Agenda and minutes

Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee - Wednesday, 1st September, 2021 09:30

Venue: remotely - via Microsoft Teams. View directions

Contact: Democratic Services 


No. Item


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)





Approval of Minutes pdf icon PDF 213 KB

To receive for approval the minutes of 09 06 21




RESOLVED:                      That the Minutes of a meeting of the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee dated 9 June 2021 be approved as a true and accurate record.


Budget Monitoring 2021-22 - Quarter 1 Revenue Forecast pdf icon PDF 597 KB



Councillor Huw David - Leader

Councillor Hywel Williams - Deputy Leader

Councillor Stuart Baldwin - Cabinet Member for Communities

Councillor Nicole Burnett - Cabinet Member for Social Services and Early Help

Councillor Dhanisha Patel - Cabinet Member for Future Generations and Wellbeing

Councillor Charles Smith - Cabinet Member for Education & Regeneration


Mark Shephard - Chief Executive

Lindsay Harvey - Corporate Director - Education and Family Support

Gill Lewis - Interim Chief Officer Finance, Performance and Change

Claire Marchant - Corporate Director - Social Services and Wellbeing

Janine Nightingale - Corporate Director - Communities

Kelly Watson - Chief Officer Legal, HR & Regulatory Services


Additional documents:


The Interim Chief Officer Finance, Performance and Change updated Members on the Council’s revenue financial position for quarter one as at 30 June 2021 whilst noting time had moved on since this had been reported to Cabinet in July and she would pick up some of the key themes.


She reminded Members that Council at its meeting on 24 February 2021 approved a net revenue budget of £298.956m for 2021-22 and this was the first progress report against that budget.  Table 1 provided a summary of the information and set out the projected position which was showing a projected £1m overspend although she reminded Members that the Outturn report gave a very different picture at the time mainly because there was significant amounts of Covid money and additional grant monies and noted that Members would see financial pressures coming through on many of the budgets. This was clear moving into the 2nd Quarter with particular pressures in Adult Social Care across the whole of Wales. She wanted Members to understand that those pressures were still there, and it was important that Members looked at the significant underlying pressures in some of the services and don’t just take from the outturn report there appears to be a very good financial position.


She took Members through Table 1, noting that a £1m Covid recovery fund had been established which has been used carefully on phased car parking offer, phased rental income increases for BCBC rental properties, waiver of sports fees, summer play etc. none of which were claimable against the hardship fund as local decisions weren't claimable.


Table 2 gave a flavour of Covid claims, noting that there was still a pressure on council tax and the council tax reduction scheme and financial hardship is expected as furlough unfolds. A 1% council tax drop was £1m and there was no support indicated yet from Welsh Government (WG). It was noted at 4.1.13  that pay and prices remained volatile and it was not clear on all the pay awards although there was  some indication that some of the teachers pay would be funded centrally.  Inflation continued to run at quite a high level and it was something that hadn’t been planned for so there was a need to ensure there was enough money in the prices budget.


Table 3 set out the prior year savings which had mainly been achieved although there was a shortfall still of £310k which was unlikely to be met and this needed to be considered. 


Table 4 and Appendix 2 showed the year's performance which had been a remarkable achievement in many respects in difficult circumstances with all the savings likely to be achieved apart from the relocation of the recycling centre which was delayed.


There was a continued need for savings over the life of the MTFS for 2022-2023 to 2025-2026 and it was noted from the projections that another £22m was likely to be needed depending on the level of settlement WG. 


Paragraph 4.3 of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 33.


Review of Budget Research & Evaluation Panel pdf icon PDF 311 KB



Gill Lewis - Interim Chief Officer Finance, Performance and Change




The Interim Chief Officer Finance, Performance and Change outlined the report on the review of Budget Research & Evaluation Panel to Members. In particular, she highlighted the importance of Member attendance to make sure that there was a collective agreement going forward upon the Medium Term Financial Strategy.


There were no questions by Members.


RESOLVED:          That the Committee having considered the report, endorsed the review of the role of the Budget Research and Evaluation Panel (BREP).


Social Services Annual Report 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 157 KB



Claire Marchant - Corporate Director Social Services & Wellbeing

Councillor Nicole Burnett - Cabinet Member for Social Services & Early Help  

Councillor Dhanisha Patel - Cabinet Member for Future Generations and Wellbeing

Jackie Davies - Head of Adult Social Care

Laura Kinsey - Head of Children’s Social Care

Andrew Thomas - Group Manager - Sports and Physical Activity

Pete Tyson - Group Manager - Commissioning


Additional documents:


The Director of Social Services & Wellbeing presented the key themes of the Annual Report and advised that the last year had been very much about creativity, a lot of innovation but also a lot of sheer hard work, from people right across the whole system. Safeguarding had always been central, even in a public health-led pandemic, citizens and communities had been badly impacted and lost many people, and the recovery and renewal piece for social services, as part of that response, was going to be really important. Staff really needed the time and space to recover at their own pace, or faced the risk of burnout and attrition, which was being seen at the moment because the pace hadn't slowed, and if anything, had accelerated moving into the final two quarters of the year.  Services had adapted to new working practices, which were highlighted in the report. Stabilisation and renewal were critical over the next six months and she reinforced the point that the workforce was critical to this success, with more dependence on all parts of the workforce than ever before.


The Chair thanked the Corporate Director Social Services & Wellbeing for presenting her report and thanked the Corporate Director and her team for their all their efforts during a very challenging year.


The Cabinet Member for Social Services and Early Help thanked the Corporate Director Social Services & Wellbeing and her team for putting the report together and noted that despite the awful year, there were so many good examples. She appealed to Members scrutinising the report to focus on the human aspects in terms of the financials and figures.


A Member highlighted the issue of staffing generally and asked what the local authority was doing to ensure if could get staff.


The Corporate Director Social Services & Wellbeing acknowledged that there was a national piece of work around workforce, working closely with WG and with Social Care Wales. This was firstly to promote the sector, secondly to look at the really difficult issues, such as the implementation of the WG manifesto priority around a real living wage for care workers and thirdly around professional standards, working very closely with Social Care Wales, around the registration of not just professional social work staff, but of care workers. It was really important that Bridgend were key players on the national stage and informing and co-producing policy where necessary.  Bridgend was keen to promote Bridgend to be as successful as possibly can in retaining and recruiting the Bridgend workforce. The Corporate Director Social Services & Wellbeing then went through the different action plans in terms of recruitment, for both the social care workforce and then the social work workforce.


The Member asked what would happen if people didn’t come forward, which was her concern. Were people applying already and showing an interest to what was already being shared and any job adverts.


The Corporate Director Social Services & Wellbeing acknowledged that this was difficult because of competing in very overcrowded space in terms of both  ...  view the full minutes text for item 35.


Scrutiny Annual Report pdf icon PDF 228 KB

Additional documents:


The Senior Democratic Officer – Scrutiny presented the draft Scrutiny Annual Report and explained that purpose of the report was to present the committee with the draft scrutiny annual report which covered a two-year period for 2019-20 and 2020-21. Scrutiny was required to submit the annual report to Council with a review of how the function had operated for the previous period. The draft Scrutiny Annual Report was attached as Appendix A and it provided detail on the challenges and outcomes for scrutiny committees and panels for the period, as well as identifying some areas of focus for improvement to ensure scrutiny continued to develop and achieve positive outcomes for the residents of Bridgend. The Committee was asked to consider whether the draft report collated and prepared by the Scrutiny Team reflected the work done by the scrutiny function for the last two years, before going forward, subject to any amendments, to Council.


The Chairs of COSC, SOSC1, SOSC2 and SOSC3, thanked the Senior Democratic Officer – Scrutiny and Scrutiny Officer for their report and hard work, whilst acknowledging the impact caused by a vacancy within the team.


RESOLVED:          That the Committee endorsed the Scrutiny Annual Report attached as Appendix A, subject to a spelling amendment, for submission to Council for consideration.


Forward Work Programme Update pdf icon PDF 318 KB

Additional documents:


There were no requests to include specific information in the item for the next meeting.


There were no further items identified for consideration on the Forward Work Programme for the remainder of the municipal calendar of meetings using the agreed form, and this could be revisited at the next meeting.


RESOLVED:           That the Committee considered and approved its Forward Work Programme in Appendix A; noted the Forward Work Programmes for the Subject Overview and Scrutiny Committees following consideration in their respective July Committee Meetings in Appendix B, C & D and noted the Recommendations Monitoring Action Sheet to track responses to the Committee’s recommendations made at the previous meetings in Appendix E.


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.