Agenda and draft minutes

Corporate Overview Select Committee
Thursday, 21 March 2019 10.00 am

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

Contact: Ross Pike or Joss Butler 

No. Item


Apologies for Absence and Substitutions


Minutes of the Previous Meeting: 25 January 2019 pdf icon PDF 424 KB


Declarations of Interest


    All Members present are required to declare, at this point in the meeting or

    as soon as possible thereafter:


    i.       any disclosable pecuniary interests and / or;


    ii.      other interests arising under the Code of Conduct in respect of any item(s) of business being considered at this meeting




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


    ·        as well as an interest of the Member, this includes any interest, of which the Member is aware, that relates to the Member’s spouse or civil partner (or any person with whom the Member is living as a spouse or civil partner); and


    ·        Members with a significant personal interest may participate in the discussion and vote on that matter unless that interest could be reasonably regarded as prejudicial.



    There were no declarations of interest received.


Questions & Petitions

    To receive any questions or petitions




    1.     The deadline for Member’s questions is 12.00pm four working days before the meeting (15 March 2019).


    2.     The deadline for public questions is seven days before the meeting (14 March 2019).


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


    There were no questions or petitions received.


Response from the Cabinet to Issues Referred by the Select Committee pdf icon PDF 58 KB

    Recommendations from the Select Committee meeting on 25 January 2019 regarding the Revenue & Capital Budget 2019/20 to 2023/24 were submitted to Cabinet for consideration on 29 January 2019. A response from the Cabinet Member for Finance is attached.



    Key points raised during the discussions:


    1.     The Committee noted the response from the Cabinet Member for Finance from the Cabinet meeting on 29 January 2019.

    2.     The Vice-Chairman noted the response’s comments regarding the Corporate Overview Select Committee (COSC) Budget Sub-Group and stated that the group would need to adapt how it scrutinised budgets to allow it to be better aligned to consider individual budget proposals.




Transforming the Council to Better Service Residents - Update pdf icon PDF 136 KB

    Purpose of the Report:


    To update on progress so far in transforming the council, enabling Corporate Overview Select Committee (COSC) to provide input to the next phase of work and identify approaches to ensure effective ongoing scrutiny.


    Additional documents:




    Michael Coughlin, Executive Director – Customers, Digital & Transformation


    Key points of discussions:


    1.     The Chairman highlighted the Committee’s decision to identify three key enabling projects to concentrate Member’s attention for discussion. The three enabling projects would be: Customer Experience, Digital / Agile Working and Spans and Layers.


    2.     The Executive Director – Customers, Digital & Transformation provided the Committee with a brief summary of the report. It was noted that there were 24 individual projects of transformation which would be conducted over a time period of three – five years. It was stated that the transformation was at a point in its life cycle where it would be beneficial to moderate and reflect on its overall progress.


    3.     The Committee asked to be provided with further information around the Transformation Steering Board (TSB) and the Transformation Support Unit (TSU). The Executive Director explained that the TSB comprised of the Chief Executive, executive directors and key officers who held responsibilities in some of the programmes of work. Additional people were also able to join discussions at the meeting if it was felt it would be beneficial and appropriate. The TSU comprised of external support from My Proteus who provided key skills around programme management. Mare Snelling, Director of Transformation, had recently joined the Council and was tasked with coordinating the transformation programme as My Proteus began to decrease support. It was noted that the Director of Transformation was looking to have a more permanent transformation support structure in the future. Further to this, Members noted that each project had a project leader, a project manager and a group of staff from the impacted services.


    4.     The Committee felt it would be appropriate for each individual select committee to consider the relevant transformation programmes within their remit.


    5.     Members noted that officers were currently reviewing progress so far to identify key lessons that could be designed into the next phase of transformation. When Members asked if the Committee were able to view the lessons which had been identified, Officers confirmed that the information should available to be able to be presented at the next meeting of COSC.


    6.     Members noted that the ‘next steps’ identified in the report were for COSC to review the new Vital Signs Quarterly Report in July and quarterly thereafter. The Executive Director explained that there were a number of checks to monitor the delivery of the transformation projects which provided assurances against budgetary and time constrictions. In addition to this, the Internal Audit service, Finance service and senior managers were able to check projects were on track and identify those that needed further attention on a periodic basis.


    7.     The Committee discussed the opportunity to conduct a ‘deep dive’ into some individual transformation projects to monitor their progress. When conducting this, it was agreed that it would be helpful to invite the relevant project manager to attend the meeting to aid discussions. Following discussion, it was agreed for the Committee to consider indicators of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 16.


Scrutiny of Budgets pdf icon PDF 138 KB

    Purpose of the Report:


    For the Committee to review the Cabinet Budget Monitoring Reports to the end of December 2018 and January 2019.


    Please note that the Cabinet Budget Monitoring Report to the end of January 2019 will be published in a supplementary agenda.


    Additional documents:




    Mel Few, Cabinet Member for Finance

    Kevin Kilburn, Strategic Finance Manager - Corporate

    Anna D’Alessandro, Interim Director - Corporate Finance


    Key points raised during the discussions:


    1.     The Cabinet Member for Finance introduced the report and informed Members that the Council was on track to deliver a balanced budget as it was expected to achieve savings between £105m to £106m, while using only £1.3m of the Council’s reserves. £21.4M of these savings had been identified in Adult Social Care. The Cabinet Member further reported that for the first time all Cabinet Members had agreed to the projected forecast for each service.


    2.     Member asked what assurances were in place to ensure the savings achieved were sustainable. Officers explained that it was the objective for all savings to be sustainable but they would continue to be monitored. Officers further stated that the main drive for the in-year savings was to not require the use of reserves in order to ensure the Council was in the best possible position for 2019/20.


    3.     The Committee asked for confirmation on whether the Cabinet Member was satisfied that the Special Educational Needs & Disabilities (SEND) service would be able to operate within the scale of their budget envelope. The Cabinet Member explained that the finances were currently mostly theoretical and that more information would be available within the first quarter of 2019/20. Members stated it would be helpful to be provided with a scale of possible risks when meeting the budget envelope.


    4.     Officers reassured Members that the £51m savings identified through the transformation programme had been identified using a rigorous process and would continue to be monitored. Members requested that appropriate attention be put on monitoring the remaining £31m required that was yet to be identified. Follow discussion, officers further reassured Members that the savings programme of £82m in 2019/20 would be monitored and reported on.


    5.     Members were concern that there may be less savings in Adult Social Care in 2019/20 due to the acceleration of savings in the current year. The Cabinet Member confirmed that he was confident there would be a continuation of savings into 2019/20. 


    6.     The Committee discussed the benefits of the Budget Sub-Group conducting a ‘deep dive’ into the Children, Families & Learning Directorate’s budget. It was suggested that this could be carried out with the participation of the Children and Education Select Committee. The Cabinet Member for Finance advised that, due to ongoing transformational change, a ‘deep dive’ would be best placed after the first quarter of 2019/20 when the service was in a more secure position.


    7.     The Committee agreed to conduct a ‘deep dive’ into the Waste budget with a particular focus on the delivery of the Eco-Park in the new council year





    1.               The Committee to explore options for scrutiny of Children, Families & Learning Directorate’s budget with the participation of the Children & Education Select Committee in June or July 2019


    2.               The Committee prepares to conduct a ‘deep dive’ into the Waste budget with  ...  view the full minutes text for item 17.


Recommendations Tracker and Forward Work Programme pdf icon PDF 113 KB


Date of the Next Meeting