OVERVIEW & SCRUTINY COMMITTEE Minutes of the Meeting held on Tuesday 22nd September 2009 at Worksop Town Hall Present: Councillor J W Holland (Chair) Councillors M Bennett, K Bullivant, I Jones, P C Offer, J W Ogle, G A N Oxby, A Rhodes, J Scott, A Simpson, Mrs V Wanless and G J Wynne Officers: D Armiger, G Blenkinsop, P Clark, M Hill, M Ladyman, S Pearson, S Symcox, R Theakstone and J Wilson Also present: R Barnett and C Williams – Bentley Jennison 60. CHANGE OF AGENDA ORDER The Chairman proposed a change of order to items on the Agenda so that the report at 11(a) would be presented after item 5. 61. APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE Apologies for absence were received from Councillor D R Pressley. 62. DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST BY MEMBERS AND OFFICERS (a) Members There were no declarations of interest by Members. (b) Officers There were no declarations of interest by Officers. 63. MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 18TH AUGUST 2009 RESOLVED that the Minutes of the meeting held on 18th August 2009 be approved. 64. MINUTES FOR ACTION AND IMPLEMENTATION RESOLVED that the Minutes for Action and Implementation be received. 65. OUTSTANDING MINUTES LIST With regard to Minute No 54(a) – Scrutiny of Crime and Disorder Issues – a date for the joint meeting of the merged Bassetlaw and Newark Community Partnership was proposed as 26th November 2009, to be held either at Worksop or Retford. RESOLVED that (1) The Outstanding Minutes List be received. (2) The Corporate Development & Policy Manager contact colleagues in Newark with the proposed date of the joint meeting of Bassetlaw and Newark Community Partnership to be held on 26th November 2009, at either Worksop or Retford. SECTION A – ITEMS FOR DISCUSSION IN PUBLIC Other Decisions 66. REPORT(S) OF THE HEAD OF FINANCE AND PROPERTY (a) Internal Audit Progress Report Members were presented with information regarding the internal audits for: Markets; Information Security Management; Energy (Leisure Centres); Performance Indicators; Council Tax; NNDR – Business Rates; Licensing; Reconcilliations; Bircotes Leisure Centre; Worksop Leisure Centre; and Retford Leisure Centre. Appended to the report was an Internal Audit Progress Report which updated Members on the work undertaken by Internal Audit to satisfy themselves that adequate reviews had been undertaken and that appropriate responses had been provided by Managers. Recommendations made had been prioritised to identify their respective risk: Fundamental; Significant; or Merits Attention. Risk is a function of consequence and probability of occurrence. Rob Barnett from Bentley Jennison advised Members that, as part of the process discussion which took place with Heads of Service when preparing the Audit Needs Assessment, Internal Audit noted particular areas where management had concerns regarding the risk and control of environment. As a result, and in agreement with Senior Management, Internal Audit prioritised reviews of certain areas of concern. Chris Williams from Bentley Jennison advised Members that previous internal audits were fairly traditional and rigid in their approach, looking at the same areas of risk, but that a more modern risk approach is now being undertaken. The new format looks at key risks and why objectives might not be met and also implements greater controls. A Member queried whether the total number of recommendations made (144) was high at this stage. Members were advised that this was due to the changes in the audit process and that these are areas of concern that had been raised by managers. It was noted that previous audit reports identified areas of good practice, but this report concentrated on the negative points. Members were informed that this was just a summary report focusing on the areas of concern, the full audit report will include good practice. Areas where the Committee expressed concerns were:- Information Security Management The recommendations made by Bentley Jennison included: all staff who access the Council's network to undertake mandatory Information Security training on a regular basis; IT Services Manager provide best practice guidance for password setting within the IT Security Policy; and ICT Services Manager remind all system managers of their responsibilities to review and report on system security in accordance with the approved IT Security policy. Regarding the best practice guidance for password setting, a Member requested that training be extended to include Members. The Monitoring Officer advised that training can be incorporated to include those Elected Members who access IT equipment, either on or off site. Bircotes, Worksop and Retford Leisure Centres A Member commented that all reports were as equally unacceptable and asked why all three Leisure Centres were performing in the lower quartile. The Director of Community Services advised that these are new Leisure Centres and allowance had to be made for initial start up problems. The new audit process had been taken to review procedures currently adopted, there is a need for more robust procedures to be implemented, the old practices may still be adopted, but these are not necessarily the correct procedures. There are a number of areas that need to be addressed, there was a need to be positive about the future, action plans are being implemented and these will address issues over the next six months. There is a need to be consistent with all procedures, this practice is not being adopted at present. R Barnett from Bentley Jennison advised Members that Management Team have been proactive in pointing out areas of concern that need to be addressed, this has been done with transparency and areas are concern are continued to be looked at. Members noted that progress was being made to address issues and that follow up work would be undertaken in October to see if practices and procedures were being implemented and were having the right impact. The risks statement, identical throughout all the reports, "staff do not know what they are responsible for, or how they should carry out their duties leading to non-compliance with legislation, laws or organisational policy and procedures", was thought to be misleading and the statement wording would be addressed. The Chairman summarised that some recommendations do indicate that practices have been lax, management comments are positive and it was hoped that the next audit report would show significant improvements. The Head of Finance and Property informed the Committee that this type of audit report would, in future, be presented to every other Overview & Scrutiny Committee meeting, the next one being November. RESOLVED that (1) The report and comments from Managers and actions taken or to be taken be noted. (2) Password setting training be provided to those Elected Members who access IT equipment, either on or off site. (D Armiger, R Barnett, P Clark, M Ladyman, N Taylor and C Williams left the meeting at this point) Key Decisions 67. KEY DECISIONS OF CABINET – 8TH SEPTEMBER 2009 (a) Minute No 62(a) Update on Leisure Trust Project (Key Decision No 206) RESOLVED that Minute No 62(a) of the Cabinet meeting held on 8th September 2009 be endorsed. (b) BDC/A1 Management Agreement (Key Decision No 207) RESOLVED that Minute No 62(b) of the Cabinet meeting held on 8th September be endorsed. Other Decisions 68. WAIVE OF CALL IN None. 69. REFERRAL(S) FROM OTHER COMMITTEES None. 70. POSSIBLE CALL IN OF DECISIONS MADE BY CABINET – 8TH SEPTEMBER 2009 OR BY CABINET MEMBERS None. 71. REPORT(S) OF THE CHIEF EXECUTIVE (a) Forward Plan – (September to December 2009) A Member asked the Monitoring Officer if the procedure for Officer attendance at Overview & Scrutiny meetings had changed. Officers used to attend all meetings to answer questions that may arise, but now a request has to be made asking for an Officer or representative of the service to attend and questions submitted in advance, particularly relating to the Forward Plan. It is not always possible to pre-empt questions and items may arise during the course of the meeting, but there is no Officer in attendance to respond. If Members wish to scrutinise an item on the Forward Plan, there needs to be sufficient time to do so before the report is presented to Cabinet. The Monitoring Officer advised that there is a need to be pragmatic regarding the situation. If Officers are asked to attend meetings, but then questions are not raised, this would seem to be an unnecessary request, there needs to be a balance. Routinely the Monitoring Officer, Scrutiny Officer and Head of Finance & Property attend Overview & Scrutiny Committee meetings, but if someone from Community Services is required on a regular basis, then the Director of Community Services could be requested to attend all future meetings. Questions do not need to be submitted in advance, but they do aid debate as a response can be prepared. The Chairman felt strongly that if a Head of Service is responsible for an item on the Forward Plan, that it is not unreasonable to ask the Officer or a representative of the service to attend all future meetings of the Overview & Scrutiny Committee. RESOLVED that (1) The Forward Plan for the period September to December 2009 be noted. (2) The Monitoring Officer advise Heads of Services that if they are responsible for an item on the Forward Plan, an Officer or a representative of the service attend all future meetings of the Overview & Scrutiny Committee. 72. REPORT(S) OF THE HEAD OF COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT AND PERFORMANCE (a) New GP-Led Health Centre and Public Consultation on Post Office Relocation A report was presented to inform Members of the announcement by Bassetlaw Primary Care Trust regarding the location of the new additional GP-Led Centre and the consultation on the relocation of the Post Office in Worksop from 31-33 Bridge Street (Martin McColl Ltd) to 6-8 Newcastle Avenue. GP-Led Health Centre The GP-Led Health Centre is to be located in the former Manton Clinic on Pelham Street, Manton. The Centre will offer a walk-in service for patients in the Bassetlaw locality as well as meeting the health needs of Manton residents. The Centre will be open 7 days a week from 8am to 8pm, and patients will be able to register with the new practice. However, any member of the public will be able to walk in and see a doctor or nurse, no matter where they are registered. This new investment in improving access to primary care is an addition to existing services. The Centre is planned to open later in the year. The Corporate Development & Policy Manager informed Members that Louise Newcombe, Chief Executive of Bassetlaw PCT, had been approached to see how the decision to base the clinic in the chosen location was decided; however, a response had not yet been received. There was a need to find out what consultation had taken place between the PCT and authority in deciding on the location, and what input and process there will be on future projects and decisions. This did not just apply to the PCT but to other partnership organisations. Post Office The current Post Office is housed in the newsagents on Bridge Street and Martin McColl, have advised the Post Office of their intentions to withdraw from Post Office Services at the end of their current contract. The Post Office is currently carrying out consultation regarding the relocation of the Post Office to Newcastle Avenue. The move would safeguard Post Office services to the local community in the longer term and improve existing facilities. The proposed new Post Office would provide level access into the branch with low level facilities for those in wheelchairs; and a brand new, modern purpose built open plan serving counter, offering retail services alongside Post Office products and services. Members have the opportunity to comment on the proposal until 1st October 2009. If the proposal is agreed the move will take place in November 2009. A Member asked if there are other sites available for the Post Office to re-locate to ie the upper end of Bridge Street, as such a move would greatly benefit that end of town, as currently all shops and facilities are generally located in one area. The proposed new location was felt to be central to the town and the majority of Members agreed that the move to Newcastle Avenue was favourable. RESOLVED that (1) The report be noted (2) The Corporate Development & Policy Manager chase up the response from Louise Newcombe, Chief Executive of Bassetlaw PCT, requesting clarification as to how the decision to base the GP-Led Clinic in the chosen location was decided (3) The Corporate Development & Policy Manager respond to the consultation document on the relocation of the Post Office in Worksop, advising that the majority of Members agreed that the move to Newcastle Avenue is favourable. 73. SELECT PANEL REPORTS (a) Scrutiny Select Panel 1 and 2: Responses from Cabinet A report was presented to inform Members of the Cabinet response to Select Panel 1, which reviewed Town Centre Regeneration and Select Panel 2, which reviewed All Enforcement. Select Panel 1's objective is to identify a more up to date approach to promoting the area and developing activity using the public spaces within the Town Centres. Currently the Council has a low level use of arts and culture to support the re-development of the two town centres through the Renaissance work programme. The aim is to look at other approaches to increase and maintain footfall. Select Panel 2's objective is to carry out a review of all enforcement across the Council, including environmental, licensing including vehicle licensing, planning, council tax and debt recovery. It was noted that where the District Council had input then the decision was agreed, but there are ongoing issues where the responsibility lies with the County Council. All decisions were agreed by Cabinet with the proviso of two areas of enforcement which had budgetary implications and would need to be considered as part of the 2010/11 budget preparations. A Member commented that it was disappointing to note that the County Council did not view the full pedestrianisation of Bridge Street as being a priority and was unlikely to be prioritised in the 2010/11 budget. It was noted that the provision of a new bus station in Worksop is now proceeding and a feasibility study will take place in September. The response to establish a Civic Society in Worksop had seen an initial response from nine Bassetlaw residents. RESOLVED that (1) The Cabinet's response to the Select Panel recommendations be noted. (2) Members agreed to review progress on the recommendations for one year. (b) Report by Select Panel 3: Services for Older People Members were presented with a report of Select Panel 3 for consideration and comment. Councillor J Scott, the Chairman of the Select Panel, presented the report of Select Panel 3 who were tasked to review Services for Older People by the Overview and Scrutiny Committee as part of its Annual Programme of Work for 2008/09. RESOLVED that (1) Thanks be recorded to the Select Panel 3 Committee for their report. (2) The recommendations of the Select Panel be approved and the report be referred to Cabinet. (c) Scrutiny Select Panels and Health Panel Current Reviews Members were presented with update reports on the work to date of Select Panel 1 – Recycling and Select Panel 3 – Procurement. RESOLVED that the reports be noted. SECTION B – ITEMS FOR DISCUSSION IN PRIVATE Key Decisions 74. KEY DECISIONS OF CABINET – 8TH SEPTEMBER 2009 None. Other Decisions 75. WAIVE OF CALL IN None. 76. POSSIBLE CALL IN OF DECISIONS MADE BY CABINET – 8TH SEPTEMBER 2009 OR BY CABINET MEMBERS None. 77. ANY OTHER BUSINESS WHICH THE CHAIRMAN CONSIDERS TO BE URGENT As there was no other business to be considered, the Chairman closed the meeting.