Agenda and draft minutes

Scrutiny Management Board - Monday, 13th June, 2022 10.00 am

Venue: County Offices, Kendal

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

Items
No. Item

The Chair welcomed and introduced the Chief Executive who attended the meeting to give an update and outline his thoughts on his role for the next 8-9 months.

 

The Chief Executive gave a brief overview of priorities since his appointment including meeting staff, looking at the Council’s objectives and achievements, the Corporate Plan and LGR reorganisation.  Focus was also being given to the Children Looked After service, the Fire and Rescue Service during their period of change and the future Ofsted inspection.  In discussion of the LGR process, the Chief Executive discussed staff engagement and was hopeful for a relatively seamless transition.  Staff were encouraged to think years in advance and not just focus on vesting day on 1 April 2023.

 

A member questioned the seamless transition as it was the end of the County Council.  Another member questioned whether there had been engagement with residents.  The Chief Executive said meetings had been arranged with a number of voluntary, community and business sectors.  It was acknowledged that there were a lot of unknowns in the LGR process but work was taking place, within the tight deadlines, to ensure a smooth transition.

 

The Chair thanked the Chief Executive for his attendance and informed the Board that members of the Shadow Authorities had been and would continue to be invited to observe the Board meetings.

 

1.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

To receive any apologies for absence.

 

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Mr M Hawkins, Mr W McEwan and Mrs H Carrick.

 

2.

MEMBERSHIP

To report any changes to the membership of the Board.

 

Minutes:

There were no changes to membership of the Board to note.

 

3.

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 declarations of interest made at the meeting.

 

4.

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.

 

5.

MINUTES pdf icon PDF 200 KB

To confirm as a correct record the Minutes of the meeting of the Board held on 1 March 2022 (copy enclosed).

 

Minutes:

RESOLVED,that the minutes of the meeting held on 1 March 2022 be agreed as a true record of the meeting.

 

Further to Minute 57, the Local Member for Eden Lakes raised a question with the Chair of the Communities and Place Board on the HIAMs system and the difficulties in identifying locations from rural postcodes.  The Chair of the Board advised that other tracking systems, such as “What three words”, were now used.

 

6.

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.

 

7.

Customer Services - Transformation of Libraries pdf icon PDF 70 KB

To consider a report by the Executive Director – Corporate, Customer and Community Services (copy enclosed).

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chair thanked the Executive Director – Corporate, Customer and Community Service for all her hard work and dedication given to Scrutiny, whilst wishing her well in her new post as Chief Executive of Dumfries and Galloway Council.

 

Members received a report and presentation that provided an update on the transformation of the library service since late 2019, that had included a full restructure of the workforce, improvements to a number of buildings, the introduction of new technology system, and a refreshed focus on council priorities. The report also touched upon libraries in, during and after the pandemic.

 

The Senior Manager - Customer, Policy and Scrutiny outlined the transformation journey from 2019 to 2022, the current focus and future challenges and opportunities.  Members noted that the full restructure of the workforce which had led to the recruitment of 70 plus replacement staff, the digital system introduced to improve customer service and the partnership working that was taking place with other council services and other partners to enhance services.  Members were informed of the next focus for the service and the options that had been developed for Local Government Reform (LGR).

 

Members asked about the provision for children.  The Senior Manager highlighted, amongst other provision, the existence of the school library service and summer reading challenge.  Staff provision at smaller branch libraries was mentioned.  Members discussed the need for physical books in addition to electronic versions.  A discussion around partnership working that was taking place in libraries was held and an explanation of the proposed Intellectual Property Centres in Barrow and Carlisle was given by the Senior Manager.  In answer to a member’s question, the Library and Customer Manager outlined the proactive support and provision in place for inclusivity.  The Local Member for Risedale commended the library and archive service at Barrow.  A member asked about changing places toilets and it was confirmed that these were in place in Carlisle and Barrow.  Officers were asked to consider installation of these in future building transformations.   A member requested further details in future reports so that these could be circulated to groups and residents.  It was confirmed that free wifi and quiet spaces were still available in libraries.  The impact on libraries and other services of reductions in bus services was discussed. 

 

The effect of the pandemic and the closure and reopening of libraries and facilities such as toilets were discussed.  The officers confirmed that all libraries were back to their normal operating hours and facilities were available for public use.  A member suggested celebration of this and it was noted that 70 plus members of staff were being appointed (to fill posts vacant after the restructure) to meet demand.  The officers continued to outline joint working with the Council’s property team to improve buildings/facilities and investments that had been made in digital services to enhance customer service.   A member asked whether the public had been consulted in order to ensure a responsive service.  Members noted that a customer survey had been  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.

8.

SCRUTINY CHAIRS UPDATE pdf icon PDF 96 KB

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

 

Scrutiny Panel - Children and Young People                    Mr P Dew

Scrutiny Panel - Adults                                                             Mr M Wilson

Cumbria Health Scrutiny Committee                                 Ms C McCarron Holmes

Scrutiny Panel - Communities and Place                              Mr S Collins

Cumbria LEP Scrutiny                                                              Mr W Wearing

Cumbria Police and Crime Panel                                           Mr M Johnson

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(1)  Scrutiny Advisory Board – Children and Young People

 

The Chair of the Children and Young People’s Scrutiny Advisory Board advised members of issues and developments that had occurred since the last meeting of SMB.  It was noted that the last meeting of the Children and Young People’s Scrutiny Advisory Board took place on 24 May 2022 and the Board received reports and presentations on Children’s Participation, Youth Justice, LGR and preparation of children’s services.  The next Board was scheduled for 21 September and members would receive an update on the Annual Ofsted Letter,  SEND update and Child exploitation six monthly update.

 

(2)  Scrutiny Advisory Board – Adults

 

Members received an update on the work of the Adults Scrutiny Advisory Board and any issues and developments that had occurred since the last meeting of SMB.  Members received reports on the Adult Social Care Strategic Position, Discharge to Assess and Safeguarding Adults at risk from abuse and neglect.  It was noted that the next meeting of the Adults Scrutiny Board would take place on 24 June 2022 and a number of issues were due to be considered at that meeting.  It was noted that the Joint Health and Adult Social Care Task and Finish Group had been established.

 

(3)  Cumbria Health Scrutiny Committee

 

Members received an update report from the Chair of the Cumbria Health Scrutiny Committee which had last met on 18 May.  Members noted that at the Committee meeting reports had been received on Urology Services at the University Hospitals Of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust, Inpatient Mental Health Provision Across South Cumbria , Liberty Protection and North West Ambulance Service Provision in Cumbria.  The next meeting would provide reports on an Update on the Health & Care Act and the impact on powers of Health Scrutiny, Mental Health Services at Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear Foundation Trust (CNTW) and Dentistry Services in West Cumbria.

 

In discussion of the Health and Care Bill, members noted that part of the bill had been postponed and stressed the importance of retention of the scrutiny referral function.

 

(4)  Scrutiny Advisory Board – Communities and Place

 

The Chair of the Communities and Place Board updated members on items received at March meeting which included a Strategic update from Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service, a Coastal Strategy report and the Independent Planning Review progress. 

 

Members noted that a further meeting had been held on 10 June and the agenda included items on Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service – lessons learned from major incidents, Highways information management system and the draft local flood risk management strategy.

 

In answer to a member’s question on the HIAMs system and the difficulty of finding locations using rural postcodes, the Chair confirmed officer use of other location services such as “What3words”.  Following a question on the Coastal Strategy, the Chair replied that flooding in coastal areas had been discussed but not in detail.  The Chair agreed to raise any specific questions from members on this.

 

(5)  Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP)  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.

9.

SCRUTINY MANAGEMENT BOARD UPDATE REPORT AND WORK PROGRAMME pdf icon PDF 84 KB

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

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members received a report that provided an update on issues and developments that have occurred since the last meeting of the Board in March 2022.  Attached to the report at Appendix 1 was the Programme for 2022/23 and the current Forward Plan of Key Decisions 1 July 2022 – 31 August 2022, attached as Appendix 2.

 

The Chair of the Communities and Place Board highlighted that he had requested a report on the handling of electronic waste.  A briefing note on this was to be circulated to the Board’s members, and if necessary, a full report prepared for a future meeting.

 

RESOLVED, that

 

(1)  the activity set out in the report be noted;

 

(2)  the Scrutiny Work Programme for 2022/23 be noted;

 

(3)  the Forward Plan of Key Decisions 1 July 2022 – 31 August 2022 be noted.

 

10.

DATE OF NEXT MEETING

To note that the next meeting of the Board will take place on 8 September 2022 at 10 am at County Offices. Kendal.

 

Minutes:

It was noted that the next meeting of the Board will be held on 8 September 2022 at 10 am at County Offices, Kendal.