Agenda, decisions and minutes

Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee
Thursday, 12th September, 2019 5.30 pm

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

Items
No. Item

9.

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 Members declared an interest in the following items:

 

(i)            Councillor Green declared an interest in the item relating to Gambling    in the Bradford district (Minute 13) as he was a regular user of betting             shops.  In relation to the item regarding the HR Plus Contract (Minute         15) he mentioned that he was the Leader of Council and Member of           the Executive, who had made the decision to proceed with the HR         Plus Contract.

 

(ii)           Councillor Dunbar declared an interest in the item relating to        Gambling in the Bradford district (Minute 13) as he was a campaigner      on problem gambling.

 

ACTION: City Solicitor

10.

MINUTES

Recommended –

 

That the minutes of the meeting held on 10 July 2019 be signed as a correct record (previously circulated).

 

(Yusuf Patel - 01274 434579)

 

Minutes:

Resolved –

 

That the minutes of the meeting held on 10 July 2019 be signed as a correct record.

 

11.

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. 

12.

REFERRALS TO THE OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY COMMITTEE

No referrals were made at the time of publication of the agenda.

 

(Yusuf Patel – 01274 434579)

 

Minutes:

There were no referrals made to the Committee.

13.

GAMBLING IN THE BRADFORD DISTRICT pdf icon PDF 101 KB

The Strategic Director Place will submit a report (Document “E”) which provides an update on action taken regarding problem gambling and gambling related harm within the district, following the meeting of the Corporate Overview & Scrutiny Committee held on 21 March 2019.

 

Recommended –

 

The committee is invited to comment on the current draft Local Area Profile and other action points detailed at Section 2 of Document “E”.

 

(Tracy McLuckie - 01274 432240)

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Strategic Director Place submitted a report (Document “E”) which provided an update on action taken regarding problem gambling and gambling related harm within the district, following the meeting of the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee held on 21 March 2019.

 

The Licensing and Local Land Charges Manager updated Members on the actions that had been taken since the 21 March meeting, which were detailed in the report. 

 

During the discussion Members asked a number of questions, the questions together with the responses are detailed below:

 

In response to a question on how Members could be more involved in relation to the issue of problem gambling, it was explained that training on the subject matter could be provided via the Members training officer.

 

In relation to the timing of Gambling Awareness Week, a Member stated that it would be better to have this in the lead up to one of the major horseracing schedules such as Ascot, Cheltenham or the Grand National, as it would raise greater awareness around the issue.  In addition he also commented that self exclusion from bookmakers did not include casinos.

 

A representative from William Hill was present at the meeting and he acknowledged that it would make more sense to have Gambling Awareness Week during one of the larger racing schedules.

 

A Member commented that the issue of the number of betting shops in the city centre skewed the statistics and the age profile.  In addition it was highlighted in the report that not much evidence had been found that there was a problem regarding underage gambling.  In response it was explained that spot checks were undertaken by the licensing team and in addition, staff were well trained to deal with underage gambling.

 

A Member stressed that one of the main areas of gambling activity was online, which was particularly difficult to monitor and police effectively. Another Member stated that this was a national issue which Government was finding difficulties grappling with, and therefore the Council had to be focused on what we could done locally to effectively deal with problem gambling.

 

In relation to the issue of self exclusion, the representative from William Hill explained that although this worked in some cases, its effectiveness was limited and required further enhancements in technology for it to be more effective.  A Member stated that in his experience self exclusion only had  limited effectiveness and that it varied from shop to shop, and what was really required was an industry wide protocol to effectively deal with the issue.

 

The representative from William Hill stated that in terms of self exclusion staff were trained to spot problem gambling and any erratic gambling behaviour would be dealt with by staff, such as an individual staking a large bet or a number of losing bets.  The Licensing Manager acknowledged that as part of the licensing regime, how staff interacted with customers was looked at.  In addition there was a social responsibility code which operators had to adhere to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 13.

14.

EXCLUSION OF THE PUBLIC

Recommended –

 

That the public be excluded from the meeting during the discussion of the Not for Publication Appendix 2 relating to the HRplus Contract Review 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.

 

(Yusuf Patel – 01274 43479)

Minutes:

Resolved –

 

That the public be excluded from the meeting during the discussion of the Not for Publication Appendix 2 relating to the HRplus Contract Review 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.

 

 

15.

HRplus CONTRACT REVIEW pdf icon PDF 115 KB

Following the Bradford Council’s Full Year Performance Report to Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee on 10 July 2019, Members requested a report evaluating the HRplus contract.

 

The Director of Human Resources will submit a report (Document “F” which contains a Not for Publication Appendix 2) which evaluates the HRplus contract.

 

Recommended –

 

Members are asked to note the contents of this report. 

 

(Simon Jenkins - 01274 437883)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Following the Bradford Council’s full year performance report to this Scrutiny Committee on 10 July 2019, Members requested a report evaluating the HRplus contract. The Director of Human Resources submitted a report (Document “F” which contained a Not for Publication Appendix 2) which evaluated the HRplus contract.

 

The Director of Human Resources gave an overview of the contract, the historical context and performance to date, adding that further work was currently being undertaken to assess the effectiveness of the contract and to inform an options appraisal which would be considered to decide the future of workforce advice and information provision.

 

A number of Members raised concerns around the performance of the contract to date, together with a 27% response rate to the user satisfaction survey, which did not give a resounding impression that the contract was progressing well.  Follow up with managers on cases was not always progressed to fruition, this was a particular issue in Children’s Services.

 

A Member expressed concerns around any realistic savings that had been achieved by outsourcing the service and that the targets were just a set of aims and objectives.  He added there was a need to empower managers and it seemed the contract had not achieved in this respect.  In addition the advisers at the contact centre did not always understand the internal structure of the Council and services provided and he strongly urged that the contract should be brought back in-house.

 

In response to some of the issues raised the Strategic Director Corporate Services and the Human Resources Director stated that they welcomed Member’s comments and their concerns, however the review would provide an opportunity to analyse the full contract and suggest options on a way forward.

 

Members asked that the review findings come back to this Committee in November, so Members can discuss them in detail and it was therefore:

 

Resolved –

 

That the HR Plus Contract Review findings be considered by the Committee in November 2019 together with options for future service delivery including bringing the Service back in-house.


ACTION:       Human Resources Director

 

16.

CORPORATE OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY COMMITTEE - WORK PROGRAMME 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 72 KB

The Chair of the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee will submit a report (Document “G”) which sets out the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee work programme for 2019/20.  The Committee is asked to consider which items it wishes to include in the work programme.

 

Recommended –

 

(1)       That members consider and comment on the areas of work        included in   the work programme.

 

(2)       That members consider any detailed scrutiny reviews that they             may wish to conduct.

 

(Mustansir Butt - 01274 432574)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chair of the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee submitted a report (Document “G”) which set out the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee work programme for 2019/20.  The Committee was asked to consider which items it wished to include in the work programme.

 

No resolution was passed in respect of this item.