Agenda, decisions and minutes

Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee
Thursday, 23rd July, 2020 4.00 pm

Venue: Virtual Remote Meeting

Items
No. Item

82.

ALTERNATE MEMBERS (Standing Order 34)

The City Solicitor will report the names of alternate Members who are attending the meeting in place of appointed Members. 

 

83.

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:

No disclosures of interest in matters under consideration were received.

84.

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 to review decisions to restrict documents.

85.

REFERRALS TO THE OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY COMMITTEE

No referrals have been made at the time of the publication of the agenda.

 

Minutes:

There were no referrals to the Committee.

86.

CALLED-IN DECISION - QTR. 1 FINANCE POSITION STATEMENT FOR 2020-21 (EXECUTIVE DOCUMENT "BT")

At its meeting on 7 July 2020 the Executive received a report of the Director of Finance (Executive Document “BT”) which provided Members with an overview of the forecast financial position of the Council for 2020-21.

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. 

 

Executive resolved -

 

(1)       That the contents of Document “BT” and the actions taken to manage the forecast overspend be noted.

 

(2)       That the new initiatives required to respond to Covid-19 as outlined in paragraphs 4.13 to 4.32 of Document “BT” be approved.  Funding for the schemes of up to £5.978m to derive from Council reserves unless additional Government support or partner support is received, with a further £1m to derive from Public Health grant.

 

(3)       That the following capital expenditure schemes be approved.

·      £0.9m for the purchase of two Children’s Residential Homes. They will be funded by a mixture of corporate borrowing and capital receipts.

·      £3m for IT Core Infrastructure projects of connectivity and network infrastructure, server investment and mobile enhancements. The scheme to be funded by using £3m of the previously agreed £3.7m budget in February 2020 from the previously approved Reserve schemes for IT Capital Projects.

·      £5.5m for the development of an Advance Fuel Centre and the replacement of vehicles with compressed gas variants. To be funded by fuel cost savings and additional income from sales. 

·      Create a £2m reserve as a contingency against future overspends within the Capital Investment Plan. That it be noted the following have been approved under Section 1.7 of the Financial Regulations:

  • £0.05m additional funding to replace the pool filters as part of the works to refurbish Bowling Pool. To be funded from the general contingency budget.
  • £0.6m for the extension of the burial ground at Scholemoor Cemetery.  

 

(4)       That the continuation of the contract with Impower be approved as outlined in paragraph 12.15 and Appendix 3 to Document “BT”, to support the delivery of transformation, using the £1m investment which was approved as part of the 2020-21 Council budget. The objective being to continue to;

·         Improve outcomes in the services where significant changes to service delivery are being undertaken

·         Provide a Return on Investment on the work undertaken and a sustained improvement in performance and value for money

·         Increase the skills within the Council so that more capacity exists to re-modelling services in the future.

 

·         That the continuation of the contract with Impower be approved to support the delivery of key transformation programmes within a reset Council Transformation Plan.

 

·         That authority be delegated to the Strategic Director of Corporate Resources to enter into a contractual arrangement with Impower.

 

·         That the Strategic Director Corporate Resources presents a revised Council Transformation Programme to a future Executive meeting.

 

ACTION:        All Strategic Directors

 

 

In accordance with Paragraph 8.6 (Part 3E, Overview and Scrutiny Procedure Rules) of the Council  ...  view the full agenda text for item 86.

Minutes:

This call-in concerned the decisions in relation to the contract with Impower, as contained in the Quarter 1 Finance Position statement.

 

The reason for the request of the call-in was that this is a commitment to a significant expenditure on a consultancy, but that there is no indication of what this consultancy has achieved so far, what the proposed work will be in the future.  There was also no indication of the savings to be realised by the consultancy and therefore no indication of whether this is a good use of the councils finances.

 

The decision of the Executive was that the continuation of the contract with Impower be approved and to support the delivery of transformation, using the £1m investment which was approved as part of the 2020-21 Council budget.

 

Members questioned as to when the contract was originally let, whether the focus was on Health and Well Being, or more wider.

In response, officers indicated that in 2018, the focus of the contract was primarily on Health and Well Being.  However the contract was later extended to other areas such as supporting the Council to identify future transformation projects.

 

Members questioned what the added value was of the Impower contract, how much longer Impower would be required for and whether Bradford Council could have not achieved these outcomes without the consultancy.  As well as this, members were keen to understand how long the Council would be requiring the use of this consultancy.

 

Officers replied that with savings rounds, Impower provided challenge and critical oversight over the spend within teams and that Impower brought with the confidence and experience of working with other authorities and organisations.

 

Members of the Committee questioned that as the contract was published in February 2020, why five months later were the milestones being agreed and what had been proposed.

 

In response, officers highlighted that there had been a number of contract extensions in February 2020 and at various stages key performance targets had been put in pace, to ensure that the contract was delivering. The contract is a three month rolling contract.

 

Members also expressed their concerns, in relation to the lack of milestones relating to the contract and not knowing what the milestones actually are, along with having a clear understanding on what the money was being spent on.

 

Furthermore, members indicated that with the various contract extensions, the value of this contract had gone above £2m, therefore this should have been considered by the Corporate Overview & Scrutiny Committee much earlier than this.

Officers responded that they were trying to be transparent through this process, savings needed to be made across key Council service areas and officers would have been on track had it not have been for the COVID19 pandemic.

 

In addition, Officers stated that this was not an extension to the existing contract, but a new contract and that the Council is able to re-structure a contract to deliver the outcomes it wants.  There was not a procurement exercise as such,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 86.

87.

FULL-YEAR PERFORMANCE REPORT pdf icon PDF 885 KB

The Chief Executive will submit a report (Document “C”) which provides a summary of the high level achievements of the Authority as well as performance against Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for 2019-20. As the final performance report for the Council Plan 2016-2020 period, this report also provides a summary of what has been achieved over the last four years.

 

We will be developing a new Council Plan later this year which will potentially require a new set of KPIs, based around our revised priorities in light of the challenges presented by the COVID 19 pandemic. This report recommends that we continue to monitor the existing Key Performance Indicators based around our priorities and reset these at the point in time the new Council Plan is set. 

 

Recommended –

 

That the progress against performance metrics outlined in the report be considered.

(Phil Witcherley - 01274 431241)

 

 

 

 

Minutes:

Officers went through the report and provided members of the Committee with a summary of progress against Bradford Council’s key performance Indicators, for the municipal year 2019-20.  Officers also highlighted the summary of achievements during 2016-20.

 

Furthermore, officers also stated that Bradford Council and its partners were in the process of developing a new plan for the next five years.

 

In addition, members also heard that the performance report covered a period where Local Government had faced unprecedented challenges as a result of COVID19, changing the way in which Bradford Council has had to operate.

 

Members were keen to understand what the plans for the economy were, as a result of COVID19.

 

In response, officer indicated that an Economic Recovery Plan was in development and that Bradford Council would be looking to support business further in the different business sectors, especially as business moved out of furlough.

 

Members also commented on the fact that the COVID19 pandemic, had not had any adverse impact on the levels of sickness absence across Bradford Council.

 

Resolved –

 

(1)  That officers engage with Corporate Overview & Scrutiny as part of the development of the new Council Plan and potential set of new Key Performance indicators.

 

 

(2)   The Committee requests that the COVID19 Economic Recovery Plan be presented to the Regeneration & Environment Overview & Scrutiny Committee.

 

 

ACTION: (1) Head of Policy and Performance (2) Strategic Director Place

 

 

88.

FINANCE POSITION STATEMENT FOR 2019-20 pdf icon PDF 554 KB

The Director of Finance will submit a report (Document “D”) which provides Members with an overview of the financial position of the Council for 2019-20.

 

It examines the spend against revenue and capital budgets, the what was received for that spend in terms of outputs and outcomes. It states the Council’s current balances and reserves and school balances for the year. 

 

Recommended –

 

That the Corporate Overview & Scrutiny Committee review and comment on the Finance Position Statement for 2019-20.

 

(Andrew Cross - 01274 436823)

 

 

Minutes:

Bradford Council officers provided members with an overview of forecast financial position of the Council 2020-21.  Officers also highlighted the latest spend against revenue and capital budgets and forecasts the financial position at the year end.  Also included, was the Council’s balances and reserves and forecasts school balances for the year.

 

In relation to Bradford Council’s approach to Brexit and Brexit resilience, members were in agreement that it would be useful if a more detailed report could be presented to the Committee, in relation to its ongoing work relating to Brexit preparations.

 

Members questioned whether the £1.4m underspend on Public Health services, could actually be utilised for work relating to the COVID19 pandemic. 

 

In response to this, Bradford Council officers indicated that they could use the underspend in Public Health Services for work relating to the COVID19 pandemic and this was part of the work relating to transitional services.

 

There was also some discussion amongst Corporate Overview & Scrutiny Committee members, in relation to the £27K infrastructure charging points and the £50k from the Local Transport Plan for the Taxi Scheme.  Members were seeking further clarity on these.  Bradford Council officers stated that they would provide this information to members of the Committee.

 

 

Resolved –

 

Members considered and commented on the Finance Position Statement for 2019-20.

 

                                                                       

ACTION: Director of Finance

 

89.

QTR. 1 FINANCE POSITION STATEMENT FOR 2020-21 pdf icon PDF 601 KB

The Director of Finance will submit a report (Docment “E”) which provides Members with an overview of the forecast financial position of the Council for 2020-21.

 

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. 

 

Recommended –

 

That the Corporate Overview & Scrutiny Committee review and comment on the Qtr 1 Finance Position Statement for 2020-21.

 

(Andrew Cross - 01274 436823)

Minutes:

This report is the first monitoring report presented to members on the Council’s 2020-21 financial position.  Officers informed members of the revenue and capital financial position of the Council at the 31 March 2020.

 

Bradford Council officers provided members with an overview of forecast financial position of the Council 2020-21.  Officers also highlighted the latest spend against revenue and capital budgets and forecasts the financial position at the year end.  Also included, was the Council’s balances and reserves and forecasts school balances for the year.

 

In relation to Bradford Council’s approach to Brexit and Brexit resilience, members were in agreement that it would be useful if a more detailed could be presented to the Committee, in relation to its ongoing work relating to Brexit preparations.

 

Members questioned whether the £1.4m underspend on Public Health services, could actually be utilised for work relating to the COVID19 pandemic. 

 

In response to this, Bradford Council officers that they could use the underspend in Public Health Services for work relating to the COVID19 pandemic and this was part of the work relating to transitional services.

 

There was also some discussion amongst Corporate Overview & Scrutiny Committee members, in relation to the £27K infrastructure charging points and the £50k from the Local Transport Plan for the Taxi Scheme.  Members were seeking further clarity on these.  Bradford Council officers stated that they would provide this information to members of the Committee.

 

Resolved –

 

The Committee requests that a detailed risk assessment report relating to Brexit, focusing on the Council’s Plans and extent of any risk to be presented to Corporate Overview & Scrutiny at an early meeting.

 

ACTION: Head of Policy and Performance

 

90.

CORPORATE OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY COMMITTEE - WORK PROGRAMME 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 88 KB

The Chair of the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee will submit a report (Document “F”) which sets out the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee work programme for 2020/21. 

 

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:

Corporate Overview & Scrutiny Committee members discussed the work programme and agreed that the ongoing detailed scrutiny reviews being undertaken by the Committee, needed to be concluded.

 

 

Resolved –

 

Members considered the work programme.

 

                                                           

ACTION: Overview & Scrutiny Lead