Agenda and draft minutes
Venue: This meeting will be held digitally. The viewing link to will be published to our website nearer to the meeting.
Contact: Democratic Services on 01424 451484 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Items No. Item
Apologies for Absence
Apologies were received from Councillors Roberts.
Councillor Bishop was present as a substitute for Councillor Roberts.
Declarations of Interest
Councillors asked that a written response is received in relation to the actions concerning Disabled Facilities Grant and the Climate Change Strategy.
RESOLVED- (Unanimously) that the minutes of the meeting held on the 5 March 2020 be approved.
(Mark Horan, Continuous Improvement and Democratic Services Manager)
The Chair thanked everyone for all the hard work that had been put into dealing with COVID-19 crisis and wanted to recognise the extra effort people had gone too in order to help others.
The Chair recognised that the data the Overview and Scrutiny committee were looking at this evening was from pre COVID-19 time and that the Council was currently working differently in response to the crisis. It was still important to review the data to see if there were any issues that needed addressing.
Councillors pointed out that this is the last time they would be receiving data in this format and inside would have data on the website that they will be able to monitor throughout the year and not just at quarterly meetings.
1. That comments on year end performance be addressed with appropriate action and report back
2. That comments on proposals for future performance and finance reporting and monitoring arrangements are considered
3. That staff be thanked for their hard work and achievements to date.
Reasons for Recommendations
To assist the council to undertake performance and financial management arrangements
Support Recovery + Work programme 2020/21
Presentation from the Chair and Vice-Chair
The Chair invited the Managing Director and Cabinet members to speak in relation to the work the Council has been doing for residents during the COVID-19 crisis.
The Managing Director advised that responding to COVID-19 had been a unique experience and a challenging one given a reduction in Officer posts and the recent delivery of the December Election. The Managing Director has been proud on how Officers have worked together as one team in delivering the councils COVID-19 response and transforming the way we work. COVID-19 caused the council to change its priorities and activities have been focussed on delivering essential services and key COVID-19 response work. Activities have included supporting vulnerable communities through the community hub and the allocation of business grants to support local businesses affected by lockdown.
The Managing Director praised the councils previous work that had helped during this period. The digital transformation work of the last few years helped with providing residents with new online forms and our IT team successfully implemented software quickly that has been used for digital meetings. The housing department worked hard and have housed most homeless people in temporary accommodation now. It is believed that without this the council wouldn’t have provided as a robust response to COVID-19 as it did, and this greatly benefited our communities.
Moving forward the council’s day to day working arrangements have changed with most officers now working from home. All foreseeable meetings would be held digitally. This would be reviewed regularly looking at performance and productivity of the council. The council is not out of the response phase for COVID-19 yet. Work has begun on looking at the future and recovery plans are currently being formed and discussed. The council is also looking at second wave planning to guide future that will incorporate lessons learned from today.
Officers have been working very hard and long hours in order to help with the response to COVID-19. Overview and Scrutiny recognised the work Officers had been doing in order to help the community and expressed thanks for their efforts.
Councillor Fitzgerald spoke of how from a political leadership perspective he was incredibly pleased with the council’s response to COVID-19 and the efforts of staff. Local government had been central to responding to this crisis. The leadership and senior Officers met daily in order to discuss the councils COVID-19 response. There had been clear successes such as keeping street cleansing operational and the adjustments made at the crematorium given its small team. The crisis has proved how important the statutory services the council provides are and how people value them.
The community hub has been providing food, prescription and well-being support. An operational this size would have been put together in 2-3 months but was turned around in just 6 weeks. It is a great example of multi-agency working to benefit the local community and has had many local volunteers supporting the community hubs work.
Councillor Fitzgerald stated there was still a need for transformation solutions to ... view the full minutes text for item 51.