Agenda and minutes

Overview and Scrutiny Management Committee - Friday, 11th June, 2021 10.00 am

Venue: Virtual Meeting

Contact: Neil Barnett  Scrutiny Adviser

No. Item


Declarations of Interest




Minutes of the previous meeting held on 30 April 2021 pdf icon PDF 110 KB


The minutes of the meeting held on 30 April 2021 were accepted as a true and accurate record.


The New Normal - Newport City Council Operational Model pdf icon PDF 180 KB



-          Rhys Cornwall, Head of People and Business Change


The Head of People and Business Change gave an overview of the report, and first addressed the Active Travel aspect of the report. It was advised that Newport are currently part of the Gwent Active Travel Network, and prior to the pandemic a survey had gone out to employees regarding how they get to work. The barriers to active travel have been listed in the report, and these are in line with responses elsewhere, and are as expected for walking and cycling. This report will go to Cabinet on the 7th July 2021. The process from here is that the report will go to Cabinet with a series of recommendations, and then staff consultation will also need to take place. The Head of People and Business Change then case updates on the current position:


Welsh Government Remote Working Wales Initiative

It was advised that Welsh Government (WG) are setting up remote working hubs across Wales. Newport City Council (NCC) are working with WG on this initiative, with the aim for 30% of the workforce to work remotely from home or near home. This aims to increase staff’s ability to have a short commute to their working hub, preferably using active travel. These are also ideally going to be placed in town centres.


Climate Change

As a city on the M4, air quality is a really important issue. The lower amount of vehicles travelling into Newport, the better, as traffic is a large contributor to air pollution in Newport.



In terms of technology, lots of work is going on to improve Newport’s Digital Strategy, but Cabinet will not be asked to make any decisions on this. There have been investments over the past few years to improve Newport’s digital approach. Wellbeing, remuneration and personal development will be the key concerns. The Council have carried out surveys regarding wellbeing of staff working from home. Most of the responses suggested that working from home had been a positive for individuals. The overall position is that as a council, we need to look at the way we support staff wellbeing in a working world. Regarding remuneration, there is a tax claim scheme which allows employees to not be taxed on their working from home money. The Council want to ensure this is in place for employees. The Committee were then told that the council are not advocating that any staff solely work from home. The wellbeing and personal development aspects are the key elements of this. It is important that staff feel involved and feel like part of the organisation.


The HR and OD Manager explained that the Council are considering how to help people working remotely, particularly regarding training and development. Her team are looking to pull together a whole package of support to allow people to work remotely on a long term basis, in order to support wellbeing whilst working from home.  The Head of People and Business Change explained  ...  view the full minutes text for item 3.


Scrutiny Adviser Reports pdf icon PDF 120 KB

a)      Forward Work Programme Update (Appendix 1)

b)      Actions Arising (Appendix 2)


Additional documents:



-          Neil Barnett – Scrutiny Adviser


The Scrutiny Adviser presented the forward work programme, and informed the Committee of the topics due to be discussed at the next two meetings:


9 July 2021

-          Annual Corporate Safeguarding 2020/21

-          Annual Information Risk Report

-          Annual Digital Report


30 July 2021

-          Parks PSPO


The Scrutiny Adviser advised the Committee that another meeting in July had been requested for the Parks PSPO to be scrutinised, as the Parks PSPO is due to be renewed. This additional meeting had been agreed with the Chair of the Committee.