Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

Big plans, bright future

Executive Scrutiny Committee Minutes

Date:
Friday, 5th July, 2013
Time:
10.00am
Place:
First Floor Committee Room, Town Hall, High Street, Stockton on Tees
 
Please note: all Minutes are subject to approval at the next Meeting

Attendance Details

Present:
Cllr Ken Lupton (Chairman), Cllr Carol Clark, Cllr Nigel Cooke, Cllr Robert Gibson, Cllr Eileen Johnson, Cllr Miss Tina Large, Cllr Mrs Jean O'Donnell, Cllr Mick Stoker, Cllr Mrs Mary Womphrey.
Officers:
Simon Willson (CESC); Paul Diggins (DNS); Graham Birtle, Fiona McKie, Peter Mennear, Judith Trainer, Margaret Waggott (LD); Lesley King (PIE); Tony Montague (R).
In Attendance:
Richard Amir (Parent Governor Representative)
Apologies for absence:
were submitted on behalf of Cllr Lynne Apedaile, Cllr Julia Cherrett, Cllr Mohammed Javed, Cllr Jean Kirby, Cllr Paul Kirton, Cllr Terry Laing, Cllr Maurice Perry, Cllr Ross Patterson.
Item Description Decision
Public
EXC
9/13
DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
 
EXC
10/13
MINUTES FOR SIGNING - 26TH MARCH 2013
AGREED that the minutes were signed by the Chairman as a correct record.
EXC
11/13
DRAFT MINUTES - 5TH JUNE 2013
AGREED that the minutes be approved.
EXC
12/13
2012/13 YEAR END PERFORMANCE
AGREED that the levels of performance and the proposed actions be noted.
EXC
13/13
MTFP UPDATE
AGREED that:-

1. The Medium Term Financial Plan (MTFP) and the current level of general fund balances be noted.

2. The financial uncertainty surrounding the Spending Review and the continued planned approach to financial management and delivery of efficiencies be noted.

3. A further report on the Capital Programme be presented to a future meeting.

4. Further information on personal budgets be supplied to Members.
EXC
14/13
SCRUTINY ANNUAL REPORT 2012/13
AGREED that the Scrutiny Annual Report 2012/13 be noted.
EXC
15/13
NEW HEALTH SCRUTINY REGULATIONS
AGREED that the revised health scrutiny regulations, the production of draft guidance, and implications for Stockton be noted.
EXC
16/13
ADULT SERVICES AND HEALTH SCRUTINY - IMPROVED APPROACH TO MONITORING QUALITY (INCLUDING RESPONSE TO THE FRANCIS INQUIRY)
AGREED that:-

1. The revised approach to monitoring the quality of local services as outlined within Appendix 1 of the report, including the response of the health scrutiny function in relation to the relevant recommendations of the Francis Inquiry be noted.

2. Member's comments be noted.
EXC
17/13
FORWARD PLAN
AGREED that the forward plan be noted.
EXC
18/13
REPORT ON CHAIRS UPDATES
AGREED that the Chair's updates be noted.

Preamble

ItemPreamble
EXC
9/13
Cllr Nigel Cooke declared a disclosable pecuniary interest as he was employed by Tees, Esk and Wear Valley NHS Foundation Trust. Cllr Cooke had been granted a dispensation in this regard.

Cllr Ken Lupton declared a personal/non prejudicial interest further to being a Non-Executive Director of North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust.

Cllr Bob Gibson declared a personal/non prejudicial interest in relation to Agenda Item No. 10 further to being Board Members of Tristar Homes.

Cllr Tina Large declared a personal/non prejudicial interest in relation to Agenda Item No. 10 further to being Board Members of Tristar Homes.
EXC
10/13
The minutes of the meeting held on 26th March 2013 were signed by the Chairman as a correct record.
EXC
11/13
Consideration was given to the draft minutes of the meeting held on 5th June 2013.
EXC
12/13
Members were provided with details of the Council's performance in 2012/13, highlighting achievements, areas for improvement and proposed actions and included information relating to Freedom of Information requests, complaints and commendations and the staff suggestion scheme. Whilst the report aimed to give a perspective on the overall performance of the Council its primary focus was on the achievement of the basket of measures and associated targets agreed as part of the Council Plan development.

The Committee acknowledged that it was a good report with good levels of performance considering the circumstances in which the Council had been operating due to all of the recent and continuing budget cuts.

Members held discussion on the report and raised the following questions/queries:-

- Could the Council's contracts be looked at to see if we could add a condition that requires main contractors to pay their sub-contractors invoices within 30 days?
- Members requested to see comparator information with other relevant areas in relation to the congestion figures.
- It was requested that further information be requested on the number of Freedom of Information (FOI) requests that had been refused either on the grounds of time/cost and/or vexatious.
- Members requested information on how FOI's from the media were recorded.
EXC
13/13
Members were provided with an update report that focused on the financial performance and position at the end of the 2012/13 financial year and updated the Medium term Financial Plan accordingly. The financial outlook continued to be uncertain with indications of further funding reductions as part of the Spending Review in June and officers were continuing to manage finances carefully in light of the uncertainty.

Members requested further information and a progress update on the Capital Programme. It was suggested that this be presented to a future meeting.

Discussion was held on the underspend for individual client budgets for Social Care. Members requested that further information be provided on the reasons why clients were underspending.
EXC
14/13
Members were provided with the Scrutiny Annual Report for 2012/13. During the past year, the Scrutiny Work Programme had focused on a wide range of topics including reviews of public facing services as well as internally focused efficiency work. In addition to their review work programme, all Select Committees had taken the opportunity to review the impact of previous reviews and recommendations. Some key achievements and outcomes highlighted from the monitoring of past reviews were provided.
EXC
15/13
Members were provided with an update on the new health scrutiny regulations following the introduction of the Health and Social Care Act 2012 and subsequent amendments to the regulations.
EXC
16/13
Members were informed that the arrangements for quality assurance, and specifically the role of the Adult Services and Health (ASH) Select Committee, had been reviewed in light of public concern, national guidance and inquiries, and the impact of the health reforms. The report summarised work to date and outlined areas for improvement. It also included the response of the health scrutiny function to the relevant recommendations of the Francis Inquiry into the failure of care at Mid-Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust.

Members held discussion on the report and raised the following issues:-

- Discussion was held on ensuring Members were provided with adequate training.
- Discussion was held on partner organisations such as Healthwatch, CQC etc. and their roles.
- Members felt that they needed to be in a position to influence decision making of the bodies that they would be scrutinising.
- Discussion was held on the quality of some of the information that needed to be scrutinised.
EXC
17/13
Members were provided with the statutory forward plan for 1st July to 31st October 2013.
EXC
18/13
Members were provided with an update from each of the Select Committee's Chairman.

Members were provided with the recommendations from the Housing and Community Safety Select Committee's Review of Tobacco Control which was due to be considered by Cabinet on 11th July 2013.

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