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Agenda, decisions and minutes

Venue: Delyn Committee Room, County Hall, Mold CH7 6NA

Contact: Sharon Thomas 01352 702324  Email: sharon.b.thomas@flintshire.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

33.

Declarations of Interest (Including Whipping Declarations)

To receive any Declarations and advise Members accordingly.

Decision:

Minutes:

34.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 216 KB

To confirm as a correct record the minutes of the meetings held on 11 July and 12 August 2019.

Additional documents:

Decision:

That the minutes be approved as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

Minutes:

The minutes of the meetings held on 11 July and 12 August 2019 were submitted.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the minutes be approved as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

35.

Action Tracking pdf icon PDF 88 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

That the Committee notes the progress which has been made.

Minutes:

The Democratic Services Manager presented the progress report on actions arising from previous meetings.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the Committee notes the progress which has been made.

36.

Community Safety Partnership Annual Report pdf icon PDF 137 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

That the Committee supports the achievements of the Community Safety Partnership over the last twelve months.

Minutes:

The Chief Executive introduced the Community Safety Partnership (CSP) annual report which provided an overview of activities over the past 12 months.  The statutory duties of the CSP were discharged through the Public Services Board led by Flintshire.

 

Members were introduced to Sian Jones, Community and Business Protection Manager; Richard Powell, Community Safety Team Leader; Rhiannon Edwards, Regional Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Advisor; District Inspector Gareth Cust of North Wales Police; Gerwyn Davies, Anti-Social Behaviour Co-ordinator; and Mike White, Partnership Manager for Wrexham and Flintshire, North Wales Fire & Rescue Service.

 

A detailed presentation covered the following areas:

 

·         Context

·         Community Safety Delivery Groups

·         Achievements

·         Performance

·         Interaction with the Safer Communities Board

·         Local priorities for 2018/19

 

The Community Safety Team Leader reported a reduction in victim-based crime in Flintshire over the past year with the reduction in anti-social behaviour seen across North Wales.  He gave an overview of interaction with the Safer Communities Board on priority areas to address violence against women, vulnerable adults and young people, as well as protecting communities.

 

Councillor Johnson spoke about the links between poverty, inequality and crime.  In response to comments on hate crime, the appointment of a Community Cohesion Officer for Flintshire (using Welsh Government funding) would help to encourage communities to report incidents.

 

Inspector Gareth Cust spoke about the various methods of reporting crime and raising awareness in schools of issues such as hate crime and County Lines.  He also advised of a training programme with police officers in Flintshire to identify the impacts of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE).

 

In acknowledging the pressures on Police resources, Councillor Richard Jones referred to a late addendum to the Council Plan Monitoring report later on the agenda, in which some Police performance data was missing.  This included the number of reported incidents of domestic abuse and sexual violence which was a priority area.

 

Whilst referring to the complexity of the topic, the Chief Executive spoke about the need to understand the integrity of the data provided by North Wales Police and that an accurate figure would need to be shared with the Committee once available.

 

The Regional Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Advisor agreed that more clarity was needed on this data due to the way that incidents were recorded.  To resolve this, analysts were reviewing the approach to recording incidents to incorporate all elements of domestic violence and provide an accurate picture.

 

Councillor Richard Jones said that an explanation should have been included to help understanding of the report in order to compare performance year on year.  The Chief Executive agreed and said that at this point the Committee could only accept the figure in the original report with the caveat about ongoing data analysis.

 

Inspector Cust referred to significant changes in crime recording and compliance with regulation standards.  His offer to provide year to date figures on domestic abuse and sexual violence incidents was noted.

 

In response to a question from Councillor Bateman, information was given on different forms of Modern Slavery  ...  view the full minutes text for item 36.

Item 5 - Community Safety Partnership slides pdf icon PDF 622 KB

37.

Variation in order of business

Minutes:

The Chair indicated that there would be a slight change in the order of business to move the next agenda item (Forward Work Programme) to the end of the meeting to enable representatives to speak on the remaining items.

38.

Year-end Council Plan Monitoring Report 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 489 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

That the report be received and Cabinet be informed that the Committee had  remitted investigation into the delayed transfer of care (IP1.5.2.1 M01 (PAM/025) to the Social & Health Care Overview & Scrutiny Committee.

Minutes:

The Chief Executive presented a high-level summary of year-end progress on the Council Plan which provided analysis on areas of under-performance relevant to the Committee.  The Committee received a revised addendum comprising minor changes.  An overview was given of the performance indicators with a red status, some of which would be achieved over time as work was ongoing.  All the red risks were recurring issues with some subject to a delayed impact or external factors.

 

Councillor Richard Jones reiterated his earlier concerns about the sharing of late information which needed to be read alongside the report.  In response to comments about the revised corporate appraisal model, the Chief Executive said that this would improve the quality of appraisals and links with training, and that the 100% completion target would remain.  On the number of people kept in hospital while waiting for social care, the Chief Executive said that reference to comparison with the Welsh average was relevant and that a significant amount of work was ongoing due to the multiple issues involved.  Councillor Jones suggested that the matter be referred to the Social & Health Care Overview & Scrutiny Committee.

 

Councillor Heesom raised concerns about the lack of information on high-risk areas under the Ambitious Council theme such as the North Wales Growth Plan which was critical to the economy of Flintshire.

 

The Chief Executive reminded Councillor Heesom that the report was to summarise year-end progress on the content of the Council Plan, as agreed by County Council.  He gave a brief update on progress with the Growth Deal from which Flintshire would benefit.  In response to further comments, Councillor Thomas provided clarification on the national development framework and responded to comments on funding sought from Welsh Government for flood alleviation works.

 

On the red performance indicators, Councillor Banks reported positive progress with the Council house development in Gronant and the completion of Disabled Facilities Grants.

 

The recommendations were moved by Councillor Heesom and seconded by Councillor Johnson.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the report be received and Cabinet be informed that the Committee had  remitted investigation into the delayed transfer of care (IP1.5.2.1 M01 (PAM/025) to the Social & Health Care Overview & Scrutiny Committee.

Item 7 - Addendum v2 with tracked notes pdf icon PDF 481 KB

39.

Annual Improvement Report of the Auditor General for Wales 2018-19 pdf icon PDF 138 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

That the Committee is assured by the Auditor General for Wales’ Annual Improvement Report for 2018/19.

Minutes:

The Chief Executive presented the Annual Improvement Report which summarised the audit and regulatory work undertaken by the Wales Audit Office at the Council in 2018/19.  The report concluded positively that ‘the Council is meeting its statutory requirements in relation to continuous improvement but, as with all council in Wales, it faces challenges going forward’.  No formal recommendations were made.  The Council’s response to voluntary suggestions for improvement comprised a number of low-level actions.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the Committee is assured by the Auditor General for Wales’ Annual Improvement Report for 2018/19.

40.

Employment and Workforce Quarterly update pdf icon PDF 129 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

(a)       That the Employment & Workforce Information report for Quarter 1 of 2019/20 be noted;

 

(b)       That in future, the report include figures as well as percentages for employee turnover; and

 

(c)       That the new appraisal model be shared with the Committee as part of a briefing session before a future meeting.

Minutes:

The Business Information & Compliance Adviser presented the workforce information report on Quarter 1 of 2019/20 which focussed on organisational performance and trends.

 

As requested by the Chairman, it was agreed that future dashboard reports would include figures on employee turnover as well as percentages.

 

On the downturn in attendance, Occupational Health colleagues were continuing to work with portfolios to tackle stress, depression and anxiety absences which remained the most recorded reason.  Detailed data analysis had established that most of those absences were related to life issues, for example coping with bereavement.  The ‘CareFirst’ service was to be re-launched following an increase in the number of employees accessing that support.

 

The most up-to-date figure for the completion of appraisals was 83%.  It was anticipated that the next quarterly report would provide a more accurate picture and that Chief Officers would be called to account for any slippage in their portfolios.

 

Following a request by Councillor Richard Jones, the Chief Executive agreed that the new appraisal model could be shared with the Committee through a briefing session before a future meeting.

 

In response to further comments, the Business Information & Compliance Adviser provided clarification on data for the turnover and stability of schools.  He also noted that the number of active agency placements was 89 rather than 94.

 

The recommendations, which were changed to reflect the debate, were moved by Councillor Jones and seconded by Councillor Johnson.

 

RESOLVED:

 

(a)       That the Employment & Workforce Information report for Quarter 1 of 2019/20 be noted;

 

(b)       That in future, the report include figures as well as percentages for employee turnover; and

 

(c)       That the new appraisal model be shared with the Committee as part of a briefing session before a future meeting.

41.

People Strategy Performance Report pdf icon PDF 314 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

(a)       That the Committee notes the performance made during 2018/19 in support of the vision, outcomes and priorities identified in the 2016-2019 strategy and supports the extension of the strategy into 2019/20 to conclude ongoing work programmes;

 

(b)       That the Committee supports the development of a new People Strategy for 2020/2023 and associated action plan which will be shared in draft for comment before being taken to Cabinet; and

 

(c)       That the Human Resources team be thanked for their work in producing and maintaining the strategy.

Minutes:

The Chief Executive introduced a performance update report on achievements towards the key priorities for 2018/19 in the final year of the current People Strategy 2016-2019.

 

The report was presented by the HR Business Partner who highlighted the rollout of the new pay model and enhancement of the learning and development offer involving more online options.  He also commented on the high standard of participants in the Apprenticeship programme and the development of the Health and Well-being Strategy which would help to support individuals affected by personal issues, as highlighted in the previous agenda item.

 

Councillor Richard Jones proposed an additional recommendation to thank the Human Resources team for their work on the strategy which impacted positively on the workforce.  This was seconded by Councillor Bateman.

 

RESOLVED:

 

(a)       That the Committee notes the performance made during 2018/19 in support of the vision, outcomes and priorities identified in the 2016-2019 strategy and supports the extension of the strategy into 2019/20 to conclude ongoing work programmes;

 

(b)       That the Committee supports the development of a new People Strategy for 2020/2023 and associated action plan which will be shared in draft for comment before being taken to Cabinet; and

 

(c)       That the Human Resources team be thanked for their work in producing and maintaining the strategy.

42.

Revenue Budget Monitoring 2019/20 Month 4 and Capital Programme Monitoring 2019/20 Month 4 and Significant Variances (Out of County Placements, Children's Services and School Transport) pdf icon PDF 92 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

(a)       That the Committee notes the Revenue Budget Monitoring 2019/20 Month 4 report and confirms that on this occasion there are no specific issues which it wishes to raise with Cabinet;

 

(b)       That the Committee notes the Capital Programme 2019/20 Month 4 report and confirms that on this occasion there are no specific issues which it wishes to raise with Cabinet;

 

(c)       That having reviewed to the Streetscene & Transportation portfolio financial pressures analysis, the Committee supports the ongoing work to mitigate those pressures and thanks all those involved for their hard work and commitment;

 

(d)       That having reviewed the portfolio financial pressures analysis within Children’s Services and Out of County placements, the Committee supports the ongoing work to mitigate those pressures and thanks all those involved for their hard work and commitment;

 

(e)       That the Committee supports a case being made to Welsh Government for assistance in meeting the high cost of residential care for children with complex needs whilst the Council develops more cost effective local placement options to respond to growing demand;

 

(f)        That the officers be tasked with investigating ‘invest to save’ solutions to reducing overall costs within these areas of concern; and

 

(g)       That the officers undertake analysis of the statistics for Flintshire’s higher recorded incidents of parental substance or alcohol misuse, parental mental ill health and domestic abuse and report back in due course.

Minutes:

The Corporate Finance Manager presented a report on the revenue budget monitoring position for the Council Fund and Housing Revenue Account (HRA) and an update on the Capital Programme of 2019/20 at month 4.  As requested, a report on the significant variances in Out of County Placements, Children’s Services and School Transport was also shared.

 

Revenue Budget Monitoring

 

On the Council Fund, the projected year-end position - without new actions to reduce cost pressures and improve the yield on efficiency planning - was an operating deficit of £2.983m, which was a reduction of £0.118m from July.  The projected balance for contingency reserves at year-end was £1.886m.  The overspend areas for Out of County Placements, Children’s Services and School Transport were partially offset by an underspend in Central and Corporate Finance.  A balanced outturn was projected for Social Services if Cabinet approved the recommended transfer of £0.250m to Adult Services from Resources & Regulated Services to meet changes in service demand.  All areas of non-essential spend would continue to be reviewed to reduce the overall projected year-end overspend.

 

The projected 90% achievement rate on projected planned in-year efficiencies would increase to 91% if Cabinet agreed to re-phase the efficiency from the Aura Subsidy.

 

Following changes to the report format, an update on school pressures indicated the position on deficits in secondary schools which would be closely monitored.

 

On the HRA, in-year spend was projected to be £0.081m higher than budget, leaving a year-end balance of £1.242m which was above the recommended minimum level.

 

In welcoming the change of report format, Councillor Heesom questioned why the un-earmarked reserves for the Sustainable Drainage System (SuDS) Approving Body and the Victim Contact Team were not under their portfolio areas.  The Chief Executive explained that both had been included as pressures in the 2019/20 budget - as agreed by Members - and that these additional amounts would meet new legislative requirements and increase capacity to meet the needs of vulnerable young people.  The Corporate Finance Manager confirmed that the amounts were allocated to Social Services from the Contingency Reserve in-year.  Officers agreed to provide a future report on the costs involved with SuDS.

 

In response to Councillor Jones’ comments on the report format, it was clarified that the table set out the overall position and the narrative would focus on significant variances above an agreed level of £0.100m, with full details of all variances in the appendix.  The Chief Officer (Social Services) spoke about minimising the use of agency workers in his portfolio which was often unavoidable.

 

The recommendations were moved by Councillor Wisinger and seconded by Councillor Heesom.

 

Capital Programme

 

The revised programme included two approved sums carried forward from 2018/19 and a number of changes along with confirmed funding allocations.  There were two requests for carry-forward into 2020/21 and additional allocations were mainly due to changes in existing programmes.  Confirmation was awaited from Welsh Government (WG) on a grant funding bid in relation to the £0.350m pressure to address the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 42.

43.

Forward Work Programme pdf icon PDF 93 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

(a)       That the Forward Work Programme be approved, noting that items for the October meeting were likely to change;

 

(b)       That high-level budget updates be included on the agenda for the next two meetings; and

 

(c)       That the Democratic Services Manager, in consultation with the Committee Chairman, be authorised to vary the Forward Work Programme between meetings, as the need arises.

Minutes:

In presenting the current Forward Work Programme for consideration, the Democratic Services Manager advised that the requested half-hour briefing on the new appraisal model would be scheduled.

 

The Chief Executive advised that the item on County Hall may require deferral to November and that high-level updates on the national budget position may be available in October and November.

 

RESOLVED:

 

(a)       That the Forward Work Programme be approved, noting that items for the October meeting were likely to change;

 

(b)       That high-level budget updates be included on the agenda for the next two meetings; and

 

(c)       That the Democratic Services Manager, in consultation with the Committee Chairman, be authorised to vary the Forward Work Programme between meetings, as the need arises.

44.

Members of the Press and Public in Attendance

Minutes:

There was one member of the press in attendance.

 

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