Agenda and minutes

Public Services Reform Policy and Accountability Committee
Tuesday, 16th October, 2018 7.00 pm

Venue: Courtyard Room - Hammersmith Town Hall. View directions

Contact: David Abbott  Email: david.abbott@lbhf.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

1.

Minutes of the previous meeting and matters arising pdf icon PDF 137 KB

Minutes:

Matters arising

Members asked for an update on the issues with the Family Support Services raised at the previous meeting. Lisa Redfern informed the Committee that the contract with CLCH would be continuing until the end of March. Members asked if the unexpected contract extension had cost the Council money. Officers said it had.

 

Lisa Redfern noted that officers had undertaken a comprehensive review of the Family Support Service. Officers had concerns about the transfer of the health visiting and school nursing contract at this stage so the extension was necessary. Members asked if officers were confident that the Family Support Service could take over the contract next year. Officers said they couldn't give those assurances at this stage.

 

Members questioned the purpose of the Family Support Service vehicle if it wasn't taking on these contracts. Lisa Redfern noted that the service was still continuing early years and children's centre work – but there was a pause on further services being added to it. Members asked for an update on this situation at the next meeting.

 

ACTION: Lisa Redfern

Corrections

Councillor Guy Vincent noted the minute referring to Public Services Reform providing consultancy on whole-system reform to "other Councils to generate income" should have said consultancy to "other departments within Hammersmith & Fulham Council".

 

RESOLVED

That the minutes of the meeting held on 25 June 2018, with the corrections noted above, were approved as a correct record, and signed by the Chair.

2.

Apologies for absence

Minutes:

There were no apologies for absence.

3.

Declarations of interest

If a Councillor has a disclosable pecuniary interest in a particular item, whether or not it is entered in the Authority’s register of interests, or any other significant interest which they consider should be declared in the public interest, they should declare the existence and, unless it is a sensitive interest as defined in the Member Code of Conduct, the 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 disclosable pecuniary interest or other significant 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.

 

Where Members of the public are not allowed to be in attendance and speak, then the Councillor with a disclosable pecuniary interest should withdraw from the meeting whilst the matter is under consideration. Councillors who have declared other significant interests should also withdraw from the meeting if they consider their continued participation in the matter would not be reasonable in the circumstances and may give rise to a perception of a conflict of interest.

 

Councillors are not obliged to withdraw from the meeting where a dispensation to that effect has been obtained from the Audit, Pensions and Standards Committee.

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

4.

Progress update on work following the Disabled People's Commission report pdf icon PDF 148 KB

This report sets out the progress being made with work following the report of the Disabled People’s Commission that was approved by Cabinet on 4th December 2017.

Minutes:

Kevin Caulfield (Policy Officer) presented the report that set out the progress made on implementing the recommendations in the Disabled People’s Commission report that was approved by Cabinet on 4 December 2017.

 

The Commission made eight key recommendations:

·         The Council to implement a human rights approach to its policy and service development, using the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities as the framework for change.

·         The Council adopts and implements a policy which commits the Council to working in Co-production with Disabled residents.

·         The Council develops and implements an accessible communication strategy that promotes the development of Coproduction across the borough.

·         The Council, with the Co-production Hub, develops a strategy and resources its implementation to skill up and build the capacity of Disabled residents, local DPOs, staff and Councillors to participate in the Co-production of policy and service development.

·         The Council to coproduce a quality assurance and social and economic value framework, which will define the values, behaviours and characteristics of all service providers and organisations funded or commissioned by the Council.

·         Council to analyse existing financial expenditure and resources on all Co-production engagement with Disabled residents to identify current expenditure and then reconfigure to develop a borough wide Co-production budget.

·         The Council to work with local Disabled People's Organisations to identify and agree a long-term funding strategy, which will ensure that local Disabled residents’ rights are upheld, inclusion and equality advanced and that Disabled residents can lead on Co-production.

·         Carry out robust monitoring and evaluation of the implementation of the recommendations and associated Co-production work to evidence the impact and share learning within and beyond Hammersmith and Fulham.

 

Kevin Caulfield and Peter Smith (Head of Policy and Strategy) highlighted the work that had been done to advance those aims – in the Town Hall refurbishment programme, the Disabled People's Housing Strategy, the Independent Living Strategy, and a voting campaign ahead of the London local elections in May 2018.

 

The next steps were to set up an implementation group which will oversee the implementation of the recommendations. The group will be made up of Disabled residents, Councillors, and staff. It will develop a work plan to achieve the Council’s commitment to working with Disabled residents to remove barriers and making Hammersmith & Fulham a more inclusive borough in which to live and work. Recruitment to the group was taking place at the end of October 2018 and it is expected that the first meeting will take place in November 2018. The first independent evaluation of the group's work will take place one year on from its formation. Recruitment of the senior co-production officer in the Public Services Reform department will commence as soon as possible.

 

Councillor PJ Murphy highlighted the innovative work on the Town Hall refurbishment and asked if there were any plans to go to other councils and spread the good practice. Kevin Caulfield said a number of other councils were interested in the work we're doing and it would be a key issue for the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.

5.

Moving On updates

The Directors for Publics Services Reform, Social Care, and Children’s Services will provide verbal updates on the ‘Moving On’ programme.

Minutes:

Lisa Redfern (Director for Social Care and Public Services Reform) and Steve Miley (Director for Children's Services) provided verbal updates on the Moving On programme.

 

Lisa Redfern noted the following points:

·         In Social Care, the social work operational service was a sovereign service to begin with.

·         All other services are now sovereign – with the exception of the hospital social work team and the emergency duty service which, due to best value, will remain as shared services.

·         Public Services Reform was a new department created in Hammersmith & Fulham so remains sovereign.

 

Steve Miley made the following points:

·         Family Services was already mostly delivered locally – though some services like fostering and adoption, the Local Safeguarding Children Board, and the emergency duty team have stayed shared for reasons of resourcing and best value.

·         Education was fully integrated and is now a sovereign service. There were initially some challenges with recruitment but now a fully functioning team was in place. Admissions moved across and has worked well.

·         Finance – the processing of finance is in a significantly better position. H&F inherited a difficult situation - the previous system had little transparency or openness. H&F's officers have got a handle on the situation and could start to correct it.

·         Commissioning – all commissioning functions in Children's Services were moved to Public Services Reform. The department supported that move as the underlying problems that impact Children's Services (domestic violence, substance abuse, health, mental health etc.) need to be tackled across the whole organisation. Children's Services retains a strong link with commissioning through Sarah Bright (Assistant Director in Public Services Reform).

 

The Chair asked Steve Miley if he was confident the department was where it needed to be. He said they were – and there had been a number of positive changes. Headteachers particularly valued the change because officers now had closer links to our schools and a more personalised approach.

 

Councillor PJ Murphy asked if there was a concern that too much had gone into Public Services Reform. Were the expectations on the department unrealistic? Lisa Redfern said there were concerns initially but officers were constantly reviewing and refining. They took on Commercial and the work done by Sarah Bright and her team had been swift and robust. Management was aware of the need to balance bold ambitions with what can be delivered given the constraints.

6.

Business Intelligence and Management Information Update pdf icon PDF 185 KB

This report provides an update on the Corporate Business Intelligence and Management Information functions which sit together within Public Services Reform.

Minutes:

Sarah Bright (Assistant Director - Public Services Reform), Duncan Smith (Head of Business Intelligence), and Jonathan Skaife (Strategic Commissioner) presented the report that provides an overview of the Corporate Business Intelligence and Management Information functions.

 

Duncan Smith introduced himself and informed the Committee that the Business Intelligence team had generated over £5m of savings for the Council. In 2016 H&F invested in new infrastructure to drive self-service and allow more advanced Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning work. He added that the management information functions from Public Health, Social Care and Children's Services were now co-located within the Business Intelligence team and there was an opportunity to bring them together as an integrated function. Currently around 80 percent of the team's capacity was spent servicing the performance reporting demand, and the remaining 20 percent was spent on business intelligence work.

 

Business intelligence meant using processes like data-matching to identify fraud – or bringing together a number of data sets to predict behaviour and target resources more efficiently. There was also an increasing move to automate services – with pilots being carried out in Housing and Community Safety.

 

The Business Intelligence team were now looking at a pipeline of ideas – including tools to help make savings, products that would create income generation for the Council, and business tools like automating statutory returns.

 

Councillor Christabel Cooper asked if officers would rate Council departments as data-driven. Duncan Smith responded that some services were very data-driven and keen to innovate but there were other areas where there was less of a culture of improvement and innovation. For that reason, the team had produced a new Business Intelligence strategy and over the next six months would be holding workshops, training events, and seminars showing off the tools available and the business benefits of a data-driven approach.

 

Councillor Christabel Cooper commented that detailed management information was vital to effective contract management. Sarah Bright agreed and said that the team was looking into more meaningful monitoring of key performance indicators.

 

The Chair asked if the team were responsible for borough demographics data. Duncan Smith said the team had developed the borough profile and ward profiles would be available the in coming weeks. He added that the team was working on prototypes that brought together Council data with open data sets to provide a deeper picture.

 

The Chair asked if the team had worked with the Disabled People's Commission or disabled groups in the borough. Duncan Smith replied that the team had supported the work of all of the resident-led commissions.

 

RESOLVED

The Committee noted the report.

7.

HR Update - Our People strategy and implementation of a new HR and payroll system pdf icon PDF 241 KB

This report gives an overview of the ‘Our People’ strategy, key workforce areas of interest, and the implementation of the replacement to the BT Agresso HR and payroll system.

Minutes:

Mark Grimley (Director of Corporate Services) presented the report on the Council's workforce strategy, Our People, and the implementation of the replacement of the BT Agresso HR and payroll system. He apologised for errors in the report and promised to circulate an updated version after the meeting.

ACTION: Mark Grimley

 

Mark Grimley provided an overview of the workforce strategy and noted there were a number of challenges around turnover and vacancies. He also added that the wage bill was projected to increase significantly over the next three years – driven largely by commitments to pay the London Living Wage.

 

Councillor Guy Vincent asked for some context on the agency staffing figures. Did they cover sub-contractors or core staff – and how did the figures compare to other boroughs? Mark Grimley said the statistics only included directly employed staff within the Council. CIPFA benchmarking indicated that H&F had one of the highest turnover rates in London - and that had been relatively static for the last three years. There were a few reasons for this - partly it was due to uncertainty around the future of shared services, and it was also a very competitive area where staff could move outwards for career progression and inwards for salary increases. The amount of change had been unsettling too. The staff survey was out and should give officers more of an insight. Steve Miley added, from a Children's Services perspective, that location was a key factor. It was hard for staff to live in the borough due to high rents and property prices – so staff had long travel times and high travel costs. There were also some services that were very demanding and saw a higher turnover rate. Those negative factors had to be balanced with the advantages of working here – career development, the Council's values etc.

 

Councillor Guy Vincent asked if officers had similar figures for teachers and contractors (e.g. housing repairs). Were there similar patterns for those groups? Mark Grimley noted that offices had been working closely with teachers to build a new recruitment strategy. The Administration was committed to improving key worker housing and providing career development to teachers. Regarding contract staff like those from Amey and Mitie, officers were starting due diligence for work on the London Living Wage.

 

Councillor Christabel Cooper asked if the survey was repeated annually. Mark Grimley said it would be the first one since 2015. He took the decision not to do one last year because he didn’t think we'd made enough progress since the previous one. Management needed to pause, get an action plan together, and ensure it was followed through.

 

A trade union representative noted concern about the high turnover figure. They supported the survey and were keen to see the results and the resulting action plan to become an employer of choice.

 

Councillor PJ Murphy made the following points:

·         Given the problems with commuting and living costs he expected the Council to be embracing more agile working practices  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.