Venue: Committee Room 1, Civic Offices, New Road, Grays, Essex, RM17 6SL.
Contact: Lucy Tricker, Democratic Services Officer
Minutes PDF 87 KB
To approve as a correct record
the minutes of the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny
Committeemeeting held on 5 March
The minutes of the Corporate
Overview and Scrutiny Committee held on 5 March 2019 were approved
as a correct record.
Items of Urgent Business
To receive additional items
that the Chair is of the opinion should be considered as a matter
of urgency, in accordance with Section 100B (4) (b) of the Local
Government Act 1972.
The Chair raised one item of
urgent business regarding the proposed expansion of the Civic
Offices. He recollected that a report on the Civic Offices
expansion had come before the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny in
November 2018, and that at this meeting the committee had requested
to see a full business case, but this had still not been provided.
He felt that this project was now moving quickly, and wanted the
committee to be able to see the business case for the project
before it was agreed by Cabinet. He stated, that with Members
agreement, he would write to the Leader and the Chief Executive to
ask for this to be presented to the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny
Committee. The membership agreed to this proposal.
Declaration of Interests
There were no interests
End of Year Corporate Performance Report 2018/19 PDF 148 KB
The Director of Strategy,
Communications and Customer Service introduced the report and
stated that this set out the progress of key performance indicators
(KPIs) for 2018/19, and that in total 68% of KPIs had achieved
their target; and added that 50% of KPIs had improved on their
score from 2017/18. She commented that this report also set out the
proposed KPIs for 2019/20 and new suggested targets so the
Committee could comment, before it went to Cabinet for approval in
The Chair opened the debate and highlighted the KPI on page 21 of
the agenda regarding the percentage of primary schools judged
‘good’ or better. He asked why this was a missed target
and the reasons for the negative direction of travel over the year.
The Strategy Manager confirmed that a decision nationally to change
the calculation explained the sudden change during the
year. She stated that whilst most KPIs
the council monitors worked to a financial year, schools data
normally worked to an academic year which started and finished in
September. She elaborated that historically, if a school had become
an academy, they were not considered in the KPI until an OFSTED
inspection had taken place; but now they were included in the
calculation and this took into account the predecessor
school’s rating. The Chair replied that the committee should
be careful in interpreting the direction of travel, due to the
statistical nature of the KPI, but felt that having 1/10 schools in
the borough not achieving a ‘good’ or better rating was
poor. He asked what actions were being
taken by the Council to support schools, and if the service were
considering any additional action. The Director of Strategy,
Communications and Customer Services replied that the education
team met regularly with schools on an individual, as well as a
group basis with headteachers. She
added that the team also ran broader programmes such as forums for
head teachers to allow discussions.
The Chair then drew the Committee’s attention to page 21 of
the agenda and the KPI relating to street cleanliness and litter,
as this had been doing well, but was now falling back. He asked
what factors were influencing the decline in street cleanliness.
The Assistant Director Street Scene and Leisure replied that
although the KPI had not been met, they were better than the
national benchmark. He then described how in tranche 3 the
performance was below target, even though tranche 1 and 2 had been
better, and this seemed to be becoming a trend from previous years.
He explained that tranche 3 occurred in late winter, which
presented additional problems for the team, for example
gritter teams often worked late nights
during tranche 3 and therefore could not work the next day so staff
numbers were lower. He stated that a new action plan was being put
in place to combat this issue, and the team were looking at
re-zoning sweeping areas and purchasing new smaller mechanical
sweepers, as the larger mechanical sweepers ...
view the full minutes text for item 4.
Work Programme PDF 45 KB
The Chair called for the
following items to be added to the Work Programme:
1. An update on the Communications Strategy, with an invite to go
out to selected editors of local media outlets.
2. A Commercialisation Strategy Update, to understand in greater
detail how the Council found commercial finance and how this was
benchmarked and processed.
3. A report on community forums and engagement, with Chairs of
local community forums invited.
4. A report on external partnership relations, such as the Local
Enterprise Partnership, and where they’re working well and
improvements to be made.
5. A report regarding apprenticeships.
6. Asset Strategy Update.
7. Council Tax Scheme to be moved forward from January so the
Committee can look ways to keep council tax frozen before the
8. An update on the Overview and Scrutiny project.
The Chair asked if the Work Programme could be populated
accordingly and distributed to Members.