Venue: Virtual Meeting
Contact: Ann Holmes
Declaration of Interest
To receive any declaration of interest from any Member or Officer in respect of any item of business.
To present the minutes of the previous meetings held on the following dates:
· 27 February, 2020 (not previously presented to the Committee)
· 14 September, 2020
· 22 September, 2020 (extraordinary)
The minutes of the previous meetings of the Corporate Scrutiny Committee held on the following dates were confirmed as correct:-
· Minutes of the meeting held on 27 February, 2020 (not previously presented to the Committee);
· Minutes of the meeting held on 14 September, 2020
· Minutes of the meeting held on 22 September, 2020 (Extraordinary).
To present the report of the Interim Director of Social Services.
The report of the Interim Director of Social Services was presented as an overview of the proposed Corporate Prevention and Early Intervention Strategy and the timeframe for implementation.
The Leader of the Council said that the strategy is to promote people to be able to have a better quality of life. The Prevention Action is defined as the adoption of approaches which build on the active participation of service users and communities to ensure improved outcomes and contribute significantly to making the best possible use of money and other assets. These approaches help to eradicate duplication and waste, whilst critically reduce demand from the system over the longer term. It is essential to continue to build stronger relationships both within the Council and with partners, communities and residents in order to find new ways of working and delivering services to address local needs.
The Principal Development Officer (Housing Services) reported that the Prevention and Early Intervention has an integral role to play in reducing demand upon statutory, frontline provision, thus reducing costs and ensuring that all citizens including some of the most vulnerable receive timely interventions to meet their diverse needs. The Strategy will focus on an Authority wide approach, as outlined in the Action Plan, and will be implemented in parallel with the Council’s Corporate Plan in achieving the 3 core corporate aims as outlined in the report. He further reported that there is a need for a corporate approach and ownership of the Prevention Strategy which includes financial and staff time across all the Council’s Departments if the aims of the Corporate Prevention and Early Intervention Strategy is to be fully achieved. Financial commitment is to be identified over the forthcoming 18 months to 2 years as needs and priorities become clearer.
In considering the report, the Committee raised the following issues:-
· Clarification was sought as to the financial implications of the Corporate Prevention and Early Intervention Strategy. The Director of Function (Resources)/Section 151 Officer responded that additional funding will not be forthcoming from WG but the purpose of the Strategy is to save additional financial burden on public services and an invest to save programme needs to be put in place to start the process which creates saving in the long term and benefits from the Strategy may not materialise for a number of years;
· Reference was made to the asset based approaches have been established in the Seiriol area and have successfully fostered self-reliance and resilience rather than dependant on other public services. Questions were raised as to whether examples could be reported upon to the Committee. The Head of Housing Service responded that the Seiriol area has an active group with incorporated within the ‘Good Turn’ scheme to collect prescriptions, shopping and other requirement of vulnerable people in the area;
· Clarification was sought as to the potential risks associated with the Strategy. The Leader of the Council responded that the dependent on grants is a risk as regards to this Strategy and there are concerns ... view the full minutes text for item 3.
To present the report of the Head of Profession (HR) and Transformation.
The Annual Improvement Report for 2019/20 was presented for the Committee’s consideration. The report which the Authority is statutorily required to publish provided a review of the following:-
· the Authority’s progress in delivering against its Annual Delivery Document for 2019/20 as outlined under 3 priority objectives (para 1.3 refers);
· its overall performance including performance based on national indicators (PAM indicators and local KPIs).
The Leader of the Council highlighted a number of achievements under the 3 key objectives whilst also recognising that there are areas of performance where further improvement can be made. She referred to achievements the Council has been able to achieve with the refurbishment of Llawr y Dref so as to provide comfortable homes together with the opening of two training flats for young people leaving care. The Leader also referred to numerous achievements as was noted within the report.
The Programme, Business Planning and Performance Manager said that the Annual Performance Report has been improved and strengthened as case studies has been incorporated into the document which gives evidence and assurance as how the day to day work is having an impact on specific individuals and communities in general.
The Committee considered the report and raised the following:-
· Reference was made to the challenges the Council has as to the result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Questions were raised as to the extent the pandemic has impacted on the Council’s performance and whether the Council needs to change its priorities and working practices for 2020/21. The Leader of the Council responded that maintenance work on social housing has not been able to be completed to the required timescales and letting of properties has been delayed due to the restriction in having access due to the pandemic;
· Questions were raised as to the potential jobs opportunities arising from the North Wales Economic Ambition Growth Deal. The Leader of the Council responded that the Elected Members received a briefing session regarding the governance issues relating to the Ambition Board recently and if agreement is reached by the end of this year the Morlais scheme will be able to move forwards as it is the most mature project within the growth deal. The Deputy Chief Executive that a report is to be presented to the next meeting of this Scrutiny Committee as regards to the Governance Arrangement 2 of the North Wales Economic Ambition Board. He noted that there will be a number of jobs resulting from the projects within the growth bid when they are operational. A procurement strategy will need to be in place as regards to the financial strategy to ensure that the supply chain;
· Members considered that the North of the Island needs to be identified as an Enterprise Zone to be able to attract grants for the growth of employment in the area. The Deputy Chief Executive responded that work has been undertaken to attract jobs into the North of the Island. NDA financial support grant has been spent towards small businesses in the area ... view the full minutes text for item 4.
To present the report of the Scrutiny Manager.
The Committee’s forward work programme was presented for consideration.
It was RESOLVED:-
· To agree the current version of the forward work programme for 2020/21;
· To note the progress thus far in implementing the forward work programme.
ACTION : As noted above.