· To select appropriate items from the Cabinet agenda for pre-decision scrutiny (cabinet reports enclosed for Scrutiny Members)
· To select appropriate items from the Cabinet (Finance) Sub Committee agenda for pre-decision scrutiny (Cabinet Finance Sub - Committee reports enclosed for Scrutiny Members)
The Committee scrutinised the following Cabinet items:
2021/2022 Risk Register Monitoring
Members were provided with an update on the Council’s Strategic Risks.
The circulated report stated that there was currently a significant number of pressure points across the Council where there was an insufficient supply of workforce to meet Service Demands; Members queried what steps were being taken to reduce the pressure points. Officers explained that there was an All Member Seminar scheduled for 18 November 2021 in which Members would be briefed on the current Service Demands and the plans going forward.
Members made reference to the investment to support high risk victims of domestic abuse via the VAWDASV (Violence Against Women, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence) Leadership Group, and asked for further information on how this would be implemented. The Director of Social Services, Health and Housing agreed to circulate information regarding this matter to Members in due course.
One of the treatments associated with the financial resilience risk was to intensify citizen engagement with the budget challenges, securing citizen commitment to behaviours that will reduce or remove demand on Council services; it was asked how this was going to be achieved. It was noted that in terms of citizen engagement, the Council had recently concluded the ‘Let’s Talk’ campaign which asked residents to identify what was important to them following the outbreak of the pandemic; there were over 1,700 respondents, 500 of which had stated they wished to be contacted in the next phase of the consultation exercise. The Council also had a Citizen’s Panel which had around 500 members, and a Community of Practice; both groups will be contacted for future engagement. It was highlighted that the budget consultation and the service recovery consultation will both be promoted as much as possible; this will be done in many ways such as online, in libraries and through the Local Area Coordinators (LACs). Officers added that over the winter period, the Council will be running a three month campaign in order to engage with the public and ensure they were aware of how the Council impacts on their lives and, were aware of the work the Council had undertaken during the pandemic.
Officers confirmed that the following listed treatment associated with the financial resilience risks was related to Elected Members and all of the Councils stakeholders; to improve the quality of evidence adduced to exemplify the financial resilience challenges of the Council and ensure this was understood by those involved in the decisions on local government budgets.
The Committee raised concerns with the readability of the Strategic Risk Register and provided suggestions which would allow Members to interpret the document and gain a better understanding of the overall picture, which would therefore enable them to monitor it more effectively. Officers stated that in future they would include explanatory words into the report and provide as much clarity as possible based on the feedback provided by Members.
The circulated report highlighted the management of Landslips and Quarries on Council ... view the full minutes text for item 1