Agenda and minutes

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Contact: Andrew Charlwood 020 8359 2014 Email: andrew.charlwood@barnet.gov.uk 

Items
No. Item

1.

Minutes

2.

Absence of Members

3.

Declaration of Members' Interests

4.

Public Question Time (if any)

5.

Members' Items

The Chairman announced a variation to the order of business for the meeting.  Agenda item 8 (Stop The One Barnet Programme Petition) would be taken before agenda item 6 (Call-ins).

 

6.

Stop the One Barnet Programme Petition pdf icon PDF 105 KB

    Minutes:

    In accordance with the Constitution’s Petition Scheme as set out in the Public Participation Rules, the Committee considered a petition which had received in excess of 2,000 signatures.  The petition was requesting that the One Barnet Programme be stopped and that a referendum be held. 

     

    The Lead Petitioner, Ms Janet Maddison, addressed the Committee and highlighted the concerns that she and local residents had with the One Barnet Programme.  She requested that the Committee take into account the following:

    ·         That a number of local authorities had recently abandoned plans to outsource services to the private sector

    ·         Some authorities that were involved in outsourcing arrangements were taking steps to bring services back in house; and

    ·         Residents were concerned that local democratic accountability would be reduced when services were outsourced to private sector providers.

    She requested that the Committee make representations to the Cabinet to stop the One Barnet Programme and hold a referendum on the issue.

     

    The Chairman clarified that the Committee had no power to call a referendum, only to make recommendations to the Cabinet Members via the officer that had been called to give account.  A Member highlighted the full Council had already considered a request for a referendum at Council on 11th September 2012 and had voted against it.

     

    Andrew Travers, the Deputy Chief Executive, was in attendance to respond to the issues raised.  Mr Travers outlined that the One Barnet Programme had commenced in 2008 and that there had been a number of decisions made in relation to individual projects since then.  He emphasised that this was a period of significant challenge for public services.  Whilst local authority budgets were being reduced between 30-50%, residents expectations of public services were increasing.  He added that as part of the One Barnet Programme, multiple options for service delivery had been considered with each option progressed on a case by case basis.  Detailed options appraisals had been considered which took into account financial and non-financial benefits.  He added that change of this scale was challenging and that risks required careful management.  The Committee were informed that a variety of approaches service delivery had been taken, including in-house transformation, shared services, local authority trading companies and outsourcing. 

     

    The Committee questioned whether 10 year contracts would be sufficiently flexible to respond to changing circumstances and external influences.  Mr Travers advised Members that contractors were considered to be partners that would assist the council in managing changing circumstances. He added that there were clear commercial terms in the contract which included contract variations to deal with changing circumstances. 

     

    Members noted that aims of private sector companies were different from those of the council and questioned how these differences would be reconciled.  The Committee were advised that detailed contract specifications and pay/performance mechanisms would ensure that contractors delivered against terms.   

     

    The Committee questioned whether officers considered that adequate consultation had taken place with residents on the One Barnet Programme.  Mr Travers reported that consultation had taken place in respect of the Council’s  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.

7.

Any matters Referred by Members of the Committee relating to key decisions made by: pdf icon PDF 17 KB

    Cabinet Resources Committee, 18th October 2012; or

    Any action taken by Cabinet Member(s) and /or Directors/Chief Officers under delegated powers (Executive Functions)

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    (A)       Delegated Powers Report 1709 (Community Right to Challenge) 27      September 2012

     

    The Committee considered the following decision of the Cabinet Member for Customer Access and Partnerships taken under delegated powers on 27 September 2012 and asked questions of the Deputy Leader of the Council / Cabinet Member for Resources and Performance in respect of the following.

     

    DPR Reference No.

    Subject:

    1709

    Report of the Cabinet Member for Customer Access & Partnerships – Community Right to Challenge

     

    The Deputy Leader of the Council / Cabinet Member for Resources and Performance undertook to discuss with the Cabinet Member for Customer Access and Partnerships establishing a cross-party group to consider how the Council should manage Expressions of Interest received under the Community Right to Challenge.

     

    The Committee decided not to refer the above matter back to the Cabinet for reconsideration.

     

     

    (B)                                     Cabinet Resources Committee on 18th October 2012

    The Committee considered the following decision of the Cabinet Resources Committee meeting held on 18th October 2012 and asked questions of the Deputy Leader of the Council / Cabinet Member for Resources and Performance in respect of the following:

     

     

    Decision Item No:

    Subject:

    14

    Report of the Deputy Leader of the Council / Cabinet Member for Resources and Performance– Infrastructure Managed Service Contract

     

    The Committee decided not to refer the above matter back to the Cabinet for reconsideration.

     

    (C)             Cabinet Resources Committee on 18th October 2012

    The Committee considered the following decision of the Cabinet Resources Committee meeting held on 18th October 2012 and asked questions of the Cabinet Member for Education, Children and Families in respect of the following:

     

    Decision Item No:

    Subject:

    5

    Report of the Cabinet Member for Education, Children and Families– Early Intervention and Prevention Strategic Outline Case

     

    The Committee decided not to refer the above matter back to the Cabinet Resources Committee for reconsideration. 

     

8.

Councillor Calls for Action

9.

Task and Finish Groups - Recommendation Tracking pdf icon PDF 126 KB

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The Overview and Scrutiny Manager provided an update on the three currently convened Task and Finish Groups on Road Safety, Review of the Effectiveness of Task and Finish Groups, and Children’s Centres.  The Committee noted that the final report of the Effectiveness of Task and Finish Groups review was expected to be presented to the 20 November 2012 meeting.

     

    The Committee highlighted the inflexibility of the current task and finish group arrangements and the inability to respond to timely issues of public concern or interest. 

     

    The Committee then considered the Task and Finish Group / Scrutiny Panels – Recommendation Report which provided an update on the implementation of recommendations made by Overview & Scrutiny Task and Finish Groups and Panels.  The Committee noted the following information in respect of the updates:

     

    Secondary School Places Overview and Scrutiny Panel

     

    Councillor John Marshall who had been the Chairman of the Panel had requested that the following representation be made to the Committee: 

    “The announcement of the creation of the Archer Academy should help parents in the East Finchley and Garden Suburb wards, as should the increase in the popularity of Whitefields School.  The creation of St Marys as an all though school is a also a positive development.  The provision of further places at oversubscribed will also be helpful.”  

     

    Early Intervention and Prevention (Children’s Services) Task and Finish Group

     

    The Deputy Director of Children’s Services, Jay Mercer, highlighted the importance of the work of the Task and Finish Group in developing and delivering the early intervention approach.  He informed the Committee that the Children’s Service were currently working with Strategic Finance on modelling the financial benefits of the approach. 

     

    The Committee noted that the updates on the Task and Finish Group as set out in the report.  The Overview and Scrutiny Manager undertook to obtain the outstanding update on Recommendation Three and to circulate this to the Committee.

     

    Domestic Violence Task and Finish Group

     

    The Committee noted that the updates on the Task and Finish Group as set out in the report.  Councillor Salinger commented that the response relating to the NHS in response to Recommendation 8 was disappointing.

     

    Contract Monitoring and Community Benefit Task and Finish Group

     

    Councillor Brian Schama who had been the Chairman of the Group had requested that the following representation be made to the Committee: 

    ” Recommendation 4 still requires a lot of work particularly in the area of Value for Money Assessments, and the creation of local jobs and supplier opportunities as part of supply chain management.”

     

    RESOLVED:-

     

    1.            That the updates as set out in the Task and Finish Groups / Scrutiny Panel – Recommendation Tracking report be noted. 

     

    2.            The Committee requests that a detailed update report on the Housing Allocations Overview and Scrutiny Panel and the implementation of the Housing Allocations Policy be reported to the next meeting of the Committee on 20 November 2012. 

     

10.

Advanced Notice of Executive Decisions pdf icon PDF 92 KB

11.

Business Management Overview and Scrutiny Committee Work Programme pdf icon PDF 93 KB

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    RESOLVED that:

     

    1.            the Committee note the Forward Work Programme

     

    2.            the following items be added to the agenda for the 20 November 2012 meeting:

    ·               Cabinet Members response to petition for debate (as referred to at decision item 7 above); and

    ·               An update report on Housing Allocations Overview and Scrutiny Panel and the implementation of the Housing Allocations Policy

     

12.

Any Other Items the Chairman Decides are Urgent