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Venue: Virtual Meeting
Contact: Ann Holmes
The Chair welcomed everyone to the meeting and he extended a particular welcome to Councillor Gary Pritchard as a new member of the Committee, and to Mr Arwel Owen as the Council’s new Head of Adults’ Services.
Declaration of Interest
To receive any declaration of interest by any Member or Officer in respect of any item of business.
Councillor Gary Pritchard declared a personal but not prejudicial interest with regard to item 3 on the agenda on the basis of his daughter’s occasional employment by Môn Actif.
To present the minutes of the previous meeting of the Corporate Scrutiny Committee held on 8 July, 2021.
The minutes of the previous meeting of the Corporate Scrutiny Committee held on 8 July, 2021 were presented and were confirmed as correct.
To present the report of the Head of Profession (HR) and Transformation.
Councillor Dafydd Rhys Thomas, Portfolio Member for Corporate Business presented the report by the Head of Profession (Human Resources) and Transformation incorporating the first corporate scorecard for 2021/22. The scorecard portrays the position of the Council against its operational objectives as outlined and agreed earlier in the year; the year’s first scorecard should be considered within the context of the additional pressures emanating from the Council’s response to the coronavirus pandemic during Quarter 1.
The Portfolio Member for Corporate Business reported that at the end of Quarter 1, 88% of the Corporate Health Performance indicators monitored are performing well against targets (i.e. Green or Yellow RAG) as detailed in section 3 of the report and 85% of the Performance Management indicators are performing above target or within 5% tolerance of their targets (section 4 of the report refers). Where below target performance is reported in relation to aspects of Public Protection (planned food hygiene inspections); Adults’ Services (the percentage of adults who completed a period of re-ablement and have no package of care and support 6 months later); Waste Management Service (percentage of waste reused, recycled or composted) and the Planning Service (percentage of all planning applications determined in time), Covid-19 continues to be an influencing factor. Additionally, where underperformance has been identified, the mitigation measures as set out have been put in place to support and improve performance going into Quarter 2. Customer Service indicators continue to perform well apart from indicator 04b – the total percentage of written responses to complaints within 15 days in Social Services where the performance is 50% against a target of 80%. In mitigation, it can be reported that 13 of the 14 complaints received in the quarter were discussed with the complainant within 5 working days and for 5 of the 7 late responses, a time extension had been previously agreed.
A workshop with Elected Members was held on 13 July, 2021 where it was agreed that three new indicators be introduced for the 2021/22 scorecard reporting year – customer satisfaction with the Council’s telephone system; managing climate change and use of social media accounts.
In the ensuing discussion, the following points were raised by members of the Corporate Scrutiny Committee –
· The performance with regard to Indicator 32 – the percentage of waste reused, recycled or composted which is Red and at 64.55% is below the target of 70% for the quarter; this performance is also down on that of the previous two years at Q1. Reference was also made to the decrease in green waste tonnage following the introduction of the new chargeable Green Waste Service in April, 2021 .The Committee expressed some concern regarding the situation given that Anglesey has in recent years excelled in its recycling rates; members were keen to understand the reasons for the decline and they also sought further details about the role of the new steering group established to identify how best to improve performance in order to meet Welsh Government targets.
To present the report of the Director of Social Services.
Councillor Llinos Medi, Leader and Portfolio Member for Social Services presented the report by the Director of Social Services setting out progress to date within Adults’ Services and the Children and Families’ Service along with a synopsis of the topics covered by the Social Services Improvement Panel across its 4 meetings held during the period March to July, 2021.
The Portfolio Member referred to the ongoing Foster Carer recruitment drive which has resulted in an increase in the Authority’s foster carers thereby enabling more children to be cared for on Anglesey and to remain part of their extended families and local communities. Further targeted recruitment is planned regionally for 2021/22. Two of the Council’s small family style homes (Cantrefi Clyd) are open and fully operational, the third which will provide short breaks for children and young people with learning disabilities has been completed and registration has been submitted to CIW. A fourth family style home is in the offing. Young Carers ID cards have been designed and are being rolled out. In Adults’ Services work on planning for a new extra care housing provision continues. The Covid 19 pandemic has impacted on the Shared Lives programme to support people living with dementia and their carers and a review of the programme is due to take place in December. Likewise opportunities for people with mental health needs will increase as Covid19 restrictions are eased – individual support sessions have resumed in some cases. Work to establish three Community Resource Teams has been undertaken during the year. Substantial progress has been made in the first two quarters of the year in the development of the WCCIS (Welsh Community Care Information System) Prototype on the Island – further details provided in the report. Whilst the Adults’ Learning Disability Day Opportunity Strategy is in place, formal consultation on the development of a greater range of high quality day opportunities for individuals in their communities will not take place until spring, 2022.
The Social Services Improvement Panel has continued to meet regularly despite the challenges and restrictions linked to the pandemic. The Panel continues to receive evidence of improvement and developments in both the Children and Families’ Service and in Adults’ Services which provides assurance on progress made thus far which is also confirmed by CIW’s local authority assurance check findings for Anglesey.
The Committee raised the following issues on the report presented –
· Whilst welcoming the completion of the Adults’ Learning Disability Day Opportunity Strategy, the Committee expressed some disappointment that consultation on developing a wider range of day opportunities for individuals will not happen for some time until spring 2022. The Committee as well as wanting to know the reasons for the delay sought further information about the kind of community options being looked at in the meantime.
The Portfolio Member for Social Services clarified that smaller providers in particular had made it known that because of Covid-19 they would find it challenging to participate and respond fully to a consultation at ... view the full minutes text for item 4.
Finance Scrutiny Panel Progress Report
To receive a verbal report.
Councillor Dafydd Roberts, Chair of the Finance Scrutiny Panel provided a verbal report of the matters discussed at the Finance Scrutiny Panel’s 9 September, 2021 meeting as follows –
· Revenue Budget 2021/22 Quarter 1 update
The Panel having received a verbal presentation by the Director of Function (Resources)/Section 151 Officer on the 2021/22 Quarter 1 position, noted the following –
· That it was premature to come to a conclusion about service budget performance on the basis of Qt1 data as much can change in the coming months. Elements likely to generate in year savings include schools’ out of county placements; green waste income and the school meals contract.
· Budget pressures in Adults’ Services and the need also to keep an eye on the Children and Families Service’s budgets although these are currently underspent.
· Concern about the condition of roads and highways and in light of the Highways Service’s positive financial position the need to consider completing essential road maintenance work this year.
· That the Authority continues to be compensated by the Welsh Government for loss of income under a number of headings including parking and leisure centre fees.
The Panel in noting that the 2021/22 Revenue Budget is underspent at Quarter 1, resolved to recommend to the Scrutiny Committee that in light of the Highways Service’s positive financial position, consideration be given to completing essential road maintenance work this year.
· Capital Budget 2021/22 Quarter 1 update
The Panel having received a verbal presentation by the Director of Function (Resources)/ Section 151 Officer noted that the capital budget Q1 performance reflects the previous pattern of underspend with slippage most likely under the following headings –
· The Council’s housing development programme
· WHQS council housing modernisation programmes
· Disability adaptations in schools
· The Schools’ Modernisation Programme
· Flood prevention schemes
The Panel in noting the underspend on the 2021/22 Capital Budget at Quarter 1, noted also the likelihood that in future years the capital budget could be implemented to a different timescale so that it is set earlier in the year thereby enabling projects to commence sooner thus avoiding a significant underspend by the end of the year.
· Medium Term Financial Review
The Panel having received a verbal presentation by the Director of Function (Resources)/Section 151 Officer, raised the following points –
· That a number of factors may impact on the Council’s Medium Term Financial Plan including the increase in NI contributions, inflation and pay rises thereby adding to the Council’s costs.
· That savings are assumed under headings in relation to education out of county placements; green waste income, school meals income and those deriving from working differently.
· The significant challenges in trying to forecast cost pressures in the care sector
· The challenges also in trying to project the financial provision required for the next 3 years
The Panel having considered the information presented, noted the latest position with regard to completing the Medium Term Financial Review.
· Council Tax Premium on Second Homes – Consultation on the Level of the Premium
The Panel having received ... view the full minutes text for item 5.
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.