Venue: Committee Room 2, Town Hall. View directions
Contact: Stephen Fox (0161 474 3206)
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To approve as a correct record and sign the Minutes of the meeting held on 12 November 2018.
The Minutes (copies of which had been circulated) of the meeting held on 12 November 2018 were approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair.
Declarations of Interest
Councillors and officers to declare any interests which they have in any of the items on the agenda for the meeting.
Councillors and officers were invited to declare any interests they had in any of the items on the agenda for the meeting.
The following interests were declared:-
To consider call-in items (if any).
There were no call-ins to consider.
To consider a report of the Deputy Chief Executive.
Scrutiny Chairs considered initial proposals for changes to the Council’s Performance and Resource reporting format in November 2018. These were incorporated into the Third Update Reports considered at the most recent cycle of Scrutiny Committees, and feedback on these is provided below.
At the request of the Chair, follow-up briefings were delivered in December to demonstrate the functionality of the dashboards being developed to supplement the new reporting framework.
This report now outlines further proposals for changes to reporting from 2019/20 onwards, informed by feedback from Scrutiny Members. It will be accompanied at the meeting by an officer presentation, outlining key issues and proposals.
The Committee is recommended to consider and comment on:-
(a) Proposals for the 2018/19 Annual Reports outlined in paragraph 2.6;
(b) Options for the 2019/20 reports outlined in 3.3 and 3.5;
(c) Development and roll-out of Portfolio Dashboards; and
(d) Opportunities for further engagement in developing this approach.
Officer contact: Peter Owston on 0161 474 3274 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
A representative of the Deputy Chief Executive submitted a report (copies of which had been circulated) inviting the Scrutiny Committee to consider proposals for changes to the Council’s Performance and Resource reporting format for 2019/20 onwards, including the development of a performance dashboard, and informed by feedback from members on the trial of changes during the third quarter 2018/19 reporting cycle.
The following comments were made/ issues raised:-
· Members were broadly supportive of the approach adopted with the Q3 reports.
· There needed to be further thought given to how written questions submitted in advance were dealt with as there needed to be some way to capture this information so that scrutiny could also be seen to be done.
· Assurance needed to be provided to councillors that for those indicators where data was updated annually and performance was on target there remained the ability for councillors to have access to this information.
· Providing data and information specific to Stockport relating to Greater Manchester Strategy targets had been welcomed by the Corporate, Resource Management & Governance Scrutiny and consideration was needed as to how this could be shared more widely.
RESOLVED – (1) That the report be noted.
(2) That the Deputy Chief Executive be requested to provide updates to the Committee on the development of the performance dashboard.
To consider a report of the Chair of the Scrutiny Co-ordination Committee.
The report provides a summary of the information gathered and discussion held throughout the review process. The report covers the four main themes identified during the scoping process and now provides Councillors with the opportunity to add any additional comments, contribute to and agree the final recommendations.
The Scrutiny Committee is invited to consider and comment on the report.
Officer Contact: Stephen Fox on Tel: 0161 474 3206 or email: email@example.com
The Chair submitted the draft final report of the Committee’s review of how scrutiny was undertaken in Stockport (copies of which had been circulated) that summarised the findings of the committee, and prompting further discussion on any conclusions or recommendations it may wish to make.
Councillors expressed their thanks to officers for their support during the review and in preparing the draft report, which was commended for its accurate reflection of the Committee’s previous discussions.
Councillors emphasised the importance of encouraging innovation by scrutiny committees.
There was also discussion about the potential difficulties for councillors in holding meeting during the day but the need to consider non-traditional start times and venues to engage with service users and or partners that may be appropriate for the work being undertaken.
Councillor emphasised the importance of being clear about terminology and what was meant by ‘overview’ and ‘scrutiny’ and suggested an explanatory paragraph in the report.
In relation to the specific sections of the report, the following comments were made/ issues raised:-
Section 2 – Culture
· Councillors agreed to include a recommendation in relation to the designation of the statutory Scrutiny Officer, and that this should be of sufficiently seniority to allow the post holder to ensure scrutiny responsibilities were effectively discharged.
· Further comment was made about the need for further consideration of the role and responsibilities of the Scrutiny Co-ordination Committee to ensure it was an effective body that added value to the scrutiny and overview process in Stockport.
· It was also suggested that further consideration should be given to how members of outside bodies were held to account, reported back, and could be questioned by other councillors.
Section 3 - Business Programme
· Councillors agreed to recommend that for the 2020/21 Municipal Year the Council Meeting reduce the number of cycles to six per year to allow for greater flexibility to undertake overview and scrutiny activity.
· Councillors also agreed to include a recommendation to encourage scrutiny committees to trial alternative ways of discharging their duties to promote a more agile approach.
· Councillors agreed to include a recommendation that the first substantive item at each Scrutiny Committee’s meeting be related to developing a work programme and that this should include input from officers and partners (as appropriate) and that the statutory Scrutiny Officer ensure that appropriate resources is made available to undertake the work necessary to facilitate this.
· Councillors agreed to include a recommend that scrutiny committees be encouraged to experiment with differing approaches to scrutiny reviews, appropriate to the topic under consideration.
· Councillors also agreed that it be recommended that further Scrutiny Annual Reports be more comprehensive, including information about the impact of scrutiny activity.
· Councillors agreed that a recommendation be included that encouraged the use of timings for agenda items to support good agenda managements and make efficient use of officer time.
· Councillors also suggested that further consideration should be given to the arrangements for scrutinising the work of associated bodies such as TLC, Stockport Homes and Life Leisure.
· Councillors again emphasised the need for a common understanding of overview and scrutiny functions.
· There was agreement from councillors to the inclusion of a recommendation that there should be training provided to chair of scrutiny committee, and that the training provided as part of the new members’ induction programme be extended to all councillors and that they be strongly encouraged to attend.
· It was also suggested all scrutiny committee members be provided with a briefing document setting out the remit, roles and responsibilities of their scrutiny committee prior to its first meeting.
RESOLVED – That, subject to the inclusion of the suggested recommendations set out above, the draft final report of the ‘Undertaking Scrutiny in Stockport’ scrutiny review be approved, and that the Chair be authorised to agree any further amendments to the report before finalisation.