Agenda and minutes

Agenda and minutes

Venue: Council Chamber, Priory House, Monks Walk, Shefford

Contact: Rebecca Preen  0300 300 4193

No. Item


Minutes pdf icon PDF 76 KB

To approve as a correct record the Minutes of the meeting of the Corporate Resources Overview and Scrutiny Committee held on 27 January 2015 and to note actions taken since that meeting.







that the minutes of the meeting of the Corporate Resources Overview and Scrutiny Committee held on 27 January 2015 be confirmed and signed by the Chairman as a correct record.



Members' Interests

To receive from Members any declarations of interest and of any political whip in relation to any agenda item.








Chairman's Announcements and Communications

To receive any announcements from the Chairman and any matters of communication.





The Chairman corrected the title of the Executive Member for Corporate Resources, which had been listed incorrectly in the Agenda as the Deputy Leader. The new Deputy Executive Members for Corporate Resources were welcomed and introduced to the Committee and a brief summary of their responsibilities was provided.




To receive petitions from members of the public in accordance with the Public Participation Procedure as set out in Annex 2 of Part A4 of the Constitution.








Questions, Statements or Deputations

To receive any questions, statements or deputations from members of the public in accordance with the Public Participation Procedure as set out in Annex 1 of part A4 of the Constitution.









To consider any decision of the Executive referred to this Committee for review  in accordance with Procedure Rule 10.10 of Part D2.  








Requested Items

To consider any items referred to the Committee at the request of a Member under Procedure Rule 3.1 of Part D2 of the Constitution.








Executive Member Update


To receive a brief verbal update from the Deputy Leader and Executive Member for Corporate Resources.




The Executive Member for Corporate Resources updated the Committee on recent investigative sessions carried out within Finance and ICT aimed at ensuring efficiency and best practice.


The Committee were informed that workplace transformation was an important focus for the directorate and the single person’s discount, which was usually assessed every two years, would now be assessed every four months to ensure efficient and accurate entitlement procedures. The Committee were also advised of the  importance of the Committee’s scrutiny of Council assets, procurement procedures, the quality of IT delivery and the management of budgets.



IT Strategy pdf icon PDF 122 KB


To receive a report on the Council’s IT Strategy.


Additional documents:



The Director for Improvement and Corporate Services introduced the Chief Information Officer and draft IT Strategy, which was being presented to the Committee for input.


In light of the presentation and report, Members raised the following queries:-

·           Whether the new IT infrastructure could cope with the different and sometimes incompatible products spread across the organisation. In response the Chief Information Officer explained that IT were reviewing a a range of tools that would enable the Council to resolve current challenges relating to incompatibility. In light of several security issues all of the Councils systems would be upgraded as soon as possible.


·           The extent of security of the Council’s systems in light of developments of remote hosting and uploading data to cloud based storage. In response the Chief Information Officer explained there was a rigorous procedure to be undertaken prior to remote hosting of the Council’s systems, which provided confidence of the security of the process.


The Chairman acknowledged this was an ongoing project and requested that a report be brought back to the Committee in the Autumn.




·           the Committee acknowledge the ongoing progress in implementation and delivery of the IT Strategy and;


·           a further report be considered by the Committee in the Autumn of 2015.



Comensura implementation update pdf icon PDF 413 KB

Comensura Implementation Update



The Director for Improvement and Corporate Services introduced the Comensura report and provided background information for new Members of the Committee. Initial concerns regarding the implementation of Comensura and that it would lead to the resignation of agency social workers as employment agencies would not accept new terms and conditions. Fears were that this would leave the Council with insufficient numbers of social workers to support the service, however since the beginning of the contract with Comensura these fears had proved unfounded.


The Chief People Officer delivered a presentation to the Committee, in light of which the following queries were raised:-

·           Why the Council was employing agency staff and not its own permanent employees. In response the Chief People Officer explained the complexities of the Social Worker ‘market’ and that qualified Social Workers could command a very high remuneration which could not be matched by the Council.  Many Authorities found themselves in a similar position and to address this the Council had set up a Social Worker Academy, which would lead to more qualified social workers being employed directly by the Council.  However, this  was a long term solution so the use of agency staff was currently essential.


Members acknowledged that the department were operating and delivering services within complicated contractual confines and accepted the financial savings which had been made since the new provider took over the service.


RECOMMENDED that the Committee acknowledge the progress of the Comensura contract and the subsequent financial savings which had been exceeded since April 2014.



Work Programme 2015/16 and Executive Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 103 KB

The report provides Members with details of the currently drafted Committee work programme and the latest Executive Forward Plan.

Additional documents:



RECOMMENDED that the Corporate Resources OSC Work Programme be agreed subject to the addition of the following items:-


·           The Council Tax Support Scheme be moved from October’s OSC to 25 August 2015.

·           Scrutiny of Council Assets in October 2015.

·           To move Budget and Financial items from December 2015 to February 2016 due to the Executive cycle.

·           IT Strategy update, October 2015.