Venue: Committee Room 1 - Civic Centre. View directions
Contact: Neil Barnett Scrutiny Adviser
Councillors Jan Cleverly and Malcolm Linton. As the Chair of Committee gave apologies for the meeting, the joint Chair of Committee, Councillor Howells, would chair the meeting.
Declaration of Interest
A Member queried as his brother was presenting an item in the meeting, would a declaration have to be made. The Member was advised that as Scrutiny is not a decision making committee, a declaration does not have to be made.
People, Policy and Transformation
- Rhys Cornwall – Strategic Director for Transformation and Corporate
- Councillor Dimitri Batrouni – Cabinet Member for Organisational Transformation
- Councillor Lacey Lacey – Cabinet Member for Infrastructure and Assets
- Tracy McKim – Head of People, Policy and Transformation
- Janice Dent – Policy and Partnerships Manager
- Kevin Howells – HR and OD Manager
- Mark Bleazard – Digital Services Manager
The Head of People, Policy and Transformation gave an overview of the service plan, and advised the Committee that the service area covers a wide range of areas such as Organisational Development, HR and Business Change, and Digital Services to name a few. The service plan also links with the Council’s Corporate Plan. The Cabinet Member for Organisational Transformation put a large focus on Objective 1 how data already collected by the council and how this can be used in a more effective way, and also highlighted the goal of aligning more systems into the intelligence Hub. More information on how this information will be laid out in the future in regard to this objective.
The Cabinet Member also wanted to thank the Head of People, Policy and Transformation and the Strategic Director for all their work and informed the committee that they are happy to answer any questions they have
Members asked the following:
· A member asked what was changed in this service plan compared to the last.
The Head of People, Policy and Transformation highlighted that the service area previously managed civil contingencies however this was moved into Infrastructure Community cohesion has become a part of Housing and Communities as it overlaps stronger with their service area. The equality aspect of community cohesion is still part of the service plan. Property and Assets have come into this service as noted by the Cabinet Member for Infrastructure and Assets.
The Committee were also advised that Customer complaints, as well as Freedom of Information requests are now a part of digital instead of previously being with city services. Using the complaints can help the greater understanding of the citizens.
· Would the changes to the council website be done in house or externally?
The Head of People, Policy and Transformation noted that the changes to the website would be an 18-month long project. However, changes would be seen throughout the project. A focus is making sure systems don’t experience drops off by developing the back-office systems robustly
The Digital Services Manager highlighted that a focus will also be put on improving the standards of digital literacy through skill learning.
· What safeguards were in place to allow non digitally literate members of the public to communicate with the council?
The Cabinet Member for Organisational Transformation confirmed that the “to face” element of the council will still exist and not be lost, but rather a greater focus will shift to the use of digital technology such as apps. Due to Newport having one of the largest young person population in wales, there is a ... view the full minutes text for item 3.
a) Forward Work Programme Update (Appendix 1)
- Neil Barnett – Scrutiny Adviser
The Scrutiny Adviser advised the Committee of the agenda items for the upcoming two meetings:
Monday 23rd January 2023 at 4pm
- 2023-24 Draft Budget Proposals and Medium Term Financial Plan
Monday 20th March 2023 at 4pm
- Retention and Recruitment
The Scrutiny Adviser suggested that the Budget Meeting start at an earlier time, as there will be seven service areas with budget proposals to discuss. The Chair and Committee agreed, and suggested that there be several comfort breaks allotted for officers.