Agenda and minutes

Resources Overview and Scrutiny Committee
Wednesday 12th September 2018 7.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Council Offices, The Campus, Welwyn Garden City, Herts, AL8 6AE

Contact: Gurdip Paddan 

Items
No. Item

53.

SUBSTITUTION OF MEMBERS

To note any substitution of Members made in accordance with Council Procedure Rules 19-22.

 

Minutes:

The following substitution of Committee Members had been made in accordance with Council procedure Rules 19-22:-

 

Councillor M. Cowan for J.P. Skoczylas

Councillor L. Musk for T. Lyons

Councillor S. Thusu for S. Markiewicz

54.

APOLOGIES

To note any apologies.

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors M. Birleson, T. Lyons,

S. Markiewicz, S. Roberts and J.P. Skoczylas.

55.

MINUTES

To confirm as a correct record the Minutes of the meeting held on 20 June 2018 (previously circulated).

 

Minutes:

The Minutes of the meeting held on 20 June 2018 were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

56.

ACTIONS UPDATE pdf icon PDF 48 KB

Minutes:

The status of action agreed at the Resources Overview and Scrutiny Committee meeting on 20 June 2018 in the report of the Corporate Director (Resources Environment and Cultural Services) was noted.

57.

SOPRA STERIA CONTRACT PERFORMANCE - 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 60 KB

Report of the Corporate Director (Resources, Environment and Cultural Services), which provides Members with an analysis of the service performance for Sopra Steria against contractual key performance indicators and service level targets for benefits, council tax, business rates, Information Communication Technology (ICT), contact centre, reception and switchboard. 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Report of the Corporate Director (Resources, Environment and Cultural Services), which provided Members with an analysis of the service performance for Sopra Steria against contractual key performance indicators and service level targets for benefits, council tax, business rates, information Communication Technology (ICT), contact centre, reception and switchboard.

 

The overall performance had been good since the commencement of the partnership despite the period of economic uncertainty the Council had gone through and the welfare reform changes which have impacted on performance.

 

Performance for some of the key performance indicators for Quarter 1, April 2018 to June 2018 was shown in Appendix A attached to the report. Overall the performance has been positive.

 

Members asked about the one Performance Indicator that had not met the target within the call centre (incoming contacts dealt with within 30 seconds).  The Officer explained that this was due to one employee vacancy and one employee being on sick leave within Steria.  These have now been resolved, service improvements had been made and performance was reported as being better over July and August.

 

            RESOLVED

 

            That the report be noted.

 

58.

PERFORMANCE INDICATOR REPORT pdf icon PDF 77 KB

Report of the Corporate Director (Resources, Environment and Cultural Services) and the accompanying presentation which provides the Committee with performance indicator data collected for those services that fall within its remit. It provides Quarter 1 along with comparative information.  

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members considered the report of the Corporate Director (Resources, Environment and Cultural Services) together with the accompanying presentation, which provided the Committee with performance indicator data collected for those services that fell within its remit.  It provided Quarter 1 along with comparative information.  Taken together the report and presentation enabled the Committee to identify which of its services were improving, not improving or remaining the same in their key performance areas.  Service comments had been included to explain the performance shown, along with any further action needed.

 

Members considered the performance indicators and raised the following points during the discussion which ensued.

 

Performance Indicator 5 – Officers explained that the full time equivalent (FTE) should state 1.3 in terms of sickness absence in this quarter, and that it covered both short and long term sick leave.  Members asked what procedures were in place to deal with employee stress and mental health issues. Officers explained that professional help was available to employees. If an employee has indicated they are suffering from a stress related illness they can be referred to the Council’s occupational health adviser and reasonable adjustments to work can be offered as needed. Employees who do not wish to discuss this with their employer can access an Employee Assistance Programme in confidence, which is funded by the Council but no personal details are communicated to HR. 

 

Performance Indicator 10 – Members were pleased with the percentage of residents (81%) who felt ‘well informed’ about Council services. It was noted that 350 residents took part in a quarterly telephone survey in the borough, and that these were randomly selected.  A question was raised on why it was such a low figure in relation to the Borough’s population. Officers advised that it took in the region of 3,500 to 4,000 calls to achieve responses from 350 residents to collect this data.  It was noted that by comparison, the LGA conducts national surveys on this subject and the most recent of which (June 2018) indicated that just 53% of people nationally stated that they believed their council kept them fairly or very well informed.  Further comparative information can be provided periodically to future meetings for reference.

 

Performance indicator 60 – Commercial and retail unit occupancy levels.  Further information was requested.

 

Performance Indicator 62 – Members were advised on the debtor days for this quarter was 38.62, which was slightly lower than the average for 2017/18 which was 39.42.

 

With regards to Performance Indicator 4, Officers clarified that Quarter 1 was good and comfortable ahead of target due to resource levels and a slight drop in the number of cases.

 

            RESOLVED

 

            That the report be noted.

 

59.

REVENUE & CAPITAL BUDGET MONITORING AT 30 JUNE 2018 pdf icon PDF 62 KB

Report of the Corporate Director (Resources, Environment and Cultural Services) on the Revenue, Capital & HRA budget monitoring position as at the end of June 2018 (Month 3) for the financial year 2018/19. These reports were presented and discussed at the Cabinet meeting on the 7 August 2018 and are attached to this summary report. The Cabinet reports analyse the reasons for changes between the current budget and projected outturn. 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Report of the Corporate Director (Resources, Environment and Cultural Services), which presented the Revenue, Capital and HRA budget monitoring position, as at the end of June 2018 (Month 3) for the financial year 2018/19.  The reports had been presented and discussed at the Cabinet meeting on the 7 August 2018.  The Cabinet reports analysed the reasons for changes between the current budget and projected outturn.

 

Members sought clarification on the Housing Revenue Account balance as at Period 3.  Officers explained that the favourable movement from the original budget is related to a higher opening HRA balance than anticipated in the original budget.     It was noted that certain amount of work had to be undertaken to bring properties to a good standard for renting.  A question was raised in respect of how other councils were dealing with this situation regarding property purchases and incurring costs of repairs.  Officers explained that the Council monitors situations and was audited annually and has had a clean bill of health from the External Auditor.  Financial information was available to all Members following the Cabinet meeting.

 

With regards to outstanding debt, Members noted that at the end of Quarter 1, debt outstanding totalled £1.036m.  This was a reduction of £146k on the Quarter 4 position of £1.182m.  It was noted that proactive approach was being undertaken to manage debts by finance and this was specified in the projected figures. 

 

Members received the Capital Schemes progress to date (Appendix B attached to the report).  The Executive Member for Resources explained that forecasts were estimates and a number of large projects had been rolled over to the following year.

 

            RESOLVED

 

            That the report be noted.

 

60.

COMMITTEE OVERVIEW WORK PROGRAMME 2018/19

The pro-forma which sets out the Committee’s overview work programme has been updated since the last meeting to enable forward planning of items to be considered to take place.  Items which the Committee agrees it would like to consider will be scheduled into the work programme.

Minutes:

The work programme was noted.

 

The Chairman announced that the January 2019 ROSC meeting would commence at 7pm.