Agenda, decisions and minutes

Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee - Thursday, 10th November, 2022 5.00 pm

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

Items
No. Item

35.

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.

36.

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.

37.

QTR 2 FINANCE POSITION STATEMENT FOR 2022-23 pdf icon PDF 1 MB

The Director of Finance will submit a report (Document “S”) which provides Members with an update on the forecast year-end financial position of the Council for 2022-23.

 

It outlines the revenue and capital budgets and the year-end financial position based on information at the end of September 2022. It states the Council’s current balances and reserves and school balances. 

 

Recommended –

 

That Members review and comment on the Qtr 2 Finance Position Statement for 2022-23.

(Andrew Cross - 07870 386523)

Minutes:

The Director of Finance presented a report (Document “S”) which provided Members with an update on the forecast year-end financial position of the Council for 2022-23.

 

This report was the second monitoring report presented to Members on the Council’s 2022-23 financial position. It provided the forecast revenue and capital financial position of the Council at the 31st March 2023. The report covered:

 

The forecast outturn of the Council’s revenuebudget in 2022-23

The forecast financial impact of inflation in 2022-23

A statement on the Councils reserves

An update on the Capital Investment Plan.

The Councils Risk Register.

 

Main financial messages included in the report revealed that, based on a projection at September 30th 2022, the Council was forecast to overspend the £388.5m net revenue budget by £45.3m by March 31st 2023, That figure was £10.6m lower than the £55.9m forecast overspend at Qtr1 overall, and there were some very significant changes as outlined in the report. 

 

It was reported that the main overspending areas continued to be Children’s Social Care due to high placement costs; high levels of Agency Staff, and unachieved savings.

 

Members were reminded that the Council was also facing some very severe challenges as a result of inflationary pressures which totalled c£33m.  The challenges included £14m of additional forecast costs associated with the 2022-23 pay award offer. Overall it was estimated that the employer offered pay award would cost c£20m compared to the £6m budgeted to pay for a 2%. pay award and the figure could end up being even higher depending on national pay negotiations.

 

The other major inflationary costs related to energy prices which were estimated to increase by 118% by suppliers at Quarter 1.

 

Departmental commentaries and mitigating actions taken to reduce the forecast overspend were presented.

 

Following a detailed presentation Members raised a number of issues and questions to which the following responses were provided:

 

·         It was expected that the development of the Children’s Trust would cost in the region of £3.2 million.  It had been confirmed that Department of Education would fund that cost.

 

·         Agency costs of £32 million were forecast across the Council, £24 million of which were for Children’s Services.  The costs of consultant fees were not available at the meeting and it was agreed that these would be provided after the meeting.

 

·         The Council’s Reserves Statement included a number of statutory funds reserved for specific purposes including school balances which could not be utilised elsewhere. The list was being refined to identify amounts which were available for other purposes. Councils which spent 5% of the general fund reserve would be considered to be no longer sustainable.

 

·         Government guidance was awaited on funding to be awarded via the Better Care Fund.  It was likely that a condition of the funding would be that it should be used to maintain care worker over the Christmas period. 

 

·         It was explained that no patient should leave hospital without an assessment, however, 80% of patients discharged themselves and some did slip through  ...  view the full minutes text for item 37.

38.

UPDATE ON WHAT THE COUNCIL IS DOING TO COMBAT DANGEROUS DRIVING AND ANTI- SOCIAL DRIVING BEHAVIOUR IN BRADFORD pdf icon PDF 1 MB

The report of the Interim Director, Place, Document “R provides an update on current casualty levels and trends in the Bradford District and the Capital Programmes, Road Safety Education, Training and Publicity initiatives aimed at addressing dangerous driving and anti-social driving behaviour. 

 

The report also sets out the Council’s commitment to Vision Zero.

 

Recommended –

 

1.    That the contents of Document “R” be noted.

 

2.    That the Interim Strategic Director, Place, be requested to provide an update report in 12 months’ time to include outputs and outcomes on driver enforcement and driver behaviour.

 

(Simon D’Vali – 01535 618375)

Minutes:

The report of the Interim Director, Place, Document “R provided an update on current casualty levels and trends in the Bradford District and the Capital Programmes, Road Safety Education, Training and Publicity initiatives aimed at addressing dangerous driving and anti-social driving behaviour. 

 

The report also set out the Council’s commitment to Vision Zero.

 

The Principal Engineer acknowledged that there was a disconnect between the report presented and what Members had expected.  He reported his considerable experience of working in the district; the problems faced from dangerous driving and the interventions required to protect residents.

 

It was explained that Bradford suffered from the highest level of car occupants not using seat belts in the country and the second highest level of untaxed cars.

 

A lack of legislation had hindered attempts to tackle the issues, however, the Traffic Management Act Part 6 would now enable the Council to control traffic movement orders and be more proactive.

 

It was reported that an evidence base was required to enable interventions to be put in place but that shortly it would no longer be necessary to go to the extremes previously required for the installation of speed cameras in areas with persistent speeding problems.  On a West Yorkshire level five separate vehicles were being purchased which could be deployed outside of the fixed camera zones.  It was believed that those measures would demonstrate that Bradford was an area that would not tolerate speed.  It was agreed that as soon as further information was available on that issue it would be shared with Members.

 

Details of the Vision Zero campaign were reported.

 

Members were informed of the West Yorkshire Transport Strategy 2040 inclusion of a specific aim to reduce road accidents, aspiring to ‘zero tolerance’ of transport-related deaths. Adoption of ‘Vision Zero’ had been accepted by the West Yorkshire Safer Roads Executive and the newly established Vision Zero Board which was in the process of developing the reality of that vision for the district.  There were also aspirations to encourage walking and cycling by improving safety. Milestones and targets were currently being considered at a West Yorkshire level. That multi-agency approach would include data sharing between agencies such as social services; the police and fire service to maximise outputs.

 

It was explained that the Council did not have the legislative authority to deal with all the issues faced and was the rationale for the partnership approach required.

 

Political support was also requested to address issues in particular areas of the city.  It was explained that a child living in a deprived area was twenty times more likely to be involved in a road traffic accident than children in other areas.  Certain areas were particularly car centric with residents using cars for the shortest of journeys.  A better understanding of ways to engage with those communities was needed and it was believed that political support, for initiatives which were not particularly liked by communities, would help.  Initiatives to encourage mothers to speak to their children about  ...  view the full minutes text for item 38.

39.

REFERRALS TO THE OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY COMMITTEE pdf icon PDF 179 KB

The following referrals have been made to this Committee up to and including the date of publication of this agenda.

 

SOCIAL VALUE AND INCLUSIVE GROWTH RATIONALE AND POLICY PROCURMENT POLICY

 

Previous reference: Governance and Audit Committee minute 56 (2021/22)

 

The Governance and Audit Committee, at its meeting on 21 April 2022, whilst discussing amendments to the Constitution – Contract Standing Orders and Financial Regulations, resolved, amongst other things:

(1)  That the Social Value Procurement Policy be referred to the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee for consideration when the policy is reviewed.

The Committee is asked to note the referral listed above and Document “Q” to 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

 

Social Value & Inclusive Growth Rationale and Policy Procurement Policy

 

The report of the Director of Finance and IT, Document “Q” provides an update on the application of the Social Value and Inclusive Growth Rationale & Policy implemented in 2018.

 

The report identifies key successes and proposes actions to be included in the review of the policy and subsequent update to ensure continuous improvement is evidenced.

 

Document “Q” asks Members to note:

 

·         The content and intent of the rationale and policy remain relevant to today

 

·         The positive actions taken to progress the Social Value and Inclusive Growth Rationale and Policy.

 

·         The intent for the Head of Procurement to lead a review of the Social Value and Inclusive Growth Rationale and Policy with the intent to engage stakeholders including VCSE; supply chain; and officers from across the Council including Economic Development; Employment and Skills; Anti-Poverty leads; Equality leads; and services who main procurers in the Council on revisions. Members may wish to contribute to that process.

 

·         The review will specifically asses:

 

o   Options to increase local spend, including capturing sub-contracted spend where possible. The review will also establish appropriate targets and consider the one-off impact of large scale projects.

 

o   What metrics should be included in Bradford specific TOMs (Themes; Outcomes; Measures).

 

o   Ensuring proposed Social Value proposals are captured and their delivery can be evidenced in outcomes to benefit the District.

 

o   Options to enhance Social Value from the Council’s supply chain.

 

(Chris Chapman – 01274 433656)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Governance and Audit Committee, at its meeting on 21 April 2022, whilst discussing amendments to the Constitution – Contract Standing Orders and Financial Regulations, resolved, amongst other things:

 

(1)   That the Social Value Procurement Policy be referred to the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee for consideration when the policy is reviewed.

 

The Committee was asked to note the referral listed above and Document “Q” to decide how it wished 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. 

 

The Director of Finance and IT presented Document “Q” which provided an update on the application of the Social Value and Inclusive Growth Rationale & Policy implemented in 2018.  It identified key successes and proposed actions to be included in the review of the policy and subsequent update to ensure continuous improvement was evidenced.

 

The report identified key successes and proposed actions to be included in the review of the policy and subsequent update to ensure continuous improvement was evidenced.

 

Members were asked to note:

 

·         The content and intent of the rationale and policy to retain its relevance.

·         The positive actions taken to progress the Social Value and Inclusive Growth Rationale and Policy.

·         The intent for the Head of Procurement to lead a review of the Social Value and Inclusive Growth Rationale and Policy with the intent to engage stakeholders including VCSE; supply chain; and officers from across the Council including Economic Development; Employment and Skills; Anti-Poverty leads; Equality leads; and services who main procurers in the Council on revisions.

·          

It was explained that the review would specifically asses:

 

·         Options to increase local spend, including capturing sub-contracted spend where possible. The review would also establish appropriate targets and consider the one-off impact of large scale projects.

·         What metrics should be included in Bradford specific TOMs (Themes; Outcomes; Measures).

·         To ensure proposed Social Value proposals were captured and their delivery evidenced in outcomes to benefit the District.

·         Options to enhance Social Value from the Council’s supply chain.

 

A Member referred to measures to increase social value from the Council’s supply chain which had been in place for a number of years.  Whilst acknowledging that some contracts may be too large for local businesses he questioned how contracts were constructed to encourage local business.  He quoted a previous example of a sole trader being asked for a Health and Safety Policy before being allowed on the list of contractors to be considered.  He hoped such barriers had been removed and that inclusion in tender processes were now easier for small firms.

 

It was also questioned if the use of local sub-contractors was a requirement in larger contracts.

 

It was explained that there were a number of large contracts awarded but more had been done to encourage small firms.  Work was required to capture the number of local sub-contractors and assurances were provided that it was now easier for small firms to bid.

 

The  ...  view the full minutes text for item 39.

40.

EQUALITY OBJECTIVES AND EQUALITY PLAN 2021-25 UPDATE pdf icon PDF 168 KB

The Assistant Director, Chief Executive’s Office will submit a report (Document “T”) which updates Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee on the progress made in relation to implementation of actions within the current Equality Objectives and Equality Plan 2021-25.

 

Recommended –

 

To accept this update report on the progress made against the Council’s equality duty and work.

(Khalida Ashrafi – 07816082796)

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Assistant Director, Chief Executive’s Office presented a report (Document “T”) which updated Members on the progress made in relation to implementation of actions within the current Equality Objectives and Equality Plan 2021-25.

 

Key changes to the Equalities Objectives and Equality Plan in relation to the Local Government Association’s Peer Review recommendations and other consultation and feedback were provided and it was confirmed that the only cost incurred from the review was for officer time. Members were advised that Terms of Reference for the review had not been established and an informal agreement to review the plan had been agreed.

 

It was questioned how thorough the review could be without established terms of reference and it was agreed that, as the officer concerned was not available, contact would be made with the Local Government Association to investigate further.

 

The Chair expressed disappointment that he had not received site of any terms of reference despite his previous request and that he had not been provided with a quarterly review report which he had asked for in October 2021. 

 

In response it was explained that a performance report had been circulated with the minutes of that meeting and had been subsequently sent to Members. The performance appraisal had provided examples of good practice and whilst there was still more to be done a lot of training and systems were in place.

 

A Member suggested that Terms of Reference for future peer reviews should be brought to the relevant Overview and Scrutiny Committees prior to commencement of those reviews.

 

Communications with staff as part of the review were questioned and it was explained that a combination of discussions with network chairs; elected members; community partners; colleagues working in communities and public sector partners had been undertaken. 

 

The Gypsy and Traveller Strategy to support the inclusion of people from that community was questioned and it was explained that this was to look at the availability of land and site improvements which should be addressed internally.   Members suggested that this should include discrimination regarding employment for that community and it was confirmed that discrimination was part of the strategy.

 

It was felt that the report read as if only limited groups of people were included and questioned why women’s groups and disability groups were not included. 

 

In response to questions about why discussions regarding apprenticeships with Birmingham University had not been conducted locally it was explained that this had been down to availability. Discussions were being held with the University of Bradford to ensure that apprenticeships were not being awarded outside of the district.

 

The rationale for only including top management in the equality objectives was queried and it was explained this was to provide a commitment from the top 200 + special grade posts to ensure every member of staff should ultimately have equality objectives.

 

The inclusion in the plan of grievances was questioned and it was explained that this had been included when the plan had been formulated to portray relationships  ...  view the full minutes text for item 40.

41.

CORPORATE OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY COMMITTEE WORK PROGRAMME FOR 2022/23 pdf icon PDF 101 KB

The Chair of the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee will submit a report (Document “U”) which includes proposed items for the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee work programme for 2022/23. 

 

Recommended –

 

(1)       That Members consider and comment on the areas of work to be carried forward into the municipal year 2022/23.

 

(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 “U”) which included proposed items for the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee work programme for 2022/23.

 

Members were advised of an informal session on the review of Anti-Social Behaviour across the district to be held on 29 November 2022.  Invites had been sent to all parties although the police could not attend.  It was agreed that a separate session could be held with the police at a later date.

 

Resolved –

 

Members discussed and amended the work programme.

 

ACTION:  Overview and Scrutiny Lead.