Agenda, decisions and minutes

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

Contact: Tracy Waters 01352 702331  Email:

No. Item


Declarations of Interest (Including Whipping Declarations)


No declarations of interest were made.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 70 KB

To confirm as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 16 April 2014.



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



The minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 16 April, 2014 had been circulated to Members with the agenda.


                        In referring to page 2 of the minutes, the Chief Executive confirmed that a new version of the Improvement Plan would be submitted to the Committee in June 2014 before being considered by County Council later that month. 




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



Revenue Budget Monitoring 2013/14 (Month 11) pdf icon PDF 20 KB

Additional documents:


That the report be noted.                                                



The Corporate Finance Manager introduced a report to provide Members with the Revenue Budget Monitoring 2013/14 (Month 11) information for the Council Fund and Housing Revenue Account (HRA) which was being submitted to Cabinet on 13 May 2014. 


                        For the Council Fund, the projected net in-year expenditure was reported to be £2.215m less than budget, which was an increase of £0.064m on the £2.151m reported at Month 10.  This was reflected in the table at paragraph 3.01 and the movements from Month 10 in Community Services, Environment, Lifelong Learning, Corporate Services and Central & Corporate Finance were summarised in Appendix 1. 


Progress on the efficiencies included in the 2013/14 budget was detailed in paragraph 3.05, which currently indicated that £4.270m of the £5.331m (80%) would be achieved, resulting in a net under-achievement of £1.061m; the full details were provided in appendix 9.  


On the issue of inflation, the Corporate Finance Manager explained that to date only the amounts in respect of the pay award and food costs had been allocated out to service areas.  With regard to energy costs these would continue to be closely monitored, although at this stage it appeared that all of the allocation would be required and was reflected in the projected outturn.  Section 6 and appendix 7 provided details of the unearmarked reserves and indicated that the current projected level of the contingency reserve at the end of March 2014 was £4.901m. 


                        The HRA was projected to have an overall underspend of £0.171m for 2013/14 and a projected closing balance at Month 11 of £1.605m, which at 5.61% of the total expenditure, satisfied the prudent approach of ensuring a maximum level of 3%; full details on the significant variances in the HRA were included in appendix 8. 


One carry forward request had been received for £0.085m for costs that had been scheduled for 2013/14 but would now fall into 2014/15. 


                        In response to a question from Councillor Haydn Bateman about the write offs in Central Services due to the higher than anticipated presentation of out of date cheques, the Corporate Finance Manager explained that when cheques that had been raised against a specific service area had not been cashed after six months they became invalid and the relevant amount written back into the accounts within Central and Corporate.  If a reissue of the cheque was subsequently required, the expenditure would be re input against the Central & Corporate Finance area. 


Following a further question the Corporate Finance Manager advised that the word ‘demand’ had been omitted from the third bullet point under the Community Services Section on appendix 1. 


Councillor Ian Dunbar queried whether the amount for the works undertaken on the former Euticals site in Sandycroft was the final cost and asked whether there would be any benefit to the Council once the issue had been concluded.  He also queried what percentage of monies had been lost by the Council due to the issue of obtaining a refund from Landsbanki.  The Chief Executive explained that  ...  view the full minutes text for item 97.


People Strategy Update pdf icon PDF 38 KB


(a)       That the achievements made in relation to delivery of the current People Strategy be noted;            


(b)       That the immediate priorities for 2014 be noted and endorsed; and


(c)        That the intention to draft a new People Strategy 2014 to 2017, following the leadership restructure in May 2014 be noted. 



The Head of Human Resources and Organisational Development introduced a report to provide Members with a progress report on the delivery of the People Strategy for 2009-12 (extended to 2014) to conclude the current strategy as at March 2014.  The report also advised Members of the key themes and priorities for the next People Strategy for 2014-2017 prior to the full review and development of the new strategy. 


                        The strategy was currently structured under the following five key themes:-


·        Customer

·        Change

·        Capacity

·        Consolidation

·        Collaboration


The Head of Human Resources and Organisational Development provided details of some of the successes within each of the five themes and explained that the main priorities for 2014 and the priorities for the next three years were detailed in the report. 


            The Chief Executive commented on the work that had been undertaken and spoke of the success of the different apprenticeship and training schemes in partnership with Coleg Cambria.  He also indicated that appraisals for the new Chief Officers would be held between October and December 2014.  On the issue of Single Status, the Chief Executive explained that the formal agreement had been signed the previous day ready for implementation on 1 June 2014. 


            In response to a question from Councillor Paul Shotton about training undertaken with Coleg Cambria, the Head of Human Resources and Organisational Development said that a range of training programmes were in place in partnership with Coleg Cambria.  She provided details of the Management Development Programme which was based on a number of modules, some of which were undertaken as study days at Northop Campus and others in the form of assignments.  She explained that the programmes were designed around the ILM qualification framework and Flintshire’s requirements and competencies.  Other programmes delivered in partnership with the college included the Team Leader programme and Transitionary Team Leader programme.   

            The Chief Executive said that Coleg Cambria had been enormously flexible to accommodate the components required by the Council.  The college had been able to attract funding which meant that the training courses could be run at no cost to the Council.  In response to a query about agile working, the Chief Executive explained the differences between agile working and home working and spoke of the areas such as Planning, and Social Services where agile working had been undertaken.  The policy on agile working had recently been discussed and Helen Grant (Neighbourhood Housing Manager) and David Barnes (Revenue Manager) had been able to provide an insight into how agile working had been undertaken in their areas.  The Leader of the Council said that agile working was not a new concept but had not previously been undertaken by Flintshire County Council.  He felt that there was a need for a better understanding but welcomed the successes achieved in the pilot areas and suggested that the Committee could consider the issue in more depth at a future meeting. 


            In response to a question from Councillor Ian Dunbar about Health & Wellbeing referred to in paragraph 3.05,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 98.


Forward Work Programme pdf icon PDF 25 KB

Additional documents:


That the Forward Work Programme be approved subject to the inclusion of items on Agile Working, Health & Wellbeing and the People Strategyfor submission to future meetings.



The Member Engagement Manager introduced the report to consider the Forward Work Programme for the Committee. 


            He detailed the items reported for consideration at the 12 June and 10 July 2014 meetings but added that following earlier discussions, updates on Agile Working, Health & Wellbeing and the People Strategy had been requested.  The Member Engagement Manager suggested that he liaise with the Chairman and the Head of Human Resources and Organisational Development to bring the items forward.  The diary for 2014/15 would be considered at the Annual County Council meeting scheduled for 20 May 2014 and following this meeting, the Member Engagement Manager would include the meeting dates for 2014/15 and would liaise with the Chairman to populate the agenda items. 


            Councillor Arnold Woolley spoke of recent meetings of Audit Committee and raised significant concern about Value for Money and the lack of management accounts for Flintshire County Council.  The Audit Committee had been advised that neither the Council’s external auditors nor the Audit Committee were responsible for auditing Value for Money (VFM) projects and Councillor Woolley suggested that this Committee should scrutinise the issue of VFM.  The Chief Executive referred to the comments made at the Audit Committee and said that the outcomes made by the Wales Audit Office had been positive.  The Head of Internal Audit had indicated that even though Audit did audit VFM to a point, not enough profile was given to it and the Chief Executive had suggested that auditing of VFM was not consistent across the Council.  He added that it was not a simple task to undertake and questioned the comments made by Councillor Woolley on management accounting.  Councillor Woolley said that he had received a document which advised that the organisation did not have the management accounts and therefore he was not able to view them.  He added that they had been available to him when he was Leader of the Council and explained that the information he was requesting was for the actual amounts of what had been spent rather than the amounts allocated to budget areas or were projected to be spent.  Councillor Woolley also indicated that he had been advised that for VFM projects, balances of up to £0.100m were not audited and neither were variations of up to 5% of turnover which could result in potential errors of £15m.


            In response to the comments made, the Chief Executive said that the comments made at the Audit Committee did not imply that VFM was not being audited.  Officers from the Wales Audit Office (WAO) had been present at both meetings and had been satisfied with the auditing by Flintshire County Council.


            Councillor Woolley spoke of the detail of the auditing of Town & Community Councils compared to Flintshire County Council and said that John Herniman from WAO had advised that a different level of auditing was required and that the costs to audit Flintshire County Council in such detail would be prohibitive.  In response to a question from the Chairman, Councillor  ...  view the full minutes text for item 99.


Members of the Press and Public in Attendance


                        There were no members of the public or press in attendance.