Agenda and draft minutes

Overview and Scrutiny Committee
Monday, 5th October 2020 6.30 pm

Venue: Virtual Meeting

Contact: Democratic and Electoral Services 

Link: Click to view live meeting from 6:30pm on Monday 5th of October 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 171 KB

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

Minutes:

RESOLVED: - that the minutes of the meetings held on the 7th of September 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 30th of September 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 30th of September 2020  at the latest.

 

Minutes:

There were no petitions and deputations.

7.

Overview and Scrutiny Committee Work Programme and Council Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 390 KB

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

Additional documents:

Minutes:

7.1      The Chair suggested that the Gloucester (Covid-19) Recovery Plan Visitors and Cultural Recoveryis considered alongside the Cultural Strategy Update on the 30th of November as there would likely be crossover between the two items. Committee Members agreed with this.

 

7.2      Councillor Haigh stated that she would be keen for the Committee to look at the Council ‘s Public Art Strategy, an issue which the Committee had taken an interest in the past. The Chair stated that they would look at how best  this could be brought before the Committee when they met with the Vice-Chair and Spokesperson.

 

RESOLVED that: - the Gloucester (Covid-19) Recovery Plan Visitors and Cultural Recovery would be moved to the 30th of November meeting ; the Chair alongside the Vice-Chair and Spokesperson would look at how best  to fit the Public Art Strategy into the Committee work programme.

8.

Gloucester (COVID-19) Recovery Plan: City Council Service Recovery

To receive an update on the City Council service recovery workstream of the Gloucester Recovery Plan.

Minutes:

 

8.1      The Cabinet Member for Policy & Resources, Councillor Norman, introduced the item outlining that the presentation would focus on the impact of COVID-19 and key aspects in the recovery of City Council Services. She then expressed her thanks to City Council staff for their commitment, drive and dedication to their work during these unprecedented times, with many having to adjust to working exclusively from home for the first time.

 

8.2      The Corporate Director conducted the presentation informing Members that it would address the approach and scope of work carried out in relation to City Council Services recovery since lockdown was eased. He explained that at the start of the pandemic most staff were working from home except for staff from some certain service areas who were not able to do so. This included key staff from the Crematorium, Waste Services, in addition to other staff who needed to work in the office. He added that the Council’s investment in IT and shift to agile working such as the implementation of Microsoft Teams had supported working from home for both staff members and Councillors. Furthermore, some staff had helped with the Community Hub and others had volunteered to standby to supplement waste staff although they were ultimately not required. Moreover, the Corporate Director outlined that communication was maintained through fortnightly Q&A sessions with all staff which frequently had over 100 participants, regular staff and Councillor bulletins, and regular meetings with Group Leaders during the period when Committee meetings had been cancelled. Lastly, he explained that the Corporate Director (Partnerships) had attended meetings as part of the County Council Resilience Response Forum Group.

 

8.3       In relation to the easing of lockdown and  implementing recovery plans, the Corporate Director highlighted that several measures had been put in place. This included holding Council and Committee meetings online, customer services delivered through the phone and online, the development of the City Council Recovery Plan, and publishing risk assessments for different areas of the Council and they returned to operations. Regarding the risk assessments, he outlined that these had been drafted by service managers and reviewed by Health & Safety/ Environmental Health Team – in consultation with Trade Unions. In relation to the return to work on premises, the Corporate Director outlined that for those who decided to work in the office, there were socially distanced and designated workspaces and a booking system which staff were required to use in order to record the number of staff present at premises. Staff were also required to wear face coverings in areas where social distancing was difficult to maintain. On average, there were approximately 15-20 staff in the office each day. Furthermore, meeting rooms were available but with limited capacity. The Corporate Director highlighted that current government advice had however changed to stay working from home if you can and the advice to staff had been changed to reflect this. Nonetheless, some staff chose to continue working in the office due to their personal wellbeing or circumstances.

 

 

8.4  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.

9.

Date of Next Meeting

Monday 2nd of November 2020.

Minutes:

Monday 2nd of November 2020.