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Election of Chairman
Consideration was given as to who should preside over the Special Joint meeting of the Performance Monitoring Panel and Policy Development Panel.
That Councillor B Alcock act as Chairman for the duration of the Special Joint meeting of the Performance Monitoring Panel and Policy Development Panel.
Declaration of Interests
(Councillors are reminded that under the Code of Conduct they are not to participate in the whole of an agenda item to which they have a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest. In the interests of transparency, councillors may also wish to declare any other interests that they have, in relation to an agenda item, that supports the Nolan principles detailed within the Code of Conduct.)
There were none.
To consider the outcome of a review of the Constitution and recommendations arising therefrom (report of the Shared Executive Director Strategy and Governance enclosed)
Members gave consideration to the report of the Shared Executive Director Strategy and Governance on the Constitution Review.
Mark Stinson (Executive Manager - Governance) and Rhonda Booth (Democratic Services Manager) were in attendance to present the report and answer any questions.
On 11 April 2013, the Council agreed that a Constitution Review Group be established to work jointly with Breckland District Council to review the current constitutional arrangements of both authorities. The Working Group had met a number of times and approved draft Constitutions which were aligned structurally, but still reflecting each council’s differences. Final approval of an amended Constitution rested with full Council.
A Special Joint meeting of the Performance Monitoring Panel and Policy Development Panel was held on 29 July 2014 and approved a draft, subject to a number of suggested amendments. These were made to the draft and a copy of the Constitution was submitted to external lawyers, DAC Beachcroft LLP for an independent check. The draft was given a clean bill of health although a number of improvements/alterations were suggested.
Outstanding queries which were raised by the Joint Panel that were not reflected in the draft given to DAC Beachcroft were addressed by the Executive Manager Governance and were highlighted in the written report.
Members of the Panel raised a number of points, which included formatting, spelling and grammar errors and discussed the following:
· When is a minor amendment to the Policy Framework minor (reference to pg. 79)?
It was explained that the term ‘minor amendment’ was to be interpreted on the facts of each individual case.
· Was the Constitution aligned with Breckland’s?
Both South Holland’s and Breckland’s Constitutions were formed from the Exari Model Constitution, elements were the same. The draft that had been prepared reflected each Council’s specific arrangements.
· Members enquired as to whether there was any difficulty with an Executive Member being Chairman of the Planning Committee.
The Planning Chairman and Executive Member were two different roles. The law did not prevent an executive member from being the Chairman of the Planning Committee.
· Is it just the Performance Monitoring Panel that would be allowed to call-in decisions?
It was just the Performance Monitoring Pane that had the power to call-in Executive decisions. There was a tool called ‘Councillor Call For Action’ which allowed any member of the Council to instruct the Senior Legal Officer to include on the agenda of the relevant Panel, any item for discussion.
· Members asked whether call-in applied to budget virements.
It was agreed the Executive Manager Governance would further investigate this point.
· It was felt that the ‘Overview and Scrutiny Committee’ which was referred to should be changed to reflect the Council’s current arrangements, the Performance Monitoring Panel and Policy Development Panel wherever appropriate.
The term ‘Overview and Scrutiny Committee’ was an accepted generic term and was used within the draft, but this was easily changed to reflect the Council’s actual arrangements.
· It was requested that the number of Committee members on both the Licensing Committee and Committee ... view the full minutes text for item 3.
Any other items which the Chairman decides are urgent
There were none.
To consider resolving that, under section 100A (4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the public be excluded from the meeting for the following item of business on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Paragraph 3 of part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Act.
It was resolved that, under section 100A (4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the public be excluded from the meeting for the following item of business on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Paragraph 3 of part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Act.
Compass Point Business Services Draft Business Plan 2016 -2020
To consider the draft Business Plan update, review the proposals and provide feedback for Council consideration (report of the Executive Director of Strategy and Governance enclosed)
Consideration was given to the report of the Executive Director Strategy and Governance regarding the Compass Point Business Services (East Coast) Ltd Business Plan 2016 – 2020.
Marcus Coleman (Managing Director (Compass Point Business Services (East Coast) Ltd), Councillor Coupland and Councillor Newton (Company Directors) were also in attendance.
Councillor Newton, in the interest of openness and transparency declared that although she was a serving member of the Panel she was a also a Company Director for Compass Point Business Services (East Coast) Ltd.
The Managing Director presented the report to members. Councillor Alcock asked for clarification on when feedback was to be submitted on the business plan. The Managing Director advised that members may provide feedback throughout consideration of the item, but may also pass further feedback to him outside the meeting and at its consideration at full Council.
Compass Point Business Services (East Coast) Ltd, Joint Venture Shared Services Company was established by East Lindsey District Council and South Holland District Council in 2010. The company produced business support services to its clients, which included Finance, Human Resources, ICT, Benefits Assessment, Revenue Collection and Customer Services.
In 2010 the Company, East Lindsey District Council and South Holland District Council entered into a Ten Year Joint Venture Shareholder Agreement. It was felt that at this mid-point in the agreement it was appropriate to take stock of the current situation.
The proposed Business Plan, which was appended to the covering report, addressed a number of issues. It:
· reviewed the key assumptions made at the start of the of the contract;
· reflected on the experience of the Company over the past five years;
· highlighted some of the changing features of the environment in which the Company operated;
· proposed renewed focus on activities to support its Shareholding Councils; and
· proposed processes to assist all parties in making decisions about the future of the Company beyond the exit date defined within the Shareholders agreement.
Over the period of five years the Company had made significant savings reducing costs from £10.9 million to £7.9 million. The Managing Director paid tribute to the staff for this achievement and reminded members that it had achieved national recognition.
The Business Plan suggested a new focus on providing the best possible services for East Lindsey and South Holland District Councils, rather than pursuing additional external contracts.
Members expressed some general concerns in respect of performance in certain areas; the resulting cost to the Council; performance against the previous business plan; and the impact on staff morale.
Councillors raised the following specific points:
· Councillor Alcock was concerned over suggested timescales and the number of caveats contained in the Business Plan.
The managing Director advised that the process needed to start when all the information had been gathered.
· Councillor Astill asked if there was potential to extend the period of the shareholder agreement?
The Executive Manager Governance advised that all contract/agreements could be extended, subject to the agreement of all parties involved.
· Members supported the new focus of the Business ... view the full minutes text for item 6.