Agenda, decisions and minutes

Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee - Thursday, 14th October, 2021 5.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber - City Hall, Bradford. View directions

Items
No. Item

31.

ALTERNATE MEMBERS (Standing Order 34)

The City Solicitor will report the names of alternate Members who are attending the meeting in place of appointed Members. 

 

Minutes:

Councillor T Hussain for Councillor Arshad Hussain.

32.

DISCLOSURES OF INTEREST

(Members Code of Conduct - Part 4A of the Constitution)

 

To receive disclosures of interests from members and co-opted members on matters to be considered at the meeting. The disclosure must include the nature of the interest.

 

An interest must also be disclosed in the meeting when it becomes apparent to the member during the meeting.

 

Notes:

 

(1)       Members may remain in the meeting and take part fully in discussion and voting unless the interest is a disclosable pecuniary interest or an interest which the Member feels would call into question their compliance with the wider principles set out in the Code of Conduct.  Disclosable pecuniary interests relate to the Member concerned or their spouse/partner.

 

(2)       Members in arrears of Council Tax by more than two months must not vote in decisions on, or which might affect, budget calculations, and must disclose at the meeting that this restriction applies to them.  A failure to comply with these requirements is a criminal offence under section 106 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992. 

 

(3)       Members are also welcome to disclose interests which are not disclosable pecuniary interests but which they consider should be made in the interest of clarity.

 

(4)       Officers must disclose interests in accordance with Council Standing Order 44.

 

Minutes:

There were no disclosures of interest in matters under discussion.

33.

MINUTES

Recommended –

 

That the minutes of the meeting held on 22 July 2021 be signed as a correct record (previously circulated).

 

(Yusuf Patel - 01274 434579)

 

34.

INSPECTION OF REPORTS AND BACKGROUND PAPERS

(Access to Information Procedure Rules – Part 3B of the Constitution)

 

Reports and background papers for agenda items may be inspected by contacting the person shown after each agenda item.  Certain reports and background papers may be restricted. 

 

Any request to remove the restriction on a report or background paper should be made to the relevant Strategic Director or Assistant Director whose name is shown on the front page of the report. 

 

If that request is refused, there is a right of appeal to this meeting. 

 

Please contact the officer shown below in advance of the meeting if you wish to appeal. 

 

(Yusuf Patel - 01274 434579)

 

Minutes:

No request to remove the restriction on a report or background paper was made.

35.

REFERRALS TO THE OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY COMMITTEE

The following referrals have been made to this Committee up to and including the date of publication of this agenda.

 

The Committee is asked to note the referrals listed above and decide how it wishes to proceed, for example by incorporating the item into the work programme, requesting that it be subject to more detailed examination, or refer it to an appropriate Working Group/Committee.

 

Minutes:

There were no referrals to the Committee.

36.

BRADFORD COUNCIL WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY 2015-21 pdf icon PDF 205 KB

The report of the Director, Human Resources, (Document “K”) sets out the progress made in further developing the Council’s approach to developing the workforce. 

 

Member are requested to note the contents of Document “K” and provide any feedback that they wish to do so to enable the HR & OD team to incorporate those views in the ongoing work.

 

(Tahmima Tahir - 01274 436730)

 

Additional documents:

Decision:

Resolved –

 

1.    This Committee requests that the new Workforce Development Strategy be presented to this Committee in 12 months.

 

2.    That a report relating to the use of agency staff and contracted staff, in relation to the changing nature of their work and developmental opportunities, be presented to this Committee.

 

(Tahmima Tahir – 01274 436730)

Minutes:

Bradford Council Human Resources officers explained to Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee Councillors that this report set out the progress made in further developing the Council’s approach to developing its workforce.

 

Members also heard that since the previous report, officers had been developing the Council’s People Strategy and Workforce Development Plan.

Councils were keen to understand what would happen once the current strategy finished in 2021.

 

In response, officers highlighted that a new focus and approach had been developed which had also been considered by the Executive.  This included:

 

§  A Talent Development 12-month programme;

§  Senior Leadership Development Programme;

§  Increased funding for Member Development;

§  Annual Managers Conference;

§  Annual Employee Survey.

 

Members were concerned to hear that appraisals were still not be carried out at acceptable levels, thought the Council and needed to be, to ensure exactly what levels of support are required by staff.

 

Members of the Committee also wanted clarification in relation to whether the Council was doing everything possible to provide developmental opportunities for staff.

 

In response, officers stated that they would provide this information to members of the Committee.

 

Resolved –

 

1.    This Committee requests that the new Workforce Development Strategy be presented to this Committee in 12 months.

 

2.    That a report relating to the use of agency staff and contracted staff, in relation to the changing nature of their work and developmental opportunities, be presented to this Committee.

 

(Tahmima Tahir – 01274 436730)

37.

ATTENDANCE MANAGEMENT pdf icon PDF 179 KB

The Director, Human Resources, will present a report, (Document “L”) which provides an update on the Managing Attendance Scrutiny Review which was considered at Corporate Overview Scrutiny Committee on 22 October 2020.

 

Members are requested to consider the contents of Document “L” and provide any feedback that they wish to do so to enable the HR & OD team to incorporate their views in ongoing work.

 

(Simon Jenkins – 01274 432978)

Additional documents:

Decision:

Resolved –

 

The Committee thanked the officers for the work undertaken, in response to the Scrutiny Review recommendations.

 

                                                            (Simon Jenkins – 01274 432978)

Minutes:

Officers from Bradford Council’s Human Resources provided Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee Councillors with an update on the Managing Attendance Scrutiny Review, which was considered and approved by Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee on 22 October 2020.

 

Members were keen to understand why there had been a decrease in sickness absence across the Council.

 

In response, officers highlighted that the staff survey highlighted that this was due to staff now working from home and that as a result, there was not as many coughs and colds.  Also, officers stated that if staff were feeling a little “off”, they would be less likely to take sick leave, as they are now working differently at home.

 

Members wanted to know if policies such as Home Working had been refreshed.

 

Officers responded by saying that a lot of guidance had been issues on Home Working and that some staff preferred to work from home, whereas others were keen to work from the office.

 

Members were keen for data on sickness absence and comparison with other local authorities to be brought back to the Committee.

 

 

Resolved –

 

The Committee thanked the officers for the work undertaken, in response to the Scrutiny Review recommendations.

 

                                                            (Simon Jenkins – 01274 432978)

38.

EQUALITY PLAN 2021-2024 - PROGRESS REPORT pdf icon PDF 131 KB

On 1st December 2020 the Council’s Executive approved a new Equality Action Plan and instructed officers to report progress against the Plan to Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee on a regular basis. The report of the Interim Assistant Director, Office of the Chief Executive, (Document “M”) sets out the key actions and activities undertaken to date to progress delivery of the Council’s Equalities Plan and the priorities for the year ahead that will ensure on-going delivery against objectives.

Members are requested to consider the progress reported in Document “M” and the next steps set out in the Equity Plan.

 

(Khalida Ashrafi – 07816082796)

Additional documents:

Decision:

Resolved –

 

1.    This Committee requests that the delivery of the outcomes, in relation to the Equality Action Plan be presented to this Committee in February 2021.

 

2.    That quarterly performance reports be presented to this Committee.

 

3.    This Committee requests that a report be presented to this Committee in February 2022, in relation to the Stonewall Quality Standard and the process and costs associated with this.

 

 

(Khalida Ashrafi – 07816 082796)

Minutes:

Members heard the on 1 December 2020, the Council’s Executive approved a new Equality Action Plan and instructed officers to report progress against the Plan to Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee.

 

The report also covered the key actions and activities undertaken to date to progress delivery of the Council’s Equalities Plan and the priorities for the year ahead.

 

Members wanted to know if the Hate Crime Scrutiny Review recommendations, were taking into consideration.

 

In response officers indicated that they had taken into consideration the Hate Crime Scrutiny Review recommendations.

 

Members of the Committee stated that there had been a lack of leadership and not actually representing the ethnic minority communities that the District serves, as well as the language used in the report was still the same in terms of activities that were going to happen and when was something actually going to be delivered.  Moreover, members indicated that in future, they wanted quarterly performance reports in relation to Equalities to be presented to the committee.

 

In response, officers indicated that they were looking at wider participation in recruitment and had seen an increase in diversity in ethnicity and a little increase in senior roles.  As well as this officers also stated that they were looking at where posts were advertised and also considering development opportunities from within the Council.

 

Moreover, members of the Committee stated that equality objectives should not be really needed as they should be a part of peoples jobs and that they were concerned that this was not the case already.

 

Further to this members of Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee were very keen to explore further the financial implications and processes at a future meeting, in relation to the Stonewall Quality Standard.

 

Continuing on, members of the Committee highlighted that it appeared that a lot of work had been undertaking in this important area, however, there were still no clear outcomes as to how this work would actually benefit the Councils staff and the diverse communities that Bradford Council serves.

 

Officers responded by saying that they would be creating Equality Champions from staff, to address this.

 

Councillors said that Bradford Council never really attracted people form South Asian backgrounds into the very senior leadership roles and enquired as to whether they applied and received an interview.  Members felt that this was very important and that the Councils workforce needed to reflect the communities that it served.

 

 

In response officers from Bradford Councils Human Resources stated that they did not have a good understanding at what stopped people from applying for such jobs and that they tended to use the services of Head Hunting Organisations, that reach a very diverse background.

 

 

Resolved –

 

1.    This Committee requests that the delivery of the outcomes, in relation to the Equality Action Plan be presented to this Committee in February 2021.

 

2.    That quarterly performance reports be presented to this Committee.

 

3.    This Committee requests that a report be presented to this Committee in February 2022, in relation to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 38.

39.

FIREWORKS SCRUTINY REVIEW pdf icon PDF 93 KB

The report of the Chair, Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee, (Document “N”) presents the draft findings from the Fireworks Scrutiny Review.

 

Recommended –

 

That the findings contained within the draft Fireworks Scrutiny Review, appended to Document N, be adopted by the Committee.

 

(Mustansir Butt – 01274 432574)

 

 

Additional documents:

Decision:

Resolved –

 

1.    The Committee agreed the findings and recommendations contained within report and also agreed the following additional recommendations:

 

-       This Committee requests that the Leader write to events venues, reminding them of their responsibilities in relation to fireworks being used by individuals who are hiring their premises for events;

-       This Committee requests that the Executive asks Council officers to undertake legal action with the powers available to them, where there is evidence against those individuals who are inappropriately using fireworks;

-       For Trading Standards to undertake test purchases of fireworks;

-       That key partners explore the use of barcoding fireworks.

 

 

                                                            (Mustansir Butt – 01274 432574)

Minutes:

The Overview and Scrutiny Lead presented the draft Fireworks Scrutiny Review Report to Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee Councillors.

Members heard that following on from the Council resolution, the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee undertook an in-depth Scrutiny Review, into the use of fireworks in the District’s Neighbourhoods.

 

In addition to this, the Overview and Scrutiny Leas informed members of the Committee that during the information gathering process a number of key and recurring themes were identified.  Such key and recurring themes included:

 

§  Lobbying the District’s MP’s on noise reduction and stopping the sale of the most powerful fireworks;

§  The risk of the use of fireworks to animals;

§  Tackling the inappropriate use of fireworks across the Distric

§  More enforcement around pop-up shops selling fireworks;

§  Education and Prevention work with communities across the District.

 

Members were in agreement that a lot of the action is relation to the use of fireworks needs to be undertaken at a national level, however the Council could also be proactive in some areas, such as where there was evidence that people have transgressed, Bradford Council and its partners need to use whatever powers are available to take appropriate legal action.  Moreover, it was also felt amongst Councillors that it was important that Bradford Council be seen as taking formal actions against individuals who have inappropriately used fireworks.

 

Continuing on members also felt that the Council needed to lead a cultural change and trying to adopt a “Festival of Lights”, approach.

 

Furthermore, members were unanimously in agreement that Trading Standards should actually undertake more test purchases of fireworks and that there should be a more effective way of tracking where fireworks have been purchased from when they have been inappropriately used; and for Bradford Council and its partners to explore options in Barcoding Fireworks, so that it can be ascertained where the fireworks have been purchased from.

 

Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee Councillors were in agreement with the key areas identified in the Draft Scrutiny Review report and the recommendations, however members did agree two new recommendations in relation to the test purchasing of fireworks and the barcoding of fireworks.

 

 

Resolved –

 

1.    The Committee agreed the findings and recommendations contained within report and also agreed the following additional recommendations:

 

-       This Committee requests that the Leader write to events venues, reminding them of their responsibilities in relation to fireworks being used by individuals who are hiring their premises for events;

-       This Committee requests that the Executive asks Council officers to undertake legal action with the powers available to them, where there is evidence against those individuals who are inappropriately using fireworks;

-       For Trading Standards to undertake test purchases of fireworks;

-       That key partners explore the use of barcoding fireworks.

 

 

                                                            (Mustansir Butt – 01274 432574)

40.

CORPORATE OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY COMMITTEE WORK PROGRAMME 2021-22 pdf icon PDF 89 KB

The Chair of the Committee will provide a report (Document O”) which presents the Committee’s work programme for 2021/22. 

 

Recommended –

 

1.    That Members consider if they wish to choose to add to or amend the topics included in the 2021-22 work programme.

 

2.    That Members consider any detailed scrutiny reviews that they may wish to consider.

 

(Mustansir Butt - 01274 432574)

 

Additional documents:

Decision:

Resolved –

 

Members disucussed and ammended the work programme.

 

                                                                        (Mustansir Butt – 01274 432574)

Minutes:

Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee members discussed and amended the 2021-21 work programme for the Committee.

 

Furthermore, Councillors also discussed the ongoing detailed scrutiny review relating to Domestic Violence being undertaken by the Committee and agreed that an informal remote virtual information gathering session should be held with Statutory Partners.

 

Resolved –

 

Members discussed and amended the work programme.

 

                                                                        (Mustansir Butt – 01274 432574)