Skip navigation Home Page News and Events Help Complaints Legal Information Contact Us Top of Page

Agenda and minutes

Venue: Committee Room 2 - County Hall. View directions

Contact: Lucy Gladders  03000 269712

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors R Bell, D Boyes,

J Makepeace, C Martin, O Milburn, H Smith, C Potts, L Pounder,

J Rowlandson, M Wilkes and A Willis.

2.

Substitute Members

Minutes:

Councillor P Crathorne substituting for Councillor C Potts, Councillor A Hopgood substituting for Councillor C Martin and Councillor R Manchester substituting for Councillor H Smith.

3.

Minutes of the meeting held on 19 March 2018 pdf icon PDF 96 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 19 March 2018 were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

 

Matters arising:

 

Item 6, paragraph 5 – in relation to Councillor Batey’s request for clearer information to be provided as part of the council tax billing. The Head of Strategy advised that a response had been provided from the Head of Finance and Transactional Services who had indicated that although there were some issues with billing, including time of and information contained, he would endeavour to review for 2019/20 billing.

 

Item 7, in reference to discussions around savings proposals, the Head of Strategy advised that a seminar on the MTFP was to be arranged for members in July 2018.

 

Item 7, paragraph 5 – in relation to Councillor Wilkes’ comments regarding use of reserves the Head of Strategy advised that the Head of Corporate Finance had provided a response to Councillor Wilkes outlining that the Budget Support Reserve (BSR) could only be used to fund one-off items of expenditure and although reserves could be used to delay implantation of savings, ultimately all savings would have to be realised at some point.

 

Item 8, paragraph 4 – in relation to Councillor Adam’s comments regarding Single Use Plastics (SUP’s) the Head of Strategy provided a progress update, highlighting work being undertaken by the task group which included representation from procurement and the Environment Partnership. In addition Councillor Adam would be attending the first meeting of the group and progress updates would be scheduled through the Environment and Sustainable Communities Overview and Scrutiny Committee.

 

Councillor Adam noted that he would be speaking at the first meeting to outline the work of scrutiny and it was hoped that he would be able to attend further meetings as the work of the task group progressed.

 

Item 9, paragraph 3 – in relation to the query raised by Councillor Wilkes the Head of Strategy advised that the Durham City Sustainable Transport Strategy would be considered at the same time as the County Durham Plan.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4.

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

5.

Report on the Council's use of powers under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 - Quarter 4 - 2017/18 pdf icon PDF 96 KB

Minutes:

The Board considered a report of the Head of Legal and Democratic Services which sought to inform members about the Council’s use of powers under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (2000) (‘RIPA’) during the period 1 January 2018 and 31 March 2018 (Quarter 4) to ensure that it was being used consistently with the Council’s policy and that the policy remains fit for purpose (for copy see file of Minutes).

 

The Legal Manager Governance and Elections advised that as an update to the circulated report, it should be noted that a tri-annual inspection had been undertaken by the Office of Surveillance Commissioners and had proved to be extremely positive. The full inspection report would be provided to the Board for information in due course.

 

Resolved: That the quarterly report on the Council’s use of RIPA for the period 1 January 2018 until 31 March 2018 and resolve that it is being used consistently with the Council’s policy and that the policy remains fit for purpose.

6.

Update on the delivery of the Medium Term Financial Plan 7 pdf icon PDF 142 KB

Minutes:

The Board considered a report of the Director of Transformation and Partnerships which provided an update on progress made at the end of December 2017 on the delivery of the 2017/18 Medium Term Financial Plan (MTFP7) (for copy see file of Minutes).

 

The Head of Transformation provided an overview of progress to date advising that by the end of December 2017 over 94% of the savings target for MTFP7 had been met with just over £22 million of savings having been achieved. This formed part of the overall savings target for the period from 2011/12 to 2019/20 of around £250 million.

 

It was further reported that consultation with the public and stakeholders remained an important element in the MTFP programme and a wide-ranging consultation exercise had been carried out during October and November 2017.

 

Further details were provided in respect of HR implications and the number of ER/VR applications accepted during the period and since 2011. It was noted that since 2011, 2720 posts had been lost through ER/VR, deleted posts and compulsory redundancies. Information was also presented regarding the percentage of staff who had left, who were male and female. It was noted that the proportion of female leavers was higher than the overall organisational breakdown.  Details were also presented regarding compulsory redundancy and it was noted that the proportion of male leavers in this category was higher than the overall organisational breakdown.

 

It was further reported that the total number of staff redeployed was 442, since the process started.

 

The Head of Transformation went on to advise that whilst the Government’s austerity programme was due to continue for several more years, the Council continued to be in a strong financial position despite ongoing challenges mainly as a result of the robust management process supporting the MTFP.

 

Councillor Crute commented that he noted the disparities between male and female leavers and asked whether this was as a result of the nature of services/posts which had been affected. The Head of Transformation advised that this was the case.

 

Councillor Tinsley noted that the authority continued to employ people however no data had been presented to highlight the gender split of employees coming into the organisation. The Head of Transformation advised that this could be provided for a future report.

 

Councillor Robinson commented that he would like to place on record the Boards thanks to all the staff across the authority for all of their hard work in achieving the savings in such a timely manner. He further noted, that had the council been a major company it would be likely that some form of government intervention would have taken place. In addition, he added his thanks to those staff who had been redeployed and had helped in the council achieving its MTFP savings.

 

Councillor Crute reiterated the above comments and agreed that staff should be thanked for their work during extremely challenging times.

 

Councillor Hopgood commented that pre 2008, during the shadow authority year it was reported that the council  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.

7.

County Durham Partnership Update pdf icon PDF 225 KB

Minutes:

The Board considered a report of the Director of Transformation and Partnerships which updated Members on issues being addressed by the County Durham Partnership (CDP) including the board, the five thematic partnerships and all area action partnerships (AAPs). The report also included updates on other key initiatives being carried out in partnership across the county (for copy see file of Minutes).

 

The Strategic Manager Partnerships advised that the County Durham Partnership continued to lead on and address key strategic issues including; the Aykley Heads development, the History Centre at Mount Oswald and the relocation of County Hall as well as the winter pressures facing the NHS, nationally and locally.

 

In addition, she advised that the Prioritising Prevention agenda also remained a key area of work with progress being made in identifying the key area of focus following detailed work from the identified workstreams and with some national support from the Local Government Association.

 

She further provided an update on all AAP’s under the five thematic areas of priority including; mitigating the effects of social isolation and supporting children and young people particularly through projects regarding mental health and wellbeing. In addition, she went on to provide an overview of activity from across the broader partnership networks including the recent VCS conference and successful funding secured for those people leaving the armed forces who may need accommodation.

 

Councillor Crute commented that he was pleased to note the strong relationship between the Safe Durham Partnership and the Safer and Stronger Communities Overview and Scrutiny Committee had been recognised by the Local Government Association Peer Review.

 

Resolved: That the content of the report be noted.

8.

Update in relation to Petitions pdf icon PDF 87 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Board considered a report of the Head of Legal and Democratic Services which provided information on the quarterly update in relation to the current situation regarding various petitions received by the Authority (for copy see file of Minutes).

 

The Senior Committee Services Officer advised that since the last update 5 e-petitions had been submitted. Of these, 3 did not qualify under the Council’s Petition Scheme and 1 was withdrawn. There were currently 2 e-petitions live on the website and in addition, 2 new paper petitions had been submitted, 1 of which had now been completed.

 

Resolved: That the content of the report be noted.

 

 

9.

Notice of Key Decisions pdf icon PDF 96 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Board considered a report of the Head of Legal and Democratic Services which provided a list of key decisions that was scheduled to be considered by the Executive (for copy see file of Minutes).

 

Resolved: That the content of the report and update be noted.

 

 

10.

Information Update from the Chairs of the Overview and Scrutiny Committees pdf icon PDF 124 KB

Minutes:

The Board considered a report of the Director of Transformation and Partnerships which provided an update of overview and scrutiny activity from 19 March to April 2018 (for copy see file of Minutes).

 

Councillor Hopgood asked whether it would be possible for the report to be sent to all members in future as it would be useful for those members who did not sit on an overview and scrutiny committee.

 

Councillor Crute noted that the report was publically available and members would be able to access it they wished to do so. He therefore felt that there was no specific need to circulate it.

 

Resolved: That the content of the report be noted.

 

Contacts
Democratic Services
Durham County Council
County Hall
Durham
County Durham
DH1 5UL
email:
Tel:
03000 269 714