Agenda and draft minutes

Cabinet - Wednesday, 5th June, 2024 7.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Civic Offices, New Road, Grays, Essex, RM17 6SL. View directions

Contact: Rhiannon Whiteley, Senior Democratic Services Officer  Email: Direct.Democracy@thurrock.gov.uk

Media

Items
No. Item

1.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 131 KB

To approve as a correct record the minutes of Cabinet held on 13 March 2024 and 18 March 2024.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Minutes of the Cabinet meetings of 13 March 2024 and 18 March 2024 were noted by Cabinet as a record of those meetings, Councillor J Kent highlighted that none of the current Cabinet members were present at that meeting or made up the Cabinet in March.

 

 

2.

Items of Urgent Business

To receive additional items that the Chair is of the opinion should be considered as a matter of urgency, in accordance with Section 100B (4) (b) of the Local Government Act 1972.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There were no items of urgent business.

3.

Declaration of Interests

Additional documents:

Minutes:

No interests were declared.

4.

Statements by the Leader

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor J Kent confirmed he would only be using this item to make Statements by exception going forward.

5.

Briefings on Policy, Budget and Other Issues

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There were no briefings on policy, budget and other issues.

6.

Petitions submitted by Members of the Public

Additional documents:

Minutes:

No petitions were submitted by members of the public.

7.

Questions from Non-Executive Members

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There were no questions from non-executive members.

8.

Matters Referred to the Cabinet for Consideration by an Overview and Scrutiny Committee

Additional documents:

Minutes:

No matters were referred to the Cabinet for consideration by an Overview and Scrutiny Committee.

9.

Delegated Decisions taken since the last meeting pdf icon PDF 56 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor J Kent noted that a table of the delegated decisions taken since the last meeting had been provided in a separate document in the agenda and is also published online. There were no questions from members regarding the delegated decisions.

 

10.

Update on Corporate Plan 2024-29 pdf icon PDF 117 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor J Kent stated that this was the first formal meeting of Cabinet since the people of Thurrock voted for change. Councillor J Kent confirmed it was an honour for all of them to be asked to serve and an opportunity to do things differently and put the people of Thurrock at the heart of everything they do. Councillor J Kent stated that they all wanted to make positive change for the borough. This will not be an easy task in the years ahead, the council is failing and commissioners are overseeing the Council’s work as it faces the significant challenge of addressing the failings of the past. The Council is functionally bankrupt with a significant toxic debt to deal with and a general fund spend which is out of control. Savings to stabilise the Council of 60 million pounds in the medium term are required and 20 million pounds in this year alone.

 

Councillor J Kent stated that there is a need to rebuild trust with communities and let partners know we have changed too. There is a need for a Corporate Plan that articulates this and becomes the basis of all the work to come. It sets a new purpose to bring together residents, businesses, the third sector, the wider community of Thurrock and partners to understand the scale of our ambition and to understand that we have a better chance of meeting these challenges if we work together to address them.

 

The Corporate Plan speaks to 3 priorities; An Enabling Council, focussing on People and Place. It sets clear values that members and officers will uphold and the foundation needed to be open, honest and transparent. Councillor J Kent explained that a more detailed version of the plan will be provided later in the summer and highlighted that it is the start of a better and different Thurrock.

 

Councillor J Kent invited the other Cabinet Members to talk about the work within their portfolios to deliver this plan.

 

Councillor Worrall stated that she is honoured to have the Portfolio for Change and Improvement and the opportunity to drive forward the improvement agenda across the Council. Councillor Worrall stated that the role is not just a position but a commitment to meet and exceed the expectations of our residents. The Corporate Plan lays the foundation for change. As the plan is developed over the coming months it will provide a clear and strategic basis for transformation. However, having a plan will be just the beginning and we must focus on delivering effectively and efficiently. The new operating model is at the heart of this transformation and we must embrace new approaches, adopt cutting edge technologies and implement efficiencies that will make our organisation fit for the purpose of the modern era. These changes are not optional, they are essential for our success. Councillor Worrall highlighted that she is committed to working with all 49 members and officers to embed the values outlined in the Corporate Plan into daily  ...  view the full minutes text for item 10.

11.

Appointment of Outside Bodies, Statutory and other Panels pdf icon PDF 92 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor J Kent announced the following nominations: -

 

Anglian (Eastern) Regional Flood & Coastal Committee – Cllr S Liddiard

 

Association for Public Services Excellence – Cllr S Muldowney

 

Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust Council of Governors –

Cllr M Fletcher

 

Essex County Traveller Unit – Cllr L Watson

 

Thurrock Arts Council – Cllr L Watson

 

Thames Estuary 2100 Strategic Programme Board – Cllr L Watson

 

Thames Freeport Sub-Committee – Cllr L Watson, Cllr L Worrall, Cllr J Kent

 

Thurrock Community Safety Partnership – Cllr S Panjala

 

ASELA – Cllr J Kent

 

High House Production Park – Cllr V Holloway

 

 

 

RESOLVED:

 

1.1      The nominations to Outside Bodies, Statutory and Other Panels read out at the meeting and noted above were agreed by Cabinet.

 

12.

Oracle Fusion 3 year Contract Award (Decision: 110724) pdf icon PDF 120 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Muldowney introduced the report and explained that it was

regarding the contract for the software Oracle Enterprise Resource

Management system. Oracle is essential software that helps with corporate

tasks such as Human Resources, Payroll, Finance and for employees

to complete self-service tasks such as booking leave, claiming expenses and

managing budgets.

 

A 3 year extension with the current supplier is being proposed to allow for

sufficient time to transfer to a different supplier if Oracle does not win the

tender. A 5 year contract will then be awarded to the most suitable bidder.

 

Councillor J Kent commented that it is clearly essential software that will

contribute to the improved running of the council.

 

No other questions or comments were received from members.

 

RESOLVED:

 

Cabinet agreed:

1.1         To the commencement of a pre-tender exercise for an enterprise resource management (ERM) system in August 2025 to inform and to be followed by the commencement of a procurement process for a ERM system for a five year contract from 1 April 2026 with an option to be extended for up to a further five years, subject to, in the Council’s view, the delivery of best value by the provider.

 

1.2         The direct award of a new contract extension for the provision of the current ERM system with Oracle Systems from 30 August 2024 to 31 August 2027 for a total fixed contract price of £1.85M by award under the Crown Commercial’s Back Office Software Framework RM6194

 

Reason for the decision: as outlined in the report

This decision is subject to call-in

 

13.

Re-Procurement of Education Case Management Application (Decision: 110725) pdf icon PDF 369 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Muldowney introduced the report and explained that it is another

software procurement.

 

It is used for case management covering school admissions, early years funding and free school meals which are all statutory services. It also records key information on children who are missing education, children who are home educated or attending an alternative provision. The report proposes that the Crown Commercial Framework will be used. Currently there are two separate systems being used and this will allow for the data to be put on a single platform to simplify data reporting and improve data accuracy. It will also give the Council a stable system up to 10 years and provide greater transparency and a better service for children of the borough.

 

Councillor Worrall commented that she really liked the risk section in the report and would like to see it included in other reports across the Council.

 

Councillor Worrall queried how confident they were that the exit clauses were sufficient to allow for a seamless transition. The Executive Director of Corporate Services and Monitoring Officer stated that there would be a lengthy transition between the systems to ensure the data is transferred.

 

Councillor Worrall queried when any budget savings would be realised. Councillor Muldowney responded that it is not about realising budget savings, it is about having an integrated system as opposed to two separate systems in order to comply with the Council’s statutory duties to the Department of Education and to provide a better service. There may be some efficiencies realised further down the line as a result but it would be difficult to predict at this stage.

 

Councillor Hartstean commented that she supported an integrated system to bring together Children’s services and Education.

 

Councillor Morris-Cook confirmed that she also welcomed the risk management section in the report. She also queried when the data stops and how long the data has to be kept for. Councillor Muldowney credited the Chief Financial Officer for introducing the risk management section in the report.

 

The Executive Director of Corporate Services and Monitoring Officer stated under the Data Protection Act the principle is that you only hold data for as long as is necessary. The Council has a record management system in place to ensure that data is destroyed at the correct time.

 

Councillor V Holloway queried recommendation 1.2 and delegating the decision to the Director in consultation with the relevant Portfolio Holder and queried what would happen if the Portfolio Holder was not happy.

 

The Executive Director of Corporate Services and Monitoring Officer stated that it is at the discretion of cabinet what decisions are delegated down to officers and if the Portfolio Holder was not happy with the outcome and if they had concerns Cabinet can take back the decision-making power. Councillor V Holloway confirmed she was happy with the response and with the recommendation remaining as it is.

 

 

RESOLVED:

Cabinet agreed:

1.1          To commence the procurement of an education case management software system as described in this report using  ...  view the full minutes text for item 13.