Manchester City Council

Agenda and minutes

Agenda and minutes

Resources and Governance Scrutiny Committee
Thursday, 11th October, 2018 2.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Level 2, Town Hall Extension

Contact: Michael Williamson 

Webcast: View the webcast

Items
No. Item

50.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 165 KB

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 6 September 2018.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Decision

 

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 6 September 2018.

 

51.

Ethical Procurement Sub Group minutes pdf icon PDF 130 KB

To receive the minutes of the Ethical Procurement and Contract Management Sub Group meeting held on 13 September 2018.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Decision

 

To note the minutes of the Ethical Procurement Sub Group held on 13 September 2018

 

52.

Our Integrated Annual report 2017/18 pdf icon PDF 2 MB

Report of the Chief Executive

 

This report provides Members with an overview of the Council’s funding, key activities and performance to illustrate what the Council has achieved and how this has been achieved as we work together towards our goal of happier, healthier and wealthier lives for Manchester residents.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report of the Chief Executive, detailing the Council’sIntegrated Annual Report 2017/18, which contained funding, key activities and performance during 2017/18 data, to illustrate what the Council had achieved and how it had been achieved as worked towards its goal of happier, healthier and wealthier lives for Manchester residents.

 

The Directorate Performance, Research and Intelligence Officer referred to the main points and themes within the report which included:-

 

·                The progress made throughout the year in addressing key governance

·                challenges;

·                Where the Council’s funding had come from and how this funding had been spent;

·                Details on various operational models which transformed inputs through business activities, into outputs and outcomes;

·                Key performance indicatorsthat were being used to monitor the delivery of strategic objectives; and

·                A high level analysis of our financial performance within 2017/18;

·                The approach to risk management to ensure that the Council had robust processes in place to support the delivery of its strategic goals, including those contained within the Our Manchester Strategy.

 

Some of the key points that arose from the Committees discussions were:-

 

·                Why was there no reference within the report to Manchester’s Age Friendly Strategy;

·                It was commented that it would have been preferable for Scrutiny to have had sight of the report prior to its final form in order to have some influence over the content;

·                How did the report link into the State of the City report; and

·                It was queried as to the purpose, necessity and cost of producing this report if similar information was contained within the State of the City report.

 

The Directorate Performance, Research and Intelligence Officer acknowledged the omission of Manchester’s Age Friendly Strategy from the report and advised that as the report had not yet been published on the Council’s website, it could be amended to incorporate reference to the Strategy.  It was also commented that in future years, the Committee would be sighted of the production timetable and Officers will look to incorporate Scrutiny’s views before it was finalised.

 

The Leader advised that the State of the City Report was the Council’s key annual report which monitoredthe delivery of the Our Manchester strategy and contained the most up to date statistics for each financialyear.  It was a more detailed and thorough analysis and included relevant comparator data in comparison to the report before Committee.  It was also reported that the State of the City report would be submitted to Scrutiny for comment before it was published.

 

The Executive Member for Finance and Human Resources advised that he would ask Officers to cross reference the content of the Integrated Annual report with that of the State of the City report to identify if there was duplication of information.  The City Treasurer added that the Council was required to produce a document that set out the Council’s Annual Accounts in a format that was simple to understand and the Integrated  ...  view the full minutes text for item 52.

53.

Review of Children's Services Budget pdf icon PDF 356 KB

Report of the Strategic Director Children and Education Services

 

This report considers the impact of Council resources to support children’s services to improve outcomes for Manchester’s children who require additional support.  It also provides an outline of the issues driving the current overspend in the Children’s Services budget in 2018/19, including analysis of overall spend and placement numbers.  The report also summarises the success in delivering the planned workforce changes and reducing reliance on use of agency staff

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report of the Strategic Director Children and Education Services, which set out the impact of Council resources to support Children’s Services to improve outcomes for Manchester’s children who required additional support. The report also provided an outline of the issues driving the current overspend in the Children’s Services budget in 2018/19 and summarised the success in delivering the planned workforce changes and reducing reliance on use of agency staff.

 

The Strategic Director Children and Education Services referred to the main points and themes within the report which included:-

 

·                The reduction in the Children’s Services budget position between 2011/12 to 2018/19;

·                The investment into Children’s Services since 2015/16 from non-recurrent resourcesto support new working arrangements, early help/intervention, evidence based practice, increased social work capacity to reduce the size of social workers caseloads and fostering and adoption services;

·                The projected level of need for children and young people from 2018 to 2020 including associated costs;

·                Comparisons with other core cities had identified that Manchester was now a lower than average user of residential care but a higher user of external foster care compared to internal foster care;

·                Demographic trends for child population at a local, regional and national level, including the increase in the number of looked after children per 100,000 of the population and the disproportionate rise in complexity of the young person's population;

·                The performance, improvement and impact of schemes such as Troubled Families and Families First;

·                Practice improvements and the impact on outcomes; and

·                The current budget management strategy.

 

Some of the key points that arose from the Committees discussions were:-

 

·                How many agency staff were in interim management positions and what was the impact of this in the delivery of efficiencies due to a potential lack of continuity at a management level;

·                Was it possible to have any detail on the number of social workers currently on  suspension from work;

·                What was the ratio of frontline social workers to managers;

·                Was the anticipated reduction in the number of external placements for children a realistic target;

·                How much of domestic violence costs were related to supporting children and young people;

·                Was Manchester’s direction of travel viewed by its peers as positive;

·                What was planned to achieve the targeted savings in Looked After Children;

·                What did it cost the Council to place a child in different types of care;

·                Clarification was sought as to whether it was correct that 1 in every 100 children in Manchester was in the care of the local authority;

·                It was noted that early  intervention made the most significant difference and helped prevent children being placed into residential care;

·                There was concern that budgetary challenges would still exist beyond the current saving plans based on the increase in child population, complexity of needs and the increase costs of services.

 

The Chair of the Children and Young Peoples Scrutiny Committee had been invited to the meeting for this item and commented on the work being done by his committee to address  ...  view the full minutes text for item 53.

54.

Budget and Global Monitoring and the Council's proposed recovery plan pdf icon PDF 526 KB

Report of the City Treasurer

 

This report contains a summary of the Council’s revenue budget and forecast outturn position for 2018/19. This is based on an assessment of income and expenditure to the end of August 2018 and financial profiling to 31 March 2019. It also contains details of the recovery plans which have been drawn up to offset the overspend previously reported and to work towards a sustainable position from 2019/20.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report of the City Treasurer, which provided a summary of the Council’s revenue budget and forecast outturn position for 2018/19. This was based on an assessment of income and expenditure to the end of August 2018 and financial profiling to 31 March 2019. The report also contained details of the recovery plans which have been drawn up to offset the overspend previously reported and to work towards a sustainable position from 2019/20.

 

Officers referred to the main points and themes within the report which included:-

 

?              A summary of the Council overall budget position for 2018/19 ;

?              The progress that had been with saving achievements;

?              Details of budget recovery plans which had been drawn up to offset the overspend previously reported and to work towards a sustainable position from 2019/20;

?              An evaluation of Invest to Save Initiatives;

?              Details of budget virements, budgets to be allocated and use of reserves;

?              Prudential Indicator figures;

?              Future budget considerations for 2019/20 and a five year forward view beyond the current Government settlement period; and

?              The proposed budget setting process and timeline for 2019/20.

 

The report was to be considered by the Executive at its meeting on 17 October 2018.

 

Some of the key points that arose from the Committees discussions were:-

 

·                Had the Council or the Executive Member for Finance and Human Resources contributed to the LGA Autumn Statement submission as it had been estimated that further £1.3billion cuts were to be made from to the 2019/20 grant;

·                Was it envisaged that the Council would be looking to set another long term budget strategy, taking into account Business Rates retention and the outcome of Brexit;

·                Was the Council considering lobbying government for a local taxation reform in relation to Council Tax bandings;

·                How could Non-Executive Members be made aware, or involved in, the conversations that were taking place at national level in regards to local government funding;

·                There was a need to be mindful in the use of the term ‘savings’ when referring to Mental Health overspend and in particular early intervention;

·                How many agency staff were employed in the care sector and had consideration been given to the potential impact of Brexit of those employed in this sector;

·                How much was spent on bed and breakfast provision outside of Manchester and did this include transport;

·                Given the dependence of Business Rate growth retention on future Council budgets and the proposal to reduce this retention to 75%, had there been any impact assessment of this proposal;

·                Was there any further information available in relation to the purchasing of temporary accommodation for housing Manchester’s homeless;

·                Why was there an underspend in the Council’s Corporate Core Directorate;

·                Why had there been an overspend in the Coroner’s Service;

·                Why was there still a high level of unfilled vacancies across a number of  departments;

·                Was all the identified funding for demographic growth required as only a third had been released;

·                A better explanation was requested as to why some of the identified savings within  ...  view the full minutes text for item 54.

55.

Delivering Equalities through the Council's spending decisions, decision making and monitoring processes pdf icon PDF 155 KB

Report of the Deputy Chief Executive and City Treasurer

 

This report provides an overview of the organisation’s governance arrangements for equalities as part of the Council’s planning and decision making processes. The report provides some examples of how having equality considerations at the heart of the Council’s decision making process has made a difference to Manchester communities. The report also sets out a schedule of ongoing work to further strengthen the Council’s approaches in this area, supporting the relevant recommendations from the 2018 peer review of equalities as part of the Council’s Equality Framework for Local Government re-accreditation.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report of the Deputy Chief Executive and City Treasurer, which provided Members with an overview of the Council’s governance arrangements for equalities as part of its planning and decision making processes.  The report also set out a schedule of ongoing work to further strengthen the Council’s approaches in this area.

 

The Equalities Team Leader referred to the main points and themes within the report which included:-

 

·                The Council has developed a clear governance model to ensure that equality considerations formed an integral part of its spending decisions;

·                An annual report summarising the Council’s equality considerations in the budget and business planning process and the associated Equality Impact Assessments (EIA) was considered by the Communities and Equalities Scrutiny Committee;

·                Examples of equitable decision making in practice which demonstrated the extent to which an embedded approach to equality considerations had been instrumental in informing planning and decision making processes within the Learning and development opportunities for Council staff in relation to equality considerations in the decision making process;

·                The monitoring and analysis of the equality of outcomes in terms of quality of life and access to opportunities; and

·                The next steps in relation to governance and data analysis

 

 

Some of the key points that arose from the Committee’s discussions were:-

 

·                The report did not appear to cover all of the protected characteristics;

·                Members expressed that the report did not fully cover how equality decisions were taken into account when determining and setting budgets;

·                There was a lack of reference to communication with communities in terms of how equalities had been taken into consideration in the Council’s decision making process; and

·                Members would have benefitted from having sight of a completed EIA.

 

The Equalities Team Leader thanked the Committee for their feedback on the content of the report.  He acknowledged that in terms of engagement and communication measures there was a need to provide more qualitative information and not just quantative information.  He reassured the Committee that Officers were working with Services to make improvements in this area.

 

It was proposed by the Chair that the Committee should be provided with a completed EIA as part of the budget reports planned for the Committees meeting in December as this would help the Committee determine if any further scrutiny on this subject was required.

 

Decision

 

The Committee requests that a completed EIA is submitted as part of the budget reports planned for the Committees meeting in December in order to help determine if any further scrutiny on this subject is required

 

56.

Overview Report pdf icon PDF 355 KB

Report of the Governance and Scrutiny Support Unit.

 

This report provides the Committee with details of key decisions that fall within the Committee’s remit and an update on actions resulting from the Committee’s recommendations. The report also includes the Committee’s work programme, which the Committee is asked to amend as appropriate and agree.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report of the Governance and Scrutiny Support Unit which contained key decisions within the Committee’s remit and responses to previous recommendations was submitted for comment. Members were also invited to agree the Committee’s future work programme. 

 

A request was made that either an update be provided at the next meeting in relation to the Outstanding Recommendation from the Committee’s meeting in January 2018 or if an update was not possible, that this item be removed to the list of Outstanding Recommendations.

 

Decision

 

The Committee

 

(1)  Notes the report; and

(2) Agrees the future work programmes of the Committee for the remainder of the Municipal Year.