Agenda and minutes

Scrutiny & Overview Committee
Tuesday, 30th January, 2018 6.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Town Hall, Katharine Street, Croydon CR0 1NX. View directions

Contact: Stephanie Davis
02087266000 x84384  Email: stephanie.davis@croydon.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

1/18

Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 91 KB

To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 12 December 2017 as an accurate record.

 

Minutes:

RESOLVED: that the minutes of the meeting held on 12 December 2017 be approved as a correct record subject to the inclusion of Councillor Sue Winborne in the list of Members present at the meeting.

2/18

Disclosure of Interests

In accordance with the Council’s Code of Conduct and the statutory provisions of the Localism Act, Members and co-opted Members of the Council are reminded that it is a requirement to register disclosable pecuniary interests (DPIs) and gifts and hospitality to the value of which exceeds £50 or multiple gifts and/or instances of hospitality with a cumulative value of £50 or more when received from a single donor within a rolling twelve month period. In addition, Members and co-opted Members are reminded that unless their disclosable pecuniary interest is registered on the register of interests or is the subject of a pending notification to the Monitoring Officer, they are required to disclose those disclosable pecuniary interests at the meeting. This should be done by completing the Disclosure of Interest form and handing it to the Democratic Services representative at the start of the meeting. The Chair will then invite Members to make their disclosure orally at the commencement of Agenda item 3. Completed disclosure forms will be provided to the Monitoring Officer for inclusion on the Register of Members’ Interests.

 

Minutes:

There were none.

 

3/18

Urgent Business (if any)

To receive notice of any business not on the agenda which in the opinion of the Chair, by reason of special circumstances, be considered as a matter of urgency.

 

Minutes:

There were no items of urgent business.

 

4/18

Children's Improvement Plan pdf icon PDF 547 KB

To update the Committee on the Improvement Plan.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

 

The Executive Director of People and the Director of Children, Family Interventions and Children’s Social care were in attendance to provide an update on the progress of the Children’s Improvement Plan.

The Committee was informed that that the following progress had been made since the last update:

-  Key Performance Indicators (KPI) overview was presented at the December 2017 meeting of the children’s improvement board for in depth analysis

- Key challenges such as high demand, work load of staff and use of agency staff continue to be addressed

- The Executive Director’s primary role was centred on the improvement of children’s services and as a result there had been a reconfiguration of directors that report to her to ensure minimal distraction from her core role in delivering the Children’s Services Improvement Plan.

- ‘Line of Sight’ document had been produced which outlined the work and actions to be taken by the lead members of children’s services to ensure compliance with regulatory guidance and practices.

- Regular auditing of cases

- Cross practice working

- Bi Monthly meeting with Assessed Supported Year in Employment (ASYE) social workers,

- Monthly meeting with social workers and front line staff

 

Members’ questioned what had been done differently to communicate effectively with staff and to ensure that they were aware that their ‘voice’ was being heard. Officers responded that staff had been encouraged to make use of the staff suggestion box as a forum to give opinions on matters important to them. There was a staff group, aside from the social work forums where they were able to share experiences, group discussions and reflection opportunities were made available to ensure staff felt supported and are able to obtain different perspectives on cases.

 

The Committee further learned that the Executive Director of People had ensured that her presence was more visible to front line staff by regularly engaging to gain an understanding of daily issues and had been working with managers in each department on effecting a change of culture. The Director of Children’s Services informed the Committee that time had been spent accompanying social workers to visits in order to have insight into the department’s customs and practices.

 

In response to a Member question on recruitment and retention of social workers, officers advised that a new recruitment strategy had been agreed and a new children’s social care microsite website had been launched to encourage recruitment of good social workers. The department was continually working to encourage locum social workers to take up permanent contracts into achieve a stable workforce in all teams.

 

The Committee was informed that the Croydon Staff Survey would close shortly and be ready to report on in a few weeks. Members commented that it was important that as many responses as possible were received as they were key to the improvement of the service. Officers advised that they had been working with human resources department and staff reference group to determine ways to encourage increased returns and participation.

 

The Committee  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4/18

5/18

Question Time: Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Sport pdf icon PDF 49 KB

An extract from the Constitution outlining the Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Sport responsibilities is circulated.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Timothy Godfrey, Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Sport was in attendance.

A presentation focused on the key areas of his portfolio and highlighted the following: Libraries, Museum Heritage, Arts and Culture, Leisure Centres, Sport & Physical Activity, Parks & Open Spaces and Registrars and Bereavement.

 

Libraries- The library service was brought back in-house following Carillion PLC’s announcement of liquidation. There was an increase in visitors to the libraries of 2% on 2016/2017. There had been a range of programmes to attract visitors including working with local schools and provision of activities and events aimed at families and young groups. There were proposed works for the development of a new South Norwood Library building. Public consultation had taken place over the proposals. There had been a drive to regenerate Norbury Library and there was consideration taking place on options of creating a community space within the library.

 

Museum & Heritage – An exhibition to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Croydon School of Art was on display until April 2018 in the Croydon Clocktower. Community engagement was strengthened through the delivery of various arts exhibitions, displays and event and by supporting two Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) funded community led projects. Two apprentices had been recruited to the cultural heritage apprenticeship scheme.

 

Arts & Culture – Croydon had submitted its bid to become the first London Borough of Culture. The borough’s first cultural congress was held in January and had attracted a large number of delegates. Various cultural events, projects and activities such as the light festival, had taken place successfully. The Fairfield Hall development had progressed as planned and BH live had been appointed to be the operator following the refurbishment.

 

 

Leisure Centres – There were proposed new partnerships with emphasis on traditional sporting provision, wider engagement and outdoor activity. GLL Greenwich had been amounted as the new contractor for leisure services as of 1 March 2018 following the end of the 10 year contract with Fusion Leisure Services. The mobilisation of the new contract would result in various developments such as the refurbishment of leisure centres, New Addington leisure centre development and the delivery of proposed accessible activities across various parks. Future priorities would include a focus on provision of free outdoor physical activities, supporting sports clubs and strengthening sporting infrastructure.

 

Sport& Physical Activity – There had been various successes in the last year, such as the London youth games where the borough came 8th. This year and going forward, partnerships with continue to be forged to facilitate participation. Norbury BMX track was built and was now open and free to use by all in the community. A range of activities had been coordinated in Wandle park as part of Lottery Heritage funding projects.

 

Parks & Open Spaces – The work on the Parks agenda was continuous and had seen various outcomes such as increased work with volunteer groups. There had been successful partnerships with groups on delivery of improvements to the borough’s parks and open spaces. Various funding streams and grants  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5/18

6/18

Question Time: Cabinet Member for Economy and Jobs pdf icon PDF 50 KB

Question time for the Cabinet Member for Economy and Jobs, Councillor Mark Watson

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Mark Watson, Cabinet Member for Economy and Jobs was in attendance.

 

A presentation was provided to the Committee which focused on the challenges and successes on the key areas of his portfolio.

 

Jobs- The Committee was informed that Croydon had experienced a 2% growth in jobs comparable to London and National averages. The employment rate was slightly below the London average however the highest area of employment growth had been in the scientific sector. Croydon had been doing well in creating new businesses with 90% being small businesses. Croydon was in a good position as it continuously attracted new business to the borough. The good employer charter had been set up and was focused on employment of local people through the Croydon Works service who work with departments such as the gateway service to get local people into employment. This had made a fundamental contribution to the community and economy of Croydon. Croydon launched its apprenticeship scheme in 2017 and had employed over 85% of BME apprentices and 90% are Croydon residents.

 

Growth Zone- There had been many infrastructure projects developed and the Council had explored the use of grants to assist in the growth of the borough. The pedestrianisation of the high street had been successful. Many businesses were relocating to Croydon as a result of box park which has attracted hundreds of thousands of people to over 150 events that took place in 2017. As a result of concern over turnover of businesses in Box Park, support had been provided to the small independent businesses to assist in marketing themselves in order to attract clientele.

 

Redevelopment of the Whitgift Centre– This had been approved by the Mayor of London, funding was in place to manage operations whilst the re-development took place. There was confidence that the programme would be delivered and work would commence in 2019. As part of the section 106 agreement it was expected that 50% of jobs would be for local people and work was being done with schools and colleges to build a skills network. Employers were being encouraged to adopt the good employers’ charter.

 

Night Time Economy- There were challenges in this area and there were ongoing works to establish a robust night time economy in the borough. There had been successful ventures such as the Good Evening Croydon event which has been an innovative and successful venture. Box Park had also been a popular destination for people.  More programs and event would be offered to attract people to the centre of Croydon.

 

District Centres- There had been ongoing work on the regeneration of Thornton Heath high street. Completion of the Purley car park upgrade was successful. New Addington redevelopment is in progress.

 

Croydon Urban Edge – The Croydon year of business was launched in January 2018 which aimed to encourage growth, development of business and creation of jobs in the borough through a programme of events. The events planned throughout the year would include training opportunities  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6/18

7/18

Work Programme pdf icon PDF 55 KB

To consider and approve the Committee’s work programme for the municipal year 2017/18.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee NOTED the work programme for the remainder of the 2017/18 municipal year.

8/18

Exclusion of the Press and Public

The following motion is to be moved and seconded where it is proposed to exclude the press and public from the remainder of a meeting:

 

“That, under Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act, 1972, the press and public be excluded from the meeting for the following items of business on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information falling within those paragraphs indicated in Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972, as amended.”

 

 

Minutes:

This was not required.