Agenda and minutes

Finance, Commercial Revenue and Contracts Policy & Accountability Committee
Wednesday, 6th September, 2017 7.00 pm

Venue: Committee Room 1 - Hammersmith Town Hall. View directions

Contact: Charles Francis, Committee Coordinator  020 8753 2062

Items
No. Item

1.

Nominations of Vice-Chair and Co-opted Members

For the Committee to elect a Vice-Chair and agree nominations for Co-opted Members for the 2017/18 Municipal Year.

 

Minutes:

That Cllr Michael Adam be appointed as Vice-Chair of the Committee for the 2017/18 municipal year

 

That the following co-opted members be reappointed for the 2017/18 municipal year:

  • Tony Boys
  • Erik Hohenstein
  • Chris Littmoden
  • Judith Worthy

 

 

2.

Apologies for absence

Minutes:

Judith Worthy provided apologies for absence.

 

3.

Declarations of interest

If a Committee member has any prejudicial or personal interest in a particular item they should declare the existence and nature of the interest at the commencement of the consideration of that item or as soon as it becomes apparent.

 

At meetings where members of the public are allowed to be in attendance and speak, any Councillor with a prejudicial interest may also make representations, give evidence or answer questions about the matter. The Councillor must then withdraw immediately from the meeting before the matter is discussed and any vote taken unless a dispensation has been obtained from the Standards Committee.

 

Where Members of the public are not allowed to be in attendance, then

the Councillor with a prejudicial interest should withdraw from the meeting whilst the matter is under consideration unless the disability has been removed by the Standards Committee.

 

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

 

4.

Budget Update pdf icon PDF 259 KB

This report provides a budget update.

Minutes:

Hitesh Jolapara, Strategic Finance Director, introduced the report which provided an update on the 2016/17 Revenue Outturn and how this compared to the 2017/18 Budget.

 

He explained that all PACs received a budget report and one of the challenges made at Finance PAC had been that the previous budget update report had not provided high level comparative data in relation to the previous year’s budget data and the forecast for this year’s budget.

 

Chris Littmoden thanked officers for the report but explained it was difficult to understand. While comparative data, ratios and trend analysis were important, he suggested this information did not set out clearly what the position was. Councill Vincent reiterated this view and explained a more interesting starting point would have been for officers to outline how they were currently doing on the budget so the Committee could hold officers to account.

 

Hitesh provided an overview of the budget setting process and the various challenge mechanisms this went through and agreed there was scope to improve how this information was presented in future. In terms of this year, he explained revenue financial performance was reported every month at  senior officer level as well as at Cabinet. Based on month 2 figures, there was a forecast overspend of £2.8 million and this was manifesting itself in a couple of areas which were Children’s Services and Temporary Accommodation.

 

Hitesh agreed to circulate the Cabinet report and at the next meeting to provide a single sheet summary of the main financial highlights. The Chair asked for this to show the budget the Council was working to, progress to date, last year’s position, quarter to quarter figures and the rationale for the variance. He also requested that the data was presented so the layman could understand it.

 

Councillor Vincent suggested that Cabinet reports could be included in all future Finance PAC agendas to negate the need for a bespoke report. He suggested that Officers should use existing data sets and only produce  further reports where the information was not available.

 

Councillor Ivimy expressed concern about the lack of prior comparators and the movement in the reserves. She noted that these had reduced from £90 million to £82.7 million and the usable reserves were down from £258 million to £239 million and asked for officers comments. In response, the Chair asked that a one page summary on reserves be provided to Councillor Ivimy.

 

Councillor Schmid confirmed reserves had been used to fund a number of invest to save initiates including the successful ICT transition, the move to LED street lighting, the parking machine update and MSP. Chris Littmoden commented on the  overspend and suggested it should be expressed as such.

 

Tony Boys expressed concern about the style of the report. In future, he suggested it could focus on value for money as well as the Council spend per resident. Emily Hill provided an explanation of the challenges associated with generating high level reports and ensuring it had the correct balance between oversight and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.

5.

Review of the 2016/17 Senior Management Performance Related Pay (PRP) Scheme pdf icon PDF 422 KB

This report provides a review of the operation of the 2016/2017 Senior Management Performance Related Pay (PRP) Scheme. 

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chair introduced Mark Grimley, the new Director of HR to his first Finance and Delivery PAC meeting. Mark provided an overview of a review of the operation of the 2016/2017 Senior Management Performance Related Pay (PRP) Scheme. He stated the key aim of the paper was to assess whether the organisation had the correct correlation between PRP and the outcomes the Council was looking for.

 

It was noted that there were two elements to the new senior manager PRP scheme arrangements. These were a non-consolidated annual bonus award based on achievement of all targets and consolidated increase in base pay based on performance. Mark provided details about how lateral moderation worked and the challenge process to pay awards. An explanation was provided on the performance and behaviours which were needed to attain PRP, the use of stretch targets and the role of midyear reviews. It was noted that revisions to the PRP scheme meant the achievement of targets now affected both elements and consolidated pay increases would only be paid to those who scored at least a 3 on their targets.

 

Mark explained that HR would be looking at a sample of the mid year reviews to assess the direction of travel. At this stage, it was anticipated the final year outturns, compared to the mid-year review, would show a greater focus on performance and delivery against key targets linked to the performance scheme. It was noted that cultural change was harder to demonstrate and following the outcomes of the mid year review, there was a possibilityadditional targets might be added to ensure the scheme met its objective to deliver positive cultural change.

 

Councillor Adam asked what the final amount paid out under the scheme was and whether an independent person should oversee PRP. Mark confirmed this was about £345k and he was confident the current process had sufficient oversight and challenge.

 

Councillor Vincent asked what steps were being taken to ensure the objectives were being met and value for money was being achived. Kim explained two factors were of importance. It was noted that LBHF were benchmarking themselves against other London Boroughs. LBHF used a bonus to reward and recognise excellence as opposed to larger flat salaries elsewhere. In addition, Directors and Head of Service targets provided mechanisms to measure performance against budgets, as well as a series of behavioural targets were met.

 

Developing this theme, Councillor Vincent, asked how the bonus scheme had delivered high performance and how it was underpinning business needs.  Kim explained the bonus scheme would not deliver this as it did not drive the Management Team. Incentification was not a key driver for senior officers at the Council, as the culture attracted officers who had a keen interest in their work areas rather than purely financial remuneration. It was noted that the Council paid lower salaries than neighbouring Boroughs and the bonus scheme was a way of squeezing more value from Directors and the Directors pool.

 

Councillor Ivimy asked about how labour  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.

6.

Emergency Planning Lessons Learned and Review Following the Grenfell Tower Tragedy pdf icon PDF 278 KB

This report discusses the emergency planning lessons learnt and review following the Grenfell Tower Tragedy.

Minutes:

Kim Dero, Interim Chief Executive, introduced the report and explained this was the first of a series of reports which would be presented to PAC examining the emergency planning lessons arising from Grenfell and identifying those actions which needed to be taken to enhance the Councils’ response functions.

 

Given the public enquiry, criminal investigation, and the direct ramifications for the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (RBKC), the Committee were informed that the report only considered Hammersmith and Fulham’s position. Kim explained that Hammersmith and Fulham’s emergency response had been excellent and because it already had strong systems in place, LBHF was able to offer assistance to RBKC in the immediate aftermath of the fire.

 

Councillor Adam thanked officers for the report and their hard work in the aftermath but commented that he felt the report did not do justice to the lessons the Council had learnt. He stated the report did not provide a sense of what the Council could and should have done differently in light of RBKC’s experiences and did not address the important matter of crisis communications. In response, Kim explained that Officers had deliberately not made direct comparisons with RBKC because there was a public enquiry, a criminal investigation and conduct issues which had arisen in the aftermath which were being actively investigated.

 

In terms of assurance, Denise Preito, Emergency Planning Manager provided an overview of the Councils’ emergency response processes to illustrate how the Council was equipped to react. Denise explained the Council had developed an operational command and control structure which was based on Police structures. Officers had clear roles and responsibilities and knew who needed to be called to activate the emergency response arrangements.

 

Information was provided on the role of Duty Silvers and how they facilitated the emergency response and their relationship with Welfare Bronze Officers. If the situation required council involvement, the duty silver would cascade the information down to a rota of welfare bronzes working within adult social care. Their role was to identify any vulnerable people within a given cordon and, using a system called Frameworki, to liaise with the emergency services to ensure information was shared efficiently and effectively.

 

A detailed explanation was provided on rest centres and their role in housing up to 200 people overnight, as well as the protocols for requesting further assistance if the emergency escalated. The Committee noted that Grenfell was unprecedented, but Officers explained they were very confident that the borough’s initial emergency response was effective. Should a large scale tragedy arise in future, Officers recognised that a large scale response was needed and mutual aid requests would need to be made as quickly as possible. Details were provided on the information systems and the weekly information leaflets distributed to all Directors which provided details of those emergency response Officers on call that week.

 

Councillor Adam reiterated his concerns about crisis communications and referred to a historic request concerning London Fire Brigade recommendations and their incorporation into Planning guidance. In response,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.

7.

Dates of future meetings

The next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday 8th November 2017.

Minutes:

The next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday 8th November 2017.

 

8.

Exclusion of Press and Public

The Committee is invited to resolve, under Section 100A (4) of the Local Government Act 1972, that the public and press be excluded from the meeting during the consideration of the following items of business, on the grounds that they contain the likely disclosure of exempt information, as defined in paragraph 3 of Schedule 12A of the said Act, and that the public interest in maintaining the exemption currently outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.

 

Minutes:

 

The Committee is invited to resolve, under Section 100A (4) of the Local

Government Act 1972, that the public and press be excluded from the

meeting during the consideration of the following items of business, on

the grounds that they contain the likely disclosure of exempt information,

as defined in paragraph 3 of Schedule 12A of the said Act, and that the

public interest in maintaining the exemption currently outweighs the

public interest in disclosing the information.

 

 

9.

Managed Service Programme Report - Performance Update - (Exempt Report)

This report provides an update on the Managed Services Programme.

Minutes:

The Committee considered the progress report on managed services.