Agenda and minutes

Special Budget, Cabinet Scrutiny Committee
Tuesday, 27th November, 2018 10.00 am

Venue: Council Chamber - Port Talbot Civic Centre. View directions

Items
No. Item

1.

Declarations of Interests

Minutes:

Councillor L.C.Jones            -         Agenda Item 2 - Report of the Director of Finance and Corporate Services, Consultation on Corporate Services Budget and Draft Savings 2019/20 – as she is employed by DANSA. Councillor Jones has a dispensation to speak and vote on the matter.

 

Councillor M.Harvey            -         Agenda Item 2 - Report of the Director of Finance and Corporate Services, Consultation on Corporate Services Budget and Draft Savings 2019/20 – as he is employed by South Wales Police.

 

Councillor S.Miller                -         Agenda Item 2 - Report of the Director of Finance and Corporate Services, Consultation on Corporate Services Budget and Draft Savings 2019/20 – as her niece is employed by the Local Authority. Councillor Miller has a dispensation to speak and vote on the matter.

 

Councillor A.N.Woolcock     -         Agenda Item 2 - Report of the Director of Finance and Corporate Services, Consultation on Corporate Services Budget and Draft Savings 2019/20 – as his niece is employed as a Training and Development Support Manager within the Local Authority. Councillor Woolcock has a dispensation to speak and vote on the matter.

 

Councillor S.Rahaman         -         Agenda Item 2 - Report of the Director of Finance and Corporate Services, Consultation on Corporate Services Budget and Draft Savings 2019/20 – as he is a Local Authority representative and secretary for the Neath Port Talbot Black and Minority Ethnic Community Association. Councillor Rahaman has a dispensation to speak and vote on the matter.

 

 

 

2.

Consultation on Corporate Services Budget and Draft Savings 2019/2020 pdf icon PDF 325 KB

 

Report of the Director of Finance and Corporate Services

Minutes:

As part of the public consultation on the 2019/20 budget proposals, Committee considered the report of the Director of Finance and Corporate Services, as it related to the Corporate Services budget. 

 

The Chief Executive gave an overview of the background of the report, and advised that since the circulated report had been written, Welsh Government had confirmed that on 19 December, an extra £13 million would be allocated to Local Authorities within Wales, which could equate to approximately £750,000 for this Authority. Details of this would be reported to Members after Christmas. It was noted that this would not solve the budget deficit or negate the need for the proposed savings within the circulated report. It was highlighted that a lot of small services budgets (such as Human Resources, Legal Services and so on) were now made up almost entirely of staffing costs.

 

ICT Division

 

The ICT Service Manager (who would be taking over responsibility for the ICT Service in 2019 following the retirement of the current Head of Service) advised Members that the ICT budget savings proposals for 2019/20 were predominantly made up of staffing costs. Some longstanding members of staff were retiring, to be replaced by staff starting lower down on the pay scale. Members queried if there were any plans to reduce the amount of staff working within the IT Service Desk, and noted that currently managers were looking at how they could do things differently, such as analysing data and identifying peaks periods.

 

Members queried whether staffing reductions within the ICT Division could have an effect on digital services; learning within schools and so on. Officers explained that succession planning was in place as well as extra training being rolled out. It was confirmed that the IT Service Desk supports schools as well as Civic and other Council buildings. Members felt that the out of hours IT help team provided valued support when Members had issues with their computer equipment, and were pleased to note that there were currently no plans to reduce this service. It was noted that a voice recognition system was currently being trialled.

 

 

 

 

Corporate Strategy and Democratic Services Division

 

The Assistant Chief Executive and Chief Digital Officer gave an overview of the Corporate Strategy and Democratic Services Division section of the circulated report. It was noted that although the CCTV service was not statutory, Officers were trying to identify new ways to sustain the service on a different footing, such as diversifying the use of the control room. Members queried whether the CCTV cameras could be left in place, should the system need to be decommissioned, and Officers explained that although it would not be possible to leave dummy cameras in place, an option would be to have the cameras recording, without anyone monitoring them in the control room. Members were concerned that the valuable work done around community safety and partnership should not be undone, and discussed the provision of CCTV in valley areas, as well as the possibility of working  ...  view the full minutes text for item 2.