Agenda and draft minutes

Finance and Resources Overview and Scrutiny
Tuesday, 6th November, 2018 7.30 pm

Venue: Conference Room 2 - The Forum. View directions

Contact: Corporate and Democratic Support  01442 228209

Items
No. Item

113.

Minutes

To confirm the minutes from the previous meeting

Minutes:

The minutes from 11 September 2018 were agreed and then signed by the Chairman.

 

114.

Apologies for absence

To receive any apologies for absence

Minutes:

 

Apologies for absence were received from Cllrs Fethney, Armytage and McLean. 

 

115.

Declarations of Interest

To receive any declarations of interest

 

A member with a disclosable pecuniary interest or a personal interest in a matter who attends a meeting of the authority at which the matter is considered -

 

(i)            must disclose the interest at the start of the meeting or when the interest becomes apparent

 

and, if the interest is a disclosable pecuniary interest, or a personal interest which is also prejudicial

 

(ii)           may not participate in any discussion or vote on the matter (and must withdraw to the public seating area) unless they have been granted a dispensation.

 

A member who discloses at a meeting a disclosable pecuniary interest which is not registered in the Members’ Register of Interests, or is not the subject of a pending notification, must notify the Monitoring Officer of the interest within 28 days of the disclosure.

 

Disclosable pecuniary interests, personal and prejudicial interests are defined in Part 2 of the Code of Conduct For Members

 

[If a member is in any doubt as to whether they have an interest which should be declared they should seek the advice of the Monitoring Officer before the start of the meeting]

 

Minutes:

None.

 

116.

Public Participation

An opportunity for members of the public to make statements or ask questions in accordance with the rules as to public participation

Minutes:

None.

 

117.

Consideration of any matter referred to the committee in relation to call-in

None.

Minutes:

None.

 

118.

Action points from the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 53 KB

Minutes:

The Chairman confirmed that the action points from the previous meeting were all completed and there were no comments.

 

119.

Budget Monitoring Q2 Report pdf icon PDF 179 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

F Jump presented the Budget Monitoring report and enquired if there were any questions.

 

Cllr Taylor queried the slippage of £2.8m as this was a considerable amount and was there cause for concern or any need to worry.  F Jump confirmed that the amount was correct but it would be spent and just the timetables had changed.

 

Cllr Guest asked about the void figures and what the Housing Department was doing to reduce them.  F Jump will need to ask Housing to confirm the position on the voids.

Action: F Jump

 

Cllr Tindall would like to understand the slippage on the garage development project and enquired if the £2.8m slippage was being treasury managed.  F Jump advised that the cash balances were being properly invested and highlighted the information contained in Appendix A, investment income at £262k.  F Jump will need to ask the Asset Management team for information on the slippage on the Garage Programme.

Action: F Jump

 

Cllr Tindall mentioned that on page 7 there was no explanation of why there is £70k exceeding budget for facilities management.  B Hosier explained that this was due to a number of items that have come up that was not known when setting the budget as they have arisen since moving into the building.  These are now taken into account for budget setting.

 

Cllr Tindall queried the expense on Clean, Safe and Green, where there have been a number of constituent complaints regarding the cutting of grass but there are also vacant posts.  F Jump confirmed she would contact the Assistant Director for a response.

Action: F Jump

 

Cllr Elliot asked about the slippage on the FM contract - what percentage would it be of the annual spend.  B Hosier will need to look at the percentage slippage and confirm.

Action: B Hosier

 

Cllr Tindall enquired about the slippage on 7.5 tenants charges and wondered if this was related to the window cleaning contract as there had been a number of constituent complaints that Supported Housing tenants were paying for a service that they were not receiving.  F Jump will need to check with Housing and confirm the position.

Action: F Jump

 

The Chairman mentioned item 4.3 supplies and services for co-mingled waste being  £450k over budget and asked if we were looking at income from recycled glass to help mitigate, as this used to bring in a lot of money.

 

The Chairman confirmed the recommendations and they were agreed by the Committee.

 

 

120.

Finance and Resources Q2 Performance Report pdf icon PDF 83 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Cllr Guest queried if anything was being done to mitigate the risk for FR_RO1 which is amber.  F Jump confirmed she would need to ask the service for more details.

Action: F Jump

 

Cllr Douris asked if the performance would be 92% on RBF06 if there hadn’t been any monitoring.  L Roberts advised that the service has had a very busy time of year, there had been sickness, holidays, bereavements and unplanned leave which had a significant affect and the close monitoring had enabled the team to achieve the 92%.

 

The Chairman read out the recommendations and the committee agreed.

 

121.

Corporate and Contracted Services Q2 Performance Report pdf icon PDF 110 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Cllr D Collins introduced the report on the Corporate and Contracted Services.  M Brookes went through the report and asked the Committee if there were any questions.

 

Cllr Tindall raised concerns at the number of Members who hadn’t had any development training.  M Brookes confirmed that we are very conscious of this and are working on a programme that will encourage Members to get involved.  There will also be some mandatory training.  Cllr Taylor advised that he had been working with the Internal Auditors to encourage people to attend training and are working on a process to audit which will be included in to the Audit Report.

 

Cllr Douris asked if we have a list of Members that had attended Member Development.  M Brookes advised that we do keep that information.  Cllr Douris confirmed that he wasn’t asking for it, but he was concerned about the level of frailty of the relationship between Democratic Services and the people that are responsible for the website.  He mentioned that meetings had been cancelled but hadn’t been changed on the website.  M Brookes will take this back to the team.

Action: M Brookes

 

The Chairman queried the two reports on DBC v Ogundipe on page 36 and why the closure order was required twice.  M Brookes confirmed that the original order was for 2 months and the perpetrator returned and continued the poor behaviour so a further closure order was obtained.  M Brookes will provide further detail on the case Ogundipe case for the Committee.

Action: M Brookes

 

Cllr Douris on behalf of the Mayor encouraged all Members to support charity events that have been arranged for this year.

 

 

122.

Performance, People & Innovation Q2 Performance Report pdf icon PDF 96 KB

Report to follow

Additional documents:

Minutes:

L Roberts went through the performance report for Quarter 2 of the People and Innovation team.  Questions arising were as follows:

 

Cllr Taylor mentioned that the trend is concerning where HR02a turnover of staffing is increasing and the days lost through sickness is increasing,  Also the budget is increasing.  Cllr Taylor said that he needs to be reassured.

 

Cllr Douris also highlighted that the information is missing in the final column.

 

L Roberts said this was a systems issue and that until it can be fixed we could improve the narrative. 

 

L Roberts also confirmed that we are working on new normal which will include activities for helping people and recruitment and retention.  Sickness is being addressed but we do have an older demographic who have more sickness.

 

The Chairman identified that he understood that the majority of people working for the Council were young, also he is Chair of the JNC where we had a reporting on mentoring people who were off sick and he felt this was a good way forward.  The figures are still going up so The Chairman would like to see if this was due to long term or short term sickness.

 

Cllr Douris added that it was difficult to understand the problems as we do not have the full facts.  L Roberts said that we might be able to put more information in the comments column to give Members a clearer picture of where we are with sickness.

 

Cllr Guest asked about the uptake of the flu vaccinations and who undertook them.  L Roberts confirmed that they were undertaken by Tesco, there had been a very good uptake and that it had also been offered to staff who were not frontline this year.

 

Cllr Tindall felt that short term sickness may be putting teams under pressure. There has been 8 years of austerity which puts pressures on staff.  Cllr Tindall suggested that we need to look at the symptoms and if it was due to the pressure that staff were under.

 

Cllr Tindall asked if there were any plans to improve Members technology.  Cllr D Collins responded that there was and new equipment was currently being looked at and it would be thoroughly tested.  A manual will be provided.

 

The Chairman confirmed the recommendations and the Committee agreed.

 

 

123.

Parking Enforcement Contract Performance pdf icon PDF 322 KB

Minutes:

Cllr D Collins introduced the report and BH went through the presentation.

 

Cllr Tindall asked about using fixed CCTV to enforce parking around schools zig-zag lines as there had been some near misses and he believed that schools would be very keen for this to be implemented.  B Hosier confirmed this is something that will be delivered as part of the contract, but it would be undertaken using a parked CCTV ANPR vehicle rather than a static camera.  We will be making contact with schools next year with the main focus on awareness and talking to the teachers and the children and get them on board.

 

Cllr Tindall queried the level of service and the difficulties recruiting and asked if this would contribute to the acceptable level of service.  B Hosier said that previously Civil Enforcement Officers would walk around but now they need to drive scooters and cars, this had caused Indigo some issues with recruitment.  Indigo are looking at ways to improve recruitment including increased salaries, they are also using temps.  If Indigo do not have full staff quota it will result in a payment to the Council.

 

Cllr Douris declared an interest as he sits on a panel called PATROL, which is the Parking & Traffic Regulations Outside London. 

 

Cllr Douris asked what is the percentage of appeals that we uphold and the percentage overturned.  B Hosier confirmed he did not have that information to hand but it is available on the website in the annual parking report and that he would ensure that a response to this question was sent out to the Committee.  Cllr Douris said that he hoped that it would feature in future parking reports.

 

The Chairman asked about the CPZ for blue badge holders and if they clearly state why they can’t manage online or if they haven’t got access to a computer.  B Hosier advised that they can write to us and apply for a virtual permit and visitor vouchers. 

 

Cllr Harden highlighted that there had been some issues for people who do not have access to computers and he was grateful to officers as they came up with a process for dealing with this.

 

Cllr Harden declared that he had read in the national papers that 50% of parking fines were won on appeal.  Cllr Douris said this was at Tribunal and not with the issuing authority.

 

The Chairman went through the recommendations and the Committee agreed.

 

 

124.

Work Programme pdf icon PDF 109 KB

Minutes:

There were no additions to the Work Programme.

 

125.

New Normal pdf icon PDF 454 KB

Minutes:

The New Normal Programme was introduced by Cllr D Collins and L Roberts presented the report.  Questions arising were as follows:

 

Cllr Tindall was very encouraged by this project and welcomed the changes.  Cllr Tindall commented that there was very little about resilience in the report and also he would like to see Members more involved, a good way forward might be to set up a Task and Finish Group.  L Roberts advised resilience is in the People Strategy, the New Normal Programme is about projects.  Cllr Harden clarified this was a working document and was about operational issues which would not include Members.

 

The Chairman mentioned that on page 2 item 2 it mentions the areas explored including having the right number of skilled people to deliver quality services and enquired if we do have the right people, partnerships and relationships.  L Roberts confirmed that we need to do workforce planning better and work with partners to ensure we are consistently providing best practice.

 

Cllr Tindall had met with Sally Marshall about skilled position and how we are finding it difficult to recruit.  Cllr Tindall asked if we are meeting with Universities to ensure they are offering the skills that we want.  The Chairman also mentioned Apprenticeships and how they can be used to give us the skills needed.  L Roberts advised that these are a part of a range of options we are considering, which also includes the Graduate Scheme.

 

Cllr Douris enquired how much we pay to the Apprenticeship Levy and how much of it that we use.  Also the paper says the right things but is only half way there.  Cllr Douris would like to see what the outcomes are.  There is also the constraint of a small budget.  Cllr Douris said that if we are looking to deliver change we should be bolder and more dynamic, which he did not see in the paper.  L Roberts confirmed this is about management of the projects not pieces of work and that was why it was a small budget.  The outcomes and specifics will be defined in the PID’s for each project.

 

The Chairman went through the recommendations and the Committee agreed.

 

 

126.

Updated action points pdf icon PDF 64 KB