A number of council meetings are live-streamed.
All meetings are also uploaded after the event onto the our webcasting site.
Venue: Committee Room 1 - Council Offices/Virtually via Zoom
Contact: Ann Holmes
Declaration of Interest
To receive any declaration of interest by any Member or Officer in respect of any item of business.
No declaration of interest was received.
Minutes of the Previous Meeting PDF 262 KB
To present the minutes of the previous meeting of the Corporate Scrutiny Committee held on 26 September, 2022.
The minutes of the previous meeting of the Corporate Scrutiny Committee held on the 26 September, 2022 were presented and were confirmed as correct.
Poverty and the Challenges of the Cost of Living Crisis PDF 816 KB
To present the report of the Chief Executive.
The report of the Chief Executive setting out how the Council is responding to poverty and the national cost of living challenges that are affecting individuals, families, communities, businesses and other bodies on Anglesey was presented for the Committee’s consideration and scrutiny. The report contained information about the availability of benefits and financial support, the free school meals scheme and other preventative schemes.
The Chief Executive in setting the context said that poverty and cost of living challenges are now impacting on the lives of many of Anglesey’s residents, including children and are being felt more widely across Wales and other parts of the United Kingdom. A shortage of quality job opportunities, adequate salaries, benefit dependency and rising costs are all contributing to the crisis. Recent increases in inflation, interest rates, mortgage and borrowing costs are putting individuals, communities, businesses and organisations under extra pressure. The prevailing uncertainty is affecting everyone including the Council making it difficult to predict how and where any further measures by the UK Government and the Bank of England will affect the people of Anglesey. While the recent change in the UK Government’s policy including the decision not to pursue the growth plan has brought some measure of financial stability, the uncertainty continues on the ground. The announcement of the Chancellor’s new economic plan on 31 October alongside a forecast by the Office for Budgetary Responsibility should provide more clarity as regards the introduction of any additional measures to combat the cost of living crisis and the consequent effects on Welsh Government budgets.
The Chief Executive provided assurance that in the meantime, the Council’s staff will continue to work hard to support the residents of Anglesey as best they can. Although up to date information is not available since national processes for collecting, analysing and reporting data are not fully up and running since the Covid pandemic, information gathered by the Citizens’ Advice Bureau shows that the five main cost of living issues locally over the past five months have been personal independence payments, financial capacity, energy costs, financial capacity and life events, and Council Tax reduction. The Council is aware that child poverty has increased on Anglesey between 2015 and 2021 according to figures provided by the End Child Poverty Coalition. Rising fuel costs are hitting rural areas particularly hard and although the number of people claiming unemployment benefit decreased from 4.7% to 3.2% in August, 2022, the news about potential redundancies at the Alpoco plant in Holyhead is concerning. The Council is trying to create a more detailed and up to date analysis of poverty and cost of living indicators but the task is challenging.
While the crisis has led to an increase in demand on a number of services requiring the delivery of interventions and supporting measures, there has been no corresponding increase in capacity to deal with the extra work. Despite the uncertainty and personal pressures, the commitment of the Council staff and their desire to help others remain strong and ... view the full minutes text for item 3.
Annual Performance Report 2021/22 PDF 1 MB
To present the report of the Head of Profession (HR) and Transformation.
The Annual Performance Report for 2020/21 was presented for the Committee’s consideration and comment. The report looks back on the Council’s performance for 2021/22 and outlines how the Council has realised the expectations of the Annual Delivery Document and the Transitional Plan.
Councillor Robin Williams Portfolio Member for Finance, Corporate Business and Customer Experience presented the report drawing attention to some of the key highlights in terms of the progress made against the Transitional Plan and the Annual Delivery Document and the Key Performance Indicators results for 2021/22.
In considering the Annual Performance Report the Committee discussed the following matters –
· Lessons to be considered for the new Council Plan from the completion of projects/objectives in the Transitional Plan and Annual Delivery Document. The Committee was assured that good practice is identified though regular service reviews and cascaded down to staff through the managers’ forum and more recently via the business managers.
· The challenges of maintaining the Council’s good performance through what are expected to be difficult times ahead. The Committee was advised that the Council is facing significant financial challenges with a potential budget gap of £18m in the coming period. The Council will set a balanced budget as it is required to do but that will be challenging given the uncertainty around the national economic situation and the funding allocation the Welsh Government and consequently Welsh councils might receive, and is likely to mean finding significant savings. The Council is currently consulting on its new Council Plan – Our Future – and the strategic objectives of the Plan over its initial period must recognise the climate in which the Council is operating and the limitations which that poses. Those objectives can be adapted and broadened if and when the economic situation improves.
· The need to ensure as wide as possible a response to the consultation on the new Council Plan so that the range of people and organisations’ views can inform the Council’s priorities for the next five years. The Committee was assured that the consultation which was launched on 20 September, 2022 and runs until 14 November, 2022 has been publicised through a range of means including social media channels, local radio, presentations and the distribution of paper copies to libraries, leisure centres and Oriel Môn.
· The extent to which the Annual Performance Report reflects the Council’s actions as regards environmental sustainability, protection and improvement. A suggestion was made that the environment and green issues be given greater prominence in the new Council Plan and further, that the environment be included as one of the guiding principles for scrutiny in section 3 of the scrutiny template as a permanent reminder for Members when they are scrutinising issues. The Committee was advised that the new Council Plan has to balance the environment and green issues with social issues and with job creation and opportunities. Once the Plan is adopted, a scorecard can be developed to capture the Council’s performance management measures in terms of net zero ... view the full minutes text for item 4.
Forward Work Programme PDF 177 KB
To present the report of the Scrutiny Manager.
The report of the Scrutiny Manager setting out the Corporate Scrutiny Committee’s updated Forward Work Programme for 2022/23 was presented for consideration.
It was resolved –
· To agree the current version of the Forward Work Programme for 2022/23.
· To note the progress thus far in implementing the Forward Work Programme.