Venue: Anglia Room, The Conference Suite, Elizabeth House, Walpole Loke, Dereham
Contact: Committee Services 01362 656870
To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 26 March 2015.
The Minutes of the meeting held on 26 March 2015 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 had been received from Councillor Dimoglou. Councillor Stasiak was present as his Substitute.
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.
The Chairman suggested that Members might need to hold a Special meeting in September to discuss the Constitution Review before it was presented to Council on 3 October. The matter would be discussed under Agenda Item 11.
Declaration of Interests (Agenda Item 4)
Members are reminded that under the Code of Conduct they are not to participate in 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 that they have, in relation to an agenda item that supports 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, Bishop, Borrett, C Carter, M Chapman-Allen, Newton, Sharpe, Sherwood and Turner were in attendance and were welcomed by the Chairman.
Transformation Programme (Agenda Item 6)
To receive a verbal update from the Corporate Improvement and Performance Manager.
The Corporate Improvement and Performance Manager introduced himself to Members. He was working on developing the Transformation Programme which had four key strategic themes which underpinned the Corporate Plan objectives.
An externally facilitated Workshop had been held on 15 July which had been attended by 20 Members. Posters had set out the four themes and the types of projects they included. Members had been given the chance to feed back on the proposals. The information from that meeting would be distributed to all Members.
There was a further opportunity for Members to comment today and then a draft programme for the next four years would be prepared and presented to Council. Work was still on-going to understand what benefits the projects would bring and how to measure and track those benefits; it was not just about savings. Scrutiny would be involved in tracking the benefits once the programme was agreed.
The Chairman gave a brief overview for the Members that had not been able to attend the Workshop. The key themes that had emerged were:
· how to make the Council more efficient
· whether to sweat assets to generate more revenue
· encouraging people to use different ways to contact the Council (as face-to-face contacts were more expensive)
· a reward/recognition scheme for staff
The real issue was that 50% of residents did not have decent Broadband. There would need to be systems in place for those without good Broadband to be able to contact the Council.
Councillor Bambridge had attended the Workshop and asked that the large amount of suggestions made by Members should be circulated with the other information.
Councillor Joel asked what had happened to the £950,000 the Council had approved for Broadband.
Councillor Richmond had asked the Leader that question and was able to advise that the money would not be released until the British Telecom maps were ready. He noted that the Commercial Property Portfolio generated a lot of money but asked if the true figure of return, with repair and maintenance costs removed, could be provided on an annual basis.
The Chairman explained that the Corporate Improvement and Performance Manager was driving the Transformation Programme and did not have details of costs. One of the Task & Finish Groups should look at how the property portfolio was managed.
Councillor Bambridge referred back to the Broadband money and advised that it was being held in reserve until Broadband had been completely rolled out and would be spent entirely in Breckland.
Councillor S Chapman-Allen had asked for another, evening meeting for those that could not attend the Workshop. The Corporate Improvement and Performance Manager said that another session could be arranged but timeframes were tight and the draft programme was due to be presented to the September Council meeting.
Councillor Borrett was confused at the lack of a report even if it just provided a framework. He had expected Members to get the feedback from the Workshop to consider and was disappointed that another session had not been arranged. A ... view the full minutes text for item 49.
Task and Finish Groups (Agenda Item 7)
To consider the setting up of a Task & Finish Group for the Transformation Programme.
The Chairman set out the four distinct strands of work for the Task & Finish Groups and some of the topics that they should cover.
Alignment of Public Services
Membership of the four T&FG should be drawn from the whole Council and comprise of seven Members each and a substitute if possible. The Chairmen of the T&FG would be Members of the O&SC as required by the Constitution. Executive Members were not eligible to sit as members of the T&FG but would be very welcome to attend the meetings and provide input.
The Groups would need to talk to as many people as possible to represent the interests of residents.
The Corporate Improvement and Performance Manager agreed to circulate the draft programme after the meeting. He went on to outline the key projects.
· To provide a new web portal to engage people and to enable ‘Book & Pay’
· To digitalise all Back Office functions (that would be linked to Organisational Design)
· Assisted Digital – to install points to provide a facility for people that needed help or did not have access.
· How to procure and contract manage
· Meet the Buyer events to grow business
· Consider opportunities to generate income for the Council
· Look at the Asset portfolio
Aligning Public Services
· To have the DWP in the Council building to enable co-working (delivering services in parallel and enabling a single point of contact to address all needs)
· Explore other options for Partnership working with the Health Service, NCC, etc. (The Council owned a number of assets where they could be accommodated).
· Consider other Partnerships.
· This would closely link with Digitalisation – ensuring services were fit for purpose
· Look at each service and develop it for the future
· Ensure staff were rewarded and recognised and that new skill sets were developed
· Identify learning and development skills and opportunities.
Councillor Sharpe thought it was a considerable topic. He asked if the draft report could be brought to Scrutiny before it was presented to Council.
The Chairman explained that the timeframes for the T&FG would be set and their workloads organised. The Groups would report back to Scrutiny. A formal report would then be written with the O&SC’s proposals for Council.
Councillor S Chapman-Allen thought that it would be wrong for the four T&FGs to work independently as many of the topics overlapped. However, the Chairman disagreed and said that there was a lot of work and as many ... view the full minutes text for item 50.
Health Scrutiny (Agenda Item 8)
To receive an update on the Norfolk Health Scrutiny Committee.
Nothing to report.
Scrutiny Call-ins (Agenda Item 9)
To note whether any decisions have been called-in for scrutiny.
Councillor Call for Action (Agenda Item 10)
To consider any references.
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.
The Chairman pointed out that the Task & Finish Groups were not the only items for Scrutiny. There would continue to be Executive Member Portfolio updates at each meeting and the Corporate Plan and Performance would be looked at in future meetings.
The Corporate Improvement and Performance Manager was also responsible for Performance and the new Performance Framework would ensure that the organisation was on track to deliver the objectives of the Corporate Plan. Extensive work had been carried out on a new Performance system which would put all the information in one place with easy to read graphics. Officer training was currently underway.
Reports for Quarters 1 and 2 would be produced from the system in time for the October meeting. The Chairman stressed the need for Members to receive the papers in advance of the meeting.
There would need to be an additional meeting scheduled in for September to discuss the Constitution Review. It was a big topic and would be another one-item agenda.
It was agreed that a Special Overview & Scrutiny Commission meeting would take place on 24 September 2015 at 2pm. Venue to be confirmed.
Future items would also include a look at the Council’s Governance arrangements.
Members were asked to put forward suggestions.
Councillor Jermy suggested that as the Broadband upgrade list should be available in the Autumn that could be added to the work programme for the November meeting and Karen O’Kane should be invited to attend.
Councillor Stasiak suggested that the Snetterton process should also be scrutinised.
Councillor Claussen thought that Members needed to be updated on the progress of the Local Plan and the Chairman said that communities had been very successfully engaged in the Local Plan process before. He had discussed the matter with the Leader and when the technical details had been sorted and the call for sites consultation was ready it would come to Scrutiny.
Next Meeting (Agenda Item 12)
To note the arrangements for the next meeting to be held on 15 October 2015 at 2.00pm in the Anglia Room.
The next meeting would be the Special meeting on 24 September 2015 at 2pm. The venue for that would be confirmed.