Agenda, decisions and draft minutes

Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee - Thursday, 9th November, 2023 5.00 pm

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

Contact: Yusuf Patel/Jane Lythgow 

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 must consider their interests, and act according to the following:

 

Type of Interest

You must:

 

 

Disclosable Pecuniary Interests

Disclose the interest; not participate in the discussion or vote; and leave the meeting unless you have a dispensation.

 

 

Other Registrable Interests (Directly Related)

OR

Non-Registrable Interests (Directly Related)

Disclose the interest; speak on the item only if the public are also allowed to speak but otherwise not participate in the discussion or vote; and leave the meeting unless you have a dispensation.

 

 

Other Registrable Interests (Affects)

OR

Non-Registrable Interests (Affects)

Disclose the interest; remain in the meeting, participate and vote unless the matter affects the financial interest or well-being

 

 (a) to a greater extent than it affects the financial interests of a majority of inhabitants of the affected ward, and

 

(b) a reasonable member of the public knowing all the facts would believe that it would affect your view of the wider public interest; in which case speak on the item only if the public are also allowed to speak but otherwise not do not participate in the discussion or vote; and leave the meeting unless you have a dispensation.

 

(2)       Disclosable pecuniary interests relate to the Member concerned or their spouse/partner.

 

(3)       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. 

 

(4)       Officers must disclose interests in accordance with Council Standing Order 44.

Minutes:

No disclosures of interest in matters under discussion were made.

 

36.

MINUTES

Recommended –

 

That the minutes of the meeting held on 5 October 2023 be signed as a correct record (previously circulated).

 

(Yusuf Patel / Jane Lythgow – 07970 411923 / 07970 411623)

Minutes:

Resolved –

 

That the minutes of the meeting held on 5 October 2023 be signed as a correct record.

37.

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 / Jane Lythgow – 07970 411923 / 07970 411623)

Minutes:

There were no appeals submitted by the public to review decisions to restrict documents.

 

38.

REFERRALS TO THE OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY COMMITTEE

The Committee is asked to note any referrals 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 made to the Overview and Scrutiny Committee.

 

39.

MEASURES TO COMBAT DANGEROUS DRIVING AND ANTI SOCIAL BEHAVIOUR IN THE BRADFORD DISTRICT pdf icon PDF 2 MB

The report of the Strategic Director, Place, (Document “Q”) 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 report be noted.

 

2.    That the Strategic Director, Place, be requested to provide a progress report in 12 months’ time.

 

(Simon D’Vali – 01535 618375)

 

 

Minutes:

The report of the Strategic Director, Place, (Document “Q”) 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 Principle Engineer with responsibility for road safety was present at the meeting together with representatives from West Yorkshire Police.  He stressed that partnership working was key to reducing injuries and deaths on our roads, he highlighted that there had been a number of fatalities on our roads as of late and therefore we were at a critical juncture.

 

To this end Vision Zero was looking at a whole systems targeted approach to reducing casualties, ensuring that services across the Council and further afield bought into the concept. He added that road casualty rates in the district were high and therefore this presented us with a real challenge.  To this end the Police had been very supportive, deploying resources to areas of high risk on the road network.

 

Our safer roads programme also concentrated on areas where pedestrian injuries were high, and with the level of detail now available, it enabled partners to target those areas more effectively than ever before as well as working with the community, via the street safe initiative by creating safe play areas for children.

 

A number of representatives from West Yorkshire Police were present to give a policing perspective to roads policing, during which information was provided on the actions taken to reduce anti-social / dangerous driving speed enforcement; education initiatives; number of vehicle seizures; support of the safer streets work and the commitment to reducing road injuries and fatalities through Vision Zero. 

 

During the discussion Members asked a number of questions, the questions together with the responses are detailed below:

 

In response to a question regarding dashcam footage it was explained that that any footage that is received is fully investigated, and that any action taken is fed back to the submitter.

In relation to the primary causes of accidents, it was explained that all accidents are fully investigated, and solutions applied, and appropriate action taken to the primary cause. It was agreed that information around this could be provided to Members.

A Member stated that parking around schools during drop off and pick up was a particular area of concern and ward councillors were inundated on this issue from concerned residents, and he ascertained what measures were being taken to further address this.  In response it was stated that work was ongoing with schools to address concerns , with pupils also being involved in educating parents on the dangers of poor parking around school and its impact on safety.  

A Member queried what work was being done in conjunction with new drivers and ensuring that they remained safe drivers after passing their test. In response it was stressed that work in secondary schools was targeting this cohort  ...  view the full minutes text for item 39.

40.

QUARTER 2 FINANCE POSITION STATEMENT FOR 2023-24 pdf icon PDF 1 MB

The Director of Finance will present Document “R” which provides Members with the forecast year-end financial position of the Council for 2023-24 and sets out the unprecedented scale of its financial challenges.

 

The report outlines the revenue and capital budgets and the year-end forecast financial position based on information at the end of September 2023.  It states the Council’s current reserves and school balances.

 

Document R also summarises the ongoing action being undertaken to address the current challenges and further urgent action that will be required to secure a sustainable financial position.

 

Members are requested to review and comment on the Quarter 2 Finance Position Statement for 2023-24. 

 

(Andrew Cross – 07870 386523)

Minutes:

The Director of Finance presented (Document “R”) which provided Members with the forecast year-end financial position of the Council for 2023-24 and set out the unprecedented scale of its financial challenges.

 

The report outlined the revenue and capital budgets and the year-end forecast financial position based on information at the end of September 2023.  It stated the Council’s current reserves and school balances.

 

Document R also summarised the ongoing action being undertaken to address the current challenges and further urgent action that will be required to secure a sustainable financial position.

 

It was explained that a growing number of Councils across the country were reporting severe financial pressures. Bradford also faces financial challenges on an unprecedented scale and the Council, including the Bradford Childrens’ and Families Trust (BCFT), was forecast to overspend its £453m net revenue budget for 2023-24 by £68m at March 31st 2024 based on forecasts calculated at the end of September 2023.

 

This forecast position results from a combination of c£23m of forecast overspends in services delivered directly or commissioned by the Council, and c£45m in BCFT.

The key issues affecting Council delivered and commissioned services included demand and cost pressures in adult social care; home to school transport; on-going elevated levels of inflation; increases in costs such as the national pay award, and underdelivered savings.

Key pressures on the Trust’s finances include high levels of agency staff, and ongoing increases in expensive residential care placements which run counter to budgeted reductions as detailed in section 10 of the report.

 

During the discussion Members asked a number of questions, the questions together with the responses are detailed below:

 

In response to a question regarding the high levels of agency staff, and why this was not apparent and a pertinent factor during contract negotiations for setting up of the Trust.  The Strategic Director Corporate Resources stressed that the contract in setting up the Children’s Trust took over a year to negotiate, given this was a demand led service, we did take advice from previously set up Trust around the contract. Given the nature of the service and the constant state of flux we did our best to negotiate a robust contract.

 

The Strategic Director Children’s Services added that the given that the service is demand led, we did our best on the data we had, with an acknowledgement that the use of agency staff was commonplace, and that we as a district had larger families and this can lead to a larger number of children being taken into care as a consequence. It was also stressed that costs can go up and down and therefore these variations are inevitable.

The Leader of Council was also present at the meeting and stated that notwithstanding the need to move to establish a Children’s Trust, the cost of placements was phenomenal and we were bound by market prices, and it was therefore difficult to see how we can mitigate this in the absence of reform of the market  ...  view the full minutes text for item 40.

41.

CORPORATE OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY COMMITTEE - WORK PROGRAMME 2023/24 pdf icon PDF 101 KB

The Chair of the Corporate Overview & Scrutiny Committee will submit a report (Document “S”) which includes the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee work programme for 2023/24, which are attached as appendix 1 to Document “S”.

 

Also attached as appendix 2, is a list of unscheduled topics for 2023-24.

 

Recommended –

 

(1)      That the Committee may choose to add to or amend the topics included in the 2023-24 work programme.

 

(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 & Scrutiny Committee submitted a report (Document “S”) which included the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee work programme for 2023/24, which was attached as appendix 1 to Document “S”.

 

Also attached was appendix 2, a list of unscheduled topics for 2023-24.

 

The Overview and Scrutiny Lead explained that one more session was planned on the Anti-Social Behaviour Call for Action and that Members will receive an invite on the session in due course.

Resolved –

 

That the Committee discussed and amended the work programme.

 

To be actioned by: Overview and Scrutiny Lead