Venue: Committee Room 1, Council Offices, The Burys, Godalming
Contact: Amy McNulty Democratic Services Officer
APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE AND SUBSTITUTES
To receive apologies for absence and note any substitutions.
Members who are unable to attend this meeting must submit apologies by the end of Monday 12 February 2018 to enable a substitute to be arranged, if applicable.
Apologies for absence were received from Cllrs John Williamson, Brian Adams and Libby Piper.
DECLARATIONS OF INTERESTS
To receive Members’ declarations of interests in relation to any items included on the agenda for this meeting, in accordance with Waverley’s Code of Local Government Conduct.
There were no declarations of interests in connection with items on the agenda.
This report presents the draft Service Plans for the new financial year 2018-2019 for the service areas under the remit of this Committee.
Members will receive short presentations from each Head of Service regarding the main features and priorities of their plan and are asked to make any observations on the plans to the Executive.
It is recommended that the Value for Money and Customer Service Overview and Scrutiny Committee:
1. Considers the draft Service Plans for 2018/19 and makes any observations to the Executive; and
2. Recommends that the Heads of Services review their Service Plans for 2018/19 once the new Corporate Strategy is agreed.
The Committee considered the Service Plans falling within the remit of Value for Money and Customer Service. Officers advised that the template had been updated slightly, to focus more on outcomes. Members were pleased to have the opportunity to properly scrutinise the Service Plans in detail.
The Committee made an overall recommendation that, in future years, where Service Plans referred to a budget implication, that this be cross-referenced to the appropriate line of the budget report. This would enable Members to clearly see where a Capital or Revenue resource had been agreed. The Committee then made the following observations on the individual Service Plans.
Customer and Corporate Services
David Allum explained that the first section of the Service Plan related to customer service; this work involved building on the report and action plan that had been agreed by O&S and the Executive in 2017. The Committee discussed the Channel Shift programme which would involve encouraging residents to use automated, online methods for more transactional services, such as checking rent accounts or booking sports facilities. Capital resources of £40k had been secured in 2017/18 and would be carried forward; this would be used to fund the purchase of software to link up existing Council systems. Members were pleased to note the anticipated savings that would be delivered following the implementation of the programme.
The second section related to investment and commercial activity which would see the Service achieve a £300k budget contribution each year. The Committee queried whether there team had sufficient resources to support these outcomes. Officers responded that ultimately more staff would enable the team to generate more income, and that a plan was in place to recruit two new members of staff to the team. This would also potentially enable the management of property acquisitions to be done in house rather than by an external company. The Committee emphasised the importance of ensuring that the team was adequately resourced and requested to see a plan of how this would be taken forward.
The third section related to IT investment; a key project within this would be the development of a new core IT system for Planning. David Allum advised the Committee that the Council would be the pilot for a new system that was being developed by an existing supplier and so there would therefore be no upfront cost. Members had some concerns over the risks involved with this approach and recommended that progress be closely monitored.
The fourth section related to income generation and efficiencies including providing external cleaning services in order to generate income. The Community Meals service was working well and generating an income, David Allum added that there was also capacity to take on more clients. There was also a target to reduce post and printing costs by 5%. The Committee was very keen that reducing paper usage be promoted as much as possible. Robin Taylor added the promotion of paperless agendas was also included within the Policy and Governance Service Plan and ... view the full minutes text for item 49.