Agenda and minutes

Overview and Scrutiny Management Committee
Friday 22 March 2019 10.00 am

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

Contact: Stephen Bace  01452 324204

Items
No. Item

11.

Apologies

Minutes:

As detailed above.

12.

Minutes of Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 97 KB

Minutes:

The minutes were agreed as a correct record.

 

13.

Declaration of Interests

Minutes:

Cllr Andrew Gravells declared an ‘other’ interest that he was governor of Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

 

14.

Scrutiny Review pdf icon PDF 394 KB

Minutes:

14.1    Simon Harper, Statutory Scrutiny Officer presented the report which provided recommendations and proposals from the scrutiny review.

 

14.2    Workshops had been held and a number of members had been closely involved throughout. Scrutiny experts such as Paul Dean and John Cade had been consulted and the sessions had been facilitated by Ann Reeder who was an associate of the Centre for Public Scrutiny. In addition a piece of work had been undertaken by the Communities and Local Government select committee which had helped shape the review.

 

14.3    Cabinet Members had engaged with the review and a discussion had been held at Economic Growth Scrutiny Committee which had district representation.

 

14.4    The report included some recommended improvements in Scrutiny working practices alongside a proposed new committee structure. Some work had been carried out to understand the size of the County Council’s scrutiny structure in comparison to other areas. While the County Council had more committees than average it was not too far out of step. It was stated that Gloucestershire had engaged and enthusiastic non executive members.      

 

14.5    The report noted the challenging work load of the Health and Care Scrutiny Committee. While there was recognition of the national agenda for integration of Health and Adult Social Care, this was an area of vulnerability for the council as its area of biggest spend but was getting very little coverage in meetings that were very health focused. The proposal was to move adult social care to another committee to address this.

 

14.6    If the proposed structure was adopted, it was important to ensure careful joined up practices between committees where there were strong links.

 

14.7    Some members commented on the district member involvement in Economic Growth Scrutiny and the need to consider their role on the proposed Economy and Environment Committee.        

 

14.8    Members noted that the report outlined a Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee to replace the current OSMC. This would include membership of scrutiny chairs but would look less at what other committees were doing and be more forward looking and consider cross cutting issues. Call-ins would be handled by the relevant service committee. Some members expressed their support for the proposal to replace OSMC with a Corporate Scrutiny Committee.

 

14.9    Cllr Bird had been unable to attend the meeting but had asked that his views be fed back to the committee. He had raised concerns about the breadth of environment scrutiny work and the potential of creating another work load issue by combining it with scrutiny of economic matters. Other members shared this concern and suggested that Economy and Environment should be split into different committees.

 

14.10  One member emphasised that he continued to believe that splitting health and social care would go against national cross party move to integrate health and adult social care. He felt that splitting up the remit of this committee would weaken HOSC. He suggested specialist and focused agendas as the solution rather than adjusting the remit.

 

14.11  With regards to the chairing of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 14.

15.

Residual Waste Project - Value for Money Affordability Analysis

At its meeting on 23 January 2019, the Committee noted that the Audit and Governance Committee would be receiving a report on 25 January 2019 from the External Auditor relating to this matter.

 

Members agreed that OSMC should lead on any scrutiny of this due to the Committee’s ‘cross-cutting’ remit and asked that it be an item for March 2019.

 

Since the last Overview and Scrutiny Management Committee, Grant Thornton have put on hold completing their Value for Money report in view of the live legal challenge of the County Council about the procurement process for Javelin Park.

 

The Chief Executive will update the committee on this matter.

 

Information published on Energy from Waste Facility (Javelin Park), including the Ernst and Young Money and Affordability Analysis, can be viewed at the link below:

 

https://www.gloucestershire.gov.uk/council-and-democracy/freedom-of-information/frequently-requested-information/

 

Minutes:

15.1    At its meeting on 23 January 2019, the Committee noted that the Audit and Governance Committee would be receiving a report on 25 January 2019 from the External Auditor relating to the Value for Money Affordability Analysis. Members had agreed that OSMC should look at this at its next meeting. Since that last meeting, Grant Thornton had put on hold the report in view of the live legal challenge of the County Council about the procurement process for Javelin Park.

 

15.2    Pete Bungard, Chief Executive, provided an update, explaining the series of events leading to the procurement process and answering questions on the reports:

 

15.3    It was outlined for members that:

 

·         Between 1990 and 2002 waste disposal costs had increased by 12 times. Landfill capacity was running out.

·         In 2004 Javelin park was identified as a potential location for residual waste disposal (alongside Sharpness and Bishops Cleeve)

·         The Liberal Democrat and Labour Administration attempted to procure a residual waste facility specifically ruling out incineration. Through the use of Private Finance Initiative (PFI) credits, two proposals were put forward involving mechanical biological treatment at a cost in excess of £1bn over the life of the project, which was not affordable.

·         In 2005 – a Conservative Administration was in place and abandoned the procurement exercise. The Conservative manifesto had ruled out incineration.

·         In January 2009 a new procurement exercise was undertaken which was technology neutral.

·         The County Council had bought the land at Javelin Park. PFI credits continued into the new procurement exercise. Eight proposals were put forward and the four front runners were all energy from waste incineration. Preferred contractor was Urbaser Balfour Beatty.

·          In 2010 as part of the austerity measures the Government withdrew PFI credit support. The County Council paused procurement and evaluated the viability of the UBB submission without the PFI credits. It was assessed as still being viable and the removal of the PFI restrictions could lead to it being better value for money at that stage.

·         The decision was taken in September 2012 to proceed but it took until February 2013 to reach financial and contractual close. The exempt papers as part of the Cabinet paper in September 2012 included the base cost figure of £450m for the contract. This was a theoretical figure on the assumption that the contractor could begin work the day after signing. The real price would be the day that planning permission was given and then an indexation method would be applied to the £450m figure. 

 

·         It was the job of the contractor to seek planning permission. The contract had a number of scenarios built in:

 

o   Planning permission not be granted – the Council would have to pay exit costs and various costs around financial arrangements

 

o   Planning permission granted – legal challenge or Secretary of State calling it in

 

o   Gloucestershire County Council rejecting planning permission and the contractor going to the Secretary of State to appeal.

 

 

·         In March 2013 Gloucestershire County Council rejected the planning permission. In  ...  view the full minutes text for item 15.

16.

Period Poverty Update pdf icon PDF 62 KB

Minutes:

16.1    Sarah Scott, Director of Public Health reminded members that at Full Council in Feb 2018, £50,000 had been allocated to tackle period poverty.

 

16.2    A steering group had been formed which concluded that due to the short term nature of the funding, the best option was to run a grant scheme. £4,000 had been used for officer time in order to run the scheme and £46,000 had been allocated to nine projects.

 

16.3    One member stated that it was pleasing to see the scheme taken up by a wide variety of organisations across Gloucestershire. It was queried whether there would be any provision in place within Shire Hall as it was a public building. The Director of Public Health would pick this up with the Asset Management and Property Services team.

 

17.

Scrutiny of Performance

Feedback from the service specific committees on 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

 

Minutes:

17.1    Cllr Carole Allaway Martin informed members that an extra Health and Care Scrutiny Committee had been held on 20 February 2019 on two specific Health topics and this type of focussed meeting was potentially a model coming forward.

 

17.2    Cllr Brian Robinson noted the concerns of Children and Families Scrutiny Committee around turnover of children’s social workers and the performance of certain schools in Gloucestershire. In addition the committee had focused on children off-roll or home-schooled.

 

18.

Strategic performance management report 3rd quarter 2018-19 pdf icon PDF 798 KB

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:

 

http://www.gloucestershire.gov.uk/councilstrategy

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

18.1    Rob Ayliffe had provided members with the presentation slides within the report. He noted there were a few more indicators newly off target at quarter 3, but these were isolated indicators and there were no specific trends. He also highlighted the continuing challenges within Children’s.

 

18.2    The committee noted the annex within the papers as well as the risk management report.

 

19.

Finance Update pdf icon PDF 136 KB

In addition to the Revenue report, members have been provided with a Debt management report.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

19.1    Paul Blacker had provided members with the finance update report and the debt management update. The current forecast of the year end revenue position against the revenue budget of £418.081 million was a £0.406 million overspend. With regards to savings, the council was forecasting 97% on target with all to be implemented by the first few months of the new financial year.

 

19.2    In response to a question, it was explained that delays in Public Health Meeting the Challenge 2 savings were due to timing issues around outsourced contracts.

 

19.3    One member raised questions regarding capital expenditure. In response it was explained the slippage in business service centre related to the contractor issue within the Archives Project and subsequent delay. With regards to ICT this was due to the ambitious improvement plan and way of implementing projects. An answer would be provided in relation to the  slippage of £382,000 in Fire and Rescue capital expenditure.
ACTION                     Paul Blacker

 

 

20.

Performance Report - Strategy and Challenge (3rd Quarter 2018/19) pdf icon PDF 104 KB

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.

Minutes:

The Committee noted the report.

 

21.

Performance Report - Core Council (3rd Quarter 2018/19) pdf icon PDF 254 KB

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.

Minutes:

The Committee noted the report.

 

22.

Health and Care Scrutiny Committee pdf icon PDF 107 KB

Meetings held on 20 February and 5 March 2019.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee noted the report

 

23.

Environment and Communities Scrutiny Committee pdf icon PDF 52 KB

Meeting held on 6 March 2019.

Minutes:

The Committee noted the report

 

24.

Children and Families Scrutiny Committee pdf icon PDF 70 KB

Meeting held on 7 March 2019.

Minutes:

The Committee noted the report

 

25.

Gloucestershire Economic Growth Scrutiny pdf icon PDF 44 KB

Meeting held in 14 February and 20 March 2019 (verbal update)

Minutes:

The Committee noted the report.

 

With regards to the meeting on 20 March, Cllr Cromwell updated the committee on the agenda items considered; this included the implications of Brexit, and the future work of the committee in relation to the scrutiny review.

 

One member asked how well prepared businesses were for Brexit. In response it was stated that they had been asked by GFirst on this issue, and businesses were continuing as normal but were unsure of the future.  One member had attended a meeting about preparing for Brexit and that there was a lot of information being distributed by government available to businesses.

 

 

26.

Police and Crime Panel pdf icon PDF 64 KB

Meetings held on 4 February and 15 March 2019 (to follow).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee noted the report.

 

27.

Culture of the Fire and Rescue Service Scrutiny Task Group pdf icon PDF 253 KB

Members to note the final report of the Scrutiny Task Group which will be received by Cabinet on 24 April 2019.

 

To Follow

Minutes:

27.1    Cllr Jeremy Hilton, as Chair of the task Group, introduced the report which would be received by Cabinet on 24 April 2019. He discussed the content of the report including the changing nature of the role of firefighter and the way in which the change programme had been undertaken. He specifically talked about leadership styles and the use of temporary promotions.

 

27.2    There were five recommendations within the report which would be put to the Cabinet Member including setting up a Cabinet Panel for oversight of the change programme. There was also emphasis on the strengthening of the scrutiny of the service.

 

27.3    Cllr Hilton thanked the Cabinet Member for allowing him to come with him on visits to Fire Stations to hear from firefighters directly.

 

27.4    One member commented that better scrutiny could have brought some of these issues to light earlier and emphasised the fact that just because a service was performing well did not mean it shouldn’t be looked at more closely.

 

28.

New Task Groups pdf icon PDF 135 KB

OSMC Lead Members have indicated support for a scrutiny task group on Youth Strategy please see attached the one page strategy.

 

Health and Care Overview and Scrutiny Committee have agreed to set up a task group on General Surgery Reconfiguration Pilot. The attached one page strategy is for OSMC approval.  

Additional documents:

Minutes:

28.1    The Committee noted that OSMC Lead Members had approved a Scrutiny Task Group on Youth Strategy. Cllr Brian Robinson, Chair of Children and Families Scrutiny Committee stated that he felt that the one page strategy missed consultation with the private sector and asked that it be fed into the review.

            ACTION         Democratic Services

 

28.2    The Committee considered the one page strategy for the Scrutiny Task Group on General Surgery Reconfiguration Pilot proposed by Health and Care Scrutiny Committee.  Cllr Carole Allaway Martin stated that this would be a swift piece of work which needed to feed in to the preparation for the pilot by mid May. The Committee agreed to support the work.

 

ACTION         Democratic Services