Agenda and draft minutes

Agenda and draft minutes

Resources and Governance Scrutiny Committee - Tuesday, 9th February, 2021 10.00 am

Venue: Virtual meeting - Webcast at https://vimeo.com/510169751

Contact: Michael Williamson 

Items
No. Item

9.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 237 KB

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 12 January 2021.

Minutes:

Decision

 

The Committee approve the minutes of the meeting held on 12 February 2021.

10.

Climate Emergency petition pdf icon PDF 377 KB

Report of the City Solicitor attached

 

The Committee is to consider a petition which asks the Council to undertake the following:-

 

"We the undersigned petition the Council to establish a permanent "Climate and Environment Scrutiny Committee", of equal standing to the existing 6 scrutiny committees and make strenuous efforts to secure additional funding for climate action, including the use of its strategic reserves"

 

Minutes:

The Committee considered a petition, submitted on behalf of Climate Emergency Manchester, entitled “Respond to climate change with more democracy and more money”, which having received over 1,700, signatures requested the Council to establish a permanent “Climate and Environment Scrutiny Committee”, of equal standing to the existing six scrutiny committees and to make strenuous efforts to secure additional funding for climate action, including the use of some of its strategic reserves.

 

Ms Chloe Jefferies, representing Climate Emergency Manchester addressed the Committee setting out the rationale as to why she believed the Council should establish a 7th Scrutiny Committee, which included:-

 

·                It was felt that the current Scrutiny arrangements were not working in relation to addressing climate emergency;

·                The current Scrutiny Committee with oversight for climate emergency had a vast remit and there was insufficient time to address an issue on the scale of climate change with sufficient depth and detail;

·                It was felt that the current approach to scrutinising climate change to date by the current scrutiny committees had been scattered rather than embedded;

·                According to a Manchester Climate Change Agency report in 2020, a quarter of Manchester’s remaining carbon budget for the 21st century had been burned in the space of just two years and the current arrangement were not keeping the city on track;

·                It was felt that the Council’s scrutiny arrangements had not been updated to reflect the complexity of climate change and growing area of Council activity which required transformative change and speed of action; and

·                For scrutiny of climate change to be robust it needed to be central to the remit of a particular committee

 

The Leader was invited to respond to the points raised.  In doing so he commented that:-

 

·                In the main he supported the principles that had been raised by the petition and the comments made;

·                The Council only accounted for approximately 2% of the city’s emissions and had no statutory powers to require other parts of the city to act or scrutinise them;

·                It was the purpose of the every part of the Council to make a contribution to tackle climate change;

·                The demands on the current Neighbourhood and Environment Scrutiny Committee were too high to allow sufficient consideration of climate emergency;

·                It was proposed that the balance of Scrutiny Committee remits would be reviewed, with the proposals that Homelessness would come under the remit of Communities and Equalities Scrutiny and that all Transport matters would be consolidated and placed under the remit of Economy Scrutiny;

·                The above proposals would free up capacity for Neighbourhoods and Environment Scrutiny Committee to give more time to scrutiny of climate change and zero carbon; and

·                It was envisaged that these proposals would come into effect as of the new Municipal Year and negate the need to establish a 7th Scrutiny Committee.

 

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

 

·                Members were in support of the proposal to realign the remits of the Scrutiny Committees to allow greater scrutiny of climate  ...  view the full minutes text for item 10.

11.

Corporate Core Budget 2021/22 - final proposals pdf icon PDF 661 KB

Report of the Deputy Chief Executive and City Treasurer and City Solicitor attached

 

This report provides an updated Corporate Core 2021/22 budget and sets out the 2021/22 savings proposals which reflect any feedback from both the November and January Scrutiny committees. The report contains relevant content from the Councils overarching Business Plan report. 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Further to minute (RGSC/21/3), the Committee considered a report of the Deputy Chief Executive and City Treasurer and City Solicitor, which provided a further update on the savings proposals being proposed as part of the 2021/22 budget process which reflected any feedback from the November 2020 meeting.

 

The Leader advised that the changes contained in the report were either as a result of recommendations previously made by the Committee or where of such a minor nature that they did not significantly impact on the overall budget proposals.

 

Key points to note were:-

 

·                The Core had identified proposed budget reductions of £6.281m, which required a reduction of c.115.1ftes;

·                There were currently c.54 vacancies earmarked as contributing towards the overall reduction, with the remainder likely to arise from applications for the targeted Voluntary efficiency scheme;

·                As at December 2020 the Directorate was forecasting a net overspend of £1.321m, this included COVID-19 related pressures of £5.969m, offset by in year savings and other mitigations of £4.648m;

·                Coroners Service would have a backlog of jury cases in 2021/22 and the forecast cost implications of these was £131k, which had been included in the budget for next year;

·                As part of planning for the May 2021 Elections additional costs would be incurred in order to ensure that the election is Covid secure.  The estimated costs of this was c£113k and a one year budget increase was proposed to meet these costs; and

·                An increase of 1.9% above inflation in Bereavement Services was proposed which would bring fees and charges in line with other local authority areas, and result in an additional £85k income per year.

 

A point raised by the Committee was that there was no reference  to LGBT+ in the references to equality groups and it was requested tat this be included.

 

The Deputy Chief Executive and City Treasurer gave an assurance that this reference would be included.

 

Decision

 

The Committee agree the savings proposals as described within the report and endorse these to the Executive.

12.

Capital Programme & Projects Review 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 156 KB

Report of the Deputy Chief Executive and City Treasurer attached

 

This report informs the Committee on the progress against the recommendations made by Local Government Association (LGA) external review of 2018, a summary of Internal Audit reviews on Capital Programmes & Projects since 2018 and the proposed plan for further external review and timeline.

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report of the Deputy Chief Executive and City Treasurer, which provided an update on progress against the recommendations made by Local Government Association (LGA) external review of 2018, a summary of Internal Audit reviews on Capital Programmes and Projects since 2018 and the proposed plan for further external review and timeline.

 

Key points and themes included:-

 

·                Detail of the recommendations made by the LGA Peer Review together with departmental responses;

·                During the timeline between the publication of the LGA Review in 2018 and the drafting of this report Internal Audit had undertook 21 reviews, covering the Our Town Hal project, the Factory, Highways and Capital Programmes to provide further assurances across the activities; and

·                Details of a proposed plan for further external review of the capital programme and projects.

 

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

 

·                It was requested that any review included the appropriate Executive Member and any other relevant Elected Members;

·                Had consideration been given to employing apprentices or those on the kick start programme within Capital programmes;

·                Why had benchmarking with Stockport and Sheffield been identified

 

The Deputy Chief Executive agreed that it would be crucial for the inclusion of the relevant Executive Member and other Members as part of any review.  She added that at the point when the original review was undertaken, Sheffield had been identified as a particular example of good practice and there was a similar rationale for Stockport.

 

The Director of Capital Programmes advised that there was apprentices in the service and there was career progression plan within the service to bring people through from lower grades.

 

Decision

 

The Committee notes the report

13.

ICT update pdf icon PDF 283 KB

Report of the Director of ICT attached

 

This report provides the Committee with updates in relation to the progress in developing the Council’s IT Strategy, its Datacentre Programme, an update on the Liquidlogic Programme (Social Care System) and the Microsoft O365 Programme.

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report of the Director of ICT, which provided an update the progress in developing the Council’s IT Strategy, the development of its Datacentre Programme, an update on Liquidlogic Programme (Social Care System) and an update on the Council’s migration to Microsoft365.

 

Key points and themes of the report included:-

 

·                A draft ICT strategy was with the Deputy Chief Executive to review prior to going to SMT in February;

·                The priority for ICT was the provision of fit for purpose, secure by design and resilient technology to enable improvements to the delivery of public services;

·                An update on the ICT Data Centre migration from the Sharp site, which was at the last stage of the physical move, with an overall aim of achieving improved resilience and disaster recovery;

·                An update on the Liquidlogic suite of social care products, which had been operational for 18 months;

·                An update on the implementation of new Liquidlogic Adults, Children’s and Early Help System;

·                An overview of the financial savings achieved through the adoption of LiquidLogic;

·                An update on the MS365 Collaboration Programme, including confirmation that all individual users were now migrated to Microsoft 365, amounting to 7,250 accounts;

·                An update on the End User Device (EuD) Project; and

·                ICT’s response to the COVID crisis.

 

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

 

·                Were the six outstanding shared mailboxes now migrated to MS365;

·                Was the Council disposing of old ICT equipment in a responsible and sustainable way;

·                It was recognised how well the Service had responded to the COVID crisis in providing staff with the necessary equipment to work from home;

·                The teams involved in the successful MS365 and telephony migration were congratulated on the work that they had undertaken under the difficult circumstances the Council was operating under;

·                It was suggested that within the new ICT strategy, reference needed to be made to addressing digital exclusion as part of any public facing system;

·                Was there an ambition to move to more cloud based data centres rather than physical data centres;

·                Was there any plans to recoup the overspend in delivering the implementation of the new Liquidlogic Adults, Children’s and Early Help System;

·                There was a need to recognise that Manchester’s carbon footprint would increase with the arrival of GHCQ in the city;

·                Why had the Council moved from using Public-I to webcast its Scrutiny and other committee meetings;

·                Was there any plans to migrate away from other software platforms thar the Council was currently using, such as SAP and if so, what consideration would be given to compatibility with other software and partner;

·                What value for money had been derived from the migration to Microsoft365; and

·                An update on the future of Citrix was requested.

 

The Director of ICT advised that any equipment retuned was initially assessed to see if it could be reallocated to other staff.  If not consideration was given as to whether it could be provided to schools and young people and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 13.

14.

Overview Report pdf icon PDF 388 KB

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 also includes the Committee’s work programme, which the Committee is asked to amend as appropriate and agree.

Minutes:

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 Member suggested that as part of the Committee’s future work programme it should receive a further update on the progress of implementation of Council Motions.

 

Decision

 

To note the report and agree the work programme subject to the above addition.