Agenda and minutes

Our Council Scrutiny Panel - Tuesday, 28th June, 2016 6.00 pm

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

Contact: Earl Piggott-Smith  Tel: 01902 551251 or Email:

No. Item




Apologies were received from the following members of the panel:


Cllr Dr Michael Hardacre

Cllr Jacqueline Sweetman


Declarations of interest


There were no declarations of interest recorded.



Minutes of previous meeting (20 April 2016) pdf icon PDF 67 KB

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


That the minutes of the meeting held on 20 April 2016 be approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair.



Matters arising

[To consider any matters arising from the minutes]


Minute 6: Future Money: Budget Update and Review Report


The panel agreed that Cllr Johnson, Cabinet Members for Resources and Mark Taylor, Director of Finance, be invited to a future meeting present a briefing on the financial implications on the Council’s financial modelling work and forecasting work following the vote to leave the European Union.


Future Works - ensuring that we have the right IT infrastructure and business processes pdf icon PDF 216 KB

[Andy Hoare, Head of Service – ICT will present report on the Digital Transformation Programme and how new technology will support the Customer Service transformation, provide enhanced business intelligence and support anti-fraud initiatives]


Andy Hoare, Head of Service, ICT briefed the plan on the use of improved technology to support business change. Head of Service referred to the example in the report on changes to the business process when a member of the public reports that their bin has not be emptied. Head of Service explained how technology could be used to reduce and automate elements in the current lengthy process involved to deliver a better customer service experience. Head of Service commented on the advantages to the Council in making use of new technological developments.


Head of Service that the example cited that refuse collection is possible with good 4G connectivity which would allow someone to match an address to a problem about a collection.  Head of Service commented that the Council has technology to give a faster and better customer service experience.  Wolverhampton is learning from the experience of other local authorities who are introducing technological solutions to the delivery of the council’s business.


The panel had concerns about the intrusive nature of using personal data to contact a resident about a problem with their bin collection. There was also concern about how groups such as elderly people would cope with such a system. Head of Service accepted this was an issue but responded that the Council was following a digital by design rather than digital by default – where the public would not have a choice about how to access a service. The aim of the change is to provide another method for the public, while also supporting people to use the technology, where it would save time.


Head of Service explained that Wolverhampton is catching up with other authorities such as Coventry, Telford & Wrekin in terms of introducing digital services.


The panel queried the planned expenditure of £3.5 million and how the risk of spending money on technology which may become outdated or more costly was being managed. Head of Service explains that the budget includes provision to bring in expertise needed, however the plan is the Council becomes self-sufficient by learning the skills from experts to support the process of change.


Head of Service, accepted the risk and the Council was adopting a major change which would mean less money spent on technology and the use developments such as cloud storage which allow services to adapt to future issues more easily. Head of Service commented on changes in how the Council purchases software licenses to reduce costs.


The panel requested the a briefing paper be presented on the following details


1.    The level of digital exclusion in Wolverhampton.

2.    The current number of people using new services compared was originally expected.

3.    The Council response time to enquiries by email, telephone and social media sites

4.    Provide an example of where technological improvements could make a difference to how services are currently delivered.



Head of Service explained that Wolverhampton has good broadband coverage.  The level of digital exclusion is estimated to be about 55-65%. Wolverhampton has a high  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.


Future Customer - improving customer service pdf icon PDF 519 KB

[Sue Handy , Head of Customer Service, to present report on progress against delivery of the Customer Service Transformation Programme and the Customer Service Strategy Action Plan.]

Additional documents:


Sue Handy, Head of Customer Service, presented a report on progress against delivery of the Customer Service Transformation Programme.


Head of Customer Service referred to progress since a report was presented to the panel. Head of Customer Service commented on work done with employees of newly migrated services and review to look at streamlining processes to improve the customer experience.


Head of Customer Services explained the next steps in the process and the plans to migrate other services as detailed in the Migration Wave Plan. Head of Customer Services commented on the work done with employees in adult social care to improve customer service offer.  The planned changes include providing people with self-service as part of the future spaces programme in autumn 2016


The panel discussed the public response to ReportIt app.  Head of Customer Service commented that there has been a mixed response. The current system needs manual intervention. Head of Service, ICT, explained the app is being redeveloped to make it more automatic and user friendly.


The panel discussed the work done to develop the Draft Family Group Model.


The panel queried the employee changes affected by migration of service and the reference in the report to the restructuring to ensure that the right employees are placed in the right groups. The panel discussed the issue of vacant posts arising from the review and asked for more information about the impact on posts which become vacant.


The panel welcomed the report.



            The panel asked that a further report on the human resource impact following the migration of employees detailed in the customer service migration plan to a future meeting.