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COMMITTEE

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COMMITTEE Powered By Docstoc
					                              EAST HAMPSHIRE DISTRICT COUNCIL

                       OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY COMMITTEE MINUTES

                                Wednesday 18th November 2009
                            Council Chamber, Penns Place, Petersfield

                                              -: Present :-
                                      Cllr J M J Janes (Chairman)
                    Cllr Mrs D K Denston, Cllr Mrs A C James, Cllr Mrs G Logan,
                                 Cllr G P Watts and Cllr A J Williams

                                                -:Also:-
                                 Cllr A I P Joy and Cllr R C S Millard

                                            -: Officers :-
    Policy and Performance Manager, Head of Environmental Services, Project Manager Income
 Generation, Accountant (Financial & Governance), Head of Revenues and Benefits, Health, Safety &
 Emergency Planning Advisor, Performance Review Officer, Management Accountant and Committee
                                      Services Team Leader

                                               -:Also:-
             Mrs Christiana Adeshina, Senior Internal Audit Manager, Deloitte – minute 38


32.     APOLOGIES. Apologies for absence               She was accompanied by Cllr Millard, Portfolio
had been received from Cllr A R Ludlow and             Holder for Economic Development and
Cllr Mrs M C Harvey.                                   Catherine Turner, Project Manager Income
                                                       Generation.
33.    MINUTES. The Minutes of the Meeting
held on the 16th September 2009 were                   Cllr Mrs James thanked officers for an honest
confirmed and signed as a correct record.              report. She referred to the Petersfield Christmas
                                                       Market ‘breaking even’.
34.    CHAIRMAN’S ANNOUNCEMENTS.
There were no Chairman’s announcements.                Cllr Millard explained that although this year it
                                                       had been intended to break even, there was a
35.    DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST.                       possibility that profit may be made. Cllr Millard
There were no Declarations of Interest.                said that he expected the event to make a profit
                                                       next year.
36.    RECORDS OF DECISION AND THE
FORWARD PLAN.                                          The Chairman asked if the Christmas Market
Records of Decision: The Committee                     would always be held in Petersfield. He was
considered the Decision Record of the Cabinet          aware that other areas in the District would like
meeting held on 11th November 2009 and made            the event held locally.
no comment.
                                                       Cllr Millard had been aware of this and there
Forward Plan: The Committee considered the             was a possibility of the event being held
Council’s Forward Plan dated 9th November              elsewhere some time in the future.
2009.
                                                       It was confirmed that the Petersfield Christmas
37.    UPDATE ON INCOME GENERATION.                    Market was accounted for separately from
The Committee considered the report of the             income generation.
Head of Environmental Services, ODAF.23/09,
which had been previously circulated.                  Councillors referred to the projects set out on
                                                       pages 25 and 26 of the agenda. Clarification
The Head of Environmental Services introduced          was given on the following projects: Serviced
the report which gave the Committee an update          Offices; Soft Play Centre and Training Courses
on the Council’s work on income generation.            projects.
Cllr Watts asked if it was intended to look for            for them to receive updates. The Policy and
further green burial sites.                                Performance Manager reminded the Committee
                                                           that it had been agreed that the Committee
Cllr Millard explained some of the difficulties in         would be given a quarterly update.
finding the right site. Property Services were
looking at a number of locations. However, it              RESOLVED that the report and the Committee’s
was not intended to take any further action in             comments be NOTED.
the near future.
                                                           38.    QUARTER 2 INTERNAL AUDIT
Cllr Williams thought that the Income                      REPORT. The Committee considered the
Generation Team should consider looking at a               Report of the Accountant (Financial and
crematorium as this facility was not available in          Governance), BDWP.57/09, which had been
the District.                                              previously circulated.

The Chairman referred to page 19 of the                    The Chairman introduced Mrs Christiana
agenda ‘The Council set itself ambitious income            Adeshina, Senior Internal Audit Manager,
generation targets as part of a challenge to               Deloitte. The internal audit plan had been
become the most innovative authority in the                approved by the Committee in June 2009. The
Country’. He hoped that in the future the Council          purpose of the report was to give an update on
did not get carried away and allow income                  progress against the Audit Plan in Quarter 2.
generation to underpin the Council’s budget. He
considered it had been an expensive learning               The Information Management audit had been
process.                                                   awarded a limited assurance status. Cllr
                                                           Williams asked how long it was expected to take
He thought that charging for rat treatments                to return to a substantial rating. He asked if the
deterred members of the public from taking                 issues raised were specific to EHDC, or if they
action to remove rats.                                     were occurring in other authorities.

Councillors asked about the Council charging               Mrs Adeshina reported that the IT Manager had
for S.106 agreements. It was explained that the            undertaken a great deal of work to address the
Council charged for legal advice and support.              recommendations. The time frame agreed had
                                                           been March 2010. She considered that it was
Cllr Millard said that the Council were now                common place and not unique to East
taking the approach that all services took on              Hampshire.
board income generation, not just the Income
Generation Team.                                           Cllr Williams thought that a definition of the
                                                           initials used in the document would be very
It was confirmed that the membership of the                helpful. Mrs Adeshina noted Cllr Williams’
Project Sponsorship Board was: Ms Gill Kneller;            comments. The full report that was issued by
Mr Andy Ferrier; Cllr Parkinson and Cllr Millard.          Deloittes to Management contained definitions
The group did not have decision making                     of all technical terms.
powers.
                                                           The Chairman asked Mrs Adeshina if she
Clarification was sought regarding the figures             considered that the information containing
set out in the table on page 20 of the agenda. It          officers’ bank details and home addresses were
was confirmed that the £422,150 was the gross              secure.
target; this sum was to cover costs and make
£216,495.                                                  Mrs Adeshina replied that the recommendation
                                                           that had been made addressed these issues.
Cllr Williams commented that the forecast figure
of £180,524 had been an investment, it had                 Councillors asked about the ‘Authorisation of
been money spent in order to accumulate.                   Investment’ (page 42). The Accountant
                                                           (Financial & Governance) explained that
The Chairman thought that it was important that            procedures were in place to authorise
the Committee were kept informed of future                 investments; however control had broken down
proposals. He considered that officers could use           on one occasion due to combined staff leave
their expertise.                                           and sickness. A process has been put in place
                                                           to ensure that this does not happen in future.
The Committee discussed possible timescales                Cllr Williams asked how the Council ensured
                                                     (2)
that the right approved institutions were used for           Government funding had been used to employ
the Council’s investments (page 41).                         additional temporary assessment staff. The
                                                             workload did have an affect on the process time.
The Accountant (Financial & Governance)                      Due to the financial climate, there had been a
reminded the Committee that the Council’s                    period where the workload had been at its
lending list was presented to Council annually.              highest for 12 years.
Regular updates were received to enable the
appropriate checks to be made.                               The Head of Revenues and Benefits thought
                                                             that with the additional temporary staff it would
Cllr Williams requested that ‘auditee’ was                   be possible to see some progress in Quarter 4
replaced by the word ‘client’.                               onwards.

It was explained that the Policy Manager (page               He gave an explanation of the process. Some
51) was Mr Rob Chambers. He would be                         simple forms took 15 to 20 minutes to complete;
working with Mr Bill Price, Section 151 Officer              however other forms could take up to half a day.
on internal audit contracts. This would give an              The time consuming task was collecting the
extra degree of independence and had been                    evidence that accompanied the form.
suggested by Mr Bill Price as the Section 151
Officer.                                                     To prevent fraud, original documents were
                                                             sought and data matching processes were
Following the discussion, it was                             carried out. If there appeared to be a
                                                             discrepancy, further enquiries would be made.
RESOLVED that the report and the Quality Plan
be NOTED.                                                    Following the discussion, it was

39.     QUARTER 2 GOVERNANCE AND                             RESOLVED that the Head of Revenues and
RISK MANAGEMENT REVIEW. The                                  Benefits and the Committee’s comments be
Committee considered the Report of the                       NOTED.
Accountant (Financial & Governance),
BDWP.56/09, which had been previously                        41.    UPDATE ON BUSINESS CONTINUITY.
circulated.                                                  Miss Ellie Apperly, Health, Safety & Emergency
                                                             Planning Advisor gave the Committee an update
Cllr Mrs James had attended her first meeting                on Business Continuity.
as Member Risk Champion.
                                                             Previously, the Providing Good Quality Services
The Committee discussed the risk of the                      Panel had received regular updates on
Whitehill and Bordon Development (page 59).                  Business continuity. It had been suggested that
The Committee were reminded that it was in the               regular updates were now given to this
Council’s Strategy and therefore it was a risk if it         Committee.
was not achieved.
                                                             The Health, Safety & Emergency Planning
Following the discussion, it was                             Advisor gave the following presentation:

RESOLVED that the report and the Committee’s                 The Council now had a corporate Business
comments be NOTED.                                           Continuity Plan. It had taken two years to
                                                             complete as it was a complex issue.
40.    REVENUES AND BENEFITS. At the
September 2009 meeting, the Committee                        In September 2009 service exercises had been
expressed concern about the amount of time                   carried out with Managers. A number of action
taken to process Housing/Council Tax benefit                 points came out of these sessions and they
new claims and change of circumstances.                      would be taken forward during the next six
                                                             months.
It was agreed that the Head of Revenues and
Benefits be invited to attend this meeting in                In October 2009 an IT recovery exercise had
order to answer Councillors’ questions.                      been carried out. This had been more
                                                             successful than the first time it had been carried
The Head of Revenues and Benefits explained                  out, as a number of lessons had been learnt
the steps that were being taken in order to                  from the first exercise.
improve the staffing situation and how
                                                       (3)
Awareness raising was important. The EHDC                    The Policy and Performance Manager
intranet had been used for this. Business cards              introduced the report. It was envisaged that
with information for staff if an incident should             through agreeing the Plan the Committee would
occur would be included with the payroll.                    be putting measures in place to improve the way
                                                             that the Council managed resources. The Action
Following a number of organisational changes it              Plan had been included on pages 69 to 72 of
was intended to republish the Plan in 2010.                  the agenda.

The Chairman thanked the Health, Safety &                    Cllr Williams asked how it had been intended to
Emergency Planning Advisor for her                           use this Plan. The Policy and Performance
presentation. He felt that it was appropriate that           Manager informed the Committee that he would
updates were given to this Committee.                        report on progress to the Programme Board at
                                                             their meetings which were held every six weeks.
Following the discussion, it was                             It was expected that a number of actions would
                                                             be implemented by March 2010.
RESOLVED that the presentation be NOTED.
                                                             Following the discussion, it was
42.    UPDATE ON LITTER PICKING ON THE
A31. Cllr Watts was invited to give the                      RESOLVED that the Use of Resources
Committee an update:                                         Improvement Plan, be APPROVED.

Cllr Watts reminded the Committee that officers              44.    QUARTER 2 HEALTHCHECK. The
from EHDC and Hampshire County Council                       Committee considered the Report of the
(HCC) had attended the last meeting of this                  Performance and Review Officer, POP.13/09
Committee and various solutions had been                     and the Performance Management Information
proposed in relation to the problems that had                booklet, which had been previously circulated.
occurred on the A31.
                                                             Mrs Lisa Blair, Performance and Review Officer
However, exactly the same problems were still                introduced the report.
occurring. She explained that on one occasion
there had been a misunderstanding about the                  Councillors made the following comments on
lane closures to allow litter picking to take place.         the Healthcheck Quarter Two 2009-2010
There was now an undertaking that this would                 booklet:
not happen again.
                                                             Ref: Page 6: Councillors had been pleased to
Veolia had insisted that the litter had not come             note that food inspections, N184 was now
from the Materials Recycling Facility (MRF). Cllr            yellow.
Watts intended to check the bags next time litter
picking took place in order to establish where               Ref: Page 6, Finance: Clarification was sought
the litter came from.                                        on the figures set out in the Finance section.

It was agreed that the Chairman would write a                The Policy and Performance Manager explained
letter to HCC on behalf of this Committee,                   that the target was set by Central Government.
expressing their concerns regarding this issue.              The Council had achieved more savings than
A copy of this letter to be sent to Veolia.                  could be classified in the National Indicator. The
                                                             Council had broader indicators.
Following the discussion, it was
                                                             Ref: Page 14, Ombudsman Complaints: The
RESOLVED that                                                information provided had been unclear who was
                                                             making the complaints. The Committee wished
(i)     Cllr Watts’ update be NOTED; and                     to receive a written report. It was agreed that
(ii)    A letter be sent to HCC, with a copy to              this issue would be discussed with the
Veolia, regarding the Committee’s concerns.                  Monitoring Officer.

43.     USE OF RESOURCES IMPROVEMENT                         RESOLVED that the Committee’s comments be
PLAN. The Committee considered the report of                 NOTED.
the Policy and Performance Manager
POP.15/09, which had been previously
circulated.
                                                       (4)
                                                                                   …………………….
                                                                                       Chairman

The meeting concluded at 8.30pm

During the course of the meeting no members of the press or public were present.



     Copies of this and all other agendas and minutes can be accessed via the Council’s website –
                                  http://www.easthants.gov.uk/meetings
          They are also available on request in other formats including audio and large print.




                                                 (5)

				
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