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Agenda and minutes

Customers, Performance, Resources and Governance Scrutiny Committee
Wednesday, 27th March, 2019 1.30 pm

With effect from 1 April 2016 Agenda and Minutes will be available in both Welsh and English. Reports are working documents and produced in English only in accordance with Welsh Language Standard 41 of this Council’s Final Compliance Notice from the Welsh Language Commissioner.

Venue: Meeting Room 1, Guildhall

Contact: Suzanne Price  Scrutiny Facilitator

Webcast: View the webcast

Items
No. Item

47.

Apologies for absence

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were submitted on behalf of Councillors Mike Davies and John Pritchard.

48.

Declarations of personal interests, if any

Members are reminded of their responsibility, under Paragraph 11 of the Members’ Code of Conduct, to declare the existence and nature of any personal interest in respect of any of the business to be transacted at this meeting

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members were reminded of their responsibility, under Article 11 of the Members’ Code of Conduct, to declare any interests in relation to any of the business to be transacted at this meeting. The following declarations were made:

Councillors Gwenfair Jones and Barrie Warburton

Agenda Item – 4 – Work Programme

Personal – Community Councillor (Gwersyllt)

The Councillors remained in the meeting taking part in the discussion and voting thereon.

49.

Confirmation of Minutes pdf icon PDF 77 KB

To sign as a correct record the Minutes of the Meeting held on 27 February 2019

Additional documents:

Minutes:

AGREED – That the Minutes of the Meeting held on 27 February 2019 be signed as a correct record.

50.

Work Programme pdf icon PDF 89 KB

To consider the report of the Head of Finance

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(Members declarations of interest in relation to this item are set out in Minute 48 above)

 

The Head of Finance submitted a report (HF/26/19s) to assist the Committee in considering and agreeing its work programme.  Members considered the report and made reference to the following matters:

 

·         Noted that the work programme had been reviewed to enable the committee to have a more balanced work programme.

·         Topic Selection Form at Appendix 2 to the report – Revision to Property Procedures and Standards Policy 2015 – 20 (fee list) agreed to be submitted to one of the May meetings to enable the Committee to consider it’s use in relation to third sector, community council or community group asset transfer.

·         Emerging Priorities for the Council – Noted that this matter would be considered by the Executive Board and Council and therefore it was agreed that this item should not be scheduled on the work programme as the Committee felt that to do so would not add value.

 

AGREED – That subject to the aforementioned amendments the work programme be agreed.

51.

Council's Preparations for Brexit pdf icon PDF 93 KB

To consider the report of the Head of Finance

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Lead Member for Organisation – Finance, Performance, Health & Safety and Governance submitted a report (HF/22/19s) to update Members on work which had been undertaken by the Council in partnership with the WLGA and North Wales Resilience Forum to prepare for a no-deal World Trade Organisation (WTO) Brexit.

 

The Head of Finance reported that the Council was working closely with a range of partner organisations and professional groups in order to assess and plan for likely risks and opportunities that may affect the Council and local residents in the event of a “No Deal” Brexit.  A range of guidance and technical notes had been published by the UK Government, Welsh Government and the WLGA in order to assist both organisations and residents and the Council’s website included links to relevant  information for residents, businesses and EU citizens.  It was reported that the Council’s Principal Risk Register had taken account of the UK’s departure from the EU and Members’ attention was drawn to the appended preliminary risk assessment.  Members noted that this was updated on a regular basis and that at present none of the risks on Wrexham Council were high level.  The Head of Finance concluded his presentation by highlighting and providing additional information regarding the key risks as outlined in the report at paragraph 4.4.

 

Members considered the report and asked questions of the officer.  In debate reference was made to the following matters:

 

·         Noted that the appended risk assessment only identified potential impacts on the services provided by the Council.

·         Assurance provided that the risk of transport disruptions were not increasing for the Council at present.  Discussions were ongoing with suppliers who had indicated that they were confident that any disruption to the Council should be minimal.

·         Noted that the National Resilience Board were compiling a regional risk report incorporating information from multiple partners and agencies.

·         Clarification sought on how the Council would communicate with members of the public who did not have access to digital communication.  It was noted that the Council’s communication strategy would increase and would be tailored accordingly as more information regarding Brexit became available.

·         Concern was expressed regarding the impact on outsourced services such as domiciliary care and childcare.  The officer assured Members that regular discussions with suppliers indicated that currently the impact on support workforce was expected to be low.  Further information relating to procurement in the social care sector was requested.

·         Requested that the risk assessment document be updated to include outstanding information from the Head of Corporate and Customer Services and to remove duplicate entry CE3.

·         Suggested that the risk to the commercial estate (loss of income for reinvestment) arising from the risk of a downturn in the economy be included in the risk assessment document.

AGREED – That the Committee accepts the report and is satisfied with the Council’s approach.  The Committee requests that due to the changing nature of Brexit all members receive appropriate updates on risks and other relevant information to be able to better understand  ...  view the full minutes text for item 51.

52.

Corporate and Statutory Complaints Policy Review pdf icon PDF 114 KB

To consider the report of the Lead Member for Organisation – Planning and Corporate Services

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Lead Member for Organisation - Planning and Corporate Services submitted and presented a report (HCCS/05/19) to enable CPR&GSC to review the Corporate Complaints Procedure and specifically the Councils definition of a “complaint”.  Members were informed that the Council’s Corporate and Statutory Complaints Policy had been established in accordance with the Welsh Government Model Concerns and Complaints Policy and Guidance.  This had been adopted across the public sector in Wales and therefore provided a consistent approach to complaint management.  Changing the definition of a complaint for Wrexham Council would have a number of impacts as outlined in the report.  Members were assured that all complaints, whether service failures or corporate complaints, were taken seriously.

 

Members considered the report and made reference to the following matters in debate:

 

·         Whilst the Policy recognised any expression of dissatisfaction as a complaint, these may be addressed outside of the corporate complaints procedure.  It was important to ensure that customers were aware that whilst they may be processed differently, all were dealt with seriously.

·         Assurance was provided that repeated service failures were identified, analysed for trends and investigated.  The Officer advised that in the event of 3 service failures the issue would be automatically referred to the Corporate Complaints Team.

·         The importance of reporting service issues or complaints via the Contact Centre or online via the My Account service as these mechanisms provides a case number and an audit trail of the action taken.

·         Request that future reports provide the level of both corporate complaints and service failures.

 

AGREED –

 

(i)         That the Committee accepts the report and endorses the definition of a Corporate Complaint as outlined in the Council’s Corporate and Statutory Complaints Policy.

 

(ii)        That the wording used in future reports be reviewed to clarify for both Members and the public the figures which relate to complaints (as defined by and for the purposes of the Corporate and Statutory Complaints Policy) and figures for other ‘service failures’ and ‘service requests’.