of social media (e.g. in notifying people in situations of bad weather or school closures) but also to the need to properly manage use of social media.  A suggestion was also made by the Chairman than an annual report on the use of social media be submitted to Members.

 

The Head of Democratic Services alluded to a recent document 'Social Media: A Guide for Councillors' produced by the Welsh Local Government Association.  The document had already been circulated to all Members of the Council and he suggested that it should also be circulated to clerks of Town and Community Councils. 

 

The Communications Manager indicated she was keen to encourage Members to use social media and extended a general invitation to Members to meet with her should they wish.

 

RECOMMENDED –

 

(1)       T H A T the work undertaken to date in respect of the use of social media be noted.

           

(2)       T H A T the document 'Social Media: A Guide for Councillors' be circulated to clerks of Town and Community Councils.

 

(3)       T H A T the report also be referred to the Community Liaison Committee.

 

Reasons for recommendations

 

(1)       To ensure that the Council demonstrates best practice in its use of social media.

 

(2&3)  To raise awareness amongst Town and Community Councils of social media.

 

 

397     UPDATE ON CORPORATE WORKFORCE PLAN 2013-17 (MD) –

 

The Workforce Plan was endorsed by the Committee on 12th December 2012 and approved by Cabinet on 17th December 2012.  The Plan aimed to ensure that the Council had the right employees, in the right place, to meet future service needs.  It reflected the vision and service aims as set out in the new Council Plan and the budget review projections for 2013/17.

 

The need for such a plan remained important given the prospect of increasingly challenging financial targets that would need to be faced over the next four years and the related need for changes to the way services were delivered.

 

The Plan was based on a comparison of the Council's current workforce and future staffing needs over the next four years, with a list of thirty actions agreed on the basis of the resultant 'gap analysis'.  These were set out in Appendix A to the report.

 

It had been agreed that the progress of the Plan should be reviewed on a monthly basis by the Council's management / trade union Change Forum and that a six monthly update be provided to this Committee.

 

The report provided a six monthly assessment of progress on each of the thirty actions.  An assessment of the emerging outcomes of such actions would be provided at the end of the first year of the Workforce Plan.

 

A detailed update in relation to each of the actions contained in the Plan was set out in Appendix A to the report.  The 30 actions were spread over a four year period and, as such, progress could not yet be demonstrated in relation to all actions.  However, the report also included an overview of the progress on actions to date and the measures being pursued in accordance with Section 8 of the Workforce Plan.  These included:

  • a new Human Resources strategy having been approved by Cabinet on 17th March 2013
  • the holding of the first Annual Workforce Planning Conference for service managers
  • supported workforce planning sessions with all directorate management teams to be held later in the year
  • the production of an agreed and common Core Data Set to help inform workforce planning analysis. 

The above actions would, in turn, help to refine the Corporate Workforce Plan and customise the supporting Human Resources and Training Strategies. 

 

RECOMMENDED – T H A T the ongoing work to implement the actions set out in the Council’s Workforce Plan 2013/17 as set out in Appendix A to the report, be noted.

 

Reason for recommendation

 

To help the Council meet its workforce needs over the next four years.

 

 

398     END OF YEAR PERFORMANCE 2012/13 AND PERFORMANCE INDICATORS 2013/14 (MD) –

 

Service Plans for 2013/14 had been revised and were now designed to focus on the achievement of objectives within each Directorate in order to contribute towards outcomes for members of the public.  A review of performance indicators had taken place to ensure that the Council collected indicators which effectively monitored Service Plan objectives and outcomes. 

 

Reporting arrangements had been revised to ensure that Directorates were monitoring performance against the objectives defined in Service Plans.

 

The Committee received action monitoring and performance reports for the service areas of Corporate Services, Customer Relations, Democratic Services and Human Resources.  Measures highlighted in blue on the performance reports were proposed for deletion for 2013/14.

 

An additional document was also listed for each service which listed all the performance indicators proposed for collection as part of 2013/14 Service Plan monitoring.  All measures had been renamed for ease of reference in relation to the new Service Plans.  

 

In the process of reviewing performance indicators for 2013/14, it had been noted that the corporate indicators collected within all service areas were cross-cutting and did not directly contribute to any one objective within service plans.  It was, therefore, proposed that sickness (long term, short term and overall), leavers and PDR figures for all service areas be reported to this Committee in one report on a quarterly basis from 2013/14 onwards (PDR figures would be reported annually).  Areas of concern would then be referred to the appropriate Scrutiny Committees for further analysis.

 

It was proposed that the Green Dragon indicators be deleted for all service areas from 2013/14 onwards and that the Council's performance in relation to Green Dragon continue to be monitored by the Sustainable Development Working Group and reported to Scrutiny and Cabinet.

 

Each service area was given the target of achieving level 4 of the Vale Equality Scheme, with the exception of areas where this level did not apply due to the nature of the service (Accountancy and Resource Management, Legal Services and ICT Services).  Most service areas had met this target by the end of the financial year 2012/13.  The services areas still to meet the level 4 target would receive support from the Equalities Team to bring them up to a level 4 standard.  The Vale Equalities Scheme indicators would be removed from all service areas from 2013/14 onwards.

 

The Committee received the action monitoring and performance reports monitored by the Committee for the following service areas:

 

(i)         Corporate Services – with regard to PI L367aQ – average number of weekly unique visits to the Council’s English language website – the Head of Performance and Development undertook to look into why the 2012/13 performance had been below target.  It was possible that the use of other technology to access the information might have contributed to a reduction in the number of visits to the website itself. 

 

(ii)        Customer Relations – the Operational Manager (Customer Relations) referred to the proposed deletion for 2013/14 of PI L468Q – percentage of calls answered on the Welsh Language Line.  He referred to PI L835A – average speed of answer for calls made on the Welsh Language Line – as being a more relevant Performance Indicator.

 

In response to a query raised he referred to there previously having been no system in place to monitor customer satisfaction immediately after contact with the Contact Centre.  However, a system had recently been introduced and it was indicating very good satisfaction levels.  The next stage of capturing such information would revolve around how matters were dealt with once the issue moved from the Contact Centre to service areas.  He also alluded to the recently revised system introduced for monitoring complaints. 

 

The discussion also included reference to the generating of unique CRS numbers for each caller and the possibility of the future introduction of a system which would allow customers to track progress online.  The potential of integrating the e-form process with CRS would be looked at.  A related action was included in the revised Customer Relations Strategy, which was to be submitted to Cabinet shortly.  It was agreed that a further report on this area would be submitted in due course. 

 

(iii)       Democratic Services – the Operational Manager (Democratic Services) expressed his appreciation that, notwithstanding the impact of Job Evaluation, sickness levels within the Division for 2012/13 were the lowest within the Council.  He also acknowledged the need to progress matters in relation to moving up from Level 1 of the Vale Equality Scheme (PI L672A).

 

(iv)       Human Resources – the Head of Human Resources alluded to PI CHR/001Q – relating to employees leaving the Authority.  He indicated that the increased percentage was not surprising, given the overall environment of staff reductions. 

 

RECOMMENDED –

 

(1)       T H A T the Committee note performance and action monitoring reports for end of year 2012/13.

 

(2)       T H A T the changes to the performance indicators and performance reporting arrangements for 2013/14 be agreed.

 

(3)       T H A T a further report be submitted to a future meeting in respect of the tracking of customer service requests following referral to relevant service areas.

 

Reasons for recommendations

 

(1)       To ensure that the Council is effectively monitoring and improving its performance in line with the requirements to secure continuous improvement and comparison outlined in the Local Government (Wales) Measure 2009.

 

(2)       To ensure that arrangements for the collecting and reporting of performance information reflects Scrutiny Committee priorities and is in keeping with the new service planning and reporting arrangements.

 

(3)       To keep the Committee informed of progress.

 

 

399     SCRUTINY COMMITTEES’ DRAFT ANNUAL REPORT: MAY 2012 TO APRIL 2013 AND SCRUTINY COMMITTEE WORK PROGRAMME (MD) –

 

In accordance of Section 6.03d of Article 6 of the Vale of Glamorgan Council's Constitution Scrutiny Committees were required to report annually to Full Council on their workings and make recommendations for future work programmes and amended working methods as appropriate.  The Constitution also provided that Scrutiny Committee's Work Programmes for the municipal year be included in the Committees' Annual Report.

 

The Annual Report included details of the work of all the Scrutiny Committees for 2012/13, together with details of the Forward Work Programme, which would include:

  • performance monitoring
  • revenue and capital expenditure monitoring
  • Improvement Plan
  • budget proposals annual reporting
  • Service Planning annual reporting
  • Decision-tracking of the Committee recommendations
  • receiving progress reports on various issues
  • any other matters that the Committee considers appropriate.

RECOMMENDED – 

 

(1)       T H A T the draft Annual Report for the period May 2012 to April 2013 be approved, subject to any further minor amendments being agreed in consultation with the Chairman and it be submitted to Full Council in September 2013.

 

(2)       T H A T this Scrutiny Committee's Work Programme for 2013/14 attached at Appendix 2 to the report be confirmed and uploaded to the Council's website as appropriate.

 

Reasons for recommendations

 

(1)       To approve the draft Scrutiny Committees' Annual Report to allow it to be submitted to Full Council in September 2013.

 

(2)       To confirm the Scrutiny Committee Work Programme, it being noted that the schedule of approved list of items for consideration may be subject to change depending on prevailing circumstances.

 

 

 

Share on facebook Like us on Facebook