Agenda and minutes
Venue: Meeting Room 1, Guildhall
Contact: Suzanne Price Scrutiny Facilitator
Apologies for absence
Apologies for absence was submitted on behalf of Councillors Paul Blackwell and M G Morris.
To sign as a correct record the Minutes of the Meeting held on 28 November 2018
The Minutes of the Meeting held on 28 November 2018 were submitted. It was noted that there was a spelling mistake on page 4, where the word “complaint” had been used instead of “compliant”.
AGREED – That subject to the aforementioned amendment, the Minutes of the Meeting held on 28 November 2018 be signed as a correct record.
To consider the report of the Head of Finance
The Head of Finance submitted a report (HF/137/2018s) to assist the Committee in considering and agreeing its work programme.
AGREED – That the work programme be agreed.
To consider the report of the Chief Executive
The Lead Member for Organisation – Finance, Performance, Health and Safety and Governance submitted a report (CE/10/18) to update Members on the outcomes from the two workshops that were held in order to review reshaping to date, to outline the process for determining the key things to focus on moving forwards (emerging priorities) and to gather initial views from scrutiny on what these areas might be.
The Lead Member presented the report and together with the Chief Executive, responded to questions accordingly. A debate ensued and the following points were highlighted:
· Acknowledgement that the review of the Senior Management structure had already saved over £2m.
· Importance of ensuring that the new Management structure was successful in delivering priorities.
· Feedback sought on emerging priorities.
· Suggestion that in future, consideration be given to the impact of savings across the whole of the organisation rather than just an individual service.
· Importance of acknowledging that partnership working in the future was key in terms of gathering information and that the Council were not in a position to work alone.
· Confirmation that further detail of the priorities would be presented to Scrutiny early in the New Year.
· Clarification sought regarding the deliverability of the Council Plan, and the importance of ensuring that the relevant resources were there to deliver the priorities within it.
· Recognition that budget/financial resources needed to be considered, but it wasn’t the only factor.
· Request that rural areas be given the same level of priority as the town centre.
· Uncertainty expressed regarding the impact of Brexit.
· Acknowledgement that out of county placements were a high cost to the Authority, but it was noted that work was being done to ensure the provision was at a more localised level. It was suggested the views of the PSB be sought on this issue in order to achieve a regional solution.
· It was acknowledged that the amount of new child and social care cases could never be estimated.
· Confirmation that a recruitment process was underway to appoint a new Chief Officer to review and deliver the environment service.
· Suggestion by some that the PFI was having a negative impact on the Environment Department budget and that some services were being cut in order to meet the overspend.
· Importance of focussing on secondary school education in terms of performance improvement and financial sustainment.
· Suggestion that focus should be on making the Town Centre more viable as this would link to transport and the night time economy.
· Importance of supporting other institutions within the Town to deliver on certain things e.g. the football club would be holding an international football match in Wrexham.
· Recognition that the impact of the weather on the winter maintenance budget was difficult to estimate.
· Suggestion that demand management should be a focus when setting priorities.
(i) That the report be noted.
(ii) That the emerging priorities will be discussed by Members in further workshops from January 2019 onwards, using evidence based data, and reflecting upon the Council Plan ... view the full minutes text for item 35.
To consider the report of the Lead Member for Organisation – Planning and Corporate Services
The Lead Member for Organisation – Planning and Corporate Services submitted a report (HCCS/61/18S) to provide Members with details of the Council’s Customer Services and Complaints for the period April to October 2018 including performance and reasons for customers contact.
The Lead Member presented the report and highlighted the main points contained within it. During the debate the following points were noted:
· Confirmation that customer service was generally good and was reflected in high levels of customer satisfaction.
· Suggestion that whilst digital contact had increased significantly, the number of customers accessing services through the medium of Welsh was currently low. However, work was being done to publicise the provision more widely.
· Confirmation that the number of people with an online account had decreased, but in order to gain a true indication and the reasons why, analysis would need to be undertaken over a longer period of time.
· Confirmation that Welsh translations were provided through an external provider. Members were advised that a report on Welsh Language compliance was scheduled for the June Meeting.
· Clarification sought regarding the classification of complaints/reported incidents. Officers confirmed that an initial contact would not be classed as a complaint. If there was a scenario whereby a customer repeatedly made contact then the report would then be escalated to a formal complaint.
· Confirmation by Officers that mediation was an option within the Social Services complaints procedure, but not within corporate complaints. Adding to the comments, the Lead Member referred to issues regarding housing repairs or contractors, and highlighted the excellent service provided by the Tenant Liaison Officers.
· With reference to the Performance Measures in the Report Card (Appendix 1) in future reports, ‘volume of face to face visitors’ to be amended to reflect that this is a record of footfall, and the number of full interviews conducted through the medium of Welsh to be included.
A member of the public asked a question seeking clarity regarding the statistics for the number of emails received in Welsh. Officers advised that the total number of Welsh emails was based on the number sent to the Welsh email address, rather than emails sent to the English email address written in the Welsh language. She advised that for the Welsh emails to be included as part of the statistics, they would need to be sent to the Welsh email address.
(i) That the report be noted.
(ii) That a report be issued on an annual basis in June and that the information that the Committee would have normally received be issued in a 6monthly all member information report.
(iii) That the corporate complaints procedure be reviewed in March 2019.