Meeting documents

Corporate Overview Scrutiny Committee
Wednesday, 17th April, 2019 9.30 am

Date: Wednesday 17th April 2019 Time: 9.30 a.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)

Councillors: M. Cook
M. Cross
L. Elias
S. Healy
R. J. Hill
H. McCarthy
G. Paulsen
K. Pritchard
B. Summers
S. Thomas
J. Wilkins

Managing Director
Corporate Director of Social Services
Corporate Director Regeneration & Community Services
Chief Officer � Resources
Chief Officer - Commercial
Head of Community Services
Head of Education Transformation
Head of Organisational Development
Communications, Marketing & Customer Access Manager
Team Leader Performance & Scrutiny
Scrutiny Officer
THE CHAIR AND MEMBERS OF THE COUNCILDEMOCRATIC SERVICES OFFICER
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 (170K/bytes)
Noted
2. SIMULTANEOUS TRANSLATION

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

Noted
3. APOLOGIES

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors M. Day and D. Wilkshire.
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Noted
4. DECLARATIONS OF INTERESTS AND DISPENSATIONS

There were no declarations of interest or dispensations reported.

Noted
5. CORPORATE OVERVIEW SCRUTINY COMMITTEE
Minutes (164K/bytes)
Cofnodion (45K/bytes)

The Minutes of the Corporate Overview Scrutiny Committee Meeting held on 6th March, 2019 were submitted.

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The Committee AGREED that the Minutes be accepted as a true record of proceedings.
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Agreed
6. ACTION SHEET
Action Sheet (49K/bytes)
Attachment 1 (60K/bytes)
Attachment 2 (84K/bytes)

Consideration was given to the Action Sheet of the Corporate Overview Scrutiny Committee Meeting held on the 6th March, 2019, whereupon:-

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Forward Work Programme

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Civil Parking Enforcement Progress � the Head of Community Services provided Members with a progress update on:

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� Traffic Order Surveys and Queries
� On-site remedial works
� Service Level Agreements
� Works Planned (April 2019-1st July 2019).

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In response to a Member�s question regarding key routes, the Head of Community Services said that consultation would be undertaken with Members to identify problem parking areas within their wards and Civil Enforcement Officers could focus on these areas.

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A Member enquired regarding SLA costs and if cautionary letters could be issued to schools to inform them that Civil Enforcement Officers would be in the area. The Head of Community Services said that for the duration of June warning notices would be placed on cars contravening traffic orders, advising the vehicle owner that from the 1st July 2019, any vehicle caught contravening traffic orders would be issued with a Penalty Charge Notice. As to SLA costs, Rhondda Cynon Taff County Borough Council would be undertaking back office work on behalf of Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council and would be paid for every Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) issued.

With regard to the draft SLA with Caerphilly County Borough Council who would provide and manage the Civil Enforcement Officers (CEOs) costs for this service would be reported back to Committee at a future date.

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Another Member commented that it was important to prepare and publish notices for public information on the website, social media and in the press.

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The Head of Community Services confirmed that the formal application for Civil Parking Enforcement would be approved by the Welsh Government no later than early June 2019.

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The Committee AGREED, subject to the foregoing, that the Action Sheet be noted.
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Agreed
7. QUARTER 3 (OCTOBER TO DECEMBER 2018) FINANCE AND PERFORMANCE REPORT
Report (119K/bytes)
Appendix 1 (2M/bytes)

Consideration was given to report of the Head of Governance and Partnerships which presented the Finance and Performance Report for quarter 3, covering the period October to December 2018.

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The Team Leader Performance & Scrutiny spoke to the report and highlighted the report aligned to the Council�s Corporate Plan 2018-22 and formed a key part of the ongoing development to identify good practice and performance.

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01 � General

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Workforce Management

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A Member enquired regarding the 15.35 average days lost per FTE in the Social Services Directorate. The Corporate Director Social Services explained that in some circumstances frontline staff with infectious illnesses were asked to be absent for 48 hours to avoid the spread of infection. Long term sickness was closely monitored with follow up sessions arranged to look for patterns of absence. Absences in a particular service were looked at in depth and support given to make improvements.

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The Head of Organisational Development commented that reducing sickness absence was a key priority for the Council. A report reviewing staff sickness absence would be developed for Corporate Overview Scrutiny Committee in early autumn and would give a better understanding of the figures.

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In order to maintain minimum standards in covering absence, the Council had a relief pool of trained staff to drawn on in these circumstances. Agency staff would be employed if necessary but would involve extra costs.

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Compliments and Complaints

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A Member referred to the number of complaints received for Children Services. The Corporate Director of Social Services said that Children�s Services was a particularly emotive area of service and occasionally complaints were made as a result of issues around the removal of children for example.

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02 � Efficient Council

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The Chief Officer Resources informed Members that the adverse variance had decreased to �460,000 as at February 2019 and was expected to further decrease by the end of the March. Welsh Government additional capital funding for school maintenance had been received and further details would be reported to this Committee at a later date.

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The Corporate Director of Social Services commented that �385,000 had been set against pressures in Children�s Services during 2018/19, and in effect the full grant of �750,000 would be set against Children�s Services for 2019/20.

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03 � Social Services

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In response to a Member�s question regarding the implications of Universal Credit, the Corporate Director of Social Services said that although Universal Credit would have an impact on the community it was not yet fully implemented and therefore embedded. The Benefits Section was working closely with the Employment Agency to ensure that individuals avoided lengthy periods without benefits.

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04 � Education

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In relation to teaching staff a Member enquired regarding the male/female gender split. The Head of Education Transformation commented that historically there were a higher number of female teachers particularly in the primary sector, but the emphasis was on the quality of teaching and learning for children.

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A Member enquired regarding the Inspire initiatives. The Head of Education Transformation said that positive work had been undertaken and both Inspire initiatives were in line with the WEFO targets and this had contributed extensively to the extension of the funding of the programme until 2023.

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05 � Strong & Environmentally Smart Communities

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The Head of Community Services commented that only a small proportion of the Highway Capital budget had been targeted for Class A, B & C roads as such any works were subject to available funding.

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A Member raised questions regarding C roads, the Head of Community Services said that it was dependent on funding how C roads were classified.

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The Committee AGREED to recommend that the report be accepted and endorsed Option 2, namely that the information contained within the report be accepted.
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Agreed
8. REVISED CODE OF CONDUCT FOR EMPLOYEES
Report (99K/bytes)
Appendix 1 (682K/bytes)

Consideration was given to the report of the Head of Organisational Development which was presented to provide Members with the opportunity to consider and challenge the revised Code of Conduct for Employees.

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The Head of Organisational Development spoke to the report and highlighted the main points contained therein. The aim of the code was to give clear expectations on standards of conduct for staff and applied to all employees with the exception of school teachers.

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A Member enquired regarding the protocol for Members who had disputes with employees. The Head of Organisational Development said that a Code of Conduct for Members was included in the Council�s Constitution. Any issues regarding concerns about staff conduct should be raised with the appropriate Head of Service to be addressed through line management.

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A Member commented that mutual respect between employees and Councillors was essential and that the Constitution be used to identify any breach.

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Another Member commented that to protect employees and Councillors any investigation relating to a breach of the Code should be carried out by an independent panel and no one associated with the Council.

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In response to a Member�s question regarding bereavement leave for a grandparent, the Head of Organisational Development confirmed that bereavement leave was one day for the funeral.

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The Committee AGREED to recommend that the report be accepted and endorse Option 1; namely that the report and appendix be recommended for approval by Council.

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As this was the last Corporate Overview Scrutiny Committee in the cycle, the Chair expressed her thanks to Members and Officers for the support received over the cycle.
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Agreed