Agenda and minutes

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

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

Contact: Simon Trevaskis
0208 7266000  Email: simon.trevaskis@croydon.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

21/18

Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 119 KB

To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 4 september 2018 as an accurate record.

 

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 4 September 2018 were agreed as an accurate record.

22/18

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.

 

23/18

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.

 

24/18

Question Time: Cabinet Member for Finance & Resources pdf icon PDF 840 KB

Question time for the Cabinet Member for Finance & Resources, Councillor Simon Hall.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources, Councillor Simon Hall, was in attendance at the meeting to provide the Committee with an update on his Portfolio and answer questions arising. 

During the course of the presentation, the following points were noted:-

  • The Cabinet Member reported that the majority of the recommendations made by Scrutiny relating to the Finance and Resources portfolio had been implemented.
  • The Administration had made specific commitments to ensure that best practice was followed when commissioning services, including placing a requirement within all new contracts for suppliers to pay the London Living Wage to their staff.
  • There was also a requirement for commissioners to have given consideration to the economic, environmental and social benefits of their approach to procurement prior to starting the process. This would help to ensure there was an emphasis on benefits that would deliver improvements for residents, such as ensuring apprenticeships, training and local employment. It was noted that contract management was key to ensuring the successful delivery of these benefits.
  • Council Services such as special educational needs transport, grounds maintenance and libraries had recently been brought back in house. It was likely that this trend would continue going forward for other currently outsourced services.
  • Tangible progress had been made in the creation a new department, namely Gateway, Strategy and Engagement. There had also been three recent director appointments, which had increased diversity at that level of the organisation and two of the three appointees were internal candidates.
  • The new Chief Digital Officer, Neil Williams, had been in post for two weeks and would be leading the IT Transformation, which would include a move away from the current contract for IT services with Capita, with a view to bringing the overall management and design teams in-house.
  • The success of Community Connect was highlighted as an example of the Council’s Prevention led approach, which brought together 36 organisations to deliver a number of community wellbeing projects.

Following the presentation, the members of the Committee were given the opportunity to question Councillor Hall on a wide variety of areas within his Portfolio. The first question related to the Budget announced by the Government the previous day and the potential impact for the Council. It was advised that although further information was required on the detail of the Budget, initial analysis had shown that there may be some good news.

This included the provision of additional funding of £650m for Adult Social Care services across the country. While this was tentatively welcomed, it was highlighted that it would not address the longer term funding concerns for adult social care. It had also been announced in the Budget that the borrowing cap for local authorities would be lifted, which would allow the Council to explore further opportunities for house building and estate improvements.

It was highlighted that the Fair Funding Review had raised awareness of the longstanding funding inequalities between inner and outer London authorities and as such it was questioned what Croydon could do to address  ...  view the full minutes text for item 24/18

25/18

Co-operation and Social Enterprise in Croydon pdf icon PDF 258 KB

The Committee is asked to review the Council’s progress and commitment to in implementing the Cooperative Council’s principles and explore examples of community led and focused organisations that are supported or have been set up by the Council.

Minutes:

The Committee received a report setting out the Council’s activities to support and promote both Cooperatives and Social Enterprise in Croydon. To aid the discussion representatives from various interested organisations had been invited to attend the meeting and provide evidence to the Committee. The organisations in attendance were:-

·      Cooperatives UK, who represented the 7,226 cooperatives in existence across the country, from large organisations such as John Lewis to many other smaller enterprises.

·      Croydon Plus, which was a credit union set up in 1999, initially for the staff of Croydon Council and had now expanded to include anyone who lived or worked in the Croydon, Merton or Sutton Boroughs. The organisation was self-funded and relied upon growing its customer base and received support from the Council, including co-locating in the Council offices. In the past two years its membership had grown from 3,500 to 6,000 members, with a large increase in referrals from local authorities relating from benefit issues.

·      The Caribbean Credit Union (CCU), was established in 1967 by a number of West Indians living in Croydon, having experienced difficulties obtaining credit through banks and originally started with 150 members. The CCU was mainly staffed by volunteers, led by a Board and various Committees who had responsibility for areas such as deciding loans and audit functions. Future plans were to continue to grow the organisation through partnership work.

·      The London Mozart Society (LMS) was a Chamber Orchestra set up in 1949 to promote the music of Mozart and Haydn across as wide an area as possible and now operated as a player run organisation. All musicians who were members of the LMS remained freelance to allow themselves the opportunity to pursue other avenues of work. LMS was overseen by six directors and dependant on their commitment to deliver its programme of events and activities. LMS provided support throughout Croydon through outreach work and worked with local community groups and schools. LSN also ensured that tickets for events were made available for those who would not normally be able to access that type of performance.

·      The Octavo Partnership was established on 1 April 2015 as a mutual trading company to provide school support services such as educational psychology, HR, governance, finance and IT support. The company had been created from what was formally a Council service which had faced large scale redundancies. The company had received the support of the Council when it took the decision to set up as a separate organisation, with the Executive Director for Finance, Richard Simpson a Director of the Company. The Council had also provided funds to support the initial cash flow for the company, but this had not been needed for the past two years.

The Cabinet Member for Economy and Jobs, Councillor Manju Shahul-Hameed advised the Committee that she had recently attended the Cooperative Council’s Network Summit, which was aimed at sharing good practice. Croydon was the first borough to have been awarded the Social Enterprise Place Status in 2014, with a total of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 25/18

26/18

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:

Not needed.