Venue: Virutal Remote Meeting
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.
Cllr Pollard for Cllr Goodall.
Cllr Sullivan for Cllr Bibby.
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.
(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.
No disclosures of interest in matters under consideration were received.
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)
There were no appeals submitted to review decisions to restrict documents.
REFERRALS TO THE OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY COMMITTEE
The following referrals have been made to this Committee up to and including the date of publication of this agenda.
The Committee is asked to note the referrals listed above and decide how it wishes to proceed, for example by incorporating the item into the work programme, requesting that it be subject to more detailed examination, or refer it to an appropriate Working Group/Committee.
There were no referrals to the Committee.
The Director of Finance will submit a report (Document “N”) which provides Members with an update on 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.
That the Corporate Overview & Scrutiny Committee review and comment on the Qtr 2 Finance Position Statement for 2020-21
(Andrew Cross - 07870 386523)
The report provided Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee members with an update on the forecast financial position of the Council for 2020-21.
Also examined in the report is 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.
Members were concerned at the difficulty in recruiting Children’s Services Social Care Workers at Level 3, with 55% of the workers being on agency terms and conditions and why the posts could not be recruited to substantively.
As swell as this members also highlighted that even though improvement were being made in the OFSTED Improvement Plan, but that the risk rating for this should be much higher in Bradford Councils Risk Register.
Officers agreed that they would review the risk rating for the OFSTED Improvement Plan and recognised that t was a challenge to recruit to Level 3 Social Care Workers, but they were looking to bring in new staff and getting the numbers of agency staff down will take time. Furthermore, members heard that officers were working to reducing the numbers of agency staff numbers, that pre-dates the OFSTED Inspection two years ago. Officers also explained that other Local Authorities who had received an inadequate judgement from OFSTED, were also struggling to recruit Level 3 Social Care Workers.
Members wanted further clarity on the Library development plans, relating to the IT infrastructure and financial resilience. Officers said that they would provide this information to the Committee.
Member asked where the extra £100k was coming from for the Legal Social Care Team. In response, officers said that this money was from Government Grants.
There was some discussion relating to the current stock level of Personal Protective Equipment and members heard that Bradford Council was still holding significant levels of stock, which had been provided by the local resilience fund, the Department for Health and Social Care and the stock that Bradford Council has bought.
This Committee requests that officers consider reviewing the risk judgements relating to the Children’s Services OFSTED inspection.
(Andrew Cross – 01274 436823)
The Procurement Strategy is a key document that outlines the Council’s procurement aims over the next four years.
The Procurement Strategy is an enabling strategy for the Council Plan within the priority area of a Well Run Council.
The Strategic Director Corporate Resources will submit a report (Document “O”) which provides a summary of the Council’s Procurement Strategy 2021-2025 for Members to consider. The strategy is attached at Appendix 1.
That the Procurement Strategy 2021-2025 be supported.
(Ian Westlake - 07971 540171)
The report summarised Bradford Council’s Procurement Strategy 2021-2025 and was seeking the support from Corporate Overview & Scrutiny Committee Councillors.
Officers said that the Procurement Strategy was a key document that outlined the Council’s procurement aims over the next four years. Members also heard the that the Procurement Strategy was an enabler strategy for the Council Plan within the priority area of a Well Run Council.
Members also learned that the strategy was not intended to be a service improvement plan for Procurement Services, but an outward facing document which shows the Councils intentions, in relation to the procurement function over the next four years.
Members were keen to understand that as there as the Council had been without a Procurement Strategy for a number of Years, had this caused any disadvantage to how the Council undertook procurement. In response, officers indicated that there had been no adverse affect, how the Council had undertaken Procurement.
However, a Councillor then stressed that Bradford Council did actually have a Procurement Strategy and had one since 2011, which had also been reviewed. Councillors were concerned, as it appeared that the Councils Procurement Strategy had not been followed.
Furthermore, Corporate Overview & Scrutiny members also felt that the Strategy was a statement of fundamental aims, rather than set out how procurement activity would be undertaken in a co-ordinated manner across Bradford Council. In addition, member were also keen to understand how Bradford Council included local Small Medium Enterprises, by simplifying the contractual values of procurement contracts.
In response Bradford Council Officers emphasised that they were trying to ensure that all procurement officers and professionals in the Council were operating in the same way, in terms of compliance and assessing risks and outcomes.
(1) That the Procurement Strategy be supported.
(2) This Committee requests that at its meeting in January 2021, officers present the progress being made against each of the five key deliverables within the Procurement Strategy.
(Ian Westlake – 07971 540171)
The Strategic Director of Place will submit a report (Document “P”) which gives an update on the progress of the Stronger Communities Strategy and delivery plan.
Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee is asked to note the progress carried out against the Bradford Stronger Communities Strategy overseen by the Stronger Communities Partnership.
(Ian Day - 01274 433507)
The report measured the progress against the Stronger Communities Strategy and Delivery Plan.
Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee members had previously requested that reports focus specifically on the outcomes and evaluation of projects being delivered as part of the integrated communities programme.
Members were keen to understand how the COVID19 vaccine trials were progressing with BAEM communities.
Officers responded by saying that there was a low rate of take from the BAEM communities, in the COVID19 vaccine trials.
Members wanted Officers to provide them with an update on Community stars and the work being undertaken to protect youngsters, who are also at risk of exploitation.
Officers responded that there nine categories of awards and once shortlisting has been undertaken, the list will go out for public voting. Furthermore, Bradford Council Officers also indicated that there was cross organisational and department work ongoing to protect children.
Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee members said that some projects had been completed, but questioned if ongoing evaluation was taking place, or if the evaluation took place at the end of the project. Members also stated that in relation to traineeships, there was no provision for supporting people with disabilities.
In response, officers highlighted that project evaluation reports were considered by the Stronger Communities Board Partnership. Officers also stressed that they would look into providing support to people with disabilities.
Councillors were in agreement that in relation to the COVID19 vaccine trials in communities, there should be more co-ordination between officers and members, to improve the service that is being delivered.
(1) The Committee would like to thank all the ambassadors for the work they are undertaking in their communities.
(2) The Committee requests that the evaluation against the projects being delivered, be presented to this Committee upon their completion in 2021.
(3) That a further report be presented in 12 months, focusing on key outcomes against the work being undertaken.
(Ian Day – 01274 433507)
The Community Safety Partnership Board will submit a report (Document “Q”) which provides the details of the Community Safety Partnership (CSP) performance report for the 12 months to 31st August 2020 and presents the annual CSP Delivery Plan.
The Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee considers the Plan on a Page and the performance data contained within the report.
(Michael Churley – 01274 431364)
The report provided Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee members with the details of the Community Safety Partnership (CSP) performance report for the 12 months to 31 August 2020 and also presented the annual CSP Delivery Plan.
Members discussed that Domestic Abuse had risen as a result of the COVID19 lockdown. Furthermore, Bradford Council Officers did confirm this and that there had been a significant rise, 60% increase in Domestic Abuse cases as a result of the COVID19 lockdown. In some hotspots, members heard that panels had been put together to tackle the issue.
Similarly members also indicated that Hate Crime has also increased.
Officers replied that there is a Police and Hate Crime Panel, that would also help focus efforts to address Hate Crime across the District. As well as this, there is also the Hate Crime Scrutiny Review that Corporate Overview &
Scrutiny Committee is undertaking, which is looking at addressing Hate Crime across the District.
Members were in agreement that the Safer Communities Partnership Performance Report and Delivery Plan, should be considered at least twice a year, to keep an overview of performance.
That Safer Communities Partnership Performance be presented to this Committee, at six monthly intervals.
(Michael Churley – 01274 431364)
The Chair of the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee will submit a report (Document “R”) which sets out the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee work programme for 2020/21.
(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)
The report included the Corporate Overview & Scrutiny Committee work programme for 2020-21, as well as the list of unscheduled topics.
The work programme also contained details of the scrutiny reviews, that the Corporate Overview & Scrutiny Committee, is currently undertaking.
Corporate Overview & Scrutiny Committee members discussed and made amendments to the work programme.
Members considered and agreed to keep an overview of the work programme.
(Mustansir Butt – 01274 432574)