Agenda and minutes

Finance and Resources Overview and Scrutiny - Tuesday, 7th March, 2023 7.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, The Forum. View directions

Contact: Corporate and Democratic Support  01442 228209

No. Item


Minutes pdf icon PDF 146 KB

To confirm the minutes from the previous meeting

Additional documents:


The minutes of the Finance and Resources OSC meeting held on 1 February 2023 were approved as an accurate record and signed by the Chairman.



Apologies for absence

To receive any apologies for absence


Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Chapman and Townsend.


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]



The Chairman requested that members raise any declarations of interest as appropriate for each agenda item during the course of the meeting.



Public Participation

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


There was no public participation.



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




Action points from the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 109 KB


The action points from the previous meeting were circulated to members and included in the agenda. The chairman hoped the committee were satisfied with the responses from the officers.



Quarter 3 Corporate & Commercial Performance Reports pdf icon PDF 967 KB

Additional documents:


Cllr Guest declared an interest as the TRO (Traffic Regulation Order) for Old Fishery Lane mentioned in the report was financed by her County Council Highways Locality budget.


The Chairman declared an interest in his position as Dacorum representative on PATROL, which administers the traffic penalty tribunal.


C Silva Donayre noted that the various services areas of the corporate and commercial directorates had been combined for the report, and each service lead would give a brief summary before opening for questions.


Commercial Development


B Hosier referred to parking services on page 26, in terms of parking sessions, and noted that while Q3 showed a 7% increase from Q3 in 2019-2020 pre-Covid, it remained 48,000 sessions lower for the same 9-month period than in 2019-2020. Similarly, on page 27, Q3 showed an improvement, but remained almost 4,000 PCNs below the same 9-month period than in 2019-2020. B Hosier noted that these had both contributed to reduced income levels from parking services. For leisure, on page 32, B Hosier noted that the average weekly attendance in Q3 showed as reduced, which was attributed to Hemel Gym being closed for refurbishment for 2 weeks, but highlighted that the figures for the weekly average in Q3 2022-2023 were much higher than in the same quarter in 2021-2022.


Cllr Freedman wondered if there should be a more visible link between parking sessions and PCNs (penalty charge notices). B Hosier agreed there would be some correlation, however noted that more PCNs were being issued for on-street parking than off-street parking, confirming that enforcement fluctuates from month to month, but that it appears people are parking more often but for shorter periods.


Cllr Tindall wondered if the variance in enforcement rendered the statistics invalid. B Hosier noted that consistent enforcement is a target, however there is a shortage of enforcement officers, and further noted that there was also uncontrollable variance in the numbers of people parking illegally on any given day. Cllr Tindall wondered if this indicated drivers getting savvier in not parking illegally, and B Hosier conceded that whilst this was possible, there would be new motorists each year, so it was difficult to say.


Cllr Adeleke wondered if there was a breakdown of percentages within and outside of Hemel Hempstead, including attributed revenue contributions. B Hosier agreed that the data exists, but couldn't answer off the top of his head, and agreed to the Chairman’s suggestion to instead circulate this information later.


Cllr Symington observed that Berkhamsted has a problem with on-pavement parking due to lack of enforcement, and that the issue is about resident's concerns and usage of pavements as well as revenue. B Hosier agreed that it was an issue, but pointed out that pavement parking outside of London is not illegal unless parking restrictions exist, and the police would be the ones to deal with obstruction issues, but added that restrictions in certain areas might be possible. Cllr Freedman agreed that legal action wasn't possible for pavement parking, but suggested production of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.


Quarter 3 People & Transformation Performance Report pdf icon PDF 624 KB


Cllr Douris noted that in Aiden's absence M Rawdon and S Choudhury would be presenting, and that some slides regarding KPIs would be explained, but had not been included in the meeting pack, therefore would be sent out separately.


ACTION: Omitted slides to be circulated following the meeting, with questions to be sent via email and copied to T Angel.


S Choudhury noted that fewer incidents had been resolved by the ICT team, primarily due to two vacancies within the team, one of which had since been filled, but the other being for a short-term secondment. M Rawdon highlighted a continuing trend in sickness reduction, with Q3 lower than Q2 and also than Q3 in the previous year, as well as staff turnover remaining healthy and below 10%. Within the communications service key projects were identified as support around the garden waste service, of Hemel Garden Communities' vision survey, of the Hemel Old Town Halloween party, and of various staff update sessions.


S Choudhury noted that call waiting times in the last quarter had been much higher than the target, primarily due to vacancies and staff turnover, with a dedicated training officer role having been created to offer mitigation by quickly upskilling new team members. It was noted that times are expected to remain high due to garden waste subscription, annual housing rent, and Council Tax letters all going out this quarter, and that mitigation strategies include reviewing the automated telephone scripts, and offering call-back services or encouraging self-service channels where possible at peak demand times. S Choudhury also noted that the new customer complaints policy had been launched, and that the next report would have KPIs around this.


In regard to 10% turnover being healthy, Cllr Freedman wondered what benchmarking was being used to use that definition, and also noted that on page 59 it was mentioned as being 15%, questioning whether that was because one figure was for a month and the other for a quarter. M Rawdon clarified that CIPD was the source for turnover of under 15% being healthy. Cllr Freedman expressed surprise, and admitted concern that turnover had only been compared to other local councils with similar issues, but deferred to the team's assessment if it was against the UK environment as a whole. Cllr Freedman requested a follow-up and lessons learned regarding the green bin subscription service, particularly in regards to sign-ups after the first collection and complaints received. M Rawdon agreed to take the feedback to the Head of Communications, who was not present at the meeting.


Cllr Claughton referred to page 58, paragraph 2.3, wondering if any trends or areas of concern had been identified, particularly in regard to the underlying causes of the increase in mental health problems, and whether they would be identified in the upcoming deep dive. M Rawdon confirmed that the underlying reasons were investigated and that there hadn't been a specific cause, noting that support is tailored to each individual case.


Cllr Adeleke referred to page 60,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.


Employee Code of Conduct pdf icon PDF 334 KB

Additional documents:


M Brookes summarised the rationale for reviewing the employee code of conduct, noting that other local authorities had been examined for examples of best practice. Of specific note was the change introducing a declaration of interest form similar to that completed by committee members, and both unions were confirmed to have been consulted with no suggestions for amendment arising.


Cllr Adeleke wondered how the new code of conduct compared to the seven principles of public life, and also whether recent police misconduct and similar misconducts can be summarised to come under the proposed new code of conduct. M Brookes confirmed that the Nolan Principles are noted at the start of the code of conduct and have been taken into consideration throughout, and also confirmed that discrimination or inequality will not be tolerated.




The code of conduct was noted and recommended to cabinet and council for adoption.



Work Programme pdf icon PDF 192 KB


There was no changes to the work programme.



Exclusion of the Public

That, under s.100A (4) of the Local Government Act 1972 Schedule 12A Part 1 as amended by the Local Government (Access to Information) (Variation) Order 2006 the public be  excluded during the items in Part 2 of the Agenda for this meeting, because it is likely, in view of the nature of the business to be transacted, that, if members of the public were present during those items, there would be disclosure to them of exempt information relating to the financial and business affairs of the Council and third party companies/organisations and Information disclosed in this report is subject to legal professional privilege.



Local Government Act 1972, Schedule 12A, Part 1, paragraph 3, 5


The Chairman advised the meeting would now move into part two.



Commercial Programme Update


Full details can be found in the Part 2 Minutes.



Electric Vehicle Charge Point Update


Full details can be found in the Part 2 Minutes.



Garages Business Plan – Performance Update


Full details can be found in the Part 2 Minutes.