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The Chair welcomed the Chief Executive to the meeting.
APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
To receive any apologies for absence.
Apologies for absence were received from Dr S Haraldsen and Mr C Hogg.
To report any changes to the membership of the Board.
Members noted the following permanent changes in membership of the Board:-
· Dr S Haraldsen had replaced Cllr J Mallinson
· Cllr W McEwan had replaced Cllr J Bell
DISCLOSURES OF INTEREST
Members are invited to disclose any disclosable pecuniary interest they have in any item on the agenda which comprises
1 Details of any employment, office, trade, profession or vocation carried on for profit or gain.
2 Details of any payment or provision of any other financial benefit (other than from the authority) made or provided within the relevant period in respect of any expenses incurred by you in carrying out duties as a member, or towards your election expenses. (This includes any payment or financial benefit from a trade union within the meaning of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992.
3 Details of any contract which is made between you (or a body in which you have a beneficial interest) and the authority
(a) Under which goods or services are to be provided or works are to be executed; and
(b) Which has not been fully discharged.
4 Details of any beneficial interest in land which is within the area of the authority.
5 Details of any licence (alone or jointly with others) to occupy land in the area of the authority for a month or longer.
6 Details of any tenancy where (to your knowledge)
(a) The landlord is the authority; and
(b) The tenant is a body in which you have a beneficial interest.
7 Details of any beneficial interest in securities of a body where
(a) That body (to your knowledge) has a place of business or land in the area of the authority; and
(b) Either –
(i) The total nominal value of the securities exceeds £25,000 or one hundredth of the total issued share capital of that body; or
(ii) If that share capital of that body is of more than one class, the total nominal value of the shares of any one class in which the relevant person has a beneficial interest exceeds one hundredth of the total issued share capital of that class.
In addition, you must also disclose other non-pecuniary interests set out in the Code of Conduct where these have not already been registered.
A “disclosable pecuniary interest” is an interest of a councillor or their partner (which means spouse or civil partner, a person with whom they are living as husband or wife, or a person with whom they are living as if they are civil partners).
There were no disclosures of interest on this occasion.
EXCLUSION OF PRESS AND PUBLIC
To consider whether the press and public should be excluded from the meeting during consideration of any item on the agenda.
RESOLVED,that the public and press be not excluded from the meeting during any item of business.
To confirm as a correct record the Minutes of the meetings of the Board held on 12 March 2019 (copies enclosed).
RESOLVED,that the minutes of the meetings held on 12 March 2019 be agreed as correct records and signed by the Chair.
For members to be informed of any call-in items received by the County Council and to consider whether any further action needs to be taken by the Board.
The Chair advised that there were no call-in items for the Board to consider.
To receive a report by the Executive Director – Corporate, Customer and Community Services (copy enclosed).
Members received a report from the Executive Director – Corporate, Customer and Community Services that provided an overview of the Council’s sickness absence performance for the 2018/19 period.
The Assistant Director - Organisational Change, supported by the People Management Operational Delivery Manager, guided members through a detailed ‘deep dive’ presentation which gave an update on Absence Management. This included delivery against the agreed action plan, sickness absence data to the end of March 2019, including working days lost, staff with full attendance, directorate overview data, seasonal increases in absence rates, services areas receiving targeted focus, a comparison to national figures, trends and the next steps proposed for 2019/20 for improvement. During the course of discussion it was confirmed that the data related to working days.
Members also received example pages of the absence dashboard and the real time on-line management information system designed to monitor absences. The ICT programmes were designed to simplify and automate the process. The Workforce Plan Delivery Plan 2018/19 was appended to the papers which provided a high level overview of the work which would be taking place over the coming year. Members were asked to discuss alternative interventions that may improve overall attendance and reduce absence levels in key service areas.
To conclude the officers recognised that the framework, systems and processes needed to be robust and embedded in the culture of the organisation. It was emphasised that attendance management remained a high council priority.
The Chair thanked the officers for their presentation.
A discussion took place regarding responsibilities for the management of absence. Officers confirmed that this was the responsibility of managers. It was acknowledged that this was a cultural change and that the capacity and confidence of managers was a concern. It was highlighted that HR would provide advice and support to managers if necessary.
Members questioned whether return to work interviews took place and officers confirmed this had a low level of completion and recording. It was explained that managers received an automated prompt to undertake those discussions and this had increased from 50% to 70% but it was acknowledged that further work was still required to improve those figures.
In answer to a concern raised about the automation of the process, officers assured members that the ICT tools were in place to assist but it was about individuals, not statistics, and managers knowing their workforce. The Council had introduced a new appraisal system which focused on strengths, wellbeing, performance and development with regular conversations also taking place at one to one meetings.
The resilience of the workforce to cover long term absences was raised and the concerns of the impact this may have on other colleagues in that particular service area. It was acknowledged this could be a challenge particularly in large directorates therefore it was felt important to support managers to be effective.
Two case studies resulting in an improvement to the absence figures were showcased at the meeting. These were good examples of good management practice and members questioned ... view the full minutes text for item 7.
To consider a report by the Executive Director – Corporate, Customer and Community Services (copy enclosed).
Members received a report from the Executive Director – Corporate, Customer and Community Services which provided an update on some of the key recommendations made by the Scrutiny Advisory Boards over the last two years. The collation of some of the key recommendations made by the Boards through Task and Finish Groups and in Board meetings was appended to the report.
RESOLVED, that the report be noted.
To receive a report from the Chair of each of the Scrutiny Advisory Boards:
Cumbria Police and Crime Panel Mr W McEwan
Cumbria Health Scrutiny Ms C Driver
Adults Mr M Wilson
Children and Young People Mrs V Tarbitt
Communities and Place Mr S Collins
Cumbria LEP Scrutiny Mr W Wearing
The Board received an update on the work of the Scrutiny Advisory Boards, Panels and Committee from each of the Chairs.
1) Police and Crime Panel
The Board received a written update from Mr W McEwan on the work of the Cumbria Police and Crime Panel and any issues and developments that had occurred since the last meeting.
The Police and Crime Panel had reviewed several areas of the Police and Crime Plan including tackling crime and antisocial behaviour, domestic abuse and blue light collaboration. The Panel had received updates on the impact of 25 additional police officers. Assurance had been provided that these officers would increase police presence that was visible to the public and would be part of the renewed approach to tackle anti-social behaviour.
The Panel had noted that a significant amount of work had been undertaken on the 101 service, providing the public with better access to the service and continue to reduce waiting times to speak to an officer.
Members were given an overview of future topics for the Panel which would include the first Annual Report by the Police and Crime Panel, the Commissioner’s Annual Report, as well as budget updates from both the Commissioner’s Office and Constabulary.
2) Cumbria Health Scrutiny Committee
The Board received a written report from Ms C Driver which updated members on the work of Cumbria Health Scrutiny Committee.
The Committee had considered the following at the May meeting
· Healthcare for the future of WNE
· Commissioning of Mental Health Services in North and South Cumbria;
· Familiar Faces Programme
In additional members noted additional activity that had taken place or was planned by the Committee.
3) Scrutiny Advisory Board – Adults
Mr M Wilson advised members that since the last meeting of the Board, the Scrutiny Advisory Board – Adults had considered Adult Social Care Charging Policy, Assistive Technology, Safeguarding Adults and Promoting Independence Programme.
Members were informed that a series of joint meetings between the Cumbria Health Scrutiny Committee and the Adults Board were taking place to look at areas covering the closer integration of Health and Care Services.
4) Scrutiny Advisory Board – Children and Young People
Mrs V Tarbitt updated members on the work of the Scrutiny Advisory Board for Children and Young People. Members were informed that the Board’s recent priorities included SEND, Children’s Services improvement, 0-19 commissioning and County Lines.
Mrs V Tarbitt expressed her gratitude to the Executive Director – People for all his hard work and dedication shown to the service and the support that he had given to her as Chair. The Executive Director – People was leaving the organisation and Mrs Tarbitt wished him well for the future.
5) SCRUTINY ADVISORY BOARD – COMMUNITIES AND PLACE
Members were advised that the Scrutiny Advisory Board – Communities and Place had met twice since the last meeting of the Scrutiny Management Board.
The Chair informed members that a further paper on types of section agreement and planning conditions would be considered at a ... view the full minutes text for item 9.
To receive a report by the Executive Director – Corporate, Customer and Community Services (copy enclosed).
Members received a report from the Executive Director – Corporate, Customer and Community Services providing an update from the Scrutiny Performance Working Group. The draft minutes from the Working Group’s meeting in April was appended to the report.
Members noted that the Chair of Audit and Assurance Committee was on the Scrutiny Performance Working Group to avoid duplication of work. Members noted that this Working Group identified issues for Scrutiny Boards to investigate.
RESOLVED,that the report be noted.
To consider a report from the Senior Manager Customer, Policy and Scrutiny (copy enclosed).
The Board considered a report which provided an update on any issues and developments that had occurred since the meeting of the Board on 12 March 2019.
It was noted that a Strategic Planning session would be arranged for non executive members where the Director of Finance would give an update on the Council’s financial position. Members requested progress was received with the implementation of the Autism Task and Finish Group.
The Chair asked for further items for the forward plan to be submitted to the Senior Manager Customer, Policy and Scrutiny.
1) the range of activity be noted;
2) the Work Programme be noted;
3) the Forward Plan be noted;
4) the new national guidance on Scrutiny be circulated to members.
DATE OF NEXT MEETING
To note that the next meeting of the Board will be held on Thursday 12 September 2019 at 10.00 am at Conference Room A and B, Cumbria House, Carlisle.
It was noted that the next meeting of the Board was scheduled for 12 September at 10 am at Cumbria House, Carlisle.
It was further noted that this date clashed with the Westmorland Show, therefore it was
RESOLVED,that an alternative date for the next meeting be investigated by officers, and if feasible, rearranged.