Agenda and minutes

Corporate, Resource Management & Governance Scrutiny Committee
Tuesday, 21st January, 2020 6.00 pm

Venue: Committee Room 2, Town Hall

Contact: Simon Hughes  (0161 474 3218)

Media

Items
No. Item

1.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 160 KB

To approve as a correct record and sign the Minutes of the meeting held on 17 December 2019.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Minutes (copies of which had been circulated) of the meeting held on 17 December 2019 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 which they had in any of the items on the agenda for the meeting.

 

The following interests were declared:-

 

Personal Interests

 

Councillor

Interest

 

 

John Taylor

Agenda Item 6 – ‘Advance Payment of Employers Pension Contributions’ as a recipient of pensions through the Greater Manchester Pension Fund.

 

 

 

Agenda Item 6 – ‘Advance Payment of Employers Pension Contributions’ as a member of the Greater Manchester Pension Fund Management Panel.

 

 

Wendy Wild

Agenda Item 6 – ‘Advance Payment of Employers Pension Contributions’ as a future recipient of a pension through the Greater Manchester Pension Fund.

 

Officer

Interest

 

 

Michael Cullen

Agenda Item 6 – ‘Advance Payment of Employers Pension Contributions’ as the Greater Manchester Treasurers representative on the board of the Greater Manchester Pension Fund.

 

3.

Call-In

To consider call-in items (if any)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There were no call-in items to consider.

4.

Portfolio Performance and Resources - Third Quarter Update Report 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 163 KB

To consider a report of the Deputy Chief Executive and Borough Treasurer.

 

The Third Quarter Update Portfolio Performance and Resource Reports for the Citizen Focus & Engagement and Resources, Commissioning & Governance Portfolios are presented for consideration by the Committee. These focus on highlights and exceptions in delivering the portfolio priorities, reform programmes and other key projects since the Mid-Year Reports. They include the latest forecast performance and financial data for the Portfolios, along with an update on the portfolio savings programmes.

 

These reports are based on the 2019/20 Portfolio Performance and Resource Agreements, which were considered by the Committee on 9 July and approved by Cabinet on 23 July 2019.

 

The Scrutiny Committee is recommended to:-

 

·         Consider the Third Quarter Update Portfolio Performance and Resource Reports;  

·         Review the progress against delivering key projects, priority outcomes, targets and budgets for 2019/20;

·         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;

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

 

Officer contact:

 

Resources, Commissioning & Governance - Peter Owston, Strategy and Performance Manager peter.owston@stockport.gov.uk  (474 3274)

 

Citizen Focus & Engagement - Alan Lawson, Strategy and Performance Manager alan.lawson@stockport.gov.uk (474 5397)

 

Stephen Pate, CSS Manager (Specialist) Finance

stephen.pate@stockport.gov.uk (218 1086)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Borough Treasurer submitted a report (copies of which had been circulated) providing the Third Quarter Update Portfolio Performance and Resource Reports for the ‘Citizen Focus & Engagement’ and ‘Resources, Commissioning & Governance’ Portfolios.  The report focussed on highlights and exceptions in delivering the portfolio priorities, reform programmes and other key projects since the Mid-Year Report and included the latest forecast performance and financial data for the Portfolios, along with an update on the portfolio savings programmes.

 

The Cabinet Member for Citizen Focus & Engagement (Councillor Kate Butler) and Resources, Commissioning and Governance (Councillor Tom McGee) attended the meeting to respond to questions from the Scrutiny Committee.

 

The following comments were made/ issues raised:-

 

Resources, Commissioning and Governance

 

·         It was noted that this Scrutiny Committee had previously expressed its view that it would not support the Council’s participation in any future voter identification trials, however the government was continuing in its pursuit of this approach which may have implications for Stockport in the future.

·         A discussion took place in relation to the reduction in performance in the Council Tax collection rates which was as a result of staff being recruited to posts elsewhere in Greater Manchester.  It was stated that there was a continuous recruitment exercise to ensure that the team remained appropriately staffed, and work was taking place to incentivise staff retention through the provision of formal professional training.

·         With regard to the OPE6 Rail Project funding, it was suggested that consideration should be given to investigating the introduction of a new railway chord at Gatley that would provide for a direct line between Stockport and Manchester Airport.  It was stated that such a link would also provide a diversionary route between Manchester and the airport, and would ease pressures caused by conflicting movements at the approach to Manchester Piccadilly caused by trains using the existing corridor.

·         In response to a question about the roll-out of web-based portfolio dashboards, it was stated that the intention was to have this in place for the Quarter 4 reporting cycle, and that drop-in sessions would be provided in advance of the next cycle of scrutiny committees for councillors to test the new system.

·         It was stated that there was a significant investment package for the Council’s leisure centres as it was making preparations for the end of the current leases and the requirement to tender for new operators and that this programme was being directed and influenced by the results of condition surveys.

·         It was suggested that consideration should be given to the submission of an item to a future meeting of the relevant scrutiny committee in relation to the progress towards place-based integration working in Stockport.

·         In response to a question, it was confirmed that the Council would accept a single one-off payment of Council Tax, however this would benefit from any additional discount.

 

Citizen Focus & Engagement

 

·         It was noted that the target for the number of community organisations recruited to the DigiKnow network was showing as ‘red’, however it was stated that this was due to the target being revised from 30 to 45 which reflected the fact that the Council’s partner (the Good Things Foundation) had proposed that each of Stockport’s 16 libraries should be counted individually as each was a member of the Online Centres Network in their own right.

·         The increase in the number of participants in the autism friendly sessions at Cheadle and Bredbury Libraries was welcomed and it was suggested that consideration should be given to running the sessions at other libraries in the borough.

·         It was noted that the Council’s artificially intelligent chat bot ‘Ami’ had now been rolled out to almost all services across the Council’s website.  However, further clarity was requested in relation to how service-users needed to complete their journey with Ami rather than ending the conversation with matters only part-resolved.  It was suggested that a metric on the number of completed journeys should  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.

5.

Stockport Council Plan 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 107 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.  Priorities in the plan are included by exception.  The plan doesn’t attempt to describe everything the council does; only those things that are of crucial importance in a specific year. 

 

The 2020/21 Council Plan keeps the existing framework of Stockport’s Borough Plan Shared Outcomes and the five Medium Term Strategy themes as well as aligning with the Greater Manchester Strategy Priorities.

 

The Scrutiny Committee is recommended to:

 

·         Consider and comment on the draft 2020/21 Council Plan and Equality Impact Assessment; and

·         Note the key issues and processes outlined above.

 

Officer contact: Holly Rae on 0161 474 3014 or email: holly.rae@stockport.gov.uk

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Borough Treasurer submitted the Stockport Council Plan 2020.21 (copies of which had been circulated) that accompanies the budget and sets a high-level framework for decision making throughout the financial year.  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.  Priorities in the plan are included by exception.  The plan doesn’t attempt to describe everything the council does; only those things that are of crucial importance in a specific year. 

 

The 2020/21 Council Plan keeps the existing framework of Stockport’s Borough Plan Shared Outcomes and the five Medium Term Strategy themes as well as aligning with the Greater Manchester Strategy Priorities.

 

The Cabinet Member for Resources, Commissioning and Governance (Councillor Tom McGee) attended the meeting to respond to questions from the Scrutiny Committee.

 

It was commented that consideration needed to be given to the consistency of the tone throughout the Plan and whether this was always appropriate to the statutory status of the document.

 

RESOLVED – That the report be noted.

6.

Advance Payment of Employers Pension Contributions pdf icon PDF 152 KB

To consider a report of the Corporate Director for Corporate and Support Services.

 

The purpose of this report is to outline the details of a further advance payment of employer pension contributions covering the period 2020/21 to 2022/23.

 

An actuarial review of the Greater Manchester Pension Fund (GMPF) has been completed and the recommended employer pension contribution rates have been advised by the Actuary in order to maintain the Council’s pension liability funding position over the next 3 years 2020/21 to 2022/23.

 

Following discussions with GMPF, a further advance payment of employer pension contributions over the next 3 years is available to the Council. Making an advance payment will result in a discount being applied to the employer pension contribution rates and would generate savings (depending on the length of the advance payment made) compared to the MTFP forecasts for employer pension contribution costs over the next three years (included in the MTFP Update presented to the Cabinet meeting on 6 January 2020).

 

The Scrutiny Committee is recommended to comment on and note the report.

 

Officer contact: Jonathan Davies, 0161 218 1025, jonathan.davies@stockport.gov.uk

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Borough Treasurer submitted a report (copies of which had been circulated) outlining the details of a further advance payment of employer pension contributions covering the period 2020/21 to 2022/23.  An actuarial review of the Greater Manchester Pension Fund (GMPF) has been completed and the recommended employer pension contribution rates have been advised by the Actuary in order to maintain the Council’s pension liability funding position over the next 3 years 2020/21 to 2022/23.

 

Following discussions with GMPF, a further advance payment of employer pension contributions over the next three years is available to the Council. Making an advance payment will result in a discount being applied to the employer pension contribution rates and would generate savings (depending on the length of the advance payment made) compared to the MTFP forecasts for employer pension contribution costs over the next three years (included in the MTFP Update presented to the Cabinet meeting on 6 January 2020).

 

The Cabinet Member for Resources, Commissioning and Governance (Councillor Tom McGee) attended the meeting to respond to questions from the Scrutiny Committee.

 

RESOLVED – That the approach outlined in Section 5 of the report be endorsed.

7.

Agenda Planning pdf icon PDF 61 KB

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: Simon Hughes, 0161 474 3218, email: simon.hughes@stockport.gov.uk

Additional documents:

Minutes:

A representative of the Deputy Chief Executive submitted a report (copies of which had been circulated) setting out planned agenda items for the next meeting and relevant entries in the Cabinet Forward Plan.

 

RESOLVED – That the report be noted.