Agenda and minutes

Scrutiny Board
Tuesday, 11th September, 2018 6.00 pm

Venue: Committee Room 5 - Ground Floor, Civic Centre, St Peter's Square, Wolverhampton WV1 1SH

Contact: Julia Cleary  01902 555046 or Email:


No. Item


Apologies for absence

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Apologies for absence were received from Cllr Sweetman, Cllr Bateman and Cllr Photay.


Cllr Bolshaw attended as a substitute for Cllr Sweetman and Cllr Singh attended as a substitute for Cllr Photay.


Declarations of interest

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There were no declarations of interest.


Minutes of the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 82 KB

[To approve the minutes of the previous meeting as a correct record.]

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That the minutes of the previous meeting be approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair.


Matters arising

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There were no matters arising.


Black Country LEP Brexit Group Outline and Update pdf icon PDF 196 KB

[Sarah Middleton – Chief Executive, Black Country Consortium and Charlie Hopkirk - Research Analyst – Productivity & Skills Black Country Consortium]


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The Chair welcomed Sarah Middleton, Chief Executive of the Black Country Consortium to the meeting.


Mrs Middleton outlined the history of the Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) and the fact that they had been created in 2011 and had undergone gradual change over the last 6 years to place more focus on developing economic priorities in order for the Black Country to enhance its influence on decision makers in the Cabinet.


In August 2017 a Black Country LEP had been set up with the ambition to understand the threats and opportunities of Brexit from a Black Country business perspective. The Group was currently in listening mode and sought to garner concerns form local businesses in order to pass them back to central government.


In Wolverhampton there was a high density of manufacturing businesses and there were concerns from those in the supply chain who were trying to understand the rules of the game before the Brexit trigger.


The report summarised the areas where businesses were seeking further clarification in areas such as tariffs and tariff arrangements.


The Black Country produced a lot of component parts for machines and supply chains for automotive and aerospace technologies could go around the world so there was a need to understand the implications for trade.


It was though that the area really needed to be producing more originating equipment for manufacturers. The problems were further down the supply chain and it would be better to have design and control over the products being produced. There was a need to understand how we could have a tier one operating system in the City of Wolverhampton or the Black Country as this would certainly help with resilience.


There were also differences in pressures on automotive and aerospace industries and component part value could be very different for each. It was emphasised that it was important to understand the rules of trade and the tariffs along with skills and the movement of labour in order for the Black Country to support the ongoing development of its businesses.


LEPs in general were currently undergoing a review with a series of questions now having to be answered by LEPs regarding geographical coverage and working with the West Midlands Combined Authority.


The Board queried recent media discussions which appeared to suggest that organisations were holding back from key investment decisions pending Brexit, clarification was sought as to what the evidence was showing regarding this.


It was stated that this was often due to the ownership of the company. There were a high percentage of foreign owned businesses in the area and decisions were often being made in the European boardrooms regarding investment and there did appear to be a slowdown in decisions where this was the case which was leading to some anxiety. This was however only a slowing down rather that a full stop and as the country got closer to March 19 this pattern of decision making could change again with pragmatism being the best way forward and each  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.


Work programme and update on items from the Annual Scrutiny Planning Event pdf icon PDF 132 KB

[To consider the Board’s work programme for future meetings.]

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The Board received an update on the Work Programme and the items that had been suggested for inclusion at the Annual Planning Event.


The Chair confirmed that a review group would be set up to look at violent youth crime in the City and that Cllr Obaida Ahmed would chair the group.


Resolved:     That the updates be noted.


Annual Corporate, Social Care and Public Health Complaints Report pdf icon PDF 445 KB

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A report was presented to provide a summary of the complaints, compliments, Local Government Ombudsman and Housing Ombudsman enquiries received by the Council during the period 1 April 2017 to 31 March 2018.  


The Head of Customer Services provided the Board with an update on the Customer Services structure and confirmed that she would soon be leaving the Authority. The Board thanked the Head of Customer Services for all her hard work over the years.  


The Customer Engagement Manager presented the report and confirmed that benchmarking would be included in the October report.


The Board noted that the report did not include complaints that came in through Councillors and that people often used Councillors to escalate a complaint.


It was stated that the Council was doing a piece of work around a central point of contact for councillor enquiries and that Customer Services had helped with this but needed some additional resource to move forward and were working with other departments in the Council to facilitate this and to produce a protocol with timescales.


Resolved:     That the report be received.



Annual Scrutiny Report

[To consider the new scrutiny video]

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The Board considered the Annual Scrutiny Report which this year had been done as a film for the first time.


Resolved:     (1)      That captions and names be added to the film;

                    (2)      That the video be presented to the next meeting of the Full Council.