Agenda and minutes

Corporate, Resource Management & Governance Scrutiny Committee
Tuesday, 22nd January, 2019 6.00 pm

Venue: Committee Room 2, Town Hall. View directions

Contact: Jonathan Vali  (0161 474 3201)

Webcast: View the webcast

Items
No. Item

1.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 94 KB

To approve as a correct record and sign the Minutes of the meeting held on 27 November 2018.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Minutes (copies of which had been circulated) of the meeting held on 4 December 2018 were approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair.

2.

Declarations of Interest

Councillors and officers to declare any interests which they have in any of the items on the agenda for the meeting.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillors and officers were invited to declare any interests they had in any of the items on the agenda for the meeting.

 

The following interest was declared:-

 

Councillor

Interest

 

 

Chris Gordon

Any item relating to the Stockport Disability Forum as the Chair of the Forum.

 

3.

Exclusion of the Public and the Public Interest Test

To consider whether to exclude the press and public from the meeting during consideration of the appendices to the following item:-

 

Item

Title

Reason

 

 

 

14

Manchester Airport Car Park Investment

Category 3 ‘Information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority)’ as set out in Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended)

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED – That in order to prevent the disclosure of information which was not for publication, the disclosure of which would not be in the public interest, the press and public be excluded from the meeting during consideration of the following item:-

 

Item

Title

Reason

 

 

 

14

Manchester Airport Car Park Investment

Category 3 ‘Information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority)’ as set out in the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended)

 

 

4.

Call-In

To consider call-in items (if any)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There were no call-ins to consider.

5.

Portfolio Performance and Resources - Third Update Report 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 86 KB

To consider a report of the Deputy Chief Executive.

 

The Third Update Portfolio Performance and Resource Report (PPRR) for the Reform and Governance Portfolio is presented for consideration by the Committee. This report is shorter, and more data-driven, providing highlights and exceptions reflecting progress in delivering the portfolio priorities and budgets since the Mid-Year Report. It includes forecast performance and financial data for the Portfolio, where new data is available, along with an update on the portfolio savings programme.

 

The new format for the reports has been developed following consultation with the Cabinet Member for Reform & Governance and Scrutiny Committee Chairs. This is linked to proposals contained within the Support and Governance MTFP work stream (presented to Cabinet on 18 December) which include a reduction in capacity for the Policy, Performance and Reform function.  The intention is that this lighter touch report format for Quarter 3 will provide officers with the time to prioritise development of a future, less resource intensive, approach to Performance and Resources reporting and management whilst ensuring that it can continue to provide the level of oversight required for effective scrutiny and decision making.

 

With a reduced level of detail being provided within the reports, councillors are asked where possible to direct any questions or requests for further information in advance of the meeting via Democratic Services to enable the timely provision of additional information.

 

 

Scrutiny Committee is asked to:

·         Consider the Third Update Portfolio Performance and Resource Report;  

·         Comment on the new approach and format of the report as outlined above;

·         Review the progress against delivering key projects, priority outcomes, targets and budgets for 2018/19;

·         Highlight key areas of and responsibility for taking forward corrective action to address any performance or resource issues;

·         Highlight any significant issues or changes to be fed back to the Cabinet alongside the Corporate Performance and Resource Report; and

·         Identify how areas of strong performance and good practice can be shared in other services.

 

Officer contact: Peter Owston / Susan Wood, 0161 474 3274 / 218 1032,

peter.owston@stockport.gov.uk / susan.wood@stockport.gov.uk

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet Member for Reform & Governance submitted the third quarter Portfolio Performance and Resource Report (copies of which had been circulated) providing a summary of progress in delivering the Reform and Governance portfolio priorities, reform programme and other key projects up to and including the third quarter. The report included forecast performance and financial data (where this was available) for the Portfolio, along with an update on the portfolio savings programme.

 

The following comments were made/ issues raised:

 

·         The revised format of the report was praised for being more accessible and the focus on exception reporting reduced its repetitiveness.

·         Comment was made that the report recommendations asked the scrutiny committee to identify corrective action, although this was more appropriately an executive function.

·         Further information was sought on staff retention at Contact Centre. In response it was stated that many of the staff often found jobs elsewhere within the Council. It was also commented that due to the challenging nature of the work, staff would often seek to move on in a relatively short space of time.

 

RESOLVED – That the report be noted.

6.

Greater Manchester Strategy - Implementation Plan and Performance Dashboard update pdf icon PDF 67 KB

To consider a report of the Deputy Chief Executive.

 

This report provides the first six monthly update on the Greater Manchester Strategy (GMS) Implementation Plan and performance dashboard.

 

Scrutiny Committee is asked to review and comment on the GMS Implementation Plan and Performance Dashboard update.

 

Officer contact: Holly Rae, 0161 474 3014, holly.rae@stockport.gov.uk

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Policy, Finance & Devolution submitted a report (copies of which had been circulated) providing an update performance against the Greater Manchester Strategy, Implementation Plan and performance dashboard six months after its adoption.

 

Councillors welcomed the report and the comparative data.

 

The following additional comments were made/ issues raised:-

 

·         Concerns were expressed about the worsening performance in relation to school readiness. In response it was stated that the Council was providing extra resources to strengthen Stockport Family and to give greater emphasis to early intervention. The Brinnington Pilot scheme had provided evidence of the value of targeted early interventions.

·         Although there was commentary in relation to under performance against targets, there was little explanation of what actions were being taken. In response it was stated that there were often other partners involved who would be taking actions to address these issues. Wherever possible there was an attempt to disaggregate the data in the report to share with other scrutiny committees.

·         Making sustainable improvements in levels of smoking in pregnancy and tooth decay in young people appeared to be intractable and the targets unachievable. In response the challenges in these areas was acknowledged, but it was commented that reducing the target to make it achievable was not the correct approach.

·         Further information was sought on efforts to address rough sleeping and housing supply. In response it was stated that the Council, through Viaduct Housing, was making great efforts to provide more affordable and social housing, although this was not always in keeping with demand. It was hoped that the GMSF and Local Plan processes would assist in these efforts. It was further commented that the GM Mayor had recently stated that his election pledge to eliminate rough sleeping was not possible to achieve but that every effort would be made to reduce it as far as possible.

·         Clarification was sought on whether there was a formula to determine when a home was affordable. In response it was stated that the government provided formula suggested 80% of prevailing value was affordable, but that this was an issue that would need to be addressed as part of the development of the Local Plan. The aspiration in the GM Housing Plan was to build 50,000 genuinely affordable houses.

 

RESOLVED – That the report be noted.

7.

Draft Council Plan 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 82 KB

To consider a report of the Deputy Chief Executive

 

The Council Plan accompanies the budget and sets a high-level framework for decision making throughout the financial year. It is a public-facing summary document that sits above annual (detailed) Portfolio Agreements.

 

The plan is developed by Cabinet, supported by officers, and is an opportunity to reflect on performance to date and policy priorities for the future. The 2019/20 Council Plan continues to be aligned with the longer-term vision and five shared outcomes set out in the Borough Plan. It incorporates the key principles identified by Cabinet, underpinned by an inclusive vision for growth and reform. The Greater Manchester Strategy priorities continue to be integrated into the Plan. The strategic narrative for the Plan builds upon these but also incorporates the medium term strategy and its five key themes which were introduced by Cabinet during 2018. These are central to the plan and its organisational delivery.

 

The Scrutiny Committee is asked to:

·         Consider and comment on the draft 2019/20 Council Plan and EIA; and

·         Note the key issues and processes outlined above.

 

Officer contact: Holly Rae, 0161 474 3014, holly.rae@stockport.gov.uk

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Leader of the Council submitted a report (copies of which had been circulated) inviting the Scrutiny Committee to consider the draft Council Plan for 2019/20 prior to its submission to Cabinet and the Council Meeting in February 2019. The Plan set out the high-level framework for decision making through the year and informed the development of detailed Portfolio Agreements.

 

The following comments were made/ issues raised:-

 

·         Comment was sought on what the Leader of the Council believed were the most significant changes to the Council Plan since he had assumed the leadership of the Council. In response the Leader stated that the overall approach to the Council Plan had remained broadly the same as under the previous administration and there had been an evolution of approach, but that the delivery of the Plan was where the difference was most marked, and in giving greater focus to maintaining support for vulnerable residents.

·         Comment was sought on how the place-based approach described in the Plan was reconciled with proposal in the budget to reduce area committee spending powers. In response it was emphasised that place making was becoming increasingly important but that this had to be done with finite, and decreasing, resources that had to be used effectively to deliver the Council’s priorities. Further discussions were needed in relation to governance and best for the Council to take those place-based decisions.

 

RESOLVED – That the report be noted.

8.

MTFP Cabinet Response: Our Budget Choices for 2019/20 - Scrutiny Consultation Round 3 (Jan 2019) pdf icon PDF 75 KB

To consider a report of the Cabinet Member for Reform & Governance

 

The Cabinet has developed a four year medium term strategy based around five cross-cutting themes. These frame the choices the Council need to make about its budget both next year and in future years, the five themes are:

 

           Getting the most out of our spending;

           Improving Customer Experience;

           Making sure we have the right property in the right places;

           Sharing services with other organisations;

           An organisation fit for the future.

 

A suite of proposals have been developed by Cabinet which forms the first phase of this programme for 19/20. Scrutiny has since received a series of updates on the development of these proposals. This report forms the latest update and in line with the update provided to committees in November, particular includes consideration of proposals for 2019/20, prior to Cabinet decision-making in February.

 

The Scrutiny Committee is invited to comment upon the proposals appended to this report.

 

Officer contact: Holly Rae, 0161 474 3014, holly.rae@stockport.gov.uk   

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Policy, Finance and Reform and the Cabinet Member for Reform & Governance submitted a report (copies of which had been circulated) inviting the Scrutiny Committee to consider the Cabinet’s proposals to address the Medium Term Financial Plan forecasts. The report included the results of consultation exercises or interim feedback where those consultations were ongoing, as well as Equality Impact Assessments.

 

The following comments were made/ issues raised:-

 

·         Careful consideration was needed in relation to the documents submitted to scrutiny committee to minimise the volume of information, particularly where proposals were not being progressed.

·         Concern was expressed about the relatively low levels of consultation response to some proposals. In response it was stated that the Cabinet was keen to ensure engagement with the public and stakeholders, and that each consultation was tailored to ensure that it was most appropriate to the proposal. It was further commented that while the Council would do all it could to consult the public may simply chose not to respond.

·         The start of the second phase of consultation on the revised Greater Manchester Spatial Framework was welcomed. Concern was expressed that over reliance on digital consultation would excluded some residents, and the choice of community venues for engagement sessions were inappropriate given the likely level of public interest.

·         In response to concerns about the Support & Governance proposals it was confirmed that work was ongoing and a report would be submitted to the Constitution Working Party in due course.

·         Clarification was sought on what progress had been made with Proposal 14 – Local Centres, as this no longer featured in the report. In response it was stated that after some initial work had been done it had been decided to broaden the scope of the project. It was confirmed that it would form part of future proposals.

 

RESOLVED – (1) That the report be noted.

 

(2) That the Deputy Chief Executive be requested to submit a report to a future meeting on progress with implementing the recommendations of the Consultations Scrutiny Review.

 

9.

Single Commissioning Function for Health and Care within the context of Place-based commissioning in Stockport pdf icon PDF 168 KB

To consider a joint report of the Leader of the Council and the Cabinet Member for Reform & Governance

 

This report reprises the purpose and objectives of a place-based approach to commissioning that have been outlined in previous Cabinet reports and updates on recent developments to deliver such an approach, working both internally within the Council and with wider partners.

 

Due to the pressure on health and social care this report further outlines the Cabinet’s position on the consideration and development of a new Single Commissioning Function (SCF) for health and care in Stockport.  Across Greater Manchester the ambition is for single commissioning functions for health and social care and it is the view of the Cabinet that a SCF in Stockport is key to delivering the shared ambition of the Council and wider health and care system partners. This aims to create a more sustainable health & care system driven by improved health outcomes, reduced health inequalities and less reliance on bed-based care.

 

The Scrutiny Committee is invited to consider the report and the recommendation being proposed for the Cabinet and to comment on them prior to submission to the Cabinet.

 

Officer contact: Laureen Donnan, 0161 474 3180, Laureen.donnan@stockport.gov.uk

Additional documents:

Minutes:

A joint report of the Leader of the Council and the Cabinet Member for Reform & Governance was submitted (copies of which had been circulated) inviting the Scrutiny Committee to consider proposals to further the Cabinet’s aspirations for place-based commissioning, and in particular a single commissioning function for health and care in Stockport. While Stockport already undertook joint commissioning there was an aspiration from Greater Manchester Health & Social Care Partnership to develop single commissioning arrangements as a means of improving outcomes for residents.

 

The following comments were made/ issues raised:-

 

·         Joint commissioning was a key element in the recent SEND Review and this needed to be pursued.

·         There was a need to ensure that any approach adopted would not mean the Council taking on responsibility for activity that was not within its purview while also ensuring its duties were discharged properly.

·         Clarity on the terminology and language being used was also important as this would change the nature of the risks for the Council.

·         While the overall direction may be a positive one, there was a need for greater clarity about the risks involved. The report identified a number of benefits of differing approaches but lacked balance in presenting potential risks.

·         Clarification and further information was sought in relation to references in the report to ‘leadership grip’ of the Neighbourhood Care approach. In response it was stated that there had been some significant changes in the personnel in all partner organisations and so a review of governance had been started. There was a preference form the GM Partnership for localities to move toward a local care organisation. The Council was satisfied that the Director for Adult Social Care had appropriate delegation to make these decisions to move the neighbourhood models forward, and the other partner organisations were similarly satisfied with their delegations.

·         The importance of ensuring democratic accountability over the use of Council Tax resources was emphasised.

·         Proposals contained in the report in relation to member workshops and briefings were welcomed.

 

RESOLVED – That the report be noted.

10.

Treasury Management Approach to Counterparty Risk pdf icon PDF 79 KB

To consider a briefing note of the Borough Treasurer.

 

During the recent annual Member training sessions on the Treasury Management Strategy 2019/20 for CRMG and Cabinet which took place in December 2018, comments made by Link Asset Services (the Council’s external treasury management advisors) described the Council as being one of the most risk averse, which in turn may have lead Members to view this remark negatively, particularly with a view to investment returns.  This note clarifies the Council’s approach to risk and the context to which these comments were made.

 

The Governance Scrutiny Committee is asked to note and comment on the paper.

 

Officer contact: Michael Cullen, 0161 474 4631, michael.cullen@stockport.gov.uk

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Borough Treasurer submitted a report (copies of which had been circulated) providing the Scrutiny Committee with a response to issues raised during the recent annual member training sessions on the Treasury Management Strategy in December 2018 in relation to how risk averse the Council was in relation to its investment returns.  The report clarified the Council’s approach to risk and provided context for the issues that had been raised.

 

RESOLVED – That the report be noted.

11.

Capital Strategy 2019/20 - Update pdf icon PDF 68 KB

To consider a briefing note of the Borough Treasurer.

 

CIPFA’s Prudential Code for Capital Finance in Local Authorities provides a framework for ensuring that capital investment is prudent, affordable and sustainable.  The Code was first published in 2003, with the last update being in 2011.  Since then the landscape for public service delivery has changed significantly, particularly with sustained reductions in Government grant funding and the developing localism agenda.  CIPFA undertook a consultation exercise, which raised a number of issues particularly in respect of longer term planning, the minimum revenue provision, increasing commercialism and understanding of risk.  As a result, CIPFA published a revised Prudential Code in December 2017.

 

The Scrutiny Committee is asked to note the contents of this briefing note and provide comments for consideration in the development of the Council’s Capital Strategy.

 

Officer contact: Michael Cullen, 0161 474 4631, michael.cullen@stockport.gov.uk

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Borough Treasurer submitted a report (copies of which had been circulated) providing the Scrutiny Committee with an update on the development of the Council’s Capital Strategy, including the background to the CIPFA’s Prudential Code for Capital Finance in Local Authorities that provided a framework for ensuring that capital investment was prudent, affordable and sustainable. 

 

The Leader of the Council (Councillor Alex Ganotis) attended the meeting to respond to questions.

 

The following comments were made/ issues raised:-

 

·         Concern was expressed about the likely return from the Council’s investment in Merseyway. In response it was acknowledged that the retail sector was facing challenges, and that Merseyway was not immune to those but that greater efforts had been made to ensure the units were occupied although this may have impacted on the levels of rental income. Many of the high profile retail companies that had closed in recent years were based in properties that were not part of the Council’s acquisition. Assurance was given that the Council had been bold in its investments, and in a mix of uses within those, and that had allowed for the balance of risk across that investment.

·         Further comment was sought in relation to risk in capital investment. In response it was commented that one of the reasons for the requirement within the Prudential Code for a capital strategy was to highlight where councils were investing for purely commercial reasons. The Council’s approach had always been broader, and the example of Merseyway was illustrative as it was in part a regenerative acquisition as the Council were the only organisation likely to be willing to make such a long term investment. It was important that all member of the Council were supportive of the approach to the level of risk being taken.

 

RESOLVED – That the report be noted.

12.

Brexit: Preparing for the potential impact on Stockport resources and services pdf icon PDF 122 KB

To consider a report of the briefing note of the Leader of the Council and the Cabinet Member for Reform & Governance.

 

The report provides an overview of the areas of potential scope for the Council to consider as a result of the UK’s exit from the EU (Brexit). On 23rd June 2016 the UK voted to leave the European Union. The UK Government invoked article 50 of the Treaty of the European Union in March 2017, culmination in the UK formally leaving the EU on 29th March 2019 or at the end of any transition period.

 

This paper in particular advises the Council of the need to consider the implications of a “No Deal” Brexit along with an approach to ensure that post exit the Council takes account of the implications of being outside of the EU.

 

The Scrutiny Committee is invited to note the briefing note.

 

Officer contact: Laureen Donnan, Deputy Chief Executive, 0161 474 3181

Additional documents:

Minutes:

A joint report of the Leader of the Council and the Cabinet Member for Reform & Governance was submitted (copies of which had been circulated) providing an overview of the areas of under consideration by the Council as a result of the UK’s exit from the EU on 29 March 2019. The report set out some of the implications for the Council in the event of the UK leaving the EU without any transitional arrangements.

 

The Leader of the Council emphasised that he believed it prudent for the Council to plan for a ‘No Deal Brexit’, and that this was in keeping with the civil resilience work being undertaken by the GMCA. He also made clear that no claims were being made about the robustness of the analysis contained in the report but that its purpose was to give assurance to the Scrutiny Committee that the Council was prepared.

 

The Chair welcomed the involvement of senior officers in the preparations.

 

Further comment was sought in relation to references within the report to elections readiness. In response it was stated the Council had made preparations for a range of possible scenarios that involved the electoral process.

 

It was confirmed that were it necessary that a reference group of councillors to discuss further related issues would be drawn from the Corporate, Resource Management & Governance Scrutiny Committee.

 

RESOLVED – That the report be noted.

13.

Agenda Planning

To consider a report of the Democratic Services Manager.               

 

The report sets out planned agenda items for future meetings of the Committee and Forward Plan items that fall within its remit.

 

The Scrutiny Committee is invited to consider the information in the report and put forward any agenda items for future meetings.

 

Officer contact: Jonathan Vali, 0161 474 3201, email: jonathan.vali@stockport.gov.uk

Additional documents:

Minutes:

A representative of the Deputy Chief Executive provided an update on upcoming agenda items for the next meeting of the Scrutiny Committee, including the anticipated submission of the Corporate Performance Report for the third quarter of 2018/19 and the updated Asset Management Plan.

 

RESOLVED – That the report be noted.

14.

Manchester Airport Car Park Investment pdf icon PDF 51 KB

To consider a report of the Borough Treasurer

 

Manchester Airport is seeking to bring forward a Car Parking investment scheme via funding through an additional equity investment into Manchester Airport Group (MAG).

 

(NOTE: The detail of the investment proposal and due diligence undertaken is provided in the ‘Not for publication’ that contains ‘information relating to the financial and business affairs of a particular persons, including the authority’ that has been circulated to committee members only.)

 

The Scrutiny Committee is invited to consider the report and comment on the proposals prior to its consideration by the Cabinet.

 

Officer contact: Michael Cullen, 0161 474 4631, michael.cullen@stockport.gov.uk

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Borough Treasurer submitted a report (copies of which had been circulated) inviting the Scrutiny Committee to consider a proposal from the Manchester Airport Group for a car parking investment scheme funded through an additional equity investment into Manchester Airport Group (MAG).

 

(NOTE: The detail of the investment proposal and due diligence undertaken is provided in the ‘Not for publication’ that contains ‘information relating to the financial and business affairs of a particular persons, including the authority’ that has been circulated to scrutiny committee members only.)

 

RESOLVED – (1) That the report be noted.

 

(2) That the Borough Treasurer be requested to arrange for a further report to a future meeting in relation to the Manchester Airport Group, to include further information in relation to the Group’s efforts to reduce its carbon footprint and reduce emissions.