Agenda and minutes

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Contact: Mark Delap  Senior Committee Officer

No. Item


Members' Code of Conduct - Declarations of Interest/Party Whip

Members are asked to consider whether they have personal or prejudicial interests in connection with any item(s) on this agenda and, if so, to declare them and state what they are.


Members are reminded that they should also declare, pursuant to paragraph 18 of the Overview and Scrutiny Procedure Rules, whether they are subject to a party whip in connection with any item(s) to be considered and, if so, to declare it and state the nature of the whipping arrangement.


Members were asked to consider whether they had a personal or prejudicial interest in connection with any item on the agenda and, if so, to declare it and to state the nature of such interest.


Members were reminded that they should also declare, pursuant to paragraph 18 of the Overview and Scrutiny Procedure Rules, whether they were subject to a party whip in connection with any item to be considered and, if so, to declare it and state the nature of the whipping arrangement.


No such declarations were made.


Strategic Change Programme pdf icon PDF 38 KB

Update to be provided by the Director of Technical Services.


At the request of the Chair, Cabinet minutes and reports related to the Strategic Change Programme, from meetings held on 14 January and 22 July 2010, are attached for Members’ consideration.

Additional documents:


Further to minute 43 (21/9/10) the Director of Technical Services provided an update on the Strategic Change Programme. The report outlined progress made to date including the establishment of the Strategic Change Programme Office (SCPO) under the Director of Technical Services and also of a Strategic Change Programme Board (SCPB).


A corporate project management system (ProjectVision, Cora Systems) had been procured and configured against the delivery arrangements established by SCPB. Training on the use of the system had begun and was due to conclude on 16 November 2010, for key project managers. Additional training for members and Chief Officers would take place as required.


The Director described the “decision gate” approach to programme delivery which had been developed. This approach established a number of decision gates projects had to pass through during the project life cycle. If a project failed to satisfy specific criteria, SCPB would not approve progression to the next stage. An assurance framework had been agreed and would be delivered by the Director of Finance, providing independent assurance of the programme to SCPB.


The Strategic Change Programme Board had provisionally agreed three delivery channels in which the projects would be categorised:


·  Strategic Change Projects – These projects will be managed using the delivery arrangements and assurance framework agreed by SCPB. The progress of these projects will be monitored by SCPB.

·  Business as Usual Projects – those projects which will be primarily managed through normal governance processes i.e. Cabinet decides, Executive Team implements, scrutiny monitors. However, some projects will be significant in terms of the efficiencies to be delivered or the risk to the organisation that SCPB will require some oversight.

·  DASS Programme - These projects have clear dependencies and linkages to each other and should be managed as a single programme.


The existing programme agreed by Cabinet on 14 January 2010, had been reviewed to establish if projects were still relevant to the Council’s objectives, had the ability to be delivered or could be enhanced or stretched to provide additional outcomes. Any new or emerging ideas had also been assessed by SCPB for inclusion.


All projects were awaiting SCPB approval. In some cases this approval was the continuance of an existing project, whilst in other cases it would be approval to start project delivery. There had been a further proposal to group these projects by themes, which might assist in the future development of the programme. These themes were draft at this stage and would be more fully developed following the consultation exercise and refresh of the Council’s Corporate Plan. The processes established in restating the change programme and monitoring its delivery allowed for the expansion of the programme, enabling emerging ideas to be developed into new projects under the “project conception” stage. These ideas were received from several quarters including the staff suggestion scheme, response from staff to the Leader’s emails, the recent MBA projects and members of the public. This process would also be applied to ideas and recommendations resulting from the recent consultation exercise.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 63.


Consultation Task Forces pdf icon PDF 58 KB

At the meeting of the Committee held on 21 September 2010 (extract of minute 58 attached), the Committee agreed (6:4) that matters identified in a paper submitted by Councillor Davies (attached), in relation to the Consultation Task Forces, should be considered at this special meeting.


Officers have been requested to provide such information as they are able to, both in relation to the process followed in the selection and appointment of Task Force members, and the budgetary implications of the questions contained within the public questionnaire.

Additional documents:


Further to minute 58 (21/9/10) the Committee considered a report from the Interim Chief Executive which set out the extensive work undertaken to deliver the Council’s consultation process ‘Wirral’s Future: Be a part of it’. The report documented the different stages of the project, the overall methodology used, and the next steps in the process, highlighting the underpinning commitment to make the process inclusive and accessible to the widest possible audience.


With the permission of the Chair, the Leader of the Council addressed the Committee and expressed his thanks to the project team involved for all their work in helping to deliver the consultation over such a short period of time. He also thanked the outreach team of over 30 staff who over a seven week period had spoken to over 10,000 people at 140 events and with partner organisations had helped distribute over 40,000 questionnaires, of which over 5,000 had been returned. Additionally he thanked the team responsible for capturing all the data coming back and the importance attached to making sure all those who had contributed had feedback on their ideas.


He emphasised that the whole process was open and transparent, with all the information which was considered by the Task Forces being available to the public on the Council’s website.


Responding to comments from the Chair, the Interim Chief Executive stated that after the consultation had closed Task Forces would meet for a fourth time to consider the survey results and review their initial proposals with their  recommendations then forming the basis of a report to Cabinet on 25 November.


The Head of Tourism and Marketing, who was leading the core project team, also responded to comments from the Committee including on the length of the questionnaire which had had to strike a balance between being too simplistic and achieving an informed response on the questions posed. Geographical locations could be identified for those responses on the internet and there was also a facility to strip out multiple responses. Every single comment received would be published on the website along with the percentage returns for each question and a detailed evaluation of the responses. All Members would be informed of the dates of the fourth Task Force meetings to be held during the second week in November and invited to attend.


It was moved by Councillor P Davies and seconded by Councillor McArdle that –


“This Committee believes that:


·  No account in drawing up the options was taken of the knowledge, experience and skills built up over time and held by councillors elected to represent the public.

·  The entire programme has been determined by the Director of Corporate Services in consultation with the Leader and Deputy Leader of the Council without input from Cabinet or Scrutiny.

·  The consultation process was therefore put in place without any regard for the checks and balances contained within the Council’s Constitution and that, in so doing, the Council and individuals have been put at future risk.

·  Proper account was not taken  ...  view the full minutes text for item 64.