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 68 KB


To approve as a correct record the Minutes of the meeting of the Corporate Resources Overview and Scrutiny Committee held on 24 May 2016 and to note actions taken since that meeting.




RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting of the Corporate Resources Overview and Scrutiny Committee held on 24 May 2016 be confirmed and signed 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 informed the Committee that item 11 would be moved to the end of the meeting in order to facilitate a visit to view the new office layout at Priory House. Members were provided with an update on progress with regards to measures to improve Council responsiveness to customer queries.




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 Executive Member for Corporate Resources.




The Executive Member for Corporate Resources updated the Committee in relation to the following:-

·           That web based scorecards would soon be available to the public, enabling them to see how the Council measured its success.

·           The new Council website had received over 290,000 hits within the first 2 months of its launch and the results of the feedback functionality would be used to help monitor progress and improvements.

·           That the Council’s software was being upgraded to meet the necessary compliance requirements.

·           That Unions had agreed a 2 year pay settlement for staff, backdated to April 2016 and that pay scales could be modified in light of the national living wage increase.

·           That the apprenticeship levy would come into force over the course of the next year and HR were assessing the budget implications accordingly.



Digital Transformation and IT Strategy Update pdf icon PDF 467 KB


To receive information regarding the ongoing Digital and IT Transformation strategy, providing the Committee with the opportunity to comment upon the direction of travel.


Additional documents:



The Chief Information Officer delivered a presentation outlining progress and the direction of travel in relation to the Digital Transformation Strategy, highlighting the need to update the Council’s technology as it was largely out of date. Members were informed that recent trials had been successful and well received by audiences and were provided with figures in relation to investment and projected financial savings. The Chief Information Officer confirmed that Members would be regularly updated with progress and agreed the importance of effective communication in order to minimise the impact of change.


Members queried the level of Cloud storage, the security procedures involved and whether the disaster recovery strategy was robust under the new measures. In response the Chief Information Officer highlighted the benefits of using the Cloud as it allowed for a more secure method of storage and recovery of data which had been of previous concern to the Authority, with the Directorate confident that current measures taken with regards to compliance and security were effective.


The Chief Information Officer acknowledged the challenge presented by the compatibility of hardware devices with the systems used by the Authority and explained that conflicts should resolve themselves once the technology upgrade had been completed.


The Chief Information Officer went on to deliver a presentation detailing changes to the telephony systems which would support an improved customer experience, including the benefits of having one contact number for each officer, compatible with both landline and mobile devices.


Members were informed that the Council was trialling remote meeting attendance, that it had been successful and well received to date and the Committee proceeded to discuss the benefits of this new way of working. Members conceded that it would not be possible to remotely attend meetings in every instance due to constitutional restrictions when voting, but efficiencies could be realised in relation to informal meetings.


Members agreed that a comprehensive database of officer contacts would be beneficial and the Chief Information Officer agreed to investigate the possibility and update Members accordingly, also ascertaining whether the use of Skype was always free.


NOTED the presentations and RECOMMENDED that the Committee endorse the proposed system improvements, acknowledging the associated benefits.



Working Smarter pdf icon PDF 1 MB


To receive information with regards to the Working Smarter programme, noting and commenting upon proposals.




The Chief Information Officer delivered a presentation which set out progress to date and the direction of travel with regards to the Working Smarter Programme, detailing changes to the working environment within Priory House.


Whilst Members agreed that the new environment was welcome, were satisfied with the level of investment made and acknowledged the achievements to date, they highlighted the importance of staff consultation and buy in to the process, a clear outline of the benefits, savings and any associated impacts on staff working in the area. Members agreed that mobile working was an evolutionary process and that due consideration be given to those roles which had been assessed as requiring a full time office presence and the impact on staff fielding queries on site for mobile colleagues.


NOTED the presentation and RECOMMENDED increased staff consultation for future projects.



2015-16 Outturn Budget Presentation pdf icon PDF 407 KB

To receive a presentation on the Outturn Budget for 2015/16.


The link to the full Executive report can be found here:-








The Chief Finance Officer delivered a presentation detailing the financial position of the Council at the end of Quarter 4. The report highlighted that the underspend had been much lower than in previous years and acknowledged the challenge of generating ongoing reserves in the long term.


NOTED the presentation and RECOMMENDED that the strong financial performance of the Council in Q4 be acknowledged.




Work Programme 2016/17 & Executive Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 57 KB


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


Additional documents:



AGREED the work programme for 2016/17 with the addition of the following:-

1.     To include an overview exercise to assess the use of Council assets in order to meet housing need – Winter 2016

2.     The Farming Strategy – October 2016

3.     Assets Strategy Update - October 2016

4.     Legal Restructure Update – November 2016

5.     To remove the Shortfall in Later Life Housing from the work programme as this had been previously satisfied at the Committee meeting of 22 March 2016