Agenda and minutes

Venue: Anglia Room, The Conference Suite, Elizabeth House, Walpole Loke, Dereham

Contact: Democratic Services  01362 656870

No. Item


Minutes (Agenda Item 1) pdf icon PDF 93 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 28 January 2016.


The Minutes of the meeting held on 28 January 2016 were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.



Apologies and Substitutes (Agenda Item 2)

To receive apologies for absence and to note substitute Members in attendance.


Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Claussen, Crawford, Joel, Oliver and Webb.  Councillor Newton was present as Substitute for Councillor Crawford.



Urgent Business (Agenda Item 3)

To note whether the Chairman proposes to accept any item as urgent business pursuant to Section 100(B)(4)(b) of the Local Government Act 1972.





Declaration of Interests (Agenda Item 4)

Members are reminded that under the Code of Conduct they are not to participate and must leave the room, for the whole of an agenda item to which they have a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest. 


In the interests of transparency, Members may also wish to declare any other interests they have in relation to an agenda item, that support the Nolan principles detailed within the Code of Conduct.


No declarations were made.



Non-Members wishing to address the Meeting (Agenda Item 5)

To note the names of any non-members or public speakers wishing to address the meeting.


Councillors Bambridge, M Chapman-Allen, Hollis and Wilkinson were in attendance.



Task and Finish Groups (Agenda Item 6) pdf icon PDF 65 KB

To receive the quarterly report on the progress of the Transformation Task & Finish Groups.


The Chairman noted that the Deputy Leader and Executive Member for People & Information had hoped to be present but was unable to attend due to another appointment.


The Corporate Improvement and Performance Manager summarised the work of the four Task & Finish Groups and then each of the Chairmen gave a brief account of progress.


Digitalisation had reviewed the strategy and policy at their first meeting; learned about the foundation of the new website at their second meeting; and would be looking at Social Media and the Customer Contact Centre at their next meeting.


Aligning Public Services had considered One Public Estate; had an early viewing of the new Reception area; and their next meeting would be held in Thetford where they would discuss the Early Intervention Hub.


Organisational Design had reviewed their workstream at their first meeting and at their second meeting had received an update on the work of the LGA and reviewed the projects for the People Plan, Digital Passport and Service Reviews of Democratic Services, Legal Services and Corporate Improvement & HR.  Councillor S Chapman-Allen (Chairman of the Group) said that at their next meeting they would be holding an LGA workshop and he encouraged other Members to attend.


Commercialisation had also reviewed their workstream and some specific projects at their first meeting.  They were carrying out a review of the commercial asset base; third party goods and services; procurement best value and looking at how to enable local businesses to get Council contracts.  They were also reviewing the Garden Waste scheme.


The Chairman thanked the Corporate Improvement and Performance Manager for his update.  He suggested that the four Task & Finish Groups (T&FG) be combined for a period of time.   A lot of the workstreams were interlinked; particularly Digitalisation which cut across the whole programme.  Bringing them together would enable issues to be addressed in a speedy manner.


It was important to address the two questions of ‘Where are we going next’ and, more importantly ‘What is the benefit realisation?’ 


Councillor S Chapman-Allen was not sure that it would be beneficial to join the Groups and other Members agreed.


Councillor Jermy thought it was key for Members to be part of the journey and felt that small meetings gave the opportunity for a lot of involvement.  He was not against merging, but was concerned it could cause a lack of consistency.


Councillors R Richmond and Hollis both wanted to continue as separate Groups.


The Executive Director Place said that from an Officer perspective he supported a merger because of the amount of cross-cutting issues and the similarity of discussions that were being held by each Group.  It would also help with resourcing capacity.


The Chairman focussed on Digitalisation.  However much the Council invested in that programme it would not be able to reach about a third of residents due to poor Broadband services.  He hoped that the T&FG would do more work on that issue.  It was an issue that was raised at a lot of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 19.


Health Scrutiny (Agenda Item 7)

To receive an update on the Norfolk Health Scrutiny Committee.


Nothing to report.



Scrutiny Call-ins (Agenda Item 8)

To note whether any decisions have been called-in for scrutiny.





Councillor Call for Action (Agenda Item 9)

To consider any references.


Councillor Newton noted that at the last Council meeting Members had been informed that Devolution was moving fast and he felt that any decision on that subject should be delayed until after the European Union Referendum.  He suggested that the Council should hold a vote on the EU so that residents would know how Members were thinking.




Work Programme (Agenda Item 10) pdf icon PDF 271 KB

(a)               A copy of the Commission’s work programme is attached.  The Commission is asked to agree any additions, deletions or amendments to the programme as appropriate.


(b)        Member Issues:  In accordance with the Commission’s protocol for member leadership, which states that members of the Commission will take the lead in selecting topics for overview and scrutiny and in the questioning of witnesses, members are invited to put forward items for selection for future review.


A copy of the Key Decision Plan is attached for Members’ information.

Additional documents:


Representatives from the Citizens’ Advice Bureau would be coming to the next meeting to inform Members about the sort of issues they were facing on a day to day basis and the service they were providing.


BT Openreach and Breckland Bridge would be invited to future meetings.


Devolution was a subject for a future agenda.  The public had little awareness about it and discussion at Scrutiny would be an opportunity to provide them with more information.


The Executive Director Place suggested that it would be best to wait and see if the Norfolk/Suffolk/Cambridgeshire proposals were successful and the Chairman agreed that if they did not proceed it would not be necessary to discuss the matter at Scrutiny.


Councillor R Richmond raised the subject of the South Norfolk Clinical Commissioning Group and the Chairman agreed that Health, Mental Health and Healthy Living issues should be considered.  There was a need to examine what was happening with health ‘in the round’ and that could be a one-issue future meeting.


The Executive Director Place suggested that there were two options: to have a themed meeting on Health and invite everyone involved, or focus on a specific issue and only invite the relevant responsible bodies.


Councillor S Chapman-Allen asked if the Planning service could be monitored as he had concerns about the number of Officers that were leaving.


The Executive Director Place advised that there was no provision in the contract with Capita to control staff numbers.  However, Scrutiny could discuss the performance and delivery of the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).  He had raised the issue of the caseload for Officers himself, as he had concerns about its impact on performance, recruitment and retention.


Councillor Richmond had raised concerns with the Head of Capita about officers failing to return telephone calls.  He commended Mike Brennan who went the ‘extra mile’ in providing information.



Next Meeting (Agenda Item 11)

To note the arrangements for the next meeting to be held on 21 April 2016 at 2pm in the Anglia Room, Conference Suite, Elizabeth House, Dereham.



The arrangements for the next meeting on Thursday 21 April 2016 at 2pm in the Anglia Room, Conference Suite, Elizabeth House, Dereham were noted.