Agenda and minutes

Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee - Tuesday 10th May 2022 10:00am

Venue: Oak Room, County Buildings, Stafford. View directions

Contact: Mandy Pattinson 


No. Item


Declarations of Interest

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There were no declarations of interest on this occasion.


Minutes of the meeting held on 29 March 2022 pdf icon PDF 118 KB

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RESOLVED – That the minutes of the meeting held on 29 March 2022 be confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.


Integrated Performance Report, Quarter 4 2021-22 pdf icon PDF 3 MB

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The Leader of the Council presented the Integrated Performance Report for Quarter 4 2021/22 which summarised the Councils performance and financial position against the Strategic and Delivery Plans. He detailed the main focus of attention for, and challenges facing, each of the 4 service areas and reported a forecast revenue saving of £4.427m, the carry forward of a proportion of which into 2022/23 was under discussion.


The main issues discussed in detail by members were:


1.   Adult Social Care - The allocation of £19.25m additional Government funding to the NHS/Social Care system for 2022/23-2023/24 to reduce delays in hospital discharge, increase Home Care provision and increase Response Team capacity.  Of concern was the non-recurrent nature of that funding and the uncertainty around Government funding for their reform programme due to be introduced in April 2023.  Locally, the County Council was carrying out modelling exercises to assess the cost of those reforms.  Similar exercises were underway nationally, including by the CCA and LGA.


2.   Voluntary Sector resources – whilst acknowledging the strength and commitment of the voluntary sector and community support mechanisms during COVID, members queried action being taken to secure a voluntary sector over the long term that was both robust and diverse.  It was reported that the County Council was working with the sector to develop a Capacity Building Framework, supporting recruitment and training.

Support for young people experiencing Mental Health issues due to isolation etc during the COVID epidemic was an area identified as needing voluntary sector involvement. 

Members were encouraged to use the recently used Community Fund to promote Health and Well being initiatives within their communities.


3.   Highways – The highways transformation project was underway, returning control and flexibility to the County Council. A number of new initiatives were to be piloted including a ‘one visit’ approach to pothole repairs, whereby overall road conditions in the vicinity of a reported pothole would be surveyed with a view to carrying out more lasting repairs over that wider area. Improved performance on addressing Category 3 highways complaints was a key aim.

Additionally, a County wide revision of gully and ditch cleaning programmes was underway which in turn would improve road conditions.


4.   SEND services- Concern was expressed at the reduction in performance for Education and Health Care Plans issued within timescale.  Action was being taken to implement Ofsted reports

following their inspections of the service. Key was the current recruitment programme for qualified staff with the FTE establishment being increased from 28 to 35. Aware of the national funding shortfall for SEND services, the Leader expressed concern that a new White Paper pledged ‘targeted support for every child that needs it'. He called for Government assurances that funding would accompany that pledge.


5.   Supporting refugees from the Ukraine crisis – Working in partnership with other agencies and the voluntary sector, the County Council was committed to a refugee resettlement programme. Compliance with legal and safeguarding responsibilities was the paramount consideration in order to provide the best outcome  ...  view the full minutes text for item 13.


Corporate Delivery Plan 22/23 pdf icon PDF 166 KB

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Inviting scrutiny prior to consideration of the report by Cabinet, the Leader of the Council presented the draft Corporate Delivery Plan 2022/23 explaining that it aimed to set out clear, deliverable performance priorities and targets for each service area whilst maintaining the flexibility to respond to unforeseen circumstances such as the consequences of the war in Ukraine.


The Leader highlighted a number of the priorities and stressed his wish for all areas to be scrutinised in detail.


Brief discussion took place on:


1.   The ‘Bus Strategy and the role of the County Council in encouraging ‘bus operators to increasing patronage and tackling climate change through measures such as moving to environmentally friendly fuelled vehicles.


2.   The new White Paper on Schools which proposed 500,000 teacher training opportunities to address a shortage of teachers.


3.   The need for specific targets against which performance could be scrutinised


4.   The Leaders commitment to working with Council colleagues across Staffordshire to maximise the benefits of joint working and the importance of reflecting the involvement of third tier Councils in partnership working


5.   The need to include full details of Town Deals across Staffordshire


RESOLVED – That with amendments to reflect points 3, 4 and 5 above, the Corporate Delivery Plan 22/23 be supported and form the basis of discussion between Overview and Scrutiny Committee Chairmen and Vice-Chairmen on Work Programme planning for 2022/23.


Work Programme 2021/22 pdf icon PDF 389 KB

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RESOLVED – That the remainder of the Work Programme for 2021/22 and the intention to utilise the Corporate Delivery Plan 2022/23 to inform the future Programme be noted.