Medway’s Council Plan 2021/22 sets out the Council’s three priorities. This report and appendices summarise how we performed in Q1 2021/22 on the delivery of the programmes and measures which fall within the remit of this Committee which are:
· Priority: Growth (Appendix 1)
· Values: 1: financial resilience, 2: digital enablement, 3: working together to empower communities, 4: creativity and innovation, 5: tackle climate change, and 6: child friendly (Appendix 2).
Given the overarching responsibilities of this Committee to provide guidance and leadership on the development and coordination of the scrutiny function for all overview and scrutiny committees, this report also contains:
· a performance summary of all services (Appendix 3)
· a summary of discussions at the Children and Young People Overview and Scrutiny Committee and the Regeneration, Culture and Environment Overview and Scrutiny Committee – which is to follow (Appendix 5). Due to the timings of meetings, it is not possible to include a summary of the discussion at the Health and Adult Social Care Overview and Scrutiny Committee on this occasion.
The Committee considered a report summarising performance in Quarter 1 (Q1) 2020/21 on the delivery of the programmes and measures which fell within the remit of the Committee. Given the overarching responsibilities of the Committee to provide guidance and leadership on the development and coordination of the scrutiny function for all overview and scrutiny committees, the report also included a performance summary of all services and a summary of the discussions at the other committees. The report also presented the Q1 review of the Council’s Strategic Risk Register.
The Committee discussed the following:
The relationship between the risk assessment process and emergency planning: Members were advised that the Emergency Planning manager attended meetings of the Risk Management Group. Officers offered to investigate the possibility of providing a Member briefing on Emergency Planning.
PH16 - Smoking at the time of delivery: As this target was continually green, it had been suggested at the Children and Young People Overview and Scrutiny Committee that the target be reviewed upwards so that it was more challenging. Officers agreed to follow this up.
Repairs and maintenance contracts: Referring to Council owned buildings it was requested that information on priorities be provided to Members. The Chief Finance Officer agreed to request this and advised that the repairs and maintenance fund in the General Fund Revenue Budget received a £750k contribution each year. The Assistant Director, Regeneration, had delegated authority to determine how this was used, in consultation with the Corporate Property Board.
Strood Waterfront regeneration: Asked to clarify the comment that no further options for the sites would be considered until spring 2022, it was explained that the receipt on offer had not been sufficient to warrant awarding a contract. The Medway Development Company might undertake the development of sites but did not have the capacity at present.
SR50 - HIF Programme: Asked if the relationship between the Local Plan and HIF had broken down, or if there were any issues with the HIF, officers agreed to provide a response outside the meeting.
SR35 – Homelessness: In response to questions on the impact of the withdrawal of the universal credit uplift and the plans for a winter shelter, officers advised that £2.2M grant funding had been allocated for vulnerable families and this could be used for housing support in exceptional circumstances. The Housing and Benefits teams worked closely on the administration of the support fund. A funding bid had been submitted for a winter shelter and details would be provided to Members.
SR46 – Medway’s Economic Recovery from Covid 19: It was questioned whether this might increase from BII in light of any increase in Covid during the winter. Officers advised that this was a residual score, after mitigation. It was considered that mitigation was in place to enable this score to be maintained. In the event of a more aggressive mutation, Public Health colleagues would review the risk.
SR03B – Finances: Clarification was sought on the term ‘data lake’ and it was explained that this work was being led by the Business Intelligence team and involved pulling together data from different systems, for example housing and benefits, so that it could be matched.
The Committee noted the Q1 2021/22 performance against the measures used to monitor progress against the Council’s priorities.