Agenda and minutes

Overview and Performance Scrutiny Forum
Tuesday, 15th January, 2019 5.00 pm

Venue: Committee Room 1, Town Hall, Chesterfield

Contact: Charlotte Kearsey  01246 345236

No. Item


Declarations of Members' and Officers Interests relating to items on the Agenda


No declarations of interest were received.


Apologies for Absence


Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Caulfield.


Cabinet Member for Governance - Scrutiny pdf icon PDF 60 KB

5:05pm to 5:20pm

Additional documents:


The Cabinet Member for Governance and the Senior Democratic and Scrutiny Officer attended to update members on the results of a questionnaire which had been distributed to all scrutiny members and the revised Government guidance. The release of the revised guidance had been delayed and an update would be bought to the Committee when the guidance had been issued.  


The members were advised that the questionnaire had returned mostly positive outcomes and the full results were attached at appendix A of the officer’s report. The following results required further consideration to understand whether action may be needed to improve the effectiveness of the scrutiny function:-


·        Only half of the responses agreed that sensitive political issues were dealt with effectively;


·        Most responses neither agreed nor disagreed that scrutiny members had been involved in influencing major decisions;


·        Only half of the responses agreed that scrutiny had a tangible impact on improving council service performance;


·        Most responses neither agreed or disagreed that members of the public and backbench members who are not involved in scrutiny valued scrutiny;


·        Most responses felt that annual refresher training on effective scrutiny questioning would benefit scrutiny councillors.


Various options to improve these issues were considered in the officer’s report.




That a further update be brought to the next meeting on 19 March, 2019 if the Government’s guidance had been published.


Cabinet Member for Business Transformation - Town Hall Refurbishment

5:20pm to 5:40pm


The Cabinet Member for Business Transformation and the Assistant Director – Customers, Commissioning and Change attended to provide an update on the Town Hall refurbishment.


The refurbishment began in January 2017 and was delivered in three phases.


The first phase was asbestos remediation. The approach taken was to remove as much asbestos as possible and the safe management of any remaining asbestos. This phase of work was completed to specification and budget in June 2017. The committee were advised that the scale and complexity of work required in the basement had been challenging.


The second phase was the refurbishment of the Register Office. The Chesterfield Borough Council (CBC) commercial services department was retained by Derbyshire County Council (DCC) to carry out the refurbishment. The practical completion of the work was finished in October 2018 and service delivery had commenced.


The third phase was the build works. To date the works to the basement, ground floor and first floor had been completed. These works covered a variety of areas including: general office space, the Committee rooms, the Council Chamber, public toilets and kitchen facilities. The committee was advised that there were a number of challenges during the build works phase, including the need for revised specifications, work needing to be carried out with minimal noise as CBC remained in occupation and staff resources moving on to new roles.


The committee was advised that the refurbished space was being used effectively and that a number of discussions were underway regarding the potential lease of available space.


The next steps for the project were outlined and it was explained that work to floors two and three would be paused. This hiatus would allow for a full asset management review of existing operational assets to be completed. Recruitment of additional staff in the commercial services department would take place during the break in the work. The commercial services department had quoted to DCC for the work required for the Coroners Court and it was expected that this work would begin in February 2019.


Members enquired whether the rental income from the Register Office had been tested with Estate Agents. The Assistant Director explained that the amount had been set at market value by Kier. Questions were also asked about the security of Town Hall Reception and Members were advised that the set up of the reception had been deliberated extensively. The decision had been taken to not have a glass panel to separate the staff and public but there were measures and detailed risk assessments in place. Concerns were raised about the ineffective divide between committee rooms one and two. 




That Town Hall Refurbishment be considered at the work programming sessions for inclusion on the work programme for 2019/20.


Cabinet Member for Business Transformation - Avarto Staff Transition Update

5:40pm to 6:00pm


The Cabinet Member for Business Transformation and the Assistant Director – Customers, Commissioning and Change attended to provide an update on the transition of the Avarto Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and Human Resources (HR) services to CBC service delivery.


The transfer took place on 18 October, 2018 with no complications. Both the contractual deed of variations and service level agreements had been signed and sealed. The contractual financial model had also been updated.


The transition team had worked well together and the transition plan had been put into action effectively.


The Harvey Nash recruitment agency had been assisting with recruitment to ICT positions. After a large amount of interest David Wing was recruited as the Head of ICT Improvement. Two project managers and a business analyst had also been recruited and engineers would be recruited by March 2019.


Two HR business partners and a learning and development business partner had been recruited into the HR service. Proposals for a full restructure of the HR service would be taken to Joint Cabinet and Employment and General Committee and, if approved, terms and conditions would be standardised.


It was explained that a lessons learned exercise had taken place and the findings were provided to the committee. The implementation of a transition team would be essential to support a successful contract transition from Arvato in 2020. At least a 12 month lead would be required to ensure that each of the remaining service transfers were managed effectively. The transition team would need a variety of skills including project management, financial, legal, HR and process mapping. The Committee were advised that in principle Arvato is comfortable with this approach.


Members enquired whether there had been any difficulties with recruitment because the required talent was not available or that the talent was available but was receiving much higher salaries in the private sector. The Assistant Director explained that the talent was available but CBC was unable to match the salaries paid in the private sector.




That the update be noted.


Cabinet Member for Business Transformation - IT Programme Progress Update

6:00pm to 6:20pm


The Cabinet Member for Business Transformation, the Assistant Director – Customers, Commissioning and Change and the Head of ICT Improvement attended to provide an update on the ICT improvement programme.


The committee was advised that there were five specified outcomes for the programme in 2018/19.


The first specified outcome related to enhanced service levels to be achieved in the theatre box office. The Box Office Theatre system had been upgraded and the theatre box office calls had been consolidated into the Customer Contact Centre since November, 2018. Performance levels had increased by 30% since calls had been consolidated and the online user experience had been improved. The full post implementation review was due at the end of January, 2019 which would be three months after the change.


The second specified outcome was for increased skills and knowledge within the ICT department. Five new posts had been recruited to which had improved the versatility and capability of the department. There was a platform lead and four further engineers still to be recruited. Work was being carried out by the HR department to implement a degree level ICT apprenticeship in 2019/20 and one member of staff was undertaking a management apprenticeship.


The third specified outcome was to achieve the Cyber Essentials

+ accreditation in 2018/19 and this had been successful. The Public Services Network accreditation application had been submitted and a response from the Cabinet Office was awaited.


The fourth specified outcome was to achieve increased ICT resilience. Evaluations of the preferred cloud supplier and use of native cloud migration versus VMWare in the cloud had been completed. The preferred solution would be the use of VMWare in amazon web services (AWS) because it would be the quickest option to provide resilience. Procurement of the solution was currently underway and a high level design of the VMWare had been completed. This specified outcome was on target to be achieved. 


The fifth specified outcome was to implement end to end digital services. The Digital Project Manager had been recruited and would begin to work at the council in February, 2019. The digital platform procurement specification had been developed, three suppliers had been shortlisted and the platform contract award was expected in February, 2019. Process mapping was underway for the Environmental and Regulatory Services. There had been some slippage against the plan and the replacement of the ‘mentor’ asset management system had been postponed to 2019 to accommodate the end of year billing workloads and the interdependency with the Agresso system upgrade.


Members noted the progress that had been made to the ICT Improvement Programme and that the service delivery had improved since the transfer.




That further ICT Programme progress updates be considered at the work programming sessions for inclusion on the work programme for 2019/20.


Forward Plan

Please follow the link below to view the latest Forward Plan.


Forward Plan


6:20pm to 6:25pm


The Forward Plan was considered.




That the Forward Plan be noted.


Scrutiny Monitoring

6:25pm to 6:30pm


The Scrutiny Monitoring Schedule was considered.




That the Scrutiny Monitoring Schedule be approved.


Work Programme for the Overview and Performance Scrutiny Forum

6:30pm to 6:35pm


The Work Programme for the Overview and Performance Scrutiny Forum was considered.


The Committee were advised that the scrutiny work programme action planning days would take place after the Borough Election on 2 May, 2019 which would give all members the opportunity to raise items for consideration.




That the Work Programme be approved.


Joint Overview and Scrutiny

6:35pm to 6:40pm


The Joint Chairs would be attending a meeting of the Sheffield City Region Scrutiny Board on Thursday 17 January, 2019. 




That the update be noted.


Overview and Scrutiny Developments

6:40pm to 6:45pm


The Joint Chairs would be attending the next meeting of the East Midlands Scrutiny Network on 1 February, 2019.


The Joint Chairs and Officers would be attending a seminar about the Government’s Guidance in response to the Communities and Local Government Select Committee report on the Effectiveness of Local Authority Overview and Scrutiny Committees.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 71 KB

6:45pm to 6:50pm


The Minutes of the Overview and Performance Scrutiny Forum held on 13 November, 2018 were presented.




That the Minutes be approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair.