Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Bromley Civic Centre

Contact: Philippa Gibbs  020 8461 7638

Items
No. Item

1.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE AND NOTIFICATION OF SUBSTITUTE MEMBERS

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Will Harmer and Councillor Mary Cooke.  Councillor Keith Onslow attended as substitute for Councillor Cooke.

 

The Chairman welcomed those present – particularly the new Members of the Committee - to the first meeting of the new municipal year, noting that it was the first physical meeting of the Committee following what was best described as a ‘peculiar’ year.

2.

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

Minutes:

Councillor Colin Hitchins declared that he had a pecuniary interest in respect of Items 8 and 14 on the Executive Agenda (Biggin Hill Airport Ltd) and left the meeting for the duration of these items.

3.

QUESTIONS FROM COUNCILLORS AND MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC ATTENDING THE MEETING

In accordance with the Council’s Constitution, questions that are not specific to reports on the agenda must have been received in writing 10 working days before the date of the meeting. 

 

Questions specifically on reports on the agenda should be received within two working days of the normal publication date of the agenda.  Please ensure that questions specifically on reports on the agenda are received by the Democratic Services Team by 5pm on Wednesday 19th May 2020.

Minutes:

No questions had been received.

4.

MINUTES OF THE EXECUTIVE, RESOURCES AND CONTRACTS PDS COMMITTEE MEETING HELD ON 24 MARCH 2021 (EXCLUDING EXEMPT ITEMS) pdf icon PDF 459 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the Executive, Resources and Contracts PDS Committee meeting held on 24 March 2021, were agreed and signed as a correct record.

5.

MATTERS OUTSTANDING AND WORK PROGRAMME pdf icon PDF 263 KB

Minutes:

Report CSD21059

 

The report dealt with the Committee’s business management including matters outstanding from previous meetings and the proposed work plan for the remainder of the year.

 

The Committee agreed that its overarching priorities for 2021/22 would be:

 

  1. The Income and Expenditure of the Council post Covid-19,
  2. A Review of the best sources of funding for the Council’s Housing and Capital Programme,
  3. A Review of the Procurement Framework post Brexit, and
  4. Review of the timetable for the Council’s Transformation Programme and monitor the Transformation Programme to ensure that new technology was used wherever appropriate  in order to ensure that the Council’s operations were economic, effective and efficient

 

In addition to the above priorities, Members requested that in October 2021, the Committee undertake a review of the Covid grants that had been received and the way in which the grants had been administered.

 

Members noted that the Committee’s Work Programme would be updated to reflect the Scrutiny of the Amey contract in September.

 

A Member requested that consideration be given to conducting a review of the Governance of the Council including the Scheme of Delegations, procurement processes and local planning protocols.  It was agreed that a recommendation should be made to the Executive for the Constitutional Improvement Working Group to be convened within the next three months.

 

The Chairman noted that Scrutiny of the Portfolio Holder for Resources, Commissioning and Contracts Management had been included in the June meeting of the Work Programme in error.  This Scrutiny would instead take place in January 2021.

 

In addition, the Committee requested that the Information Items be included on the agenda as a substantive item giving Members the chance to call for a discussion on the item (with notice) if necessary.

 

RESOLVED: That

 

  1. The report be noted and the Work Programme updated as required; and

 

  1. The Executive be recommended to convene a meeting of the Constitutional Improvement Working Group within the next 3 months.

6.

FORWARD PLAN OF KEY DECISIONS pdf icon PDF 151 KB

Minutes:

The Committee noted the Forward Plan of Key Decisions covering the period April 2021 to July 2021.

 

Members noted that three items due for consideration by the Executive at its May meeting had been delayed:

 

Procurement of HR/Payroll Software - The report had unfortunately been delayed and was now due to go to the next meeting as a result of some outstanding information regarding change to costs.  The current contract was in place until June 2023 with the project planned to start in November 2021. 

 

Adventure Kingdom – the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) was considering its options and a formal proposal was awaited.  It was anticipated that the report would be presented to the Executive in July 2021.

 

Countryside Housing – It was anticipated that the report would be presented to the Executive in July 2021 following receipt of outstanding information.  It was noted that this report would be scrutinised by the Renewal, Recreation and Housing PDS Committee.

 

In respect of the Building a Better Bromley report, a Member noted that both Councillor Fawthrop and Councillor Bennett had, in December 2020, submitted amendments concerning the previous report presented to the Committee.  The Member expressed the hope that the Report Author would contact both these councillors prior to the return of the final draft of the Building a Better Bromley Strategy in June 2021.

 

7.

SCRUTINY OF THE RESOURCES, COMMISSIONING & CONTRACT MANAGEMENT PORTFOLIO HOLDER

Minutes:

The Portfolio Holder for Resources, Commissioning and Contracts Management, Councillor Graham Arthur, attended the meeting to respond to questions from the Committee.  Councillor Arthur gave a brief introduction highlighting the following issues:

 

  • It had been a busy year for the Council’s IT Team who had supported a number of high profile events throughout the last Mayoral year and had recently been involved in delivering the live stream for the Annual Council meeting on 19 May 2021 and were now supporting the transition back to in-person meetings.
  • The current BT Contract was due to expire in 2023 and Officers were currently reviewing options.
  • A review of Polling Stations was underway following the Boundary Review and Members’ views were welcomed.
  • The Corporate Procurement Team would be producing updated procurement guidance to reflect the position post-Brexit.
  • The cleaning contact had been let to the cleaners who were currently providing the Council’s Covid deep clean.  The TUPE process for relevant staff was underway.
  • Disposal of the Y Blocks was a priority and had been achieved.
  • The Council’s Team of Registrars had performed outstandingly throughout the last year.  They had been on the Covid front-line supporting bereaved families and it was important to recognise that the Council owed them much.  The Portfolio Holder cited examples of the many instances where staff within the Team had gone above and beyond the call of duty to support the residents of the Borough.  The Portfolio Holder reported that he had recently authorised an uplift of 5% for charges and the decision had been taken to scrap the fee for registering the death of a child.
  • A draft document setting out the principles of the much-anticipated return to work had been produced and staff within the HR department had been working on innovative solutions to address issues of isolation amongst staff.
  • In respect of the return to the Office, it was likely that a hybrid approach to agile working would be taken.
  • The Council had a balanced budget for the next 2 years but there was more uncertainty in year 4.  The Portfolio Holder held monthly meetings with Senior Officers to discuss the budget and the Cabinet received regular updates of the financial position and the Council’s Transformation Agenda.

 

The Portfolio Holder then responded to questions, making the following comments:

 

  • As yet it was unclear how procurement processes would evolve and what the benefit to smaller local businesses would be.  The Portfolio Holder confirmed that all opportunities would be reviewed and considered as they presented.
  • It was anticipated that staff would begin to return to the office from 21st June 2021, in line with the national roadmap.  The Portfolio Holder highlighted that it would be for managers to agree work patterns and workload for their staff.
  • It was right that staff were properly rewarded and in Bromley high performing staff were rewarded in targeted ways.
  • During the last 14 months many Council staff had willingly and voluntarily gone over and above what could reasonably be expected of them,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.

8.

RESOURCES, COMMISSIONING AND CONTRACTS MANAGEMENT PORTFOLIO - PRE-DECISION SCRUTINY

Portfolio Holder decisions for pre-decision scrutiny.

Minutes:

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

8a

POST COMPLETION REVIEW REPORT - UPGRADE OF CORPORATE CUSTOMER SERVICES IT SYSTEMS INCLUDING MS DYNAMICS CRM SYSTEM AND CORPORATE WEBSITE pdf icon PDF 455 KB

Minutes:

Report CSD21052

 

The report set out the successful outcomes of the Upgrade of the Corporate Customer Services IT systems including MS Dynamics CRM System and Corporate Website funded from the capital programme.

 

In response to questions the Assistant Director of Customer Services confirmed that the software supported the corporate website and the customer relationship management system used by the Customer Services Team.

 

In respect of the cost of the short-term extension, the Assistant Director explained that Microsoft had withdrawn support for the software and arrangements had been put in place for BT to conduct a full review.  Consequently, it was felt that the short-term extension represented value for money as the advice from the Council’s IT Department was that software had to be supported in the interests of data compliance.

 

RESOLVED: That the Portfolio Holder be recommended to endorse the findings of the Post Completion Reviews that have been carried out in respect of:

 

·  The successful upgrade of the CMS Corporate Website to the Jadu Continuum product and the successful migration of the My Bromley Accounts to the new software.

 

·  The successful upgrade of Microsoft Dynamics to Version 2011 and the completion of the IT Options Appraisal which outlined the roadmap to move from Dynamics 2011 to Jadu CXM.

9.

PRE-DECISION SCRUTINY OF EXECUTIVE REPORTS

Members of the Committee are requested to bring their copy of the agenda for the Executive meeting on 26 May 2021

Minutes:

The Committee considered the following reports on the Part 1 agenda for the meeting of the Executive on 26 May 2021:

 

(6)  CHIEF EXECUTIVE’S UPDATE REPORT

 

The report provided the Executive with key updates on behalf of the senior leadership team across a number of areas including the response to the Covid-19 pandemic, COVID-19 Staff Wellbeing Survey, Return to office working approach, Arrangements for committee meetings, and Economic Development Strategy for 2021 – 2031.

 

The Director of Finance highlighted that the response from staff in relation to the Covid-19 pandemic had been incredible.  There had also been an amazing response to the Staff Wellbeing Survey with a number of staff speaking positively about working for the Council.  Thanks was expressed to Members for the support that had been provided throughout the last 14 months.

 

The Committee noted that there was now a need to look to the future and focus on rebuilding the economy.  A key aspect of this would be joint working with partners in the health sector and progress was already being made in this area.  There was now a focus on setting aside resources to begin to rebuild post-Covid.

 

Members highlighted the importance of building on the progress that had been made in relation to agile working, noting that the Covid pandemic had “fast forwarded” plans for agile working.  It was recognised that going forward there was a need to harness the benefits that could be delivered in terms of savings on office accommodation and reduction in Council estate.

 

The Committee noted that the Covid pandemic had significantly impacted on a number of Departments across the Council.  It was notable that there had been an unprecedented increase in the number of planning applications received and additional staff had been brought on board to manage this additional demand.

 

A Member highlighted the opportunities that had now presented in terms of holding remote Member-level meetings.  It was noted that back in 2012, the then Secretary of State for Communities, Housing and Local Government had dismissed the idea of remote meetings.  However, throughout the pandemic a highly successful programme of remote meetings had been held and this progress should now be sustained.  Although Members had now returned to in person meetings there should still be the option of remote meetings available to Members who were unable to attend in person meetings for whatever reason.  The technology was in place and had been proven to work.  The Chairman suggested that the Leader should be asked to make representations to this effect to the relevant Minister and it was suggested that the Council should provide a response to the Government Call for Evidence in respect of the future of remote meetings.

 

The Committee noted that the Economic Development Strategy would be considered by the Renewal, Recreation and Housing PDS Committee.

 

RESOLVED: That the Executive be recommended to note the report.

 

(7)   SUBSTANCE MISUSE SERVICES – LOT 1: ADULT SERVICES CONTRACT VARIATION; LOT 2: YOUNG PEOPLE SERVICES CONTRACT VARIATION

Report CSD21062

 

The Substance  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9.

10.

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

 

 

11.

EXEMPT MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 24 MARCH 2021

Minutes:

The Part 2 (exempt) minutes of the meeting held on 24 March 2021 were agreed, and signed as a correct record.

12.

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 26 May 2021:

 

(14)  BIGGIN HILL AIRPORT LIMITED (BHAL)REQUEST TO VARY THE USER CLAUSE OF THE  AIRPORT LEASE BETWEEN THE COUNCIL AND BHAL.

  Report CSD21048

 

The Committee noted the Part 2 (exempt from publication) information contained within the report.

13.

PART 2 CONTRACTS REGISTER AND CONTRACTS DATABASE UPDATE

Minutes:

Report CEO21003

 

The report presented May 2021’s Corporate Contracts Register for consideration and provided a Part 2 (exempt from publication) detailed commentary on each of the contracts.

 

A Member expressed disappointment that no action had been taken on two contracts which had been flagged on previous reports to the Committee.  The importance of timely action being taken by service departments to regularise arrangements, rather than contracts having to be flagged again in subsequent reports was highlighted. 

 

In respect of the Amey Contract, Members were reminded that in July 2020 a Gateway report had been presented to the Committee setting out the procurement options for that contract.

 

RESOLVED: That the report be noted.

 

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