Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

Big plans, bright future

Executive Scrutiny Committee Minutes

Date:
Tuesday, 29th November, 2016
Time:
10.00 a.m
Place:
Jim Cooke Conference Suite, Stockton Central Libraray, Stockton on Tees, TS18 1TU
 
Please note: all Minutes are subject to approval at the next Meeting

Attendance Details

Present:
Cllr David Harrington (Chair); Cllr Sonia Bailey, Cllr Carol Clark, Cllr Chris Clough, Cllr Gillian Corr, Cllr Philip Dennis, , Cllr Mohammed Javed, Cllr Eileen Johnson, Cllr Mrs Jean O'Donnell, Cllr Maurice Perry, Cllr Paul Rowling, Cllr Laura Tunney, Cllr Matthew Vickers and Cllr David Wilburn.
Officers:
Neil Schneider (CE); Julie Danks, Ian Coxon, Judy Trainer, Peter Mennear, Peter Bell (DCE); Jamie McCann (CS) Liz Hanley (AH).
In Attendance:
None.
Apologies for absence:
Cllr Derrick Brown, Cllr Tracey Stott and Cllr Sylvia Walmsley.
Item Description Decision
Public
ESC
40/16
COUNCILLOR MRS SYLVIA WALMSLEY
 
ESC
41/16
DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
 
ESC
42/16
MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 27 SEPTEMBER 2016 - FOR SIGNATURE
The minutes of the meeting held on 27th September 2016 were signed by the Chair as a correct record.
ESC
43/16
MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 25 OCTOBER 2016 - FOR APPROVAL
RESOLVED that minutes of the meeting held on 25th October 2016 be approved.
ESC
44/16
NON FINANCIAL PERFORMANCE
RESOLVED that the report and comments be noted.
ESC
45/16
COUNCIL VEHICLE FLEET MANAGEMENT
RESOLVED that the report be noted.
ESC
46/16
SCRUTINY REVIEW OF DEPRIVATION OF LIBERTY SAFEGUARDS
RESOLVED that the report be noted.
ESC
47/16
STATUTORY FORWARD PLAN
RESOLVED that the report be noted.
ESC
48/16
SELECT COMMITTEE CHAIR UPDATES
RESOLVED that the Select Committee Chair Updates be noted.
ESC
49/16
CHAIR'S UPDATE AND EXECUTIVE SCRUTINY WORK PROGRAMME
RESOLVED that the Work Programme be noted.
ESC
50/16
SCRUTINY DEVELOPMENTS
RESOLVED that the development be noted.
10.00am to 12 noon.

Preamble

ItemPreamble
ESC
40/16
The Chair reported that Councillor Mrs Sylvia Walmsley was not in attendance at the meeting due a serious illness. The Chair would convey the thoughts and best wishes of the Committee to Councillor Mrs Sylvia Walmsley.
ESC
41/16
Councillor Harrington declared a personal non prejudicial interest in respect of agenda item 5 - Non Financial Performance as he was employed by Middlesbrough Council.

Councillor Dennis declared a personal non prejudicial interest in respect of agenda item 5 - Non Financial Performance as he was the Chair of the TVCA Overview and Scrutiny Committee.

Councillor Dennis declared a personal non prejudicial interest in respect of agenda item 10 - Select Committee Chair Updates as he was on the board of governors at Egglescliffe Primary School.
ESC
43/16
Consideration was given to the draft minutes of the meeting held on 25th October 2016.
ESC
44/16
Consideration was given to a report that provided a mid-year update on the key objectives in the Council Plan 2016/17.

The Council's vision was of a Borough that was more confident, more vibrant and more successful than ever before. A place where people prosper and grow, where they feel happy, safe and healthy. A place where people can see that the Council's drive, integrity and imagination had delivered genuine improvements and exceptional value for money. A place that every single person was proud of.

The Council had to take decisions about the basis on which services would be delivered within the resources available, taking account of a number of factors such as reduced budget allocation, changing demographics, increasing demand, new national legislation and policy direction. The following four policy principles supported the Council's decision-making:

- Protecting the vulnerable through targeted intervention
- Promoting equality of opportunity through targeted intervention
- Developing strong and healthy communities

- Creating economic prosperity across the Borough

The Council delivers services by drawing on the organisational culture, the values and behaviours and resilience the Council would need to demonstrate in facing significant financial and capacity challenges. The organisational culture statement was:

"We are an organisation where all staff are trusted, supported and valued to make a positive contribution at work. Where we never lose sight of the fact that we're here to serve the people of the borough. This is a place where:

- Everyone's views and opinions are encouraged, heard and properly considered
- We share responsibility for our own learning and development and are encouraged and supported to do so by others
- We work hard and feel comfortable to suggest new ideas, ways of working and to take managed risks
- We all feel a strong sense of belonging to the whole Council and our skills, knowledge and experience are used to benefit the organisation as a whole"

The report the vision and objectives in the thematic areas:-

- Economic Regeneration and Transport
- Environment and Housing
- Community Safety
- Children and Young People
- Health and Wellbeing
- Stronger Communities
- Adults
- Arts, Culture and Leisure
- The Council Organisation

The following comments on the report were made:-

- The street lighting replacement scheme was back on track.
- Due to budget constraints the CFYA Service would not be able to continue to deliver the service that they had done previously, particularly in relation to street cleansing and horticulture. Members would be receiving a presentation on this issue at a seminar to be held on 15th December 2016.
- Technology was being used as much as possible to try and mitigate to financial losses.
- There was a Smarter Working in Stockton initiative that was being introduced and there would be a report taken to Cabinet on the issue.
- With regard to the ‘improving outcomes for children and young people in care' the event held at Wynyard Hall was an event that should be held every year as it was inspirational and they had some brilliant ideas, and Members should be encouraged to attend.
- Asset management was something that was being reviewed. At a Tees Valley level within the Tees valley Combined Authority the Council had just been accepted into a ‘One Public Estate' initiative, and this included police and NHS partners.
- Members queried how the authority was minimising travelling time. It was noted that route optimisation software was in use, and satellite tracking devices were used fitted on vehicles as they were sourced.
- The weekly refuse collection would continue and recycling targets would be reviewed at a future Select Committee.
- Members queried the level of commercial work undertaken by the Council. There was scrutiny of this area by the District Auditor, and there was a balance to be struck between maximising income and ensuring core service delivery. It was note that most external work was sourced from other public sector bodies.
- With regard to the removal of the Community Participation Budget the MTFP would have to be developed accordingly. There would be an impact on the areas of spends that are currently only financed through the CPBs, e.g. local ward street works on grass verges.
- All the Council service areas were doing well under the financial restrictions that the Council faces.
- The Performance Report included a lot of good work, and this work was taking place at a time of increasing pressure on staff and resources. The staff should be applauded for the work that they were producing.
- Members noted the work going on across Tees Valley to promote each individual area. It was agreed that each local area would have its own heritage and ambitions and this needed to be taken forward in a collaborative fashion to avoid unnecessary competition. Partners recognised that each Borough will benefit if their partners thrive too.
ESC
45/16
Consideration was given to a report on the Council Vehicle Fleet Management.

At its last meeting, during discussions on performance reports, there was a discussion held about the Council's vehicle fleet and the development of the Councils fleet renewal fund. The discussion included how the Council bought, hired, replaced and maintained vehicles. The report provided details of the options for vehicle procurement / vehicle hire open to the council and examples of the considerations given to each option when deciding the most appropriate.

The Fleet Management Division sources appropriate vehicles using various methods to meet the user department and business requirements. Consideration of the cost effectiveness of the vehicle was paramount during this decision making purpose however the critical factor was the absolute requirement for the vehicle to be fit for purpose.

The Fleet Management Division also took responsibility for compliance of the Authorities fleet operation along with the individual user departments.

Planned Preventative Maintenance was a major factor in keeping the fleet compliant, the Authorities work shop staff carry out scheduled planned preventive maintenance, clear daily defects, control sub-contractors and keep records of such work. In addition the maintenance costs were also considered in the whole life vehicle costs when deciding on which method the council would use to prove the required vehicle.

The report detailed the pros and cons for the options for financing vehicles as follows:-

- Contract Hire
- Outright Purchase (New)
- Outright Purchase (Used)
- Fleet Renewal Fund

Attached to the report were examples of the options for financing vehicles.

The following comments on the report were made:-

- The management fees cost were broken down for Members
- Resources / vehicles were loaned between the surrounding Local Authorities if needed on a short term basis, through reciprocal arrangements.
- Electric vehicles were being looked at as possible future vehicles for inclusion in the fleet, and this would be done where cost effective.
ESC
46/16
Members were presented with the report on the Scrutiny Review of Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards.

The report presented the outcomes of the Adult Services and Health Select Committee's review of Mental Capacity Act Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS).

Members were then given the opportunity to ask questions and make comment on the report and these could be summarised as follows:-

The following comments on the report were made:-

- Alongside the scrutiny review there had been a lot of improvement work on the systems and processes
- A Personalisation Peer review was also carried out in 2015 which showed that the Council was compliant with the DoLS from the Review Team's point of view and this was very re-assuring
- The workload was now significantly higher compared to prior to the Supreme Court judgment
- The North East region's numbers were high compared to other areas and this should be looked at and trends should be investigated: additional analysis has been commissioned via the Association of Directors of Adult Services network.
- As the changes to the law came about due to case law, rather than legislation, DoLS was not something that was properly funded by central government

- A Member related some personal concerns and it was agreed that Adult Services would look into them.

- A Member noted that he found the weekly CQC inspection report updates very useful.
ESC
47/16
Members were presented with the Statutory Forward Plan. Members' seminars would commence soon on the MTFP.
ESC
48/16
Members considered the Chairs' updates on the Select Committees' reviews and other work.

With regard to the Crime and Disorder Select Committee - Dog Fouling Enforcement Review it was noted that the Committee would consider the summary of evidence and begin drafting recommendations at the 24th November 2016 meeting.
ESC
49/16
Members considered the Work Programme. It was noted that topics were now being requested for consideration for the 2017/18 Work Programme.
ESC
50/16
It was reported that the Annual Report had been updated since the last meeting and these were available on-line.

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