Agenda and minutes

Scrutiny Management Board
Friday, 22nd May, 2020 1.30 pm

Venue: This meeting will be a virtual meeting and therefore will not take place in a physical location. To view this meeting please click link below.

Contact: Lorraine Davis  Email: lorraine.davis@cumbria.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

54.

ROLL CALL FOR MEMBERS AND OFFICERS

Minutes:

Members and officers confirmed their attendance at the meeting.  An apology for absence was received from Councillor Chris Hogg.

 

55.

MEMBERSHIP

To report any changes to the membership of the Board.

 

Minutes:

There were no changes in membership of the Board.

 

56.

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.

 

Note

 

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).

 

Minutes:

There were no disclosures of interest for this meeting.

 

57.

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.

 

Minutes:

RESOLVED,that the press and public be not excluded from the meeting during consideration of any item on the agenda.

 

58.

MINUTES pdf icon PDF 79 KB

To confirm as a correct record the Minutes of the meeting of the Board held on 3 March 2020 (copy enclosed).

 

Minutes:

RESOLVED,that the minutes of the meetings held on 3 March 2020 be agreed and signed by the Chair.

59.

CALL-IN ITEMS

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.

 

Minutes:

The Chair advised that there were no call-in items for the Board to consider.

 

60.

Covid 19 Briefing - The Council's Response to Date pdf icon PDF 91 KB

To consider a report from the Deputy Chief Executive (copy enclosed).

 

Minutes:

The Deputy Chief Executive and the Assistant Director – Economy and Environment provided members with an overview of the Council’s activity to date in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

 

The Deputy Chief Executive outlined his gratitude to members and staff on the huge amount of work that had been undertaken in response to the pandemic and the new ways of working which had resulted in a positive impact for Cumbria and its residents.  It was noted that fantastic partnership working had taken place with other organisations such as the NHS and District Councils. 

 

Members noted that the Council had led, as a category 1 responder, the Strategic Co-ordinating Group (SCG) with a range of partners to respond to the epidemic.  The Council was also leading on a number of sub groups such as Care Homes, PPE, Waste, Logistics, Multi-Agency Information Cell, Strategic Media Advisory Cell and Education.  The Council had needed to adopt significant changes to the ways of working in a very short period of time and substantial changes and upgrades had been made to the Council’s technology and communications systems. This had allowed, where appropriate, home working for staff and members, and enabled compliance to the national strategy to “Stay at Home”.

 

The Assistant Director – Economy and Environment informed members that in early March, an Education Tactical Co-ordination Group (ETCG) had been established to oversee the temporary closure of schools and the establishment of school “hubs” to provide education and childcare to the children of key workers and vulnerable children.  Members noted that disadvantaged and vulnerable children had been the Council’s priority throughout.  Regular updates had been provided to families, schools and childcare settings throughout and a key area of focus had been to have safeguarding measures in place.

 

Members were informed of the strong partnership working that was taking place with health services across the county and with NHS England.  Significant work had taken place to ensure that hospitals in Cumbria had maintained sufficient capacity to care for Covid-19 patients.  Adult Social Care has been providing a 7 day per week services and continued to review changes to care packages to ensure people were safe and in receipt of care and support appropriate to their needs.  The Council had supported increases in the availability of testing throughout the county.

 

With regard to care homes and home care, Members noted that the council continued to work in partnership with agencies across the NHS and public sector, to support work in care homes.  This work included the monitoring of infection rates of both residents and staff, supporting infection control, providing PPE, testing, additional staff support and supporting the management of hospital discharges.

 

It was noted that household waste recycling centres had now been reopened on 12 May following government guidance.  The waste sub group had closely monitored incidents of fly tipping and implemented measures to address this in the period of HWRC closures.

 

Members were aware that six welfare co-ordination hubs had been established in just 5  ...  view the full minutes text for item 60.

61.

Ways of Working and Return to the Workplace pdf icon PDF 96 KB

To consider a report and presentation from the Executive Director – Economy and Environment and the Executive Director – Corporate, Customer and Community Services (copy enclosed).

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members received a report and presentation from the Executive Director - Corporate, Customer and Community Services and the Executive Director – Economy and Infrastructure on ways of working and return to the workplace.  The officers gave an overview of the impact on the Council’s ways of working during the pandemic and resulting lockdown measures.  The presentation outlined work that was being undertaken to ensure staff and members could return to workplaces safely as the lockdown measures were lifted in a phased approach.

 

Members were informed on the different working approach that had been taken by the council during the pandemic.  The Executive Director – Corporate, Customer and Community Services outlined the comprehensive health and wellbeing support package available to staff.  It was recognised that this would not be a short term crisis and Covid-19 would have a long term impact on the way council services would be delivered.  Work was taking place on new ways of working to hold on to and embed and build on and the presentation outlined the early work on the objectives and principles guiding this programme of work.  It was recognised that the planning phase of the recovery was critical to the health, safety and wellbeing of staff.  Members were assured that the recovery phase work would be integrated into and, not an addition to, the current work stream.

 

A working focus group had been established to look at various issues.  In answer to a question, the Executive Director – Economy and Infrastructure confirmed that plans were being considered on utilising council vehicles to assist with transport for staff. 

 

Members highlighted digital inclusion and conducting virtual meetings.  Members discussed the advantages and disadvantages of home and virtual working raising some concerns on the isolation aspect of it whilst recognising the benefits of it too. In answer to a member’s question, the need to have additional council buildings to achieve lower staff density was discussed.  It was recognised that this was an economic crisis as well as a health one and consideration was being given to restart the Cumbrian economy in conjunction with other organisations such as Cumbria LEP and District Councils.  The officers confirmed that support, guidance and advice was available to businesses to assist with reopening. 

 

Members’ raised the issue of support available to upskill managers to assist with the management of staff whilst home working such as sickness absence.  It was suggested and agreed that the Organisational Development Plan be reviewed and discussed at the next meeting of the Board.  It was further suggested that an item for the Board’s future consideration was to look at community level work, incorporating this long term into existing plans and the workforce to help capacity.

 

A member raised the issue of putting support measures in place for services users, as well as staff, during the recovery period.   The Assistant Director – Strategic Commissioning informed members that day services were currently being reviewed to see what could be re-established.

 

The officers were thanked for their very  ...  view the full minutes text for item 61.

62.

SCRUTINY CHAIRS UPDATE pdf icon PDF 77 KB

To receive updates from the Chair of each of the following:-

 

            Cumbria Police and Crime Panel                               Mr W McEwan

            Scrutiny Panel - Children and Young People           Mrs V Tarbitt

            Scrutiny Panel - Adults                                                 Mr M Wilson

            Cumbria Health Scrutiny Committee                          Ms C Driver

            Cumbria LEP Scrutiny                                                  Mr W Wearing

            Scrutiny Panel - Communities and Place                  Mr S Collins

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Board received an update on the work of the Scrutiny Advisory Boards, Panels and Committees from each of the Chairs.

 

(1)  Cumbria Police and Crime Panel

 

The Board received an update on the work of the Cumbria Police and Crime Panel.  Members noted that the Chair was receiving regular briefings on issues in relation to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic from the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner. A number of national policy initiatives and issues had emerged during this period which were of significance.

 

The Chair of the Panel informed members of the “Bright Side” app and discussed all the work undertaken during lockdown on Domestic Abuse.

 

(2)  Scrutiny Advisory Board – Children and Young People

 

Members received an update on the work of the Scrutiny Advisory Board – Children and Young People.  During the COVID-19 lockdown period the Chair has received regular briefings from the Executive Director – People on emerging issues. Consideration was now being given to future arrangements with all Board Members.

 

(3)  Scrutiny Advisory Board – Adults

 

The Chair of the Scrutiny Advisory Board – Adults submitted a report updating members of the work of the Board.  All Members were receiving the weekly briefings from the directorate, which outlined the challenges presented by the COVID 19 outbreak and how Adult Social Care, Provider Services and Commissioning teams were responding to these.

 

(4)  Cumbria Health Scrutiny Committee

 

Members received a report on the work of the Cumbria Health Scrutiny Committee.  Members were informed that during the COVID-19 lockdown period the Chair of the Committee has had regular briefings from the Executive Director – People.   There had also been meetings with the Chief Executive of University Hospitals Morecambe Bay Trust and similar arrangements were being put in place with North Cumbria.  The Chair has attended the first Health & Wellbeing Board development session, and would continue to attend monthly to ensure the work programme was in line with system developments as moving from the response to recovery phase.

 

(5)  Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) Scrutiny Board

 

The Chair of the LEP Scrutiny Partnership Board updated members on the work of the Board, details of which was appended to the report.

 

(6)  Scrutiny Advisory Board – Communities and Place

 

Members received a report on the work of the Scrutiny Advisory Board – Communities and Place.  The Chair was continuing to receive updates from the Council’s leadership team on key issues arising from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.  The Chair had also received updates on the reopening of Household Waste Recycling Centres and measures ensuring staff and the public could operate safely.

 

The Chair of the Scrutiny Management Board encouraged the establishment of the Task and Finish Group to scrutinise the Council’s approach to development and management of Section Agreements, agreed at the previous meeting of the Board

 

Discussion centred around the standing up of the Scrutiny Advisory Boards.  It was agreed that an informal joint meeting of the Chairs and Vice Chairs of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 62.

63.

SCRUTINY MANAGEMENT BOARD UPDATE REPORT AND WORK PROGRAMME pdf icon PDF 91 KB

To receive a report from the Senior Manager – Customer, Policy and Scrutiny (copy enclosed).

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members considered a report which provided an update on issues and developments that had occurred since the meeting of the Board in March 2020.

 

The Senior Manager Customer, Policy and Scrutiny advised that, as a result of lockdown in response to the Coronavirus pandemic, all Scrutiny meetings had been stood down.  Members were informed that, as the Council’s Annual General Meeting was postponed in April, the Scrutiny Annual Report had been circulated to all Members. 

 

Members were asked to consider a review of the Scrutiny Development Plan and Work Programme for 2020/21 to ensure effective scrutiny on issues prioritised, taking into account the effects of the pandemic on Cumbria and on the way the Council operates, and the capacity of Members, staff and partners during the response and recovery work.

 

Members were also asked to consider that an item for the next agenda for the meeting of the Board included an update on the Organisational Development Plan and implementation of Task and Finish Group recommendations to Cabinet, specifically, an update on workforce and absence management.

 

RESOLVED,that

 

(1)  the range of activity be noted;

 

(2)  the work programme presented in Appendix 1 of the report be noted and reviewed to include decisions made at this meeting;

 

(3)  an item on the Organisational Development Plan and implementation of Task and Finish Group recommendations to Cabinet, specifically on workforce and absence management be included on the agenda for the next meeting of the Board.