Greenwich Council

Agenda and minutes

Venue: Committee Room 6 - 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, Allan McCarthy, Clare Morris, Gary Parker, and Mark Elliott.

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 46 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:

Councillor Christine May declared a personal interest in relation to Item 5, “Leader’s Report: Performance Update – Council’s High-Level Objectives”, advising that her husband works for Bikeworks, which the Council had commissioned to deliver free cycling to residents over seven years of age.

 

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 60 KB

Members are requested to confirm as an accurate records the Minutes of meetings held on 25 April 2017, and 27 June 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.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Resolved -

 

That the minutes of meetings of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee held on 25 April 2017, and 27 June 2017, be agreed and signed as true and accurate records.

5.

Leader's Report: Performance Update - Council's High-Level Objectives pdf icon PDF 144 KB

Members to note the progress on delivering the Council’s high-level (2014-18) objectives.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Christine May declared a personal interest in relation to this item, advising that her husband works for Bikeworks, which the Council had commissioned to deliver free cycling to residents over seven years of age.

 

The report was introduced to the Committee by Councillor Denise Hyland, Leader of the Council.  Assisted by the Chief Executive, the Leader highlighted performance relating to the Royal Borough of Greenwich’s (Royal Borough) high-level objectives.

 

Members noted report, and welcomed progress made in delivering the objectives.  It was recognised that the objectives were wide-ranging, but that the data on aspects of performance targets was unclear, therefore, future reports should include annual and quarterly values, with explanations and projections as appropriate.

 

Action: Corporate Services

 

Continuing with their discussions, Members raised questions on aspects of the report, and responses and comments made were as follows:

 

1.            Education

 

In response to questions raised on performance issues at Corelli College secondary school following concerns from findings by Ofsted inspectors, the Leader advised the Committee that the Council’s work with the governing body and the new Executive Headteacher had resulted in improvements.  It was stated that on-going reviews on progress aimed at maintaining good performance were also taking place at Corelli College.

 

Continuing with her response on performance levels at schools, the Leader advised the Committee that the Council’s effort to support improvements at Plumstead Manor school was similar to those at John Roan School, where there had been significant improvements in exams results.  It was stated that the Council’s ongoing commitment at Plumstead Manor would enable the school to return to a ‘good’ status following the 2016 Ofsted inspection judgement as ‘requiring improvement’.

 

The Committee also noted further response by the Leader that the Council had devolved funds to undertake necessary repairs to schools’ buildings.

 

2.            Children & Families in Need

 

In response to questions about safeguarding, the Leader advised the Committee that the Council’s Customer Services staff were managing the increased volume of contacts as a result of the Royal Borough’s Families’ Frist Programme.  It was stated that the service would continue to be utilised to help provide access to practical and timely help to families during difficult times.

 

The Leader further advised the Committee that the reduction for the need of Child Protection Plans should not be a concern, as it was an indication that purposeful and timely intervention by the Council, in working with its partners, had been effective.  It was also confirmed that a review currently underway by a ‘Task and Finish’ group was geared towards reducing the rate of Section 47 interventions that are police led.

 

3.            Economic Prosperity & Anti-Poverty

 

In response to an enquiry, the Leader advised the Committee that approximately, 600 businesses had participated in the Council’s business support programme over the last three years.  As a result, there had been a substantial increase in investment and employment opportunities for residents in the Royal Borough.  It was stated that a suggestion by the Committee to target new and up-coming entrepreneurs with a  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.

6.

Agency & Interim Usage - Update Q1 2017/18 pdf icon PDF 65 KB

Members to note 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 Agency and Recruitment Manager presented the report on progress relating to the Workforce Strategy, highlighting support provided to departments across the Council on agency and interim staff usage. 

 

The Committee noted the report, and welcomed the update.

 

In response to questions raised, the Manager advised the Committee that the controls applied to the scheme was achieving reductions and delivering efficiency because hiring departments should obtain financial comments and authorisation at Chief Officer level prior to recruiting.  Therefore, managers would have to provide a business case of value prior to new recruitments, or to extend existing work assignments.

 

The Manager also clarified to the Committee that it was unlikely for there to be contradictions in implementing the new arrangements across departments because the support provided in the commissioning of contractors, agency workers, consultant and interim staff was also extended to direct employee recruitment.

 

The Committee welcomed the submission, but that in order to assess the effectiveness of implementation, future reports on the use of agency staff should include specified timeline of 12 months, together with data on cost projections.

 

Action: Head of Human Resources

 

Resolved –

 

That progress against objectives of the Workforce Strategy aimed at the reduction of agency worker usage, be noted.

7.

Workforce Strategy pdf icon PDF 319 KB

Members to note update on the shape of the Council a year on, and the savings achieved.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee noted the report introduced by the Deputy Head of Human Resources (HR) about the Council’s Workforce Strategy in regard to the impact of the voluntary redundancies decision in March 2016, and it welcomed the budget savings made as a result.

 

In light of an enquiry, the Duty Head of HR clarified to the Committee that the Workforce Strategy included arrangements for trainees as part of the Council’s plan to support career development of its workforce.

 

Resolved –

 

That the update on the Workforce Strategy in regard to the impact of the voluntary redundancies in March 2016, be noted.

8.

Nil Recourse to Public Funds:
Update on recommendations:- including implementation of protocol between the Nil Recourse Team and Housing Options and Support Service
pdf icon PDF 460 KB

Members to note that the protocol between the Nil Recourse Team (NRPF) and Housing developed over the past months, has had substantial input from both Departments.  Members to support effective working across the Council, with partners and clients.  Members to note that as at month 3 of the 17/18 financial year, the budget trajectory for the NRPF team showed reducing expenditure, a trend which is anticipated to continue until the end of the year.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Senior Assistant Director (Partnership & Operations) and the Team Leader (Nil Recourse to Public Funds (NRPF)) introduced the report to the Committee, summarising key actions following its recommendation that work should be progressed on developing a strategic approach with housing to secure quality accommodation in accordance with financial demands of the service.

 

The Committee noted the report.

 

In light of a concern, the Team Leader advised the Committee that the Council was not creating a monopoly in its dealings with service providers.  It was stated that the reason why Angels Abode was providing a substantial number of accommodation was due to the fact that the majority of providers had indicated that the model operated by the NRPF was not time-limited, and therefore inappropriate to their operations.  Notwithstanding that, the action plan would continue to be utilised to track progress for improvement when collating and acting on notifications from housing and environmental health colleagues.

 

Commenting on the latter response, the Committee suggested that NRFP staff should continue to monitor accommodation providers, and perhaps consider joint working with other local authorities to increase its client-base.

 

Action: Director of Health & Adults Social care

 

In light of an enquiry, the Team Leader acknowledged to the Committee that more needed to be done work to streamline the assessment process was progressing well because the action plan that had been developed was utilised to track progress for improvement.  It was confirmed that the new arrangement was also useful to NRFP staff when collating and acting on notifications from their housing and environmental health colleagues.

 

Resolved –

 

That update on the implementation of protocol between the Nil Recourse Team and Housing developed over the past months, be noted.

9.

Joint Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee (JHOSC) of Our Healthier South East London (OHSEL)-Orthopaedic Centres pdf icon PDF 68 KB

Members to note the work undertaken by the Healthier Communities and Adult Social Care Scrutiny Panel (HCASC) in relations to the OHSEL elective orthopaedic programme.  Members to note that following the intervention of the JHOSC OHSEL will develop an Orthopaedic Clinical Network based on three existing sites rather than the proposed two.

 

Minutes:

The Committee received the report and

 

Resolved

 

1.      That the work undertaken by the Healthier Communities and Adult Social Care Scrutiny Panel (HCASC) in relations to the Our Healthier South Seast London (OHSEL) elective orthopaedic programme, be noted.

 

2.     That it be noted that following the intervention of the Joint Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee, OHSEL will develop an Orthopaedic Clinical Network based on three existing sites rather than the proposed two.

10.

Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 60 KB

Members to note the upcoming executive decisions set out in the Forward Plan for the period September - December 2017 - to be circulated as Appendix 1 [To Follow], and to determine any items for scrutiny.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee received the report and

 

Resolved –

 

That the upcoming executive decisions in the Forward Plan for the period September to December 2017, be noted.

11.

Commissioning Future Reports pdf icon PDF 51 KB

Members to note the work items that are scheduled to be presented to the meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee on 23rd November 2017.  Members to consider the scope of forthcoming reports and specify any detailed requirements.

Minutes:

The Committee received the report.  It endorsed a suggestion by the Chair, Councillor David Stanley, that issues relating to the Council’s business should be kept under review, with a view to identify and notify the Head of Corporate Services of items relevant for scrutiny.

 

Action: Committee Members

 

Resolved –

 

That the work items scheduled to be presented to the meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee on 23 November 2017, be noted