Agenda and minutes

Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee - Wednesday 24 April 2024 10.00 am

Venue: Council Chamber - Shire Hall, Gloucester. View directions

Contact: Sophie Benfield  Email:

No. Item



To confirm and sign the minutes of the meetings held on 27 February 2024.

Additional documents:


The minutes from the meeting held on 27 February 2024 were agreed as a correct record.



Members of the Committee are invited to declare any pecuniary or personal interests relating to specific matters on the agenda.


Please see note (a) at the end of the agenda.


No declarations of interest were received.


Staff Survey Results pdf icon PDF 107 KB

To consider an overview of feedback taken from the Council’s 2023 staff survey.

Additional documents:


4.1      Mandy Quayle, Director of People and Digital Services, Eleanor Hutchinson, Head of HR and Wendy Cooper, Head of Organisational Development, gave a presentation on the recent staff survey results, and data drawn from staff Personal Development Reviews (PDRs) as well as exit interviews. Members noted the following:


·       Slide 1 gave an overview of how the survey was run on an annual basis. It was a detailed survey including around 90 questions within 11 different categories.

·       Completion rates tracking was available from 2016 onwards and this year had shown the highest completion rate achieved so far. A target had been set of 70% across the organisation and overall completion landed at 69%. This had therefore resulted in access to more data and therefore more actions for change that could be taken as a result. All directorates had exceeded their previous completion rates.

·       The survey was always supported by an enhanced communication plan, and this year it gave every directorate an opportunity to spotlight their progress over the past year. This was a good way of showing staff that their responses were being listened to and acted upon.

·       There was also a change in methodology this year, which had been driven by feedback from staff and best practise, and which resulted in a switch to a 5-point rating scale (from a previous 4-point scale). The previous scale forced the respondent to either agree or disagree or decline the question, whereas having a 5-point scale allowed respondents to give a neutral response.

·       The change made the reporting a lot more complex, the data teams had a lot of information to work through to provide the summary report, however the resulting data was a lot richer.

·       This year’s survey also had more free comments built-in which had generated around 6,500 comments from staff.

·       Slide 4 showed an overview of the 11 categories within the survey and average scores for the organisation within each one. Anything above 75% would be seen as a positive for the organisation. The two key areas that needed more focus was communication and change management.

·       Slides 5 and 6 gave some highlights of the survey for Members which included that staff enjoyed working at GCC, they felt safe and motivated to give their best and 87% of staff would recommend the Council as a place to work. There was strong alignment with values and leadership results were showing a greater strength in line management capability.

·       Communications and change were also the two areas where the largest number of neutral scores had been given.

·       Overall, the staff survey had resulted in a very positive set of results, which largely showed progression in terms of culture and staff commitment to working at the Council.

·       There had been an improving picture over the past 3 years in terms of PDR completion rates. These were focused on having high quality conversations with staff, setting objectives, looking back at what had been achieved and also development and learning for the future.

·       Slide 9 showed  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.


Corporate Peer Challenge 2023 - Action Plan pdf icon PDF 90 KB

To consider the attached Action Plan which is the Council’s response to the feedback of the Local Government Association (LGA) Peer Team.

Additional documents:


5.1      Rob Ayliffe introduced the attached Action Plan by reminding members that this had been produced as a response to the Corporate Peer Challenge Feedback Report which had been considered at the previous meeting. The Plan had been submitted back to the Local Government Association (LGA) but would remain a ‘living’ plan and therefore members feedback would be welcome to take forward as part of a regular review.


5.2      At the meeting in February, the Committee’s feedback was particularly focused on Recommendation’s 2 and 5, and the officer highlighted the actions resulting under Recommendation 7 as areas of particular relevance to members within their role.


5.3      It was confirmed that the Protocol on Informing Local Members had been approved at a recent Constitution Committee and was currently with directors to cascade to their teams. It was accepted that it would take some time to embed fully the Protocol would be one of the focuses at the next Leadership Conference in May, and relevant training and further support would be offered where appropriate. Members were asked to continue to share examples of where they were not being sufficiently informed, as these would be used to continue to raise awareness.


5.4      Both directors present at the meeting made a firm commitment to members that this was a priority for them and CLT as a whole, to ensure this improvement was made. A copy of the final version of the Protocol can be found as an Annex to these minutes.


5.5      It was suggested that an update on progress against the Action Plan could be considered at Committee in September, which was prior to the peer feedback exercise scheduled for November.


ACTION:      Explore providing a briefing for members on the Gloucestershire Economic Strategy, and its evolution from the Vision 2050 exercise, prior to Cabinet’s consideration in May 2024 if possible.


ACTION:      To provide further information on the structure around the new City Region Board.



Annual Scrutiny report 2022/23 pdf icon PDF 91 KB

To review the 2022 – 23 draft Annual Scrutiny Report and agree a final version to be considered at full Council on 22 May 2024.

Additional documents:


6.1       The Chair advised members that the Annual Scrutiny Report was due to be considered at the next Council meeting in May 2024 and this was the opportunity for the Committee to ask questions on its content and suggested any amendments if required.


6.2       It was advised that the item summaries included in the report did not cover all scrutiny work but instead focused on two key items per committee where an example of the full scrutiny process could be seen, for example, where an item had resulted in a recommendation or action. It was also noted that the whilst the task group/cabinet panel section included groups that were outside of the 2022 – 23 period, this report was used to allow members to track regular progress of the recommendations and therefore would include groups that were pre or post the relevant period.


6.3       Committee agreed an action for the Chair to write to the Lead Cabinet Member to request that a response to the Rural Estate Task Group report be brought to Committee as soon as possible.


ACTION:       Chair


6.4       Members agreed for this version of the report to go forward to full Council in May.


WORK PLAN pdf icon PDF 72 KB

To review the committee work plan and suggest items for consideration at future meetings.


Forthcoming Executive Decision List


Council Strategy


When making suggestions, members should consider the reasons for and expected benefit of, scrutiny’s involvement. When making suggestions, members should consider the reasons for and expected benefit of, scrutiny’s involvement. Members should also consider which area the item comes under:

·         Overview – an item which involves members learning about a subject, asking questions of clarifications but does not necessarily lead to any action/recommendations.

·         Scrutiny – an item which requires members to examine the content and provide an outcome.

·         Information – reports that are for members information, these reports can be presented and/or questioned in the meeting, but this should be kept to a minimum.


7.1       Reviewing the Committee’s work plan, members made the following amendments:


·         Due to the May agenda being particularly busy, it was agreed to move the Cyber Security update to the July meeting.

·         To add the Motion 926 – Hunting with Dogs on Council Land item as tentative for July. Members noted that the proposer and seconder of the motion were currently considering a briefing note to understand the Council’s capacity to influence change in this area.

·         To add the response to the Rural Estate Task Group recommendations tentative for September, but in hope that this is received before then.

·         Items for the future list were agreed as follows: Data, Information, and Intelligence Strategy and Review of Scrutiny.