Agenda and minutes
Resources and Governance Scrutiny Committee - Tuesday, 23rd June, 2020 10.00 am
Venue: Virtual meeting - https://manchester.public-i.tv/core/portal/webcast_interactive/485375
Contact: Michael Williamson
To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 3 March 2020.
To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 3 March 2020 as a correct record.
Report of the Deputy Chief Executive & City Treasurer attached
This report provides brief summary of the current situation in the city in relation to COVID-19 and an update on the work progressing in Manchester in relation to areas within the remit of this committee.
The Committee considered a report of the Deputy Chief Executive and City Treasurer, which set out a summary of the current situation in the city in relation to COVID-19 and an update on the work progressing in Manchester in relation to areas within the remit of the committee.
The main points and themes within the report included: -
· Detailing the Public Health response, both at a Manchester and Greater Manchester level;
· Describing the financial implications and funding arrangements for the Council and the implications of this;
· Recovery planning, including a reset of the Our Manchester Strategy and workforce considerations; and
· An update on the impact of the pandemic to the following areas of service delivery – ICT, Customer Service Organisation, Shared Service Centre, Revenues and Benefits, Discretionary Spend including Welfare Provision Scheme, Audit and Risk Management, Capital Programmes and Commissioning and Procurement
Some of the key points that arose from the Committee’s discussions were: -
· How did the anticipated budget gap of £157 million in 2021/22 compare to the historic cuts in budget the Council faced across 2011-2013;
· What areas did the commercial loss of £77million represent;
· There was a need to recognise the positive steps the Council had taken to help support those who were homeless during the crisis;
· Was there any further information on the lobbying of Government to relax the requirement for the Council to produce an in year balanced budget and Medium Term Financial Plan given the significant budgetary challenges the Council now faced;
· What role would Scrutiny have in the four workstreams that were being progressed in order for the City and the Council to prepare effectively for the recovery;
· In relation to remote working, how many staff had were working form hoe and was there any potential future savings that could be derived from this way of working going forward;
· What was the cost to the Council for the continued use of agency staff and what were they being employed to do;
· Was the Council ensuring that for those staff working from home they had been provided with all the necessary and appropriate equipment;
· Concern was raised in relation to the proposed cut in 15 FTE posts in ICT given the additional demand being placed in this service for supporting a workforce working remotely;
· What would be the management and governance arrangements for dealing with the impact of COVID-19 on the BAME communities and what was the plan for progressing the outcomes of the Race Review report and how would scrutiny be involved in this;
· How would the Our Manchester Forum reflect the range of views of Manchester residents as part of the Our Manchester Strategy reset;
· An assurance was sought that the Council had appropriate ICT security in place given that a larger percentage of its workforce were now working remotely;
· Concern was raised about the current inability for residents to contact the Revenue and Benefits service by telephone;
· Assurance was sought that the Council was still managing to process the exemptions for ... view the full minutes text for item 26.
Report of the Governance and Scrutiny Support Unit attached
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 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.
The Committee notes the report.