Agenda and draft minutes

Overview & Scrutiny Committee - Value for Money & Customer Service - Tuesday, 29th June, 2021 7.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber

Contact: Georgina Hall  Democratic Services Officer

Items
No. Item

14.

MINUTES

To confirm the Minutes of the Meeting held on 24 May 2021 (to be laid on the table 30 minutes before the meeting).

Minutes:

The Minutes of the Meeting held on 24May 2021 were confirmed as a correct record and signed.

15.

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 Tuesday 22 June to enable a substitute to be arranged, if applicable.

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Peter Marriott.

16.

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.

Minutes:

All members of the Senior Management Team declared an interest in respect of item 6 (Options for collaboration with Guildford Borough Council) in particular the HR implications and left the meeting part way through the discussion of this item, having answered questions from Councillors.

17.

QUESTIONS FROM MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC

The Chairman to respond to any written questions received from members of the public in accordance with Procedure Rule 10.

 

Questions should be received by 5pm on Tuesday 22 June 2021.

Minutes:

There were none.

18.

QUESTIONS FROM MEMBERS

The Chairman to respond to any questions received from Members in accordance with Procedure Rule 11.

 

Questions should be received by 5pm on Tuesday 22 June 2021.

 

Minutes:

There were none.

19.

OPTIONS FOR COLLABORATION WITH GUILDFORD BOROUGH COUNCIL pdf icon PDF 122 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Leader of the Council, Paul Follows, presented a slide show.  He explained that Executive had been held on 22 June and he highlighted what had changed since then.  He said the reason that the options were being considered was because of significant budget challenges.  There was also the threat to Surrey local authorities of a county-wide unitary authority.

 

Councillor Merryweather stated that Guildford’s numbers included some pressures not included in Waverley’s figures and so it wasn’t exactly comparing like with like.

 

Councillor Heagin, the Vice Chairman of the Committee asked several questions:

·         Had the 5% savings assumption been achieved or exceeded?

·         What were the assumptions regarding savings in central services?

·         What lessons could be learnt from the experience of West Suffolk where central service costs had increased by 28%?

·         What conclusions were meant to be drawn from table 7?

·         She noted that Guildford Borough Council spent £400 per dwelling whereas Waverley spent £300

·         How would savings be apportioned between Guildford and Waverley?

 

Martin Forbes from Local Partnerships answered her questions.  He said a rough figure of £1.4 million savings were achievable.  He suggested that as a next stage, Waverley should be speaking to other authorities who had gone into collaboration including East and West Suffolk.  He said that table 7 of the papers was just to show the best comparator authorities.

 

The Committee felt there was a lack of evidence and that for a business case there needed to be further evidence and the process was going ahead before the business case was created.

 

The Committee wanted to see a timetable for the exercise.  Some of the committee also wanted to be able to compare the finances of the two councils.

 

The Committee also wanted to know what the savings would be if the senior management team was replaced and what the timescale would be for achieving these savings.  The Committee also wanted to know how many posts would be lost or merged.

 

The Council Leader said that it was a staged process.  First costs were assessed, then the proposal was brought to Council, recommendation 3 was the appointment of a shared Chief Executive and anything further would need further scrutiny; the whole process was not being done at once.  He emphasised that the resolution was just regarding the appointment of a joint Chief Executive not a senior management team. The Committee Chairman felt that as paragraph two of the resolution was for a single management team, the Council were being asked to pursue this.

 

In terms of the process of appointing a new chief executive, a group at Guildford and Waverley Councils, including the opposition, would make a recommendation to Full Council.

 

One of the Committee wanted to know more about the consultants, South East Employers, and their experience.  It was stated that they were HR professionals with expertise in local government and a fully regulated business.  The Leader also stated that a lot of the Councillors had business experience.  The Head of Policy and Governance said that  ...  view the full minutes text for item 19.