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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Committee Rooms A and B, Civic Offices, Elstree Way, Borehamwood

Contact: Ms Rehill, Democratic Services 

Items
No. Item

401.

Membership

Substitutes are not permitted to this Committee, unless a Member of the Committee has been unable to attend meetings for a period of three months or longer.

Minutes:

No changes.

402.

Communications and apologies

(a) Communications (if any) relating to business on the agenda.

 

(b) Apologies for absence.

Minutes:

Apologies for absence received from Councillor Wayne.

403.

Declarations of interests (if any)

Members are required to declare any Disclosable Pecuniary Interests they or their spouse/partner have in any matter which is to be considered at this meeting.  Members must also declare any other pecuniary or non-pecuniary interests they have in any matter to be considered at this meeting. The responsibility for declaring an interest rests solely with the member concerned.

 

Members must clearly state to the meeting the existence and nature of any Disclosable Pecuniary Interest, other pecuniary interest or non‑pecuniary interest and the agenda item(s) to which it/they apply.

 

Disclosable Pecuniary Interests are prescribed by the Relevant Authorities (Disclosable Pecuniary Interests) Regulations 2012 as follows:

 

a.     Employment, office, trade, profession or vocation

Any employment, office, trade, profession or vocation carried on for profit or gain.

 

b.     Sponsorship

Any payment or provision of any other financial benefit (other than from the relevant authority) made or provided within the relevant period in respect of any expenses incurred by a member in carrying out duties as a member, or towards your election expenses. This includes any payment or financial benefit from a trade union within the meaning of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992.

 

c.     Contracts

Any contract which is made between the relevant person (or a body in which the relevant person has a beneficial interest) and the relevant authority— (a) under which goods or services are to be provided or works are to be executed; and (b) which has not been fully discharged.

 

d.     Land

Any beneficial interest in land which is within the area of the relevant authority.

 

e.     Licences

Any licence (alone or jointly with others) to occupy land in the area of the relevant authority for a month or longer.

 

f.      Corporate tenancies

Any tenancy where (to the member’s knowledge) - (a) the landlord is the relevant authority; and (b) the tenant is a body in which the relevant person has a beneficial interest.

 

g.     Securities

Any beneficial interest in securities of a body where –

(a)    that body (to the member’s knowledge) has a place of business or land in the area of the relevant authority; and

(b) either (i) the total nominal value of the securities exceeds £25,000 or one hundredth of the total issued share capital of that body; or
(ii) if the share capital of that body is of more than one class, the total nominal value of the shares of any one class in which the relevant person has a beneficial interest exceeds one hundredth of the total issued share capital of that class.

 

In cases of Disclosable Pecuniary Interest, Members must withdraw from the meeting room while the matter is being considered.

Minutes:

There were none.

404.

Minutes of the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 352 KB

To confirm and sign the ATTACHED minutes of the meeting held on 6 November 2014.

 

In accordance with the Constitution no discussion shall take place upon the minutes, except upon their accuracy.

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 6 November 2014 be approved and signed as a correct record.

405.

Financial Monitoring (regular item) pdf icon PDF 78 KB

 To consider the ATTACHED update.

Minutes:

The Head of Finance was in attendance for this item.

 

The report was presented and a number of points discussed, including:

-        transfers to and from reserves during the year was now being shown as a bottom-line figure so as to give a fuller context to the budget. Before transfer the budget showed c £400k surplus, after taking account of reserves transfers the budget showed a c £250k surplus.

-        homelessness costs had reduced, parking and housing were doing well. There were no other significant variances.

-        the £37 000 reserve was already part of the budget – it had been set aside as an additional grant to the CAB during this recession period to pay for debt advice.

-        the Committee suggested that the money saved by reducing landfill costs should be used to decrease the trade waste collection fees, as this would make the fees more competitive.

Action by Head of Finance

 

RESOLVED that the report be noted.

406.

Member iPad - update pdf icon PDF 46 KB

The Committee asked for a report on the functionality of the iPads, in particular accessing Council emails as easily as possible. Officer’s report ATTACHED.

Minutes:

The Head of Finance and the Service and Systems Manager were in attendance for this item.

 

The report was presented and a number of points discussed, including:

-        compliance with Public Service Network (PSN) rules meant that the Council could not enable autoforwarding of emails to personal addresses. It also

-        had ramifications for when a councillor retired as there could be large amounts of data located on non-Council sites which the Council would be unaware of and unable to delete. Furthermore as a data controller the Council had to demonstrate due diligence, which meant it could not allow the blanket autoforward of emails from Council inboxes to personal ones. Even if a councillor signed a document saying they took responsibility for such autoforwarding, the Council would still fall foul of due diligence.

-        councillors were data controllers in their own right, so if they chose to forward emails on an ad hoc basis to their personal accounts, then they were personally liable for ensuring the security of any personal data in such emails. 

-        currently 18 councillors had autoforward enabled. This would be discontinued as councillors were trained up on the security issue. So far 21 councillors had received training.

-        autoforwarding was legitimate between Hertsmere and County Council as both organisations were part of the PSN.

-        Officers were looking at Active Sync and Mobile Ion options within the upcoming telephony tender to see how system processes, security and access could be streamlined and simplified for Members.

-        the Committee stated that the report did not show the outcome of the business case for becoming paperless.

 

RESOLVED that the update be noted and that a report be brought to the next meeting on the outcome of the business case for becoming paperless and the options for Active Sync/Mobile Ion.

Action by: Service and Systems Manager

407.

Performance Monitoring Q2 - quarterly report pdf icon PDF 173 KB

To consider the ATTACHED quarterly report.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Head of Partnerships and Community Engagement was in attendance for this item.

 

The report was presented and a number of points discussed, including:

-        performance data was presented to a number of forums, which had similar memberships. To streamline and speed up the reporting timelines it was suggested that Overview & Performance could take over the monitoring that was currently carried out by the Performance Panel. That Panel’s role was in any case diminished as the Audit Commission which required it was no longer extant, whereas Overview and Scrutiny had an ongoing remit for monitoring performance.

-        the Committee commented that the performance indicators would be more useful if they were weighted/prioritised, as currently they were given equal value and weight. Ideally this prioritisation should take place before the next iteration of the Corporate Plan. The Corporate Plan would be approved after the May 2015 election and would synchronise with the 4-yearly term of office for councillors.

 

RESOLVED that

i)                 the report be noted;

ii)               Officers were welcome to seek changes to the performance monitoring process by bringing performance data to Overview & Performance instead of to the Performance Panel.

Action by: Head of Partnerships and Community Engagement

408.

O&S Learning and Development

(a)         To note any forthcoming dates for overview and scrutiny learning and development opportunities; and

 

(b)         To receive feedback from Members and Officers in relation to any overview and scrutiny related learning and development events.

Minutes:

The Committee commented that the May 2015 elections could bring an influx of new councillors, in which case it was important to have Scrutiny Training scheduled into the diary.

409.

Reports from Scrutiny Committees

The Chairman of the Resources and Environment Scrutiny Committees will report on the work of their respective committees in the current municipal year to date.

Minutes:

Councillor Harrison reported that Resources streamlined its meeting by asking the Police to provide a written report on the Police Community Support Officer service, rather than have a lengthy presentation to the meeting. The Committee had started looking back on the status of past scrutiny reviews and found that many recommendations had gone forward to completion. An issue about undemanded rent had cropped up which the Committee would look into given its size (c £700k).

410.

Forward Planning Programme of the Executive & Committee's Work Programme pdf icon PDF 61 KB

To consider the ATTACHED Forward Planning Programme and identify possible issues for scrutiny.

To consider the Committee’s ATTACHED work programme and requirements for Officer and/or Portfolio Holder attendance.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The following was agreed in relation to the Workprogramme:

·       The Scrutiny Review on S106 was moving at a slower than expected pace. Councillors had spoken to two officers prior to their leaving the Council and quotes had been sought for external consultants. In January the pace would hopefully pick up as sitevisits were planned and sessions with Officers. The Portfolioholder was also being involved in the work to ensure transparency and good communications links. Add an update report on S106 to the February meeting.

·       Retain Development Company report for 9 February. The Chair would email the Chief Executive to request sight of a draft report prior to the agenda despatch.

·       Add research into ward boundary size etc after May 2015. The work would be carried out after the election but before the Boundary Commission’s proposals.

·       Set up Future of Scrutiny as a task and finish group. Councillor Hodgson-Jones would lead the Scrutiny Review. Two Councillors to be sought from Resources Scrutiny Committee and from Environment Scrutiny Committee (this to include one Labour Councillor nominated by Councillor Harrison). The composition of the group should be a mix of newly-elected and well-established Councillors. The work should be completed before the elections in May 2015 so that the findings were ready for the new cohort. Set up an initial meeting on 14 January 2014 at 7.30pm.

·       Add voter turn-out levels for March 2015 meeting. Ask the Chief Executive for a report on what Hertsmere was doing to increase voter turnout and what other councils were doing.

Action by: Principal Democratic Services Officer

411.

Any other business which the Chairman considers urgent

In accordance with S100B(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, amended by the Access to Information Act of 1985, no urgent business may be raised unless it has been approved by the Chair.  The item and reason for urgency must be announced at the start of the meeting.

Minutes:

The Committee noted its condolences upon hearing that Lynn Hodgson had passed away. Lynn had chaired Environment Scrutiny for a number of years with diligence and great presence. She would be missed by all colleagues who had worked with her.

412.

Dates of future meetings

Future meetings of the Committee are scheduled to take place

at 7.30pm at the Civic Offices, Borehamwood, as follows:

 

·        Monday 9 February 2015

·        Tuesday 31 March 2015

·        Tuesday 23 June 2015

·       Tuesday 28 July 2015.

 

Minutes:

The next meeting was scheduled for 9 February 2015.