Manchester City Council

Agenda and minutes

Agenda and minutes

Resources and Governance Scrutiny Committee - Tuesday, 7th January, 2020 10.00 am

Venue: Council Antechamber, Level 2, Town Hall Extension

Contact: Michael Williamson 

Media

Items
No. Item

1.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 230 KB

Draft minutes of the meeting held on 3 December 2019 attached

 

Committee is requested approve the minutes as a correct record or make any necessary amendments

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Decision

 

To approve the minutes of the meeting held on the 3 December 2019 as a correct record.

2.

The Council's Updated Financial Strategy and Budget reports 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 448 KB

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

 

This report provides an update on the Council’s overall financial position and sets out the next steps in the budget process, including scrutiny of the draft Budget proposals and Budget report by this Committee.  Each Scrutiny Committee will receive a budget report aligned to its remit.  The report also outlines the officer proposals for how the Council could deliver a balanced budget for 2020/21, the details of which will be discussed at the relevant scrutiny committees.

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report of the Chief Executive and the Deputy Chief Executive and City Treasurer, which provided an update on the Council’s overall financial position and set out the next steps in the budget process.  In doing so, the report outlined Officer proposals for how the Council could deliver a balanced budget for 2020/21.

 

In conjunction with the above, the Committee also received and considered the draft Council Business Plan for 2020/21 and the Corporate Core medium term financial plan (MTFP) and budget proposals for 2020/21, which included those areas of service which were in the remit of Resources and Governance Scrutiny Committee but not within the Corporate Core (namely operational property, facilities management and the investment estate from within the Growth and Development directorate).

 

Officers highlighted that the 2020/21 budget would be a one year roll over budget.  It would reflect the fact the Council had declared a climate emergency and would also continue to reflect the priorities identified in the previous three-year budget strategy.

 

Taken together, the reports and the MTFP illustrated how the directorate would work to deliver the Our Corporate Plan and progress towards the vision set out in the Our Manchester Strategy.

 

In relation to the Council’s update Financial Strategy and Budget 2020/21, some of the key points that arose from the Committees discussions were:-

 

·                What was the potential impact on the Council’s income with the anticipated review by Government on Business rates and what plans had the Council in place to address any impact;

·                Clarification was sought on the forecasted in-year overspend of £4.2m for 2019/20 and whether this was against the original or revised budget and connected to this what were the overspends within Children’s Services and Adult Social Care against their original budgets;

·                How did the Council intend to meet the cost of the estimated overspend of £4.2m;

·                What was the intended use of the GMCA return/refund relating to Business Rates and Waste Disposal of £7.2m and why was it to be spread equally across 2020-2022;

·                What was the source(s) of the additional commercial income of £8m;

·                Clarification was sought on what was the total amount of additional income from Government the Council would receive for 2020/21;

·                It was commented that savings targets within Adults Services either needed to be achievable, as this service area had never achieved previous targets that it had been set, or accept that what was being asked of the service was not achievable and cease asking this of the service; and

·                Clarification was sought what the £46.9m capital financing cost was in relation to and what were the expected interest payment figure for 2020/21.

 

The Deputy Chief Executive and City Treasurer advised that the proposals outlined within the Queens Speech was that changes would be compensated through Section 31 grants to mitigate any immediate impact should there be changes to Business Rate retention levels.  She commented that there would need to be a longer term policy debate by Government on the role of Business Rates  ...  view the full minutes text for item 2.

3.

Capital Investment Pipeline and Priorities pdf icon PDF 267 KB

Report of the Deputy Chief Executive and City Treasurer attached

 

This report provides a summary of the Council’s proposed capital investment priorities, which will be included in the Capital Strategy report to Executive in February.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report of the Deputy Chief Executive and City Treasurer, which provided a summary of the Council’s proposed capital investment priorities, which would be included in the Capital Strategy report to Executive in February 2020.

 

The main points and themes within the report included:-

 

·                Through the existing capital programme and recent policy decisions there were already a number of overarching future investment priorities, which included:-

·                The steps required to ensure the Council’s capital programme met its target to at least halve its carbon output over the next five years, which would include understanding how investment could be classified in terms of carbon impact as well as financial;

·                The ongoing priority to deliver new affordable housing stock resulting in the decision to increase the delivery target from 5,000 Affordable Homes to a minimum of 6,400 Affordable Homes by March 2025;

·                A continued commitment to develop a more inclusive economy, both for the City and the Council, in order to meet the ambition set out within the Our Manchester Industrial Strategy;

·                An increasing role for the Council to look at market intervention, where the existing market outputs did not support the Council’s wider aims, likely to be focussed on areas such as health and social care and particular residential and intermediate care;

·                To ensure that the Council’s corporate estate was fit for purpose, particularly its leisure estate where certain assets were now nearly 20 years old;

·                It was difficult to project the exact budget requirement but for the purposes of the Strategy it was proposed to include a total budget of £30m across all years of the programme for inflation, to be funded from borrowing; and

·                An outline of the potential investment proposals across Council Directorates to support the Council in achieving its strategic aims.

 

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

 

·                What proposals, if any, was there for investment programmes for the Inclusive Economy;

·                Where consideration of market interventions was being considered, was this purely to improve the Council’s financial position or to also improve the Council’s social value aims at the same time;

·                More information was requested on the potential capital requirements for the development of supported and semi-supported housing options and also the proposal to consider the establishment of a Council owned temporary accommodation unit for homeless families;

·                There was concern that there was no specific budget allocations for some of the priorities highlighted in the report, with particular reference to proposals to support homeless families and young people;

·                There was concern that there was no reference within the Capital paper or pipeline to crime proofing infrastructure;

·                Was there any financial provision to investigate/research potential inclusions to the Council’s Capital Programme prior to business cases being developed and submitted for consideration;

·                It was commented that as the Capital Programme only listed major, large scale schemes, smaller, local schemes that required investment could often got overlooked;

·                What future investment was planned past 2022/23 for drainage;

·                Why was there no budget line after  ...  view the full minutes text for item 3.

4.

Draft 'Our People Plan 2020/23 pdf icon PDF 224 KB

Report of the Interim Director of HR and OD attached

 

This report provides an update on the development of Our People Plan 2020/23 to deliver Our People strategy and gives an opportunity for the Committee to comment on initial proposals.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report of the Interim Director HR and OD, which provided an update on the development of Our People Plan 2020/23, to deliver Our People strategy.

 

The main points and themes within the report included:-

 

·                The Our People strategy set out a compelling vision for a future workforce and workplace where systems, processes and cultures were fully aligned with Our Manchester behaviours and where people had the skills, opportunity and support to perform at their best;

·                An overview of the draft Our People delivery plan for 2019/20; and

·                A summary of key Our People achievements to date

 

In considering this item, the Committee also considered the report entitled Workforce Intelligence Update and Overview of Vacancies (agenda item 8).  The main points and themes of this report included:-

 

·                Absence levels had increased across the organisation and remained amongst the highest in Greater Manchester and now stood at an average of 12.72 days lost per employee in 12 months up to September 2019;

·                Stress/Depression continued to account for the greatest number of days lost and was the most common reason for absence in each Directorate;

·                Significant work had been undertaken over the last six months to try to address rising absence figures at both a Corporate and Directorate/Service level;

·                In addition, HROD were supporting a range of “deep dive” projects in each Directorate to address specific issues;

·                An overview of live capability/conduct cases across each Directorate;

·                There continued to be reduction in agency spend across the Council;

·                Details of the number of apprenticeships starts by the end of quarter 2 of 2019/20; and

·                Details on the number of posts showing as vacant, including the numbers of those currently out to recruitment; those held as the service was currently going through a service redesign and those which were budgeted on the organisational structure but were not currently being recruited to.

 

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

 

·                How would the Plan look to address underperformance of employees and ensure that the number of staff that had been subjected to a prolonged period suspension during disciplinary procedures was reduced;

·                It was commented that improving the organisations’ approach to performance management was a central issue to any People Strategy and should not be a peripheral issue;

·                It was also suggested within the Plan there needed to be a distinction between work that would be undertaken in improving the Council’s disciplinary processes and performance management of staff;

·                When were the outcomes of the 2019 BHeard survey and outcomes of the Independent Race Equality Review likely to be available for scrutiny;

·                There was concern around the overrepresentation of BAME staff subject to disciplinary procedures;

·                How often in Return to Work conversations did staff cite that their absence was connected to the stress brought on by having to cover vacant posts and what was being done about this;

·                It was asked whether Officers had done any detailed analysis to investigate whether there was a correlation between the number of vacancies  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.

5.

Workforce Intelligence Update and Overview of Vacancies pdf icon PDF 261 KB

Report of the Interim Director of HR and OD attached

 

This report outlines the current highlights from the Quarter 2 2019/20 Workforce Dashboards for the Committee’s information and provides detail on the current vacancies across the organisation.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee this item under the previous minute.

 

6.

Overview Report pdf icon PDF 507 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.

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. 

 

Decision

 

The Committee:-

 

(1)       Notes the report;

(2)       Agrees the work programme.