Agenda, decisions and minutes

Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee
Thursday, 11th April, 2019 5.30 pm

Venue: Committee Room 1 - City Hall, Bradford. View directions

Items
No. Item

71.

DISCLOSURES OF INTEREST

(Members Code of Conduct - Part 4A of the Constitution)

 

To receive disclosures of interests from members and co-opted members on matters to be considered at the meeting. The disclosure must include the nature of the interest.

 

An interest must also be disclosed in the meeting when it becomes apparent to the member during the meeting.

 

Notes:

 

(1)       Members may remain in the meeting and take part fully in discussion and voting unless the interest is a disclosable pecuniary interest or an interest which the Member feels would call into question their compliance with the wider principles set out in the Code of Conduct.  Disclosable pecuniary interests relate to the Member concerned or their spouse/partner.

 

(2)       Members in arrears of Council Tax by more than two months must not vote in decisions on, or which might affect, budget calculations, and must disclose at the meeting that this restriction applies to them.  A failure to comply with these requirements is a criminal offence under section 106 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992. 

 

(3)       Members are also welcome to disclose interests which are not disclosable pecuniary interests but which they consider should be made in the interest of clarity.

 

(4)       Officers must disclose interests in accordance with Council Standing Order 44.

 

Minutes:

In the interest of transparency Councillors Duffy and Hargreaves declared an interest in the item relating to West Yorkshire Joint Services (Minute 76) as they were Council appointed Members.

 

ACTION: City Solicitor

72.

INSPECTION OF REPORTS AND BACKGROUND PAPERS

(Access to Information Procedure Rules – Part 3B of the Constitution)

 

Reports and background papers for agenda items may be inspected by contacting the person shown after each agenda item.  Certain reports and background papers may be restricted. 

 

Any request to remove the restriction on a report or background paper should be made to the relevant Strategic Director or Assistant Director whose name is shown on the front page of the report. 

 

If that request is refused, there is a right of appeal to this meeting. 

 

Please contact the officer shown below in advance of the meeting if you wish to appeal. 

 

(Yusuf Patel - 01274 434579)

 

Minutes:

There were no appeals submitted by the public to review decisions to restrict documents.

 

73.

REFERRALS TO THE OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY COMMITTEE

No referrals have been made to this Committee up to and including the date of publication of this agenda.

 

 

Minutes:

No referrals had been made to this Committee up to and including the date of publication of this agenda.

 

74.

CHAIR'S OPENING REMARKS

Minutes:

 

The Chair stated that this was the last meeting for Councillors Cooke and Martin Smith as they will be retiring from the Council at the end of this Municipal Year, and on behalf of the Committee he thanked them for their hard work and dedication and contribution to the work of this Committee.

75.

EXCLUSION OF THE PUBLIC

Recommended –

 

That the public be excluded from the meeting during the discussion of the Not for Publication Appendices relating to the Operation of West Yorkshire Joint Services on the grounds that it is likely, in view of the nature of the proceedings, that if they were present, exempt information within Paragraph 3 (financial or business affairs) of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended) would be disclosed and it is considered that, in all the circumstances, the public interest in allowing the public to remain is outweighed by the public interest in excluding public access to the relevant part of the proceedings for the following reasons:

 

It is in the public interest in maintaining these exemptions because it is in the overriding interest of proper administration that Members are made fully aware of the financial and legal implications of any decision.

 

Minutes:

Resolved –

 

That the public be excluded from the meeting during the discussion of the Not for Publication Appendices relating to the Operation of West Yorkshire Joint Services on the grounds that it is likely, in view of the nature of the proceedings, that if they were present, exempt information within Paragraph 3 (financial or business affairs) of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended) would be disclosed and it is considered that, in all the circumstances, the public interest in allowing the public to remain is outweighed by the public interest in excluding public access to the relevant part of the proceedings for the following reasons:

 

It is in the public interest in maintaining these exemptions because it is in the overriding interest of proper administration that Members are made fully aware of the financial implications of any decision.

 

 

76.

OPERATION OF WEST YORKSHIRE JOINT SERVICES pdf icon PDF 102 KB

The Director of West Yorkshire Joint Services will submit a report (Document “AK” which contains Not for Publication Appendices 1-3) which provides members with an overview of the operation of West Yorkshire Joint Services.

 

Recommended –

 

(1)       Members are asked to note the content of this report

 

(2)       Members are asked to advise officers at WYJS if further information or follow up reports are required.

 

(3)       Members are asked to make recommendations on how better use of WYJS as an ISP can be taken forward.

 

Susan Betteridge

Phone: (0113) 53 50051 

(Susan Betteridge - 0113 53 50051)

Decision:

Resolved –

 

(1)       That this Committee requests that a report be presented in 6      months time which focuses on the viability of Bradford Council      using West Yorkshire Joint Services as an internal provider.

 

(2)       That the findings from the comprehensive review of West Yorkshire Joint Services be presented to this Committee prior to a final decision being made.

 

(3)       That this Committee requests that the Chief Executive writes to the relevant Minister for HMRC and Trading Standards regarding shared enforcement activity and shared information concerns regarding Trading Standards enforcement action.

 

ACTION: Joint Services / Chief Executive

 

 (Susan Betteridge - 0113 53 50051)

 

 

                                           

Minutes:

The Director of West Yorkshire Joint Services submitted a report (Document “AK” which contained Not for Publication Appendices 1-3) which provided members with an overview of the operation of West Yorkshire Joint Services.

 

The Director of West Yorkshire Joint Services was present at the meeting and gave a resume of their activities which included Trading Standards, Archives

Archaeology Advisory Service, Ecology service, Calibration Service, Materials Testing Service, Archaeological Services and Analytical Services.

 

Each of the five districts provided funding to the Joint Committee based on its population as a proportion of the whole of West Yorkshire. The budget was set by the Committee annually, following consultation with the Leaders.  As local authority budgets had become more constrained, WYJS had been required to make budget reductions. In 2013 an interim Director was brought in to review the organisation and there followed a substantial change programme that reduced LA contributions by £1m over 2 years and changed the operating model to make it leaner and more focused on delivery impact.

 

In summer 2018 a review was undertaken of the viability of WYJS due to the anticipated low level of reserves from 2019/20 onwards and a concern that falling income levels in some areas would lead to an inability to meet the budget strategy in year. 

 

A further more comprehensive review of WYJS is now being undertaken to consider a longer term sustainable delivery model. The terms of reference of the review group are to establish a sustainable model for the future delivery of the services provided by WYJS as well as determining the efficacy of the statutory services.

 

In the ensuing debate, discussion Members asked a number of questions around the information contained in the Not for Publication appendices and following that it was:

 

Resolved –

 

(1)       That this Committee requests that a report be presented in 6      months time which focuses on the viability of Bradford Council      using West Yorkshire Joint Services as an internal provider.

 

(2)       That the findings from the comprehensive review of West Yorkshire Joint Services be presented to this Committee prior to a final decision being made.

 

(3)       That this Committee requests that the Chief Executive writes to the relevant Minister for HMRC and Trading Standards regarding shared enforcement activity and shared information concerns regarding Trading Standards enforcement action.

 

ACTION: Joint Services / Chief Executive

 

 

 

                                           

77.

QTR. 4 FINANCE POSITION STATEMENT FOR 2018-19 pdf icon PDF 417 KB

provides Members with an overview of the forecast financial position of the Council for 2018-19.

 

It examines the latest spend against revenue and capital budgets and forecasts the financial position at the year end. It states the Council’s current balances and reserves and forecasts school balances for the year. 

 

The Director of Finance will submit a report (Document “AL”) which provides Members with an overview of the forecast financial position of the Council for 2018-19.

 

It examines the latest spend against revenue and capital budgets and forecasts the financial position at the year end. It states the Council’s current balances and reserves and forecasts school balances for the year. 

 

The report will be considered at the meeting of the Executive on 2 April 2019.

 

Recommended –

 

The Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee is being asked to review and comment on the Qtr 4 Finance Position Statement for 2018-19.

(Andrew Cross - 01274 436823)

Decision:

Resolved –

 

(1)       That this Committee requests that a full and detailed report         dealing with the financial circumstances relating to the £4m        overspend in Hanson School be presented to this Committee    early in the new Municipal Year.

 

(2)       That this Committee requests that information clarifying the use            of zero contracted hours be circulated to Members.

 

ACTION:       Strategic Director Corporate Resources

 

(Andrew Cross - 01274 436823)

 

Minutes:

The Director of Finance submitted a report (Document “AL”) which provided Members with an overview of the forecast financial position of the Council for 2018-19.

 

It examined the latest spend against revenue and capital budgets and forecasted the financial position at the year end. It stated the Council’s current balances and reserves and forecasted school balances for the year. 

 

The report was also considered at the meeting of the Executive on 2 April 2019.

 

Officers from the Department of Finance were present at the meeting to give an overview, during which it was stated that on a projection at 28th February 2019, the Council was forecasting to underspend the £358.1m net budget by £1.3m. Contained within the underspend there were however a number of significant variances to budget.  The overspends were principally in Adult and Children’s Social Care and within the Department of Place, the details of the overspend were contained in the report.

 

The reserves position was also alluded to along with the capital expenditure and the Council Tax and Business Rates collection rates.

 

During the discussion Members asked a number of questions, the questions together with the responses are detailed below.  A number of Strategic Directors and Assistant Directors were present at the meeting to give service specific response to Member’s questions:

 

A Member stated that in setting the budget and forecasting spend within the overall budget it was difficult for residents in the district to understand how the overall forecast between quarter 1 and quarter 4 was so out of sync.  In response it was explained that a number of significant factors around additional funding announcements and 1 off monies from Central Government were unknowns and these could only be factored into the budget when the allocations were made.  In addition resources that were allocated for redundancy payments were also fluid and resulted in a reduced spend as the anticipated level of redundancies’ failed to materialise, and in the end all the different facets of the budget were difficult to forecast, as they were predicated on so many variables.

 

In response a Member stated that the allocated and unallocated reserves position should be reviewed with a view to funding redundancy payments from the revenue budget. It was acknowledged that going forward the redundancy payments would be included as a separate budget item.

 

A Member expressed his concerns at the way the general fund was utilised in the context of an overspend /underspend.  In response it was clarified that the general fund covered amongst other things capital finance to repay interest loans as well as the West Yorkshire Transport and the West Yorkshire Combined Authority levy.

 

A Member stressed that it was important that we explained the budget to the wider public in layman’s terms.

 

A Member questioned the £3m overspend on the Bingley Music Live, stating that the weather and lower than anticipated tickets sales had been given as reasons for the overspend.  In response the Assistant Director Sports and Leisure stated that although  ...  view the full minutes text for item 77.

78.

HATE CRIME SCRUTINY REVIEW - DRAFT TERMS OF REFERENCE pdf icon PDF 65 KB

The Chair of the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee will submit a report (Document “AM”) which presents the DRAFT Terms of Reference for the Hate Crime Scrutiny Review.

 

Recommended –

 

That the committee adopts the DRAFT Terms of Reference for the Hate Crime Scrutiny Review.

                                                                        (Mustansir Butt - 01274 432574)

 

Additional documents:

Decision:

Resolved –

 

That the DRAFT Terms of Reference for the Hate Crime Scrutiny Review be adopted subject to the inclusion of the additional matters suggested by Members.

 

ACTION: Overview and Scrutiny Lead

                                                            (Mustansir Butt - 01274 432574)

 

Minutes:

The Chair of the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee submitted a report (Document “AM”) which presented the DRAFT Terms of Reference for the Hate Crime Scrutiny Review.

 

During the discussion Members suggested that the following additional matters should be included within the draft terms of reference:

 

·         Invite members of the LGBT community and gain their perspective on hate crime; Women’s Groups; young people affected by hate crime; and the Standing Advisory Council for Religious Education

·         Explore hate crime within the learning disability context

·         Look at the possibility of inviting perpetrators of hate crime with a view to understanding some of the context.

·         Look at some of the conflicts around hate crime eg transgender community and radical feminism.

·         Explore the issue of free speech in the context of hate crime

 

Resolved –

 

That the DRAFT Terms of Reference for the Hate Crime Scrutiny Review be adopted subject to the inclusion of the additional matters suggested by Members.

 

ACTION: Overview and Scrutiny Lead

 

79.

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE SCRUTINY REVIEW - DRAFT TERMS OF REFERENCE pdf icon PDF 66 KB

The Chair of the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee will submit a report (Document “AN”) which presents the DRAFT Terms of Reference for the Domestic Violence Review.

 

Recommended –

 

That the committee adopts the DRAFT Terms of Reference for the Domestic Violence Scrutiny Review.

                                                                        (Mustansir Butt - 01274 432574)

Additional documents:

Decision:

Resolved –

 

That the DRAFT Terms of Reference for the Domestic Violence Scrutiny Review be adopted subject to the inclusion of the additional matters suggested by Members.

                                               

ACTION: Overview and Scrutiny Lead

(Mustansir Butt - 01274 432574)

 

 

Minutes:

The Chair of the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee submitted a report (Document “AN”) which presented the DRAFT Terms of Reference for the Domestic Violence Review.

 

During the discussion Members suggested that the following additional matters should be included within the draft terms of reference:

 

Invite Bradford women’s groups including voluntary and 3rd Sector groups local, regional and national; Women’s refuges; Rape Crisis; victims and families who may have moved into Bradford from another Local Authority following domestic violence and how they are supported.

 

Resolved –

 

That the DRAFT Terms of Reference for the Domestic Violence Scrutiny Review be adopted subject to the inclusion of the additional matters suggested by Members.

                                               

ACTION: Overview and Scrutiny Lead

 

 

80.

RESOLUTION TRACKING 2018-19 pdf icon PDF 75 KB

The Chair of the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee will submit a report (Document “AO”) which details the progress made against the resolutions passed by the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee, during the 2018-19 Municipal Year.

 

Recommended –

 

That members consider and comment on the recommendations made in the 2018-19 Municipal Year, with particular focus on recommendation areas where no or insufficient progress has been made.

 

(Mustansir Butt - 01274 432574)

Additional documents:

Decision:

Resolved –

 

That Members accepted the recommendations made in the 2018-19 Municipal Year as set out in the resolution tracking report.

 

ACTION: No Action                                   (Mustansir Butt - 01274 432574)

 

Minutes:

The Chair of the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee submitted a report (Document “AO”) which detailed the progress made against the resolutions passed by the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee, during the 2018-19 Municipal Year.

 

Resolved –

 

That Members accepted the recommendations made in the 2018-19 Municipal Year as set out in the resolution tracking report.

 

ACTION: No Action