Venue: Anglia Room, The Conference Suite, Elizabeth House, Walpole Loke, Dereham
Contact: Committee Services 01362 656870
Note: SPECIAL JOINT MEETING WITH AUDIT COMMITTEE
Mr. J.P. Cowen - In the Chair
To receive apologies for absence.
Apologies for absence were received from Mrs. S. Miller and Messrs. A. Byrne, R. Childerhouse, K. Gilbert and J. Gretton.
Declaration of Interest
Members are asked at this stage to declare any interests that they may have in any of the following items on the agenda. The Members’ Code of Conduct requires that declarations include the nature of the interest and whether it is a person or prejudicial interest.
The following declarations were made:
Non-Members wishing to address the Meeting
To note the names of any non-members or public speakers wishing to address the meeting.
Mr. W.P. Borrett
Councillor C. Bowes
Mrs. M.P. Chapman-Allen
Mr. P.D. Claussen, Executive Member, Economic & Commercial
Mr. P.J. Duigan
Lady Fisher, Executive Member, Governance
Councillor E. Gould, Chairman, Development Control Committee
Mr. J.P. Labouchere
Mr. D. Myers
Mr. W.H.C. Smith, Executive Member, Business Transformation
Mrs. A. Steward, Executive Member, Planning & Environment
Representatives from Capita Symonds
Mr. Ian Edward, Commercial Director
Ms. Sarah Hetherington, Human Resources Adviser
Mr. David Jolley, Planning & Building Control Director
Mr. Robert Proctor, Pensions Manager
Mr. David Spencer, Executive Director
Mr. Mark Todman, Transition Director
Proposed Externalisation of Planning & Building Control (Agenda Item 6 - Part A)
Report of the Executive Member (Business Transformation).
With regard to the order of business, the Chairman announced that the key principles involved in this matter would be considered first in open session, with other exempt matters being considered later in the meeting following due consideration of a motion to exclude the press and public.
The Deputy Chief Executive then introduced the report and summarised the background to the issues and proposals as set out in the report.
The Chairman explained that an amendment to part (i) of the recommendation was proposed by the insertion of the words “subject to satisfactory completion of due diligence and the Member Assessment Panel,” between lines 2 and 3.
It was clarified that the intent of the amendment was to require the Deputy Chief Executive to report back on the outcome of the due diligence process, bearing in mind that a Member Assessment Panel had been established to feed back into the process.
Upon being put to the vote, the amendment was carried and the Committee agreed to recommend to Council that the Council’s Planning and Building Control Services be contracted out to Capita Symonds Limited for a term of 15 years commencing on 1st April 2009, subject to satisfactory completion of due diligence and its consideration by the Member Assessment Panel, at a price and otherwise in accordance with the terms and conditions set out in the report.
The bid had been negotiated around the following five key outcome criteria (as set out in paragraph 3 of the report):
i. Significant income to the Council
ii. Substantial efficiency savings
iii. Improvements in the quality of the planning and building control services
iv. Strong governance arrangements for the effective delivery of a contract
v. Provision for the return of strong planning and building control services upon the termination of the contract
Members then questioned the representatives from Capita Symonds at length. Questioning was concentrated around the following issues:
Assurances were given by the Capita Symonds representatives that there were no specific proposals affecting the level of access to officers enjoyed by members, although improvements to systems and the service generally over time ... view the full minutes text for item 4.
Exclusion of Press and Public
To consider passing the following resolution:
“That under Section 100(A)(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the press and public be excluded from the meeting for the following item of business on the grounds that it involves the disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraphs 1, 2 and 3 of Schedule 12A to the Act.”
RESOLVED that under Section 100(A)(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the press and public be excluded from the meeting for the following item of business on the grounds that it involves the disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraphs 1, 2 and 3 of Schedule 12A to the Act.
Proposed Externalisation of Planning & Building Control (Agenda Item 6 - Part B)
Questioning continued in more detail, looking at specific aspects of the contract and the business case in relation to the due diligence process. It was acknowledged a number of issues remained to be clarified and firmed up as part of this process and these were identified and discussed.
In conclusion, members were satisfied that the proposals could be supported.
It was noted that recommendation (vi) in the report had been duly approved by the Cabinet at its meeting on 13 January 2009.
RECOMMEND TO THE COUNCIL that, on the basis of the evaluation of Capita’s tender against criteria specified by Executive Members (but subject, in addition, to paragraph 49 of the report),
the Council’s Planning and Building Control Services be
contracted out to Capita Symonds Limited for a term of 15 years
commencing on 1st April 2009, subject to satisfactory
completion of due diligence and to consideration by the Member
Assessment Panel, at a price and otherwise in accordance with the
terms and conditions set out in the report;
authority be delegated to the Deputy Chief Executive, in
consultation with the Assistant Director (Governance) and Portfolio
Holder for Business Transformation, to settle the detailed terms
and conditions of the contract and execute the agreement with
Capita on behalf of the authority, provided that in the opinion of
the Portfolio Holder they accord with, and give effect to, the five
criteria set out in paragraph 3 of the report;
authority be delegated to the Deputy Chief Executive, in
consultation with the Chief Executive and Assistant Director
(Governance), to take any step that is required to secure the
implementation of the contract, including the power to make any
decision in respect of staff and other resources within the
planning and building control establishment and their associated
support services and to specify a date for the commencement of the
notwithstanding the general delegations set out in paragraphs (2)
and (3) above, the Deputy Chief Executive, in consultation with the
Assistant Director (Governance), be required to report any change
to any provision affecting or likely to materially affect the value
of the contract to the Council to the Cabinet before the contract
is executed; and
(5) approval be given for the creation (within budget) of a contract monitoring officer post at grade 7 or 8 (subject to job evaluation).