Venue: Courtyard Room - Hammersmith Town Hall. View directions
Contact: David Abbott Email: email@example.com
To approve the minutes of the previous meeting and note any matters arising.
Item 5 - Customer Care and Complaints - Members noted that the vision for improving the way residents access Council services hadn't been shared with the Committee yet.
ACTION: David Abbott to follow up
The minutes of the previous meeting held on 29 January 2019 were agreed as a correct record.
Apologies for Absence
To note any apologies for absence or lateness.
Apologies for lateness were received from Councillor Guy Vincent (who arrived at 7.27pm during Item 4).
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.
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.
There were no declarations of interest.
This report sets out the progress made achieving the Council’s commitment to working with Disabled residents to remove barriers and make Hammersmith & Fulham a more inclusive borough to live and work in.
Tara Flood, Strategic Lead for Co-production (job sharing with Kevin Caufield) presented the report and discussed the progress being made implementing co-production across the Council. Tara joined the Council in April 2019 in the role of Strategic Lead for Co-production – one of the key recommendations of the report of the Disabled People's Commission was 'Nothing About Disabled People Without Disabled People'.
Tara said her experience so far had been really positive, amongst all senior staff she'd met there had been a real shared enthusiasm for co-production. Her role was to encourage and facilitate departments to put co-production into practice and, with Kevin Caulfield, she was creating the tools to enable that. Tara talked about the work here being ground breaking in terms of the uniqueness of the role but also H&F is the first local authority in the country to commit to co-production with disabled residents and so therefore there is a lot of interest, outside the borough.
Though only months into the role, the co-production leads had already been involved in the following:
· The West King Street Renewal Programme – a ground-breaking redevelopment project that was co-produced and included a disabled access consultant. The project had passed the planning stage and the Disabled Residents Team were meeting with the architects now to discuss the internal fit.
· Disability equality training for 200 Social Care frontline staff. A training analysis report was being drafted now - staff were keen to be part of follow up sessions so they reflect on how their learning can change their practice.
· A social care plan to commission a British sign language live service for deaf residents.
· The direct payments support service specification was co-produced with disabled residents.
· Work on the independent living position statement which will support the social care department to think differently about how to deliver their services.
· The H&F co-production implementation group (HFCIG) was about to have their third meeting. The group involved disabled residents, councillors, and the Strategic Director of Social Care.
Tara Flood and Kevin Caulfield also reported to the Parliamentary Select Committee in May to talk about the work being done in H&F and encourage other boroughs to move towards the aspiration here.
The Chair, Councillor Rowan Ree, asked how the Council was reaching out to disabled residents to be involved in this work. Tara flood said community co-producers were key. Officers had met with Action on Disability and were working on building capacity through training and support for local disabled people. The goal was to have a diverse team of disabled people that can do this work across the Council.
Councillor Zarar Qayyum asked how officers would evidence the impact of this approach and monitor progress going forward. Tara Flood said she had been drafting a work plan and monitoring framework with detailed measures of success which should be available for the next meeting. She added that Manchester Metropolitan University had approached H&F to do an independent evaluation of this work and she ... view the full minutes text for item 4.
Officers will give a presentation on the services within the new department and their priorities for the next year.
Martin Calleja, Assistant Director for Efficiency and Zero Based Budgeting, introduced the item and explained that the new Public Service Reform (PSR) division was comprised of five areas:
· Zero Based Budgeting
· Research & Innovation
· Programmes & Assurance
· People & Talent
Zero Based Budgeting - Martin Calleja
Zero based budgeting (ZBB) was a fundamental shift from adjusting historical budgets to starting from a ‘zero position’ and reviewing the outcomes services need to deliver and how they can best do that. This new approach was being taken in response to a reduced level of efficiency savings and increased growth in recent years - against a backdrop of further funding reductions in the region of £50m from 2020 to 2024.
Programmes and Assurance - Matt Sales
Programmes and assurance brought together functions within Chief Executive’s Office and Corporate Programme Management Office (PMO). It would provide assurance on Council priorities, plans and major programmes and projects - and was the corporate owner of the delivery of the business plan. The service would also drive performance management and improvement through insights and interventions - and be a centre of excellence for programmes and change.
Research and Innovation - Jon Skaife
Research and innovation aimed to facilitate activities across the Council that enabled insight, smarter activity, strategic clarity, and learning & improvement.
People & Talent - Dale Cox
People and talent included the traditional HR Operations team that provided HR support, advice and guidance to departments and schools. The new service also covered learning and careers support, resourcing and talent, organisational development, policy, and the wellness centre. Dale Cox noted that they had also launched 'Get Ahead', an internal career development programme and two of the PSR Assistant Directors had been appointed through the programme.
Councillor Adam Connell said he saw PSR as the 'engine room' of the Council - a centre of change and innovation that supported the work of all other departments. He took a moment to thank Lisa Redfern for all of her hard work over the past year, managing both the Social Care directorate and setting up the new PSR department.
Councillor Zarar Qayyum asked if the ZBB process would impact on the quality of services. Martin Calleja said ZBB wasn't about cuts - it was looking for opportunities to do more for less.
Councillor Qayyum noted this was a huge task given the financial climate. Hitesh Jolapara agreed that it was a challenge but noted that services have been having to make efficiencies for a long time now. ZBB was in addition to that ongoing process. ZBB gave H&F an opportunity to look at how it compared to other Councils and their services - and what areas for improvement and efficiency were available.
Councillor Guy Vincent asked about the early achievements of the different teams:
· Martin Calleja noted that three of the five functions were brand new and had only been running for a few months. He said that the ZBB programme was costing £620k to help make £50m of savings from 2020 to ... view the full minutes text for item 5.
This item introduces the Zero Based Budgeting and Efficiency Programme – a new approach to budget setting for the Council.
Martin Calleja outlined the Zero Based Budgeting (ZBB) programme and noted that officers had initiated 11 service reviews and were supporting them up to completion by the end of October. The biggest review area in the first wave was customer contact and customer services - which was currently very complex in H&F and presented a major opportunity for taking a more efficient approach. Other key areas included HR - looking at productivity and agency spend, commissioning and contracts - looking at reductions and managing the market, and social care.
The Chair asked what the ZBB process would be like for departments - would they set out the statutory functions they were required to deliver and work from there? Martin Calleja said departments would have to look at their statutory responsibilities, the level of need in the borough, current and projected activity levels, and their unit costs. They would also have to provide evidence of outcomes and ask themselves the question, 'is the service making a real difference?'.
The Chair asked what happened if teams didn't engage with the process. What if services say they are already as efficient as possible? Martin Calleja said the ZBB team would challenge departments if their submissions weren't serious and robust.
The Chair asked about the capacity and capability in departments to do this work. Martin Calleja said there was real ownership and appetite for this work at the senior management level. The ZBB team were also investing in support to help departments with evidence gathering and analysis. The key challenge was taking time from the day job - but it was being taken seriously by management teams and they recognise the importance of getting it right.
Lisa Redfern said, in roles leading Adult Social Care at a number of authorities, she felt like most of her job over the past eight or nine years had been about making savings. Departments have had to make continual savings without impacting on service quality. That has been the reality for most teams for a while now. ZBB will enhance that process by giving officers more tools to test their assumptions and evidence their approach.
Councillor Guy Vincent noted that calling it ZBB was misleading as in a true ZBB process a business sets its goals then looks at the best way to spend its money to achieve those goals. That may mean investing more for greater revenue for example - but the Council can't invest more - funding will continue to reduce. Martin Calleja said the process was true to ZBB principles but given the financial context there was a focus on affordability. The model and guidance reflected that. The ZBB team were moderating expectations around growth.
The Chair asked for clarification on the scope of the exercise - was the goal to reduce spend by £50m or for the Council's P&L to be £50m better off? Martin Calleja said the latter, officers were looking at options to increase revenue through commercial ventures, substituting revenue ... view the full minutes text for item 6.