Agenda and minutes

Scrutiny Committee
Tuesday, 2 October 2018 6.30 pm

Venue: Meeting Room 1, 135 Eastern Avenue, Milton Park, Milton, OX14 4SB

Contact: Ron Schrieber, Democratic Services Officer  Democratic Services Officer

Items
No. Item

17.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 116 KB

To adopt and sign as a correct record the committee minutes of the meeting held on 24 July 2018 (attached). 

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 24 July 2018 were agreed as an accurate record and were signed by the Chairman.

18.

Declarations of interest

To receive any declarations of disclosable pecuniary interests in respect of items on the agenda for this meeting. 

 

Minutes:

None.

19.

Urgent business and chairman's announcements

To receive notification of any matters which the chairman determines should be considered as urgent business and the special circumstances which have made the matters urgent, and to receive any announcements from the chairman. 

Minutes:

None.

20.

Public participation

To receive any questions or statements from members of the public that have registered to speak. 

Minutes:

None.

21.

5 Councils contract changes and action plan pdf icon PDF 115 KB

To consider the report of the head of partnership and insight (attached).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The committee considered the report of the head of partnership and insight which gave an update on progress to date and next steps with regards to completing and implementing planned changes to the Five Councils Capita contract and establishing an action plan for the Council that would support its business direction and priorities for the next five years.

 

Andrew Down, head of partnership and insight, introduced the report.  Also present to answer questions were Councillor Bill Service, Cabinet member for partnership and insight, David Wilde, IT consultant, and Paul Abraham, Capita.

 

The committee was informed that the Council had worked closely with Capita to develop and take forward the following five contract changes:

a)    Establishment of an IT end user computing environment for South and Vale Councils only, meeting our compliance needs for General Data Protection Regulations and enabling a range of new technology opportunities for secure mobile, flexible and multi-agency working;

b)    Return of the Fraud Service in the Revenues and Benefits function as an in-house service so we can continue to grow our success in this field;

c)    Bringing finance business service partner roles and a number of other key responsibilities back in-house and better defining the roles and responsibilities between the supplier and customer across the finance function;

d)    Bringing ownership of strategic Human Resources (HR) back in house and better defining the roles and responsibilities between the supplier and customer across the HR function;

e)    Upgrading our finance system to a fully supported and up to date version of Unit 4 Business World (formerly called Agresso).

The scope of the changes for b), c) and d) were virtually agreed, with the changes intended from the end of October 2018, subject to any time limitations set by TUPE and subject to completion of the revised inter-authority agreement between the five councils. The scope of the changes for a) and e) were also near completion. The proposed changes would be submitted to Cabinet in October.

 

These changes were part of a wider action plan, attached as an appendix to the report, to achieve stability.

 

Paul Abraham informed the committee that Capita was committed to working with the council to improve performance.

In response to members’ questions about the action plan, it was reported that:

 

·         The £37k cost of legacy datacentre closure, set out in the action plan, related to the current Redhill datacentre;

·         The £10k cost of replacing the websites set out in the action plan related to the hosting costs;

·         The changes covering the core IT service and the Finance IT systems were expected to be funded within the current contract provision.  Any additional provision would be considered on its merits.

 

The committee welcomed the progress made to date and requested a further update to its February 2019 meeting.

 

RESOLVED to:

 

1.     Note the progress made on implementing changes to the Five Councils Capita Contract;

 

2.     Note the action plan attached at Annex A for the short term (1 year) to resolve other outstanding issues across  ...  view the full minutes text for item 21.

22.

Capita performance: HR, payroll and IT pdf icon PDF 132 KB

To consider the report of the head of partnership and insight (attached).

Minutes:

The committee considered the report of the head of partnership and insight which, further to the meeting held on 24 July 2018, gave a brief update on the performance of the council’s contractor, Capita, in the delivery of the HR, payroll and IT services.

 

Andrew Down, head of partnership and insight, introduced the report.  Also present to answer questions were Councillor Bill Service, Cabinet member for partnership and insight, David Wilde, IT consultant, and Paul Abraham, Capita.

 

The committee was informed that, since the previous report, there had been no significant HR and payroll issues for South Oxfordshire.  For the key performance indicators (KPIs), 100 per cent payroll accuracy had been achieved in July and August, although, in June, an incorrect mileage rate had been used to pay expenses of seven new employees. 

 

The KPI for payroll timeliness had been met in full since the switch to the new system in July 2017.

 

The IT service had improved operationally and, from a South perspective, Capita had largely sustained the improvements previously reported. Whilst welcoming these improvements, some members raised problems experienced with password resets and expenses/allowances which officers and Capita agreed to investigate.

 

RESOLVED: to note the report.

23.

Financial outturn 2017/18 pdf icon PDF 274 KB

To consider the report of the head of finance/senior business partner (Capita) (attached).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The committee considered the report of the head of finance and senior business partner (Capita) on the final year end position for revenue and capital expenditure against budget for the financial year 2017/18.

 

Simon Hewings, strategic finance manager, introduced this item. Also present to answer questions were Councillor David Dodds, Cabinet member for finance, Mark Stone, chief executive, and Richard Spraggett, senior business partner (Capita).

 

With regard to revenue expenditure, there had been an underspend of £6.7 million which had been transferred to the council’s reserves. With regard to capital expenditure, £12 million had been slipped into future years. 

 

In response to members’ questions, it was reported that:

 

·         Given the level of underspends, the council’s senior management team would be carrying out a review of the base budget.

·         Some of the carry forwards had appeared in previous budgets.

·         The vast majority of housing projects were undertaken in partnership with other bodies. Accordingly, slippages were often not within the council’s control.

·         Officers agreed to circulate further information as to why a reduction in recharges in respect of development and housing projects was categorised as “increased income against budget”, whereas a reduction in recharges in respect of planning was categorised as “reduced income against budget”.

·         Consideration would be given to providing more clarity in the presentation of the financial information.

 

RESOLVED: to note the overall outturn position of the council as well as the outturn of individual service areas.

24.

Community Infrastructure Levy Spending Strategy pdf icon PDF 172 KB

To consider the report of the head of development and regeneration (attached).

Minutes:

The committee considered the report of the head of development and regeneration on the proposed spending strategy for income generated by the community infrastructure levy (CIL). The draft strategy had been out for consultation with a cut-off date for responses of 18 September 2018.

 

Jayne Bolton, infrastructure and development manager, introduced this item. Also present to answer questions were Councillor Jane Murphy, Leader, Adrian Duffield, head of planning, Cathie Scotting, major applications officer, and Jeff Duncalf, temporary community infrastructure project officer.

 

In response to members’ questions, it was reported that:

 

·         There had been ongoing dialogue with Oxfordshire County Council (OCC) and the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to develop the strategy.

·         The recommended percentage CIL allocation to OCC, CCG and the council would be reviewed on an annual basis based on performance and infrastructure priorities.

 

During further discussion members expressed the following views:

 

·         The strategy needed to be adjusted to clarify that CIL funding should be spent in the appropriate locality rather than simply within South Oxfordshire.

·         The allocation of CIL funding should not be restricted to OCC and CCG, but should include other education and health providers.

·         Information on CIL given to town and parish councils should include details of local infrastructure projects to which they might wish to contribute.

 

RESOLVED to advise the Cabinet member for development and regeneration that:

 

a)    The community infrastructure levy spending strategy should be adjusted to clarify that CIL funding should be spent in the appropriate locality rather than simply within South Oxfordshire.

b)    The allocation of CIL funding should not be restricted to Oxfordshire County Council and the Clinical Commissioning Group, but should include other education and health providers.

c)    Information on CIL given to town and parish councils should include details of local infrastructure projects to which they might wish to contribute.

25.

S106 Planning Obligations Monitoring Report 2017/2018 pdf icon PDF 151 KB

To consider the report of the head of planning (attached).

Minutes:

The committee considered the report of the head of planning which gave a summary of financial sums secured, received and spent in relation to Section 106 agreements for the financial year 2017/18

 

Cathie Scotting, major applications officer, introduced this item. Also present to answer questions were Councillor Jane Murphy, Leader, Adrian Duffield, head of planning, Jayne Bolton, infrastructure and development manager, and Jeff Duncalf, temporary community infrastructure project officer.

 

Whilst welcoming the information provided, members expressed the view that information on the collection and spending of County Council contributions was not so readily available and discussed the means by which town and parish councils might become better informed. 

 

RESOLVED: to note the report.

26.

Community Infrastructure Levy - Annual Financial Statement 2017/18 pdf icon PDF 123 KB

To consider the report of the head of planning (attached).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The committee considered the report of the head of planning which gave an update on the community infrastructure levy (CIL) income received and spent in 2017/18

 

Cathie Scotting, major applications officer, introduced this item. Also present to answer questions were Councillor Jane Murphy, Leader, Adrian Duffield, head of planning, Jayne Bolton, infrastructure and development manager, and Jeff Duncalf, temporary community infrastructure project officer.

 

RESOLVED: to note the report.

27.

Work schedule and dates for all South and Vale scrutiny meetings pdf icon PDF 68 KB

To review the attached scrutiny work schedule. Please note, although the dates are confirmed, the items under consideration are subject to being withdrawn, added to or rearranged without further notice.

 

Minutes:

The chairman had agreed to reschedule the 27 November meeting due to consider the Local Plan. It would now be held on Thursday 13 December.

 

It was agreed that a further progress report on Capita performance: HR, payroll and IT (Minute 22 refers) should be submitted to the 26 March 2019 meeting.