Agenda and minutes

Council Overview & Scrutiny Committee - Wednesday, 4 March 2015 10.30 am

Venue: Ashcombe Suite, County Hall, Kingston upon Thames, Surrey KT1 2DN

Contact: Helen Rankin or Rianna Hanford 

No. Item



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    Apologies were received from Bill Chapman, Mark Brett-Warburton and Chris Townsend.


    Denis Fuller and Richard Wilson acted as substitutes.



MINUTES OF THE PREVIOUS MEETING: 29 January 2015 pdf icon PDF 89 KB

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    To agree the minutes as a true record of the meeting.


    The minutes of the previous meeting were agreed as a true and accurate record of the meeting.




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    To receive any declarations of disclosable pecuniary interests from Members in respect of any item to be considered at the meeting.



    ·    In line with the Relevant Authorities (Disclosable Pecuniary Interests) Regulations 2012, declarations may relate to the interest of the member, or the member’s spouse or civil partner, or a person with whom the member is living as husband or wife, or a person with whom the member is living as if they were civil partners and the member is aware they have the interest.

    ·    Members need only disclose interests not currently listed on the Register of Disclosable Pecuniary Interests.

    ·    Members must notify the Monitoring Officer of any interests disclosed at the meeting so they may be added to the Register.

    ·    Members are reminded that they must not participate in any item where they have a disclosable pecuniary interest.


    No declarations of interest were received.




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    To receive any questions or petitions.



    1.  The deadline for Member’s questions is 12.00pm four working days before the meeting Thursday 26 February 2015.

    2.  The deadline for public questions is seven days before the meeting (Wednesday 25 February 2015).

    3.  The deadline for petitions was 14 days before the meeting, and no petitions have been received.


    No questions or petitions were received.




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    There are no responses to report.


    There were no responses to report.




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    The Committee is asked to monitor progress on the implementation of recommendations from previous meetings, and to review its Forward Work Programme.

    Additional documents:


    Key points raised during the discussion:


    1.    The Committee were informed that an item on the Shareholder Board item had been requested to come to Committee in April and the South East Business Services Partnership would come in July before it goes to Cabinet.

    2.    The Committee questioned the figure of £900k given as the loss to the council from failing to sign the Manpower contract.  The Committee requested a written answer from the Cabinet Member on an accurate figure.




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    Purpose of the report:  Policy Development and Review


    This report provides an update after 6 months on the progress of the Digital Transformation Programme.

    Additional documents:



    Chris Millard, Strategy Manager

    Mark Edridge, Digital Programmes Manager

    Joanne Juniper, Consultant (Business Analyst)


    Key points raised during the discussion:


    1.    The Strategy Manager introduced the 6 month progress report.  It was noted that the Digital Transformation programme included four exemplar projects that aimed  to prove that a digital approach could help solve problems faced by the County and its residents.  Officers demonstrated examples of the Vulnerable Adults and the Customer Management systems to the Committee.

    2.    The Committee was informed that the vulnerable adult’s list exemplar was an outcome of the recent challenges brought about by flooding challenge in the County. Information about vulnerable adults is currently held by a number of agencies including health services and District and Borough’s.  Sharing information was currently a manual process across many systems and agencies; an automatic process system was being developed as part of Digital Transformation programme to pool information regarding vulnerable people based on location.  The system would assist professionals involved in emergency response situations to identify and locate vulnerable people.  Engagement activities and collaborative working had taken place between the Emergency Management Team, Adult Social Care, Surrey Fire and Rescue Service  and other external services for data contribution and to overcome any concerns regarding information governance.  The service was working with Adult Social Care Information Governance Team to address provisions of holding data.

    3.    It was clarified that on the new system emergency officers could search at ‘street level’ such as Fire Fighters on the way to an emergency to help prioritise when responding to an incident.   . The system was currently a prototype and was estimated to be fully functional by July 2015.

    4.    With regards to the Customer Management System, it was noted that the Contact Centre currently must log into eighteen different systems to access information across the services and communicate with residents and customers.  The new approach aims to reduce the number of service delivery systems used by the Contact Centre and provide  one central inbox for incoming enquiries.

    5.    In an effort to reduce the number of service delivery systems the Contact Centre makes use of, the Customer  exemplar project was focussing on highways enquiries. The Committee heard that the service was working with Kier and Highways to integrate systems with a Customer Management System.  The Committee suggested Members be alerted to certain trends as their local knowledge could assist the programme.

    6.    Members asked how innovative and pioneering the Council was being in terms of the digital transformation programme.  Officers responded by citing Central Government progress and noting that Surrey County Council was amongst the first wave of Council’s to be taking this approach.  As the problems that the programme was looking to solve were similar across a number of organisations, there was the opportunity to share best practice and potentially generate income through systems generation. 

    7.    The Committee queried whether income generation could be sourced through the programme; officers responded that this could be possible.  It was suggested that predictive data  ...  view the full minutes text for item 18/13



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    Purpose of the report:  Policy Development and Review


    To update Members on the New Models of Delivery Programme. 



    Rachel Crossley, New Models of Delivery Lead

    Susan Smyth, Strategic Finance Manager


    Key points raised during the discussion:

    1.    The Cabinet Member for Business Services introduced the item and provided a brief update on the key achievements of the New Models of Delivery Programme since it was last presented to Committee.

    2.    With regard to the Surrey Outdoor Learning and Development (SOLD) item, the Committee questioned how officers could ensure that high charges could be prevented if the service was delivered through a different method in the future.  Members were informed that a reference group was in the process of being established which would include Head Teachers and would take into account more than finances and income when considering he most appropriate next steps for the service.

    3.    It was clarified that Local Authority Trading Companies would be subject to tendering for a contract, if supplying services to the council, to ensure fair competition. There was a discussion around the new company, set up to manage TRICS (Transport Trip Rate Database).  The Committee was informed that this was a transport database that held survey information around travel. This had been developed with five councils and was owned as a consortium who now form the shareholders of the company and each shareholder had one director representing them.  The Committee questioned the possibility of a business that competed with TRICS being set up in the future.   It was stated that TRICS had data from over 10 years, meaning it was well established to carry out the role with minimal threat of competition. 

    4.    It was highlighted that there was scope to expand the reach of the database to other countries with similar travel patterns to the UK.

    5.    The Committee was informed that the New Models of Delivery process is a five-step process; it took around six months from ‘deciding’ to ‘mobilising’ a work stream, however each project is different and some may take longer.

    6.    It was noted that business cases for all new trading models would be considered by Cabinet before a decision was made.  It was clarified that not all ‘new models’ were trading companies, such as the recent partnership arrangement between Buckinghamshire and Surrey’s trading standards departments. 

    It was noted that youth work had been prioritised as Cabinet had previously agreed to look at new models for this service; the service had won a grant from the Cabinet Office to work on this and as the grant needed to be spent before the General Election, this piece of work had been prioritised. 


    Actions/Further information to be provided:

    ·         Officers to provide Annual Accounts for trading companies that have reported, as part of a report from the Shareholder Board.. 






    Committee next steps:


    The Committee to receive a further update on the Shareholder Board and specific New Models Projects (such as the South East Business Services Partnership) at the appropriate meeting.




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    Purpose of the report:  These reports present the Council’s financial position at the end of December 2014 and January 2015.

    Additional documents:




    Kevin Kilburn, Deputy Chief Finance Officer


    Key points raised during the discussion:

    1.    A report was tabled from the Performance & Finance Sub Group, which met on Monday 2 March 2015.  An update was also provided, alongside the report, with a response from officers about queries that had been raised.  This update is attached at Annex A to these minutes.

    2.    With regards to carry forwards, the Committee were informed that property maintenance and IT would most likely be carried forward due to the project management nature of the work.

    3.    The Deputy Chief Finance Officer commented that the under spend within Property Maintenance was mostly due to the concentration on schools building maintenance.  

    4.    Members received the following update regarding recommendations they had made to Cabinet in January 2015:

    Update on Recommendations

    a.    That consideration be given to the Decision Making Accountability Model of Organisational Redesign process, promoted by the LGA.


    Adult Social Care

    b.      That a Resource Allocation Rate of 75% be applied to the Friends, Family & Community Support programme in order to maximise the chances of exceeding the required full-year savings of 20%.

    ·         The Committee were informed that the target for the Resource Allocation Rate had been stretched already.  Officers were concerned that stretching it further this would cause issues and concerns for those affected.   It was noted that if this went any further, it could have an impact on users.  The Committee agreed after some debate to request the Cabinet to consider this further.

    c.      That consideration be given to securing more Continuing Healthcare support for affected clients to reduce social care costs.

    ·         The Committee noted that there are some potential barriers to continuing health care, it was expressed that if CCG’s were supporting more people then there would be less of an impact on the council’s services.


    Business Services

    d.    That consideration be given to further reducing the assumption regarding utilities inflation.

    ·         The Committee was informed regarding utilities that the inflation had been reduced from 10% to 8%, there was also a further £90k less expenditure than originally budgeted for.

    e.    That a further reassessment be carried out regarding the contribution to the self insurance fund to determine whether a further reduction could be made.

    ·         In relation to self insurance, the Committee was informed the amount the council would self insure for was increased to £500k from £100k.  This would be monitored and adjusting this would be considered at the end of March 2016 as part of the actuarial valuation.  It was added around £200k would be saved on the premium.

    Children, Schools & Families

    f.    That the investigation into Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) transport costs be accelerated so that some of the benefit (for example through the use of personal budgets) can be achieved within the latter part of 2015/16.

    ·         It was noted that the SEND Transport budget was leading up to the summer refresh; this was an area that would be looked by Committee’s during the summer refresh period. 

    g.    That  ...  view the full minutes text for item 20/13



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    The next meeting of the Committee will be held at 10.30am on Wednesday 1 April 2015.


    The date of the next Council Overview and Scrutiny Committee is Thursday 23 April at 1.00pm in the Council Chamber, County Hall.