Agenda and draft minutes

Overview & Scrutiny Board - Thursday, 2nd September, 2021 7.30 pm

Venue: Havering Town Hall, Main Road, Romford

Contact: Richard Cursons - 01708 432430  Email: richard.cursons@oneSource.co.uk

Media

Items
No. Item

14.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE AND ANNOUNCEMENT OF SUBSTITUTE MEMBERS

(if any) - receive.

 

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Councillor Sally Miller (Councillor John Crowder substituting) and Councillor Chris Wilkins (Councillor Gillian Ford substituting).

15.

DISCLOSURE OF INTERESTS

Members are invited to disclose any interest in any of the items on the agenda at this point of the meeting.

 

Members may still disclose any interest in an item at any time prior to the consideration of the matter.

 

Minutes:

There were no disclosures of interest.

16.

MINUTES pdf icon PDF 273 KB

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting of the Board held on 22 June 2021 and the open minutes of the meeting of the Board held on 3 August 2021 (attachdd) and to authorise the Chairman to sign them.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The minutes of the meetings of the Board held on 22 June and 3 August 2021 were agreed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

17.

ONESOURCE UPDATE pdf icon PDF 249 KB

Report attached.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The oneSource Managing Director advised that oneSource had started in 2013 as a joint partnership between Havering and Newham and covered areas such as legal services, HR, finance, ICT and procurement. This covered around 800 staff. It was emphasised that oneSource was not a private company, nor was it a separate organisation to Havering or Newham. Staff worked for both Councils as needed. The structure of oneSource allowed reduced expenditure through rationalisation, shared knowledge and efficiencies of scale. Since 2014, staff overheads had reduced by 37% and £1m less was being spent on agency staff.

 

A new oneSource strategy had been launched in February 2020 and key objectives included improved governance, nurturing of relationships and continuous improvement.  The pandemic had meant a switch of focus to areas such as PPE procurement, food hubs, IT provision to staff and office rationalisation. Sufficient PPE supplies had been maintained throughout the pandemic and remote working had been successfully introduced. Other issues had included the removal of Bexley from the partnership, the Town Hall reconfiguration and the decommissioning of Mercury House.

 

As regards workforce issues, around 300 staff had been furloughed and individual risk assessments carried out for all staff. Support available to staff included the wellbeing hub, Thrive mental health app and the Employee Assistance Scheme. In order to facilitate working in the future, new policies were being developed on areas such as remote working, flexible working and health & safety at home.

 

OneSource priority projects for 2021/22 included the budgetary plan, HR restructure, recruitment to the new Strategic Delivery Unit and optimisation of Fusion in order to achieve savings. Developments such as shared procurement were only possible via oneSource and moves towards a shared IT infrastructure were also very positive. It was accepted that further progress needed to be made with budget issues.

 

Income was generated for Havering via oneSource areas such as enforcement and the bailiff service. There had also been significantly reduced costs achieved by the payroll service. Overall savings of £13-14m had been achieved by oneSource so far. The Managing Director could supply an accurate figure for how much of this was apportioned to Havering but this was likely to be in the region of 40%.

 

Bexley had recently left oneSource and had been charged an exit fee for doing so, under the terms of the Partnership Agreement. It was noted that a motion had been put forward to Council regarding staff leaving. oneSource had however seen a very low turnover of staff since the start of the pandemic. The employee proposition at oneSource was currently being reviewed. Recent vacancies had seen a lot of interest with for example 97 applications being for the position of IT director. Some Members felt that this was not the case with those vacancies dealt with by the Appointments Sub-Committee for which there had been relatively few applications received and this could be a sign of a failing service.

In response, the oneSource Managing Director stated that people left the organisation for different reasons  ...  view the full minutes text for item 17.

18.

COVID-19 CARE HOMES AND THIRD SECTOR TOPIC GROUP pdf icon PDF 253 KB

Report attached.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chairman of the Topic Group – Councillor White thanked Members and officers for their support of the review. Positive discussions had been held with care homes, Havering MIND, Healhwatch Havering and other local organisations. It was agreed that wording in the report should be amended to read ‘living with dementia’.

 

The Board AGREED that the report of the Covid-19 Care Homes and Third Sector Topic Group should be referred to Cabinet for consideration.

19.

FORWARD PLAN OF FORTHCOMING KEY DECISIONS pdf icon PDF 349 KB

Report attached.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

It was noted that it had not been possible to scrutinise some issues before decisions were taken.

 

The Board agreed that it wished to undertake scrutiny of the award of the CCTV contract, looking at issues such as the use of CCTV in town centres, estates, decommissioned systems and the relationship with the Police etc.

 

It was also agreed that the Board should seek to scrutinise the Cabinet reports due on the Social Value Strategy and the Housing Allocations Policy.

20.

EXCLUSION OF THE PUBLIC

The report included in agenda item 5 contains exempt information relation to commercial issues as do the exempt section of the minutes of the meeting held on 3 August 2021.  The Board will consider whether the public and press should  be excluded from the meeting on the grounds that it is likely that, in view of the nature of the business to be transacted or the nature of the proceedings, if members of the public were present during that item there would be disclosure to them of exempt information within the meaning of paragraph 3 of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972. The Board to resolve accordingly on the motion of the Chairman in relation to any discussion on exempt matters.

 

 

Minutes:

The report included in agenda item 5 contained exempt information relating to commercial issues as did the exempt section of the minutes of the meeting of the Board held on 3 August 2021.

 

The Board therefore RESOLVED:

 

To exclude the public and press from the meeting on the grounds that it was likely that, in view of the nature of the business to be transacted or the nature of the proceedings, if members of the public were present during that item there would be disclosure to them of exempt information within the meaning of paragraph 3 of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972.