Agenda and minutes

Budget and Performance Panel
Tuesday, 10th October 2017 6.10 p.m.

Venue: Lancaster Town Hall

Contact: Tessa Mott, Democratic Services - telephone 01524 582074 or email  tmott@lancaster.gov.uk 

Items
No. Item

15.

Items of Urgent Business authorised by the Chairman

Minutes:

There were no items of urgent business.

16.

Declaration of Interests

To receive declarations by Members of interests in respect of items on this Agenda. 

Members are reminded that, in accordance with the Localism Act 2011, they are required to declare any disclosable pecuniary interests which have not already been declared in the Council’s Register of Interests. (It is a criminal offence not to declare a disclosable pecuniary interest either in the Register or at the meeting). 

Whilst not a legal requirement, in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 9 and in the interests of clarity and transparency, Members should declare any disclosable pecuniary interests which they have already declared in the Register, at this point in the meeting. 

In accordance with Part B Section 2 of the Code Of Conduct, Members are required to declare the existence and nature of any other interests as defined in paragraphs 8(1) or 9(2) of the Code of Conduct. 

 

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

17.

Performance and Service Accounts Update - Environmental Services

Chief Officer (Environment) to provide an oral update and report back.

Minutes:

The Chairman introduced the Chief Officer (Environment) to the Panel. The Chief Officer (Environment) presented to the Panel savings and income generation suggestions from Environmental Services officers, as requested by the Panel at the previous meeting.

 

The suggestions from Environmental Services were as follows:

 

·         Adopt a proportionate approach to decision making/delegation.

·         Implement a systems/lean thinking programme to realise efficiencies.

·         Design services from the perspective of the customer.

·         Understand/appreciate/proportionately manage risk rather than simply avoiding it and not achieving innovative solutions.

·         Use of different special purpose vehicles (legal entities) for income generation.

·         Need for agility in responses – speedy decision making/quick release of resources when good opportunities arise.

·         Appreciation that good ideas don’t always work.

·         Short term additional capacity to speed up implementation of projects.

 

The Chief Officer (Environment) explained that the majority of the above suggestions were currently in progress or were planned to be in the future. Emphasis was placed on the need to be agile and efficient when making decisions. It was explained that this would allow decisions to be taken properly but in a shorter amount of time, to avoid missing financially beneficial opportunities for the Council.

 

Members asked questions of the Chief Officer (Environment) regarding various issues. Topics included: explanation of the systems/lean thinking approach; rescheduling of ground maintenance and cleansing process; communication issues and transparency.

 

The Chairman, on behalf of the Panel, thanked the Chief Officer (Environment) for returning to the meeting and providing the information requested. The Chief Officer (Environment) was asked to return to the Panel, in approximately six months’ time, to provide an update on the suggestions and how they have been implemented.

 

Resolved:

 

(1)       That the suggestions provided by the Chief Officer (Environment), listed above, be noted.

 

(2)       That the Chief Officer (Environment), return to the Panel in approximately six months’ time, to update the Panel on the progress of the suggestions provided and how they have been implemented.

18.

Performance and Service Accounts - Health and Housing Service (excluding Council Housing) pdf icon PDF 6 MB

Oral report of the Chief Officer (Health and Housing).

Minutes:

The Chairman welcomed the Chief Officer (Health and Housing) and three officers from the Health and Housing service to the meeting. It was noted that the Council Housing (Housing Revenue Account funded) section of the Health and Housing service was excluded from the presentation and would be presented to the Panel separately. 

 

Members were given an in depth presentation regarding the Health and Housing Service and how it functioned and performed.

 

The purpose of the presentation was to provide:

 

·         An overview of the Health and Housing Service (excluding Housing Revenue Account).

·         Address an opportunity for challenge.

·         Generate further budget options.

·         Inform Member of the Corporate Plan.

 

The Chief Officer (Health and Housing) informed of the strategic fit of the service and explained how it adhered to the current Health and Wellbeing Corporate Plan priority. The Key Drivers of the service were outlined as:

 

·         Value for money.

·         Aim to be an ‘employer of choice’.

·         Generate income to invest.

 

The Chief Officer (Health and Housing) then introduced three officers who each presented in turn and explained their role as well as how their individual sections functioned and performed. The staff members were representatives from: Sports and Leisure; Human Resources and Public Protection.

 

Topics discussed included: development of Salt Ayre Leisure Centre; modernisation of services/marketing; Salt Ayre membership subscriptions; staff structures; operating costs; benchmarking; future income generation ideas; direct debit payments; partnership working; the two areas of Human Resources; life cycle of an employee; tax legislation changes; running costs; auto enrolment; gender pay gap; e-learning/training budget; sickness absences levels; productivity savings; launch of new employee appraisal system; suggestions to improve recruitment; licensing section joining environmental health; services requests/inspections; external income; income targets; performance plan; customer feedback; community empowerment; community emergency plans and proactivity.

 

On conclusion of the presentation the Chairman, on behalf of the Panel, thanked the officers for their attendance and presentations.

 

During the presentation, Members asked questions of the Health and Housing officers present regarding various issues. Topics included: head count of staff (including comparisons with previous years); disciplinary/appeals; reduction in sickness absence;

productivity of workforce; measures of productivity and staff incentives.

 

The Chairman asked the Chief Officer (Health and Housing) to return to the next meeting of the Panel with savings and income generation suggestions from Health and Housing officers. It was suggested that this would formulate recommendations that would support services to develop and implement income and efficiency generating projects.

 

Resolved:

 

(1)    That the Officers be thanked for their attendance and presentations to the Panel.

 

(2)    That the Chief Officer (Health and Housing) return to the next meeting of the Budget and Performance Panel with savings and income generation suggestions from Health and Housing officers.

19.

Work Programme

To consider any items the Panel may want to add from the meeting.  

Minutes:

The Principal Democratic Support Officer requested Members to put forward any necessary items for the Panel’s Work Programme. It was noted that the items, contained within minutes 17 and 18 and as set out below, would be added to the Work Programme. 

 

·         That the Chief Officer (Environment) return to the Panel in approximately six months’ time, to update the Panel on the progress of the suggestions provided and how they have been implemented, and this be added to the Panel’s Work Programme for 2017/18.

 

·         That the Chief Officer (Health and Housing) return to the next meeting of the Budget and Performance Panel with savings and income generation suggestions from Health and Housing officers, and this be added to the Panel’s Work Programme for 2017/18.

 

Resolved:

 

(1)          That the Work Programme, with the additions as referred to above, be approved.