Agenda, decisions and minutes

Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee
Tuesday, 23rd March, 2021 5.00 pm

Items
No. Item

1.

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:

There were no disclosures of interest in matters under discussion.

2.

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:

No request to remove the restriction on a report or background paper was made.

3.

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.

 

Minutes:

There were no referrals to the Committee.

4.

AWARD OF A CONTRACT FOR TEMPORARY AGENCY AND EXECUTIVE INTERIM STAFFING pdf icon PDF 145 KB

The Strategic Director of Corporate Resources will submit a report (Document “AC” – which includes Not for Publication Appendix 2) which advises members of a forthcoming procurement from a national framework agreement for the award of a contract for a temporary agency and executive interim staffing contract. The value of the proposed contract is in excess of £2 million and in line with the requirements of Contract Standing Orders, (CSO 7.2.1), a report must be produced to allow members to consider matters prior to the commencement of the procurement process.

 

Recommended –

 

That the report be noted and the option that the Council should make a direct call off from the National ESPO (Eastern Shires Purchasing Organisation) framework: MStar 3 653F_19 for Managed Services for Temporary Agency Resource Lot 1A. 

(Ian Westlake – 07971540171)

 

Minutes:

The Strategic Director of Corporate Resources submitted a report (Document “AC” – which included Not for Publication Appendix 2) which advised members of a forthcoming procurement from a national framework agreement for the award of a contract for a temporary agency and executive interim staffing contract. The value of the proposed contract was in excess of £2 million and in line with the requirements of Contract Standing Orders, (CSO 7.2.1), a report had to be produced to allow members to consider matters prior to the commencement of the procurement process.

 

Members were advised that the approach recommended in the report would mean a saving to the Council to an amount of £371,000 based on current usage, with the opportunity for additional future savings, which was the reason for its recommendation. It was also reported that a change to the neutral vendor could mean increased risk and uncertainty for the Council, which was why that was not recommended.

 

It was also reported that the proposed contract provided an improved opportunity for top management recruitment and would also mean savings could be made and that benefits of the proposed contract could also be offered to schools. Members were advised that HMRC was pleased with the Council’s approach.

 

Officers also reported on the number of agency workers who had been with the Council for over a year and for which department they principally worked. The success that had been achieved with day care staff in Adult Services was also reported.

 

It was expected that the proposed contract would be extremely helpful in recruiting to hard to fill posts.

 

In conclusion, it was stressed that the current neutral vendor offered a great deal of flexibility and that changing that risked high levels of upheaval and uncertainty, while the new contract would offer good commercial benefits. It was hoped that the number of temporary staff could be reduced over time, which would then allow the Council’s options to be reconsidered.

 

The chair of the Committee asked questions in respect of:-

·         How long the current contract had been in place ?

·         Was cost based on usage ?

·         The value of the current contract

·         How value for money was ensured

·         Was there any flexibility in terms of the length of the contract ?

·         Was it the intention to aim to reduce agency staff numbers to zero ?

 

In response, he was advised that the current contract had been in place for four years, which was the usual term; that volume of use did not form part of the terms of the contract; that the average spend was detailed in appendix 1 of the report and was a significant sum; that the contract was monitored closely to ensure value for money in terms of salaries offered; that although there would be a commitment to a new contract, it offered a good deal of flexibility in terms of how staff were engaged and that it was not the intention to have no agency staff as they has a  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.

5.

HATE CRIME SCRUTINY REVIEW pdf icon PDF 92 KB

The Chair of the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee will submit a report (Document “AD”) which contains the findings from the Hate Crime Scrutiny Review.

 

Recommended –

 

That the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee adopts the findings contained within the Draft Hate Crime Scrutiny Review Report.

 

(Mustansir Butt - 01274 432574)

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chair of the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee submitted a report (Document “AD”) which contained the findings from the Hate Crime Scrutiny Review.

 

The Chair opened the discussion by regretting that  there had been an increase in hate crime. He stressed the need to speak up about hate crime and to tackle it in conjunction with key partners. He thanked everyone who had given their time to the review.

 

A member noted that some reporting centres had high levels of crime reported while others had none at all. He was advised that all centres were used for other purposes so it was not clear why some had no results at all. The Community Co-ordinator, Prevent undertook to raise the matter with the Alliance. Members also noted that the cost of training staff in the centres in respect of hate crime was an issue when those staff then left their posts.

 

A member also expressed concern about possible underreporting of hate crime, especially among particular groups such as people with disabilities. He stressed the need to support victims and challenge views which lead to hate crime.

 

The Chair concurred with that and stressed the need for members to be fully involved in such efforts.

 

A member considered that a good way to encourage member participation would be to publish the statistics on a ward by ward basis.

 

Members also considered that it was important to present the finding of the review to full Council at the next possible meeting to inform all members.

 

Resolved –

 

1.    That the findings contained within the Draft Hate Crime Scrutiny Review Report, be adopted.

 

2.    That the Hate Crime Scrutiny Review report be referred to Council to be endorsed, at its next business meeting.

 

Action:  Overview & Scrutiny Lead