Agenda and minutes

Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee - Tuesday 2nd August 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 21 June 2022 pdf icon PDF 115 KB

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Resolved: – That the minutes of the meeting held on 21 June 2022 be confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.



Quarter 1 Integrated Performance Report pdf icon PDF 3 MB

Report of Leader of the Council and the Cabinet Member for Finance.

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The Leader of the Council introduced the Integrated Performance Report for Quarter 1 2022/23 which summarised the Councils performance and financial position against the Strategic and Delivery Plans.


The Cabinet Member for Finance detailed the main challenges facing each of the four service areas, notably the situation with the global economy and the impact this had had on Council Budgets; the transformation of Children’s services which had failed to achieve expected savings during the first quarter; the Social Care White Paper; and Inflation and the effect this was having on reserves.  It was also reported that there was a forecast overspend of £14.693m (2.76%).


The main issues discussed by members were:


1.   Adult Social Care White Paper – In its present form, it was felt that the proposals would be very challenging for the Authority with a projected pressure of between £70 and £100 m per annum.  If was reported that there were five ‘trail blazers’ in England looking at new working methods.  These were due to conclude at the end of the year and their findings would be available to all councils for consideration.  Members were reminded that providing certain types and levels of care was a statutory duty  which had to be provided regardless of funding.  Non statutory care may need to be reviewed in the future dependent on financial pressures/guidance.

2.   Outstanding debt – The Levels of outstanding debt of more than 6 months old currently stood at £18.5m, against a target of £14.7.

3.   Skill levels 5 and 6 – it was noted that there had been an improvement in attainment in these levels and it was confirmed that effort was being made to provide an environment where business’s could develop and expand so that there was opportunity to take advantage of the additional skills which would subsequently lead to demand for higher level skills.

4.   Children’s services - Transformation continued but work still needed to be done to embed some of the changes.  Numbers of Children in Care had stabilised but were not decreasing at the expected rate.

5.   SEND Transport – A rise in inflation had led to increase in prices in excess of 50%.   It was reported that the Portfolio holder was looking at in more depth.

6.   Growth hubs – There was some uncertainty around the funding of the hubs activity going forward.  More information would be reported when known.

7.   Highways - A question was asked on the anticipated impact of the £3.046m reduction in Carriageway/other maintenance and if this was a short term saving which would lead to a longer term cost?  It was agreed that information on this reduction and any risks involved would be included in the next performance report.

8.   It was requested that the Cabinet member for Health and Care look at the ‘Workforce Strategy’ and ensure that it included Health partners as it was felt that services were integrated and training issues were the same for employees of all partnering services.  In response, it was  ...  view the full minutes text for item 24.


Boundary Commission Review - update

Verbal report of the Director of Corporate Services.

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Katie Marshall, the new Project Lead for the review was introduced.


The Committee was reminded of the stages of the review.  Stage one was now nearing completion.  A submission document was currently being compiled which would be considered by Council in October, prior to submission to the Boundary Commission by the 11 November 2022.


Members were informed that all the evidence collated so far, supported the retention of 62 members, this would be the basis of the Councils ‘Size Submission’ Document.  There would also be a request for ‘single member’ wards as part of the Submission.  It was reported that there were no guarantee that single member divisions would be achievable and this that had been requested as part of the last review in 2010, however two double divisions remained.


The draft submission would be considered at the next meeting of this Committee in September.


Stage two of the project would commence with the Boundary Commission  publishing their in-principle view on Councillor numbers, by 10th January 2023.  Consultation on future division arrangements would then run for 12 weeks until 20th March 2023.  Briefing meetings would be offered to Parish and Town Councils, stakeholders and interested community groups in early January. 


During the discussion, members were provided with the following information:

  • All District and Borough Councils had now submitted the information requested and require to support the Councils proposals.
  • The information was based on the Full electoral register not just the Postal Vote register.
  • Proposed housing development figures were taken into account.
  • More detail would be available at the next meeting.


Resolved:  That the update be noted.


Work Programme pdf icon PDF 338 KB

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It was reported that the results of the Climate Change Working Group would be considered at the October meeting of this Committee and not the September meeting as originally planned.  This was due to an issue with arranging dates for the next meeting which all contributors could attend.


Resolved: That the Work Programme for 2022/23 be noted.