Agenda and minutes

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No. Item



To receive any apologies for absence.


Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Joinson and Nolan.


Declarations of Interest

Members are required to declare any disclosable pecuniary, personal or personal and prejudicial interests they may have and the nature of those interests relating to items on this agenda and/or indicate if S106 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 applies to them.   


No declarations of interest were made


Urgent Items of Business

To determine whether there are any additional items of business which, by reason of special circumstances, the Chair decides should be considered at the meeting as a matter of urgency.


There were no urgent items of business.


At the request of the Chair, the Deputy Chief Finance Officer gave a presentation on local government finance and how the scrutiny committee were engaged in the Councils financial management.


The Chair, Vice Chair and Head of Governance gave a brief overview of the role, remit and opportunities for Overview and Scrutiny Committees in advance of a more comprehensive briefing at the next meeting


Minutes pdf icon PDF 88 KB

To consider the minutes of the meeting of the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee held 31st July 2018 and the actions list arising therefrom.

Additional documents:


The Minutes of the Meeting held on 31st July 2018 were approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair.


Work Programme pdf icon PDF 85 KB

To note the Committee’s Work Programme 2018/19


The Committee considered the Work Programme and action list for the remainder of the municipal year.


It was highlighted that the Health and Wellbeing strategy was scheduled for submission to the January 2019 meeting; that further discussion with scrutiny chairs was required on which scrutiny remit the “Support the Community Safety Partnership” report was best aligned with; and that all other reports, with the exception of the role of the Policy advisor were included on the work programme.


The Chair also reported that arrangements for the joint study group on highways maintenance were ongoing and that a meeting with the Chair of Communities, Regeneration and Environment Scrutiny Committee would take place shortly.


At the request of the Vice Chair, Members considered and AGREED bringing the start time of the future meetings forward to 5.30pm


3rd & 4th Quarter Corporate Complaints pdf icon PDF 95 KB

The Committee is asked to consider corporate complaints received in the 3rd and 4th quarters of 2017/18

Additional documents:


The Committee considered a summary report on corporate compliments and complaints for the third and fourth quarters in 2017/18.


It was noted that there had been an increase in the number of complaints when compared with the same position in 2016/17, but that 45% of the total complaints were not upheld.  The Senior Customer Access Manager highlighted that complaints continued to be encouraged by the organisation, as emerging patterns or themes identified areas that the Council needed to prioritise.


Members raised the following issues:

·       The provision of a monthly breakdown of complaints received and the nature of complaints, on a ward basis to all members.  Members noted that this often provided an indication of particular issues requiring further scrutiny.  Officers undertook to explore this further.

·       Raising awareness of the complaints procedure: Members were encouraged to signpost residents to the procedure, which was hosted on the councils website.  Complaints could also be registered by the contact centre or the dedicated email address.

·       A request for a breakdown by service area and the nature of complaints for the 308 new complaints received during the 2 quarters.  Officers undertook to circulate this to the committee.

·       The process for complaints about Councillors.  It was noted that this was a separate process and complaints of this nature needed to be  directed to the Councils Monitoring Officer.


Contact Centre Presentation - Agylisys KPI Update

To receive a presentation in relation to the performance of the Contact Centre/Agylisys against its KPI’s.


The Committee received a presentation detailing the performance of the contact centre against agreed key indicators.  Officers highlighted that there were 2 months where performance dipped below target and outlined that these correlated with peak periods for both Council Tax billing and school admission decisions contacts; these had been further compounded by the poor weather and associated increase in service requests in early March 2018.


The presentation also detailed customer satisfaction ratings and contact resolutions, all of which were consistently on or above target.  The Committee noted that the change in operational hours and the inclusion of routine training closures had not impacted on the customer experiences.


Customer Transformation Programme

To receive a presentation in relation to the Customer Transformation Programme, including work around ‘My Account’


The Committee received an update on the programme of improvements which aimed to enhance the experience of contact centre users.  Most recently these had included


  • The addition of six more services to MyAccount
  • An increase in the percentage of customers accessing services online;
  • Improved processes for Highways, Parking and School Admissions
  • Restructured Interactive Voice Responses (IVR’s) for Environmental Management, Highways and Parking services
  • Changes to Contact Centre opening hours and the introduction of routine training window
  • Successful implementation of GDPR across the Council
  • Retention of the 4* SOCITM website ranking: In response to a question on MyAccount security, officers confirmed that the SOCITIM rating requirements measured security, which was regularly tested externally for any vulnerabilities;
  • Development of the Revenues and Benefits MyAccount project plan
  • Submission of a capital bid for next 2.5 years customer transformation programme; Responding to a question on the development of a mobile app, officers advised that the Council’s preferred option was to develop the accessibility of its existing platform for use by a variety of fixed and mobile devices.
  • Winning the MJ Award for Digital Transformation; this had offered significant opportunities to showcase the Council’s transformation programme on a national level.


On the subject of the production of a comparative study of transformation programmes across the Greater Manchester Authorities, it was noted that the Council were attempting to construct a national comparison.



Schools Final Outturns and Reportable Surplus 2017/18 pdf icon PDF 216 KB

To report on the overall position of balances that are held in schools budgets.


The Committee considered a report on the final budget outturns and reportable surplus held by local authority maintained schools.  Members were advised that it was a requirement for Councils to review and challenge the level of surpluses held by individual schools.


Those with a 2 year consecutive surplus balance greater than 8% of their individual funding were jointly challenged by the authority and Schools Forum with a view to undertaking a claw-back of surplus funds that did not comply with a locally agreed funding scheme.  Any funds returned to the authority by this mechanism were redistributed via the fair funding formula.


The total outturn balance across all schools for 2017/18 was at £11,110,000, with one school holding a small deficit position of £27.5K.


Members raised the following matters:


The frequency of use of “claw-back” provisions: it was noted that the provisions had been utilised, but not often. 


Schools with significant surplus balances that had converted to academy status: The Committee were advised that a small number of schools had been in a strong financial position when moving from maintained to academy status;


Any impact on the reduction in the maximum amount of carry forwards on surplus balances: Officers reported that the change in carry forward thresholds had impacted on surpluses, however, that historically, a number of schools had retained capital carry forwards as part of their building schools for the future programme and that there was an associated reduction arising the completion of the programme.


Outcome of the surplus balances review programme: It was noted that once the review had been concluded by the Schools Forum, a reported would be submitted to a future meeting.


IT WAS AGREED: That the report be noted.


Greater Manchester Combined Authority Scrutiny Committee Meetings pdf icon PDF 462 KB

a.    Economy, Business Growth and Skills Scrutiny Committee – 13th July 2018

b.    Housing, Planning and Environment Overview and Scrutiny Committee – 12th July 2018

c.     Corporate Issues and Reform Overview and Scrutiny Committee – 19th June 2018

Additional documents:


The following minutes were received for information:


Economy, Business Growth and Skills Scrutiny Committee 13th July 2018


Housing, Planning and Environment Overview & Scrutiny Committee 12th July 2018


Corporate Issues and Reform Overview and Scrutiny Committee 19th June 2018