Meeting documents

Corporate Overview Scrutiny Committee
Wednesday, 22nd June, 2016 2.00 pm

Date: Wednesday 22nd June 2016 Time: 2.00 p.m. Place: Council Chamber, Civic Centre, Ebbw Vale

Please note: all Minutes are subject to approval at the next Meeting

PresentWithReport toReport of
K Chaplin, G Collier, M Dally, N Daniels, K Hayden (Deputy Mayor), R Jones, J. Mason, J Morgan,
Item
No
Item/Resolution Status Action
PUBLIC
1. APOLOGIES

Apologies for absence were received:-

B. Sutton

P. Baldwin

D. Wilkshire

Noted
2. DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST AND DISPENSATIONS

Councillor K. Chaplin declared an interest in the following discussion:-

Item No. 6 Quarter 4 Transforming Blaenau Gwent Joint Finance and Performance Report - Abertillery 3-16 Learning Community.

Noted
3. CORPORATE OVERVIEW SCRUTINY COMMITTEE
Minutes 29.03.2016 (172K/bytes)

Consideration was given to the Minutes of the Corporate Overview Scrutiny Committee meeting held on 29th March, 2016.

RESOLVED that the Minutes be accepted as a true record of proceedings.

Agreed
4. DRAFT FORWARD WORK PROGRAMME
Report (135K/bytes)

The Draft Forward Work Programme for 2016/17 was submitted for consideration by Members.

The Chair informed the Committee that this was a fluid document that could be updated throughout the cycle to include additional topics for consideration.

A Member requested a briefing session on the workload of the Legal Department and financial implications, due to an increase in the outsourcing of work. In response the Chief Finance Officer said the increased workload in the Legal Department was linked to the increase of Looked After Children within Social Services, and suggested that focusing on this was the way forward. It would be fed into the budget setting process, and a briefing on the Medium Term Financial Strategy for the next 3 years was being produced.

An Officer pointed out that service review presentations for Members to scrutinise Directorates were scheduled in the 2016/17 Member Development Programme. However, in relation to the Member's concern regarding the workload within the Legal Department this was a specific area, and could be presented to this Committee or jointly with the Social Services Scrutiny Committee.

A Member also requested that a Members Seminar be held on the subject of Civil Contingencies and Hate Crime.

Another Member referred to the draft Forward Work Programme, namely that consideration be given to establishing a Task and Finish Group to review and develop the corporate approach to public and staff engagement, and asked that this be brought forward earlier in the Forward Work Programme.

The Head of Policy & Performance confirmed that consideration would be given to bringing this forward.

RESOLVED, subject to the foregoing, that the report be accepted and the Draft Forward Work Programme for 2016/17 be agreed.

Agreed
5. PROGRESS REPORT TO MEMBERS FOR CONTRACTS OVER 500,000
Report (98K/bytes)
Appendix (99K/bytes)

Consideration was given to the report of the Property Services Manager, which was presented to provide updated information on the progress of capital projects over 500,000 in cost undertaken within the Authority and, where appropriate, sought the necessary approval required under the Contract Procedural Rules to additional expenditure incurred on particular projects.

The Head of Technical Services spoke to the report and highlighted points contained therein, whereupon:

Trinity Chapel, Abertillery - In response to a question raised by a Member, the Chief Technical Officer informed Members that the overspend was due to delays in the diversion of a water drain and structural changes to the design. The Council had secured additional monies to fund the shortfall to enable the completion of the existing contract. An organisation had been identified as the end tenants and the Council were working closely with this organisation regarding a potential Community Asset Transfer.

Waste Transfer Station at Silent Valley - A Member enquired regarding the overspend in relation to the Waste Transfer Station at Silent Valley. The Head of Public Services said these works were not linked to the household recycling site, and would not impact on any other recycling developments.

Tredegar Comprehensive Refurbishment - A Member commended the team on the significant improvements made to Tredegar Comprehensive and also Abertillery Primary School and commented that both schemes were project managed by the Authority.

Waun Pond Reservoir Works - In response to a question raised by a Member regarding funding for the additional work, the Head of Technical Services informed Members that no funding had been received from the Welsh Government to cover the works and a report on this matter would be submitted for consideration in due course.

A Member requested that the report author include the locations of projects in future reports.

RESOLVED to recommend, subject to the foregoing, that the report be accepted and, Members note the progress made against the contracts.

Agreed
6. QUARTER 4 TRANSFORMING BLAENAU GWENT JOINT FINANCE AND PERFORMANCE REPORT
Report (86K/bytes)
Appendix (2M/bytes)

Consideration was given to the report of the Corporate Performance Manager, which presented the Transforming Blaenau Gwent Joint Finance and Performance Report for Quarter 4, covering January to March 2016.

The Head of Policy & Performance spoke to the report and highlighted points contained therein.

The following comments/questions were then raised by Members:

Abertillery 3-16 Learning Community
Councillor K. Chaplin declared an interest in this item but remained in the meeting whilst it was under discussion.

A Member expressed concern regarding the number of Head Teachers and staff who had left, and how this would impact on the further development of the 3-16 Learning Environment.

The Corporate Performance Manager confirmed that a response would be sought and reported back to the Committee, and also raised through the Education, Active Living & Learning Scrutiny Committee.

Theme 2 - People and communities are enabled to help themselves - A Member commended Housing Officers for achieving 30.9% homelessness target which was well below the national average and enquired on the potential effects that empty homes had in the community. The Head of Public Services would provide a written response on homes brought back into use to the next Committee.

Corporate Improvement Plan 'Theme 3' - There had been a substantial improvement to the A & B roads throughout the Borough. Options for prudential borrowing were under consideration and would be reported to Members in due course.

Corporate Risk Register CRR2 ICT provision - In response to a question on ICT provision supporting Council services not being resilient an Officer assured Members that the Council were committed to mitigating any risk to the Authority.

A Quarter 3 Performance report from Aneurin Leisure Trust - A Member commented on the decreasing figures for over 60's swimming using this service and asked that his comments be forwarded to the Education, Active Living & Learning Scrutiny Committee. The Chief Finance Officer commented that this maybe a seasonal decrease for that period.

iTrent - In response to a question raised by a Member the Chief Finance Officer reported that there had been a delay with implementation of the IT, but training would continue when this was resolved. He said one of the key aspects of the software was online payslips for staff, which tied into the work of the Task and Finish Group Paperless Environment.

A brief discussion ensued when Officers clarified points raised, and it was

RESOLVED to recommend, subject to the foregoing, that the report be accepted and the information contained therein be acknowledged.

Agreed
7. TIME OF COMMITTEE MEETINGS

Consideration was given to the time of future meetings of the Corporate Overview Scrutiny Committee.

Upon a vote being taken, it was

RESOLVED that future meetings of the Corporate Overview Scrutiny Committee commence at 10.00 a.m. however, attendance levels at this earlier time would be monitored.

Agreed
8. AGENDA ITEMS FOR THE NEXT MEETING OF THE CORPORATE OVERVIEW SCRUTINY COMMITTEE
Agenda Items (58K/bytes)

Consideration was given to the list of draft agenda items for the next meeting to be held on 11th July 2016.

Following discussion it was agreed that the following report be presented to the Joint Scrutiny (Budget) Committee in September.

  • Transforming Blaenau Gwent Programme - Update on Financial Efficiencies under the Major Projects

It was further agreed that the following reports be presented to the October meeting of the Special Corporate Overview Scrutiny Committee.

  • Annual Review of Staff Attendance Management
  • Organisational Development Strategy

RESOLVED that the following items be presented to the July Corporate Overview Scrutiny Committee, namely:-

  • WAO Financial Resilience Assessment
  • WAO Human Resources 2012 Review - Progress Follow Up - Final
  • Treasury Management - Outturn 2015/16
Agreed