Meeting documents

Corporate Overview Scrutiny Committee
Wednesday, 12th December, 2018 12.30 pm

Date: Wednesday 12th December 2018 Time: 12.30 p.m. Place: Council Chamber, Civic Centre, Ebbw Vale

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

PresentAndReport toReport of
COUNCILLOR J. COLLINS (CHAIR)
Item
No
Item/Resolution Status Action
PUBLIC
1. TUDALEN GLAWR AGENDA GYMRAEG/WELSH VERSION OF AGENDA COVERSHEET
Tudalen Glawr Agenda Gymraeg/Welsh Version of Agenda Coversheet (171K/bytes)
Noted
2. SIMULTANEOUS TRANSLATION

It was noted that no requests had been received for the simultaneous translation service.

Noted
3. APOLOGIES

The following apologies for absence were reported:-

Councillors G.L. Davies, M. Day, L. Elias, J. Hill, G. Paulsen, D. Wilkshire.

Noted
4. DECLARATIONS OF INTERESTS AND DISPENSATIONS

There were no declarations of interest or dispensations reported.

Noted
5. CORPORATE OVERVIEW SCRUTINY COMMITTEE
Minutes (162K/bytes)
Cofnodion (97K/bytes)

The minutes of the Corporate Overview Scrutiny Committee Meeting held on 31st October, 2018 were submitted.

The Committee AGREED that the Minutes be accepted as a true record of proceedings.

Agreed
6. ACTION SHEET
Action Sheet (47K/bytes)

Consideration was given to the Action Sheet of the Corporate Overview Scrutiny Committee Meeting held on the 31st October, 2018, whereupon:-

Action Sheet - 19th September, 2019 (Review of Staff Attendance Management)

A Member requested an update on progress of the Itrent system and the Head of Organisational Development confirmed that an audit of the system had been undertaken; and the system had been rolled out to all Directorates and Managers had received training; and the system was now 'live' in Schools.

Forward Work Programme - 12th December, 2018

In response to a question raised by a Member the Head of Community Services confirmed that a detailed report on the Residential Highway Surfacing Contract works would be submitted to the Environment, Regeneration & Economic Development Scrutiny Committee in January 2019.

The Committee AGREED, subject to the foregoing, that the Action Sheet be noted.

Agreed
7. TREASURY MANAGEMENT MID-YEAR REVIEW REPORT 1ST APRIL 2018 TO 30TH SEPTEMBER 2018
Report (134K/bytes)
Appendix 1 (433K/bytes)
Appendix A (28K/bytes)
Appendix B (20K/bytes)

Consideration was given to report of the Chief Officer Resources which provided Members the opportunity to scrutinise the Treasury Management activities carried out by the Authority during the first half of the 2018/19 financial year.

The Chief Officer Resources spoke to the report and referred Members to Section 5 which provided a summary of the Treasury Management activities for the period.

A Member referred to section 5.1.5 of the report and asked whether the favourable variance in the total interest paid on short term borrowing, and the estimated interest figure would go back into the general budget. In response the Officer confirmed that this figure was built into the financial forecast provided to Members on a quarterly basis.

A brief discussion ensued regarding the last paragraph on page 2 of Appendix 1, i.e. political arena, and the Officer explained that this highlighted the risk of the impact of political decisions that needed to be monitored. The Authority worked closely with Treasury Management advisors who monitored and advised all financial institutions on the national political impact.

The Committee AGREED to recommend that the report be accepted and endorsed Option 2 to acknowledge the activity undertaken during the first half of the 2018/19 financial year and did not consider any amendments to the Treasury Strategy moving forward, prior to its submission to full Council.

Agreed
8. QUARTER 1 AND 2 (APRIL TO SEPTEMBER) FINANCE AND PERFORMANCE
Report (126K/bytes)
Appendix 1 (2M/bytes)

The Corporate Performance Improvement Manager presented the report which provided the Finance and Performance Report for Quarters 1 and 2 for the period April to September 2018.

The report provided a summary of performance information across the Council, supported by number of monitoring reports submitted to individual Scrutiny Committees. The Officer confirmed that a review of the format of the report had been undertaken to make it more fit for purpose and aligned to the Council's Corporate Plan 2018/2022 which was agreed in April 2018, and set the direction for the Authority over the next 4 years. Section 2.5 of the report outlined the information included within the report, and the Options at Section 3.2 sought comments on the format of the report.

A Member said this report was originally introduced to provide an up to date position of the Council for our external regulators. The report had been updated over the years, and whilst it was an excellent monitoring tool the Member felt the report lacked a 'position statement' element, and proposed that this be incorporated at the outset of the report for Members and the public to obtain a user friendly up to date position of the Council.

The Committee AGREED to recommend that the report be accepted and endorsed Option 1, namely that the Finance and Performance Report be acknowledged subject to the Member's suggestion to include a position statement.

Agreed
9. PROGRESS REPORT CONTRACTS OVER 500K
Report (119K/bytes)
Appendix 1 (77K/bytes)

Consideration was given to report of the Head of Community Services which provided updated information on the progress of capital projects over 500,000.

The Head of Community Services spoke to the report and highlighted points contained therein. He confirmed that there were six current contracts exceeding 500k, three of which were risk assessed blue (completed), two identified as green (progressing on site and within budgets) and one identified as amber, namely the demolition of the former Abertillery Leisure Centre. This contract had been delayed due to asbestos removal, and the presence of bats on the site during the latter stage of the asbestos removal, which necessitated further surveys under the direction of NRW. The Officer confirmed that the contract would commence in April 2019.

In response to a question raised by a Member regarding the asbestos removal contract, the Officer explained that legal advice was to wait until the contract was substantially completed prior to pursuing a claim for losses, but assured Members that this would be pursued.

Residential Highway Surfacing Framework

A Member asked how the residential highway resurfacing works had been prioritised, and the Officer explained that the criteria for the matrix was well discussed and agreed by Members to ensure an equitable balance throughout the Borough. However, the Officer said he happy to discuss any issues with Members outside the meeting in terms of how this was achieved, and confirmed that a more detailed report would be submitted in January 2019.

Trinity Chapel

This scheme was raised by a Member, but not included within the report. He said the former Head of Regeneration had been tasked to provide a report on responsibility for decisions on future use, and asked whether this report would still be provided. The Officer undertook to investigate.

Site Clearance of Former Lewis Skips Site

In response to a question raised by a Member the Officer confirmed that the scheme had been completed on the surface, however, if the site becomes part of another scheme a site investigation would need to be undertaken.

The Committee AGREED, subject to the foregoing, that the report be accepted and endorsed Option 1, namely that Members sought clarification were required.

Agreed
10. FORWARD WORK PROGRAMME
Report (81K/bytes)
Appendix 1 (50K/bytes)

The report of the Chair of the Corporate Overview Scrutiny Committee was presented for Members consideration of the Corporate Overview Scrutiny Committee Forward Work Programme for the meeting on 23rd January, 2019.

The Chair reported the following additional item for consideration at the next meeting, 'Brexit - How Prepared is Blaenau Gwent?'.

The Committee AGREED, subject to the foregoing, that the report be accepted and the following items be submitted to the next meeting on 23rd January, 2019:

- Review of Attendance Management Policy
- Review of Organisational Development Strategy
- Brexit - How Prepared is Blaenau Gwent?

Information Items

- Information Management Monitoring Report

Agreed