Agenda and draft minutes

Joint Scrutiny Committee
Thursday, 7 March 2019 6.00 pm

Venue: Meeting Room 1, 135 Eastern Avenue, Milton Park, Milton OX14 4SB

Contact: Ron Schrieber, Democratic Services Officer 

Items
No. Item

40.

Apologies for absence

To record apologies for absence and the attendance of substitute members. 

Minutes:

South Councillor David Nimmo-Smith submitted apologies.

41.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 112 KB

To adopt and sign as a correct record the Joint Scrutiny Committee minutes of the meeting held on 29 January 2019 (attached). 

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 29 January 2019 were agreed as an accurate record and were signed by the Chairman.

42.

Declarations of interest

To receive any declarations of disclosable pecuniary interests in respect of items on the agenda for this meeting.  

Minutes:

None.

43.

Urgent business and chairman's announcements

To receive notification of any matters which the chairman determines should be considered as urgent business and the special circumstances which have made the matters urgent, and to receive any announcements from the chairman. 

Minutes:

None.

44.

Public participation

To receive any questions or statements from members of the public that have registered to speak. 

Minutes:

None.

45.

Corporate services brought in house pdf icon PDF 149 KB

To consider the report of the head of partnership and insight (attached).

Minutes:

The committee considered the report of the acting deputy chief executive – partnership and planning, which provided information on elements of the corporate services contracts which had been brought back in house since the contracts commenced on 1 August 2016.  The report set out the reasons for bringing services back in house and the financial and other implications of doing so.

 

Councillor Bill Service, South Cabinet member for partnership and insight, introduced the report.  Andrew Down, acting chief executive – partnership and planning, was also present to answer questions on the background to the report and the outsourcing objectives and risks.

 

In response to members’ questions, the committee was informed that:

 

·         Where the report referred to services being brought back in house on a cost-neutral basis, this meant that there was no additional cost to the Councils in providing the existing service.

·         As previously reported, the corporate services contracts were not expected to generate the significant savings originally anticipated but were likely to break even at best.

·         Whilst a range of risks in outsourcing corporate services had been identified in 2016, the subsequent change in Capita’s business model had not been foreseen.

 

The committee then considered the individual services brought back in house.

 

Property management and facilities management

 

Councillors Paul Harrison and Mike Murray, South and Vale Cabinet members for development and regeneration, respectively, introduced this topic. Also present to answer questions was Suzanne Malcolm, head of development and regeneration.

 

In response to members’ questions, the committee was informed that:

 

·         The property management service provided by Arcadis matched that previously provided in house. 

·         The property management and facilities management services were brought back in house as it became clear that it was not possible for the contracts to deliver the anticipated level of savings.

·         Since bringing the services back in house, they had been co-located in one property team.

 

Licensing

 

Councillor Elaine Ware, Vale Cabinet member for housing and environment, introduced this topic. Also present to answer questions was Liz Hayden, head of housing and environment.

 

In response to members’ questions, the committee was informed that:

 

·         During the period in which the service was outsourced, the number of enforcement officers fell from 4.4 full time equivalent (fte) to 2.4 fte with a corresponding impact on the scope of the service.

·         Since the return of the service, the number of enforcement officers was being increased to four fte, as part of the revised council staffing structure.  There was now a greater emphasis on proactive enforcement activity.

 

Management accountancy and benefits related fraud team

 

Councillors David Dodds and Robert Sharp, South and Vale Cabinet members for finance, respectively, introduced this topic. Also present to answer questions was William Jacobs, head of finance.

 

In response to members’ questions, the committee was informed that:

 

·         Initially there had been no change in the level of service provided by the outsourced accountancy team. However, Capita’s restructuring of the accountancy team in June 2018 did impact upon service delivery.

·         The councils’ 2017/18 accounts were  ...  view the full minutes text for item 45.

46.

Work schedule and dates for all South and Vale scrutiny meetings pdf icon PDF 62 KB

To review the attached scrutiny work schedule. Please note, although the dates are confirmed, the items under consideration are subject to being withdrawn, added to or rearranged without further notice.

 

Minutes:

The committee noted its work programme.