Agenda and minutes

Resources and Performance Select Committee
Monday, 16 December 2019 10.00 am

Venue: Council Chamber, County Hall, Kingston upon Thames, Surrey KT1 2DN. View directions

Contact: Ross Pike 

Items
No. Item

18.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE AND SUBSTITUTIONS

19.

MINUTES OF THE PREVIOUS MEETING pdf icon PDF 106 KB

20.

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.

     

    NOTES:

     

    ·         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.

    Minutes:

    Rachael I. Lake reported that she had an interest, as a family member was employed by Surrey County Council and another worked for Zalaris Consulting UK, who had current contracts with Surrey County Council.

21.

QUESTIONS AND PETITIONS

    To receive any questions or petitions.

     

    Notes:

     

    1. The deadline for Member’s questions is 12.00pm four working days before the meeting (10 December 2019).

     

    2. The deadline for public questions is seven days before the meeting (9 December 2019).

     

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

    Minutes:

    None received.

     

    Mark Brett-Warburton arrived at 10:09.

22.

RESPONSES FROM THE CABINET TO ISSUES REFERRED BY THE SELECT COMMITTEE pdf icon PDF 62 KB

23.

CABINET MEMBER PRIORITIES UPDATE pdf icon PDF 115 KB

    Purpose of the report:For the Select Committee to receive an update from the Cabinet Member for Corporate Support and Cabinet Member for Finance on progress against their priorities and objectives.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Witnesses:

     

    Dr Zully Grant-Duff, Cabinet Member for Corporate Support

    Mel Few, Cabinet Member for Finance

    Leigh Whitehouse, Executive Director of Resources and Section 151 Officer

     

    Key points raised during the discussion:

    1. A Member enquired what the key dates were for the Coroner’s Service Local Government Accountability and Performance (LGAP) review and when findings for this would be received. The Cabinet Member for Corporate Support responded that the report would be available at the end of December 2019.

    2. A Member assumed that the new ‘single front door’ system in customer services, whereby customers would be assisted as early as possible by the customer services team, rather than by a more specialised team, had been the default system for some time already. They queried the impact there would be on the contact centre with the new system. The Cabinet Member for Corporate Support confirmed that there had indeed always been a ‘single front door’ in the form of a contact centre, but that now enquiries that would previously have been referred to a specific service at an earlier stage were being triaged and resolved at the contact centre. Enquiries were only referred to a specific service when they needed specialised attention.

    3. A Member asked how the new single front door system would translate to more effective services for residents. The Cabinet Member for Corporate Support indicated that the new system was more effective because it was more efficient, as the volume of enquiries that required specialised attention was reduced.

    4. The Cabinet Member for Finance reported that the results of periods six and seven showed improvement on the budget shortfall to just over £1 million. The initial indications of period eight showed an estimated shortfall of around £500,000, meaning that the gap in the budget was closing.

    5. A Member questioned whether the £8.5 million overspend in Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) had been reduced or whether measures had been taken elsewhere in the budget to compensate. The Cabinet Member for Finance confirmed that compensatory measures had been taken. A SEND board was being set up to focus directly on the causes and effects of rising demand and cost of the SEND service.

    6. The Committee questioned how much of the improvement in the budget position was due to the capitalisation of costs in highways. The Cabinet Member for Finance stated that about £4.5 million was capitalised and it was based on a reassessment of what was being charged into the roads and repairs costs. The Executive Director added that not capitalising highway costs previously was an omission, it was explained that some works had been charged to capital and some to revenue, and capitalising now had brought the council in line with current accounting practice.

    7. A Member queried a reference in the report to the majority of capital projects being completed in the financial year, and asked for this to be quantified. The Executive Director replied that in this meant a vast majority, and that the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 23.

24.

QUARTERLY PERFORMANCE REPORT (Q2 2019/20) pdf icon PDF 68 KB

    Purpose of the report: To invite the Select Committee’s comments and suggestions in respect of the Q2 Performance Report 2019/20, regarding the format and nature of the presentation of the information, as well as any of the indicators and/or measures reported.

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Witnesses:

     

    Dr Zully Grant-Duff, Cabinet Member for Corporate Support

    Michael Coughlin, Executive Director of Transformation, Partnerships and Prosperity

     

    Key points raised during the discussion:

    1. The Cabinet Member for Corporate Support highlighted the particular indicators RS 01 and RS 02 (‘satisfaction with the way the council runs things’ and ‘satisfaction that the council offers good value for money’ respectively), which had been given a target following the previous meeting. These targets were developed in comparison with other local authorities.

    2. The Committee thanked the Cabinet Member for adding the targets, and queried how the surveys collecting the data operated. It was concerning that while most targets were aspirational, RS 01 and RS 02 had low or static targets. The Executive Director of Transformation, Partnerships and Prosperity explained that data was gathered using both online and telephone surveys, the latter being collected by a market research company.

    3. A Member asked where approximately the council stood on customer satisfaction and value for money in comparison to other local authorities. The Cabinet Member detailed some previous figures for satisfaction from other authorities, which ranged from about 58-60% (compared with Surrey County Council’s latest result of 53%). With regards to value for money, the Cabinet Member quoted figures of around 40-44% (compared with Surrey County Council’s latest result of 35%). However, these figures were for borough councils, not county councils, so they were not directly comparable. Issues with RS 01 and RS 02 and how the data was collected could be investigated by the Customer Services Task Group.

    5. A Member expressed concern about CFL 08 (‘LAC pathway plans at 16.3 years’), whose latest result was 45%, compared to a target of 95%. The current result had not changed from the previous result.

    6. A Member highlighted the indicator CTE 06 (‘delivery of SFRS Safe and Well visit programme’), where the latest result was approximately double the previous result, and yet there was a cross indicating that the latest result was worse than the previous result, even though an increase in numbers for this indicator should represent positive progress.

    7. A Member noted that HROD 04 (‘sickness’) might always be in flux due to the effect of seasonal changes on sickness rates. A 12-month rolling picture was suggested as an alternative measure for HROD 04.

    9. A Member queried how staff would be retained during and following the relocation to Woking. The Executive Director replied that a number of staff listening and engagement events were being held, and that each service would be examined separately to find out how many staff might be leaving.

    10. A Member questioned how the council’s sickness target compared to the private sector. The Executive Director responded that while he did not have comparable figures, private sector sickness rates tended to be lower than in the public sector. This information would be provided to the Select Committee.

    11. The Committee highlighted that the quarterly performance reports provided to the Select Committee always seemed to be running about a  ...  view the full minutes text for item 24.

25.

SCRUTINY OF TRANSFORMATION PROPOSAL pdf icon PDF 80 KB

    Purpose of report: for the Committee to review the scoping of a task group centering on customer experience and to appoint Members to this group.

     

    Minutes:

    Key points raised during the discussion:

     

    1.    The Committee reviewed the scoping document and the Chairman sought volunteers to participate in the task group work. Will Forster, Nick Harrison, Rachael I. Lake and Chris Townsend all volunteered to participate in the Customer Experience Transformation Task Group.

26.

ANNUAL PROCUREMENT FORWARD PLAN 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 112 KB

27.

EXCLUSION OF THE PUBLIC

    That under Section 100(A) of the Local Government Act 1972, the public be excluded from the meeting during consideration of the following item of business on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information under the relevant paragraphs of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Act.

     

    Minutes:

    The Select Committee did not discuss confidential information; there was no exclusion of the public.

28.

ANNUAL PROCUREMENT FORWARD PLAN 2020/21

Minutes:

See the minutes of Item 26 for the discussion of this item.

29.

SELECT COMMITTEE RECOMMENDATIONS TRACKER AND FORWARD WORK PROGRAMME pdf icon PDF 107 KB

30.

DATE OF NEXT MEETING: 24 JANUARY 2020