Agenda and minutes

Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee - Wednesday, 12th January, 2022 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)



Councillor Alex Williams declared a personal interest in the report on Council Performance against its commitments at Quarter 2, as a private landlord in the County Borough.


Council Performance against its Commitments at Quarter 2 of 2021-22 pdf icon PDF 130 KB



Councillor Huw David - Leader

Councillor Hywel Williams - Deputy Leader

Councillor Stuart Baldwin - Cabinet Member for Communities

Councillor Jane Gebbie - 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

Carys Lord - Chief Officer Finance, Performance and Change

Claire Marchant - Corporate Director - Social Services and Wellbeing

Janine Nightingale - Corporate Director - Communities

Kelly Watson - Chief Officer Legal and Regulatory Services, HR & Corporate Policy


Additional documents:


The Chief Executive introduced the report and advised that due to changing demands and priorities there were no longer the same baselines or the same opportunities for national comparisons. He advised that while rolling out business grants to local businesses, test and trace, additional work in social care, assisting with the vaccination programme and ICT rollout would not appear in terms of those measurements, they had taken up a lot of resource, effort, and energy over the period. He reflected that one of the challenges had been to deliver those things in response to the global pandemic and public health crisis, as well as consistently run a good service set out within their planning mechanism.


The Chair thanked the Chief Executive for his introduction, following which Members of the Committee asked the following questions.


A Member asked how the Corporate Performance Assessment Panel operated and how performance was scored objectively.  He noted the Panel invited Scrutiny Chairs and asked about the link between Scrutiny Chairs’ views to the Panel and their Scrutiny Committees. With regard to the RAG status and narrative in the dashboards he thought there was an opportunity to emphasise that performance was assessed objectively.


The Chief Executive responded that the Corporate Performance Assessment process was a long-standing mechanism within the Authority and there had been various iterations. He advised it was about individual Directorates having their own sessions where they met up with Cabinet Members, Scrutiny Chairpersons with a challenge Member of Cabinet. He advised that its purpose was for each Director to take forward their dashboard and there was challenge and discussion to have a detailed explanation where something was not meeting its target, the reasons and the action being taken to improve things by the following quarter and year end.  The process was supported by the Performance Team and information was presented consistently in the dashboards.


The Chairperson advised that she was content they had scrutinised performance throughout the year at the Panel and Committee and was aware that the other two Committee chairs received in-depth information on their Directorates to scrutinise the content.


The Chairperson of Subject Overview Scrutiny Committee 2 advised that she had attended Corporate Performance Assessment meetings to provide views on performance along with the other Scrutiny Chairs.


The Chairperson of Subject Overview Scrutiny Committee 3 advised that he had been invited to the Corporate Performance Assessment meetings which usually consisted of two Chairperson, two Cabinet Members and two Directors as well as the Chief Executive. He advised he had also had meetings with his Directorate to discuss any emerging issues for potential scrutiny by the Committee.


The Chief Executive clarified that the meetings for Quarter 2 were individual meetings focused on each Directorate and its performance rather than one large meeting for all the Council’s Directorate performance at year end.


A Member referred to the original question of how do Scrutiny Chairs feed back to their Scrutiny Committee and seek views on the performance of the Directorates in their remits.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 53.


Corporate Plan 2018-2023 reviewed for 2022-23 pdf icon PDF 84 KB



As above in Item 4.



Additional documents:


The Chief Officer - Finance, Performance and Change introduced the report, upon the Corporate Plan which had been updated for 2022-23. She explained the process had included Chief Officers and Management Teams, enabling them to look at what priorities there were going forward. She advised what they saw in the updated programme was the revised plan for the coming year and performance against the Plan would be monitored by this Committee as well as some aspects being monitored by the Governance and Audit Committee, so there would be opportunities for Members to look at progress against the Corporate Plan.


A Member asked the Leader if he believed the Corporate Plan would be ambitious enough going forward as they moved out of the pandemic.


The Leader responded that it had been difficult with the pandemic to be as ambitious as they would have liked but it had not gone away and was still the biggest challenge they faced. However, they would be looking to review the Corporate Plan and make it as ambitious as possible. He wished to make a point though that some of these challenges were long standing and not simply going to go away when the pandemic became an endemic.


The Chief Executive wished to add that it was the last review of the five-year Corporate Plan and one of the things that they would be doing post-election, whilst many of the challenges and priorities may remain the same, there may be a different focus which would feed into the new Corporate Plan. He explained that in some respects you would not expect the last year of a plan to deviate too far from what they had been doing over the last few years and agreed with the Leader that Covid had created a level of uncertainty which made it difficult to move forward. He advised they had additional pressures and changes to the way that they delivered some services which would need to be reflected on and become part of the assessment for the development of the new Corporate Plan moving forward.


The Chairperson advised that there were no further questions from Members of the Committee for the Invitees for this report, thanked the Invitees for their attendance and advised that any Invitees not requested to attend for the next report may leave the meeting.


RESOLVED:     That having regard to consideration of the content of the 

                          report and the responses to the questions asked, the

                          Committee endorsed the report.


Capital Strategy 2022-23 to 2031-32 pdf icon PDF 369 KB



Councillor Huw David - Leader

Councillor Hywel Williams - Deputy Leader

Carys Lord - Chief Officer Finance, Performance and Change

Nigel Smith - Group Manager – Chief Accountant



Additional documents:


The Chief Officer - Finance, Performance and Change introduced the report and explained the capital expenditure and investment undertaken by local authorities was governed by legislation.  One requirement was that all local authorities had to have a Capital Strategy in place, and it should evidence that the plans were both affordable and sustainable. The Capital Strategy was updated on an annual basis to take account of change in plans and changing guidance and then the strategy had to be approved by full Council.


The Chairperson asked the Members to consider the recommendations and add any suggestions or comments on the report itself.  As there were no comments or questions, she thanked the Invitees for their attendance and advised that they may leave the meeting.


RESOLVED:     That having regard to consideration of the content of the 

                          report and the responses to the questions asked, the

                          Committee endorsed the report.


Forward Work Programme Update pdf icon PDF 175 KB

Additional documents:


The Senior Democratic Services Officer, Scrutiny advised that following on from the Committee’s consideration of the Forward Programme at the previous meeting, the updated Forward Programme for this Committee was attached as Appendix A.  The Forward Work Programme for Subject Overview and Scrutiny Committees 1, 2 and 3 were also attached as Appendices B, C and D, she explained as the Committee had responsibility for coordination and oversight of the overall Forward Work Programme.


The Recommendations Monitoring Action Sheet to track responses to the Committee’s recommendations from previous meetings was attached as Appendix E.


There were no requests to include specific information in items for upcoming meetings and there were no further items identified for consideration on the Forward Work Programme for the remainder of the municipal calendar of meetings.


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 the              

                                respective Meetings in Appendices 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.