Agenda and minutes

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No. Item


Minutes pdf icon PDF 204 KB

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the previous meeting held on 5 June 2018.


The minutes of the meeting held on 5 June 2018 were approved as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.


Apologies for absence


Apologies for absence were received from Councillors John Clark, Alan Smith and Gerard Tucker.


Declarations of Interest

In accordance with the Council's current Code of Conduct (as amended 26 February 2015), which includes all the provisions relating to Disclosable Pecuniary Interests (DPI), personal and prejudicial interests, Members are asked to declare any DPI and also any personal interests (and whether or not such personal interests are also "prejudicial") in relation to any matter on the Agenda for this meeting.


There were no declarations of interest.


Public question time


There were no members of the public present at the meeting.


Issues arising from previous meetings

This is an opportunity for Members to question the progress on issues arising from previous meetings.  However, this does not allow for the re-opening of a debate on any item not forming part of this agenda.


No issues were raised from previous meetings.


Chairman's Announcements


The Chairman made no announcements.


Verbal update on reports considered by District Executive on 7 June 2018 pdf icon PDF 19 KB


The Chairman noted that the Scrutiny comments had been noted and were included in the District Executive minutes which had been circulated.


Corporate Performance Reporting pdf icon PDF 139 KB


Prior to introducing the report, the People, Performance and Change Lead introduced Zac Tredger, the newly appointed Performance Specialist.


The People, Performance and Change Lead gave a presentation on Corporate Performance Reporting which covered the following:


·         Overall vision of the corporate performance management framework

·         Progress to date

·         Building the framework

·         Style and layout of reports

·         System requirements


The Officer responded to points of detail raised during discussion which included the following:


·         For the new performance indicators there were 3 years of baseline information available which was a good starting point for looking at trends.

·         Telephone performance was a key performance indicator which would form part of the quarterly performance reports.

·         The system used for monitoring information had not changed only choosing what to measure had altered.  All previous data was still available within the system.

·         In future the performance system would need to be developed in order to accommodate dashboard reporting.

·         Benchmarking information against other Councils would be included in future reports, and would involve looking at the use of a single data set.  The way data was collected would mean there was a time lag of several months with the reported data provided in quarterly reporting, but this would be indexed in the reports.

·         With regard to internal benchmarking, previous trends would be analysed.  It was more difficult to look forward and undertake predictive work.

·         It was the intention to have performance information available on the members portal.

·         A view on tolerance levels would be taken internally and whether interventions were required within the service.

·         Members needed to be mindful that the reporting did not deal with real times and would normally be reporting information 6 weeks after the quarter.  If there were spikes in performance, action was likely to have already been taken and so an indicator may be back in the green.

·         In future, performance monitoring reports would be submitted to District Executive one month earlier than previously and would follow the same reporting schedule as finance reports.

·         Systems will be in place to ensure appropriate action is taken if an indicator is in the red.


Members supported the use of the Red, Amber & Green (RAG) system in future reports as this gave a good indication of performance levels and easily highlighted if an area required immediate action.


The People, Performance and Change Lead advised that the quarter one performance monitoring report would be brought forward in August.  She intended to start with a simple report and use the remainder of the year to really understand how best to view the Council’s performance and make improvements to develop the report.


The Chairman thanked the People, Performance and Change Lead for her presentation and report.



Organisational Capacity to Deliver Transformation and Maintain Service Delivery pdf icon PDF 113 KB

Additional documents:


The Strategic Lead for Transformation introduced the report.  She assured members that there were mechanisms in place and approaches had been devised, to closely monitor the organisational impact of Transformation and balance resources, in order to ensure the Council was delivering effective services whilst implementing the Transformation Programme. 


The Director (Service Delivery) acknowledged there were some dips in performance and there were staff shortages in some areas. The Leadership and Management Teams, and the Programme Board, had a good understanding of where the current pressures were with certain services, and active measures were being put in place to make sure that the period of turbulence was minimised.  He advised that in order to address these issues a range of measures were being implemented to improve service delivery.  


The Strategic Lead and Director responded to points of detail raised during discussion including information about:


·         The immediate measures being taken, including use of temporary resources, to fill gaps where services are currently under resourced, to ensure that services are kept at acceptable performance levels and statutory duties are delivered within required timescales.

·         The actions being taken to improve customer access via the Contact Centre.

·         There were a number of other factors contributing to service pressures and workforce performance such as regulatory changes and business sector skill shortages.

·         The additional provision of £250,000 from the agreed budget for additional resourcing was one off funding. It was recognised from other authorities that the operating state would not be perfectly formed from day one and would require supplementing resources as the new technology, processes and roles bed in.

·         The difficulties with staff recruitment and shortages of professional staff.


The Chairman thanked the Officers for attending the meeting.


Reports to be considered by District Executive on 5 July 2018 pdf icon PDF 80 KB


Members considered the reports within the District Executive agenda for 5th July 2018 and made comments as detailed below.  Responses to all comments and questions were provided at the Scrutiny Committee meeting by the Leader, relevant officer, or Portfolio Holder.


Dualling of the A303 from Sparkford to Ilchester (Agenda item 6)


·           Members queried if the funding from Highways England was adequate to cover SSDC resources?


Affordable Housing Development Programme (Agenda item 7)


·           Paragraph 5.5 – some members queried if Magna Housing Association are restarting their development activities whether this was likely to cause any issues in the short term.


Private Sector Housing Enforcement Policy and associated charges (Agenda item 8)


·           Members noted that there had been a low response to consultation and queried whether the response rate was adequate to draw conclusions.  Members queried if landlords would be made aware of the new charges.


·           Page 57 Table 1 – Members queried the terminology as charges are stated per hour.  What happens if it’s part of an hour - should it state ‘per hour or part thereof.’


Adoption of the South Somerset Playing Pitch Strategy 2017 – 2028 (Agenda item 9)


·           Some members raised concern that the Strategy seemed to focus on the number of grass pitches rather than the availability of pitches, and noted that grass pitches were high maintenance in terms of resources.


·           Chard Ward Members raised a number of concerns relating specifically to the Chard area including:

o  Concern about description of ‘deliverable’ when there are external factors involved and hence SSDC may not necessarily be able to control delivery of projects.

o  Concern that one club was seen as the focus for the Chard area.


·           Some members raised concern about community use of school pitches and noted that negotiations were needed for wider use at some locations.


·           Scrutiny queried if the number of responses to the consultation was low/average/or as expected?  If low, it was queried if there was a need corporately to look at how SSDC do any consultations in the future (as this is the second report to possibility mention low response rate to consultations).



Capital Budget Outturn Report for 2017/18 (Agenda item 10)


·           Members noted that it was difficult to keep track of the budget for Transformation and requested if it was possible to have a table that collated all the information together for easy reference.


·           Page 197 - Scrutiny queried when the reserve schemes were routinely reviewed to see if any schemes could be removed, re-profiled or funds returned to balances.


Revenue Budget Outturn Report for 2018/18 (Agenda item 11)


·           Regarding recommendation C, members sought clarity that if approved what would the new total be in the Transformation Reserve?


SSDC Annual Performance Report 2017-18 (Agenda item 12)


·           Members noted that Chard Refresh should be referred to as Chard Regeneration.


SSDC Transformation Programme – Progress Report (Agenda item 13)


·           Members queried how many staff in total across all 3 phases had not been offered roles and what this figure was as FTEs -  ...  view the full minutes text for item 22.


Verbal update on Task and Finish reviews pdf icon PDF 32 KB


Members noted the updates provided by the Chairman on each of the Task and Finish Groups currently in progress.


Customer AccessibilityThe website work has progressed considerably. Representatives from the Task and Finish group will be involved in testing a desktop version of the website over the coming weeks as will representatives from all sectors.


Council Tax Support Scheme 2019 – no updates since the last meeting


Homefinder Somerset Plain English – no updates since the last meeting


Update on matters of interest pdf icon PDF 19 KB


There were no updates on matters of interest.


Scrutiny Work Programme pdf icon PDF 94 KB


Draft Yeovil Innovation Centre (YIC) 2018 Business Plan - the Chairman commented that the Director (Commercial Services and Income Generation) had noted that all of the commercial services have individual operational business plans, including YIC, which have been approved and signed off by the Senior Leadership Team and are being implemented. If any Scrutiny members wished to see the YIC business plan, or any of the other business plans, this could be arranged. The Chairman suggested that as the YIC business plan had been signed off that the item be removed from the Work Programme, and this was agreed by the Committee.



Date of next meeting pdf icon PDF 17 KB


Members noted that the next meeting of the Scrutiny Committee was scheduled for Tuesday 31st July 2018 at 10.00am in the Main Committee Room, Brympton Way, Yeovil.