Greenwich Council

Agenda and minutes

Venue: Committee Room 4 - Town Hall, Wellington Street, Woolwich SE18 6PW. View directions

Contact: Jasmine Kassim  Email: jasmine.kassim@royalgreenwich.gov.uk or tel: 020 8921 5146

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies for Absence

To receive apologies for absence from Members of the Committee.

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received on behalf of Councillors Linda Bird, Christine May, Chare Morris, Cherry Parker, and Gary Parker.

2.

Urgent Business

The Chair to announce any items of urgent business circulated separately from the main agenda.

Minutes:

There was no urgent business.

3.

Declarations of Interest pdf icon PDF 34 KB

Members to declare any personal and financial interests in items on the agenda.  Attention is drawn to the Council’s Constitution; the Council’s Code of Conduct and associated advice.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Resolved –

 

That the list of Councillors’ memberships as Council appointed representatives on outside bodies, joint committees and school governing bodies be noted.

4.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 118 KB

Members are requested to confirm as an accurate record the Minutes of the meeting held on 12 January 2017.

 

No motion or discussion may take place upon the Minutes except as to their accuracy, and any question on this point will be determined by a majority of the Members of the body attending who were present when the matter in question was decided.  Once confirmed, with or without amendment, the person presiding will sign the Minutes.

Minutes:

Resolved -

 

That the minutes of the meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee held on 12 January 2017, be agreed and signed as a true and accurate record.

5.

Visit Greenwich - Royal Borough of Greenwich Destination Management Company pdf icon PDF 257 KB

To provide an update on progress on delivery of the Destination Management Plan and Business Plan 2016-17.

Minutes:

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Visit Greenwich, Barrie Kelly, introduced and summarised the report to the Committee.

 

Members noted progress made in delivering the Royal Borough of Greenwich’s (Royal Borough) Destination Management Company (DMC) Plan and Business Plan for 2016/17.  It was recognised that the DMC, also known as ‘Visit Greenwich’, began operations in December of 2013 as a ‘not for profit’ partnership and community agency. 

 

In response to questions raised, the CEO advised Members that in order to provide a strategic steer for achievements and growth up to 2019, it was necessary to embed Visit Greenwich’s objectives in the five-year destination management plan, and the three-year business objectives.  Thus, updated information about venues, travel trade, media, and major events within the Royal Borough was publicised widely.  Specific to accessing internal and national markets, Members were informed by the CEO that ‘Visit Greenwich’ was utilising the World Travel Market, ‘Visit London’, and ‘Visit Britain’ events and channels as a resource to develop contacts and promote the Royal Borough world-wide as a business and tourist destination.  It was confirmed that ‘Visit Greenwich’ was an active member of UKinbound, and the European Tour Operator Association.  Locally, Visit Greenwich was consulting with community groups in the Eltham, Blackheath and Greenwich areas to market and promote the Royal Borough’s events.  It was stated that a new tourism information centre had been established at the Old Royal Naval College together with a signage scheme to improve way-finding routes at and around the Greenwich Town Centre area.  However, to include community groups in boundary areas of neighbouring boroughs could detract from the world-wide recognised ‘Greenwich’ brand.

 

Members made further enquiries and were advised by the CEO that in addition to income from the Council, funding to progress the objectives included lottery grants, and receipts from campaigning and marketing activities.  It was advised that Visit Greenwich was profiling visitors’ satisfaction and perception levels to gauge outcomes, and that the recent increase in footfall into the Royal Borough was a result of investments and restoration of tourists’ attractions, and developments in rail and river transport infrastructures.   Members were advised that there had also been an increase in take-up of offers in the hospitality and retail sectors across the Royal Borough, although there needed to a balance of hotel provision to include more 4* offers. 

Members requested a report-back on efforts made to promote local areas across the Royal Borough, and that the update should include outcomes to implement the destination management plan for the Woolwich area.

Action: CEO of Visit Greenwich/

Head of Corporate Services

 

On behalf of the Committee, the Chair, Councillor David Stanley, thanked the CEO of Visit Greenwich for contributions made at the meeting.

 

Resolved –

 

That an update on progress on delivery of the Destination Management Plan and Business Plan 2016-17, be noted.

6.

Agency & Interim Usage - update Q4 2016/17 pdf icon PDF 93 KB

To provide update on agency, interim and contractor usage, in respect of progress against objectives of the MTFS Workforce Strategy stream relating to the reduction of agency worker usage.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Head of Human Resources (HR) introduced and summarised the report to the Committee.

 

Members noted the impact of the enhanced recruitment controls and new agency supply arrangements on departments to achieve reductions and deliver efficiencies in agency supply usage.  It was recognised that the recruitment control scheme was linked to the Workforce Strategy in the use of agency workers.

 

Members were further advsied that the reduction in agency spend for 2016/17 was a result of the Council’s efforts to procure directly to agencies, rather than via Manpower and other interim contractors.  It was stated that further controls would include arrangements for Council’s vacancies via the Greenwich Local and Labour Business agency in the first instance, prior to wider external publications. 

 

The Head of HR cotninued with her response, advising Members that the difficulties in recuiting and retaining staff in property and planning areas of work was a London-wide problem, and therefore was not unique to the Royal Borough.  It was stated that agency staff and those recuited as consultants had been reluctant to convert their employment terms into permanent contracts.  Notwithstanding that, there was no reason why the Council would not consider pay increase as a means of attracting additional permanent staff in those work areas.

 

Members were further advised by the Head of HR that the Council had not been badly affected by changes to the IRS35 regulations.  However, the impact of IRS35 in regards to the Council’s dealings with schools would be dependant on the nature of the work, in particular that compliance required that implementation should be properly regulated. 

 

In considering submissions made at the meeting, Members requested that furture update report should include an analysis on recuitment and actions taken with regard to planning and property staff.  Members also requested further information in relation to the impact of IR35 on schools.

 

Action: Head of HR

 

Resolved –

 

That the update on agency, interim and contractor usage, in respect of progress against objectives of the MTFS Workforce Strategy stream relating to the reduction of agency worker usage, be noted.

7.

Apprenticeship Levy pdf icon PDF 72 KB

To update Members on the Royal Borough of Greenwich’s approach to implementing the Apprenticeship Levy.

 

Minutes:

The Head of Human Resources (HR) introduced and summarised the report.

 

The Committee noted information in regards to the Royal Borough of Greenwich’s (Royal Borough) approach to implementing the Apprenticeship Levy scheme.  It was recognised that employers in England who pay the levy would be able to access funding for apprenticeship training and assessment via a new Digital Apprenticeship Service.

 

In response to questions raised, the Head of HR advised Members that although employers would be required to pay the money upfront under the scheme, there were arrangements for to reclaim it back.  Therefore, a provision had been made within the Royal Borough’s budget to account for the funds, in particular that the scheme would provide better outcomes for apprentices.  It was confirmed that a mapping exercise was underway to match recruitment against skills shortages and training and development needs.

 

Commenting on the latter response, Members were of the view that in order to ensure an informed assessment of the effectiveness of the scheme within the Royal Borough, the outcome of the mapping exercise should include target for 2018/19, together with an update on GSPlus apprentice levels and types.

 

Action: Head of HR

 

Resolved –

 

The update report on the Royal Borough of Greenwich’s approach to implementing the Apprenticeship Levy, be noted.

8.

Overview and Scrutiny Committee Work Programme 2017-18 pdf icon PDF 59 KB

To consider and agree the proposed arrangements for implementing the Overview and Scrutiny Work Programme (Appendix1) and the draft schedule of items for this Committee (Appendix 2).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered the report in relation to the Royal Borough of Greenwich’s (Royal Borough) Overview and Scrutiny Committee Draft Work Programme for 2017/18 and made the following suggestions:

·                    That a summary on financial outturn should be included in the Leader’s Report on the “Corporate Business Plan Programme – high level objectives”.

·                    That in view of recent tragic event at the London Borough of Kensington and Chelsea London, a report on the impact of fire-safety should be included for consideration by the Housing & Anti-Poverty Scrutiny Panel.  It was stated that the report should include safety measures on high-rise buildings across the Royal Borough.

·                    That the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) was of strategic importance because it represented the planning charge introduced by legislation as a tool for local authorities to deliver infrastructure to support the development of their areas. Thus, Therefore, the “Section 106/CIL” item should be considered by the Overview and Scrutiny Committee.

 

Action: Head of Corporate Services

9.

Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 59 KB

To note the upcoming executive decisions set out in the Forward Plan for the period July - October 2017, as set out at Appendix 1, and to determine any items for scrutiny.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee noted the report, and that an updated version of the Forward Plan would be circulated to Members.

 

Action: Committee Officer