Agenda and minutes

Overview and Scrutiny Committee
Monday, 2nd November 2020 6.30 pm

Venue: Virtual Meeting

Contact: Democratic and Electoral Services 

Link: Click to view live meeting from 6:30pm on 2nd of November 2020

Items
No. Item

2.

Declarations of Interest

To receive from Members, declarations of the existence of any disclosable pecuniary, or non-pecuniary, interests and the nature of those interests in relation to any agenda item. Please see Agenda Notes.

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

3.

Declaration of Party Whipping

To declare if any issues to be covered in the Agenda are under party whip.

 

Minutes:

There were no declarations of party whipping.

4.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 161 KB

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 5th of October 2020.

Minutes:

RESOLVED: - that the minutes of the meetings held on the 5th of October 2020 were approved and signed as a correct record by the Chair.

5.

Public Question Time (15 minutes)

To receive any questions from members of the public provided that a question does not relate to:

 

·         Matters which are the subject of current or pending legal proceedings, or

·         Matters relating to employees or former employees of the Council or comments in respect of individual Council Officers

 

If you would like to ask a question at this meeting, please contact democratic.services@gloucester.gov.uk as soon as possible and by Wednesday 28th of October 2020 at the latest.

 

Minutes:

There were no public questions.

6.

Petitions and Deputations (15 minutes)

To receive any petitions and deputations provided that no such petition or deputation is in relation to:

 

·         Matters relating to individual Council Officers, or

·         Matters relating to current or pending legal proceedings

 

If you would like to present a deputation or petition at this meeting, please contact democratic.services@gloucester.gov.uk as soon as possible and by Wednesday 28th of October  at the latest.

 

Minutes:

There were no petitions and deputations.

7.

Overview and Scrutiny Committee Work Programme and Council Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 405 KB

To receive the latest version of the Committee’s work programme and the Council’s Forward Plan.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

7.1       Councillor Haigh asked for an update on the Public Art Principles and when this would be brought before the Committee. The Chair outlined that this would be considered at the Committee ‘s 30th of November meeting alongside the Cultural Strategy Update and the Gloucester (Covid-19) Recovery PlanVisitors and Cultural Recovery.

 

7.2      RESOLVED: - That the Overview & Scrutiny Committee NOTE the forward plan and work programme.

 

8.

Waste Street Scene and Grounds Maintenance Options pdf icon PDF 252 KB

To receive the report of the Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Environment which recommends the next steps for the delivery of Waste, Street Scene and Grounds Maintenance services beyond the current contract end date of 31 March 2022, and provides a Best Value Review and detailed assessment of options in line with the Cabinet decision of 15 July 2020.

 

Please note that Appendix 2 is exempt from disclosure to the press and public by virtue of Paragraph 3 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 as amended (information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person including the authority holding that information). If Members wish to discuss Appendix 2 the Committee will need to resolve to exclude the press and public before doing so.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

8.1      The Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Environment, Councillor Cook, introduced the item and highlighted key elements. He outlined that the report set out the next steps for the delivery of Waste, Street Scene and Grounds Maintenance Services beyond the current contract end date of 31 March 2022. Councillor Cook then thanked WYG for the work undertaken as part of the options appraisal and Best Value Review. Lastly, he invited questions from Committee Members.

 

8.2     Responding to Councillor Wilson‘s first query regarding paragraph 2.0.18 of Appendix 1, the Corporate Director clarified that what was being recommended at a minimum was to narrow down the four options which were considered in Phase 1 to two options. This would mean not proceeding with both the in-house option and commencement of a formal procurement on the open market, given their relative drawbacks in comparison to the Amey extension and the Ubico options. The Corporate Director added that whilst he would have liked to have presented the Committee with options which could be accepted straight away, the potential sale of Amey meant that there were no assurances that the potential new owners would stand behind the proposals put forward by Amey, thus presenting a potential risk to the Amey proposal. As such, if Members were hesitant to proceed with Amey due to a lack of experience with the potential new owners, it was being recommended that they proceed with UBICO as a preferred option. However, the Council would need to go into further discussions with Ubico as a potential owner and member of the company regarding the final model and costs.

 

8.3      In answer to Councillor Wilson‘s second query, the Corporate Director added that the Council was in a good position to take on the responsibility for the sale of dry recyclables if Members chose the option which required this. Moreover, it was unlikely that this would be entirely without the support of the service partner, although the responsibility for the contracts and the risk would sit with the City Council. In answer to both questions, Len Attrill added that since the report had been written there was now greater clarify on a number of points in relation to Ubico which had been unclear at the time that the report had been written. This was outlined in a letter sent to the Council from WYG (page 91 of the agenda). Furthermore, he agreed with the Corporate Director that Gloucester City Council was in a good position to sell its own dry recyclables if the option chosen required this and noted that other neighboring district Councils currently sold their own recyclables.

 

8.4      Councillor Cook responded to Councillor Stephens’ comments as follows. Firstly, he thanked Councillor Stephens for recognising the work which had been carried out in improving the delivery of services with Amey over the past 18 months. His view was that the delivery of service had improved markedly. In particular, he commended the level of work which had been carried out  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.

9.

Implementation of the Council Motion on 'Black Lives Matter' pdf icon PDF 336 KB

To consider the report of the Leader of the Council which outlines progress and plans with the implementation of the ‘Black Lives Matter’ motion that was approved by Council at its meeting on the 9th of July 2020.

 

 

 

Please note that Appendix 3 is exempt from disclosure to the press and public by virtue of Paragraph 2 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 as amended (Information which is likely to reveal the identity of an individual.). If Members wish to discuss Appendix 3 the Committee will need to resolve to exclude the press and public before doing so.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

9.1       The Leader of the Council, Councillor Cook, introduced the report and highlighted key elements. The Chair stated that the report was excellent, and commended Officers for the quick progression in the work carried out since the Council motion was passed in July 2020.The Chair then invited questions from Committee Members.

 

9.2      The Corporate Director (Partnerships) responded to questions raised by Committee Members as follows. Firstly, the Commission would indeed be open and transparent, and this would begin with the Council publishing a press release outlining the establishment of the Commission in the coming days. Moreover, the Corporate Director (Partnerships) outlined that the names of the Commissioners would be announced once all the Commissioner posts had been filled to include community representatives, rather than announcing the names in a piecemeal fashion. Secondly, she stated that she took on board the comment around including young people in the Commission ‘s work. She added that Officers would work with Commissioners to widen participation from young people. Thirdly, the Corporate Director (Partnerships) outlined that the Chair had been recruited through conversations and canvassing with different individuals. He had been chosen as someone with credibility across the City as well as having strong cross-sector relationships and would act in the interest of the City as a whole.

 

9.3       In terms of the Community Representatives who would sit on the Commission, the Corporate Director (Partnerships) outlined that a more formal recruitment process could be carried out to open the opportunity to participate to everyone across the City.  In answer to Councillor Hilton ‘s question about the £5,000 budget for the work, she explained that this was to provide a cushion in case money was required, for example for outside expertise. However, she added if the money was not required, it would not be used. Indeed, everyone who was working on the project was doing so on a voluntary basis.

 

9.4      Councillor Wilson outlined that the report was a positive end to the meeting, and provided a good template for how to progress a motion.  The Chair echoed this, adding that the Council had embraced the issue of tackling racism.

 

9.5      RESOLVED: That the Overview and Scrutiny Committee NOTE the report.

10.

Gloucester (Covid-19) Recovery Plan - Democratic Governance pdf icon PDF 196 KB

To receive an update on the Democratic Governance service recovery workstream of the Gloucester Recovery Plan.  

Additional documents:

Minutes:

10.1    The Cabinet Member for Performance & Resources Councillor Norman introduced the item and highlighted key elements. She expressed her thanks to the IT and Democratic & Electoral Services teams for the work they had carried out in implementing virtual meetings following the restrictions which had been put in place as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. She added that the steps which had been taken regarding IT as part of the Transformation Programme including  rolling out laptops and Office 365 for both staff members and Members had been an advantage, and meant that the Council had been able to use Microsoft Teams for Virtual Council and Committee Meetings amongst other things. Councillor Norman then explained that taking into account the second national lockdown which was due to come into place on Thursday 5th of November, the Council did not have the ability to move forward with any proposals for hybrid meetings at the time being. The Policy & Governance Manager echoed her thanks to the IT and Democratic & Electoral Services teams and particularly the CIVICA IT Service Manager, and the Democratic & Electoral Services Team Leader.

 

10.2    The Chair stated that the guidance on hybrid meetings was unclear. Moreover, they added that the experience amongst some local authorities and organisations who had implemented hybrid meetings was that they were difficult to manage.

 

10.3   Councillor Stephens also thanked the IT and Democratic and Electoral Services teams. Further, he also expressed his concerns about hybrid meetings, suggesting that they were a disadvantage for those attending the meetings virtually. On the other hand, Councillor Stephens outlined that he wished to see remote working and the webcasting of Committee and Council meetings made a permanent feature at the City Council beyond the pandemic. He added that he had received positive comments from people who had watched the virtual meetings, and overall, the view was that the meetings had increased democratic participation. Councillor Coole agreed with the ongoing role of remote working and virtual meetings, noting that virtual meetings had made Council meetings more accessible to members of the public who may ordinarily not be able to attend the meetings.

 

 

10.4    On the topic of hybrid meetings, Councillor Norman advised that there were uncertainties within the legislation, and, at this moment in time the Council would not be implementing hybrid meetings. Furthermore, Councillor Norman responded to Councillor Stephens and Councillor Haigh ‘s comments as follows. Firstly, regarding webcasting she advised that the potential benefits of webcasting were being weighed up against the financial investment required, particularly at a time when Gloucester City Council like other local authorities faced added financial pressures as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Secondly, responding to Councillor Haigh ‘s comments around the potential limitations of Microsoft Teams, Councillor Norman explained that Microsoft Teams had been selected as the best option for delivering virtual meetings at the time as a system that was already available due to the existing Office 365 license. She added that if working from home was extended into the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 10.

11.

Date of Next Meeting

Monday 30th of November 2020.

Minutes:

Monday 30th of November 2020.