Venue: Committee Room 1 - City Hall, Bradford. View directions
Contact: Yusuf Patel
DISCLOSURES OF INTEREST
Councillor Stubbs disclosed that he had initiated the Call for Action on Anti-Social Behaviour (Minute 30).
In the interest of transparency Councillor Green declared a personal interest in the Anti-Poverty Strategy in that he was employed by a charitable organisation (Minute 34).
Their interests were not prejudicial and they remained in the meeting during discussion and voting on those items.
ACTION: Director of Legal and Governance
That the minutes of the meetings held on 30 June and 21 July 2022 be signed as a correct record.
Action: Director of Legal and Governance
INSPECTION OF REPORTS AND BACKGROUND PAPERS
There were no appeals submitted by the public to review decisions to restrict documents.
REFERRALS TO THE OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY COMMITTEE
There were no recommendations referred to the Committee.
The report of the Strategic Director of Corporate Resources (Document “Q”) will be submitted to the Committee in line with the requirements of Council Standing Order 7.2.1 to report all proposed procurement exercises to the Overview & Scrutiny Committee with a total estimated contract value of over £2million prior to commencement of the procurement tendering process:
Facilities Management Catering & Cleaning Services wish to inform the O&S Committee of the procurement projects intend to be undertaken over the following 24-month period, supported by Corporate Procurement and thereby give Members the opportunity to engage in the process prior to inviting tenders from the marketplace.
This report sets out the details of the contracts that Facilities Management Catering & Office Services propose to tender and the timelines to ensure compliance with the Council’s Contract Standing Orders, Financial regulations and UK procurement legislation.
That the report be noted and the option to undertake the tendering exercise or route to market for each of the catering and cleaning contracts be noted, to include the two exceptions (a & b) detailed in the options.
(Paul Charity – 01274 431427)
Please note that under Para 9.4 of Part 3B of the Council’s Constitution an explanation of the reasons will be provided by the Strategic Director as to why this report was not available at the time of the publication of the agenda. The item of business shall only be taken if the chair of the meeting considers that, by reason of special circumstances, the item should be considered as a matter of urgency.
Part 3A of the Council’s Constitution, Standing Order 38.2 the Strategic Director, Corporate Resources, reported that Document “Q” had been included on a supplementary agenda published after the publication date of the adjourned meeting on 15 September 2022 which was reconvened on 25 October 2022.
It was explained that this had been necessary as immediate action was required in respect of the withdrawal by Yorkshire Purchasing Organisation (YPO) from the grocery/ambient goods supply chain. The service wished to immediately progress market testing via a YPO DPS (Dynamic Purchasing System) to secure a suitable supplier for a combined contract encompassing ambient, chilled and frozen goods as a way to mitigate the withdrawal of YPO, to mitigate food price inflation and to reduce the level of deliveries and associated carbon footprint.
The report of the Strategic Director of Corporate Resources (Document “Q”) was submitted to the Committee in line with the requirements of Council Standing Order 7.2.1 to report all proposed procurement exercises to the Overview & Scrutiny Committee with a total estimated contract value of over £2million prior to commencement of the procurement tendering process.
Document “Q” set out the details of the contracts that Facilities Management Catering & Office Services proposed to tender and the timelines to ensure compliance with the Council’s Contract Standing Orders, Financial regulations and UK procurement legislation.
Following a detailed presentation, a Member questioned if any consideration had been given, or if any discussions had been held with neighbouring authorities, to achieve economies of scales in future contracts by submitting joint tenders. It was confirmed that discussions had been held regarding the elements of the contracts which YPO were no longer able to fulfil which included frozen, ambient and chilled foods. Transporting those goods together on multi-temperature vehicles would also reduce the carbon footprint and, it was hoped, would reduce costs. It was agreed to inform Members, after the meeting, of the progress and outcome of those discussions.
In response to questions it was confirmed that although the provision of Halal products was included in the contracts there was a separate arrangement with butchers to supply those goods.
In light of the rapidly changing economic climate it was questioned if the length of the contracts would be amended. Members were advised that if the contract length was too short it would not be attractive to the market and would be unlikely to attract any interest. It was proposed that, to provide maximum flexibility and best value, the contracts would be offered for two years with the potential to extend if appropriate.
The report revealed that the optimum start for the new contract would be after the October 2022 half term break. A Member queried if that target would be realised and was advised that YPO were still in the market but the procurement exercise would be commenced at that time.
It was questioned if other providers could fill the YPO elements of the contract and also what was proposed for the YPO equipment and ... view the full minutes text for item 28.
BRADFORD COUNCIL WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY 2015-2021
Members were reminded that at the meeting on 1 December 2020 Executive had approved the Council’s refreshed Workforce Development Strategic Plan for 2021 – 2024. The workforce development plan was developed taking account of an internal evidence base. The evidence base included staff feedback from engagement sessions held during 2020; the Council Plan; updated equality objectives; outputs from culture and inclusive employer surveys and reports; induction and learning management system evaluation; the workforce development strategy 2015 – 2021, plus a review of existing KPIs and performance data.
The report of the Director of Human Resources, (Document “J”) presented the Council’s new workforce development strategic plan and detailed progress since the topic had last been discussed by the committee at the meeting on 14 October 2021.
The ten key priority workforce development areas contained in the plan for 2021 – 2024 were reported and identified development activities over three phases. Each phase outlined the key activities required.
The priorities included an enhanced coaching offer and it was questioned if the take up of coaching had improved. In response it was confirmed that feedback had been good but there was a need to increase the number of trained coaches.
The report revealed efforts to continue to improve performance management metrics and an increase in the number of staff completing annual performance appraisals from 27% in 2020/21 to 51% in 2021/22 was reported.
It was questioned if those figures were benchmarked with neighbouring authorities and it was explained that no exact statistical comparisons were available as other authorities used different systems. Leeds Council appraisal figures had reduced to a 70% completion rate and it was recognised that Bradford was behind that figure and that remained an area of focus for the Council.
The report revealed areas of concern in two departments with regard to completed appraisals and it was asked what action or interventions were planned. It was explained that systems requirements were required to ascertain the actual figures of staff completing appraisals as more than the number recorded had been undertaken. The Strategic Director, Health and Wellbeing explained that half of his employees were located in care homes and did not have IT access. In addition to system developments plans were being made to support colleagues in their completion and reporting of appraisals.
A Member referred to assurances which had been provided over the previous ten years that all staff would complete an appraisal. In response it was acknowledged that more work was required to capture statistical information and that managers who were not conducting appraisals would be targeted to ensure that employees were aware of the contribution they made to the Council and to plan their development. In response to questions about the commitment of managers’ assurances were provided that all the senior team were committed to setting a culture for success. The COVID pandemic had presented difficulties with getting managers together and making them aware of the most effective way to provide support.
The progress made on the ... view the full minutes text for item 29.
COUNCILLOR CALL FOR ACTION - ENQUIRY INTO ANTI-SOCIAL BEHAVIOUR ACROSS THE DISTRICT
Members were reminded that at the meeting on Thursday 30 June 2022 a Call for Action request, from Councillor Brendan Stubbs, into Anti-Social Behaviour in the Bradford 2 and Bradford10 areas was considered.
At that time Members expressed their belief that Anti-Social behaviour was actually an issue for the whole of the District. Subsequently it was decided to undertake an enquiry into anti-social behaviour across the whole of the District.
The report of the Chair of the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee (Document “K”) presented the draft Terms of Reference for the Call for Action in relation to Anti-Social Behaviour across the District.
Councillor Stubbs, who had subsequently been appointed as a Member of the Committee, confirmed that he was happy for the enquiry to be extended across the district.
A Member referred to the Key Lines of Enquiry contained in Document “K” and suggested that the understanding of the legislative; policy and performance context of anti-social behaviour be conducted at the end of the process and not be limited to current legislation.
It was requested that the indicative list of interested parties include victims and residents and that a mechanism to include those residents be developed. It was believed that anti-social behaviour was not just limited to 14 to 19-year-old boys and examples of people driving badly and dropping litter to be picked up by others were cited as examples of poor behaviour. It was felt that residents should be given the opportunity to discuss a range of issues affecting their lives.
A Member suggested that all 90 local Councillors be provided with a template to complete to highlight issues in their areas and that neighbourhood offices also be targeted to enhance the evidence gathering process.
The timescale for the enquiry was questioned and it was explained that three sessions were proposed. These would take place on a monthly basis with draft recommendations being compiled by the fourth month.
Members amended and adopted the Terms of Reference for the Call for Action into Anti-Social Behaviour.
ACTION: Overview and Scrutiny Lead
OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY ANNUAL REPORT 2021-22
Members were reminded that the Constitution of the Council required the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee to produce an annual report to Council on the activities of the Overview and Scrutiny Committees.
The report of the Chair of Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee, (Document “L”) presented the draft annual report for 2021-2022 to be considered for adoption prior to its presentation to Council.
The report included annual survey results and in response to questions about participation in the survey it was reported that all Councillors and officers who had participated throughout the municipal year had been included. It was acknowledged that Councillor responses had been low despite reminders being issued.
It was confirmed that the report would be presented to the next Council meeting in December 2022.
(1) The committee adopted the Overview and Scrutiny Annual Report 2021-22.
(2) That the Annual Overview and Scrutiny Report for 2021-22 be referred to Council for consideration.
ACTION: Overview and Scrutiny Lead
CORPORATE OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY COMMITTEE - WORK PROGRAMME 2022-23
The Chair of the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee submitted a report (Document “M”) which included proposed items for the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee work programme for 2022/23.
It was noted that the report requested earlier in the meeting on workforce development would be added to the work programme and confirmed that the Stonewall report would be presented in December 2022.
The Committee was asked to consider any additional items it wished to include in the work programme and Members were advised that following the meeting they could contact the Scrutiny Lead with any further items.
Members discussed and amended the work programme.
ACTION: Overview and Scrutiny Lead
EXCLUSION OF THE PUBLIC
Members were asked to consider if Not for Publication Appendix 1 to Document “I” relating to the Anti-Poverty Strategy be considered in the absence of the public.
That the proposal to consider the Appendix to Document “I” in the absence of the public not be approved.
The report of the Strategic Director, Health and Wellbeing, (Document “I”) presented the new draft District Anti-Poverty Strategy and accompanying action plan.
Members were advised that the strategy had been developed by the District Anti-Poverty Coordination Group (DACG), a multi-partner group consisting of representatives from the Council, Department of Work and Pensions (DWP), health, Incommunities and the voluntary and community sector.
The renewed draft Anti-Poverty Strategy –
• Reviewed the latest national and local picture;
• Outlined the vision, goals and work themes of the strategy
• Provided an overview of the work being undertaken across the district to support our poorest and most vulnerable communities through and beyond the cost of living crisis;
• Highlighted some key issues for Corporate Overview & Scrutiny (CO&S) to have sight of and place in the context of the priorities of the District Anti-Poverty Coordination Group’s (DACG) next steps.
Members were reminded that Bradford was one of the most deprived areas in the country and the cost of living crisis had impacted greatly on the Local Authority, public services and the voluntary sector. The pandemic had demonstrated how reliant residents were on public services and the strategy attempted to recognise the new poverty landscape. A lot of good work was being undertaken and this was captured in the strategy which aimed to build and develop lessons learnt during the pandemic and to recognise the leadership role the Council provided.
A representative of Inn Churches addressed the meeting. Members were advised that Inn Churches was a voluntary organisation providing, amongst other things, Food Hubs to tackle food poverty through intercepting, sorting and distributing surplus food to community groups across the district and through social supermarkets providing access to affordable, fresh and long-life food on a budget.
Their representative explained that whilst grateful for preventative measures to tackle the food crisis she felt that the problem was merely being moved further down the line and she was concerned about what would happen to the 26 foodbanks which were engaged with Inn Churches when Government funding ended in April 2023.
She believed that people were trapped in poverty and sustainable models were required to prevent people remaining reliant on food banks. Details of a Food Saver initiative developed before the Covid pandemic, to assist people who did not want the stigma of reliance on food banks, were provided. Members of that scheme paid a fee of six pounds and received a bag of shopping. One pound of that fee was deposited with the credit union for that member. It was explained that the Bradford Credit Union was a faith friendly organisation, paying a dividend as opposed to interest, and the number of people saving was growing.
Details of a Uniform Savers project launching shortly were provided and national recognition for the Covid Loan which had commenced in July 2020 was reported.
The intention of the Trussel Trust to close food banks in its five-year plan were reported and it was explained that initiatives such ... view the full minutes text for item 34.