Committee Members will have shortlisted a number of topics for scrutiny in a workshop to be held on 4 June 2019. The draft work programme will be tabled at this committee meeting and published as soon as possible afterwards.
This will also be an opportunity to confirm agenda items for the next meeting.
On behalf of the Scrutiny Officer, Members were provided with a draft Overview and Scrutiny Work Programme and Members’ views sought in relation to questions which could be asked in relation to the services updates on Waste and the Website which would be considered at the next meeting, on 17 September 2019.
Councillor M Goldspink queried the need to obtain detailed information regarding underperformance of the Waste Service, in advance of the meeting of the next meeting. The Chairman reminded Members that they could approach Executive Members and seek information, at any time.
In relation to Waste, Members sought further information on:
· the large fluctuations (1st graph) on a month to month basis, on missed collections and sought clarification on this issue;
· Regarding recycling and composting (2nd graph) and the target of 50%; the variations and reasons for the targets not being achieved;
· The need to include North Herts’ figures in the breakdown;
· Of the fact that the Council had a unified waste and disposal policy and for feedback in relation to whether this was a long term ambition or not viable unless forced to do so by the Government.
Members requested that the Portfolio Holder whose remit covered Waste Services be invited to the meeting.
In relation to the Website, the Head of Communications and Policy commented that each of the Council’s web pages had a feedback mechanism (Gov.Metric) which enabled an individual to feed back information on the web page information being reviewed. He undertook to provide Members with a recent report about website usage.
Members expressed their
· the impact (slowness) of using different browsers;
· IT as a service and the Laptops (inability to log on). A Member felt that the service was underperforming and of the difficulties that “silver surfers” experienced in trying to navigate the Council’s website;
· Of the need to promote better use of front pages to allow quicker access to information.
In relation to items on the draft Work Programme,
Members supported the following changes to the draft:
· Website Customer Satisfaction be moved to the meeting on 4 February 2020;
· The IT Service be included on the work programme for the meeting on 17 September 2019;
· Pre-Planning Advice be removed from 5 November and included on the agenda for the meeting on 4 February 2020;
· The Parking (final report and recommendations of the Task and Finish Group) be reported to Members on 10 December 2019; and
· Hertford Town Centre (blight issue) be removed from the agenda on 4 February and included on the agenda for the meeting on 5 November 2019
Councillor K Crofton referred to the IT Service and questioned whether the shared service was reducing costs given that the Council contributed £2.5M a year to the service. He suggested that the Portfolio Holder for the Shared Service and the ICT Partnership Manager be invited to the meeting on 17 September 2019. This was supported.
Members requested that at some point during the civic year, Executive Members be requested to present their aims and objectives to Members. This was supported.
It was moved by Councillor J Wyllie and seconded by Councillor K Crofton that the draft Work Programme, as amended be approved. After being put to the meeting and a vote taken, the motion was declared CARRIED.
RESOLVED – that (A) the draft Work Programme as amended, be approved;
(B) the Head of Communications, Strategy and Policy provide members with the most recent Gov. Metric report.