Agenda and minutes

Cross-Cutting Resources and Business Overview & Scrutiny Committee
Wednesday, 15th July, 2015 1.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Civic Centre, Hanbury Road, Pontypool, NP4 6YB

Contact: Democratic Services  Democratic Services Officers

Items
No. Item

1.

Welcome & apologies

Attendance register to be signed.

Apologies should be given in advance to Geraint Thomas on Tel 01495 742773 or email: GeraintRhys.Thomas@torfaen.gov.uk

Minutes:

1.1       The Chair welcomed Members, officers and guests to the Meeting of all Scrutiny Committees.

 

1.2       Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Stephen Brooks KSS JP, Ronald Burnett, Leonard Constance, Alun Furzer, Elizabeth Haynes, Neil Mason, Phil Seabourne, Barry Taylor, Neil Waite and Ms Mel Tudball.

2.

Declarations of interest

Items of personal interest in respect of items on this agenda to be verbally declared and the declarations of interest form completed.

Minutes:

2.1       The Chair reminded the committee that any declarations of interest needed to be stated and written in the register.

 

2.2       No declarations of interest were made.

3.

Minutes of the meeting held on 9th June 2015 pdf icon PDF 75 KB

To confirm that the minutes of the meeting are correct.

Minutes:

3.1       The minutes of the meeting held on 9th June 2015 were confirmed as an accurate record.

4.

Action sheet pdf icon PDF 54 KB

An update on actions decided at the last meeting.

Minutes:

4.1       The committee noted the action sheet.

5.

Delivering the Corporate Plan (CP2) - Progress update on delivering the Council's 2014/15 improvement objectives pdf icon PDF 86 KB

To enable Members of the Committees to scrutinise the progress made by service areas during the 2014/15 financial year to deliver the activities set out in the Council’s 2014/15 Forward Facing Improvement Plan.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

5.1       The Chair outlined the purpose of the report and the suggested scrutiny activity to be undertaken.

 

5.2       The Chair introduced the SCIO&SO1 and he gave a brief introduction, highlighting that the Annual Performance Report was a statutory requirement, involving an honest appraisal of self evaluation, as agreed in the previous year. He explained that the key issues had been pulled out for the scrutiny session, which had dramatically cut down the size of the document.

 

5.3       The SCIO&SO1 responded to Members’ questions and comments, making the following main points:

  • He explained that no weighting had been applied to the targets, and that it was kept as simple as possible, indicating whether numerical targets had been hit or not.
  • He stated that a scientific approach had been used, that other councils’ examples had been researched and that he was happy to hear any recommendations from the committee for the future.
  • He confirmed that the document was ‘pitched’ for the public, however as it was audited annually there are views regarding what should be contained in the document from the auditor’s viewpoint.
  • He confirmed that future reports could indicate whether each target is a local measure or a Welsh Government measure.
  • He explained that as the authority needed to conduct an honest assessment, it had to be clear whether targets were achieved, therefore the formula was used; otherwise there would be an element of subjectivity.
  • He explained that in terms of the formula used, Torfaen County Borough Council appeared to be the only local authority in Gwent stipulating the formula used, and that a variety of methods were used across Gwent.
  • He confirmed that the same percentage groupings were used as the previous year in order to highlight the level of success; however he was open to change.
  • He agreed that it would be helpful to state in the document how close performance was ‘in proximity of the target’, and that the actual figure used was 2%.

 

5.4       The committee commented that it did not seem correct that a score under 50% could be classed as partially successful, suggesting that a review following research would be helpful.

 

5.5       The Chair introduced the HoE, the HoS&E and the COSC&H, and explained that this part of the meeting would cover Appendix 2 of the report.

 

5.6       The HoE responded to Members’ questions and comments, making the following main points:

  • He explained that only one child in local authority care would leave without an approved external qualification, which was the same number as last year, and that the only reason for an increase in the percentage was due to a change in cohort size.
  • He stated that it is simply not always possible to ensure that everyone leaves with a qualification.
  • He confirmed that the Pupil Deprivation Grant and better tracking systems could help regarding the above, however he confirmed that the LEA already does a good job, even if it is not good enough.
  • He explained that  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.

6.

Date of next meeting

Date to be confirmed.

Minutes:

6.1       The committee noted that the date of the next meeting was to be confirmed.

 

6.2       The meeting ended at 3.50pm.