Agenda and minutes

Overview and Scrutiny Board - Monday, 19th July, 2021 6.00 pm

Venue: Committee Suite, Civic Centre, Poole BH15 2RU. View directions

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

Media

Items
No. Item

50.

Apologies

To receive any apologies for absence from Members.

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Cllr L Allison, Cllr C Rigby, Cllr T’ONeill, Cllr D Kelsey, Cllr D Farr and Cllr B Dion.

51.

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. 

 

52.

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:

There were no declarations of interests made.

53.

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 no public questions, statements or petitions.

54.

Project Management - Expansion of the Longspee Special School at the BLC Review pdf icon PDF 298 KB

To consider matters of project management in relation to the Expansion of the Longspee Special School at the Bournemouth Learning Centre.

The report on the Expansion of the Longspee Special School at the Bournemouth Learning Centre which was taken to the Cabinet meeting in April is included with this agenda to aid consideration of this issue.

Portfolio Holder invited to attend for this item: Cllr N Greene, Portfolio Holder for Covid Resilience, Public Health and Education.

Minutes:

Chairman outlined the reasons why the report, a copy of which had been circulated to Board members and a copy of which appears as Appendix A to these minutes in Covid Resilience, Public Health and Education outlined the key issues related to the Expansion of Longspee and addressed some of the issues for the O&S Board requesting that this item be added to its agenda. There were a number of issues raised in the ensuing discussion including:

 

·     There was now a Children’s Services Capital Programme Board in place which had a clear line of site for projects

·     A Councillor commented that costs overall were increasing in the term of 25% for contractor fees and supplies and asked whether that had been factored into the budget. It was noted that this was included within the paper which went to Cabinet in April and costs were currently running as expected.

·     A Board member commented that it was great that this was moving forward so quickly and that there were some excellent outcomes to the project.

·     The Chairman advised that he felt that this would be a great asset to the Council and had delivered in terms of value for money. However, he raised concerns that the effect of the issues with project management of this project was that the Chief Executive had to take a decision on this in a fairly short space of time.

·     A question was raised as to why the appropriate project management procedures were not in place and how the expenditure was monitored throughout the project. The Portfolio Holder assured the Board that the budget outline in the April Cabinet paper was correct and considerable work had gone into ensuring that this was a robust decision.

·     A Board member asked about the confidence in project management that when estimates were provided, they were realistic. It was noted that the original estimate included a 15 percent contingency for Covid related issues.

·     In response to whether the formal funding agreement had now been agreed it was confirmed that this had not yet been signed-off but was with Lawyers for the Council and the Academy for the final decision which concerned the length of the lease in place. In a normal process the funding agreement would not be taking place at this stage

·     A Ward Councillor advised that he only became aware of the scheme progress once it was well advanced after being advised by the previous Portfolio Holder. There was a concern raised as to how the condition of the building could not have been known to the Council or so uniformed on the work which was required. However, he confirmed that he was pleased that the work was now in place and of a high specification.

·     The Ward Councillor asked about the provision of the Multi Use Games Area (MUGA) and the work on fencing. The Chairman advised that a planning application for the MUGA had only just been put in. The Chairman had also received assurance on  ...  view the full minutes text for item 54.

55.

Scrutiny of Homes Related Cabinet Reports pdf icon PDF 298 KB

To consider the following Homes related reports scheduled for Cabinet consideration on 28 July 2021:

 

   Housing Management Model Review

 

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 Robert Lawton, Portfolio Holder for Homes

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

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Housing Management Model Review The Portfolio Holder for Homes introduced the report, a copy of which had been circulated to members of the Board and a copy of which appears as Appendix B to these minutes in the minute book. The Portfolio Holder outlined the key issues within the report and responded to a number of issues raised by Board members in the subsequent discussion including:

 

·     Whether the report applied in anyway to Christchurch as the housing stock within the Christchurch area had been outsourced to a housing association. It was noted that at present the models proposed within the report would not apply to any of the housing stock in Christchurch but it was possible that it would, should new Council housing be built within Christchurch. However, there were not plans for this at present.

·     It was confirmed that there was no criticism for the way housing services were run in any of the preceding authorities, but the review was required to pull together the housing function for BCP.

·     There would be a comprehensive consultation to find out how residents would want to see the housing function delivered. A Councillor commented that they supported putting residents at the heart of decisions on services moving forward.

·     It was highlighted that the table within the report did not list specific disadvantages to either of the models. It was confirmed that the intention of the table was that the reverse of the advantages was he disadvantages but a Councillor commented that this did not fully explain the situation, for example there could be a disadvantage in the in-house model of officers’ time being divided with other issues as opposed to dedicated staff in a housing management organisation. Officers felt that this would not be a significant consideration. The table outlined what the Council working group considered to be the main advantages and disadvantages. However, there would be further work on this in the future.

·     It was acknowledged that sometime the focus of the whole Council could be distracted and not focused enough on housing management. It was envisioned that there would be some kind of advisory board or panel with a particular focus on issues that matter to residents.

·     It was noted that there were currently two Housing Revenue Accounts covering the area with a single housing model it would be possible to combine these.

·     The focus on the consultation would be on recommended model to test and challenge and would be focused on current tenants in Poole and Bournemouth. There would also be a wider stakeholder engagement which would include residents on the waiting list.

·     How would the proposals effect the different salaries between those employed by Poole Housing Partnership and the Council. The Portfolio Holder advised that there would be some synergies, but this would not always mean to go for the lowest denominator. It was questioned that this would mean increased overhead costs. It was confirmed that this particular situation referred to company overhead costs related to audit,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 55.

56.

Scrutiny of Finance and Transformation Related Cabinet Reports pdf icon PDF 205 KB

To consider the following Finance and Transformation related reports scheduled for Cabinet consideration on 28 July 2021:

·       2020/21 End of 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 End of Year Performance Report The Leader of the Council and Portfolio Holder for Finance and Transformation introduced the report, a copy of which had been circulated to members of the Board and a copy of which appears as Appendix A to these minutes in the minute book. The Portfolio Holder outlined the key issues within the report and responded to a number of issues raised by Board members in the subsequent discussion including:

 

·     Whether the waste figures provided in the paper were cumulative. There were also other areas within the paper which appeared to be cumulative, including anti-social behaviour issues. If this was the case it may be easier if these could be looked at on a quarterly basis.

·     Numbers of Anti-Social Behaviour cases were not heading in the right direction.

·     The numbers on waste were also not heading in the right direction and whether this should be considered as amber rather than green. It was noted that this was based on certain criteria and if it was green it meant that the figures had met that particular criteria. Whether the criteria should be changed could be considered depending upon the reasons for that.

·     The Leader invited anyone who was interested in a one to one session to look at the figures in terms of how they were best presented and whether this was clear for members of the public.

·     It was questioned whether the data or report should be considered by the other Overview and Scrutiny Committees in order for them to review the Key Performance Indicators for their Committees. The Chairman advised that he could contact the Chairman of the other two Committees regarding placing this on their agendas at a future meeting.

·     There was some information included with the report which didn’t appear to be very useful – such as the number of website views which was huge but didn’t provide a lot of information.

·     There were a number of areas which were blocked out within the report. A Board member questioned the reasons for this and whether it was due to a lack of data related to the current situation. The Leader advised that areas which were light grey indicated that there was no RAG rating but the areas in dark grey were due to a lack of data and acknowledged that this could have been made clearer.

·     A Board Member questioned the low level of staff completing mandatory training which was reported as due to lack of capacity and how the Leader expected to resolve it. There had been a new and significant push on completing the training and there should be improvement seen in this next quarter.

 

The Leader of the Council placed on record his thanks to everyone involved with support over the busy weekend period. Everyone had been working hard at the start of a busy summer period including partners. The Chairman gave his support the Leader’s comment.

 

57.

Future Meeting Dates 2021/22

To note the following meeting dates and locations for the 2021/22 municipal year:

·       23 August 2021

·       20 September 2021

·       18 October 2021

·       15 November 2021

·       6 December 2021

·       3 January 2022

·       31 January 2022

·       28 February 2022

·       4 April 2022

 

All meetings will be held at Poole Civic Centre and via video conferencing until further notice.

Minutes:

The dates of future meetings were noted.