Agenda and draft minutes

Scrutiny Board - Tuesday, 12th July, 2016 6.00 pm

Venue: Committee Room 3 - 3rd Floor - Civic Centre. View directions

Contact: Deborah Breedon  01902 551250 or Email:

No. Item


Apologies for absence


Apologies for absence were received from Cllr Jaqueline Sweetman, Keith Ireland, Mark Taylor and Kevin O’Keefe.


Declarations of interest


There were no declarations of interest.


Minutes of the previous meeting (14 June 2016) pdf icon PDF 82 KB

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



That the minutes of the meeting held on 14 June 2016 be approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair.


Matters arising


There were no matters arising.


Corporate Plan 2016 - 2019 Draft Measures pdf icon PDF 193 KB

[Charlotte Johns, Head of Transformation, to present progress report on Corporate Plan 2016 – 2019 - Draft Measures]

Additional documents:


Adrian McCormick and Helena Kucharczyk, Business Intelligence Manager provided a progress report relating to the measures to support and evidence progress against delivery of outcomes outlined in the Corporate Plan for 2016-19. The business intelligence manager invited the Scrutiny Board to provide feedback and further input on the measures identified.


Cllr Paula Brookfield suggested that performance data should be reported back later in the year. The Business Intelligence Manager highlighted the data provided in appendix one to the report and indicated that data could be reported locally as well.

Cllr Stephen Simkins, Chair, referred to some of the target data being provided by external providers and the need to track and measure once targets were identified.  Cllr Paula Brookfield agreed that this was important and advised that Adults and Safer City Scrutiny Panel has included an item on the work programme relating to social workers commissioning and compliance.   The Chair suggested that other Panels could consider similar monitoring items on issues that fall in their remit.

The Business Intelligence Manager noted the comments and advised that much of the data provided currently was numerical; she advised that in future more contextual information would be used to make the process smarter.


In response to a question form Cllr Peter O’Neill relating to reporting Headstart figures, the Business Intelligence Manager advised that Children’s Trust Board  and Health and Well Being Board also received data. Cllr Peter O’Neill suggested that Headstart programme performance reporting should be added to Children and Young People Panel work programme. Cllr Peter O’Neill indicated that Children’s Board do monitor well.


The Chair further suggested that all Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) should be reported to Scrutiny Board and that the Managing Director should be invited to present information to the Scrutiny Board about how the Council is dealing with contract compliance, what is the function and what remit they have.



1.    That the comments of the Scrutiny Board be considered when finalising the Corporate Plan draft measures.

2.    That Headstart programme performance reporting should be added to Children and Young People Panel work programme.

3.    That the Managing Director should be invited to present information to the Scrutiny Board about how the Council is dealing with contract compliance.


Revised petitions arrangements and schedule of petitions pdf icon PDF 942 KB

[Deborah Breedon, Scrutiny Officer, to present report on future arrangements for dealing with petitions.]


Colin Parr, Head of Governance outlined the report highlighting the need for Scrutiny Board to consider the following:

·         The proposed protocol for petitions to Scrutiny Panels (appendix to the report).

·         The agenda template could include petition items as the first item at panel meetings.

·         The Chairs of scrutiny panels to have discretion over the arrangements when a petition is heard, according to the topic of the petition and numbers of public attending the meeting.

·         There is potential for ombudsman complaints should process not be applied equally and transparently.


Cllr Peter O’Neill suggested that a desk top exercise be undertaken to identify the numbers and type of petition received in recent years and the potential impact on work programmes for the scrutiny panels.


The Head of Governance clarified that the new arrangements allowed for the majority of petitions with less than 50 signatories to be dealt with by officers and that he would allocate cross cutting petition topics to the panel with the most relevant remit.  He advised that performance indicators relating to dealing with petitions would reported to Scrutiny Board on a regular basis and confirmed that there would be a review of the petitions process at the end of the first year.


In response to questions the Head of Governance confirmed that training would be available to councillors to familiarise themselves with the process and protocols for petitions at scrutiny panel meetings, which would also consider councillors declarations of interest.


In relation to the discretion of Chairs at Scrutiny Panel meetings councillors debated the benefits of having the formal protocol to follow or whether to include in the protocol that the Chairs, at the meeting, should have discretion to vary the proceedings. Cllr Julie Hodgkiss suggested that a cautious approach should be adopted to ensure that each petition follows the same process.  The Head of Governance referred to the benefits of having a laminated protocol document to place on the table at meetings for public and petitioners to follow.


In response to points raised by Cllr Ian Angus and Cllr Paula Brookfield relating to scrutiny items being pushed back in the agenda the Head of Governance suggested that there should be a maximum of two petitions to any scrutiny agenda and that the manner in which any outstanding petitions are dealt with be agreed with the Chair of the scrutiny panel, whether by an additional meeting or any other mechanism.


The panel considered whether it was appropriate to restrict the number of questions, the need to ask all three questions together and the timelines to ask questions.


The panel considered establishing a sub group of each Scrutiny Panel with terms of reference to hear petitions and it was suggested that each sub group should consist of three members. The Head of Governance added that this could be a mechanism to hear petitions should it be time sensitive and the next scrutiny panel would be outside the timelines as an alternative to calling an additional panel.

In relation to e-petitions  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.


Scrutiny Board Work Programme and Cross Cutting Reviews 2016/17 pdf icon PDF 193 KB

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

Additional documents:


Colin Parr, Head of Governance provided the draft scrutiny work programme 2016-17 and invited councillors to comment on each scrutiny panel, meeting dates and work items.  He advised that there had been some issues with the schedule of municipal meetings for 2016-17 and that any comments made would be recorded and taken in to consideration when reviewing the schedule of meetings.


Scrutiny Panel Work Programme the following comments were recorded:


·         To consider moving meetings out of the purdah period – discuss at CH/Vc and feed comments about the schedule of meetings back to Leader.

·         Adults and safer City Scrutiny Panel (ASC) to potentially move meetings to Tuesday evenings.

·         ASC -The Post Peer Review implementation plan and compliance social worker items to be separate items (10.10.2016).

·         Petitions items will be additional to the work programme items.

·         Confident Capable Council (C3) – Re-title succession planning ‘Developing Staff Skills’ (11.1.17) to include training staff at a higher level.

·         Health Scrutiny – Add risk register and never items to the work programme.

·         Stronger City economy (SCE) - not able to get response to query on footfall / hotel bedrooms.

·         Other chairs also reported not receiving information they want (pupil referral units; Social worker contract compliance). Head of Governance take away and look at information sharing and report back to Ch/Vc meeting.


Suggested Cross Cutting Reviews, the following comments were recorded:

·         October 16 – March 17, initially four meetings per review.

·         The city’s apprenticeship offer- agree as a review.

·         Remove Rationalising school admission appeal; this is not a matter for CYP panel either. Discussed and agreed at Ch/Vc meeting therefore take a paper to Scrutiny Board (1.11.2016) relating to admissions appeals and then decide if a review needed later in the programme.

·         Adult mental health commissioning (scope of the review to be agreed).

·         Interims, consultants and contract staffing levels. This falls within succession planning/ developing staff skills. (C3 Panel).  Potentially a review of the skills base in the authority.

·         Three potential reviews identified are :

o   Apprenticeships

o   Adult Mental Health Commissioning

o   Succession planning




1.    That the comments of the Scrutiny Board are taken into account.

2.    Following consultation with the relevant officers the revised work programme is considered by the Chair and Vice Chair meeting in September prior to Scrutiny Board sign off 13 September 2016.