Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Civic Suite, North Warehouse, The Docks, Gloucester, GL1 2EP. View directions

Contact: Democratic and Electoral Services 

Items
No. Item

1.

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:

1.1      There were no Declarations of Interest.

2.

Declaration of Party Whipping

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

 

Minutes:

2.1        There were no declarations of party whipping.

 

3.

Minutes

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

Minutes:

3.1 RESOLVED that:- The minutes of the meeting held on 25th February 2019 were approved and signed as a correct record by the Chair.

4.

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

Minutes:

4.1      There were no public questions.

5.

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

Minutes:

5.1      There were no petitions or deputations.

6.

Overview and Scrutiny Committee Work Programme and Council Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 50 KB

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

Additional documents:

Minutes:

6.1       The Committee considered the Work Programme and Forward Plan. Councillor Hilton suggested that, as Cabinet was considering the Annual Report on the Grant Funding provided to the Voluntary Community Sector in June, the Committee should consider it at its June meeting.

 

6.2      Councillor Haigh noted that the Council’s Climate Change Strategy was outdated, and in need of review. Furthermore, she submitted that a date should be set for a briefing on the proposed development plans of Gloucester Railway Station.

 

6.3       RESOLVED that:- (1) The review of the implementation of Universal Credit to take place at the meeting of 29th April; (2)The Overview and Scrutiny committee would consider the Annual Report on the Grant Funding provided to the Voluntary Community Sector at its June meeting.  ; (3)  The Climate Change Strategy Report to be reviewed; (4) A date should be set for the briefing on the proposed design plans of Gloucester Railway Station and; 5)The Overview and Scrutiny Committee NOTE the Work Programme.

7.

Discretionary Housing Payments pdf icon PDF 107 KB

To consider the report of the Cabinet Member for Performance and Resources that proposes a formal policy for the Scheme which will take into account relevant changes in the Department for Work and Pension’s Discretionary Housing Payment guidance and will have consideration to the Council’s key objectives.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

7.1      The Head of Policy and Resources, introduced the report and highlighted key aspects. He outlined that the purpose of the policy was to formalise the Discretionary and Housing Payment scheme, thus bringing it in line with both the Department of Work and Pensions guidance, and the Council ‘s key objectives. He reiterated that new policy would be effective from the 1st of April 2019.

 

7.2       Councillor Haigh queried why the scheme will ordinarily only support claimants for 13 weeks. She submitted that 13 weeks could be onerous for some individuals who would rather benefit from having the assistance for a longer period. In response to this, Intelligent Client Officer, expressed that by nature of being a discretionary scheme, some flexibility could be made to extend this period for those individuals who continue to demonstrate the need for support.

 

7.3      Councillor Haigh further stated her concern that there could be a potential burden for claimants in situations whereby they still required support beyond the 13 weeks, and thus would have to reapply again for the scheme. She opined that this could lead to claimants requiring repeat awards.

 

7.4      The Intelligent Client Officer, reemphasised that applications are looked at on an individual case by case basis, considering the claimants’ particular circumstances. She further noted that, although the scheme was not designed for repeat awards as such, they could still be granted in exceptional circumstances.

 

7.5      In relation to the Intelligent Client Officer’s comments, Councillor Haigh asserted that perhaps the policy needed redrafting, as it did not, in her view, reflect the reality.

 

7.6      Councillor Haigh queried why only certain elements of War Pensions were disregarded for the purposes of calculating income. The Intelligent Client Officer advised that the policy had been aligned to Housing Benefit and that numerous other Councils did not disregard any elements of War Pensions for the purposes of income.

 

7.7      Noting that the DHP process would be administered by the City Council’s contractors, Civica, Councillor Haigh stated that further clarification was needed on the process of applying for a DHP. She stated  that this was not clear enough in the City Council ‘s policy as it stood.

 

 

7.8      Councillor Pullen highlighted that the Discretionary Housing Payments’ fund had traditionally been underspent. In light of this, he felt it was pertinent to consider how the new policy was going to be made more visible.

 

7.9      In reference to Councillor Pullen‘s comments, The Intelligent Client Officer explained that the Council had attempted to ensure the budget was being fully utilised. Additionally, she made Members aware of some of the steps the Council had taken to ensure greater visibility for the new DHP policy. This included meeting with the target audience, meeting with partner agencies, input from partner agencies on policies, and a customer reception at Green Square where members of the Public could be assisted with their applications.

 

 

7.10    Councillor Pullen queried what measures , if any,  were in place to help people complete their applications.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.

8.

Information Technology Outsourcing (ITO) Contract pdf icon PDF 92 KB

To consider the report of the Cabinet Member for Performance and Resources resenting the recommendation to extend the Civica ITO contract for a period of 11 months to the 31st March 2021.

Minutes:

8.1      The Head of Policy and Resources outlined the recommendation to extend the Civica UK Limited ITO Contract for a period of 11 months to the 31st of March 2021. He further highlighted the reasoning behind bringing forward this recommendation as set out in the Proposed Extension to Civica ITO Contract report.

 

8.2      Councillor Hilton submitted that some flexibility was required in terms of extending the current contract with Civica , and potentially entering into a joint procurement with Gloucestershire County Council after the 31st of March 2021 as proposed. In particular, he highlighted the fact that, the City Council ‘s rent in the current premises ends in 2022, and this could be subject to change thereafter. The Head of Policy and Resources advised that any extension of the current contract would allow for some flexibility.

 

8.3      Councillor Haigh queried whether the proposed joint procurement with Gloucestershire County Council would still be compatible with City Council’s particular needs.  The Head of Policy and Resources advised that both the City and County Council’s had invested in IT infrastructure and the contract with Civica was for external support.

 

8.4       RESOLVED that: - The Overview and Scrutiny Committee NOTE the report.

 

 

 

 

 

 

9.

Performance Monitoring Quarter 3 pdf icon PDF 99 KB

To consider the report of the Cabinet Member for Performance and Resources that informs Members of the Council’s performance against key measures in Quarter 3 of 2018/19.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

 

9.1      The Head of Policy and Resources outlined the report, and welcomed questions from the Committee.

 

9.2       Councillor Hilton queried why the proportion of waste that was recycled had decreased from a peak of 50% in May 2018 to 42% in December 2018 in CIE3. The Head of Policy and Resources advised that the relevant Officer would be contacted to provide information.

 

9.3       In considering the number of sickness days as shown in HR2, Councillor Hilton questioned why this had significantly increased in this quarter when compared to the equivalent quarter in 2017/18. Councillor Haigh suggested that this spike could be attributed to the flu, and the fact that not all individuals would have received the flu vaccine. Moreover, she noted that other organisations had experienced the same issue around this same period.

 

9.4       In reference to graph CIE3, Councillor Ryall expressed that she disagreed with the interpretation of the graph (in which both short and long term recycling  trends were seen to be improving). She therefore sought further clarification on this. The Head of Policy and Resources advised that the relevant Officer would be contacted to provide information.

                                      

9.5       In reference to graph RB1, Councillor Haigh asked if it would be possible for comparative data on council tax collection from previous years to also be provided. Furthermore, she requested that further information be provided regarding the collection rate, such that it would be easier to see whether all council tax for that particular period was collected. Th Head of Policy and Resources advised that the relevant Officer would be contacted to provide information.

 

 

9.6       Councillor Pullen noted that whilst it is positive to see that the number of complaints is reducing in CST3, it would be helpful if information could be provided as to how many of those complaints are actually resolved. The Head of Policy and Resources advised that the relevant Officer would be contacted to provide information.

 

9.6       Councillor Toleman queried how the trends in H2 and H4 could be interpreted as improving. He was of the opinion that the data did not corroborate this. The Head of Policy and Resources advised that the relevant Officer would be contacted to provide information.

 

9.7       RESOLVED that:- The Overview and Scrutiny Committee NOTE the report.

 

 

10.

Date of Next Meeting

29th April 2019 at 6.30pm in the Civic Suite, North Warehouse.

Minutes:

10.1    29th of April 2019 at 6.30pm in the Civic Suite, North Warehouse.

 

 
 
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