Agenda and minutes

Overview & Scrutiny Committee
Thursday, 11th October, 2018 7.30 pm

Venue: Conference Room, Civic Centre, Silver Street, Enfield, EN1 3XA. View directions

Contact: Stacey Gilmour 

Items
No. Item

770.

WELCOME AND APOLOGIES

Minutes:

The Chair, Councillor Levy welcomed all attendees to the meeting. The following substitutes were noted:

 

Councillor Rick Jewell for Councillor Gina Needs

Councillor Hass Yusuf for Councillor Tolga Aramaz

771.

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

Members of the Council are invited to identify any disclosable pecuniary, other pecuniary or non-pecuniary interests relevant to items on the agenda.

 

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

772.

CABINET MEMBER FOR CHILDREN'S SERVICES, COUNCILLOR ACHILLEAS GEORGIOU

This is a discussion item.

Minutes:

The Chair introduced this item and welcomed Councillor Georgiou as Cabinet Member for Children’s Services and Tony Theodoulou, Executive Director, People. He asked Councillor Georgiou to give a brief overview of what he considers to be the key objectives and priorities in respect of the portfolio.

 

Councillor Georgiou thanked Members for the opportunity to attend the meeting. He spoke of the difficult decisions that would have to be made over the forthcoming years because of government financial savings. (£18m savings for LB Enfield by 2019/20).

 

He highlighted the following:

 

·         The key priority was around how we continue to safeguard our children and providing services that children and their parents need.

·         Continuing to meet the different situations of schools in the borough as well as managing the conflicting demands between primary and secondary schools.

·         The challenge is how to achieve all of this whilst continually trying to provide a better service in an environment where there is a departmental deficit as well as a council deficit.

·         There is a lack of opportunity for further significant savings from children’s services due to rising demand and cost pressures.

·         Relatively modest savings are planned in future years either from deleting posts that had been vacant for a while or substituting base budget expenditure with grant funding as the only realistic options for reducing expenditure in children’s services without compromising the Council’s ability to meet its legal duties to children, young people and families in the borough.

·         At the O&SC Budget meeting in December 2016 £10m of savings from children’s services was proposed by conducting a zero-based budget exercise which ceased all discretionary expenditure on children’s services. These savings have now been delivered, as far as possible, so any significant further reductions are likely to impact on the department’s ability to meet its statutory requirements.

·         Children’s Services regularly talk to schools and their Governors and it is becoming increasingly clear that several schools are trying to set a budget that won’t balance. The Local Authority does its very best to support schools with this, but the challenges faced are increasing.

·         The LA prides itself on its good relationship with schools in the borough and everyone is pulling together to address the issues and challenges faced. However, it is becoming increasingly difficult, but schools continue to look to the Local Authority to assist them going forward.

·         Crucially there is a growing demand on SEN (Special Educational Needs) in the borough. 700 children with SEN in the borough use transport of which 400 of these are transported out of borough.

·         There is currently a £1.9m overspend in the transport budget. This overspend has slightly reduced by implementing various measures such as fewer transport routes and more children and young people on each bus. However, this overspend will not significantly reduce whilst SEN demand continues to grow in the borough.

·         To address this issue, the strategy going forward is to cater for our pupils in borough as sending them out of borough has a significant impact on  ...  view the full minutes text for item 772.

773.

COMMERCIAL STRATEGY pdf icon PDF 224 KB

To receive a report from Nicky Fiedler, Commercial Director.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chair, Councillor Levy introduced the Commercial Strategy October 2018. The Strategy will be presented to Cabinet on Wednesday 17 October 2018. As a subject of pre-decision scrutiny, the views of Overview & Scrutiny were requested.

 

The Chair reminded Members that tonight’s meeting was for the Committee to play the role of critical friend and to make comments, observations and constructive criticism. The primary intention however is to assist and guide Officers and the Cabinet Member on how best to present this report to Cabinet next week.

 

The Strategy sets out how the local authority will take a holistic approach to stimulate the innovation and enterprise from within and working with its partners that will play a key role in securing future service delivery.

 

The following was highlighted:

 

·         Enfield like many councils is facing the difficult challenge of managing funding reductions, coupled with increasing demand for essential services.

·         The Strategy sets out how the local authority will take a holistic approach to stimulate the innovation and enterprise from within and working with its partners that will play a key role in securing future service delivery.

·         It is vital that this culture is nurtured within the council to ensure the robustness of the local authority, forming a fundamental part of how it plans and does business in the coming years.

·         The new strategy document sets the vision for Enfield to be a resilient, innovative and enterprising Council delivering sustainable services that meet resident needs. It will be a vital guiding asset for the local authority as it seeks to achieve these goals.

 

The following issues were raised:

 

·         Members supported the principles of the strategy and agreed that everyone wanted to see a more innovative and holistic approach to service delivery. However, concerns were raised regarding the lack of detail in the report, for example, there were no ‘Key Risks’ identified. For a document to have none identified was of considerable concern to Members.

·         The document talks about a new innovative approach; however, it is still written in a very public-sector way. It was felt that the document needed to be shorter and more ‘pithy’ as it was far too ‘corporate’ and ‘woolly in places’.

·         Questions were raised around the impact of generating income. Clarification was sought as to whether this was a short or long-term outcome, and it was felt that more information around this was needed in the document. It was also felt that the report lacked financial context, and this is key to measuring outcomes.

·         Have other councils implemented such changes and if so what were the outcomes. Do we as a council have the skills and knowledge to implement this new, innovative way of working.

·         The intention is to visit other authorities with Officers to look at how they are doing and how they have implemented the changes.

·         The core focus of the strategy is to bring about a new way of thinking and working that will help create and capture the opportunities and expand the ways the council  ...  view the full minutes text for item 773.

774.

WORK PROGRAMME 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 280 KB

To note the work programme for 2018/19.

Minutes:

NOTED the Overview & Scrutiny Work Programme 2018/19.

775.

DATES OF FUTURE MEETINGS

To note the dates of future meetings as follows:

 

Provisional Call-Ins

·         Thursday 8 November 2018

·         Thursday 6 December 2018

·         Thursday 20 December 2018

·         Thursday 7 February 2019

·         Tuesday 12 March 2019

·         Tuesday 26 March 2019

·         Thursday 11 April 2019

 

Please note, the business meetings of the Overview & Scrutiny Committee will

be held on:

·         Wednesday 7 November 2018

·         Tuesday 12 February 2019

·         Wednesday 3 April 2019

 

The Overview & Scrutiny Budget Meeting will be held on:

·         Tuesday 15 January 2019

 

Minutes:

NOTED future meetings as follows:

 

Provisional Call-Ins

Thursday 8 November, 2018

Thursday 6 December, 2018

Thursday 20 December, 2018

Thursday 7 February 2019

Tuesday 12 March 2019

Tuesday 26 March, 2019

Thursday 11 April, 2019

 

Please note, the business meetings of the Overview & Scrutiny Committee will

be held on:

Wednesday 7 November, 2018

Tuesday 12 February, 2019

Wednesday 3 April, 2019

 

It was also noted that there may be a need to change the date of the Overview & Scrutiny Budget Meeting which was originally scheduled to be held on
Tuesday 15 January 2019. Members will be advised accordingly of any change to this date.

 

Councillor Levy thanked everyone for attending the meeting.