West Berkshire Council

Agenda and minutes

Venue: Roger Croft Room Council Offices Market Street Newbury. View directions

Contact: Moira Fraser / Jo Reeves 

Items
No. Item

12.

Minutes from the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 264 KB

To approve as a correct record the Minutes of the meeting of this Committee held on 11 June 2019.

Minutes:

The minutes of the previous meeting held on 11 June 2019 were approved as a true and correct record and signed by the Chairman.

Matters Arising

Publicity of the Joint Public Protection Partnership (PPP) – Sean Murphy explained that there had been much publicity in the local press and via social media. The PPP website had also been developed. The website contained links to relevant pages of each local authority’s website.

Paul Anstey added that technological developments would help the PPP monitor its profile and the effectiveness of its campaigns. This would then be captured in the Key Performance Indicators.

Future Plan – Annual Air Quality Report – it was noted that the receipt of this report had been rescheduled to the December 2019 meeting. Sean Murphy advised the Committee that a funding bid had been submitted by the PPP to Defra to help fund air quality initiatives.

PPP Priorities 2019/20 – work was ongoing to establish whether aerial maps could be produced that would be able to identify buildings where action needed to be taken to improve energy efficiency. Companies were in existence who could provide this and thermal imaging cameras could be used. This was an area of enforcement for the PPP.

(Councillor John Halsall joined the meeting at 6.40pm).

Sean Murphy reported that a business case was being worked upon. Development in this area would help to enforce air quality requirements.

Any Other Business (Former Committee Members) – Paul Anstey would ensure that the action, to write to former Committee Members thanking them for their work on the JPPC, was completed.

13.

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.

14.

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 public questions were submitted.

15.

Future Plan pdf icon PDF 143 KB

To detail future items that the Committee will be considering.

Minutes:

Members noted the list of items for the next Committee scheduled for 10 December 2019. However, it would be necessary to reschedule this meeting to January 2020 due to the General Election called on 12 December 2019.

An addition to the future plan was also noted: ‘Accommodation’.

16.

2020/21 Budget pdf icon PDF 82 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered the report (Agenda Item 6) which set out the draft Revenue Budget for 2020/21 including fees and charges. The report sought approval for the draft budget and the draft fees and charges schedule prior to submission to the three councils in accordance with the Inter-Authority Agreement.

Paul Anstey explained that it was the intention to achieve a common position for the three individual councils. The JPPC needed to recommend a budget to the three councils.

This was discussed by the Joint Management Board and their recommendation was for a standstill budget based on the 2019/20 Revenue Budget but with salary related pressures factored in. No increases in supplies and services or contractual related budgets were proposed.

The total net Revenue budget for 2020/21 was proposed as £3.716M. This took into account:

·         The annual cost of living rise at 2%

·         Incremental rises effective from the 1st April 2020

·         Increase in West Berkshire and Wokingham pension

·         No inflationary rise had been applied to supplies and services

Clare Lawrence explained that the budget for Wokingham was subject to the final detail on pension deficit payments being confirmed.

Appendix E to the report outlined the proposed budget methodology for localised service disinvestment. This had been put together for future reference should the PPP elect to operate in a different manner. The methodology would operate as a rebate. It would not however impact on agreed budget percentages:

·         Bracknell Forest:           25.76%

·         West Berkshire:             40.00%

·         Wokingham                   34.24%

Councillor Hilary Cole gave her support to the methodology.

Councillor John Halsall felt that further detail was required on the budget, i.e. employee costs and service costs. There should also be clarity on expenditure against the PPP’s objectives.

Sean Murphy explained that approximately 85% of the budget was spent on salaries. This was divided among the three authorities as per the above agreed percentages. The budget was split across ten cost centres. Sean agreed to circulate further detail in advance of the next meeting.

Clare Lawrence added that the standstill budget model was formed at the start of the shared service. The only variation to this had been the saving incorporated into the 2019/20 budget of £145k. No savings were proposed for 2020/21.

Councillor John Harrison queried whether a ‘root and branch’ review was scheduled of the PPP. Paul Anstey explained that a review would be held as per the timeframe set by the Business Plan. The Business Plan, which sat beneath the Inter-Authority Agreement, was a five year document. Performance reports outlined the progress made against the Business Plan. However, a review could be brought forward if Members had concerns over budgeting and/or delivery of the Business Plan.

Councillor Hilary Cole felt that it would be useful, particularly for new Members, to provide a briefing on areas including the background to the PPP and how it operated. She suggested this take place at the next meeting.

Paul Anstey directed Members to the detail of the proposed methodology. He reiterated that the purpose of the methodology  ...  view the full minutes text for item 16.

17.

Quarter 1 Performance Information pdf icon PDF 70 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered the report (Agenda Item 7) which outlined the performance of the Public Protection Partnership for Quarters One and Two of 2019/20.

Suzanne McLaughlin, Principal Officer – Governance, highlighted the following points from the performance report:

·         The Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and Measures of Volume (MOV) had been reviewed. This had resulted in some KPIs/MOV being updated. New KPIs would be reported from Quarter Three.

·         Difficulties had been encountered with recruitment and it had been necessary to fill some posts with contractors/casual staff.

·         A single case management database had been procured.

·         The PPP recently launched its social media profiles to accompany the website.

·         The budget was forecast to be ‘on budget’ at year end.

·         Action plans had been produced where relevant in order to improve performance. For example, a new online scheme had been introduced to collate feedback from residents and businesses. It had been expanded upon to include Trading Standards consumer complaints and business feedback.

·         A ‘RAG’ rating was included for Quarters One and Two which covered all measures by Inter-Authority Agreement Core Priorities:

Councillor Hilary Cole queried progress in achieving individual targets. Paul Anstey explained that this report provided a summary of progress against individual projects and priorities, rather than the very lengthy and detailed report provided previously. An extensive list of KPIs was monitored by the PPP. Councillor Hilary Cole stated that the Committee needed to be aware of the progress being made against targets.

It was anticipated that the core priority ‘Supporting Prosperity and Economic Growth’ would be 100% delivered by year end, but some ‘amber’ and ‘red’ performance was indicated in the above graphs.

Members agreed that additional detail was required. It was felt useful to present areas reporting as ‘green’ to highlight the many areas of good performance. Exception reports were needed for KPIs reporting ‘amber‘ or ‘red’.

Councillor James Cole highlighted that it was useful to note the progression being made between Quarters One and Two, and felt this should be retained in future reports.

Councillor Hilary Cole summarised that further work was needed on the level of detail contained in the report. She did however give thanks for the work undertaken in producing this Q1 and Q2 report.

Paul Anstey proposed to circulate options for Member feedback on how performance would be presented in the future. This would be used to inform the Quarter Three report.

Councillor John Porter queried the cost implication of employing contractors/casual staff. Paul Anstey explained that a Workforce Strategy had been discussed by the Joint Management Board. Permanent recruitment would be progressed, assuming a stable budget was set for 2020/21. Damian James added that this was a difficult industry to recruit to nationally. He praised the successful ‘grow your own’ approach employed in the PPP.

Sean Murphy further added that contractors/casual staff were used for more routine day to day work. Longer term projects were undertaken by permanent members of staff.

Sean Murphy then went on to advise that some posts had gone out to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 17.

18.

Any Other Business

Minutes:

PPP Working Arrangements

Councillor John Halsall raised concerns with regard to the working arrangements of the PPP. He was concerned that both the Chairman of the JPPC and of the Joint Management Board were from West Berkshire.

He felt that the vision for the PPP differed from that held for services in Wokingham. The intention in Wokingham was to operate a locality service external to the PPP with the intention of operating a Wokingham service for Wokingham residents. He considered that the PPP should provide specialist services as and when necessary. If this alternative arrangement could not be progressed then Wokingham might choose to withdraw from the PPP.

Sean Murphy explained that this was the first time that both chairmanship roles fell within the same local authority. These roles were rotated annually.

Councillor James Cole described his efforts in making Hungerford Town Council (a Town Council in his Ward) aware of the PPP and its services. They had been unaware of the PPP. Councillor Hilary Cole felt that this was likely to be the case across the PPP area until parishes/communities had a need for a service. Councillor James Cole felt that it would be useful to understand the benefit of providing a more local service to residents.

Sean Murphy felt that the PPP’s working arrangements were compatible with locality/neighbourhood teams.

Councillor Halsall felt that the PPP needed to work for all three areas, with the ability to be tailored to individual local authorities. Sean Murphy explained that officers were clear that they worked for the three local authorities. Clare Lawrence added that different levels of service were provided in the different local authorities. She did not feel there was a conflict between the PPP and the operation of locality teams.

19.

Date of next meeting

Minutes:

The next meeting, scheduled for 10 December 2019, was postponed due to the General Election called on 12 December 2019. The meeting would be rescheduled to January 2020.

(Post meeting note: the next meeting had been rescheduled to Thursday 30 January 2020, 6.30pm in the Bracknell Forest Council Chamber).