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Agenda and minutes

Overview and Scrutiny Management Board
Wednesday, 27th September, 2017 11.00 a.m.

Venue: Town Hall, Moorgate Street, Rotherham.

Contact: Debbie Pons, Principal Democratic Services Officer. 

No. Item


Declarations of Interest


There were no Declarations of Interest made at the meeting.


Questions from Members of the Public and the Press


There were no members of the public or press present at the meeting.


Council Plan 2017/18 Quarter 1 Performance Report pdf icon PDF 131 KB

Additional documents:


Consideration was given to a report presented by the Leader of the Council detailing performance against the targets and priorities within the Corporate Plan 2017-18 for the first quarter of the year from 1st April to 30th June, 2017.


The Performance Report and Performance Scorecard, set out in Appendices A and B to the report, provided an analysis of the Council’s current performance against 14 key delivery outcomes and 72 measures. The report was based on the current position of available data, along with an overview of progress on key projects and activities which also contributed towards the delivery of the Corporate Plan.


It was noted that, at the end of the first quarter (April – June 2017), 27 measures had either met or had exceeded the target set in the Corporate Plan. Although this represented only 37.5% of the total number of measures in the Plan, it equated to 47.4% of the total number of indicators where data was available or where targets had been set. A total of 16 (27.6% of those measured in the quarter) performance measures had not hit their target for the year (22.2% overall). 


The Leader made reference to the mixed performance headlines which were set out clearly as part of the report and appendices.


Members took the opportunity to review the performance report, narrative and data and identified a number of areas for questioning, which included:-


·                There appeared to be no marked improvement with progress remaining steadfastly below 50%.  What was the Strategic Leadership Team’s view of the progress of performance indicators, was this being taken seriously and why was the Council settling for a “mixed bag” for progress.


It was explained the Council was at that point of its improvement journey.  Easier targets could have been set, but measures had been identified across a range of Council measures.  The Strategic Leadership Team and Cabinet Members met and discussed performance on a regular basis with a decision made, based on the end of year report, that a forensic piece of work would be undertaken with Strategic and Assistant Directors of each measure that was off track establishing interventions/additional support required etc.  There was no complacency.


·                Why was Early Help Service not impacting on the numbers of Looked After Children, Children in Need and Children on Child Protection? 


It was noted there was some impact being seen; as of yesterday the Children In Need numbers, where you would expect to see the biggest impact of Early Help, had reduced to 1400, a decrease of approximately 300.  Early Help co-worked in a number of Social Care cases.  There were a range of different projects that would impact on the Edge of Care on care numbers.  The investments put in place were starting to impact but not sufficiently to register in the first quarter figures.


There was a new process in place in which cases were stepped up or down between Early Help and Social Care and would see an impact in a more  ...  view the full minutes text for item 43.


July 2017/18 Financial Monitoring Report pdf icon PDF 131 KB


Consideration was given to a report which detailed the financial position for the Revenue Budget at the end of July, 2017 based on actual costs and income for the first four months of 2017/18 and forecast for the remainder of the financial year.


It was reported that, as at July 2017, the Council had a forecast overspend on General Fund of £3.4m. The majority of the £24m budget savings approved within the 2017/18 were being achieved, with £11.9m of those savings being Directorate budget savings. However, it was reported that, in addition to those budget savings, Directorates also had to achieve £5.4m of budget savings in 2017/18 which were agreed in previous budgets. Total Directorate savings for 2017/18 therefore were £17.3m. The current position indicated that around £5.2m of those total savings were at risk of not being achieved in the current financial year (and were reflected in the current overspend projection).


It was further reported that work would continue to identify alternative or additional savings in order to maintain a balanced budget position. Management actions would also continue to address areas of overspend. The overall budget position would continue to be monitored closely with regular updates on progress in maintaining a balanced budget position reported regularly through financial monitoring reports.


The forecast overspend should be set against a backdrop of the Council having successfully addressed cost pressures of £138m over the last 6 financial years and having to save a further £24m in the current year and to deliver an additional £42m in efficiencies and savings in the following two financial years in order to balance the Council’s General Fund Revenue Budget by 2019/20.


It was noted that a significant in-year pressure of £6.460m on the Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG) High Needs Block continued to be an issue. A recovery strategy set in place last year would, however, resolve £3m of the deficit and mitigate the in-year pressure through a series of measures including: a revised Special School funding model; a review of high cost out of authority education provision with a view to reducing cost and moving children back into Rotherham provision where possible; and a review of inclusion services provided by the Council. Whilst the pressure would not directly affect the Council’s financial position, it was considered imperative that the recovery strategy was implemented in order to address the position and avoid any risk to the Council in the future.


Control over spending was critical to maintaining a robust Medium Term Financial Strategy and avoiding unplanned spending impact on the Council’s reserves. All services would continue to develop mitigating actions and alternative savings to compensate for financial pressures and delays in delivering the full amount of savings.


Discussion ensued with the following issues raised/clarified:-


·                Some of the savings achieved during the financial year were not achieved in the areas as previously agreed as part of the budget exercise.


·                Savings would not be achieved due to the delay of the Phase 2 restructure of Early Help.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 44.


Adult Social Care - Budget Update pdf icon PDF 63 KB


Councillor Roche, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Health, supported by AnneMarie Lubanski, Strategic Director for Adult Care and Housing, introduced the report which highlighted the budget pressures and actions being taken in relation to the Adult Social Care budget. 


There was a forecast overspend of £5.169m against a net revenue budget of £62.675m for Adult Social Services. The main budget pressures were due to the increase in demand for services mainly in respect of Direct Payments, domiciliary and residential care plus anticipated shortfall in delivering the 2017/18 budget savings within the current financial year.


One of the main budget savings measures identified was the continued review ofout of area and high cost care packages across all services to identify opportunities to reduce costs and rigorously pursue all Continuing Health Care funding applications with the Clinical Commissioning Group. Any change to an individual care package required by law a reassessment of need and, therefore, a systems change would take time if sustainable change was to take place and a planned approach required.


Budget meetings were held with senior managers to review in detail the budget forecasts, monitor demographic pressures, to identify further savings opportunities and to mitigate pressures. Options being considered towards the recovery of the current overspend included:-


·                A detailed review of all expenditure within in-house provider services.

·                Review of Direct Payments including auditing of individual bank accounts with the aim of clawing back any accumulated surpluses.

·                Further review of all budgets across the Directorate to determine any expenditure that could be either stopped, delayed or reduced to mitigate the impact of in-year budget pressures.

·                Vacancy management which was not integral to the improvement plan.

·                Strengthening the process for Continuing Health Care (CHC) to enable income to be recovered more efficiently.

·                Target the new teams to where there could be cost avoidance and monitor the impact to develop better value personalised care.   


Progress continued on the delivery of the Adult Services Improvement Programme to improve the current practice and processes and increase capacity to support frontline pressures and additional reports on a range of options for future service delivery, including consultation with service users and carers.


Discussion ensued with the following issues raised/clarified:-


·                The residential and nursing care budgets including a mixture of residential, nursing and supported living the latter due to clients moving into supported living and never moving on.  A dedicated piece of work was required in the future with regard to encouraging providers to help people live independently.


·                Clarification of the Direct Payment budget pressures was part of the £60M budget and was not separate.  This was part of the assessment of a client to assess their level of need, ascertain their indicative budget and how they would like to receive services.  Some would chose a domiciliary package and others would want Direct Payments to choose how their services were provided.  It was coded differently because of the indicators that had to be counted.


·                Adult Care faced an increase in demand for services  ...  view the full minutes text for item 45.


Day Care and Transport Charges pdf icon PDF 56 KB

Additional documents:


Further to Minute No. 113 of the Cabinet and Commissioners Decision Making meeting held on 14th November, 2016, Councillor Roche, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Health, together with Anne-Marie Lubanski, Strategic Director of Adult Care and Housing, presented an update on the impact of the original increase to £15 per session in January, 2017. 


There were currently 373 customers accessing a learning disability day centre provision which had remained unchanged since the increase was introduced as from January, 2017.  There were currently 222 customers who did not financially contribute towards their support needs and 151 who contributed an amount based on their individual financial assessment.  18 customers paid the full charge for their day care totals and who would see the greatest impact of any further increase in charge.


The actual cost of a day care placement ranged from £50 to £60 per session and this was reflective across internal and external providers for day care provision.


Whilst the previous report agreed the increase of the charges over a period of time there would be a requirement to remind customers, family carers and the services affected of any further increase in charges.


Discussion ensued with the following issues raised/clarified:-


-         The proposed increase, as part of the budget process, would result in per session being £30.


-         Other authorities charged between £28 and £40 per session so would be less than other authorities.  Consideration had not been given as yet to linking the charges to inflation.


-         A user of the service would not pay if they had savings/earnings less than £23,250; the majority of users did not pay.


-         A further report would be provided, following the closing of the Learning Disability Service consultation, to ascertain how many users had stopped using the Service following the increased charge.


Resolved:- That the impact of the increase in day care charges in January, 2017, be noted.


Regeneration and Environment Directorate - Fees and Charges - Progress in Respect of Full Cost Recovery pdf icon PDF 79 KB


In accordance with Minute No. 189 of the 13th March, 2017, Cabinet and Commissioners Decision Making meeting, Damien Wilson, Strategic Director Regeneration and Environment, presented an update on progress regarding the full cost recovery in respect of the Regeneration and Environment Directorate fees and charges. 


The update set out progress made towards setting charges to ensure full cost recovery as well as the impact of changes to Pest Control fees and charges which had been an area of concern.


In terms of the specific service areas it was noted:-


Planning and Building Control Service – A new charge has been introduced from July 2017 in respect of property addressing, on the basis of covering the cost of officer working hours, correspondence with relevant authorities and officiated bodies, production of plans and integration of naming and numbering into the Council's GIS systems. As this was a new charge, take-up was being assessed and would help mitigate the £12k shortfall on the budget.


Property Search Fees – These were as a result of changes through the Law Society.  The new fees reflected the additional questions and an assessment of the extra officer time required and were based on the actual cost of providing and maintaining the information, as directed by the Local Authorities (England) (Charges for Property Searches) Regulations 2008.  The increase in charges had impacted on the number of customers using the service and work was ongoing to increase the customer base.  Currently a £25k shortfall against the budget is being reported.


Building Regulation Charges – This service was self-funding with no current pressures.


Community Protection Charges – The service was subject to different charges following a re-structure how it charged for some services. 


Customer Services – Registration Services – The demand for Registration Services was difficult to predict.  Currently a £14k pressure was being reported in the Financial Monitoring Report in respect of this Service, due to a reduced number of bookings in the calendar currently.      


Business Regulation Charges – These were on track with no pressure.


Pest Control Fees – Pest control fees in 2017/18 were increased across a range of pest control services including rats, mice, moles, fleas, cockroaches and wasps nests. 


Development of fees and charges for the 2018/19 financial year were currently being developed as part of the 2018/19 budget savings proposals and would be submitted to the February, 2018 Cabinet and Commissioners Decision Making meeting.


Discussion ensued with the following issues raised/clarified:-


·                Clarification of the position with regard to the payment of Council tenants for the removal of rats from properties.


·                The need for key messages that could be conveyed to the public with regard to the feeding of birds etc. that attracted rats.


·                Pricing structure for the treatment of bedbugs changing from an hourly rate to a fixed charge for a maximum of 4 treatments.


·                Numbers of rats inside/outside properties.  There was significant variance between the years, but this was dependent upon the seasons.


·                No noticeable drop when the increased charges had been  ...  view the full minutes text for item 47.


Rotherham Construction Partnership Framework pdf icon PDF 61 KB

Additional documents:


Consideration was given to the report presented by Damien Wilson, Strategic Director for Regeneration and Environment, which provided an update on the RCP Framework awarded on 23rd May 2017.


Background information was provided on the Council’s building construction procured through the YORbuild Framework which was used for small scale projects.


The Council’s own approved lists (for building works up to £150k and mechanical and electrical works up to £500k) expired in May 2016. As such there was no alternative in place as a fall-back to using the YORbuild Framework without issuing open tenders.


In terms of marketing the Framework, so far meetings had been held with the University of Sheffield, Sheffield City Council and South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service. The feedback so far has been positive and there was a will to procure from the Framework should a suitable project be identified. Discussions had also taken place with St. Leger Homes and internal colleagues in Neighbourhoods to promote the use of the Rotherham Construction Partnership Framework.


A marketing strategy was to be worked up including a brochure that highlighted the advantage to clients in using the Framework and also to promote the other available trading services within Asset Management and the Council as a whole.


Resolved:-  That the report be noted.


Youth Cabinet/Young People's Issues


A meeting was to be arranged with the Youth Cabinet with regard to the recent Children’s Commissioner takeover day and their recommendations around transport. 


A full update would be submitted in November, 2017.


Work in Progress


Improving Places Select Commission


Councillor Mallinder reported that since the last meeting Improving Places had:-


-          Met with Cabinet Members Beck, Hoddinott and Lelliott to look at work the Select Commission had in progress and to check that it followed Rotherham Plan.

-          Work with Asset Management was ongoing.

-          Looking at targets of savings and closer relationship with regard to budget working.

-          A report containing 15 recommendations was to be submitted to this Board from Emergency Planning Task and Finish Group.

-          The new Emergency Plan was to be submitted to the Select Commission to see how it referred to the Task and Finish Group’s fifteen recommendations.

-          There was potential for holding an information day to look at housing issues and for the Commission to pick out certain items that it could then talk to officers about.

-          Councillor Mallinder and Councillor Cusworth had attended an information day on how to use data and turn that into performance management.

-          Councillor Mallinder and Councillor Cusworth had attended a scrutiny meeting of Chairs and Vice-Chairs in London to look at forward ways of incorporating into Scrutiny.

-          A report back from Dignity was still awaited.


Improving Lives Select Commission


Councillor Cusworth reported that since the last meeting there had been discussion on:-


-          Domestic Abuse for which progress appeared to being made.

-          The Chair had presented a report on alternative management arrangements for Children’s Services.

-          CYPS Quarter 1 performance.

-          Educational provision for special educational needs and disabilities.

-          Future consideration would be given to the Regional Adoption Agency, more detail on the Direct School Grants and High Needs Block, Home to School Transport and attention on Complex Abuse.


Health Select Commission


Councillor Evans reported that since the last meeting there had been discussion on:-


-          Adult People and Older Peoples’ Mental Health Transformation.

-          Care Co-ordination Centre and Initial Rapid Response Team.

-          Overview of RDaSH Care Group Transformation.

-          Delayed Transfers of Care.

-          New National Ambulance Standards.

-          The next meeting would look at the evaluation of School’s Mental Health Pilot and the Scrutiny Review of CAMHS.


Resolved:-  That the information be noted.



Call-in Issues - to consider any issues referred for call-in


No issues had been referred for call-in.


Date and time of next meeting


Resolved:-  That the next meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Management Board take place on Wednesday, 11th October, 2017 at 11.00 a.m.