Agenda and minutes

Venue: Committee Room 1 - Wallasey Town Hall. View directions

Contact: Shirley Hudspeth 

No. Item


Apologies for Absence


Apologies for absence were received from Councillors P Doughty and B Kenny and from Mr M Harrison.


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 and / or any other relevant 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.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 78 KB

To confirm the Minutes of the Special meeting of the Committee held on 10 December 2015 as a correct record. (Attached)





That the Minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 10 December 2015 be confirmed as a correct record.


2016/17 Budget Consultation Findings - Presentation

To receive a presentation from the Senior Manager: Marketing and Communications.


The Committee received a presentation by the Senior Manager: Marketing and Communications on the feedback from the Budget Consultations that had recently been undertaken.


The Committee noted that the key messages from the public consultation process were as follows:


·  The Council was required to save £28 million during the coming financial year.

·  This was part of an ongoing programme of savings which totalled £129 million over the next few years, up to 2020-21.

·  The vast majority of savings this year had been found without a massive impact on services and staff.

·  There were, however, a series of proposals which had been published on 18 December 2015 and had been subject to consultation with the public.

·  This consultation concluded for the majority of proposals at the end of January 2016.

·  The Cabinet would consider the results of the consultation and use them to inform its budget proposal to the Council.


The Senior Manager: Marketing and Communications reported on the methodology behind the process and the number of responses (10,000) and their geographical break down from 2010/11 to 2015/16.  He also informed that there were three petitions in respect of the Council’s budget proposals in relation to:


·  Save Girtrell Court Respite Home.

·  Stop the Job Cuts, Stop Service Cuts.

·  School Crossing Patrol, Christ Church School.


The Committee noted that there was support for the following proposals:


·  Shared Services. 

·  Charging for Services.

·  Alternative Delivery.

·  Commissioning Services.

·  Reviewing the use of Council owned buildings, provide services from a smaller, more cost effect number of locations.


The Committee also noted the responses in respect of the following proposals:


Garden Waste Charging

201 comments had been received from residents on this proposal.  The general themes of the feedback were:


·  A large proportion of comments received actually supported the proposal to increase the cost, stating that a £5 increase in the annual cost was reasonable.

·  Those people who disagreed with the proposal expressed concern that it could lead to increased levels of fly-tipping and reduced recycling rates if people opted out of the service.


Re-Provision of Girtrell Court

189 comments had been received through the Council’s consultation channels, which could be summarised as follows:

·  Residents expressed concerns about the level and quality of alternative provision available in the private and voluntary sector; these concerns were being addressed in the ongoing consultation process.

·  Residents were concerned that relationships with staff and other users of the Girtrell Court facility would be lost should the service be re-provided elsewhere.



48 comments had been received relating to this proposal, which could be summarised as follows:

·  This proposal was generally supported provided that provision was made to support those people unable to complete self-assessments.


Community Safety

42 comments had been received related to this proposal, which could be summarised as follows:


·  Residents were keen to ensure that any changes to the community safety services mentioned did not lead to a reduction in service.


Leisure Centre Concessions and Golf

114 comments had been received relating to this proposal, which could be summarised  ...  view the full minutes text for item 28.


2016/17 Budget Scrutiny Report pdf icon PDF 115 KB

Report of the Strategic Director of Transformation and Resources.


Additional documents:


A report by the Strategic Director – Transformation and Resources set out the work of the three Policy and Performance Committees regarding the scrutiny of the 2016/17 budget options.  This followed a series of workshops held in January for Members of each of the Committees to explore in more detail the various budget options being put forward.  A separate report was provided for each Committee and these were attached to the report as Appendices 1 – 3.  Each of these reports contained a brief summary of the options reviewed with the comments of Members in attendance.  The Committee was requested to acknowledge these reports as the scrutiny response to the 2016/17 budget proposals and refer these on to the Cabinet.


Councillor M McLaughlin informed that the Policy and Performance Committees had adopted the same workshop approach as they had in the previous year.  She also informed the Committee that it would not be debating the budget proposals at this meeting.  That would be done by the Council at its budget meeting.  The report was presented to inform Members of the views expressed on the consultation.


Councillor M McLaughlin reported on the proceedings of the Policy and Performance Committee - Families and Wellbeing’s Workshop which had been very well attended and had gone well.  Fourteen Members had attended and everyone had contributed something.  The discussions held were against a backdrop of the requirement to make huge savings as a result of the Council having experienced grant reductions and the need to balance that with the need to do as much as possible to protect those services which support our most vulnerable residents.


The Workshop had examined both positive and negative impacts and made suggestions on how to mitigate negative impacts.  It had also considered how Leisure concessions could operate in the future.


Councillor P Gilchrist made reference to an email he had sent to each of the Committee’s Members the previous day regarding the proposal to close Girtrell Court – a respite centre. 


Councillor M McLaughlin informed that the areas Councillor P Gilchrist had highlighted in his email had been explored at the Workshop and she did not want to change the narrative of resulting report.


However, Councillor P Gilchrist considered that it was legitimate to receive information later as there had been concerns raised at various other meetings since the Workshop and they should be reflected upon.


Councillor M McLaughlin did not agree with the point being made and informed that she did not want to change the emphasis of the Workshop report as feedback from other consultation exercises would be fed into the process.


Councillor P Gilchrist informed that he had circulated a summary and some suggestions.  He was aware some Members may not have seen it.  He asked Members if any were in agreement to these being put forward.

With the Committee’s agreement Councillor P Gilchrist proceeded to read out his email as follows:


 Dear Chair, Members and Officers,


The recent ‘tradition’ at Co-ordinating Committee has been  ...  view the full minutes text for item 29.


Annual Report: Equality Plan 2014 - 17 pdf icon PDF 104 KB

Report of the Strategic Director Transformation and Resources.


The Strategic Director – Transformation and Resources introduced his report that highlighted progress being made against the Council’s Equality Plan 2014 - 2017.  The Committee was informed that the Equality Plan had been approved by the Cabinet in July 2014 and embracing equality had remained central to the way the Council had delivered services over the last year.  It had taken into consideration the needs of its employees and customers in the decisions that it had made.


The report also set out some of the work that the Council had undertaken to support its priorities.  Members noted that this was an ongoing process and the Council continued to focus on providing a workplace where employees felt comfortable to be themselves and perform to the best of their ability, and by ensuring services which met the current and future needs of the diverse residents of the Borough were provided.


A Member drew attention to the Performance Appraisal and Development form that now included best practice elements of the Equality Framework for Local Government and reasonable adjustments. This meant all staff members were now asked how they had promoted equality and diversity within their work. Plus, there was an automatic annual review of an employee’s reasonable adjustments as part of their appraisal.  The Member was surprised that this was considered to be an achievement as performance appraisals currently had a RAG rating as not all staff had been through the performance appraisal process this year. 


The Strategic Director informed that the latest position was that 76% of the workforce had received their performance appraisals and 89% of managers had received one. The process had been improved and the inequalities issues had been picked up.  Performance appraisals were conducted on an annual process.  The next round of them would commence on 1 April 2016.  The figures in respect of this would be reported on a quarterly basis.




That the progress of the Equality Plan 2014-2017 and the planned activities for the forthcoming year be noted.


2015/16 Quarter 2 Corporate Plan Corporate Plan pdf icon PDF 119 KB

Report of the Strategic Director Transformation and Resources.

Additional documents:


The Strategic Director – Transformation and Resources introduced his summary report on the Council’s Quarter 2 (July to September) performance against the delivery of the 2015/16 Corporate Plan (as approved by the Council at its meeting on 8 December 2014).  A detailed report was attached to the Director's report as Appendix 1 and detailed progress against a suite of agreed performance indicators.  The performance indicators related to a range of pledges under the three Wirral Plan themes of People, Business and Environment. 


The Committee was informed that it had in front of it a snap shot in time.  Issues associated with performance had moved forward. A Member suggested that more information be provided in writing to help the Committee to understand the current situation.


With reference to opiate users the Committee noted that the data set out in Appendix 1 was quite old now.  However, the Council’s performance did put it in the top quartile nationally. 


A Member made reference again to the RAG rating in respect of performance appraisal and asked if they were carried out on a rolling programme because if they were not done quickly at the beginning of the new financial year performance against this target would dip. She asked if the staff would be appraised in equal numbers across the year.


The Strategic Director reported that all staff members should receive their performance appraisal on the anniversary of their last one but there was no reason why managers could not carry out their performance appraisals earlier.


The Committee took on board the point that the Member had made that there was potential for a dip in respect of the performance appraisal target.


A Member drew attention to the Corporate Performance Indicator – Rate of Looked After Children per 10,000 and that the narrative was getting stronger and stronger.  There were targets set and reference was made to a decreasing target that had been setfor this measure to bring Wirral more in to line with the North West average and that of the Council’s statistical neighbours.  The Member asked if there were strategies in place. Councillor M McLaughlin responded that this must be done safely and that she would raise it at the Policy and Performance Committee– Families and Wellbeing.  She noted that this Council was out of line with other local authorities as it took more children into care and they stayed there longer.




That the contents of this report be noted.







2015/16 Quarter 2 Capital and Revenue Financial Monitor Reports pdf icon PDF 100 KB

Report of the Strategic Director of Transformation and Resources.

Additional documents:


The Strategic Director – Transformation and Resources introduced his report that provided the Committee with the Quarter 2 Capital and Revenue Financial Monitoring details, as reported to the Cabinet at its meeting on 5 November 2015.  This was done to enable the Committee to scrutinise progress against the 2015/16 Revenue and Capital budgets and to highlight any areas for further clarification.  The Revenue and Capital monitoring reports were appended to the Director’s report.


A Member asked a question in relation to the Quarter 2 Capital Monitoring Report about phased payments for capital receipts and why payment was conducted in this way.  It was agreed that the reply to this question would be circulated to Members after the meeting.




(1)  the contents of these reports be noted; and


(2)  the Strategic Director – Transformation and Resources be requested to send a reply to the Member’s question on capital receipts to all of the Members who are in attendance at this meeting.


Policy Inform Briefing Papers pdf icon PDF 72 KB

Report of the Strategic Director of Transformation and Resources.

Additional documents:


A report by the Strategic Director – Transformation and Resources introduced the January Policy Inform Briefing papers which outline the key features of the Autumn Statement and the Spending Review, which was announced on 25 November 2015.  As a continuum the Policy Inform papers include any relevant policy developments that had emerged over the past three months.


Appended to the Director’s report were:


·  Appendix 1 – Policy Inform: Families and Wellbeing

·  Appendix 2 – Policy Inform: Regeneration and Environment

·  Appendix 3 – Policy Inform: Transformation and Resources




That the contents of the Policy Briefing papers be noted.




Scrutiny Work Programme - Update Report pdf icon PDF 112 KB

Report of the Strategic Director of Transformation and Resources.

Additional documents:


A report by the Strategic Director – Transformation and Resources set out the Scrutiny Work Programme to enable the Committee to review progress as at the end of quarter 3.  Members referred to the Committee’s own Work Programme (Appendix 1) and noted that good progress had been made with the Cumulative Impact Scrutiny Review and it was expected that this review would be completed by the end of March.  The Work Programme highlighted three other potential pieces of work as follows:


·  Review of Constituency Committee decision-making

·  Pre-decision scrutiny

·  Review of the number of Councillors (following Notice of Motion in September 2015)

Members were requested to give consideration to how they wished to prioritise these pieces of work and when they should be scheduled.


The Director’s report also set out the Work Programmes of the other three Policy and Performance Committees, (Appendices 2 – 4).  These had been included to enable the Committee to undertake its constitutional role to ‘determine the overall Work Programme for the Policy and Performance Committees, and ensure there was an overall planned approach to in-depth review’. 


The Committee noted that the Scrutiny Work Programme needed to be developed as a means to support the delivery of the 20 pledges set out in the Wirral Plan. 


Councillor M McLaughlin informed that the next meeting of the Committee was scheduled for 22 March 2016 which was the day before purdah commenced.  She also informed that items for the next meeting should include the LGA Peer Review and the usual Monitoring Reports.  She asked Members if they wanted the meeting to go ahead.  There was general agreement to hold the next scheduled meeting but with a shortened agenda.




(1)  the content of the Scrutiny Work Programme across all Policy and Performance Committees be noted; and


(2)  Members give consideration to the potential scrutiny reviews highlighted above to determine how they wish to prioritise and schedule these pieces of work; and


(3)  the next meeting of the Committee will go ahead on 22 March 2016 with a short agenda.