Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Bromley Civic Centre

Contact: Philippa Gibbs  020 8461 7638

Note: or on the rising of General Purposes and Licensing Committee 

Items
No. Item

123.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE AND NOTIFICATION OF SUBSTITUTE MEMBERS

Minutes:

Apologies for lateness were received from Cllr Will Harmer.

124.

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

Minutes:

Councillor Onslow declared an interest as a former employee and current pensioner of Zurich Municipal.  Councillor Onslow also declared an interest as a former employee of the Royal Borough of Greenwich.

125.

QUESTIONS FROM COUNCILLORS AND MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC ATTENDING THE MEETING

In accordance with the Council’s Constitution, questions to the Chairman of this Committee must be received in writing 4 working days before the date of the meeting and must relate to the work of the scrutiny committee.  Please ensure questions are received by the Democratic Services Team by 5pm on Wednesday 13th March 2019.

 

Minutes:

No questions had been received.

126.

MINUTES OF THE EXECUTIVE AND RESOURCES PDS COMMITTEE MEETING HELD ON 7 FEBRUARY 2019 (EXCLUDING EXEMPT ITEMS) pdf icon PDF 130 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 7th February 2019, were agreed and signed as a correct record.

127.

MATTERS ARISING AND WORK PROGRAMME pdf icon PDF 90 KB

Minutes:

Report CSD19048

 

The Committee considered a report setting out matters arising from previous meetings and a draft of the proposed Work Plan for 2019/20.  The report also set out proposals to decommission the Contracts and Commissioning Sub-Committee.  It was noted that once the Transformation Programme was under way Members may wish to give further consideration as to whether a new Sub-Committee was required to monitor the progress and implementation of the Programme.

 

In respect of Minute 111 (Risk Management) a Member sought an update on the ACM cladded building.  The Director of Finance reported that the matter was referred to the Council’s Directors Group.  The conclusion was that on the basis that it was not a Council owned building, and the Council role related to enforcement matters it would not be included in the  Risk Register.  A Member expressed concern suggesting that there was a reputational risk to the Council.  In response, the Chairman noted that there were numerous risks to the Council arising from third parties that were not included on the Risk Register.

 

In response to a question, the Director of Finance agreed to follow up the request for  the date that the debt management system would be implemented with  consideration given to late payment charges for commercial debt after  the meeting.

 

The Council’s Heritage Champion reported that he had not yet received an update in respect of plans for the windows in the Old Palace.  It was agreed that the Clerk would follow this up with the relevant Officers.

 

In response to a question concerning the marketing of the Ann Springman and Joseph Lancaster blocks, the Director of Finance reported that a number of bids had been received and a further update would be provided at a future meeting.

 

Turning to the issue of decommissioning the Contracts and Commissioning Sub-Committee, a Member expressed concern that not all Members had been consulted about the proposals.  It was noted that in the absence of the Commissioning Board there were a large number of questions being raised about levels of scrutiny.  It was suggested that an update should be provided to the next meeting.  In response, the Chairman confirmed that as soon as further details around the Council’s Transformation agenda emerged the Executive, Resources and Contracts PDS Committee would be able to ensure that sufficient levels of scrutiny were in place.  Members of the Committee noted that the Contracts and Commissioning Sub-Committee had done a great deal of good work and that there was now a clear role for PDS Chairman to ensure that any contracts considered by the Committees received an adequate level of detailed scrutiny.  It was also noted that a Procurement Board had been established to provide oversight of contract procedures in order to give assurances to Members and Chief Officers.  The Director of Finance confirmed that any  key issues that arise out of the transformation process would be reported  to the Executive which allows pre scrutiny through  Executive, Resources and Contracts PDS Committee.  A Member noted  ...  view the full minutes text for item 127.

128.

FORWARD PLAN OF KEY DECISIONS pdf icon PDF 57 KB

Minutes:

The Committee noted the Forward Plan of Key Decisions covering the period March 2019 to June 2019.  A Member sought assurances that the Transport Services Gateway Report would be considered by the Education, Children and Families Budget and Performance Monitoring Sub-Committee prior to consideration by the Executive in May.

 

129.

RISK MANAGEMENT pdf icon PDF 67 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Report FSD19030

 

The Committee considered a report which provided Members with the most recent Risk Registers for the areas falling under the Committee’s remit.

 

The Chairman noted that a couple of the risks had now moved from red to amber and the Committee was advised that in future a comment concerning the direction of travel would be included in the information presented to Members.

 

The Committee noted that the two most significant risks to the Council were financial stability and data protection.

 

In response to a question on well publicised financial risks facing some national contractors, the Director of Finance confirmed that for big contracts; representatives from the Local Authority meet  with senior managers from the contractor.  Where there were concerns about the future viability of a contractor standard credit reference agency checks would be conducted.

 

In terms of mitigating risks around commissioning, a Procurement Board had been established.  The Board had met and going forward would provide assurances that the processes initially established by the Contracts and Commissioning Sub-Committee and the Commissioning Board were embedded.

 

RESOLVED: That the report be noted.

 

130.

QUESTIONS TO THE PORTFOLIO HOLDER FROM MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC AND COUNCILLORS ATTENDING THE MEETING

In accordance with the Council’s Constitution, questions to the Resources, Commissioning and Contracts Portfolio Holder must be received in writing 4 working days before the date of the meeting and must relate to the work of the Portfolio.  Please ensure questions are received by the Democratic Services Team by 5pm on Wednesday 13th March 2019.

 

Minutes:

No questions were received.

131.

RESOURCES, COMMISSIONING AND CONTRACTS PORTFOLIO - PRE-DECISION SCRUTINY

Portfolio Holder decisions for pre-decision scrutiny.

Minutes:

The Committee considered the following report(s) where the Resources, Contracts and Commissioning Portfolio Holder was recommended to take a decision.

131a

RESOURCES, COMMISSIONING & CONTRACTS MANAGEMENT PORTFOLIO - CAPITAL MONITORING 2018/19 QUARTER 3 pdf icon PDF 83 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Report FSD19029

 

On 13th February 2019, the Executive received a report summarising the current position on capital expenditure and receipts following the third quarter if 2018/19.  The Executive agreed a revised Capital Programme for the five year period 2018/19 to 2022/23.

 

Members noted that the Banbury House site may still be developed for housing however the capital scheme was for demolition and site clearance which was required.

 

RESOLVED: That the Portfolio Holder be recommended to note and confirm the changes agreed by the Executive on 13th February 2019.

 

 

132.

PRE-DECISION SCRUTINY OF EXECUTIVE REPORTS

Members of the Committee are requested to bring their copy of the agenda for the Executive meeting on 27 March 2019.

Minutes:

The Committee considered the following reports on the Part 1 agenda for the meeting of the Executive on 27 March 2019:

 

(5)  BUDGET MONITORING 2018/19

  Report FSD19039

 

The Committee considered a report providing the third budget monitoring position for 2018/19 based on expenditure and activity levels up to the end of December 2018.  The report also highlighted any significant variations which would impact on future years as well as any early warnings that could impact on the final year end position.

Noting the challenges around bridging the future budget gap, the Chairman stressed the need to identify extra savings in order to provide for a contingency for future years.

In response to a question concerning the drawdown of £500k from central contingency for the Transformation Programme, the Director of Finance confirmed that there was funding in earmarked reserves for invest-to-save initiatives and this funding would be required in future for any projects arising out of the Transformation Programme.

The Director of Finance also confirmed that it was likely that the investment cost of the Council’s Housing transformation strategy could exceed £7.5m and schemes would need to be reviewed and future options considered for the longer-term.

A Member highlighted the sum of £500k included in the central contingency from the additional savings and income expected to be generated from the incentivised work undertaken by Cushman and Wakefield.  However, the Member emphasised the Council should have itself been in a position to identify the one-off refunds on past years business rates across a range of Council properties at an earlier stage.

The Committee reminded Officers that where acronyms were used they should initially be spelt out for clarity.

RESOLVED: That the Executive be recommended to:

1. consider the latest financial position;

2. note that a projected net overspend on services of £648k is forecast based on information as at December 2018;

3. consider the comments from Chief Officers detailed in Appendix 2 of the report;

4. note a projected variation of £221k credit from investment income;

5. note a projected variation of £826k in the Central contingency;

6. note a projected increase to the General Fund balance of £1,068k;

7. agree to the release of £376k from the 2018/19 Central Contingency relating to additional savings and income from the Amey contract;

8.   agree to the release of £200k for the staff merit award from the 2018/19 Central Contingency;

9.   agree to the release of £200k for Civic Centre improvements from the 2018/19 Central Contingency to an earmarked reserve;

10.   agree to the release of £500k for the Transformation programme from the 2018/19 Central Contingency to an earmarked reserve;

11.  note the return to contingency of £227k of additional grant to the 2018/19 Central Contingency;

12.  note the return to contingency of £500k of grant to the 2018/19 Central Contingency and the recommended use of this grant;

13.  agree to set aside £187k of the Adult Social Care grant for the implementation of Pre Paid cards in 2019/20;

14.  note the release of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 132.

133.

SCRUTINY OF THE LEADER

Minutes:

The Leader of the Council, Councillor Colin Smith, attended the meeting to respond to questions from the Committee.  Councillor Smith gave a brief introduction highlighting the following issues:

 

  • It had been a relatively quiet period following settlement of the Council’s 2019/20 budget.
  • The Adult Education Service had received a Good outcome from its Ofsted Inspection.
  • The new Director of Education was now in post.
  • The new Interim Director of Adult Social Care, Kim Carey, had recently joined the Council.
  • Challenges around the recruitment and retention of social workers remained ongoing.
  • The Children’s Services Improvement Governance Board had met for the final time on 8th March 2019.  This was indicative of the substantial improvement in the Service.  The Leader thanked the Independent Chairman of the Governance Board, Mrs Isobel Cattermole, for the support she had given to the Council in driving the improvement process.
  • The Government’s Spring Budget Statement had failed to deliver the much needed clarity being sought surrounding the Local Government Financial Settlement.  Significant budgetary challenges remained and these would be addressed as much as possible through the Council’s new Transformation Agenda.  There was a clear need to drive efficiencies and income generation as much as possible as well as managing future growth in areas such as Adult’s and Children’s Social Care.
  • Within Housing; exciting projects were developing around temporary accommodation and homelessness.
  • The new Environment Contract was being implemented.
  • Moving forward there would be an increasing need for closer partnership working in terms of addressing the issues affecting the residents of Bromley.  Integration with partners in the Health Service was key to eradicating the unnecessary duplication of services, delivering savings, and delivering service improvement for the end user.

 

Councillor Smith then responded to questions, making the following comments:

 

  • Processes around the Transformation Agenda were being driven by the Interim Chief Executive.  Once projects had been further scoped reports would be presented to the Executive (and the Executive, Resources and Contracts PDS Committee for pre-decision scrutiny).  However, the first part of the process was owned by the Interim Chief Executive who would develop recommendations for consideration by the Leader and Executive.
  • The Portfolio Holder for Renewal, Recreation and Housing was leading on matters relating to the Vision for Crystal Palace Park.  All options could be considered as and when they emerged.  As soon as there was a substantive update a meeting of the Crystal Palace Park Working Group could be convened.
  • There were currently a number of Interim posts across the Authority whilst consideration was being given to the structure of the Council going forward.  If an Interim were to be made permanent the established recruitment processes would need to be followed and in the case of a Director-level appointment a Member Appointment Panel would need to be convened.
  • In relation to more costly secure accommodation for young people in the care of the Local Authority, all options for invest-to-save would be considered.  It was noted that recently the Education, Children and Families Select Committee had recommended that  ...  view the full minutes text for item 133.

134.

SCRUTINY OF THE TOTAL FACILITIES MANAGEMENT CONTRACT (AMEY) pdf icon PDF 96 KB

Minutes:

DRR19/022

 

The Committee considered a report providing an update on the cleaning of Council premises as undertaken by the Council’s appointed Total Facilities Management (TFM) provider Amey.

 

Darren Nolan of Amey attended the meeting to respond to questions.  In response to a question from the Chairman, Mr Nolan reported that performance on the contract was steady.  It was acknowledged that a few issues arose from time to time, especially in respect of recruitment and retention of cleaning staff however; Amey had been delivering to contract and no financial penalties had been incurred.  In response to a question, Mr Nolan reported that he understood that issues relating to the pest infestation and the drainage in the ladies in toilets in St Blaise had been resolved.

 

The Chairman highlighted that the broken light in the Council Chamber that he had reported a number of months previously had still not been replaced.  This reflected badly on the Council when members of the public attended meetings and did not look professional.  The Chairman stressed the need to ensure that the Council Chamber light was listed on any reports as a failure as it had taken too long to replace.  Mr Nolan explained that the cost of fixing the Council Chamber lights would fall to LB Bromley and due to the location of the specific light it was costly to secure the equipment that was required to replace the bulb.  In an effort to deliver value for money, there was generally a delay to replacing the bulbs so that more than one light fitting could be replaced at a time.  Members of the Committee expressed concern surrounding this approach due to the poor perception of the Council it gave to any Council visitors.

 

A Member also raised concerns surrounding the disposal of waste at the Rochester Avenue entrance to the Civic Centre site.  The co-location of the general waste bins and the recycling points presented a bad first impression of the Council.  In addition to this it was a known location for fly-tipping.  In response, the Facilities and Support Client Services Manager reported that discussions were underway in respect of re-locating the recycling point somewhere more appropriate.  It was hoped that this work would be completed within a couple of months.  The Committee noted that the Council had a separate provider for general waste.  Due to the structure of the contract, Amey were not responsible for and therefore not equipped to deal with fly-tipping.

 

In response to a question, Mr Nolan explained that when the contract was let Amey inherited a set of service level agreements that were already embedded in the Borough.  Generally performance targets were met.  In terms of day-to-day fault resolution, Amey was reliant on people across the Civic Centre site reporting and logging issues as there was not the resourcing in place at the Civic Centre site to proactively identify issues.  It was acknowledged that more may need to be done to make users of the Civic Centre site aware of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 134.

135.

ANNUAL POLICY DEVELOPMENT AND SCRUTINY REPORT 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 56 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Report CSD19023

 

The Committee noted the Annual Policy Development and Scrutiny Report for 2018/19.  Any further comments and amendments would be incorporated by Democratic Services prior to Submission to Full Council on 8th April 2018.

 

RESOLVED: That the Annual Policy Development and Scrutiny Report be approved for submission to Full Council.

 

136.

LOCAL GOVERNMENT ACT 1972 AS AMENDED BY THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT (ACCESS TO INFORMATION) (VARIATION) ORDER 2006, AND THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 2000

The Chairman to move that the Press and public be excluded during consideration of the items of business listed below as it is likely in view of the nature of the business to be transacted or the nature of the proceedings that if members of the Press and public were present there would be disclosure to them of exempt information.

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the Press and public be excluded during consideration of the items of business referred to below as it is likely in view of the nature of the business to be transacted or the nature of the proceedings that if members of the Press and public were present there would be disclosure to them of exempt information.

 

The following summaries

refer to matters involving exempt information

 

 

137.

EXEMPT MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 7 FEBRUARY 2019

Minutes:

The Part 2 (exempt) minutes of the meeting held on 7th February 2019, were agreed and signed as a correct record.

138.

PRE-DECISION SCRUTINY OF EXEMPT EXECUTIVE REPORTS

Minutes:

The Committee considered the following reports on the Part 2 agenda for the meeting of the Executive on 27 March 2019:

 

 

(12)  CONTRACT AWARD: INSURANCE POLICIES

  Report FSD19044

 

The Committee considered a report setting out Part 2 (exempt) information concerning the tender process for the provision of insurance policies relating to the bids receive and scoring.  The Committee recommended that the Executive defer its decision to enable more work to be undertaken in relation to value for money.

 

 

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