Welcome, Introductions and Safety Information PDF 126 KB
The Chair led welcome and
Apologies for Absence
were received from Cllrs Hickman and Shah
Members wished to pass their best wishes onto Cllr Shah and his
Declarations of Interest
To note any declarations of
interest from the Councillors. They are
asked to indicate the relevant agenda item, the nature of the
interest and in particular whether it is a disclosable
Any declarations of interest
made at the meeting which is not on the register of interests
should be notified to the Monitoring Officer for
There were no declarations of
Minutes of the Previous Meeting PDF 361 KB
the minutes of the last meeting as a correct
(i) To agree the minutes of the last meeting as a
To note any announcements from
The Chair highlighted
how wide-ranging the Commission’s Terms of Reference are and
asked if members of the Commission have specific knowledge, or
particular skills or interests to let him know.
Annual Business Report PDF 152 KB
As per the
recommendations in the report, Members agreed the
of the Commission: Councillor Shah; was nominated by Councillor
Goulandris, this was seconded by Councillor Kent.
- Members agreed the
Commission’s two further meeting dates for
- The Commission’s
work programme for the year was agreed.
The Chair said that if anyone was interested in the Procurement
Task Group to please let him know.
Up to 30 minutes is allowed for
Any member of the public or Councillor may
participate in Public Forum. The
detailed arrangements for so doing are set out in the Public Information Sheet at the back of this
agenda. Public Forum items should be
emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org and please note
that the following deadlines will apply in relation to this
Questions - Written
questions must be received 3 clear working days prior to the
meeting. For this meeting, this means
that your question(s) must be received in this office at the latest
by 5 pm Tuesday 18th September.
Petitions and Statements
- Petitions and statements must be received on the working day
prior to the meeting. For this meeting
this means that your submission must be received in this office at
the latest by 12.00 noon on Friday 21st September.
No Public Forum received.
ICT Systems and Strategy PDF 150 KB
(Please note that due
to the confidential nature of some of the information provided to
members, this item was taken at the end of the meeting and when
members of the public were asked to leave the room).
Director - Digital Transformation introduced the item. Members asked for clarification about why the
information needed to be treated as confidential. Officers replied that some of it was still in a
draft format and therefore wasn’t currently ready for public
main focus of the discussion focussed upon the ‘IT Strategy
2018 – 2023’.
- Members commented
that there were quite a lot of acronyms within the
strategy. There were also some comments
about some of the language being used within the document not being
accessible. It was suggested by a
member that if a document is to be made public officers could ask
someone who knows little about the content to see if they
understand what the document is trying to communicate. The Director - Digital Transformation said that
there is a communication strategy attached this programme and as
part of that work the strategy will be reformatted without the
acronyms and the messages will be tailored for wider
- Oversight of the
‘Future State Assessment’ programme; given the nature
of some of the information it needed to be established how scrutiny
will be carried out going forward, as it will not be appropriate to
publically publish some of the information.
- It would be confirmed
whether the Members would have access to the Programme Boards
minutes going forward. However, the
Director - Digital Transformation did offer to Members that they
would make progress reports available to the Commission.
- A Member commented
that officer’s contact details on Outlook are very often out
of date which causes various problems and delays. It was asked if this was a resource issue. It was
explained that this type of issue would be addressed as part of a
‘capabilities and deficiencies organisational
assessment’ that is to be undertaken.
- The Chair asked why
there wasn’t any mention of the role of scrutiny in the
Programme Governance Diagram (in the Programme Board’s Terms
of Reference contained in the confidential papers). Officers said this was an oversight and it would
be now be included. ACTION: Officers to
ensure that Scrutiny is specifically identified in the
- The Chair asked about
the Programme Board and why Cllr Cheney was the only elected Member
who sat on it. Officers said in response that it was right that
Cllr Cheney was a member of the board and held officers to account;
this was a key piece of work for him. Members said they
weren’t completely sure that mixing up the two roles of
Executive Member and Board Member was the correct thing to do.
Officers said that there would also be an independent third-party
sat on the board that would work as a ‘critical friend’
and provide additional strategic business and technical
assurances. Officers to confirm to
members who this is ...
view the full minutes text for item 98.
Commercialisation and Income Generation PDF 203 KB
The Director of
Commercialisation gave a short presentation (the slides are
contained within the meeting papers).
The following key points were stated:
- Officers are working
towards a Commercialisation Strategy but the scoping, and
assessment needs to be completed before the implementation can
- For this to be
effective it requires a complete culture change across many parts
of the organisation. Officers now need
to be more business focussed and be ‘business
- The Council needs to be
aware and measure the resources it is consuming.
- Departmental plans need
to be smart and have clear obtainable commercial
- It was confirmed that
both Cllr Pearce and Alexander are members of the Commercialisation
& Innovation Working Group.
- The council would
benefit from having an incubator
process in place to help further this approach
- The role of the
Director of Commercialisation was discussed. It was explained that
part of it was to be a mentor across the organisation. The efficiency savings were also being monitored
across the organisation.
- Some areas need more
encouragement to embrace change than others. But it’s a cultural change that will be
cascaded down through the organisation.
Members asked the
- Members asked about
‘best value’ as described within the report and if
factors other than just the financial ones would be made
explicit. The response was yes they
- A Member asked if there
were examples of schemes that were now operating in a more
‘business like’ manner that the Commission could begin
looking at. The response was yes and
the examples given were Blaise Nurseries, the built environment and
- A Member asked how the
Planning Team had been involved to date. Not yet was the response but fee structures were
being looked at to make sure they were in line with other
authorities and that managing resources within the teams was
crucial i.e. the current Government Strategy asks if/how property
developers are being supported through planning processes. This now
needs to be assessed.
- A Member suggested that
what was being described was more related to efficiency savings
rather than generating income. In their view it didn’t sound
particularly radical or seem very likely to generate
cash. They questioned whether the
council was taking this subject seriously enough, especially given
that the Director of Commercialisation is the only person employed
to ensure this happens.
- A Member suggested that
some of the cultural changes that were being described might be
difficult for some public sector workers to embrace, especially
some staff that had worked at the Council for many
years. It was suggested that the
council could do something more radical and go to Bristol Business
School and ask the young people to help suggest some business
orientated ideas and then set them some challenges about how the
council could generate income.
- It was stated by an
officer that it wasn’t solely about income generation but
also about ‘fitting services to fit the fee’s’ in
- Cllr Pearce
who’s a Member of the Scrutiny Commission ...
view the full minutes text for item 99.
Resources Quarterly Performance Progress Report PDF 145 KB
The Performance Improvement Officer
introduced the report to Members.
- Members commented and officers
agreed that there were rather a lot of indicators but said they are
currently looking to reduce that number.
- It was reported that 62% of
indicators are below target and that 37% are above
target. This it was stated was a
similar position to the previous year.
- Agency spend as a % of total salary
bill; it was confirmed that 20% of the Resources 8.4 % figure was
for additional Legal Service officers and it was expected that this
figure would reduce now. It was confirmed that this was for skilled
agency workers in Legal Services for specific tasks that have now
been completed (and not temporary unskilled work).
- It was asked if that
figure included ‘interims’.
It was confirmed it did yes. It was
stated however that the 5% corporate target had originally been
- Members asked which
indicators were likely to keep Officers awake at night; the reply
was the % of council tax collected.
- The Performance
Improvement Officer said that she could bring what she considers to
be the most significant indicators to the next meeting.
- There was a short
discussion about whether some of the information presented was
‘disaggregated data’ i.e. cross-cutting or directorate
based information. It was said that it
would be made clear in future what the source of the information
was and how it was calculated ACTION: Officers agreed
to make it clear whether the information presented to members is
directorate based or cross-cutting in future.
- A short discussion
ensued about the Legal and Democratic Services section of the
report. Members enquired specifically
about Legal Service’s spend on external
barristers. Officers stated that the
actual spending is being closely monitored, has been reduced and
that external legal advice was only being sought when
Chair requested a representative of Legal Services attend the next
- It was asked if the
council still operates an internal / external charging
system. Yes was the response; there is
a case management system that charges across the
- Members asked why the
‘Collection of Debt’ figures were not
higher. Officers said that overall the
figure was improving but some particular times of the year were
better than others for this for various reasons.
- “Reduce the
average number of working days lost to sickness (BCC)”;
current Quarter 1 figure stands at 9.25 days. Members asked if it was known how much of this was
long-term illness and whether this figure is a good way to measure
overall staff morale. Officers said
they weren’t convinced that this was a good way to measure
staff morale but that they were doing work on getting on top of
this situation. It was reported that
the HR Committee are also currently looking into this. It was said that there is currently a lot of
performance information on this subject and the performance team
had been asked to produce an internal one-page report on
- Members were
view the full minutes text for item 100.
Corporate Risk Management Report and Corporate Risk Register PDF 175 KB
Director – Finance introduced the report to
Members. The following questions and
- Brexit - the general
uncertainty affecting the financial markets, levels of trade &
investment. The Members asked about a ‘no deal
Brexit’ and whether contingencies plans were being
developed. The Acting Director of
Policy & Strategy confirmed that contingency plans were in
train yes and there is also a Bristol Brexit Group
coming. The Policy Team now also have
this as one their specific pieces of work. It was agreed that an update paper would come to
the following Commission meeting on this subject. ACTION: A report on Brexit contingencies plans to come to the
- The Chair raised the issue about
‘organisational leadership’ and if it was an issue for
Resources Scrutiny or the HR Committee.
The Chair said that he would speak to the Chair of the HR Committee
about this as well.
- The Chair asked if it would be
possible to put the risks in order of high to low risk next
time. Officers said they would look
into whether this re-formatting of the report is possible.
- A Member asked if there was a
disaster recovery and business continuity plan in
place. It was confirmed there
Resources Period 3 Finance Information PDF 172 KB
- Cllr Stevens (Chair of the MTFP
& Budget Task and Finish Group) gave his analysis of the report
and added that it was unfortunate that the Period 4 Report
wasn’t quite ready for this scrutiny meeting. The Service Director – Finance responded to
Cllr Stevens interpretation and analysis of the report with some
minor adjustments and points of clarification.
- The Service Director – Finance
enquired about whether the Commission were scrutinising the
Resources Directorate finances only or was it also corporate
finance? Members agreed that this should be confirmed. Action: for the role of the Resources
Scrutiny Commission to be defined with regards to scrutinising
- Cllr Stevens confirmed what the
scrutiny MTFP & Budget Task Group would be looking at in depth
for the next couple of months i.e. HRA, DSG, Capital resources and
risks, budget consultation, how the current is standing up, Adult
Social Care (ASC) 18-64 years and the whole ASC budget.
- The Service Director said that
progress within the report was on track but it was important that
this Directorate lead by example. There were still many challenges
but they are being managed.
- A Member noted that there were
‘confidential’ watermarks within the reports Appendix
A. The Scrutiny Advisor said that she
would highlight this to report authors and ask that they be removed