West Berkshire Council

Agenda and minutes

Venue: Wokingham Borough Council, Shute End, Wokingham, RG40 1BN

Contact: Moira Fraser / Jo Reeves 

Items
No. Item

22.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 249 KB

To approve as a correct record the Minutes of the meeting of this Committee held on 12 June 2017.

Minutes:

The Minutes of the meeting held on 12 June 2017 were approved as a true and correct record by the Committee and signed by the Chairman.

The Committee reviewed the actions arising from the minutes of the previous meeting. Regarding the action on page 2, Paul Anstey confirmed that in relation to the query around Food Hygiene Rating Scheme totals, there had been no data errors but there was a lag between the database and the website which meant the totals did not equal 100%. Members requested that an explanatory note be placed on the website.

All other actions had been completed.

23.

Declarations of Interest

Any Member with a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest in a matter should withdraw from the meeting when the matter is under consideration, and should notify the Democratic Services Officer in attendance that they are withdrawing as they have such an interest. If the Disclosable Pecuniary Interest is not entered on the register of Members’ Interests, the Monitoring Officer must be notified of the interest within 28 days.

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest received.

24.

Notice of Public Speaking and Questions

To note those agenda items which have received an application for public speaking.

A period of 30 minutes will be allowed for members of the public to ask questions submitted under notice.

The Partnership welcomes questions from members of the public about their work.

Subject to meeting certain timescales, questions can relate to general issues concerned with the work of the Partnership or an item which is on the agenda for this meeting. For full details of the procedure for submitting questions please contact Democratic Services.

Minutes:

No notice had been received that members of the public wished to address the Committee on any of the agenda items.

No public questions were submitted in relation to general issues concerned with the work of the Partnership or any items which were on the agenda for the meeting.

25.

Future Plan pdf icon PDF 52 KB

To detail future items that the Committee will be considering.

Minutes:

Members noted the future plan.

26.

Nominations to the Board of Directors of Trading Standards South East Ltd (PP3354) pdf icon PDF 59 KB

To propose nominations to Board of Trading Standards South East Ltd and seek approval for those appointments.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report (Agenda Item 6) which asked that the Committee approve that Sean Murphy be nominated as Director of Trading Standards South East (TSSE) Ltd to represent West Berkshire District Council, Bracknell Forest Borough Council and Wokingham Borough Council (‘the Councils’) and that John Nash be nominated to the role as Alternate Director to represent the Councils.

Steve Loudoun explained that the decision was a straightforward business need. All three Councils had a right to be members of the company but as they were part of a shared service there was an opportunity for a saving and have only one person representing all three Councils.

Sean Murphy explained that each authority was entitled to nominate one Director and a number of Alternate Directors. Currently Sean Murphy was a Director for West Berkshire Council. Wokingham Borough Council had no formal representation on the Board. Bracknell Forest appointed Rob Sexton but he stood down on the formation of the Public Protection Partnership (PPP) in the expectation that the PPP would then assume this role. As each of the three Members of TSSE Ltd were now parties to the Public Protection Partnership, it was proposed that it would make good sense to have common representation on the Board. This would not alter the individual status of each authority as a Member of the company.

Councillor Norman Jorgensen asked what sorts of decisions were taken by Directors of TSSE Ltd. Sean Murphy responded by explaining that the initial purpose of the company was to manage and deliver the contract with the government for the Consumer Direct Advice Line. Initially it ran in parallel with the Trading Standards South East Partnership which was an affiliation of member authorities who shared best practice and developed initiatives aimed at improving service improvements, cross border co-operation and value for money. In 2007 a decision was made to broaden the remit of TSSE Ltd to encompass all activity. The company had a good governance structure and drove efficiencies. It handled grant funding from a variety of government sources and made decisions relating to the business of the company and its strategic direction.

Councillor Nick Allen asked whether there might be any disadvantages to voting rights  in not having three representatives on the company’s board. Sean Murphy advised that there was one other joint service on the board (Buckinghamshire and Surrey) which has maintained two Directors however he had not come across a situation when two votes would have changed a decision made. It would be possible for the Committee to change a decision regarding nomination to the board at any time.

Councillor Allen asked for the cost implications. Sean Murphy advised that the cost structure was set depending on the size of the Council. The three Councils’ fee was lower as a shared service versus paying as three separate unitary authorities. The Committee could opt to have more than one representative if they chose but officers recommended that one representative could speak on behalf of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 26.

27.

Update on the Business Plan pdf icon PDF 55 KB

To update the Committee on performance against the aims of the business plan agreed on 14th March 2017.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report (Agenda Item 7) to update Members on performance against the aims of the business plan agreed on 14th March 2017. Paul Anstey also tabled a document entitled Performance Information which he explained was a live document.

Sean Murphy gave a presentation to provide an overview of the Public Protection Partnership’s Activities since the Business Plan was adopted by the Committee in March 2017. He noted the role of the Committee and the Joint Management Board which was a monthly officer meeting which took forward the business of the Committee. There had been changes to the senior leadership at West Berkshire and Wokingham Borough Councils and regeneration in Bracknell Forest.

Sean Murphy then provided an overview of the Committee’s previous and upcoming agenda items, explaining how they aligned with the business plan.

The Committee received information on the staff structure of the Partnership and the current vacancies. Teams now operated on behalf of all three Councils, for example the Licensing section had one team which dealt with licensing applications on behalf of all three Councils and one team which handled the governance and regulatory committees for all three Councils.

Thought had also been given to workforce planning and the PPP would aim to ‘grow it’s own’ staff. They would be maximising the opportunities arising from the Apprenticeship Levy in creating a regulatory services trainee role. This would enable the PPP to access some of the funding for apprenticeships and ensure that new staff had the necessary competencies for working across a broad partnership.

The PPP was undertaking work on behalf of neighbouring local authorities and public sector organisations.

Paul Anstey provided a summary regarding accommodation of the PPP. Officers wanted to ensure that the staff could reap the benefits of coming together into one shared service so they could share their experiences and work as a team. It was intended to begin by collocating the frontline teams in one building to act as a hub for the PPP. The Committee had previously heard that there were conversations with the Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service (RBFRS) to share a building but unfortunately the timescales were such that progress had been slow. Officers had therefore sought an alternative solution in the meantime, namely the former library building in Theale. This building could be used for two years while talks with RBFRS continued.

Councillor Jorgensen asked whether there was a risk that the PPP would be paying twice to kit our buildings, once for the Theale building and again in two years time. Paul Anstey advised that the ‘worst case scenario’ cost of furnishing the building would be £30k. The PPP would have to pay £27k per annum in rent to West Berkshire Council.

Steve Broughton offered reassurance that West Berkshire Council’s Chief Executive would be meeting with the Deputy Chief Fire Officer in October 2017 to help progress collocation between RBFRS and the PPP. There would still be scope to move other PPP staff in with RBFRS  ...  view the full minutes text for item 27.

28.

Any other items the Chairman considers to be urgent

Minutes:

The Chairman did not raise any further items.