Agenda, decisions and minutes

Business and Customer Services Portfolio Holder's Meeting
Thursday, 9 November 2017 10.00 a.m.

Venue: Swansley Room A, Ground Floor. View directions

Contact: Patrick Adams  03450 450 500 Email: democratic.services@scambs.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

1.

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

Councillor Nick Wright declared a non-pecuniary interest as a Director of a community pub.

2.

Minutes of Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 149 KB

The Portfolio Holder is asked to sign the minutes of the meeting held on 7 July 2017 as a correct record.

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 7 July 2017 were agreed as a correct record.

3.

Mobile Phone and Mobile Device Management (MDM) Procurement Project pdf icon PDF 133 KB

Decision:

The Business and Customer Services Portfolio Holder

 

AGREED        That he, Councillor Nick Wright, Councillor Henry Batchelor and Councillor Grenville Chamberlain should carry out testing of Boxer on their iPads when the software is ready to deploy.

Minutes:

The Business and Customer Services Portfolio Holder explained that he had asked for this report, as he had announced that the new software would be installed by October and clearly this had not transpired. He explained that the Boxer software was nearly ready to be introduced and that three councillor were required to test it before making it available to all members.

 

In response to questioning, Emma Alterton from 3C ICT explained that it had taken longer than expected to alter the agreement with the telecommunications company. It was noted that this was a common complaint regarding large telecommunications companies and notwithstanding this issue the Council had received good service from its current supplier.

 

The Business and Customer Services Portfolio Holder stated that he was encouraged by the progress made and expressed the hope that the software would be fully introduced soon.

 

The Business and Customer Services Portfolio Holder

 

AGREED        That he, Councillor Nick Wright, Councillor Henry Batchelor and Councillor Grenville Chamberlain should carry out testing of Boxer on their iPads when the software was ready to deploy.

4.

2017-18 - Second quarterly position statement on finance, performance and risk pdf icon PDF 194 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Business and Customer Services Portfolio Holder explained that the quarterly performance figures were first considered by the Portfolio Holder, then the Scrutiny and Overview Committee and finally by Cabinet.

 

New housing

The Business and Customer Services Portfolio Holder spoke positively with regard to a bid being made to move a sewage works at Milton, which would free up a large amount of land in the District for housing. He further explained that Section 106 money was funding a number of worthwhile projects.

 

Bin collection

It was noted that the Council had successfully introduced new bin collecting arrangements, with a collection rate of 99.55%.

 

Percentage of invoices paid in 30 days

It was noted that whilst this Performance Indicator was currently an “amber” it was improving and further improvements could be expected in the next quarter.

 

Staff sickness days per Full-Time Equivalent

This had been affected by a number of Waste Services staff transferred who had been on long-term sick leave.

 

Percentage of formal complaint responses sent within timescale

Councillor Bridget Smith suggested that the target of 80% should be increased. The Business and Customer Services Portfolio Holder explained that many complaints were complex and so it took time to respond to them. The Head of People and Organisational Development explained that the complaints process was being reviewed. It was noted that complaints were sent to the Chief Executive’s Office before being sent out to the appropriate service area.

 

ICT Business Plan

The Business and Customer Services Portfolio Holder explained that a new business plan was required for ICT, as the original plan had proved to be over-optimistic. He expected that, as with other shared services projects, savings would be realised in time.

 

Risks

The Business and Customer Services Portfolio Holder explained that the Council was assessing risk in a new way by showing the risk score before and after the risk controls.

 

Councillor Bridget Smith expressed concern that there were matters that were outside the control of the Council and that the mitigating controls would have a limited impact.

 

Planning performance

The Business and Customer Services Portfolio Holder explained that the risk of the authority being designated as a poorly performing planning authority was in the control of the councillors on the Planning Committee, as it depended on the number of planning applications being granted by the Planning Inspector on appeal.

 

Recruitment and retention of staff

In response to concerns raised regarding the risk STR 13 Recruitment and Retention of staff,  the Head of People and Organisational Development explained that the Council was working to control this risk through use of agency staff and market supplements. It was noted that the Council could not match the salaries of the private sector.

 

The Business and Customer Services Portfolio Holder stated that he was satisfied with the new format, but requested that in future it be standardised with the report on the Scrutiny and Overview Committee agenda.

 

The Business and Customer Services Portfolio Holder

 

RECOMMENDED    that Cabinet

 

A)           Review the provisional  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.

5.

Rural Task and Finish Group on Supporting Rural Businesses pdf icon PDF 236 KB

Minutes:

The Business and Customer Services Portfolio Holder presented this item, which provided an update on the work of the Task and Finish Group on Supporting Rural Businesses.

 

Councillor Grenville Chamberlain, the Chairman of the Group, made the following points:

·         Meetings had taken place to discuss planning issues regarding the delivery of employment and affordable housing.

·         Improving internet and mobile phone coverage could help to deliver jobs.

·         Transport routes to commercial premises should be improved, especially with regard to the A14 and improvements to the Girton interchange.

·         Parishes undergoing a Neighbourhood Plan could be made more aware of the potential of enterprise zones.

 

The Business and Customer Services Portfolio Holder recognised the challenge the Council faced in trying to adapt to the fast changing business world. He hoped that more meetings would be held soon. He NOTED the report.

6.

Digital by Default Update - Report to Follow pdf icon PDF 171 KB

Minutes:

The Business and Customer Services Portfolio Holder introduced this report, which provided an update on the achievements of the Digital by Default project. The Senior Web and Graphics Officer explained that the key areas of development were:

·         The production of e-forms that link with the Council’s back office.

·         A fully digital Benefits form, that integrated with the back office.

·         The overhaul of the website, with the inclusion of icons and a clearer structure.

 

The Business and Customer Services Portfolio Holder agreed to provide the Senior Web and Graphics Officer with details of “broken links” on the website provided by Councillor Douglas de Lacey.

 

The Business and Customer Services Portfolio Holder welcomed the fact that improvements in the website made the Council more efficient by freeing up officer time. He NOTED the report.

7.

Customer Services Update - Report to Follow

Minutes:

This item was not discussed. It had been agreed that a report was unnecessary as the relevant points were included in the previous agenda item.

8.

Use of Compulsory Purchase Order Powers

Minutes:

The Business and Customer Services Portfolio Holder excluded the press and public by virtue of paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972.

 

The Tree Public House, Stapleford

The Business and Customer Services Portfolio Holder explained that there had been a delay in progressing this matter as the Council did not want to prejudice the current owner’s planning application. This had gone to Planning Committee in October and had been rejected. It was noted that the applicant had six months to appeal this decision.

 

The Development Officer explained that a Compulsory Purchase Order should only be made where there was a compelling case in the public interest and as a last resort.

 

The Business and Customer Services Portfolio Holder expressed the hope that this matter would be considered by Cabinet in January, although this was likely to be dependent on the forthcoming meeting with the owner.

 

Another Public House

The Development Officer explained that this property was currently for sale and the Community Right to Bid process was being followed.

 

The Business and Customer Services Portfolio Holder NOTED the report.

9.

Forward Plan

The Portfolio Holder will maintain, for agreement at each meeting, a Forward Plan identifying all matters relevant to the Portfolio which it is believed are likely to be the subject of consideration and / or decision by the Portfolio Holder, or recommendation to, or referral by, the Portfolio Holder to Cabinet, Council, or any other constituent part of the Council.   The plan will be updated as necessary.  The Portfolio Holder will be responsible for the content and accuracy of the forward plan.

Minutes:

The Business and Customer Services Portfolio Holder explained that he may have to schedule a meeting in January to discuss 3C shared services before it went to Cabinet.

10.

Date of Next Meeting

The next meeting will be held on 6 February 2018.

Minutes:

It was noted that the next scheduled meeting would be held on 6 February 2018 at 2pm.