Venue: Committee Room 1 - Civic Centre. View directions
Contact: Neil Barnett
Councillor A Pimm and
Councillor J Cleverly
Declaration of Interest
Councillors Reeks and Horton
declared an interest in relation to the Regeneration and Economic
Development Mid-Year Review.
2023/24 Service Plan Mid-Year Reviews PDF 147 KB
Meirion Rushworth (Head of Finance)
Emma Johnson (Revenue and Benefits
Robert Green (Assistant Head of Finance)
Richard Leake (Service Manager Procurement &
Rhys Cornwall (Strategic Director for Transformation
The Strategic Director
for Transformation and Corporate introduced the report and the Head
of Finance provided a summary.
The following was
- The Committee received an update on the Audit Team, including
the recruitment of two Auditors, the creation of a Senior Auditor
position through team restructuring, and the close completion of
fourteen individual audit assurance jobs by the South Wales Auditor
Partnership (SWAP). They are also exploring a longer-term
partnership with SWAP. The progress is expected to be in place by
April 2024, with a reduction in the initial risk score due to
mitigation measures. The role of Auditors in facilitating
improvements in poor audit reports was discussed, with assurance
that the workload is manageable and additional audits are conducted
in case of poor results.
- The Committee enquired about the progress of self-service
functions and the My Council Services (MCS) app, as well as
reassurances for non-IT literate residents. The Customer Services
team are working on expanding the system across other Council
departments. The system has been rolled out to further service
areas, with a particular focus on three-weekly bin collections.
Face-to-face assistance is available at the Central Library, and
customers can still call the City Contact Centre.
- The Committee asked about the progress and challenges of the new
finance IT system. Testing of the system would resume in
mid-December, and the expected completion date has been pushed back
to April 2024. Major issues have been identified and resolved, with
a focus on addressing smaller issues as they arise.
- The Committee enquired about the completion of the dashboard and
reports. The majority of works on the dashboard will be completed
by the end of December 2023, and around 80% of reports have been
completed. Testing is expected to commence by the end of December
2023 or the start of January 2024.
- The Committee emphasised the importance of ensuring that
vulnerable citizens can contact the Council and acknowledged the
need for transitioning to online services.
- The Committee enquired about the rate of citizen adoption of
online services. The Head of Finance advised that they don't have
the data but will pass the request to the Customer Services
Manager. The Revenue and Benefits Manager advised a significant
increase in residents using the online change of address form, and
the Committee noted a 9% increase in Newport citizens utilising
- The Committee enquired about the progress of the City Contact
Centre and the Capita Portal. The Revenue and Benefits Manager
advised that the Capita Portal went live earlier this year, with
over 2000 people using the online change of address form. The
rollout of payment management features has been delayed but is
being resolved through collaborative work. The Head of Finance
assured the Committee that positive progress is being
- The Committee ...
view the full minutes text for item 3.
Scrutiny Adviser Reports PDF 134 KB
Forward Work Programme Update (Appendix 1)
- Neil Barnett – Scrutiny
Forward Work Programme Update
The Scrutiny Adviser presented the Forward
Work Programme, and informed the Committee of the topics due to be
discussed at the next two committee meetings:
Monday 15th January
2024, the agenda item;
- 2024-25 Draft Budget Proposals and
Medium Term Financial Plan
Monday 19th February
2024, the agenda item;
- Highways Asset Management Plan
- Flood Risk Management Strategy
It was suggested by the Committee that the
Monday 15th January 2024 meeting start earlier than the
current 2pm start time. The Scrutiny Adviser noted the request and
advised the Committee that once agreed, the Committee and officers
would be notified.
Meeting ended at 17:26.