Agenda and minutes
Resources and Governance Scrutiny Committee - Tuesday, 9th March, 2021 10.00 am
Venue: Virtual meeting - Webcast at https://vimeo.com/514224144
Contact: Michael Williamson
To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 9 February 2021.
The Committee approves the minutes of the meeting held on 17 February 2021 as a correct record.
Report of the Deputy Chief Executive and City Treasurer attached
This report proposes further refinements to the council’s approach to Social value reflect the impact of the pandemic has had on the city and the role social value can play in supporting the economic recovery.
Treasurer, which provided an update on the effects on the delivery of Social Value by the Council’s suppliers resulting from the pandemic and set out proposals to reprofile the Council’s priorities for the delivery of Social Value to more closely align the social value priorities to supporting the city’s economic recovery and introduce further measures that would ensure that the commitment to addressing the climate crisis was reflected by the Council’s suppliers.
Key points and themes in the report included:-
· The Council’s approach to Social Value;
· How the pandemic had affected Social Value;
· Examples where the delivery of Social Value had continued and where contractors have had to significantly adapt or pause their social value provision in light of the pandemic;
· An overview of the proposed new Social Value Policy which included priority actions to support Manchester’s recovery, expanding the Council’s priority groups and environmental scoring in the evaluation of tenders; and
· The expected impact of the updated priorities.
The report would also be considered by the Executive at its meeting on 17 March 2021
Some of the key points that arose from the Committee’s discussions were:-
· The proposal to move to a 30% Social Value weighting to all contracts as standard (20% social value and 10% zero carbon) was welcomed;
· What impact would the reduction in the Council’s budget and staffing have on the ability of the Integrated Commissioning and Procurement team to deliver Social Value;
· How was the further priority aimed at addressing inequalities faced by Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) residents going to be achieved;
· What quantitative measures could be asked of employers to demonstrate that they were providing Social Value within their tenders;
· Did the Council hold any information on the percentage of businesses in the city that were owned or managed by Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic people and did the Council monitor what proportion of its contracts went to such businesses;
· It was questioned why Manchester’s Social Value policy did not specifically reference the use of local supply chains in the same way the Greater Manchester Social Value policy did;
· It was suggested that the Ethical Procurement and Contract Management Scrutiny Sub Committee should play a role in monitoring the implementation on the refreshed Social Value Policy and that this should be reflected in the policy;
· Further information was sought on how the Integrated Alcohol and Drug Early Intervention and Treatment service with CGL, have continued to meet their social value environmental commitments;
· What happened to those individuals who were on Biffa’s apprenticeship programme when they had to pause its apprentice programme due to the pandemic and could an assurance be given that the same number of formal apprenticeships would be delivered before the break in contract with Biffa;
· Was it possible to provide any detail on how the 10% Social Value weighting to zero carbon would be monitored and how much involvement would be expected of businesses to buy in to the climate change agenda;
· Would it be possible in the Policy ... view the full minutes text for item 17.
Report of the Strategic Director – Growth and Development attached
This report provides an update on property activity since the last Annual Property Report in November 2019. It reviews activity across the Development Team, including the Investment Estate; and the Operational Estate. The report includes an update on the specific areas requested in the Scrutiny Committee’s work programme.
The Committee defers consideration of this report to its meeting in May or June 2021 in order for the report to be updated with more up to date information to enable a well-informed discussion.
[Councillor Wright declared a personal and prejudicial interest in this item as she is a member of the Executive of Manchester Trades Union Council which is presently pursuing a Community Asset Transfer from the Council and left the meeting before the consideration of this item.]
Report of the Director of Housing and Residential Growth attached
This report outlines the proposal for governance of the Housing service after it transfers from Northwards to the Council in July 2021. The proposal is intended to have proper oversight of housing management and maintenance services. Empower tenants and meet the requirements of the White Paper” A charter for social housing tenants”.
The Committee considered a report of the Director of Housing and Residential Growth, which provided a summary of the proposals for governance of the Housing service after it transferred from Northwards to the Council in July 2021.
Key points and themes of the report included:-
· Details of tenant engagement that had taken place, ensuring that there was a wider range of engagement with more diversity and proper representation;
· Consideration of the level of decision making that the proposed Housing Board should have;
· The proposal that once transferred, the housing management and maintenance service would be governed by elected members and tenants, building on existing tenant engagement processes;
· The Board’s role and purpose, which would be similar to that of the Board of Northwards currently as it relates to housing functions, delivery and performance; and
· Timescales for formal implementation.
Some of the key points that arose from the Committee’s discussions were:-
· It was requested that the six Elected Member positions on the proposed Board were appointed to from Councillors who had Northwards properties within their wards;
· There was concern that the proposed Board would not have direct operational responsibility for the housing service and essentially would be an advisory board;
· It was felt that the transition would need to be carefully managed so that tenants did not feel they were being ignored;
· It was suggested that the use of independent professional members on the Board, who could provide advice to tenants and Elected Members should be considered;
· There was a discussion about the merits of independent membership of housing boards, and concerns were raised about the potential for conflicts of interest to arise for Elected Members, particularly in the absence of independent members;
· There was concern that the proposed balance of the Board, with only four tenant representatives downplayed the tenants’ voice and it was suggested that there should be an equal number of tenant seats on the Board to Elected Members;
· Confirmation was sought that meetings including all Councillors with Northward tenants in their wards would continue; and
· It was suggested that when the shadow board arrangements concluded, scrutiny should have an opportunity to review how effective it had been.
The Executive Member for Housing and Regeneration confirmed that the Elected Member positions on the proposed Board would be appointed to from Councillors who had Northwards properties within their wards. She added that a key priority over the last 12 months and also going forward would be ensuring tenants had a say and direct impact in the shaping of their service. Any structures would be developed in partnership with tenants through an independent organisation (Shelter) to ensure that they felt that their voice was being heard and listened to.
The Director of Housing and Residential Growth advised that part of the work programme being developed with Shelter would seek to increase the accreditation of the 26 Tenants and Residents Associations. A new Leaseholders Group would be created along with a Sheltered Housing Group and Editorial panel, to ensure all publications ... view the full minutes text for item 19.
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.
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. Members were also invited to agree the Committee’s future work programme.
It was noted that a small number of previous recommendations were still outstanding responses and that these were now getting on for being 12 months old. It was also noted that as this was the last meeting of the Municipal Year, the Chair would liaise with Officers in relation to the work programme for the Committee’s first meeting in the new Municipal Year
(1) Notes the report.
(2) Requests that Officers look to provide responses to the outstanding recommendations at the earliest opportunity.
(3) Agrees that the Chair liaises with Officers in relation to the work programme for the Committee’s first meeting in the new Municipal Year.