Agenda and minutes

Venue: The Thornton Room - Ground Floor, West Offices (G039). View directions

Contact: Laura Clark  Email: laura.clark@york.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

11.

Declarations of Interest

At this point, Members are asked to declare:

 

·        any personal interests not included on the Register of Interests

·        any prejudicial interests or

·        any disclosable pecuniary interests

 

which they may have in respect of business on this agenda.

 

Minutes:

At this point, members were asked to declare any personal interests not included on the Register of Interests, any prejudicial interests or any disclosable pecuniary interests which they may have in respect of business on the agenda. None were declared.

12.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 156 KB

To approve and sign the Minutes of the meeting held on 10 June 2019.

Minutes:

Resolved:  That the minutes of the previous meeting held on the 10  June 2019 be approved and signed by the Chair as an accurate record, subject to the following amendment.

 

Page 3, Bullet 4 – There had been a dramatic reduction in the Home to School Transport Budget, in part due to reassigning some of it to the dedicated schools grant.

13.

Public Participation

At this point in the meeting members of the public who have registered to speak can do so. The deadline for registering is 5.00pm on Friday 5 July 2019. Members of the public can speak on agenda items or matters within the remit of the Committee.

 

To register to speak please contact the Democracy Officer for the meeting, on the details at the foot of the agenda.

 

Filming, Recording or Webcasting Meetings

Please note that, subject to available resources, this meeting will be filmed and webcast, or recorded, including any registered public speakers who have given their permission. The broadcast can be viewed at http://www.york.gov.uk/webcasts or, if recorded, this will be uploaded onto the Council’s website following the meeting.

 

Residents are welcome to photograph, film or record Councillors and Officers at all meetings open to the press and public. This includes the use of social media reporting, i.e. tweeting.  Anyone wishing to film, record or take photos at any public meeting should contact the Democracy Officer (whose contact details are at the foot of this agenda) in advance of the meeting.

 

The Council’s protocol on Webcasting, Filming & Recording of Meetings ensures that these practices are carried out in a manner both respectful to the conduct of the meeting and all those present.  It can be viewed at http://www.york.gov.uk/download/downloads/id/11406/protocol_for_webcasting_filming_and_recording_of_council_meetings_20160809.pdf

 

 

 

 

Minutes:

It was reported that there had been one registration to speak

under the Council’s Public Participation Scheme.

 

Mr Mendus, resident and Independent Member of Audit & Governance Committee, spoke on Agenda Item 5 – Attendance & wellbeing and Agenda Item 6 – Section 106 Agreements Update Report. He expressed his concern that non-financial S106 agreements were still not being published on Open Data. He hoped that the Committee would continue to push this. On Sickness Absence he highlighted that this was an issue which had been raised over several years and the financial strain that this placed on the Council. He urged Members to press for real action.

14.

Finance and Performance Outturn 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 506 KB

This report provides a year end analysis of the overall finance and performance position. This is the final report of the financial year and assesses performance against budgets, including progress in delivering the Council’s savings programme.

 

Minutes:

Members considered a report providing a year end analysis of the overall finance and performance position. This was the final report of the financial year and assessed performance against budgets, including progress in delivering the Council’s savings programme.

 

The Head of Business Intelligence and Corporate Finance & Commercial Procurement Manager attended the meeting to present the report. They highlighted that this report had already been considered at Executive and pointed out that some of recommendations should not have been in the report to this Committee and they were only considering recommendations 5 and 6.

 

In response to Members’ questions they stated:

 

·        In relation to figures on a dip in Gross Weekly Pay, no new data had been released, this was yearly data. In paragraph 38 it stated that there had been a slight change in the employment make up in the City which may account for some of this;

·        There was growth in York, but not at the same rate as other areas;

·        Data on satisfaction with the Council from various places was shared with Heads of Service and Directorate Management Teams. As an organisation CYC picks up where there are challenges and takes relevant action through Service Improvement Plans;

·        There were always challenges with major projects. The details of these were reported to Audit & Governance Committee. There was much better scrutiny of major projects now than there would have been 5 years ago and this meant a lot more visibility and transparency in relation to risk;

·        Complaints was a challenging area. Services monitored this in a lot of details and tried to take the right remedial action. Officers would look at the request from Members for more benchmarking with national averages;

·        There were very few complaints that pre-date 2019 and very few that had not been responded to. More figures on the bottom 10% of complaints would be brought back to a future meeting;

·        FOI and EIR data was hard to benchmark as most Local Authorities did not like to share this data. There had been an increase in Environmental Impact Requests (EIR’s) in the last quarter. All applications were dealt with ‘blind’ so no data was created as to who was submitting requests;  and

·        Officers would chase details for a start date on the Guildhall Project (para 45).

 

Resolved:  That Members note:

 

1.   the continued effective financial management across the Council and the ongoing delivery of savings

2.   the performance information

 

Reason:     To ensure significant financial issues are appropriately scrutinised.

15.

Attendance and Wellbeing pdf icon PDF 259 KB

This report provides an update on the sickness absence figures in City of York Council (CYC) and the continued work ongoing across the Council in improving the well being of employees and supporting managers in attendance management. The report also provides an update on the staff survey that has now concluded.

 

Minutes:

Members considered a report which provided an update on CYC sickness absence figures and the ongoing work across the Council in improving the wellbeing of employees and supporting managers in attendance management. The report also provided an update on the staff survey that had recently been undertaken.

 

The Chair highlighted that when this item was called in to CSMC on 5 November 2018, the speed of implementation was the main reason that Officers gave for going out to an external provider. As this had still not happened he wished to note his disappointment.

 

The Head of Human Resources attended the meeting to present the report.

 

In response to Member questions she stated:

 

·        There was around 90% compliance with use of iTrent to record absence;

·        Mental Health and stress should be picked up during return to work interviews. HR teams review back to work interviews and if necessary staff will be referred to Occupational Health for a Stress Risk Assessment. Adaptations can then be suggested to the employee and their Line Management. Stress Risk Assessments could also be undertaken while an employee was still off sick;

·        She would try and find more data for Members on the impact of resourcing/staffing levels on stress and sickness;

·        Finding out how much sickness absence was covered by current workforce was challenging. Waste Services and other Front Line services used agency staff, but short term sickness in most areas would be covered by current staff;

·        The way quality of the external service being implemented would be measured would be reported back to this Committee;

·        Training was run for Line Managers on disability, mental health and necessary adjustments. More of this would be included in the contract with the external provider;

·        A report on Health & Safety was taken to the Decision Session of the relevant Executive Member twice a year. This was separate from HR within the organisation;

·        CYC was trying to create a culture of positive incident reporting. There was an app available for staff to report incidents quickly and easily. There was work happening on how to enhance communications around confidence in incident reporting; and

·        All of the positive results from the staff survey were collated and then given a percentage. DMT’s were working on action plans in relation to responses. An example of this was running reward and recognition events. Work was also being done on communication the actions being taken ‘You said, we did’.

 

Resolved:   

1.   That Members note the information provided in the report.

2.   That an update be brought back to this Committee in 6 months.

 

Reason:     To inform the Committee of the latest sickness absence figures.

16.

Section 106 Agreements Update Report pdf icon PDF 120 KB

This report provides Members with further information on the administration and monitoring of Section 106 agreements, including an update on work done to date.

Minutes:

Members received a report which provided them with further information on the administration and monitoring of Section 106 agreements, including an update on work done to date.

 

The Head of Planning and Principal Development Management Officer (Enforcement) attended to present the report.

 

In response to Member questions they stated:

 

·        Officers wished to ensure that the proposed system was completely fit for purpose and would be visiting another Local Authority that used it;

·        None of S106 money coming in was used to fund monitoring. The government were looking at the possibility of charging a monitoring fee. Reports regularly went to Planning Committee on S106 payments;

·        Currently if residents wanted to know how S106 money had been spent they would have to ask Officers. This would not be a quick process. The new system being considered could report this information publicly and other Local Authorities had chosen to do so;

·        In terms of using the new system there would have to be a dedicated Officer and a job specification was currently written for this role; and

·        Take up of this system by other Local Authorities was high.

 

Resolved:  That Members:

 

1.   note the information contained in this report; and

2.   recommend to Executive that money is invested in this system and a dedicated Officer resource, subject to its suitability.

 

Reason:     To ensure members are aware of the work currently being undertaken in terms of Section 106 agreements.

17.

Food Poverty Scrutiny Review Scoping Report pdf icon PDF 127 KB

This report proposes a focus for the Food Poverty Scrutiny Review agreed at the 10June 2019 meeting of the Customer and Corporate Services Scrutiny Management Committee (CSMC). Members of the Committee are asked to agree a suitable remit for a scrutiny review and identify the most cost effective actions City of York Council can take to minimise food poverty within the city.

 

Minutes:

Members considered a scoping report which proposed a focus for the Food Poverty Scrutiny Review agreed at the 10 June 2019 meeting of the Customer and Corporate Services Scrutiny Management Committee. Members of the Committee were asked to agree a suitable remit for a scrutiny review.

 

Councillor Baker highlighted the fact she had been a freelance researcher for the Food Poverty Alliance and had worked on a report which underpinned some of this scoping report.

 

During discussion of the report Members raised some of the following issues:

 

·        Consideration should be given as to whether this was the best way to tackle Food Poverty and no other issues such as social isolation and other forms of poverty;

·        It was hard to separate out the various reasons people access food aid;

·        There was a need to look at the sustainability of current provision of food aid and not just preventative measures;

·        The very nature of some community cafes was that they were universal and by trying to separate out users it may put some customers off attending; and

·        Concern over holiday hunger and what short term measures could be put in place to address this.

 

Officers confirmed that they could assist with data on those accessing various forms of support and enable Members to measure the impact of Universal Credit on Food Poverty.

 

Resolved: That Members:

 

·        note the contents of the report;

 

·        recommend that an Ad-Hoc Scrutiny Committee be set up to take this work forward (2 x Customer and Corporate Services Scrutiny Management Committee Members [Rowley and Fenton], 1 x Health and Adult Social Care Policy & Scrutiny Committee Member [TBC] and one Children, Education & Communities Policy & Scrutiny Committee Member [TBC])

·        recommend that the review focus on the following:

 

                                             I.        Identifying indicators and measures for York to monitor the impact of food poverty

                                           II.        Identifying areas of best practice within these activities

                                         III.        Identifying opportunities to coordinate activities to increase impact and undertake an assessment of current service provision and sustainability

                                         IV.        Identifying opportunities to target activities at the lowest income households to more effectively prevent food poverty

 

Reason:     To inform Members of opportunities to help tackle food poverty.

18.

Work Plan pdf icon PDF 17 KB

To consider the Work Plan for 2019-20.

Minutes:

Members considered the Draft Work Plan for 2019-20.

 

The Chair gave the Committee an update on a meeting held between Scrutiny Committee Chairs on how scrutiny may operate moving forward. It was felt that the Finance & Performance Monitor Report did not need to be received quarterly.

 

Resolved:  That the draft work plan be approved, subject to the following amendments:

 

·        That the Finance & Performance Monitor would be sent quarterly via email and would be received by the Committee on a 6 monthly basis. This would be removed from the work plan for September and March.

 

Reason:     To ensure that the committee has a planned programme of work in place.

 

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