Agenda and minutes

Overview and Scrutiny Board
Monday, 4th January, 2021 2.00 pm

Venue: Virtual Meeting

Contact: Claire Johnston - 01202 123663  Email: claire.johnston@bcpcouncil.gov.uk

Media

Items
No. Item

117.

Apologies

To receive any apologies for absence from Members.

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Cllrs L Dedman, G Farquhar and V Slade

118.

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:

Cllr P Hilliard substituted for Cllr L Dedman, Cllr L Allison substituted for Cllr G Farquhar and Cllr M Andrews substituted for Cllr V Slade

119.

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:

None raised

120.

Confirmation of Minutes pdf icon PDF 319 KB

To confirm and sign as a correct record the minutes of the meetings held on 7 December 2020.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The minutes of the meetings held on 7 December 2020 (2pm and 6pm) were agreed as a correct record.

121.

Action Sheet pdf icon PDF 302 KB

To note and comment on the attached action sheet which tracks decisions, actions and recommendations from previous meetings.

Minutes:

The Board’s latest action sheet was noted following an update from the Chairman.

122.

Public Speaking

To receive any public questions, statements or petitions submitted in accordance with the Constitution, which is available to view at the following link:

https://democracy.bcpcouncil.gov.uk/ieListMeetings.aspx?CommitteeID=151&Info=1&bcr=1

The deadline for the submission of a public question is 4 clear working days before the meeting.

The deadline for the submission of a statement is midday the working day before the meeting.

The deadline for the submission of a petition is 10 working days before the meeting.

Minutes:

There were not public statements, questions or petitions submitted for this meeting.

123.

Pay & Reward Update pdf icon PDF 264 KB

The Overview and Scrutiny Board are asked to consider the attached report which provides an update on progress of the Pay and Reward Strategy.

 

Portfolio Holder invited for this item: Cllr Drew Mellor, Leader of the Council and Portfolio Holder for Transformation and Finance.

Minutes:

The Leader of the Council presented a report, a copy of which had been circulated to each Member and a copy of which appears as Appendix 'A' to these Minutes in the Minute Book. A number of issues were raised by the Board in the subsequent discussion, including:

 

  • A Board Member queried whether or not staff would find themselves at equal pay rates at the same time or if there would be prioritisation across certain service areas. The Leader of the Council explained that there was no definitive date for the implementation of pay equalisation and, in some cases, it was possible that there would be pockets within the organisation where equalisation could occur sooner.
  • A Board Member queried whether or not there had been any redundancies made at this point, or if this was still yet to come. The Leader of the Council explained that role mapping had now been completed and that the job descriptions were now all agreed and signed off at director level. No large-scale redundancy programme had taken place at this point, although it was anticipated that such a programme could begin shortly.
  • A Board Member queried what the plan was for rates of pay and commented that pay rates should not be reduced in order to save money as this would likely reduce morale amongst staff. The Leader of the Council explained that he was not expecting this part of the process to save a huge amount of money and that as part of the strategy all roles had been re-evaluated.
  • A Board Member queried is roles being evaluated were based on BCP Council being a leading council and added that he felt exceptional employees as identified during annual appraisals should be recognised for their hard work. The Leader of the Council assured the Board that by pooling staff into “job families” was an approach that would allow the council to make better use of its resources and would allow the organisation to take a big step forward in its transformation programme. He added that it would also assist the council in becoming more outcomes driven when delivering its services, although he was unsure how the efforts exceptional employees might be recognised and be subsequently rewarded.
  • A Board Member queried what form of engagement had taken place with trade unions in producing this strategy and the level of impact that 500-600 job losses would have on the organisation. The Leader of the Council explained that trade unions had responded positively to the Council’s ambition to bring in parity of salary between staff from the predecessor authorities. He detailed that Trade unions were part of a number of different discussions around the pay and reward strategy and played different parts in each depending on the nature of the issue. On top of this, representatives from trade unions had been invited to be part of the senior leadership equalities group. He further added that through the smarter working programme, the impact to the organisation, even though  ...  view the full minutes text for item 123.

124.

Scrutiny of Finance and Transformation Related Cabinet Reports pdf icon PDF 135 KB

To consider the following Finance and Transformation related reports scheduled for Cabinet consideration on 13 January 2021:

 

   2020/21 Mid-Year Performance Report

 

The O&S Board is asked to scrutinise the reports and make recommendations to Cabinet as appropriate.

 

Cabinet member invited to attend for this item: Councillor Drew Mellor, Leader of the Council and Portfolio Holder for Finance and Transformation

 

The Cabinet report for this item is included with the agenda for consideration by the Overview and Scrutiny Board.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

2020/21 Mid-Year Performance Report - The Leader of the Council presented a report, a copy of which had been circulated to each Member and a copy of which appears as Appendix 'B' to these Minutes in the Minute Book. A number of issues were raised by the Board in the subsequent discussion, including:

 

  • A Board Member queried the reliability of the performance indicators and whether they were fit for purpose in terms of reaching desired outcomes. The Leader of the Council explained that performance indicators were used as a way to ensure that organisations ‘measured up’ to expectations. He added that the council had produced a document which laid out a list of priorities and commitments and so it was important that it measured itself against those commitments to gauge how well it was doing and identify key areas of success as well as key areas where improvements could be made.
  • A Board Member agreed that this method of performance reporting was an important tool, particularly when comparing data sets, although he did find some aspects of the report confusing, particularly in relation to why no data had been produced for the first quarter of 2020/2021, as this would have been a helpful comparison. He also raised that some data sets seemed to be measured quarterly and some annually, which could lead to further confusion when reading the report. He added that he had some concerns in relation to the planning department, which had been identified as below target and queried what measures were being taken to ensure that these issues would be addressed promptly. The Leader of the Council agreed that some of the data presentation did appear confusing and would ask that it be rectified ready for when the next report was ready to be presented to the Board. He then moved to explain that the Planning department was in a difficult situation and wanted to ensure that it was recognised that the expertise of officers was not being brought into question and that the difficulties were largely being experienced due to three separate ways of working within teams from the three preceding authorities including; three different pieces of planning software to manage applications as they were received, three separate local plans, each with supporting strategic documents and some with adopted or emerging neighbourhood plans. He acknowledged that there was a great need to fix these issues as a priority and that the portfolio holder was working to ensure that this process was one of the first areas of the organisation, together with children’s services, that would benefit from the transformation programme from an early stage.
  • A Board Member stated that he was pleased to hear about the work being undertaken within planning and that this was going to be addressed sooner rather than later. He referred to p48 of the report, which raised the issue of a vacancy within the ASB team, highlighting that it had been vacant for over a year and queried what was being  ...  view the full minutes text for item 124.

125.

Scrutiny of Cabinet Reports from the Tourism, Leisure and Culture Portfolio pdf icon PDF 271 KB

To consider the following Culture related report scheduled for Cabinet consideration on 13 January 2021:

 

·       Setting up the BCP Cultural Compact

 

The O&S Board is asked to scrutinise the reports and make recommendations to Cabinet as appropriate.

 

Cabinet member invited to attend for this item: Councillor Mohan Iyengar, Portfolio Holder for Tourism, Leisure and Culture.

 

The Cabinet report for this item is included with the agenda for consideration by the Overview and Scrutiny Board.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Setting up the BCP Cultural Compact - The Portfolio Holder for Tourism, Leisure and Culture presented a report, a copy of which had been circulated to each Member and a copy of which appears as Appendix 'C' to these Minutes in the Minute Book. A number of issues were raised by the Board in the subsequent discussion, including:

 

  • A Board Member queried how the Compact would be set up to work effectively in order to drive the project forward. The Portfolio Holder explained that from a governance point of view, there was not the ability to make any changes, but he agreed with the points that had been raised and felt it important to ensure that the driving force behind ideas for moving this forward, came from the creative industries as opposed to the governance board. In response, the Board Member, having led the compact as in his role within the previous administration, could share some additional information with the Portfolio Holder outside of this meeting. The Lead Member for Cultural Events and Bournemouth Regeneration added that the makeup of the compact would be a cross-section of people and was currently quite fluid, the set up would be the next step.
  • A Board Member queried if it was possible to move away from using the word ‘culture’ to avoid putting a large number of people off from getting involved due to the common interpretation of what culture was over what it could actually mean. The Lead Member explained that it was important that the full range of the word ‘culture’ was understood, i.e. not just ballet or the orchestra and should be about recognising the diversity of what this compact could encompass and its potential to transform the conurbation.
  • A Board Member commented that town centres across the country were rapidly changing and queried whether the regeneration plans for BCP Council included the provision for its cultural aspirations in order to revitalise town centres and other districts across the conurbation. The Portfolio Holder referred to the proposals for the Lansdown Project, which was originally put forward as a way to encourage the use of open space for open air markets or as performance space. He added that he felt town centres needed to be considered as an experience, rather than just a space for the retail sector, as this had been dwindling in recent years.
  • A Board Member agreed with the Portfolio Holder’s previous statement and stated the importance of encouraging all promoters of culture, regardless of whether large or small in scale, local or national or indeed what sector, e.g. arts, music or sport, to name a few.
  • A Board Member queried how youth and students of the area’s universities or language schools would be drawn into contributing to this framework. The Lead Member advised that there was a further piece of work to be undertaken to achieve a greater level of engagement in relation to this subject area. The compact needed to include representation from educational settings to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 125.

126.

Scrutiny of Transport and Sustainability Related Cabinet Reports pdf icon PDF 266 KB

To consider the following Transport and Sustainability related reports scheduled for Cabinet consideration on 13 January:

 

   Concessionary Fares Bus Operator Reimbursement

 

The O&S Board is asked to scrutinise the reports and make recommendations to Cabinet as appropriate.

 

Cabinet member invited to attend for this item: Councillor Mike Greene, Portfolio Holder for Transport and Sustainability

 

The Cabinet report for this item is included with the agenda for consideration by the Overview and Scrutiny Board.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Concessionary Fares Bus Operator Reimbursement - The Portfolio Holder for Transport and Sustainability presented a report, a copy of which had been circulated to each Member and a copy of which appears as Appendix 'D' to these Minutes in the Minute Book.

 

Committee Members determined that it was necessary to discuss the report’s confidential appendix when conducting their scrutiny of the item and therefore moved the discussions into confidential session for the remainder of the item.

 

Having discussed the item in great detail, the committee were content that no formal recommendation needed to be submitted on behalf of the Board to the Cabinet meeting due to be held on Wednesday 13 January 2021.