Agenda and draft minutes

Audit and Governance Committee
Thursday, 10th September, 2020 6.00 pm

Venue: Virtual meeting

Contact: Democratic Services Team  Email: democratic.services@bcpcouncil.gov.uk

Media

Items
No. Item

19.

Apologies

To receive any apologies for absence from Councillors.

Minutes:

There were no apologies from councillors for this meeting.

20.

Substitute Members

To receive information on any changes in the membership of the Committee.

 

Note – When a member of a Committee is unable to attend a meeting of a Committee or Sub-Committee, the relevant Political Group Leader (or their nominated representative) may, by notice to the Monitoring Officer (or their nominated representative) prior to the meeting, appoint a substitute member from within the same Political Group. The contact details on the front of this agenda should be used for notifications.

 

Minutes:

There were no substitute members.

21.

Declarations of Interests

Councillors are requested to declare any interests on items included in this agenda. Please refer to the workflow on the preceding page for guidance.

Declarations received will be reported at the meeting.

Minutes:

Cllr M F Brooke declared a local interest in respect of agenda item 6 as he was a Council appointed representative on Bournemouth Development Company Partnership Board. He indicated that he would take part and vote if required.

22.

Confirmation of Minutes pdf icon PDF 305 KB

To confirm and sign as a correct record the minutes of the Meeting held on 30July 2020.

Minutes:

The Chairman gave an update on the Constitution Review Working Group. The Group’s first meeting on 2 September had dealt primarily with procedural matters. All Members of the Council had been canvassed for suggestions, with a follow up reminder. Comments received (many of which were planning- related) had been collated into a spreadsheet for the Group to consider. The Group was due to meet again on 23 September with relevant councillors and planning officers invited. It was anticipated that two or three meetings would be required before reporting back to the Committee. It may be that a further canvass of Members’ views would be required, in which case he would coordinate this with the Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Group and Democratic Services.

 

RESOLVED that:

 

(a)  That the minutes of the meeting held on 30 July 2020 be confirmed as an accurate record.

 

(b)  That the Chairman’s update on the Constitution Review Working Group be noted.

 

Voting – Unanimous

 

23.

Public Issues

To receive any public questions, statements or petitions submitted in accordance with the Constitution. Further information on the requirements for submitting these is available to view at the following link:-

https://democracy.bcpcouncil.gov.uk/documents/s2305/Public%20Items%20-%20Meeting%20Procedure%20Rules.pdf 

The deadline for the submission of public questions is Thursday 03 September 2020.

The deadline for the submission of a statement is 12.00 noon, Wednesday 09 September 2020.

The deadline for the submission of a petition was 12.00 noon, Tuesday 26 August 2020.

Minutes:

There were no public issues submitted for this meeting.

24.

Structure and Operation of the Bournemouth Development Company

To receive a presentation from the Director – Development Services.

Minutes:

The Director of Development introduced a presentation on the structure and organisation of Bournemouth Development Company (BDC), one of a number of topics of interest which Members had requested be brought to the Committee.

 

The Town Centre Vision Programme Leader explained that BDC was formed in 2011 as a Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) following a lengthy public procurement process. The LLP had its own bespoke governance arrangements which enabled it to align as far as it was able to with the Council’s own internal processes at key stages in the development process. He explained why BDC had been formed – to respond to market failure and previous lack of delivery, to have more control and input in the development process, and to capture the fruits of development. He outlined the role of the three tiers of decision making within which BDC operated, as follows:

 

  • Development Manager: with delegated responsibility for day to day decisions on the development process, but required to seek guidance/approval from the BDC Partnership Board on certain matters. The role required a level of industry expertise not available within the Council and was fulfilled by Morgan Sindall Investments Limited, part of Morgan Sindall Group, a large construction services business well known in the market place.

 

  • BDC Partnership Board: which ensured that LLP Member Approval decisions were implemented in accordance with specified requirements. At the present time the Board was made up of three councillors and two representatives of Morgan Sindall. It acted in the best interests of BDC and its four business objectives: regeneration of the area; bringing forward buildings of good quality and design; ensuring delivery on the ground; and delivering returns in line with the business plan and site development plan approved by Cabinet.

 

  • LLP Member Approval – made up of two members, the Council and Morgan Sindall, with the Council acting in its own interests at this level. Designed as a deadlock vehicle requiring consensus to proceed. Council decisions were made openly and transparently by Cabinet or full Council. Morgan Sindall had its own internal governance arrangements to obtain its member Approval. LLP Member Approval was required for all major/strategic decisions.

 

The Town Centre Vision Programme Leader provided an illustrative example of the financial case for BDC, which demonstrated that the joint development approach gave a higher return and guarantee of delivery than through a straight forward land disposal. In conclusion, BDC had delivered on the ground using a model which was being replicated elsewhere. Although progress was not as far advanced as anticipated, BDC had long term regeneration objectives and was only nine years into its twenty year programme.

 

Councillors acknowledged the beneficial aspects of the LLP model but raised a number of issues around value for money, risk, and transparency. Councillors felt that it was important to provide assurance on these issues, particularly if this model was to be used for future regeneration programmes.

 

Councillors asked whether the Council was getting value for money in its partnership with Morgan Sindall and whether  ...  view the full minutes text for item 24.

25.

Review of Organisational and Operational Structure of BCP Council

To receive a presentation from the Chief Executive.

Minutes:

The Committee received a presentation from the Chief Executive about the ongoing development of the corporate structures and functions of the Council. He explained how this sat within the context of delivering the objectives and values of the Corporate Strategy and the Council’s new operating model. He  gave an overview of the current structure of five corporate directorates and sixteen service directorates which had been established by the Shadow Authority. Particular points of note included:

 

·       Corporate Management Board now included the statutory officer roles of Section 151 Officer and the Monitoring Officer.

·       Public Health was a shared service with Dorset, with the Director forming part of the ASC management team.

·       Children’s Services had seen some of the first external appointments made. All three Children’s Services in Dorset required improvement.

·       The new service within Regeneration and Economy (Destination and Culture), which had been unable to recruit a permanent director.

 

The Chief Executive reported that the corporate structure had served the Council well during its initial transition period. Compared to some other councils it was quite lean but it was also larger than either of the preceding unitary authorities. He anticipated that the number of directorates would reduce once the Council reached its business as usual stage. In the meantime he highlighted some interim changes that he was proposing following consultation with corporate/service directors.

 

Firstly, it was suggested that the Directors of Resources and Law and Governance should report direct into the Chief Executive, allowing the Corporate Director for Resources to focus on the transformation agenda. Secondly, within Regeneration and Economy it was proposed to transfer some operational services including the seafront to Environment and Community, to provide more clarity in place shaping/leading. Within the Growth and Infrastructure service it was also proposed to split planning and transport in order to increase capacity to deliver the transforming cities fund and transport infrastructure and improve planning performance.

 

The Chief Executive highlighted other potential structural changes which could bring together expertise at the same time as reducing the cost of the function. One proposal under consideration was to create a Director of Communications, Marketing and Strategy (replacing Destination and Culture) to centralise functions currently spread across other services. Another area being looked at was commissioning and procurement.  In conclusion the Chief Executive predicted an extensive and continual evolution of the structure, with further refinements made during the business as usual phase in around 18 months from now.

 

The Chief Executive responded to questions from the Committee on his presentation. He was asked about the evolution of the structure in the context of the Covid-19 situation. He explained that the capacity of the current structure had been needed in the last six months and he commended staff for their response. In areas such as safeguarding the situation had brought the Council and partners closer together in their working arrangements. It had also changed thinking and highlighted the need to drive through transformation.

 

He was asked about the rationale for moving seafront services in view of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 25.