CORPORATE PERFORMANCE AND RESOURCES SCRUTINY COMMITTEE
Minutes of a meeting held on 20th June, 2017.
Present: Councillor G.D.D. Carroll (Chairman); Councillors R. Crowley, V.P. Driscoll, O. Griffiths, S.J. Griffiths, Dr. I.J. Johnson, N. Moore, L.O. Rowlands and E. Williams.
73 APOLOGY FOR ABSENCE –
This was received from Councillor P.G. King.
74 ANNOUNCEMENT –
The Chairman took the opportunity to thank Councillor M.R. Wilson, for his Chairmanship and support to the Committee prior to the Local Government Elections.
75 APPOINTMENT OF VICE-CHAIRMAN –
RESOLVED – T H A T Councillor V.P. Driscoll be appointed Vice-Chairman for the Municipal year.
76 MINUTES –
RECOMMENDED – T H A T the minutes of the meeting held on 21st March, 2017 be approved as a correct record.
77 DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST –
No declarations were received.
78 INTRODUCTION TO THE CORPORATE PERFORMANCE AND RESOURCES SCRUTINY COMMITTEE –
The Managing Director commenced the introduction by advising that the Corporate Plan Outcomes for the Committee were the overall monitoring of corporate health and being the Lead Scrutiny Committee and the objectives of the Committee being :
- Reducing poverty and social exclusion
- Providing decent homes and safe communities
- Promoting regeneration, economic growth and employment
- Promoting sustainable development and protecting our environment
- Raising overall standards of achievement
- Valuing culture and diversity
- Encouraging and promoting active and healthy lifestyles
- Safeguarding those who are vulnerable and promoting independent living
With regard to the remit of the Committee as outlined within the Constitution this covered the following areas:
- Welfare Reform
- Corporate Policy and Performance
- Customer Relations
- Customer Relations
- Public Services Board
- Human Resources
- Surplus Land and Property
- Capital Schemes
- Revenue Proposals over £300,000
Following the introduction, the Democratic and Scrutiny Services Officer provided an overview of the key elements regarding meetings, agendas and the scrutiny function including the call in process. The call-in process being the mechanism used whereby any individual Vale of Glamorgan Councillor could ask for the relevant Scrutiny Committee to review a decision made by the Cabinet. Following the publishing of the Cabinet minutes, the call-in process contained a five day window in which decisions could be called in to the relevant Committee within 20 days of receipt of the request.
A further tool of use by Scrutiny Committee Members and any Vale of Glamorgan Councillor was the Request for Consideration process, which provided the opportunity for any Member of the Council to put forward a Request for Consideration to a relevant Scrutiny Committee on a matter they wished to discuss. Although the call-in process had to be approved by the Chairman, there was no right of veto with regard to requests for consideration with being managed through the agenda preparation process and work programme schedule.
In addition the Democratic and Scrutiny Services Officer briefly outlined the Committee’s work programme, decision tracking function, and the process that had been adopted for members of the public to participate in Scrutiny Committee proceedings. A copy of the Public Participation Guide was available on the Council’s website.
In referring to key contacts for the Committee, the Managing Director referred to the Head of Finance, the Head of Legal Services, the Head of Human Resources, the Head of Performance and Development and the Head of Democratic Services as the main contact points. He stated that one of the main work areas would be in relation to the overall monitoring of performance against the Corporate Plan together with other reports as follows:
- Performance Monitoring – Council wide
- Key workforce issues – engagement, development, turnover, absence
- Lead Scrutiny – Budget setting
- Budget monitoring – Revenue and Capital
- Reshaping Programme – overarching scrutiny of the management and delivery of the programme.
The Managing Director also referred to the Council as being the top performing Welsh Local Authority for 2 years running with a high customer satisfaction level with services of 92%.
The Section 151 Officer / Head of Finance referred to the key challenges and took the opportunity to remind Members of the Mandatory Financial induction briefing in which was scheduled to take place prior to the next meeting of the Scrutiny Committee in July. It was noted that whereas each Scrutiny Committee would receive the revenue and capital monitoring information within their Committees remit the Corporate Performance and Resources Scrutiny Committee would receive all the financial details for each of the Committees as lead Scrutiny Committee for Resources. The Council had a net budget of circa £215 million for 2017 /18 with £23.5m having been saved over the last 3 years. £4m was required to be saved this year and £7.7m in 18/19.
In referring to the Reshaping Services programme Members were advised that this was a blend of service specific projects and corporate initiatives, with the Performance and Resources Scrutiny Committee having the overarching role of scrutinising the whole programme, how the agenda was being driven forward and whether it had the appropriate momentum. The Resources Directorate was required to save £1.4 million over the coming year and next as part of the programme. The aim of the programme being to reshape the Council to enable it to meet the future needs of citizens of the Vale within the context of unprecedented financial challenges. This would include identifying alternative ways of delivering services, mitigating the impact of cuts to service users and developing the Council and its partners to ensure they are able to meet future challenges.
The Head of Performance and Development in presenting to Committee referred to a Mixed Economy Model of shaped services, integration, commissioning, community empowerment and collaboration. In referring to work under development for the future he made reference to a Digital Vale with new technology responding to new demands and income generation and commercial opportunities to drive through efficiencies.
The Head of Human Resources, referred to a number of outcomes as a result of the Council’s management development programme, with particular reference to the Council’s Staff Charter, Leadership Café and staff development. He advised that the Council needed to ensure it was Future Fit by investment in staff and Member development, by reshaping the workforce with meaningful engagement at all levels and improved motivation and attendance. A positive response rate of 72% had also been realised through staff engagement.
Following the presentation, it was subsequently
RECOMMENDED – T H A T the officers be thanked for the comprehensive presentation and that the challenges and issues for the future be noted.
Reason for recommendation
Having regard to the detail of the information provided.
79 4TH QUARTER SCRUTINY DECISION TRACKING OF RECOMMENDATIONS AND WORK PROGRAMME SCHEDULE 2017/18 (MD) –
Committee was advised of progress in relation to the Scrutiny Committee’s recommendations and requested to consider the work programme schedule for r 2017/18.
Appendix A to the report referred to the 4th Quarter recommendations January to March 2017 and Appendix B previous Scrutiny Committee recommendations for the Municipal Year 2014/15. Appendix C detailed the proposed work programme schedule for 2017/18.
Following consideration of the work programme schedule, a Member recognised the need for the Committee to monitor the progress of the Reshaping Services programme with it being suggested that this be reviewed by the Committee on a regular basis. It was further requested that the Committee receives six monthly updates on the City Deal and the operation of the Public Services Board in view of the Committees over-arching role.
A Member sought clarity in relation the decision tracking recommendation Minute No. 263 “… The content of all webpages is now available bilingually” referring to the length of time this had taken to be completed. The Head of Performance and Development advised that there had been a longstanding commitment to ensuring the availability of information in Welsh and in between that development the Welsh Language standards had been introduced. A review of all the website pages managed by the Council’s Communication and Web Services Team had been undertaken together with a comprehensive review of all content on the Council’s website, reviewed for style, relevance, accessibility, with a considerable amount being deleted. All this work had now been completed. Committee was further advised that the Council’s website was also available in Welsh by clicking the appropriate language tool bar.
Following a further query from a Member as to whether there was a way of monitoring public engagement within the Council’s website, the Head of Performance and Development confirmed that this information could be captured and that he would be happy to bring a further report to the Committee on the matter in due course.
Following consideration of the report it was subsequently
(1) T H A T the recommendations deemed completed as below be accepted:
24 January 2017
Min. No. – 3rd Quarter Scrutiny Decision Tracking of Recommendations and Updated Work Programme Schedule 2016/17 (MD) – Recommended
(2) That the Scrutiny Committee Work Programme as set out in Appendix C to the report be agreed and made available on the Council’s website.
Work programme uploaded to the Council’s website.
17 July 2014 [previous Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources)]
Min. No. 263 – Corporate and Customer Services End of Year Performance Report 2013/14 and Target Setting 2014/15 (MD) – Recommended That the Head of Performance and Development undertake a review of the English language provision on the Council’s external website with a view to reducing the number of web pages in the first instance to enable further website development of the Welsh language provision so that it mirrored the English provision. The report was also to include the availability of additional search engine information for the Council’s website and the available data illustrating the use of access to the Council’s website by the use of smart phones and tablets and any information regarding the development of software applications to access the Council website.
A comprehensive review of all content on the Council’s website, under which all content was systematically reviewed for style, relevance, and accessibility, and a considerable amount of it deleted, has now been completed. The content of all webpages is now available bilingually.
A review of how the all websites managed by the Council’s Communications and Web Services teams has also been undertaken. A new content management system is due to be available to the teams shortly. Once it is live content managers across the organisation will be trained and new corporate standards for maintaining content will be put into effect.
Google analytics reports are now run on a monthly basis. These provide information on how customers are currently accessing the website.
(2) T H A T the work programme schedule at Appendix C be amended to include the following and subsequently be uploaded to the Council’s website:
- Reshaping Services Programme – regular updates
- City Deal – six monthly updates
- Public Services Board – regular updates
- Capturing Public Engagement within the Council’s website.
Reasons for recommendations
(1) To confirm the status of the actions listed in Appendices A and B to the report.
(2) That the work programme schedule attached at Appendix C be amended and uploaded to the Council’s website and include the suggested reports as outlined in the meeting.