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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.
Councillor Dylan Rees declared an interest with regard to item 2 on the agenda as a volunteer with Bwyd Da Môn.
Councillor Robin Williams (not a member of the Committee) also declared an interest with regard to item 2 on the agenda.
To submit the minutes of the previous meetings of the Corporate Scrutiny Committee held on the following dates –
· 16 February, 2021
· 8 March, 2021
The minutes of the meetings of the Corporate Scrutiny Committee held on 16 February and 8 March, 2021 were presented and were confirmed as correct.
To present the report of the Chief Executive on matters to be followed up at the request of the Committee.
The report of the Chief Executive outlining the Council’s response to date to the coronavirus pandemic under the auspices of the Civil Contingencies Act 2004 was presented for the Committee’s consideration. The report focused specifically on the response in protecting the well-being of staff and communities and the effectiveness of the Track, Trace and Protect (TTP) strategy on the Island following a request by the Committee at its 14 September, 2020 meeting when considering the initial response to the pandemic that these particular aspects of the response be followed up subsequently.
The Chair said that this was an opportune time to reflect on the many who had sadly lost their lives to the coronavirus, their grieving families and friends and to think also of those who continue to suffer the effects of Covid-19. A minute’s silence was held in remembrance of all those who had died as a result of the pandemic.
The Leader of the Council introduced the report as following on from the report presented to the Corporate Scrutiny Committee at its meeting on 14 September, 2020 which detailed the initial response to the pandemic emergency from the perspective of the governance arrangements put in place, the key risk areas, redeployment of Council staff to help respond to the emergency, the financial impact and managing TTP at a local level.
The Chief Executive took the opportunity to thank everyone including the Council’s staff, Elected Members and partners outside the organisation for the collaboration that had been critical to the success of the response to the pandemic hitherto.
The Deputy Chief Executive in setting the context emphasised that the daily uncertainty with regard to Covid 19 continues and although the situation at present is encouraging, circumstances can change very quickly. Whilst the challenges have been ebbing and flowing with each week, the Council’s workforce has responded with commitment, resilience and flexibility and it is hoped that this agility and adaptability can be built on as the Council progresses with recovery. The structures both within and outside the Council have facilitated collaboration which has been a key element, making a rapid response possible and thereby helping to meet the challenges effectively. The collaborative efforts have also included the community as demonstrated by the situation in Holyhead which was managed within existing resources which was a significant challenge but which helped safeguard the health and well-being of the community. A piece by Audit Wales dated 22 April, 2021 refers to Covid-19 having demonstrated the value of local government in protecting people and communities; the Auditor General comments specifically “our research has highlighted the vital part local government plays in protecting people and communities. The pandemic has seen local government stepping up to deliver essential services for their communities. However, a reduction in breadth of service delivery means local councils need to ensure they remain relevant to all their citizens. The pandemic has presented them with an opportunity to re-evaluate their role and find new innovative solutions to safeguard the essential services ... view the full minutes text for item 3.
To present the report of the Scrutiny Manager.
The Committee’s forward work programme to November, 2021 was presented for consideration.
It was resolved –
• To agree the current version of the forward work programme for 2021/22.
• To note the progress thus far in implementing the forward work programme.