Agenda and minutes

Strategy & Partnerships Scrutiny Committee
Thursday, 13 January 2011 10.00 am

Venue: County Hall

Contact: Claire Phillips, Tel: (01865) 323967  Email: claire.phillips@oxfordshire.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

1/11

Apologies for Absence and Temporary Appointments

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Councillor Skolar (Councillor Greene substituting) and Councillor Lovatt (Councillor Mathew substituting).

2/11

Minutes pdf icon PDF 73 KB

To approve the minutes of the meetings held on 18 November 2010 (SYP3a)  and 20 December 2010 (SYP3b (to be circulated separately)) and to note for information any matters arising on them.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Minutes of the meeting held on 18 November 2010 were approved and signed subject to the following amendments Cllr Sherwood had sent apologies, Cllr Couchman attended the meeting and Cllr Carter declared an interest in item no. 6.

 

The Minutes of the meeting held on 20 December 2010 were approved and signed.

 

John Parry provided information about staff grievances through the Staff Care Service which did indicate any increases in inappropriate management practice.

3/11

Director's Update

The Assistant Chief Executive (Strategy)/ Assistant Chief Executive & Chief Finance Officer  will give a verbal update on key issues.

Minutes:

Sue Scane, Assistant Chief Executive & Chief Finance Officer advised that Human Resources have produced a toolkit for managers on managing change. She also outlined the process currently underway to assess Key Service Managers across the organisation.

 

Sue Scane updated the committee on the Big Society and localism agenda referring to the letter to all councillors about locality review meetings taking place in February. Work is ongoing to develop the Big Society framework which will incorporate our approach to community self help, a Big Society fund for communities and the future of the Closer to Communities strategy.

 

It was highlighted that all expenditure over £500 is now disclosed on the council website.

4/11

Service and Resource Planning 2011/12 - 2015/16 pdf icon PDF 85 KB

The Cabinet is seeking an overall view from this Scrutiny Committee to assist it on 25 January 2011 with proposing the revenue budget for 2011/12, Medium Term Financial Plan and Capital Programme from 2011/12-2015/16, Treasury Management Strategy for 2011/12, plus the Capital Strategy & Corporate Asset Management Plan for recommendation to Council.

Attached are the scrutiny committees’ comments (SYP6) in December 2010 on their respective programme areas.

The Council is committed to reducing its carbon footprint and so these strategies have not been copied again. Copies have been placed on the web.  If Members of the Committee have not retained their original copies and would like a further paper copy, please contact the Policy Officer whose details are on the agenda. It is more efficient for the Council to produce any copies needed centrally rather than for individual Members to print them.

The Scrutiny Committee is asked to formulate an overall view and comment to the Cabinet.

Minutes:

The committee reviewed the comments made by individual scrutiny committees at their meetings on 20 December and made the following additional comments;

 

Growth and Infrastructure

  • Emphasised preference that any additional available capital funding should be used for Highways maintenance
  • Wish to remind cabinet of the Bus Champion, Cllr Lilly
  • Support for reintroduction of charges at park and ride sites and explore opportunities for retail at these sites
  • S106 developer contributions wish to make best use of new arrangements when these are announced by government

 

Safer and Stronger Communities

  • Noted that support in the scrutiny committee for the proposals was broad but not unanimous
  • Importance of the mobile library service was emphasised

 

Adult Services

  • Budget pressures from delayed transfers of care were noted as a concern

 

Children’s Services

  • The importance of encouraging registration of eligibility for the pupil premium was emphasised to maximise funding to schools.
  • The importance and success of the youth offending service that will be part of the Early Intervention Service was raised.

 

Strategy and Partnerships

  • Property – the committee wished to emphasise the potential interest of parish and town councils to take over property.

 

It was AGREED to forward these and the individual scrutiny committees’ comments from 20 December to Cabinet.

5/11

Financial Monitoring Overview 2010/11 pdf icon PDF 136 KB

Commentary by the Cabinet Member for Finance (SYP7)

 

The report provides a commentary on the financial monitoring to the end October 2010.

Minutes:

The financial monitoring report was noted.

 

It was AGREED to refer the consideration of the physical disabilities overspend to the Adult Services Scrutiny Committee and Joint Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee.

6/11

Draft Corporate Plan 2011/12 pdf icon PDF 898 KB

A draft of the Corporate Plan for the period 2010/11 to 2014/15 is attached (SYP8) prior to consideration and approval by the Cabinet on 25 January 2011 and Council on 15 February 2011. The plan is in two parts, the first summarises the Council's broad strategic direction and the second sets our short and medium term delivery commitments.

The plan is still in a draft format and further work is required in setting targets for each priority. In many cases we will be merely signposting existing strategies/delivery plans (e.g. the business strategy) and the actions and targets will be finalised ahead of the Council meeting in February. A summary of the key elements of the Medium Term Financial Plan will be included following approval by Council, and the financial plan will form an annex to the corporate plan.

Ben Threadgold will be in attendance for this item.

Minutes:

The Committee considered a draft of the Corporate Plan for the period 2011/12 to 2015/16 prior to consideration and approval by the Cabinet on 25 January 2011 and Council on 16 February 2011.

 

The Committee noted that the plan was still in a draft format and further work is underway to develop targets for each priority in the delivery plan.

 

It was noted that the intention is to reduce the number of printed copies of the plan.

 

It was AGREED that comments on the specific items in the delivery plan should be sent directly to Ben Threadgold.

7/11

Forward Plan

The Committee is asked to suggest items from the current Forward Plan on which it may wish to have an opportunity to offer advice to the Cabinet before any decision is taken, together with details of what it thinks could be achieved by looking at any item and propose any other relevant items for the committee to consider.

Minutes:

It was AGREED that the Chairman would consider the future work programme for the committee and discuss with the committee outside the meeting.

8/11

Localism Bill

The new Localism Bill (which was laid before Parliament on 13 December 2010) is intended to provide new power and freedoms to councils and neighbourhoods. The Bill is very wide-ranging, and amongst other things is likely to have implications for our Big Society proposals and planning / infrastructure funding strategies.

 

http://www.communities.gov.uk/localgovernment/decentralisation/localismbill/

Minutes:

Members attention was drawn to the new Localism Bill (which was laid before Parliament on 13 December 2010) is intended to provide new power and freedoms to councils and neighbourhoods. The Bill is very wide-ranging, and amongst other things is likely to have implications for our Big Society proposals and planning / infrastructure funding strategies.

 

http://www.communities.gov.uk/localgovernment/decentralisation/localismbill/