Agenda and minutes

Venue: Committee Rooms 2/3, Civic Offices Angel Street Bridgend CF31 4WB. View directions

Contact: Mr Mark Anthony Galvin  Senior Democratic Services Officer - Committees

Items
No. Item

14.

Apologies for Absence

To receive apologies for absence from Members.

 

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillor N Clarke.

15.

Declarations of Interest

To receive declarations of personal and prejudicial interest (if any) from Members/Officers in accordance with the provisions of the Members Code of Conduct adopted by Council from 1 September 2008 (including whipping declarations)

 

Minutes:

The following declarations of interest were made:

 

Councillor CA Green declared a personal interest in agenda item 6 – Procurement Update as a director of a company that has successfully negotiated the Council’s procurement process.

 

Councillor M Jones declared a personal interest in agenda item 6 – Procurement Update as a director of a company that has successfully negotiated the Council’s procurement process.

 

Councillor C Webster declared a personal interest in agenda item 8 – Budget Monitoring 2017-18 – Quarter 1 Forecast as a family member is in receipt of Social Services support.    

16.

Approval of Minutes pdf icon PDF 101 KB

To receive for approval the minutes of a meeting of the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee of the 31 July 2017

 

Minutes:

RESOLVED:       That the minutes of the meeting of the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee of 31 July 2017 be approved as a true and accurate record.  

17.

Overview and Scrutiny Forward Work Programme pdf icon PDF 85 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Scrutiny Officer presented the Overview and Scrutiny Forward Work programme for 2017-18 for approval.  She informed the Committee that there would need to be flexibility in the Forward Work Programmes and they would be reviewed by this Committee at each meeting as part of its remit for setting and prioritising the overall Forward Work Programme for the Subject Overview and Scrutiny Committees.

 

Conclusions

 

Following consideration by the Committee, it determined the Overview and Scrutiny Committee Forward Work Programme as follows:

 

Members discussed the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Forward Work Programme and agreed the following:

 

  • Remove Contract Management from the forward work programme for the 15 November meeting due to the queries being addressed at the Subject Overview and Scrutiny Committee and by way of Pre-Council briefings.
  • Members considered the feedback and responses from their previous Committee Meeting and asked for further clarification in relation to the Sickness Absence item with reference to points A and E

 

Members discussed the Subject Overview and Scrutiny Committees Forward Work Programme and agreed the following:

 

  • Invite the Leader and Chief Executive for the City Deal item
  • Recommended the webcasting of the Dementia item and to invite external bodies such as the Alzheimer’s society to the meeting.
  • For an item on Autism to be added to the Forward Work Programme.  Member to complete a criteria form to expand further on request before this is added to the Forward Work Programme.

 

Members prioritised and delegated the following to the Subject Overview and Scrutiny Committees:

 

Item 

Committee

Date of meeting

School Strategic Review

 

1

10 January 2018

Empty Homes

 

2

8 January 2018

Community Asset Transfer

 

3

17 January 2018

School Standards

 

1

8 February 2018

 

Economic Prosperity of Bridgend County Borough

2

7 February 2018

Town Centre Regeneration

 

3

12 February 2018

 

18.

Nomination of Members to Public Service Board Panel pdf icon PDF 54 KB

Minutes:

The Scrutiny Officer presented a report which sought a nomination for one member of the Committee to sit on the Public Service Board Overview and Scrutiny Panel.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That Councillor T Giffard be nominated the Committee’s representative to sit on the Public Service Board Overview and Scrutiny Panel.

19.

Procurement Update pdf icon PDF 112 KB

Invitees

 

Andrew Jolley – Corporate Director Operational and Partnership Services

Cllr Hywel Williams – Deputy Leader

Cllr Dhanisha Patel – Cabinet Member for Wellbeing and Future Generations

Minutes:

The Scrutiny Officer presented a report which gave an update on the progression of the various work streams on the Corporate Procurement Review and which also highlighted how compliance with legislation is achieved via the procurement process.

 

The Committee questioned who would be consulted as part of the review of the Procurement Strategy.  The Corporate Procurement Manager stated that consultation would take place with the Corporate Management Board which would then filter through the Council. 

 

The Committee questioned the lack of a deadline for eTendering.  The Corporate Procurement Manager informed the Committee that eTendering had been rolled out in accordance with the Public Contract Regulations and the authority will be fully compliant by October 2018.  The Corporate Director Operational and Partnership Services confirmed that a number of large scale projects had been procured through eTendering, including the procurement of school transport contracts. 

 

The Committee questioned what due diligence measures are applied when the authority procures contracts to ensure the financial probity of companies and that companies which tender for the Council’s services behave in an ethical manner and in line with the Council’s own values.  The Corporate Director Operational and Partnership Services informed the Committee that an appraisal into the financial probity of companies is undertaken each time by the Finance Department to ensure they are financially secure.  He stated that due diligence of potential contractors is undertaken before companies are allowed on to the Framework Agreements in use by the authority.  The Committee questioned who is responsible for reviewing that process before the authority enters into a contractual arrangement with a company.  The Corporate Director Operational and Partnership Services clarified that the appropriate Corporate Director along with the Category Specialist would have that responsibility to ensure scoring of a tender was done correctly.  The Committee questioned what steps were taken to ensure the ethical probity of companies the authority was to enter into contract arrangements.  The Corporate Director Operational and Partnership Services stated that the authority used a standard set of questions which potential contractors were required to answer in assessing whether they were ethical and also used standard contracts.              

 

The Committee also questioned why the authority had not committed to the ethical code of practice by paying its staff the living wage which goes to the heart of fairness and whether the authority required companies it contracted with to do the same.  The Corporate Director Operational and Partnership Services commented that paying the living wage is a political decision for the authority to make.  He stated that paying the living wage would impinge on every Directorate and on national pay scales which was to be the subject of review.  Paying the national living wage would require a great deal of work and funding.  He also stated that the authority would not require its contractors to do what the authority would not do itself.  The Cabinet Member Wellbeing and Future Generations informed the Committee that the authority adheres to the national minimum wage but confirmed the authority did not  ...  view the full minutes text for item 19.

20.

Rationalising the Estate: Smarter Use of Resources pdf icon PDF 160 KB

Invitees:

 

Mark Shephard – Corporate Director Communities

Cllr Hywel Williams – Deputy Leader

Cllr Charles Smith – Cabinet Member Education and Regeneration

Satwant Pryce – Head of Regeneration Development and Property Services

Fiona Blick – Group Manager Property Services

Minutes:

The Scrutiny Officer introduced a report on rationalising the Council’s estate which is a key project relating to the Smarter Use of Resources corporate priority.

 

The Corporate Director Communities informed the Committee that the intent of the report is to demonstrate the extent of the Council’s asset management portfolio, the strategic direction of travel, the progress made with Community Asset Transfer and other major projects.

 

The Committee questioned the progress made on acquiring property for investment.  The Group Manager Property Services stated that the Council has an eclectic mix of commercial property within its portfolio. The majority of which are not held for purely investment purposes.  Examples of those properties are at the Innovation Centre in the Science Park, to provide start-up space for businesses.  Property has also been acquired at Waterton Cross, specifically as an investment and to generate an income from letting out the premises.  She stated that the service has a budget of £0.5m to acquire additional property for investment but nothing suitable had been identified within the borough council.  A bid had been placed for additional capital monies, following advice from CIPFA and Alder King, but the bid had proven unsuccessful at this stage.   The Corporate Director Communities stated that if further funding was made available to invest in commercial property there was the potential that the Council would be able to generate more income.  He also informed the Committee that many local authorities had gone down alternative routes of investing in commercial developments in order to generate new income streams.  However, there were clearly also some risks associated with this approach.

 

The Committee questioned the reason for 126 non-operational properties being retained.  The Group Manager Property Services informed the Committee that the properties ranged from starter units to properties at the Innovation Centre and Science Park and small garages.  She stated that some non-operational properties are commercial; some properties serve a socio-economic role whilst some properties had simply been inherited. 

 

The Committee commented that many sites in valley communities which had been deemed to be surplus needed to be cleared as the sites were not commercially viable and questioned whether a community approach could be adopted in determining the future of the site.  The Group Manager Property Services stated that this approach was already taken when appropriate, for example in the Ogmore Valley; however it was found that often it had proven too much of an undertaking for the community and therefore the transfer of the asset to the community could not take place and the site was disposed of on the open market.  The Group Manager Property Services informed the Committee that the most successful disposals had been when the site had been disposed to Town and Community Councils. 

 

The Committee commented that there were a number of sites which had been left in a poor visible state after the building had been demolished but not disposed of.  The Corporate Director Communities stated that the Welsh Government led Valleys Task Force had considered sites  ...  view the full minutes text for item 20.

21.

Information Reports for Noting pdf icon PDF 164 KB

Budget Monitoring 2017-18 – Quarter 1 Forecast

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee received for noting an update on the Council’s financial position as at 30 June 2017.  The Council was projected to have a net under spend of £1.209m comprising a net over spend on Directorates of £292k and £1.501m net under spend on corporate budgets as at 30 June 2017.

 

The Committee expressed its concern at the projected over spend in the Social Services and Wellbeing Directorate and the reason for savings in that Directorate not being achieved.  The Committee also requested clarification of the spend on the Other Services to Older people budget.

 

RESOLVED:       That the report be noted.       

22.

Urgent Items

To consider any item(s) of business in respect of which notice has been given in

accordance with Part 4 (paragraph 4) of the Council Procedure Rules and which the person presiding at the meeting is of the opinion should by reason of special circumstances be transacted at the meeting as a matter of urgency.

Minutes:

There were no urgent items. 

 

 
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