The Council considered a report of the Assistant Chief Executive which sought approval of the Council Plan for 2011-2014, an overarching high-level plan for the County Council detailing the visions and priority areas for improvement (for copy see file of Minutes).
The Assistant Chief Executive informed the Council that an additional theme of an ‘Altogether Better Council’ had been developed for the plan and would capture corporate improvements identified by the Council to enable achievement against the five priority themes.
In relation to a query from Councillor R Bell regarding the risk management timetable contained in the report, the Assistant Chief Executive clarified that the Council had a statutory requirement under the Data Protection Act to ensure that information was not provided to people erroneously and the Council had to comply with this legislation. The Assistant Chief Executive added that the Information Commissioner would impose hefty fines for those organisations that breach such procedures.
Councillor Shuttleworth referred to ‘weaknesses in financial control’ detailed on page 82 and spoke of his great concern in relation to this area. Councillor Shuttleworth commented that both himself and Councillor R Ord had made it clear, on numerous occasions over the past five years, that the Oracle system the Council used was simply unacceptable.
In response to a question from Councillor Stoker regarding the number of early retirement/voluntary redundancy applications submitted and those processed, Councillor Henig commented that a number of early retirement and/or voluntary redundancy applications were being considered through the system and highlighted the importance of getting everything right.
Councillor J Brown, Chairman of the Human Resources Committee confirmed that the Council had approved 138 ER/VR applications last week, resulting in £4m worth of savings.
Councillor D Southwell stated that one of the reasons for the creation of a Unitary Authority was to stop the duplication of services. He queried the timescales for the restructure of services and the timescales for those staff who had expressed an interest for ER/VR.
Councillor Henig clarified that he would seek the information requested and provide a response to Councillor Southwell’s request.
Moved by Councillor Henig, Seconded by Councillor Napier and
That the Council Plan for the period 2011-2014 be approved, subject to any final minor amendments by the Assistant Chief Executive.