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Agenda and minutes

Venue: The Kennet Room - County Hall, Trowbridge BA14 8JN

Contact: Kieran Elliott  01225 718504, Email: kieran.elliott@wiltshire.gov.uk

Media

Items
No. Item

67.

Apologies

To receive details of any apologies or substitutions for the meeting.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

An apology was received from Councillor Jon Hubbard.

 

Councillor Howard Greenman also gave apologies he would arrive late to the meeting.

68.

Minutes of the Previous Meeting

To approve and sign the minutes of the meeting held on 24 September 2019.

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 24 September 2019 were presented for consideration, and it was,

 

Resolved:

 

To approve and sign the minutes as a true and correct record.

69.

Declarations of Interest

To receive any declarations of disclosable interests or dispensations granted by the Standards Committee.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There were no declarations.

70.

Chairman's Announcements

To receive any announcements through the Chair.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There were no announcements.

71.

Public Participation

The Council welcomes contributions from members of the public.

 

Statements

If you would like to make a statement at this meeting on any item on this agenda, please register to do so at least 10 minutes prior to the meeting. Up to 3 speakers are permitted to speak for up to 3 minutes each on any agenda item. Please contact the officer named on the front of the agenda for any further clarification.

 

Questions

To receive any questions from members of the public or members of the Council received in accordance with the constitution.

 

Those wishing to ask questions are required to give notice of any such questions in writing to the officer named on the front of this agenda no later than 5pm on 26 November 2019 in order to be guaranteed of a written response. In order to receive a verbal response questions must be submitted no later than 5pm on 28 November 2019. Please contact the officer named on the front of this agenda for further advice. Questions may be asked without notice if the Chairman decides that the matter is urgent.

 

Details of any questions received will be circulated to Committee members prior to the meeting and made available at the meeting and on the Council’s website.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

A statement had been received from Mr Colin Gale in respect of the Executive Response to the Final Report of the Public Consultations Task Group, as included in the Agenda Supplement. Additional materials from Mr Gale had been circulated to the Committee members.

72.

Executive Response to the Final Report of the Public Consultations Task Group

To receive the Executive Response to the Final Report of the Public Consultations Task Group.

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

On 20 November 2018 the Committee established the Public Consultations Task Group to examine the number, purpose and method of public consultations taking place in Wiltshire. The Final Report of the Task Group was approved by the Committee at its meeting on 24 September 2019, and the formal response of the Executive was therefore to be considered.


Prior to debate a statement was received from Mr Colin Gale on behalf of the Pewsey Community Area Partnership, Pewsey Parish Council, and Campaign for the Protection of Rural England, that collectively they did not consider the report had captured all points that it should have, had not engaged sufficiently with the public, and that the executive response did not provide clarity on timelines for its actions in response.

 

Councillor Allison Bucknell, Cabinet Member for Communications, Communities, Leisure and Libraries, presented her report and response to the Task Group recommendations. She added that the Business Intelligence Hub would ensure formal consultations would coordinate with communications and services, and that in implementing the recommendations the new structure would ensure more focused, appropriate consultations.

 

Councillor Stuart Wheeler, Chairman of the Public Consultations Task Group, welcomed the response of the Cabinet Member as set out in the report, and the recommendations to improve delivery of consultations within Wiltshire. He noted that the Task Group had retained concerns about the responsibilities being placed on the Business Intelligence Hub, and that it was proposed therefore that the Task Group reconstitute within 12 months to assess the new service.

 

The Committee debated the report and welcomed the suggestion to review the status of the Business Intelligence Hub within 12 months, and also noted the importance of managing public expectations in any public engagement, in particular being clear what was a formal consultation and what was information gathering or surveying.

 

At the conclusion of discussion, it was,

 

Resolved:

 

1)    To note the Executive Response to the Task Group’s final report.

 

2)    To note that in September 2019 the Committee resolved to receive a report in approximately 12 months’ time about how those recommendations accepted by the Executive have been implemented.

73.

Scrutiny of Contracts and Contractors

To receive an update in relation to the scrutiny of contracts and contractors.

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

The Chairman provided an update regarding discussions between the Overview and Scrutiny Committee chairmen and vice-chairmen and Executive members regarding arrangements for the scrutiny of council contracts and contractors. This had been in response to the publication of new Statutory Guidance on Overview and Scrutiny in England and Wales, which made reference to Overview and Scrutiny carrying out legitimate scrutiny of council contracts.

 

It was reported the discussion had focused upon engagement with contractors, scrutiny of the tendering of contracts, and scrutiny of contract performance. It was not considered, given contractors usually engaged well with scrutiny, that including clauses in contracts to mandate this was required at the present time, and that scrutiny of the tendering process was well embedded. Some concerns had been raised regarding how members could be aware of contract performance in order to request scrutiny of it, and members were informed it was intended in early 2020 for a degree of contract performance reporting to be included in performance reports to Cabinet.

 

The Committee discussed the update, and welcomed the increased transparency of reporting on contract performance. Members also raised the scrutiny of the awarding of contracts, including smaller contracts, to ensure best value, and whether the council had sufficient expertise and capacity at appropriate levels to ensure this,

 

At the conclusion of discussion, it was,

 

Resolved:

 

1)    To note the discussions had with officers and the Executive regarding contract and contractor scrutiny.

 

2)    To agree that, due to a longstanding culture of providers engaging with Wiltshire OS on request, no contract clause requiring this is necessary at present, but to review this in the future if appropriate.

 

3)    To note that, from the New Year, there is an aspiration to add a new section to the quarterly budget, performance and risk reports to Cabinet giving high-level performance information on the council’s ‘platinum’ contracts.

 

4)    To agree that, once performance information is included in the quarterly reports to Cabinet, Financial Planning Task Group will refer any areas of concern to the relevant select committee when appropriate.

 

5)    The Chairman and Vice-chairman to meet with officers and consider the current officer processes and procedures in procuring contracts, with information brought back to the next meeting.

 

74.

Joint Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership (SWLEP) Task Group Report on the Chippenham Station Hub Project

To receive a report from the SWLEP Task Group

Additional documents:

Minutes:

To note that the report requires further discussion by the Task Group and to defer its consideration until the next meeting of Management Committee.

75.

Management Committee Task Group Updates

To receive updates on recent activity of Task Groups established by the Management Committee.

 

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

The written update on Task Groups was received. Members sought additional details on the level of response to a survey from the Communications with Councillors Task Group, and whether this covered direct email and face to face communication by officers in particular in relation to local division matters.

 

At the conclusion of discussion, it was,

 

Resolved:

 

1)    To note the update on Task Group activity.

 

2)    To ask the Communications with Councillors Task Group to ensure that the following issues are addressed in its final report:

 

·         officer response times

·         the consistency with which officers communicate with councillors; and

·         what information needs to be communicated to councillors.

 

76.

Forward Work Programme

To receive updates from the Chairmen and Vice-Chairmen of the Select

Committees in respect of the topics under scrutiny in their areas, including any recommendations for endorsement by the Management Committee.

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

The Forward Work Programmes of the Select Committees were received.

 

In relation to the Environment Select Committee it was stated the Housing Aids and Adaptations Task Group had begin its work, and there would also be a report on the impact of Community Area Transport Groups after their ten years in operation.

 

In relation to the Health Select Committee it was noted that further announcements on social care policy, which could have a big impact on local government, would follow sometime after the General Election.

 

In response to a query it was stated the proposed reorganisation of the senior staff structure would need to be resolved before any consideration of if the committee structure for overview and scrutiny would be affected.

 

At the conclusion of discussion, it was,

 

Resolved:

 

To note the Overview and Scrutiny work programme.

77.

Date of Next Meeting

To confirm the date of the next meeting as 28 January 2020.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The date of the next meeting was confirmed as 28 January 2019.

78.

Urgent Items

Any other items of business which the Chairman agrees to consider as a matter of urgency.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There were no urgent items.

 

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