Venue: Committee Room 1, Civic Offices, New Road, Grays, Essex, RM17 6SL.
Contact: Lucy Tricker, Senior Democratic Services Officer
Minutes PDF 239 KB
To approve as a correct record
the minutes of the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny
Committeemeeting held on 9 March
The minutes of the Corporate
Overview and Scrutiny Committee held on 9 March 2021 were approved
as a correct record.
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.
There were no items of urgent
Declaration of Interests
There were no interests
End of Year (Month 12) Corporate Performance Report 2020/21 PDF 511 KB
The Director of Strategy,
Engagement and Growth introduced the report and stated that it
covered the Council’s corporate performance from 1 April 2020
to 31 March 2021. She stated that 63% of Key Performance Indicators
(KPIs) had met target, which was 10% lower than in 2019/20 when 74%
of KPIs had reached target. She highlighted that this was largely
not due to service performance, but due to the impact of COVID-19
and subsequent restrictions. She explained that in Quarter 2 when
COVID-19 restrictions had eased, 75% of KPIs had reached their
targets, and she hoped to see this again in the figures for Quarter
1 of this municipal year. She described how each KPI that had not
hit target had commentary and a ‘route to green’
attached, which explained the reason for the missed target and any
action being taken to ensure it hit future targets. She summarised
and highlighted point 3.4 of the report which outlined the KPIs
that had achieved target.
The Vice-Chair questioned page 26 of the agenda and the KPI
regarding the occupancy percentage of council-owned business
centres. He queried what marketing and incentives the Council were
undertaking. The Director of Strategy, Engagement and Growth
replied that although the Council were not providing any direct
incentives for council-owned business centres, but they were
working hard to ensure the units were marketed and occupancy take
Councillor Akinbohun arrived 7.05pm.
Councillor Okunade questioned the KPI relating to the turnaround
time of re-lets. She queried whether this KPI had been affected by
the pandemic, and if the Council had a plan in place to ensure the
time to re-let properties was reduced. The Director of Strategy,
Growth and Engagement responded that the report highlighted the
direction of travel for the KPI, and explained that in Quarter 1
the choice-based lettings programme had been suspended due to
COVID-19, so the time to re-let had increased to sixty days. She
explained that the re-let time had now decreased to thirty days,
and was continuing to travel in the right direction, but had not
hit the end of year target. She added that the team were seeing
improvement in Quarter 1 this year, which would be shown to the
Committee at the meeting in September.
Councillor Kent stated that this had been a tough year for the
Council due to COVID-19, and felt that the KPIs reflected this. He
thanked officers across the Council for their hard work throughout
the pandemic, and felt that they had continued to deliver services
during a difficult year. He highlighted page 21 of the agenda, and
asked if the Committee could see the raw data for the KPI regarding
the completion of treatment in the Young People’s Drug and
Alcohol service. He also questioned the KPI regarding the
Council’s support of cultural, social, and health and
wellbeing events outlined on page 22, and asked if these had taken
place virtually during the pandemic. He also asked if the Committee
could see more detail on ...
view the full minutes text for item 4.
Work Programme PDF 249 KB
Councillor Hebb thanked the
Committee for allowing him to attend the meeting, and stated that
he was attending due to the scrutiny review, which had been
developed by Councillor Gerrish as Chair during the previous
municipal year, and had been a welcome piece of work. He explained
that he had a suite of ideas to put to the Committee to build the
Work Programme, which included:
1. The Fair Debt Summit – a piece of work on the impact of
COVID-19 and residents who wanted to pay debts, but simply could
not. This could include a deep-dive or a Task and Finish Group into
the collections process, the new relationship between
Thurrock’s revenue department and the Citizens Advice Bureau,
and the compassionate side of collections.
2. Education within the Fair Debt Summit – a piece of work on
how to help young people anticipate the signs of household debt. He
stated that before COVID-19 a small piece of work had been
completed which looked at this issue, but had been stopped due to
the pandemic. He hoped the Committee would look into how to rollout
the education package to schools, sixth forms, and academy trusts.
He felt that the generation who were being raised during COVID-19
would need additional help regarding this issue.
3. Wide-reaching consultation regarding the Local Council Tax
Scheme to ensure it was fit for purpose, it met the borough’s
needs, and provided good value for money for the people that funded
4. Members oversight of investments, which had been suggested by
the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee last year. He stated
that a Shadow Investment Board had been running since July 2020,
but felt that the Committee should have a role in how the Board
would be constituted and formed. He explained that although the
Council were now no longer pursuing investments, Members still
needed to ensure the strategy was fit for purpose, and transparent
for residents to understand.
Councillor Okunade thanked Councillor Hebb for his proposals. She
questioned the potential timeframes for completing this work.
Councillor Hebb replied that the timescales could be determined by
the Committee based on outstanding Work Programme commitments.
Councillor Kent agreed with the proposals, but felt that the
timescales would be quite tight due to the timings of future
Committee meetings. He questioned if activities could take place in
between formal Committee meetings. The Senior Democratic Services
Officer replied that she would speak with senior officers, as well
as the Chair and Vice-Chair, to formulate a draft Work Programme
and timeline. Councillor Okunade highlighted that some work streams
would need to be prioritised over others, due to potential time