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Agenda Item No

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Scrutiny Committee (Social Care and Health): 10th March 2014

 

Scrutiny Committee (Economy and Environment): 11th March 2014

 

Scrutiny Committee (Housing and Public Protection): 12th March 2014

 

Scrutiny Committee (Lifelong Learning): 17th March 2014

 

Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources): 18th March 2014

 

Report of the Head of Democratic Services

 

Task and Finish Activities for 2014/15

 

Purpose of the Report

1.        To update Members on Scrutiny reviews being undertaken and to agree a process for Scrutiny Committees to consider topics for review in 2014/15.

Recommendations

1.         That the update on Scrutiny reviews be noted.

2.         That the process for considering reviews in 2014/15 as contained in the report and as previously endorsed by the Scrutiny Committee Chairmen and Vice-Chairmen Group, be agreed.

Reason for the Recommendations

1&2  In recognition of the role of Scrutiny and to facilitate Scrutiny Committee work programmes as outlined in the Council's Constitution. 

 

Background

2.        The Scrutiny Committee Chairmen and Vice-Chairmen Group at its meeting on 27th February 2013 gave consideration to a report for prioritising Task and Finish activities for the current municipal year. 

3.        The Scrutiny Committee Chairmen and Vice-Chairmen Group subsequently agreed its priorities for 2013/14 as below:

Priority 1 - Traffic Management - the impact of traffic flows within the County, including reference to sustainable travel.

Priority 2 - To be agreed following completion of Priority 1.

Relevant Issues and Options

4.        Members are advised that the Traffic Management Task and Finish Group met regularly since October 2013, with progress on this subject aligned to objectives set out in its approved action plan.  The completed report will be presented to the Scrutiny Committee (Economy and Environment) in April 2014.

5.        Scrutiny Committees are asked to agree their work programmes for 2014/15, taking into account  the suggested following criteria but also having regard to priorities of the Council as reflected within the Corporate Plan, the Improvement Plan Part 1 (Improvement Objectives 2014/15)  and the Cabinet Forward Work Programme:

  • whether the topic is specific (has a clear remit / question to answer)
  • whether achievable (in the time given and the resources available)
  • likely to generate productive outcomes
  • timely and relevant (i.e. it being a Council / community priority) and
  • of public interest.

6.        As in previous years, each Scrutiny Committee is required to recommend items to be put forward for review to the Scrutiny Committee Chairmen and Vice-Chairmen Group to prioritise.  In order to assist the process, Committees are asked to limit the number of such items to two per Committee.

7.        To facilitate this process it is suggested that Committees consider items that have been highlighted resulting from the number of surveys and questionnaires that have already been undertaken with the public, by the Council.  For Members' information the number of corporate consultation projects that have already been undertaken between 2011/12 and 2012/13 are detailed below with the hyperlink to each survey:

·           Strategic Equality Plan - open consultation with residents and equality groups on issues affecting residents with protected characteristics 

·           Public Opinion Survey 2012 - satisfaction questionnaire on a broad range of customer facing services including Visible Services, Transport, Leisure, Communications  http://www.valeofglamorgan.gov.uk/en/our_council/achieving_our_vision/consultation/public_opinion_survey/public_opinion_survey1.aspx

·           Vale Viewpoint Survey December 2012 - questionnaire covering volunteering, customer contact, community safety  http://www.valeofglamorgan.gov.uk/en/our_council/achieving_our_vision/consultation/vale_viewpoint/Autumn%202012%20Results.aspx

·           Vale Viewpoint Survey January 2013 - questionnaire covering access to health information, carer support and road maintenance  http://www.valeofglamorgan.gov.uk/en/our_council/achieving_our_vision/consultation/vale_viewpoint/Spring%202013%20Results.aspx

·           Vale View point Survey - Summer 2013 - questionnaire covering waste management and road maintenance  http://www.valeofglamorgan.gov.uk/en/our_council/achieving_our_vision/consultation/vale_viewpoint/Summer-2013-Results.aspx

·           Allotment Strategy - views sought on how provision of allotments could be improved. http://www.valeofglamorgan.gov.uk/en/enjoying/parks_and_gardens/allotments/allotment_strategy.aspx

8.        It is therefore suggested that the information gleaned from the consultations that have been undertaken be considered by all Scrutiny Committees prior to agreeing potential Task and Finish topics for consideration for approval by the Scrutiny Committee Chairmen and Vice-Chairmen Group.

9.        The Scrutiny Committee Chairmen and Vice-Chairmen Group on 27th January 2014 agreed that the merits of the unprioritised topics for 2013/14 will need to be reconsidered against all suggestions for 2014/15.

10.     It is also worth mentioning that whilst work has proceeded on the Priority 1 review, other similar type scrutiny work activity has been undertaken by the Democratic and Scrutiny team linked to School Performance Panels, with considerable time already being given up to arranging / administering, undertaking research and supporting Panel Members in these exercises.  It is anticipated work associated with these Panels will be ongoing, with a number of secondary schools subject to these arrangements.  In addition, both the Operational Manager (Democratic Services) and the Principal Democratic and Scrutiny Services Officer have also been heavily involved behind the scenes attending officer meetings with partner authorities to discuss and agree joint scrutiny arrangements in relation to the Central South Education Consortia (which was subsequently aborted by WG) and the Regulatory Services Collaborative Project.

11.     It is also important to note that any member of the public can request that an item be considered by a Scrutiny Committee by completing a Scrutiny Review Topics Suggestion Form, which is available on the Council's website and / or from the Democratic and Scrutiny Services Section.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

12.     There are no direct financial implications arising from the report itself.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

13.     None as a direct result of this report.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

14.     None as a direct result of this report.

Crime and Disorder Implications

15.     None as a direct result of this report.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

16.     None as a direct result of this report.

Corporate/Service Objectives

17.     To work with partners to promote good governance and ensure a co-ordinated approach to delivering the shared vision for the future of the Vale.

18.     The preparation and Member agreement of the contents of Scrutiny Committee work programmes contributes to a positive impact upon the Council and its services, and also contributes to the value of corporate objectives as well as ensuring that work can be undertaken in a timely and well planned manner.

Policy Framework and Budget

19.     Scrutiny Committees' work programmes form part of the Annual Scrutiny Report which, under Article 6 of the Council's Constitution, is presented to Full Council.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

20.     The subject matter is internal in nature and with regard to formal consultation, this is outlined above.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

21.     All

Background Papers

Council's Constitution

Various surveys undertaken

Corporate Plan

Budget Task and Finish Review

 

Contact Officer

Jeff Rees, Principal Democratic and Scrutiny Officer, tel: (01446) 709413, e-mail: jerees@valeofglamorgan.gov.uk

 

Officers Consulted

Managing Director

Corporate Consultation Officer

 

Responsible Officer:

Jeff Wyatt, Head of Democratic Services

 

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