Agenda and minutes

Overview and Scrutiny Management Committee
Friday 24 November 2017 10.00 am

Venue: Cabinet Suite - Shire Hall, Gloucester. View directions

Contact: Stephen Bace  01452 324204

No. Item


Minutes of Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 116 KB

Additional documents:


The minutes were agreed as a correct record.



Declaration of Interests


No additional declarations made.



Care Staff and the National Minimum Wage pdf icon PDF 222 KB

Indicative Timing – 10:05 to 10:20am


To receive a report reviewing ‘ the employment practices of all those care providers being used by this council to ensure that all care staff are paid at or above hourly National Minimum Wage rates’.


This was referred to the Committee following a motion at full Council, the minutes can be found below:


The Committee is to decide whether it wishes to progress this matter.

Additional documents:


63.1    Donna Miles, Lead Commissioner, presented the report detailing the review of ‘employment practices of all those care providers being used by the council to ensure that all care staff are paid at or above hourly National Minimum wage rates’. This had been referred to the Committee following a motion at full Council. The Committee were to decide whether there was a need to progress the matter.


63.2    Members were provided with the context around the National Minimum Wage (NMW) and the National Living Wage (NLW) which was introduced on 1 April 2016. It was explained that the NLW was a new single hourly rate of the NMW for workers aged 25 and over.  The report provided details around the legal responsibilities and relevant case law. The Committee understood that when considering the National Minimum Wage for carers, it was the average wage across the totality of the hours that was considered. Examples were included within the report identifying the types of shift patterns including ‘sleep-in’ nights.  Members clarified that if an employee was paid a higher than minimum wage rate for day shifts, then sleep-ins could be paid at a lower rate as long as the average for the pay reference period was at the National Minimum Wage.  In response to a question it was clarified that ‘sleep-ins’ were generally paid as a fixed fee per shift and that they accounted for a small proportion of the overall work load of a carer.



63.3    An increase in ‘sleep-ins’ for a worker to the extent that their rates might fall below the National Minimum Wage would lead to reimbursement to bring them up to National Minimum Wage level. There was some discussion around the complications that could arise if looking to back date this over a long period of time.


63.4    Members were provided the context in the form of the Home Care Framework which allowed the purchasing of a plethora of services. One member asked about delays to assessing individuals going back home. It was explained that this was overseen by the hospital social work team.


63.5    The report gave the number of providers by zone including their names. Members noted that both Gloucester and Cheltenham had single providers with spot purchasing taking place to help support this in these areas. The recent Cabinet decision had been taken to allow for more than one provider to operate in Cheltenham and Gloucester as there had been evidence that the single provider model was not working.


63.6    One member expressed concern about turnover of staff and how that might be indicating that the terms and conditions might be a problem. In addition, he commented on the difficulties in place to ensure career progression. He suggested that this was an area where Health Scrutiny should be having a closer look.


63.7    Some members commented on the level of self funding within the market, it was explained that it made up 50% of the market. It was a part of the framework and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 63.


Scrutiny of Performance pdf icon PDF 55 KB

Indicative Timing – 10:20 to 10:35am



Feedback from the service specific scrutiny committees on the performance of their service areas:


·         Health and Care Scrutiny – Cllr Carole Allaway Martin

·         Children and Families Scrutiny – Cllr Brian Robinson

·         Environment and Communities – Cllr Rob Bird

Additional documents:


64.1    The Committee noted the reports provided by the Chairs of Health and Care Scrutiny and Children and Families Scrutiny outlining their discussions on performance at the last committee meetings.


64.2    Cllr Brian Robinson, Chairman of Children and Families Scrutiny, outlined that the performance report had shown improvement against some indicators. He outlined that there was some drift in the system relating to assessments but that this had been addressed in the majority of teams and that the number of unallocated cases had significantly reduced. The Committee had expressed concerns with regard to the Stroud and Cheltenham Locality teams. The Committee would be monitoring this going forward. The Committee had also received a report on Quality Assurance Framework and how audits were being done. The Committee were very disappointed with the way in which these were not embedded within the culture of the teams and stated that they were expecting improvements in future reports.


64.3    Cllr Rob Bird explained that there had been no points made to feed back to OSMC, in relation to Communities and Infrastructure performance from the Environment and Communities Scrutiny Committee. There was a discussion from members about the need for service specific scrutiny committees to consider performance and feed back to OSMC. Some Members emphasised the importance of consistency of format. Others felt that scrutiny committees should decide  themselves. Officers confirmed that all committee’s received the scorecard annex for their particular area with covering reports by the Director.  Lead Members would be discussing this approach further.

            ACTION                     Lead Members



Strategic Performance Management Report 2nd Quarter 2017-18 pdf icon PDF 333 KB

Indicative Timing – 10:35 to 11:05am


It would be helpful if members would email in detailed questions arising from the performance reports in advance of the meeting. This will enable officers to have prepared responses and also better support the committee’s debate on these matters.


The committee needs to consider:-


Do these reports demonstrate that the council is on target to achieve the council’s aims/ priorities?


Have resources been targeted appropriately?


Are these areas of low performance that the committee feel would benefit from more detailed analysis?


Are there any particular areas that the committee want to refer elsewhere?


Members will find it helpful to refer to the Council Strategy when considering these reports:



Additional documents:


65.1    Rob Ayliffe, Head of Strategic Planning, Performance and Change, introduced the slides that had been circulated in advance; these outlined the Performance Management Framework. Performance management happened at all levels of the Council. He spoke about interactive dashboards that allowed managers to drill down into performance to address concerns and that this was being used in Children’s and would be rolled out elsewhere. He also outlined the way in which performance was reported to scrutiny.  All of the data that went to the relevant committees matched the data set that was received by OSMC. The covering reports were provided by the relevant Director (s).


65.2    The Council was meeting or exceeding 73% of targets at the end of quarter 2. With regards to Children’s Social Care, there was improved performance for timeliness of assessments, but there was still further to go. Members noted the ‘Snapshot of Support’ for Adult Social Care which showed a reduction in the number of people needing longer term packages.


65.3    The Committee understood that in Public Health, ‘Healthy Lifestyles’ was a new contract aimed at encouraging healthy lifestyle of residence in the county  and would be key to future demand for NHS and social care services. This was a new contract which was showing improvement.  The success of this programme was important to watch as it would have a direct impact on the future demand to services.


65.4    The Committee noted that in performance relating to the Fire and Rescue Service, there had been a spike in the number of arsons in quarter 1. Detailed analysis had been undertaken and the numbers had now reduced to more typical levels. Despite this, the data was cumulative and so the impact of that quarter 1 figure would be seen throughout the year.


65.5    One member commented on the value of performance reports being seen by cabinet members and then articulated to staff. He emphasised that it was important to explain to staff how they linked into the wider picture and how their contribution made a difference.


65.6    Some members expressed concern about the number of overdue re-assessments in Adult Social Care. One member stated that it was important to provide members with commentary alongside the target, to explain what was being done to bring it into an acceptable range. In response, officers stated that resources had been put into this area and there was a focus on reassessing high cost packages and those most in need of re-assessment such as those most vulnerable. One member commented about the importance of understanding how much re-assessments benefited individuals and whether all packages should be automatically re-assessed. Another member explained how important it was to ‘re-assess’ in order to understand if the package remained suitable. The Committee requested further information on the re-assessment process, including how they were prioritised.
ACTION                     Tina Reid



65.7    One member commented that the performance targets did not seem to cover an area such as economic development and asked whether officers could look at  ...  view the full minutes text for item 65.


Finance Update pdf icon PDF 192 KB

Indicative Timing – 11:05 to 11:20am


Additional documents:


66.1    Paul Blacker, Head of Financial Management, introduced the financial monitoring report, showing an underspend of £87,000. Members noted the overspend within Children and Families of £6m, as well as drawing £3m from the vulnerable children reserve. The overspend was offset by corporate and tech underspends. Investments were doing well with contingency set aside for non achievement of savings.


66.2    The report included details of the delivery of savings. At the end of September, the Council was forecasting delivery of £23.261 million against a target of £26 million. Around 10% of savings were at risk of slippage but would be on track in future years.


66.3    Members noted the detail around the Business Rate retention scheme, with Leadership Gloucestershire having submitted an application to join the pilot for the next financial year. In response to questions it was confirmed that Tewkesbury were involved in the pilot and that there was a no detriment clause. The rules of the pilot had not been defined but previous pilots had seen benefits being retained to the value of between £2m and £10m. The County Council would receive 50% of the net gain. With regards to risk of NHS claims it was clarified that this was a test case around Hospital trusts not being charged business rates. The legal case had not been started yet and so would not be settled within the period of the pilot.


66.4    One member expressed concern about the overspends in Children’s and Adult Services and asked how the Council could have a sound financial basis going forward. In particular he emphasised the need for ongoing revenue and not just one off funding. In response to further questions it was clarified that in 2016/17 the social care levy can come late and had been put in a ‘pot’ to be allocated. Members were informed that the improved better care fund would be coming in the next financial year in additional to whether the Council chose to take the Social Care levy of 2% as well.



Performance Report - Strategy and Challenge pdf icon PDF 135 KB

Indicative Timing – 11:20 to 11:25am



It would be helpful if members would email in detailed questions arising from the performance report in advance of the meeting. This will enable officers to have prepared responses and also better support the committee’s debate on these matters.


67.1    Jane Burns, Director: Strategy and Challenge, introduced the quarter 2 report outlining that. 92% of improvement activity were on or ahead of target as well as 91% of indicators also on or head of target. A balanced budget was being reported.


67.2    A significant amount of work was being carried out to support the Ofsted Improvement Plan.


67.3    Members were informed that there had been a three to four month delay in the archive project; the contractor had accepted the liability of this.


67.4    The number of scrutiny reviews had been delayed due to the election, however a number of reviews were underway and due for completion by quarter 4.



Performance Report - Core Council pdf icon PDF 307 KB

Indicative Timing – 11:25 to 11:30am



It would be helpful if members would email in detailed questions arising from the performance report in advance of the meeting. This will enable officers to have prepared responses and also better support the committee’s debate on these matters.



68.1    Paul Blacker introduced the report highlighting the spike in long term sickness absence.


68.2    With regards to asset sales, the Council were on track to receive £12m with £7m slipping into the new financial year. 


68.3    In response to a question it was clarified that the Council were still in the position of reducing overall borrowing. £7.8m of debt had matured.



IT Briefing pdf icon PDF 105 KB

Indicative Timing – 11:30 to 11:50



The Committee to be provided with a summary of the ICT strategy,  high level performance of Sopra Steria contract and the investment/funding for ICT.


69.1    Andy Gilbert, Head of ICT, introduced the report providing a high level summary of the ICT strategy as well as an overview of the service and how it was structured. The revenue budget for the service was £6.5m. £3m on Sopra Steria service, £1m on Council ICT management team and £2.5m on software licences and contract agreements on behalf of the whole Council. There was a rolling Capital expenditure programme, supplemented in the previous year and was aimed at  support merging areas  and developing business requirements.



69.2  The Committee understood that there were four key themes:

·         Shared and Partnership Working

·         Flexible, Mobile and Efficient Workers

·         Compliance and Security

·         Strong Infrastructure


Members were informed that there was an emerging fifth theme around developing a new strategy to enable digital transformation. The Existing strategy and roadmap was coming to an end in 2018. A new strategy would be developed that would still be ‘business led’.


69.3    One member commented on the Strategic risk register and the risk around the failure of technology and the Council’s ability to communicate.  He asked why this risk had been closed when still suffering catastrophic failures.  It was confirmed that the risk had merely been reworded in the quarter 2 document to reflect the changing nature of the risk.


69.4    Responding to members concerns with the recent outages around Blackberry Work, it was explained that the outages needed to be put into context. This was a solution to allow mobile access to email, the email had not been down and Microsoft Outlook had still been working. The Blackberry Work solution had been problematic and Blackberry had been onside for the previous 8 days with a brand new advanced contract. Members were assured that the team were doing everything they could to make the solution fit for purpose.


69.5    Noting the previous difficulties with Blackberry Work, some members expressed concern that this would be the solution for children services for social workers to connect. They suggested that by using Blackberry Work the Council was significantly increasing its level of risk.  It was explained that the difficulties had arisen because the current environment which Blackberry Work was connected into went through an environment that had a number of legacy component from when Good for Enterprise was in existence. A new Blackberry Environment had been developed and was being pilot tested. This would allow for greater stability. As a contingency, Microsoft Web Outlook had been used on a short term basis when there were outages. Social Workers would also have laptops accessing emails through Outlook.



69.6    One member commented that the Blackberry Work solution was slow when opening documents or links. It was explained that there was a level of security in place that could sometimes effect the speed. If a member was emailing a link or document to a personal email address outside of Blackberry Work, then they were determining the sensitivity of the data.



69.7    One member explained that he had been made aware of the slowness  ...  view the full minutes text for item 69.


Gloucestershire Economic Growth Scrutiny pdf icon PDF 60 KB

Meeting held on 19 October 2017.




70.1    Cllr Norman passed on his apologies and the report was noted. .



Health and Care Scrutiny Committee pdf icon PDF 59 KB

Meeting held on 14 November 2017




71.1    In the absence of the Chair, the Committee noted the report. Cllr Iain Dobie asked to clarify comments within the report of the Committee congratulating the 2Gether NHS Foundation Trust on performance against targets for the Children and Young People’s Mental Health Service.  He stated that this was about congratulating them for improved performance whilst noting that all waiting time targets were still not being met. He emphasised the importance of including this.



Children and Families Scrutiny Committee pdf icon PDF 52 KB

Meeting held on 17 November 2017




72.1    Cllr Brian Robinson, as Chair of the Committee, presented the report.


72.2    It was explained that some members had requested that the previous Cabinet Member for Children and Young People come to the Committee to respond to questions to help identify lessons learned. The Chairman was happy to extend that invitation.



Environment and Communities Scrutiny Committee

Meeting held on 22 November 2017.


The Chairman to report at the meeting.


73.1    Cllr Rob Bird provided a brief update on the committee meeting. The Committee had received items on the Minerals Local Plan, Draft Integrated Risk Management Plan and Local Flood Risk Management Strategy.


73.2    Members had received a report on progress with the emerging Minerals Local Plan for Gloucestershire (2018-32), including an analysis of representations received to the draft plan consultation and proposed significant changes to be considered for incorporation into the Publication version of the plan. This plan would replace the existing Gloucestershire Minerals Local Plan which was adopted in 2003. Over 2,500 individual representations were made to the draft plan consultation, which have been reviewed by officers. Members were informed that the comments raised through the draft plan consultation have resulted in a number of proposed changes.


73.3    In particular it was explained that there had been the removal  of oil and gas development from the spatial strategy and the introduction of specific references to measures to support climate change mitigation and/or adaption. One member asked for clarification of the process and when a full write up of the consultation would be available.

            ACTION                     Nigel Riglar


73.4    The Committee was informed of the development and progression for the next Integrated Risk Management Plan (2018-21) for Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service. The draft IRMP was considered by Cabinet on 27 September 2017, where it was approved for public consultation. The consultation was open until 8 January 2018 and everyone was encouraged to respond.


73.4    Members had been informed that Gloucestershire County Council, as the Lead Local Flood Authority for Gloucestershire, adopted its Local Flood Risk Management Strategy in 2014, which set out the Council’s proposals to fulfil its role over the subsequent 10 years. The Council was also required to produce an Annual Progress and Implementation Plan to enable it to respond to any legislative, regulatory and financial changes that might occur during the delivery period of the Local Strategy.




Police and Crime Panel pdf icon PDF 57 KB

Meeting held on 8 November 2017




74.1    One member noted the detail within the report around the discussions the Commissioner was having with Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service regarding the possibility of building a new multipurpose courthouse within the Waterwells Campus. He emphasised the importance of ensuring it was in an accessible location.



New Task Groups


No new task groups were proposed.


            Members noted the list of current task groups and scrutiny activity. It was clarified that there was an error on the report and that the Minerals Local Plan would be going to full Council in the new year.