Agenda and minutes

Overview & Scrutiny Committee
Tuesday, 17th April, 2018 7.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Civic Offices, High Street, Epping

Contact: A. Hendry Tel: (01992) 564243  Email:  democraticservices@eppingforestdc.gov.uk

Media

Items
No. Item

65.

Webcasting Introduction

This meeting is to be webcast. Members are reminded of the need to activate their microphones before speaking.

 

The Chairman will read the following announcement:

 

“This meeting will be webcast live to the Internet and will be archived for later viewing. Copies of recordings may be made available on request.

 

By entering the chamber’s lower seating area you consenting to becoming part of the webcast.

 

If you wish to avoid being filmed you should move to the public gallery or speak to the webcasting officer”

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chairman reminded everyone present that the meeting would be broadcast live to the Internet, and that the Council had adopted a protocol for the webcasting of its meetings.

66.

SUBSTITUTE MEMBERS

(Director of Governance) To report the appointment of any substitute members for the meeting.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

It was noted that there were no substitute Members for the meeting.

 

67.

MINUTES pdf icon PDF 136 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 27 February 2018.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED:

 

That the minutes of the last Committee meeting held on 27 February 2018 be signed by the Chairman as a correct record.

68.

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

(Director of Governance) To declare interests in any items on the agenda.

 

In considering whether to declare a pecuniary or a non-pecuniary interest under the Council’s Code of Conduct, members are asked pay particular attention to paragraph 11 of the Code in addition to the more familiar requirements.

 

This requires the declaration of a non-pecuniary interest in any matter before overview and scrutiny which relates to a decision of or action by another committee, sub-committee of the Council, a joint committee or joint sub-committee in which the Council is involved and of which the Councillor is also a member.

 

Paragraph 11 of the Code of Conduct does not refer to Cabinet decisions or attendance at an overview and scrutiny meeting purely for the purpose of answering questions or providing information on such a matter.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest made pursuant to the Member’s Code of Conduct.

 

69.

East of England Ambulance Service - Scrutiny of External Organisations pdf icon PDF 113 KB

(Director of Governance) To undertake appropriate scrutiny of the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust in response to the concerns of members with regard to local ambulance services provided across the Epping Forest District.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chairman introduced Alan Whitehead the Sector Head of Service Development, Engagement and Improvement from the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust. He was there to facilitate the scrutiny of the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust in regard to local ambulance services provided across the Epping Forest District, following the publication of a Care Quality Commission (CQC) report in August 2016 and its judgement that the quality of the service provided by the Trust required improvement.

 

Members had submitted some advanced questions that were sent to him beforehand to enable him to prepare answers for the meeting.

 

Mr Whitehead thanked the Committee for inviting him to the meeting and noted the 13 questions he was sent in advance. He took the first three questions first. They were:

·         the plans of the Trust to address a report of the Care Quality Commission (CQC) (August 2016) on its judgement that the quality of the services provided by the Trust ‘requires improvement’;

 

·         the current position of the Trust in addressing the concerns raised by the CQC in August 2016;

 

·         the arrangements of the Trust for stakeholder and public reporting of its progress in addressing the concerns raised by the CQC;

 

He noted that the trust worked to an action plan in response to the CQC report. As a result of this many improvements have been put in place especially in medicine management, health and safety and feedback to staff. They reviewed their policy and procedures on medicine management to ensure they were consistent across the region. The Trust covered six counties and had to harmonise their procedures. Their action plan was also published on the website to be reviewed and commented on. Their aim was to be the best provider of care and used the CQC report to support this improvement.

 

The last CQC visit was just over 18 months ago. They concentrated on “core services” and on how “well led” they were. Feedback so far on the improvements has been broadly positive, with some areas to improve on. They will now feed this back to the CQC with their action plans. The trust was not advised to make any immediate changes during the inspection. Once they have the outcome of the report later this year they would share it, as would the CQC.

 

The next two questions were:

 

·                the geographic area for which ambulance services are provided by the Trust and its current response and attendance performance in relation to emergency calls across its operational area;

 

·                the current response and attendance performance of the Trust in relation to emergency calls received across the Epping Forest District;

 

The trust covered six counties, with a population of nearly six million people and provides a range of services. Best know for the 999 emergency services, where they provide a 24/7 service. In 2017 to 2018 they received 1.1million calls across the region. As for performance, since October 2017 they had introduced the Ambulance Response Programme (ARP) in line with other ambulance  ...  view the full minutes text for item 69.

70.

Essex County Council (Passenger Transport) - Scrutiny of External Organisations pdf icon PDF 102 KB

(Director of Governance) to consider the attached report.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee noted that an invitation had been extended to County Councillor R Gooding to attend the next meeting in June 2018 to respond to members concerns of local bus service support.

 

The Committee came up with the following points that they would like to raise with him:

 

(1)       The total budget of Essex County Council for the support of local bus services across Essex and the amount currently allocated to the support of services operating within the Epping Forest District or serving its residents;

 

(2)       The level of contracted local bus service provision by the County Council, currently operating within the Epping Forest District or serving its residents (and details of such routes);

 

(3)       The level of otherwise financially supported local bus service provision by Essex County Council, currently operating within the Epping Forest District or serving its residents (and details of such routes);

 

(4)       The amount of the total budget of the County Council for the support of local bus services across Essex, that is spent on concessionary travel and, bus passes etc.;

 

(5)       The cost to the County Council of a single older persons bus pass;

 

(6)       The arrangements of the County Council for the modelling of need for the provision of local bus services across the County;

 

(7)       The value for money derived from local bus services that are contracted or financially supported by Essex County Council;

 

(8)       The arrangements of the County Council for the promotion of local bus services as a more sustainable alternative to other forms of vehicular transport;

 

(9)       The general standards expected by the County Council of contracted or financially supported local bus services, in terms of the reliability, roadworthiness and cleanliness of operational vehicles;

 

(10)    The requirements of the County Council for the provision of seat belts on contracted  local school transport services;

 

(11)    The arrangements of the County Council for the identification of new bus service routes (i.e. does the does County Council determine where a service is needed and go out  to tender or do operators propose routes to the County Council);

 

(12)    The effectiveness of the County Council’s Bus Strategy and associated Priority Policy;

 

(13)    The criteria applied by the County Council for the grant of a licence to an operator for the operation of a specific bus service and route; and

 

(14)    The criteria applied by the County Council for the withdrawal of financial support for the operation of a specific bus service and route.

 

71.

Public Questions & Requests to Address the Overview and Scrutiny Committee

(Director of Governance) To receive questions submitted by members of the public and any requests to address the Committee.

 

(a)         Public Questions

 

Members of the public may ask questions of the Chairman of Overview and Scrutiny Committee at ordinary meetings of the Committee, in accordance with the procedure set out in the Council’s Constitution.

 

(b)        Requests to address the Overview and Scrutiny Committee

 

Any member of the public or a representative of another organisation may address the Overview and Scrutiny Committee on any agenda item (except those dealt with in private session as exempt or confidential business), due to be considered at the meeting.

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

It was noted that there were no public questions or requests to address the Committee.

72.

Executive Decisions - Call-In

(Director of Governance) To consider any matter referred to the Committee for decision in relation to a call-in.

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There were no call-in of decisions to be considered.

73.

Epping Forest Youth Council pdf icon PDF 125 KB

(Chairman of Communities Select Committee) To consider the attached report.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered the report from the Communities Select Committee recommending that the Youth Council be allocated a DDF sum of £8,000; £3,000 of which would be specifically for the ‘MiLife’ project during 2018/19. They also recommended that the Youth Council make an annual presentation to the Overview and Scrutiny Committee so that it could also be webcast.

 

Councillor Murray said that he was happy with the recommendations and that it was reasonable for them to have this funding. He had received very good feedback from schools on the ‘MiLife’ project. Councillor Neville also supported the recommendations.

 

Councillor Patel noted that it had come full circle – as the Task and Finish Panel recommended these two years ago. The Youth Council did some very positive work and he would like to see how it had developed. He would like to see the ‘MiLife’ project developed further and perhaps it could go up to colleges and into the wider community. Raising awareness of this could be one of the projects they could look at in the future. He would also like it noted that the officers support given to the Youth Council was brilliant and that they did a fantastic job. The Chairman agreed wholeheartedly with his comments on the job the officers did with the Youth Council.

 

RESOLVED:

 

1)    That the Overview and Scrutiny Committee supported the allocation of a DDF sum of £5,000 to the Youth Council for projects during 2018/19.

 

2)    That the Overview and Scrutiny Committee supported the allocation a DDF sum of £3,000 to the Youth Council for the MiLife project during 2018/19.

 

3)    That the Youth Council makes an annual presentation to the Overview and Scrutiny Committee.

 

 

74.

Transformation Programme Report pdf icon PDF 787 KB

(Head of Transformation) to consider the attached report.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Head of Transformation, Mr Bailey introduced the report on the Transformation Programme. He noted that research consistently showed that 70% of all change fails to deliver on the goals set, largely due to employee resistance and lack of management support.

 

He went on to give the background to the programme and the position of the current projects. 53% of projects had either come in on time or were delivered early; 47% of the current closed projects had been identified as needing to have tighter timescales or improved estimation of project timescales. 69% of the projects were on cost.

 

Councillor Patel asked where they were now with the definition of ‘prioritisation’ and also in appendix 3 the benefits had not been listed. Would officers then go back and look at the projects and do some analysis on them. Mr Bailey said that they would go back and visit the projects when they were done, but they would need more staff to do this and they would be getting two extra staff in the new municipal year. The Transformation Board do prioritise the projects when they first come up. At present we did not need to prioritise as such because we are a well managed council financially, and could do the work brought forward without needing to make difficult decisions.

 

Councillor Patel asked of the 17 projects listed in the report, were they all the completed projects to date. Recommendation 11 that says that the projects would be reviewed in 12 months. Would they be reviewed on a yearly basis or continue to be on a quarterly basis. Mr Bailey replied that other projects had closed since this report had been written and they will be reviewed annually. Also this Overview and Scrutiny Committee had asked for an annual report on the projects so they would be done at the same time. Councillor Patel thought that a year was a long time to wait. Immediate analysis would be better. Councillor Sartin asked if these projects would also be reported to the various Select Committees on a more regular basis. Mr Bailey said that just because they were reviewed formally annually, did not mean that they were not reviewed as they went along. Also reports would go to the Select Committees as they were closed.

 

RESOLVED:

 

(1)          That the Committee noted the findings of the summative evaluation of project closures and the recommendations agreed by the Transformation Programme Board;

 

(2)        That the Committee noted the report on the findings from the twelve-month implementation review to the Overview and Scrutiny Committee in April 2019; and

 

(3)        That the Committee agreed the potential areas for future scrutiny as listed in paragraphs 54, 55, 56 and 57 of the report.

75.

Transformation Programme - Project Dossier pdf icon PDF 297 KB

(Head of Transformation) to consider the attached report.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Head of Transformation, Mr Bailey noted that this Committee had requested the progress of projects and programmes within the Transformation Programme, known as the Project Dossier, be reported to them for review.

 

Councillor Patel asked if members could have a notion of the anticipated progress when the reports were generated. Mr Bailey noted that this would have to be put in manually by officers. Councillor Patel noted that with due dates etc. it was difficult to establish where a project should be at that time. Mr Bailey said that they would have a commentary column on the reports to help answer these points.

 

Councillor Neville noted that in work steam 3 the due date was March 2018 and progress was only at 22%. Why? Mr Bailey agreed that there should be some explanation as to why this was and better commentary on the reports would help this.

 

Councillor Wixley noted ‘Workstream 1’ had a ‘Discovery Stage’ and also had something called ‘Behavioural Insight’. What were they? Mr Bailey said that they referred to the ‘nudge theory’; by making small changes to nudge people into behaving differently to the advantage of the Council.  Councillor Wixley asked if we knew this worked. He was told that an Assistant Director had been asked to look into this and report back on progress made and how it worked.

 

Councillor Avey said that they needed information to scrutinise, such as the St Johns Road development said that it was 90% complete with 10% left. What was this 10%? That was the kind of issue that members struggled with. Mr Bailey replied that they should focus on the reports that went to the Select Committee. This was the whole list of projects. At the Select Committees members can ask officers to report in detail.

 

Councillor Sartin asked what the term ‘Hold’ indicates when put under the column ‘stage’ in the workstreams table. Mr Bailey said that it just indicated that the project was on hold or maybe yet to start. The comments accompanying it should provide an explanation.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the updated Project Dossier for the Transformation Programme was reviewed and noted by the Committee.

 

76.

Transformation Programme - Project Closures pdf icon PDF 252 KB

(Head of Transformation) to consider the attached report.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee received the project closure report from Mr Bailey. The project closure report was generated on 14 February 2018, reference P003 entitled “Establish Programme and Project Management” and was to utilise modern technology to “enable Council officers and members to work more effectively in order to provide enhanced services to customers and make Council services and information easier to access.” This project was set up to establish the project management framework.

 

No questions were forthcoming from the Committee members.

 

 

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the Project Closure report from the Transformation Programme was noted.

 

77.

Transformation Service Area Business Plan pdf icon PDF 112 KB

(Head of Transformation) to consider the attached report.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Leader of the Council, Councillor Chris Whitbread introduced and took the Committee through the Transformation Business Plan.

 

He noted that the business plan splits into two areas, Transformation and Customer Services. Both contained the major change programme in the council and the ‘business as usual’ elements. The three key actions for transformation covered three areas:

1)    to co-ordinate, manage and support change programmes and projects (including the technology strategy, the people strategy and the customer services programme);

2)    to implement year 2 of service accommodation programme (the Civic Centre and Oakwood Hill refurbishments); and

3)    to establish integrated performance reporting of the benefits of the programme.

 

The Customer Service key actions include phase 2 of the corporate customer team, getting them to work better together and to make the customer experience more seamless. Also it included the redesign of the customer self-service facilities and a website redesign.

 

Also included would be the integration of customer transactions into one customer relations management (CRM) system and also the main reception refurbishment but due to the listing of the building this has been somewhat slowed down, but still needed to happen to enhance our customers experience. And underlining this was our first customer satisfaction survey, enabling us to receive feedback on systems now and in the future.

 

As for the resource implications there was the £20k of revenue growth for the customer satisfaction survey. For transformation there was the £135k DDF growth for fixed term work on process reengineering and project management.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the Transformation Business Plan for 2018-2019 be noted.

78.

Corporate Plan 2018-2023 Progress reporting & Performance Indicator Set pdf icon PDF 292 KB

(Head of Transformation) to consider the attached report (Appendix 4 to follow).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Head of Transformation, Mr Bailey introduced the Corporate Plan for 2018-2023.

He noted that this was the authority’s key strategic planning document setting out the journey the Council would take to transform the organisation to be ‘ready for the future’.

 

A Corporate Specification for each year (previously called the Key Action Plan) detailed how the Corporate Plan was being delivered through operational objectives, with these in turn linked to annual Service business plans.

 

The content of the Plan – including drivers, objectives and benefits – were the subject of consultation with customers, businesses, partners and staff. The views of Councillors were also sought through the Communities, Governance, Neighbourhoods and Resources Select Committees as well as the Overview and Scrutiny Committee. The views of the Cabinet were gained through a report to the Finance and Performance Management Cabinet Committee. Feedback from local councils was taken through a report to the Local Councils’ Liaison Committee.

 

These consultations showed that the structure and strategic approach of the new Corporate Plan were welcomed by all stakeholders, alongside an endorsement of the consultation itself. Beyond this, a large amount of detailed commentary on specific drivers, aims, objectives and performance measures was received.

 

An annual Corporate Specification detailed how the Corporate Plan would be delivered through a set of operational objectives for that year. The Council had a number of Key Action Plans, so to avoid confusion the yearly action plan for the Corporate Plan will in future be referred to as the Corporate Specification. This name denotes that it specifies the operational objectives for a given year, which in turn are responded to through annual Service business plans.

 

Mr Bailey went on to explain how the new ‘benefit maps’ would work and how they should be read. He also showed how these had been simplified over time and made more customer friendly in consultation with members.

 

Councillor Bedford asked about the data profiles, could they be put in in the bulletin so that members could see them. Mr Bailey replied that they would give members access to the Pentana system which contained all this information.

 

Councillor Wixley asked about the Customer satisfaction survey. He was told that it was an annual survey, first carried out last year. It will be on the council’s website to get live feedback and may become a quarterly report.

 

Councillor Patel commented that external transformation was not prominent enough and needed to be filled in. it would be useful for the community to see this. He was told that the Transformation Board was considering this issue and should include it in the future

 

Councillor Bedford asked for full names and not just the acronyms.

 

The Chairman observed that any more feedback should be sent directly to Mr Bailey.

 

RESOLVED:

 

(1)        That the Committee reviewed and commented on the proposed benefits and performance indicator set for 2018-2023; and

 

(2)        That the Committee reviewed and commented on the Council’s proposed format for reporting the performance of the indicator set and the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 78.

79.

Overview and Scrutiny Framework - Review pdf icon PDF 98 KB

(Director of Governance) to consider the attached report.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee noted the report on the overview and scrutiny framework of four select committees that had been established in 2015/16 following a review undertaken by a Task and Finish panel.  The select committees broadly reflected the management structure of the council, save for a stand alone Housing Select Committee. This changed in 2016/17 to the current select committee framework aligned to the management structure of the council.

 

At a recent joint meeting of scrutiny chairmen a proposal was made for the possible combination of the Governance and Resources Select Committees with effect from the new municipal year.  However, the Committee noted the current ongoing review of the Council’s senior management structure and that this may necessitate a re-alignment of the Overview and Scrutiny Framework over the coming year.

 

The Committee therefore decided defer any decision on the possible merging of the select committees until a later date.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That a decision on the combination of the Governance and Resources Select Committees be postponed until a future date.

80.

Forward Plan of Key Decisions - Review pdf icon PDF 140 KB

(Director of Governance) The Cabinet’s forward plan of key decisions is reviewed by the Committee at each meeting, to provide an opportunity for the scrutiny of specific decisions to be taken over the period of the plan. Wherever possible, Portfolio Holders will attend the Committee to present forthcoming key decisions, to answer questions on the forward plan and to indicate where appropriate work could be carried out by overview and scrutiny on behalf of the Cabinet.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee reviewed the Council’s programme of key decisions for 2017/18.

 

Councillor Brookes said that she would like more information about the District Electoral Review. Mr Macnab said something could be put into the Council Bulletin.

 

Councillor Bedford asked about problems on plastic recycling; have we tried to find a company in either Norway or Sweden where recycle in house and produce plastic chips that were mixed with asphalt and used to fix pot holes. Could we work with Essex County Council to provide the plastic so they can fill in the pot holes in our area? Councillor Breare-Hall said that this was an interesting suggestion, but at present plastic was not a big issue with us. Mr Macnab agreed and noted that some of the dirty glass that was collected was ground and mixed with stone and went into road repair material.

 

Councillor Bedford also commented about the quality of water at Loughton and Ongar swimming pools there was a need to look at the detritus that was in the water. Mr Macnab said that he would take this back to the appropriate officers.

 

 

81.

Overview and Scrutiny Draft Annual Report pdf icon PDF 4 MB

RECOMMENDATION:

 

To consider and comment on the draft O&S Annual Report for 2017/18.

 

 

The Committee is asked to consider whether they are happy with the draft report (attached) and to make amendments where necessary. Any comments should be submitted to Democratic Services by Wednesday, 9 May 2018 for inclusion in the final version. 

 

A copy of each Select Committee section of the report has been sent to the relevant Chairman and lead officer of that committee for comments.

 

This draft is still incomplete as not all Committees have held their last meeting for the year at the time this agenda went to print.

 

The final report will be submitted to the next Overview and Scrutiny Committee meeting on 4th June 2018 for endorsement and then on to the nearest Full Council meeting.

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee noted the draft overview and scrutiny annual report and that any comments should be submitted to Democratic Services by Wednesday, 9 May.

82.

Overview & Scrutiny Committee Work Programmes 2017/18 - Review pdf icon PDF 64 KB

(Director of Governance) Progress towards the achievement of the work programmes for the Overview and Scrutiny Committee and each of the select committees, is reviewed by the Committee at each meeting.

 

(a)             Current Work Programmes

 

The current overview and scrutiny work programmes are attached as an appendix to this report.

 

(b)             Reserve Programme

 

A reserve list of scrutiny topics is developed as required, to ensure that the work flow of overview and scrutiny is continuous. When necessary, the Committee will allocate items from the list appropriately, once resources become available in the work programme, following the completion of any ongoing scrutiny activity.

 

Members can put forward suggestions for inclusion in the work programme or reserve list through the adopted PICK process. Existing review items will be dealt with first, after which time will be allocated to the items contained in the reserve work plan.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Overview and Scrutiny Committee

 

The committee noted that their work programme had now been completed and that item 5, Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust will be moved to the next years work programme. Also item 11, Essex County Council Passenger will be going to the June 2018 meeting along with Superfast Essex.

 

Councillor Bedford asked if officers from Stanstead Airport could be invited to attend a future meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee to speak especially after the recent fire at the airport. This was agreed by the Committee.

 

Reserve Programme

 

Item 3, the Essex Police/Essex Fire & Rescue Service, members would like it to go to the July 2018 meeting.

 

Communities Select Committee – nothing further to report.

 

Governance Select Committee – nothing further to report.

 

Neighbourhoods Select Committee – nothing further to report.

 

Resources Select Committee – Councillor Patel noted that the external transformation did not really fit into this select committee’s remit. This came about after Councillor Lion gave a presentation on this to his Committee. A wider number of members should be made aware of this but he was not sure where this should be reported to. Mr Macnab said that he would have a word with Councillor Lion and see where it might fit.

83.

Scrutiny of External Organisations - Review pdf icon PDF 55 KB

(Director of Governance) For the information of the Committee, a schedule setting out the external scrutiny that it has undertaken over the last three years is attached as Appendix 1. This schedule has been updated to include those external scrutiny activities already agreed by the Committee for the remainder of the current municipal year.

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee noted their schedule of recent external scrutiny carried out over the past few years.

 

84.

Last Meeting of the Year

Additional documents:

Minutes:

As this was the last meeting of the year the Chairman thanked all the members who participated in the meetings during the year. She also thanked all the officers who came to the meeting or wrote reports for the meetings during the year.