West Berkshire Council

Agenda and minutes

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Contact: Stephen Chard / Jessica Bailiss 

Items
No. Item

41.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 136 KB

To approve as a correct record the Minutes of the meetings of the Commission held on 15 January and 26 February 2019.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Prior to the commencement of the meeting, the Commission held a minute’s reflection in memory of the late Councillor Marcus Franks.

The Minutes of the meetings held on 15 January 2019 and 26 February 2019 were approved as true and correct records and signed by the Chairman.

42.

Declarations of Interest

To remind Members of the need to record the existence and nature of any personal, disclosable pecuniary or other registrable interests in items on the agenda, in accordance with the Members’ Code of Conduct.

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest received.

43.

Petitions

To consider any petitions requiring an Officer response.

Minutes:

There were no petitions received at the meeting.

44.

Actions from previous Minutes pdf icon PDF 9 KB

To receive an update on actions following the previous Commission meetings.

Minutes:

The Chairman reported that all of the outstanding actions had been completed.

45.

Management Review into the in year Revenue Overspend in Adult Social Care - 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 51 KB

To provide the Executive with feedback from the special meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Management Commission in relation to management review into the in-year overspend in Adult Social Care.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Commission considered a report of the OSMC Task Group which carried out a review of the management review into the in-year overspend in Adult Social Care in 2018/19 (Agenda Item 6).

The report made a small number of recommendations which would be considered by a future meeting of the Executive.

Councillor James Cole questioned whether paragraph 3.1 and 3.5 were accurate.  Andy Day reported that in relation to paragraph 3.1 the report did not have any financial implications as these were being dealt with separate to this report. However, in relation to paragraph 3.5, Andy Day reported that if some of the recommendations were not adopted and implemented that there could be some risk of this issue occurring going forward. He therefore agreed to amend the report to reflect the fact that there were risk management implications in not adopting some of the recommendations.

Councillor Graham Bridgman reported that paragraph 1.8 referred to the Communities Director. This should be amended to read Corporate Director (Communities).

Resolved that subject to paragraphs 1.8 and 3.5 being amended the report be forwarded to the Executive for a response to the following approved recommendations:

(1)          That a clear and unambiguous understanding of responsibilities and divisions of labour in the budget build and subsequent budget management process be introduced. This should be on the basis of the service owning the budget and Finance owning the process.

(2)          That a similar remodelling (or rebasing) be applied to the Short Term Services and all other ASC areas to avoid any further under or over budgeting.

(3)          That the Executive and Portfolio Holder for Finance give priority to re-basing/remodelling the whole corporate budget build every four years to ensure that a similar in-year situation does not occur again.

46.

Key Accountable Performance 2018/19: Q3 pdf icon PDF 102 KB

To scrutinise Q3 outturns against the Key Accountable Measures contained in the 2018/19 Council Performance Framework and consider topics for more detailed investigation.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Commission considered the Key Accountable Performance Report for Quarter 3 (Agenda Item 7). Catalin Bogos reported that the report covered the period up to the end of December 2018.

The Commission noted that demand for Children’s Services and Adult Social Care was increasing. Regarding the LRIE project, the Council proposed restarting the process with new milestones attached to it.

Catalin Bogos reported that there had been slight improvements in performance in Children’s Services and with Street Cleansing in this quarter.  However, increasing demand for DToC had led to poorer performance in this quarter.  In relation to ASC Clients with long term support receiving a review, it was proposed to invite the Local Government Association (LGA) to conduct a focused peer review to identify any further solutions to manage performance in this area.

Councillor Tim Metcalfe queried why schools were achieving improved Ofsted ratings whilst the performance report was showing attainment as Red.  Catalin Bogos reported that the Council had set a challenging target for educational attainment by wishing to be in the top 10% nationally for all stages of education.  Whilst the schools in West Berkshire had improved their performance so had many others across the Country.

Resolved that:

(i)            The progress made against the Key Accountable Measures and key achievements in all services be noted.

(ii)          The action plans associated with those areas reported as “amber” and “red” (as detailed in Appendix F) be noted particularly those relating to:

(a)     the number of bed days due to Delayed Transfers of Care (DToC) already reported to elected Members including OSMC on a regular basis, and

(b)     the number of ASC clients with Long Term Support receiving a review – improvement actions included Corporate Board’s recommendation that the LGA should be invited to conduct a focused peer review to identify any further solutions to manage performance in this area.

(iii)      The information in relation to house prices and planning measures and their possible impact on the provision of affordable housing referred to in the draft Council Strategy be noted.

(iv)      The increase in demand and its subsequent impact on performance and finances in Children’s Social Care and Adult Safeguarding Services be noted.

47.

Financial Performance Report: Q3 pdf icon PDF 80 KB

To inform the OSMC of the latest financial performance of the Council.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Commission considered the Council’s quarter three 2018/19 Revenue Financial Performance (Agenda Item 8). 

Andy Walker reported that the forecast financial overspend was £250k against a net revenue budget of £119.4m.  This position was after forecasting the impact of a corporate response to stop non-essential spend, releasing £500k of the risk management budget and a proposal which had been agreed by the Executive to release £812k from available risk reserves. However, this position might improve slightly by the end of the financial year.

Councillor James Cole reported that he felt that the report would benefit from an explanation of how the risk reserves were used. Furthermore, the Commission considered that the report would benefit from a narrative around why changes had been made to the budget in year. 

The Chairman referred to the Children and Family Service who had overspent and had not met their savings target either.  In relation to Finance and Property, Andy Walker reported that the increase in income was as a consequence of the investment in commercial property. 

The Chairman also referred to the underspend on staffing of £1.8m.  Andy Walker confirmed that the variance was not a true position and invoices relating to that reporting period were still to come in and he was confident that this would not be the position come year end.

Resolved that:

(i)        The report be noted and, in particular, the continued challenge of managing pressures in Adult Social Care, which were shared nationally, and the mitigation that was proposed in year to reduce the current end of year projection.

(ii)       The release of £609k from the Adult Social Care risk reserve and £203k from the Children and Family Services risk reserve to support the in-year overspend be noted.

48.

London Road Industrial Estate Scoping pdf icon PDF 57 KB

To consider the proposed scoping document for the London Road Industrial Estate.

Minutes:

Andy Day introduced the scoping document which set out the terms of reference and proposed scope of the review into the London Road Industrial Estate Development Project (Agenda Item 9).

The Commission agreed with the scope proposed and that the Task Group looking at this review should have five Members appointed to it. Membership would be agreed after the District Council Elections in May.

Resolved that:

(i)        The scope for the review into the London Road Industrial Estate Development Project be approved.

(ii)       A Task Group compromising five Members (to be appointed after the District Council Elections) be established to carry out this review.

49.

Digitisation Scoping pdf icon PDF 73 KB

To consider the proposed scoping document for digitisation.

Minutes:

Andy Day introduced the scoping document for the review of IT and Digital Transformation capacity (Agenda Item 10).

Nick Carter confirmed that reports on capacity for these two services would be submitted to Corporate Board shortly and that these could form part of the review process.

The Commission agreed with the scope proposed and that the Task Group looking at this review should have five Members appointed to it.  Membership would be agreed after the District Council Elections in May.

Resolved that:

(i)        The scope of the review into ICT/Digital Transformation capacity be approved.

(ii)       A Task Group compromising five Members (to be appointed after the District Council Elections) be established to carry out this review.

50.

West Berkshire Council Forward Plan 10 May 2019 to 31 August 2019 pdf icon PDF 50 KB

To advise the Commission of items to be considered by West Berkshire Council from 10 May 2019 to 31 August 2019 and decide whether to review any of the proposed items prior to the meeting indicated in the Plan.

Minutes:

The Commission considered the West Berkshire Council Forward Plan for the period 10 May 2019 to 31 August 2019.

Resolved that the Forward Plan be noted.

51.

Items Called-in following the Executive on 28 March 2019

To consider any items called-in by the requisite number of Members following the previous Executive meeting.

Minutes:

No items were called-in following the last Executive meeting.

52.

Corporate Programme pdf icon PDF 95 KB

To advise the Commission of the Council's Corporate Programme and its current areas of activity.

Minutes:

The Commission considered the Corporate Programme for the period up to December 2021 (Agenda Item 13). The Commission noted that this matter would be the subject of a full presentation at the next meeting.

Councillor Ian Morrin suggested that the Grazeley project needed to be scrutinised as he was concerned with some aspects of the development proposals.  Andy Day reported that the Commission did not have the powers to scrutinise planning issues and so it would be inappropriate to include this on the Work Programme of the Commission.

Nick Carter suggested that in scrutinising the Corporate Programme the Commission might want to focus on those projects which were RED and therefore behind schedule.

Resolved that the Corporate Programme for the period up to December 2021 be noted.

53.

Overview and Scrutiny Management Commission Work Programme pdf icon PDF 25 KB

To receive new items and agree and prioritise the work programme of the Commission for 2019/20.

Minutes:

The Commission considered its work programme for 2019/20.

The Chairman reported that the three themes which the Commission had agreed to focus their efforts on were:

(i)         Corporate Effectiveness

(ii)        Partnership Effectiveness

(iii)       Policy Effectiveness

The Commission considered that post the District Council Elections, there was a need to focus on the Policy and Partnership effectiveness themes.

Resolved that the OSMC Work Programme be noted.