Agenda, decisions and draft minutes

Cabinet Scrutiny Committee - Wednesday, 14th February, 2024 2.00 pm

Venue: Multi-Location Meeting - Council Chamber, Port Talbot & Microsoft Teams. View directions

Contact: Alison Thomas Email: a.thomas6@npt.gov.uk 

Items
No. Item

1.

Chairs Announcements

Decision:

The Chair welcomed everyone to the meeting.

 

It was confirmed that the committee would be scrutinising items 7, 8, and 12.

Minutes:

The Chair welcomed everyone to the meeting.

 

It was confirmed that the committee would be scrutinising items 7, 8, and 12.

2.

Declarations of Interests

Decision:

Cllr. Rob Jones, Cabinet Agenda Item 12 – Trustee of Taibach Community Library, Personal Interest

 

Cllr. Sean Pursey, Cabinet Agenda Item 12 – Trustee of Taibach Community Library, Personal Interest

 

Cllr. Tim Bowen, Cabinet Agenda Item 12 – Forces Champion, Personal Interest

 

Cllr. Sonia Reynolds, Cabinet Agenda Item 12 – Trustee of Canolfan Maerdy, Personal Interest

Minutes:

Cllr. Rob Jones, Cabinet Agenda Item 12 – Trustee of Taibach Community Library, Personal Interest

 

Cllr. Sean Pursey, Cabinet Agenda Item 12 – Trustee of Taibach Community Library, Personal Interest

 

Cllr. Scott Jones, Cabinet Agenda Item 12 - Trustee of AVCL (connection with Cymer Swimming Pool), Personal Interest

 

Cllr. Simon Knoyle, Agenda Item 12 – Board Member of Glynneath Training Centre, Personal Interest

 

Cllr. Sian Harris, Cabinet Agenda Item 12 – Chair of Ffrindiau Creunant, Personal Interest

 

Cllr. Wyndham Griffiths, Cabinet Agenda Item 12 – member of Bulldogs and Forces Champion, Personal Interest

 

Cllr. Tim Bowen, Cabinet Agenda Item 12 – Forces Champion, Personal Interest

 

Cllr. Sonia Reynolds, Cabinet Agenda Item 12 – Trustee of Canolfan Maerdy, Personal Interest

 

3.

Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 301 KB

·        28th November 2023

·        13th December 2023

Additional documents:

Decision:

The minutes of the meetings held on 28th November 2023 and 13th December were approved as true and accurate records.

Minutes:

The minutes of the meetings held on 28th November 2023 and 13th December were approved as true and accurate records.

4.

Pre-decision Scrutiny

·        To select appropriate items from the Cabinet agenda for pre-decision scrutiny (cabinet reports enclosed for Scrutiny Members)

Decision:

Audit Wales – Springing Forward Strategic Workforce Management – Neath Port Talbot Council

 

Following scrutiny, the recommendation was supported to Cabinet.

 

Local Bus Tendering

 

Following scrutiny, the report was noted.

 

Minutes:

Audit Wales – Springing Forward Strategic Workforce Management – Neath Port Talbot Council

 

Members referred to page 33, paragraph 24 of the Audit Wales report contained within the Cabinet Agenda pack. The report noted the councils current strategic risk rating does not adequately reflect the residual risk faced by delays in developing succession plans and identifying business critical roles. Members questioned whether the risk register has been updated to reflect this point, and what work has been carried out since the publication of the report to address the situation. 

The Head of People and Organisational Development confirmed that the Strategic Risk Register is currently under review, and this process will include work on succession planning. The Head of Service summarised the actions that have been put in place to increase the number of services that have succession plans in place with identified business critical positions. During the last calendar year, 72 Managers have attended Succession Planning Workshops and the workshop has been embedded as part of the Core Development Programme for Managers. Work is ongoing to review the toolkit used for succession planning with the aim of it being digitalised. An analysis has been undertaken of the succession plans that are currently in place. Accountable Managers have been reminded of the importance of ensuring that succession plans are in place.

Members expressed concern that a number of key senior managers have left the authority and the experience of these business critical officers has been lost. Members commented that the rate of recruitment was not matched with posts vacated.

The Head of People and Organisational Development acknowledged the importance of managers engaging with succession planning. It was noted that the council’s successful appointment rate has increased over a period of two years from 82% to 93% and recruitment activity has increased by 40%, with a positive turnover rate. It was acknowledged that some posts remain hard to fill, particularly in specialist areas.

The Chief Executive gave assurance that this is an important area of work which will remain a priority going forward. The council is currently operating in a tight labour market. Workforce information is shared with Personnel Committee to enable members to track progress.

Members were pleased to hear of the rise in recruitment targets but expressed concern relating to staff retention and the financial cost of using market supplements in relation to hard to fill posts.

The Head of Service confirmed that market supplements are a tool that can be used when appropriate and the scheme is due for review. It was noted that pay is only one aspect of the employee remuneration package and other benefits made the council an attractive employer.

The Director of Social Services confirmed that the use of market supplements in Social Services has worked well and helped to retain experienced staff. There are financial benefits in applying market supplements rather than the alternative of backfilling vacant posts with agency staff.  It was noted that the recruitment of social workers is difficult at present.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.

5.

Committee Action Log pdf icon PDF 503 KB

Decision:

The Committee Action Log was noted.

Minutes:

The Committee Action Log was noted.

6.

Forward Work Programme 2023/24 pdf icon PDF 397 KB

Decision:

The Forward Work Programme was noted.

Minutes:

The Forward Work Programme was noted.

7.

Urgent Items

Any urgent items at the discretion of the Chairperson pursuant to Section 100BA(6)(b) of the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended).

Decision:

There were no urgent items

Minutes:

There were no urgent items

8.

Access to Meetings

To resolve to exclude the public for the following item(s) pursuant to Section 100A(4) and (5) of the Local Government Act 1972 and the relevant exempt paragraphs of Part 4 of Schedule 12A to the above Act.

Decision:

Resolved: To exclude the public for the following item(s) pursuant to Section 100A(4) and (5) of the Local Government Act 1972 and the relevant exempt paragraphs of Part 4 of Schedule 12A to the above Act.

Minutes:

Resolved: To exclude the public for the following item(s) pursuant to Section 100A(4) and (5) of the Local Government Act 1972 and the relevant exempt paragraphs of Part 4 of Schedule 12A to the above Act.

9.

Pre-Decision Scrutiny of Private Item/s

·        To select appropriate private items from the Cabinet agenda for pre-decision scrutiny (cabinet reports enclosed for Scrutiny Members)

Decision:

Third Sector Grant Funding – Award of Grants for 2024-2025 (Exempt under Paragraph 14)

 

Following scrutiny, the recommendation was supported to

Cabinet.

Minutes:

Third Sector Grant Funding – Award of Grants for 2024-2025 (Exempt under Paragraph 14)

 

Following scrutiny, the recommendation was supported to

Cabinet.