Agenda and minutes

Overview and Scrutiny Management Committee - Tuesday 15 November 2022 10.30 am

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

Contact: Ben Fielding  01225 718656, Email:


No. Item



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


Apologies for absence were received from Cllr Bob Jones MBE.


Minutes of the Previous Meeting

To approve and sign the minutes of the meeting held on 28 September 2022.

Supporting documents:


The minutes of the meeting held on 28 September 2022 were presented for consideration, and it was;




To approve and sign as a true and correct record of the minutes of the meeting held on 28 September 2022.


In addition, a point of order was raised regarding the differentiation of councillors listed as being present and those in attendance as recorded in the minutes.


Declarations of Interest

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


There were no declarations of interest.


Chairman's Announcements

To receive any announcements through the Chair.


The Chairman noted that following the finance overview training provided by officers in September, a date for specific training on members’ role in conducting effective and strategic financial scrutiny, had been set for Thursday 24 November. The session would be aimed particularly at members of this Committee, of the other select committees and members of the Financial Planning Task Group.


It was also stated that for any Members who had missed the finance overview training held in September and would like to catch up, a video of that session was available on the Councillors’ Hub.


Additionally, as session is set to be scheduled on Scrutiny questioning skills, also to be delivered by the Centre for Governance and Scrutiny and that the date for that would be confirmed shortly.


The Chairman also welcomed Cllr Pip Ridout, Chair of the Financial Planning Task Group, back to the meeting.


Public Participation

The Council welcomes contributions from members of the public.



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.



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 Tuesday 8 November 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 Thursday 10 November. 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.


There were no questions or statements submitted by members of the public.


The Chairman invited Perry Holmes, Director of Legal and Governance, to provide feedback on the corporate peer challenge, which had taken place the previous week.Perry Holmes thanked the councillors and chairmen who had been involved in interviews, with 180 councillors, officers and partners engaged with over 3 and a half days and over 200 hours. Regarding Overview and Scrutiny, feedback was provided that Wiltshire Council had impressive organisational governance, providing good levels of rigour. In addition, that there was a good balance between Overview and Scrutiny, with Scrutiny well resourced and Members able to feel that they could challenge. A full report would be provided in the new year which would be brought to the Committee to be considered.


Finance, corporate resources and organisational scrutiny update

To receive an update on finance, corporate resources and organisational scrutiny.

Supporting documents:


The Chairman introduced a report within the Agenda Pack which provided an update on the changes to Overview and Scrutiny’s approach to engaging with financial, corporate, and organisational matters. This followed on from discussions held by the Committee in May, where a number of changes were agreed with it noted that the Committee would review the arrangements in six months’ time.


Democracy and Complaints Manager, Henry Powell provided an introduction to the report, which was structured around the following 6 resolutions which had been agreed in May:


1.     OS Management Committee to receive the following key financial reports, after review and commentary by the Financial Planning Task Group (FPTG):

·     Draft Financial Plan

·     Medium-Term Financial Strategy

·     Revenue and capital budget monitoring

·     Treasury Management Strategy


2. Select Committees to retain their ability to query and flag any significant financial concerns relating to any proposals they consider, with concerns referred to OS Management Committee for further discussion as appropriate.


3. Proposals for greater OS engagement on other corporate and organisational matters to be developed, following discussion between the OS Management Committee Chairman, Vice-chairman, appropriate Cabinet Members and directors.


4. The Chairman and Vice-chairman of OS Management Committee to develop proposals for the Committee’s scrutiny of corporate performance and risk, following discussion with the appropriate Cabinet Members, directors and Select Committee Chairmen.


5. The Financial Planning Task Group’s responsibilities to be clarified by amending its terms of reference as set out under paragraph 21, with a definition of “major” contracts to be agreed following further discussion.


6. Appropriate learning and development be arranged to support members to undertake effective finance scrutiny.


An update was provided on the progress of each of the resolutions set in May 2022, which could be found within the respective report.


The following comments were received by Cllr Pip Ridout, Chair of the Financial Planning Task Group, which included but were not limited to that some contracts would include savings and that would therefore require monitoring. This would therefore be broader work than setting a limit for consideration; especially when the budget is being considered with savings targets included. Cllr Ridout stated that it would be better to approach such a transfer slowly.


The following comments were received by Members of the Committee:


·       In reference to resolution 4, a point was raised that a member would not want a limit to be set when considering contracts as this could cause details to be missed out. For example, contracts for Children’s Services would be financially worth less than those of Highways, however though they would cost less they would still have a significant impact to that service. It was clarified that the proposal related to the financial scrutiny of contracts rather than proposing a limit to what Select Committees would look at.

·       Reassurance was provided that the proposal in relation to resolution 4 would not remove the ability of Select Committees to be involved with contracts at an early stage and that this would be down to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 49.


Management Committee Task Groups

To receive updates on recent activity on the following Task Groups:


·       Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership Panel

·       Evolve Programme Task Group

·       Financial Planning Task Group

Supporting documents:


A report was received on the Task Groups and Panels established by the Management Committee.


Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership (SWLEP) Joint Scrutiny Panel


It was noted that the Panel is in abeyance until the national picture regarding LEPs is clarified. Additionally, The LEP is currently considering the future type of scrutiny it wishes to commission, given the dramatic reduction in LEP funding being provided by Central Government.


In addition, Cllr Tony Jackson stated that he had noticed that there was a vacancy within this task group and therefore offered to join the task group if and when needed.


Evolve Programme Task Group


It was noted that the task group meets quarterly and last met on 30 September 2022, with a written update provided in the report.


In addition, Cllr Jon Hubbard provided a further verbal update that the programme had slipped to red status and now had a risk of not being delivered to the original schedule. Cllr Hubbard noted various issues that the task group had encountered including not being able to move from data migration 2 to data migration 3 as well as various licences that would expire in March and April, when the new system was due to go live. There have been elements of delays caused by both the Council and contractors, with it noted that from a Council perspective it had been difficult to undertake the work due to a national shortage of specialists as well as not having staff spare in departments for secondment. Cllr Hubbard stated that there was set to be a Programme Board meeting on Friday 18 November, with a further meeting scheduled for 2 December.


The following comments were received by Members of the Committee:


·       It was questioned whether there had been an indication of how much the programme had slipped by, to which it was clarified that the workers had been open and transparent on the challenges faced. Ultimately this would impact on whether the implementation would be completed in one movement or a phased approach.

·       The Section 151 Officer provided an update that questions had been asked on replanning that had taken place based on the sequential aspect from data migration. Now that the replanning phase had happened, the Programme Board would need to then receive an outcome to be reported to the task group. It was also stated that a one movement implementation might lead to cutting corners, with it not possible to shorten time for cultural, process change and training within the organisation.

·       The task group would investigate any financial implications for software extensions and who would be responsible for these costs.

·       It was stated by a member that the task group knew this would be ambitious when the programme started due to complexities in the work as well as making sure the implications of the work would be long term. Though there has been slippage, it was not a shock. In addition, to set an arbitrary timescale which would not allow proper function  ...  view the full minutes text for item 50.


Socially Responsible Procurement Policy

To receive a presentation on Socially Responsible Procurement Policy.

Supporting documents:


The Chairman invited the Section 151 Officer to introduce the presentation. The Section 151 Officer outlined that this policy would be a single coherent framework that would look to draw together legislative requirements, policy initiatives and aspirations. The policy would be delivered by a Social Responsibility Toolkit, which would support both suppliers and commissioners to maximise the way that they deliver through procurement activity. Furthermore, there could be the potential to place certain instructions into the toolkit as expectations as a minimum for contracts to provide.


The Section 151 Officer then handed over to Senior Procurement Specialist, Luana O’Neill, who outlined the following priorities which had been identified by the Council that would represent its values and beliefs:


  • A Wiltshire first approach
  • Local Training and employment
  • Partners in the community
  • Green Economy and Stable Environment
  • Ethical Procurement and Well-being focus


The Senior Procurement Specialist outlined how the five priorities would link to the Wiltshire Council Business plan as well as how the procurement function would apply this link practically. Furthermore, detail was provided for each of the five priorities on how they would be delivered and what the Council would want to achieve from the successful delivery of each priority. Examples of the anticipated qualitative benefits from the adoption of the policy were outlined, including but not limited to, the reduction in carbon footprint and young people in foster care, the increase of cash savings and uptake of trades and careers.


The Section 151 Officer then provided an overview of the governance and reporting of the policy, with it stated that the Commercial Board would oversee the delivery of the policy and that the Cabinet Member who acts as the Council’s Social Value Champion would be a representative of Social Value within the Board. Once the policy was approved and the toolkits had been set up, there would be an aspect of contractors submitting regular monitoring reports to be assessed against indicators and metrics on the social value of procurement. The Commercial Board would review the Social Value register on a regular basis to provide challenge and scrutiny to contractor’s performance where necessary.


The following comments were then received from Cllr Nick Botterill, Cabinet Member for Development Control, Strategic Planning, Finance, Procurement and Commissioning, who suggested that initially he had some concerns regarding additional costs and whether there would there be a bureaucracy process. Furthermore, whether the policy would it lead to box-ticking rather than a meaningful impact and whether it would lead to the range of suppliers being reduced. However, Cllr Botterill had since been assured that such concerns would not be the case and that he had been persuaded that this would be a reasonable approach with benefits.


The Chairman sought clarification from the Section 151 Officer, that such concerns would not come to pass, to which it was clarified in relation to bureaucracy and tick-boxes that there would not be an increase in size of the procurement and commissioning team, nor had there been a request  ...  view the full minutes text for item 51.


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:


The Committee considered the forward work programmes for each select Committee, as well as updates from the Chairman for each Select Committee.


At the conclusion of discussion, it was,




The Overview and Scrutiny Management Committee agreed:


  1. To note the updates on select committee activity and approve the Overview and Scrutiny Forward Work Programme.


Date of Next Meeting

To confirm the date of the next meeting as 24 January 2022.



Urgent Items

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


There were no urgent items.