CORPORATE PERFORMANCE AND RESOURCES SCRUTINY COMMITTEE
Minutes of a meeting held on 22nd March, 2018.
Present: Councillor G.D.D. Carroll (Chairman); Councillor V.P. Driscoll (Vice-Chairman); Councillors R. Crowley, O. Griffiths, S.J. Griffiths, P.G. King, N. Moore, L.O. Rowlands and E. Williams.
813 APOLOGY FOR ABSENCE –
This was received from Councillor Dr. I.J. Johnson.
814 MINUTES –
RECOMMENDED – T H A T the minutes of the meeting held on 15th February, 2018 be approved as a correct record.
815 DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST –
No declarations were received.
816 REVENUE MONITORING FOR THE PERIOD 1ST APRIL 2017 TO 31ST JANUARY 2018 (MD) –
The report sought to apprise the Committee on the position of the Council’s revenue budget for the above period and the anticipated achievement of approved saving targets for the year.
The Head of Finance indicated that certain services were anticipating adverse variances at the year end and would therefore require the use of reserves to balance budgets. Details were provided within the report which were outlined as below.
Learning and Skills
The forecast was showing an improved position to that last reported to the Committee in that the Service was now anticipated to break even following the transfer of £564,000 from the Learning and Skills reserve. The Committee was made aware that the Directorate was already taking a number of steps to mitigate the complex needs overspend, including freezing non-essential expenditure and holding budgeted posts vacant. As it was already planned that a substantial amount of Learning and Skills reserves would be utilised in the year, it had been proposed that the remaining shortfall of £258,000 would be funded from the Council Fund if required to do so.
Schools – The delegated budget relating to schools was expected to balance as any under / over spend would be carried forward by schools.
Strategy, Culture, Community Learning and Resources – It was projected that the service would outturn with a favourable variance of £182,000 after drawing down £289,000 from reserves.
Directors Office – Is anticipated that this service would underspend by
Achievement for All – This service was currently predicted to outturn with an adverse variance of £567,000 which would be partially met by transfers from reserves of £275,000 resulting in an adverse variance at the year-end of £292,000.
School Improvement – It was anticipated that this service would underspend by £80,000 due to a freeze on expenditure and non-replacement of a senior post which had been held vacant in order to partially mitigate the overspend on complex needs.
Provision had been made within the budget to make unsupported borrowing debt repayments in relation to the Schools Investment Strategy of £598,000 per annum and any favourable variance on debt repayments would be directed into the Schools Investment Strategy.
The forecast for Social Services at year end had now improved to a potential overspend of circa £1m due to pressure on the Community Care budget.
Children and Young People Services – Pressure on the Children’s Placements budget had resulted in an overall projected overspend at the year-end of £200,000.
Adult Services – Continued pressure relating to the Community Care Packages budget was currently projecting an overspend by the year end of circa £800k.
Taking account of the above it was now proposed that up to £800k would be used in the current financial year from the Social Services Legislative Changes fund and £200,000 from the Social Services Pressures reserve to cover shortfall.
Environment and Housing
The service was currently projecting to outturn within target at the year end, subject to a contribution of £725,000 from reserves.
Highways and Engineering – There was currently a favourable variance of £156,000 against the profiled budget.
Waste Management – There was currently an adverse variance of £279,000 to the profiled budget due to overspends on staffing and transportation costs.
Leisure – There was currently a small adverse variance to the profiled budget due to the commencement of the Grounds Maintenance season.
Transportation – There was currently a favourable variance of £52,000 against the profiled budget due to lower than anticipated staff costs and a small underspend within the supported buses budget.
Visible Services Reshaping Services Savings Target – During 2017/18 there was a savings target of £525,000 allocated to Visible Services from the current Reshaping Services programme and linked to the introduction of a new target operating model for the service which was initially expected to be operational from late September 2017 but was not anticipated that the restructuring would full effect from April 2018. It was therefore anticipated that there would be shortfall in the savings of £525,000 for 2017/18 and it was proposed that this would be met from the Visible Services reserve.
Regulatory Services – It was currently reported that it was anticipated that the Shared regulatory Services would outturn on target.
Council Fund Housing – It was anticipated that this budget would outturn on target.
Public Sector Housing (HRA) – The HRA was expected to outturn on target and any underspends in year would be offset by additional contributions to Capital Expenditure thus reducing the reliance on Unsupported Borrowing.
Managing Director and Resources
It was currently projected this service would outturn within target at year end.
Resources – It was anticipated that this service would outturn within budget, however, it was anticipated that ICT would overspend by £200,000.
Regeneration – There was currently a small favourable variance against profiled budget as income due to be generated from commercial opportunities at Country Parks and car parking at Cosmeston had not been implemented.
Development Management – There was currently a favourable variance against the profiled budget due mainly to higher than anticipated building regulation and planning fees.
Private Housing – A balanced budget was forecast at the year end.
General Policy – It was predicted that there would be a favourable variance of £1.83m relating to capital charges and a £1.6m positive variance relating to Council Tax given the continued effectiveness of collection. £4m had been set aside in reserves.
As part of the Final Revenue Budget Proposals for 2017/18, a savings target of £4.017m had been set for the Authority. Set out at Appendix 1 was a statement detailing each savings targets with an update of progress and it was currently projected that there would be a shortfall of £1.009m in the achievement of this year’s target.
The current Medium Term Financial Plan assumed a reduction in Welsh Government funding of 3% for the years 2018/19, 2019/20 and 2020/21. This resulted in the requirement to find savings of £20.941m over this period, with £9.326m currently being identified. There were therefore further savings to be identified of £11.615m over the three year period. The latest Plan factored in a managed level of cost pressures, a notional increase in Council Tax of 2.6% each year, price inflation of 0.5% and annual pay awards of 1.6% each year from 2018/19.
Details of the final budget settlement for 2018/19 were received from Welsh Government in December 2017 and final proposals were presented to Cabinet on 19th February 2018. Taking into account adjustments for transfers into the Revenue Settlement Grant and new responsibilities, there was a cash reduction of 0.41% (£634k). This is a smaller reduction than the 3% (£4.486m) projected in the MTFP, although it does not take into account inflation. As part of the final settlement, WG has also provided an indicative figure for the change in AEF for 2019/20 which is a further reduction of 1%. Taking these factors into account the final revenue budget proposals shows savings required over the next 3 years of £16.909m which is a reduction of £4.032m from the figure included in the MTFP. This projection also included a projected increase in Council Tax in 2019/20 and 2020/21 of 3%, in line with the current level of CPI. Pay inflation has been included at 2% with a higher rate for pay point 19 and below and a targeted level of non-pay inflation.
A number of specific comments / concerns were made by the Committee in relation to the ongoing use of reserves which, in the opinion of Members, were not insignificant, to balance various budgets to obtain a break even position. Reference was also made to post vacancies and to the potential risk to the Council as it moved forward should agency staff be needed at additional costs. Members reiterated points made at previous meetings of the Committee relating to concerns regarding the reprofiling of savings contained within the Reshaping Services Programme and increased cost as a result single sources waste collection.
Having regard to the above and related issues, it was
(1) T H A T the position in regard to the Council’s revenue budget for the period 1st April, 2017 to 31st January, 2018 be noted.
(2) T H A T Scrutiny Committee’s concern regarding the ongoing use of reserves be drawn to the attention of the Cabinet.
Reason for recommendations
(1&2) In acknowledgement of the Scrutiny Committee’s responsibility for monitoring the revenue budget.
817 CAPITAL MONITORING REPORT FOR THE PERIOD 1ST APRIL 2017 TO 31st January, 2018 (MD) –
The Head of Finance provided the Scrutiny Committee with an update on the 2017/18 Capital Programme for the above period.
Appendix 1 detailed the financial progress on the Capital Programme for the above period.
(1) T H A T Scrutiny Committee note the progress made on the 2017/18 Capital Programme.
(2) T H A T Scrutiny Committee notes the use of Delegated Authority to:
- Cadoxton Primary Water Heater - Include a new scheme with a budget of £17k to be funded through a virement from the Education Asset Renewal Contingency budget.
- Ysgol Sant Curig Playground Resurfacing - Include a new scheme with a budget of £18k to be funded through a virement from the Education Asset Renewal Contingency budget.
- Ysgol Iolo Morgannwg Boiler Renewal - Include a new scheme with a budget of £40k to be funded through a virement from the Education Asset Renewal Contingency budget.
(3) T H A T Scrutiny Committee note the following changes to the 2017/18 and 2018/19 Capital Programme:
- Fairfield Nursery Adaptions - Increase this budget by £3k to be funded by a contribution from the Education revenue budget.
- St. Cyres Lower School Marketing & Disposal - The carry forward of £30k into the 2018/19 capital programme.
- Eagleswell Marketing & Disposal - The carry forward of £15k into the 2018/19 Capital Programme.
- St. Cyres Comprehensive Grounds Maintenance Store - Increase this scheme budget by £3k to be funded £1.5k from the Schools Rationalisation Reserve and £1.5k revenue contribution from the School.
- Ysgol Dewi Sant, Llantwit Major - Vire £21k into the Education Asset Renewal Contingency Budget.
- Modular Building Resiting Ysgol Dewi Sant - Vire £55k into the Education Asset Renewal Contingency Budget.
- Asbestos Removal - The carry forward of £8k into the 2018/19 Capital Programme.
- Residential Homes Toilet Refurbishments - Amalgamate this scheme with the Residential Home Refurbishment Scheme.
- Visible Services Asset Renewal - The carry forward of £135k in the 2018/19 Capital Programme.
- Street Lighting Replacement - The carry forward of £65k into the 2018/19 Capital Programme.
- Highways Infrastructure Improvements - The carry forward of £97k into the 2018/19 Capital Programme.
- Court Road Car Park - The carry forward of £20k into the 2018/19 Capital Programme.
- Llanmaes Flood Management Scheme - The carry forward £145k into the 2018/19 Capital Programme.
- Flood Risk Management - Increase this budget by £5,460 to be funded by Welsh Government grant.
- Dinas Powys to Cardiff Corridor Bus Priority Measures - Vire £17k to the WelTag Stage Two Transport Network Appraisal for Dinas Powys scheme.
- Byrd Crescent Community Centre - Vire 6.5k from Parks and Grounds Asset Renewal scheme to the Byrd Crescent Community Centre scheme.
- Romilly Mess Room - Vire £2k from Italian Shelter Penarth, £8k from Community Centres and £16k from Parks and Grounds Asset Renewal budgets to the Romilly Mess Room scheme.
- Waste Recycling and Coastal Management Asset Renewal - Vire £85k to the Barry Island Shelter scheme and carry forward £30k into the 2018/19 Capital Programme.
- Penarth Pier - The carry forward of £23k into the 2018/19 Capital Programme.
- Barry Regeneration Partnership - The carry forward of £85k into the 2018/19 Capital Programme.
- Tackling Poverty - The carry forward of £129k into the 2018/19 Capital Programme.
- Cosmeston Medieval Village - Increase this budget by £28k to be funded by a contribution from the Regeneration revenue budget.
- Innovation Quarter Regeneration Fund - Vire £55k to the Skills Centre Property Conversion scheme, £35k in 2017/18 and carry forward £20k into the 2018/19 Capital Programme.
- Marketing and Disposal of the Innovation Quarter - The carry forward of £31k into the 2018/19 Capital Programme.
- Marketing and Disposal of Nell's Point - The carry forward £18k into the 2018/19 Capital Programme.
- Cogan Hall Farm - Amalgamate this scheme with 'Safe Routes in Communities - Dinas Powys to Penarth via Cosmeston scheme.
- Improve Pedestrian movements along Treharne Road - The carry forward of £145k into the 2018/19 Capital Programme.
- Improve access into Cogan Primary School - The carry forward of £30k into 2018/19 Capital Programme.
- Improvement Works at Heol Llidiard Community Hall - The carry forward £15k to the 2018/19 Capital Programme.
- Fferm Goch Public Open Space - The carry forward of £41k into the 2018/19 Capital Programme.
- Dochdwy Road Public Open Space - The carry forward of £31k into the 2018/19 Capital Programme.
- Sustainable Transport Improvements Penarth Heights - The carry forward of £40k into the 2018/19 Capital Programme.
- DDA Adaptions to Council - The carry forward of £50k into the 2018/19 Capital Programme.
- Dock Offices - external repairs - The carry forward of £80k into the 2018/19 Capital Programme.
- Community Initiatives - Vire £6k to the Community Centre Works scheme.
(4) T H A T Scrutiny Committee notes the use of Emergency Powers to:
- Flying Start Update and Upgrade ICT Equipment - Approve the inclusion of a new scheme in the capital programme with a budget of £17k to be funded from Welsh Government Grant.
- Flying Start Outdoor Play Area and Canopy - Approve the inclusion of a new scheme in the capital programme with a budget of £15k to be funded from Welsh Government Grant.
- Tackling Poverty - Increase this scheme budget by £80k to be funded from Welsh Government Grant.
- Skills Training Centre Property Conversion - Increase this scheme budget by £80k to be funded from Welsh Government Grant.
- Skills Training Centre Car Park - The carry forward of £99k into the 2018/19 Capital Programme.
Reasons for recommendations
(1) To advise Committee of the progress on the Capital Programme.
(2) To advise Committee of the use of Delegated Authority.
(3) To allow schemes to proceed in the current and future financial year.
(4) To advise Committee of the use of Emergency Power.
818 SERVICE PLANS 2018-22: HUMAN RESOURCES, LEGAL SERVICES, FINANCE, ICT, PERFORMANCE AND DEVELOPMENT AND DEMOCRATIC SERVICES (MD) –
Service Plans for 2018-22 which fell within the remit of the Scrutiny Committee specifically identified how each Head of Service will contribute towards achievement of Corporate Plan Well-being Outcomes by asking two questions:
"Which well-being objectives does the service contribute to and what actions will we be taking this year to achieve these?"
"How will we manage our resources to achieve these actions and support our service?"
Informed by the Annual Self-Assessment, the Service Plans also comprised a brief overview of the issues facing the service against each of the corporate health perspectives (Risk, Customer Focus, Resources – workforce, finance, assets, ICT). The Plans included an action plan for how resources would be used to support the delivery of well-being outcome actions as well as managing risks, collaboration and engagement activities.
- Appendix 1 contained the Service Plans for Human Resources, Legal Services, Finance, ICT, Performance and Development and Democratic Services. Key areas of note within the Service Plans were:
- Section 1 – Introduction: Set the context for the Service Plan and provided an overview of the service area, the purpose of the Plan, and the key service considerations which had informed development of the Plan.
- Section 2 – The Council’s priorities for 2018-21: Outlined the specific actions that the service would be taking during 2018/19 to contribute towards the Corporate Plan Well-being Objectives and Outcomes and the relevant Scrutiny Committee responsible. It also identified the key enabling actions the service would be taking to support its achievement of the Well-being Outcomes, for example through reshaping of its services.
- Section 3 – Outlined what actions the Service would undertake during 2018/19 to contribute to Year 3 of the Corporate Plan Well-being Outcomes and Objectives. It also described how the service would manage its resources to deliver its priorities in the Service Plan and outlined key workforce development priorities, significant ICT projects, required budget savings and areas of focus in relation to assets, procurement and major capital projects. This section also identified how the service would engage with stakeholders and work in partnership / collaborate to achieve its priorities and incorporated a service risk evaluation.
- Appendices A and B (within the Service Plan) contained the Service's Improvement Action Plan for 2018/19. This identified planned service actions, intended outcomes and key milestones, relevant performance measures to demonstrate progress, responsible officer, timescales for completion and the anticipated resources requirements of planned actions.
- Appendix C set out the risk evaluation scores for service specific risks and those corporate level risks which impacted on the respective service.
- All Service Plans incorporate Integrated Planning Priorities/ actions CP1 and CP2 to demonstrate their contribution to the Corporate Plan priorities in relation to Reshaping Services and workforce planning and management of attendance respectively, which fell within the remit the remit of this Committee. Progress against these would be reported via quarterly performance reports to the Committee.
In referring to their respective Service Plans, each Head of Service made the Committee aware of the generic actions contained therein and how these were working to support significant corporate priorities across the Authority i.e. to deliver the Reshaping Services Programme and internally within the Directorate to meet its own savings target. In addition, each Head of Service highlighted key service specific actions that would be undertaken over the life of each Plan relating to the following:
Human Resources –
- Deliver the Council’s transformational change programme;
- Align the Workforce Plan to the Reshaping Services Strategy;
- Develop new Performance Development Review system for staff which reflected the Corporate Plan;
- Undertake a Staff Engagement Strategy for 2018;
- Contribute towards meeting the Directorate’s savings target of £700,000;
- Further develop front end (and multi- discipline) service skills in the HR Employee service team and increase the use of new technologies to improve speed and access to advice and information for our customers;
- Undertake a skills audit across all service areas to increase capacity across the Council;
- Support the development needs associated with the Council’s Digital Strategy;
- Develop and implement a strategy to respond to the issue of occupational segregation;
- Continue to refine the training and development ‘offer’ to support the Management Development Competency Framework;
- Review key employment policies to help deal more effectively with issues of grievance, underperformance and capability;
- Support the development of appropriate corporate systems including training in order to ensure the Council complies with the General Data Protection Regulation;
- Reframe the Council’s Employee Learning and Development Strategy;
- Review annually, the completion rates and effectiveness of the staff appraisal scheme ‘#itsaboutme’;
- Improve the links between the staff appraisal scheme and learning and development;
- Reduce advertising publication costs by use of the National Procurement Service Media contract and by switching from the press to on line and social media options where appropriate in line with the Council’s Digital Strategy;
- Review the Organisational Development and Training team structure;
- Emphasise the development of business partnering skills and change and transformational skills across the HR service to support the Council’s Reshaping Services Agenda;
- Continue to provide support and development for team members whilst transitioning to the new HR model of service delivery;
- Maximise the use of mobile/ agile working across the service where appropriate;
- Roll out Oracle HR self service facilities for all managers and staff;
- Implement a DBS administration and processing IT system (E- Bulk DBS);
- Pilot a managers’ dashboard to display key HR data.
Performance and Development –
- Progress proposals through the Reshaping Programme Board, seek Cabinet approval for business cases as required and implement approved projects where appropriate;
- Develop tranche 3 projects for Digital Vale, 3rd Party Spend, Income Generation and Commercial Opportunities and Establishment Review for the Reshaping Services programme and seek Cabinet approval for business cases as required;
- Continue to develop and contribute to the corporate projects work streams, including Town and Community Councils, Voluntary and Third Sector, Demand Management and Effectiveness of Spend;
- Contribute to the development of a programme of training (as part of the Management Competency Framework) to support managers in delivering the Reshaping Services programme;
- Work with services to ensure appropriate resourcing for Reshaping Services projects in order to achieve the required transformational change;
- Deliver the work to ensure the service contributes to finding the £700,000 savings required from the Resources Directorate in 2018/19;
- Explore and promote further opportunities for Community Asset Transfers in light of the revised Compact with the Voluntary Sector and the Strong Communities Grant Fund;
- Develop opportunities to generate income from existing C1V resources;
- Deliver the final phase of the Space Project to improve efficiency in the way services operate and deliver financial savings;
- Explore emerging collaborative opportunities arising from the Local Government Reform White Paper ‘Reforming Local Government: Resilient and Renewed’ and lead the Council’s response;
- Continue to strengthen the performance management and support arrangements Performance and Development in relation to sickness absence within the service;
- Continue to transfer expertise and skills in corporate areas such as consultation / engagement, performance reporting and equalities monitoring to services to build capacity and ensure consistency in approach across the Council;
- Continue to build resilience in Performance and Development teams by focussing on up-skilling and increasing flexibility in skill sets and encouraging self-development;
- Work with partners to deliver the four well-being objectives in ‘Our Vale Our Future’ the Public Services Board’s Well-being Plan for 2018-23;
- Implement the Public Engagement Framework and supporting action plan for 2018/19;
- Work with services to ensure learning from complaints to improve how we deliver services;
- Develop and implement a new internal communications strategy and action plan for the Vale of Glamorgan Council to more effectively promote the organisation’s values and aid the delivery of the Corporate Plan, Staff Charter and Reshaping Services programme;
- Continue our work with the WAO to pilot an assessment framework to help inform the national framework for auditing Councils’ implementation of the Wellbeing of Future Generations Act;
- Work with services to implement the remaining proposals for improvement arising from the WAO Corporate Assessment relating to finance, ICT and asset management;
- Continue to work with Elected Members and officers to further enhance performance reporting arrangements aligned to the Corporate Plan;
- Further enhance our ‘Insight Approach’ to integrated business planning to join up and simplify decision making across the organisation;
- Work with services and risk owners to embed the revised approach to corporate and service risk management;
- Continue to work with service directorates to develop a business partnering approach to improvement planning and service development consistent with Corporate Plan priorities and national Wellbeing outcomes;
- Procure and implement a new Performance Management System to inform performance processes and provide timely insight into the Council’s performance to inform decision making;
- Develop and publish an Annual Report that incorporates both an Annual Wellbeing Report as required by the Wellbeing of Future Generation Act and a performance assessment as required by the Local Government Measure, including a review of all regulatory requirements.
Finance & ICT –
- Deliver the final phases of the Space Project to further contribute to a reduction in the amount of accommodation used to deliver services and improve efficiency in the way services operate;
- Support implementation of the Council’s Digital Strategy as part of tranche 3 of the Reshaping Services Programme;
- Support the review of corporate procurement (third party spend) and contribute to identifying savings to achieve the £1m target for 2018/19, in line with the Reshaping Services Programme;
- Conclude the review of ICT systems and software across the Council to ensure they are fit for purpose;
- Work with services to maximise income generation opportunities in line with the Council’s Income Generation Strategy;
- Continue working towards Payment Card Industry (PCI) Compliance to ensure secure payment processing arrangements are in place that meet the required standards, supporting delivery of the Council’s Digital Strategy;
- Continue reviewing ICT services and projects as part of Tranche 2 of the Reshaping Services programme;
- Further develop succession planning arrangements within the service in order to retain expertise and skills especially in business critical areas for the long term;
- Build resilience within the service by focussing on up-skilling and developing flexibility in skill sets across all teams and encouraging self- development;
- Encourage staff engagement in corporate initiatives to further develop a culture that supports the wider change programme (Reshaping Services agenda) and corporate identity;
- Continue to build on existing collaborative working arrangements within Finance and ICT and explore new opportunities to improve resilience within the service especially in specialist areas of work and in order to deliver fully integrated working practices e.g. expansion of the existing Joint Internal Audit Service partnership;
- Consult on the 2019/20 Budget with residents and our key partners;
- Review and agree the Medium Term Financial Plan for 2018/19 to 2021/22;
- Develop and implement a central contracts register for the Council to enable effective procurement and contract management;
- Continue to roll-out digital procurement and invoicing across the Council;
- Work with service departments to maximise opportunities for Community Asset Transfers where appropriate;
- Conclude the review of the Council’s Print Strategy and procure a replacement contract tender for 2018/19;
- Continued roll-out of Universal Credit with associated staffing implications as the administration of the scheme transfers to DWP and potential risk for Council Tax collection rates.
- Contribute to the work of the Directorate to achieve the required savings target of £700k in 2018/19;
- Continue to support the Council’s Reshaping Services agenda and its associated projects in relation to: advice on financial matters, ICT and property assets and internal control, governance and risk management;
- Continue to review office and non-office accommodation, facilities management and corporate buildings as part of the SPACE project;
- Contribute to the preparatory work to identify £700k savings required for the Resources Directorate in 2018/2019;
- Provide legal support to enable the Council’s Reshaping Services Programme timetable and associated Project Plans to be adhered to;
- Review and strengthen the performance management and support arrangements in relation to sickness absence within the service although it was noted that the Service was currently within its current performance target;
- Review and implement approaches to increase role flexibility within Legal Services;
- Increase service resilience by transferring specialist knowledge and legal skills across Legal Services teams;
- Finalise the Local Dispute Resolution Procedure in respect of Members in consultation with the Standards Committee and Council;
- Provide training on the Members’ Code of Conduct and governance to new Members including co-opted Member (as and when required);
- Support the Council’s services in responding to the implications of new and emerging legislation;
- Support the Council’s services in responding to the implications of new legislation including the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015 and the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014;
- Conclude the electoral arrangement review and consultation of one building at the Waterfront Barry, Cowbridge and Llanblethian Town Council/Penllyn and St. Brides Major Community Council;
- Roll out replacement laptops and upgrade to Windows 10 across legal services;
- Preparation for the Local Boundary Commission’s review for the principal area in April 2019;
- Deliver the Canvass for 2018;
- Publicise the revised electoral register on the 1st December, 2018;
- Complete an Absent Voters Refresh between January and March 2019.
- Undertake the preparatory work to ensure the service contributes to finding the savings required in the Resources directorate in 2018/19;
- Undertake a review of the existing Community Asset Transfer guidance to support the Town and Community Council’s Reshaping Work stream;
- Undertake a review of the Charter between the Vale of Glamorgan Council and Town and Community Councils;
- Explore/extend income generation opportunities within the division;
- Continue to develop the skills of staff within the Scrutiny and Democratic Services teams to enable full interface across the Scrutiny and Committee Services functions;
- Develop and put in place succession planning arrangements at management level (given the retirement of the Operational Manager at the end of May 2018);
- Undertake a review of our existing Information Sharing Protocol Framework and associated templates to raise awareness amongst staff;
- Develop charging policies for Environmental Information requests;
- Review the success of the Income Generation Policy for Registration Services;
- Review and strengthen the performance management arrangements in relation to sickness absence within the service.
- Maintain and/or Increase size of existing pool of Relief Registrars.
- Agree a way forward to implement joint Scrutiny arrangements for the Cardiff Capital Region City Deal;
- Procure and implement a Hybrid Mail system;
- Procure and implement (in conjunction with officers from Facilities and ICT) a new ‘Webcasting’ solution;
- Delivery of the Member Development Programme;
- Contribute to delivery of Corporate Print Strategy and its priorities;
- Implement the General Data Protection Regulations Action Plan;
- Deliver refresher training on Data Protection and information sharing;
- Develop a protocol to enable us to reuse information under the Open Government licence;
During consideration of the Service Plans the following comments were made:
Legal Services - Taking account of the Service based risks relating to small teams working in specialised areas, the Head of Service provided an assurance that the service was and would continue to work towards providing workforce resilience and appropriate contingency arrangements were in place should any staff matters arise.
Finance and ICT - In referring to workforce matters experienced by the Internal Audit Service assurances were sought that there was sufficient capacity to facilitate any expansion of the same with it being noted South West Audit Partnership had been engaged to undertake certain planned audit work and funded from existing budgets. Separate comments were also made by the Committee relating to the various staff issues i.e. Single Status and TUPE as the administration of Universal Credit transferred to the DWP; the measurable impact on Council Tax collection rates as a result of Universal Credit roll out; the slow progress of CATs with associated implications for service savings.
The Head of Service responded by confirming that staff affected as a consequence of the transfer of Universal Credit to the DWP were subject of TUPE Legislation. However, it was possible that staff redundancies could not be ruled out. In regard to the existing Internal Audit Shared Service, this had been encountering difficulties in recruiting appropriately qualified staff for some time as salary competition had increased from the private sector. The Council was making every effort to train and develop its staff. The potential expansion of the existing joint service if agreed, would provide greater workforce resilience. In regard to CATs progress, she alluded to the pending review of the existing policy which would provide clarification surrounding options open to the Council.
Performance and Development - A number of Members reiterated concern relating to CATs progress made at previous meetings of the Scrutiny Committee and the associated implications for savings targets identified within the Council’s Reshaping Services Programme. The Head of Service responded by acknowledging the slow progress but, this was not necessarily a negative thing as it allowed both the Council and Town and Community Councils to pause and give further thought to potential areas of mutual interest. The current Policy was to be reviewed, allow for greater flexibility and to identify areas where CATs could be identified i.e. non-strategic. A further report on the Policy Review would be considered by Cabinet in July 2018. A Member expressed concern that CATs did not create a climate of double taxation. The Head of Service responded by stressing that it was important that the public did not lose out as a result of CATs by passing on the tax burden to them.
Democratic - A Member, in referring to officer support provided for CATs, enquired if this would continue in the future. The Operational Manager confirmed this would be the case.
The Chairman and Members referred to the Operational Manager’s impending retirement at the end of May 2018 and wished to place on record their thanks for his service and commitment to the Council during his 46 year career in local government.
(1) T H A T the Service Plans in respect of Human Resources, Legal Services, Finance & ICT, Performance and Development and Democratic Services for 2018-2022 be endorsed.
(2) T H A T the Head of Finance submit a report to a future meeting on progress of an expanded Joint Internal Audit Service.
(3) T H A T the thanks and gratitude of the Committee be extended to Mr. Jeff Wyatt, Operational Manager - Democratic Services for his service to the Council on his impending retirement.
Reasons for recommendations
(1) To confirm the status of the Service Plans as primary documents against which performance for the Corporate Plan / Corporate Health Outcome will be measured.
(2) To allow the matter to be monitored
(3) In acknowledgement of the Chief Officer’s long local government service.
819 QUARTER 3 (2017-18) PERFORMANCE REPORT: CORPORATE HEALTH (MD) –
Consideration was given to the performance results for Quarter 3, 1st April to 30th December, 2017, for the Corporate Plan Well-being Outcomes and Corporate Health.
It had been reported that an overall Amber RAG status had been attributed to delivering the key outcomes as outlined in the Council’s Corporate Plan for the period 2016/17.
An overall Green RAG status had been attributed to Corporate Health reflecting the positive progress made to date in integrating the Council’s business planning practices and in promoting a “One Council” approach, to maximising limited resources to deliver the Council’s Well-being Outcomes at Quarter 3, a Green performance status had been attributed to ten out of eleven Corporate Plan Actions focusing on Corporate Health aspects. In addition, an overall RAG status of Green had been attributed to the performance measures relating to Corporate Health with five out of the six measures reported against Corporate Health having met or exceeded the target this quarter.
Set out in Appendix A to the report were details of progress at Quarter 3 towards achieving the Council’s Corporate Health priorities.
All 4 of the Corporate Plan Well-being Outcomes were attributed an overall RAG status of AMBER at Q3 contributing to an overall AMBER status for the progress made to date in delivering our priorities as outlined in the Corporate Plan 2016-20.
An overview of overall progress against the Corporate Plan Well-being Objectives and how this contributes to the national Well-being Goals is provided in the Corporate Plan Summary Report at Appendix B.
A number of questions were raised by Members relating to the following matters:
- The evidence to support an increase in levels of child autism
- CPM/085 - percentage increase in Facebook likes (Vale of Glamorgan Life). The merit of retaining the performance indicator given the various other social media platforms, none of which the Council had little influence from a user perspective
- CPM/073 - site position (ranking of quality of websites in Wales - concern relating to the ranked position of the Council at the end of Quarter 3 in comparison to the Council’s ranked position for the same period in 2016/17.
In response, officers indicated that:
- Assessments evidence an increase in child autism
- Taking account of difficulties it was proposed that the baseline would be realigned
- Within the Target Setting report for 2017/18 to be considered later in the agenda, it was proposed that the performance indicator be deleted given the future usefulness of the information being collected.
(1) T H A T progress to date in achieving key outcomes in line with the Corporate Plan Well-being Outcomes and Corporate Health be noted.
(2) T H A T the performance results and remedial actions taken to address areas of underperformance be noted.
Reasons for recommendations
(1) To ensure that the Council demonstrated progress being made towards achieving its Corporate Plan Well-being Outcomes aimed at making a positive difference to the lives of Vale of Glamorgan citizens.
(2) To ensure that performance was effectively assessed in line with the requirements to secure continuous improvement as outlined in the Local Government Measure (Wales) 2009 and reflecting the requirement of the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act.
820 TARGET SETTING FOR 2018-19 (MD) –
The report detailed proposed targets aligned with the Corporate Health priorities as outlined in the Council’s Corporate Plan 2016-2020. Appendix 1 outlined the proposed targets for the Corporate Performance and Resources Scrutiny Committee and included all relevant performance indicators that fit within the remit of the Scrutiny Committee. Targets had been set for those performance indicators that were continuing into 2018/19. A number of indicator amendments and deletions were proposed for 2018/19 following a review of existing CPMs and Members were asked to endorse these changes.
As part of the target setting process for 2018/19, as indicated above, a review had been undertaken of the existing Corporate Performance Measures (CPMs) aligned to the Corporate Plan Well-being Outcomes and Corporate Health priorities. This had ensured that measures in place provided the best representation of activities / outcomes required and that data would be available on a quarterly basis for a set of key measures for each Well-being Outcome area thus enabling a balanced assessment of performance each quarter.
There were 28 performance measures proposed for collection during 2018/19, 26 of which were existing measures that are due to be carried forward in 2018/19. The Corporate Performance Framework was made up of 25 measures that were aligned to the integrated actions that enable delivery of the Corporate Plan. There were also 3 additional Public Accountability Measures (PAMs) that were not part of the Corporate Performance Framework, but could be aligned to the Corporate Plan. The collection and reporting of these PAMs would enable the continued benchmarking of the Council’s performance with other Local Authorities.
There are 7 measures that are proposed for deletion from the existing 2017/18 framework (CPM/221: Community Asset Transfers, CPM/228: committee meetings web casted, CPM/073/CPM/074 Site Morse position, CPM/225: Stage 2 Complaint resolutions, CPM/085: Facebook likes, and CPM/083: Twitter followers). A rationale for these proposed deletions were set out in Appendix 1 to the report. There were 2 new additional PAM Measures that had been identified for inclusion for 2018/19 that related to a National Survey for Wales. Both measures related to whether the public agreed that their Council was good at letting people know how it was performing and secondly, whether the public agreed that their Council does all it can to improve the local area.
Of the 25 measures that made up the Corporate Performance Framework, targets had been proposed for 19 measures. For 6 measures (CPM/212, CPM/213, CPM/219, CPM/222, CPM/076 and CPM/086) target setting was not possible, where this is the case a rationale for each has been provided in the Appendix. In relation to the additional measures, no targets had been set for the 3 PAM measures.
Within the Corporate Performance Framework of the 19 measures where it was possible to set a target, 9 had targets set to improve on the previous year's performance (2016/17), 3 had targets set to stay the same (in line) with the previous year and 5 have been set below the previous year's performance. Where this was the case a rationale had been provided in the Appendix to the report. A direction of travel was not available for 2 measures (CPM/231 and CPM/084).
Subject to the agreement of the Scrutiny Committee, these performance targets would be reported to the Cabinet meeting on 16th April, 2017 for approval.
Having considered the report, it was
(1) T H A T the proposed targets for 2018/19 aligned to Corporate Health priorities be endorsed.
(2) T H A T the following measures proposed for deletion be endorsed:
(3) T H A T the following measures proposed to be deleted, be retained:
Reasons for recommendations
(1&2) To ensure the Council reports a relevant set of indicators against which it could demonstrate achievement of its Well-being Outcomes and consistently sets challenging yet realistic performance improvement targets for those priorities in line with the requirements under the Local Government (Wales) Measure 2009
(3) To demonstrate that the Council ‘was open’ for business regarding CATs; to provide a better understanding of how many complaints proceeded to the Ombudsman.