Agenda and minutes
Venue: Committee Room 2 - Wallasey Town Hall. View directions
Contact: Shirley Hudspeth
Apologies for Absence
Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Ron Abbey and Leah Fraser.
Code of Conduct - Declarations of Interest Relevant Authorities (Disclosable Pecuniary Interests) Regulations 2012, Including Party Whip Declarations
Members are reminded of their responsibility to declare any disclosable pecuniary or non-pecuniary interest which they have in any item of business on the agenda no later than when the item is reached.
Members are reminded that they should also declare whether they are subject to a party whip in connection with any item(s) to be considered at this meeting and, if so, to declare it and state the nature of the whipping arrangement.
No declarations of interest were received.
The Improvement Board Review Report is attached and will be supported by a brief presentation. Please note that the report contains a number of embedded documents, all of which are available on the Council’s website. The relevant web page is at http://bit.ly/1878p6d
The Committee had received the Draft Improvement Board Review Report which had been commissioned by the Wirral Improvement Board to ascertain exactly where the Council was at with its improvement journey and to assist it to consider next steps.
The Director of Public Health/Head of Policy & Performance was in attendance at the meeting and made a presentation on the key findings of the review. She noted that there had been five key areas for improvement identified by the Improvement Board as follows:
· Leadership: Political and Managerial
· Corporate Governance and Decision-Making
· Corporate Plan
· Budget and Financial Stability
· Critical Services Areas: Safeguarding and Developing the Economy
The Director of Public Health/Head of Policy & Performance highlighted the main findings of the draft report, which set out what had been done so far in terms of Political Leadership, Managerial Leadership, Corporate Governance and Decision-making, the Corporate Plan, Budget and Financial Stability and critical Service Areas.
The Committee was then invited to consider and comment on the content of the Draft Review Report.
A Member told the Committee that his view was that it was a good independent report and he thanked everyone who had been involved in the work behind it. He considered that the Council had acted appropriately, in the wake of some highly critical reports that had undermined the public’s confidence in it, by seeking outside help and establishing the Improvement Board which had now been meeting for 21 months. As a result, improvements had been made and the Council was now at a point where it could move forward on its own.
The Member informed that the Audit and Risk Management Committee had made vast improvements to how it functioned and carried out its work. The views of independent people were considered critical here because the public were critical of politicians and the Council wanted to achieve excellence status.
The Member made the point that large organisations did make mistakes but they should not be castigated over them. The Council had needed to respond to its mistakes in an appropriate way. He also referred to the level of savings that the Council needed to make and the difficulty of trying to bring about improvement at the same time.
The Member reported that the Policy and Performance Committees were now working hard on scrutiny and needed to take on board the comments in the Draft Review Report about ‘Scrutiny’ Committees. There had been various levels of Member engagement and the Member gave credit to the Political Group Leaders who had worked together and had accepted the findings of a number of critical reports of an independent nature. He commented that the Council’s improvement journey had been recognised by others outside the Council.
Another Member agreed with what had been said and drew attention to a lot of positive changes which had been made whilst the Improvement Board had been in place. He pointed out that the word ‘embedding’ came up time and time again in the Draft Review Report and agreed that ... view the full minutes text for item 26.