Agenda and draft minutes

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Venue: Council Chamber, Town Hall, and YouTube

Contact: Matthew Pawlyszyn  Email: matthew.pawlyszyn@chorley.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

5.

Minutes of meeting Wednesday, 27 July 2022 of Overview and Scrutiny Performance Panel pdf icon PDF 113 KB

Minutes:

Resolved: That the minutes of the meeting were approved as a correct record.

6.

Declarations of Any Interests

Members are reminded of their responsibility to declare any pecuniary interest in respect of matters contained in this agenda.

 

If you have a pecuniary interest you must withdraw from the meeting. Normally you should leave the room before the business starts to be discussed. You do, however, have the same right to speak as a member of the public and may remain in the room to enable you to exercise that right and then leave immediately. In either case you must not seek to improperly influence a decision on the matter.

Minutes:

No declarations were made.

7.

Performance Focus: Commercial and Property pdf icon PDF 394 KB

To receive and consider the report of the Deputy Chief Executive.

Minutes:

Executive Leader and Executive Member for Economic Development and Public service Reform Councillor Alistair Bradley, Executive Member for Homes and Housing Councillor Terry Howarth and Director of Commercial Services Mark Lester presented the report.

 

There were considerable challenges within the director due to the increase in the cost of living, staffing cost and construction costs, in addition to untimely delays. There were five red projects, four amber and thirty-five green.

 

The financial position was a concern due to the overspend of 165%, the greatest spend was staffing, with an increased cost in staffing and increased use of temporary and agency staff to fill positions. This issue was not unique to Chorley Council. Two new surveyors were in post and it was hoped that the Shared Services arrangement with South Ribble will assist in recruitment and appeal to prospective applicants, and help to ease the difficulty in retaining staff due to the larger entity, and more attractive benefits.  

 

In relation to staff and the issues, it was summarised that the council filed to keep the core staff numbers in line with the building numbers which resulted in the requirement of temporary posts, and due to the competitive nature of the shortage of jobs, agencies have been able to increase the costs . It was hoped that with shared services, and with concentration on estates and staff capacity the Council aimed to be in a position to create permanent posts and fill the shortfall with full time staff.

 

Chorley and South Ribble within the Shared Service agreement had informal agreements of sharing workforce for estate and property, but from the new year the agreement will be formalised. It was also noted that the Council was in a position where there was a risk of succession issues due to the extremes of a considerable number of staff at the start of their careers and a number at the ends of their careers.

 

The shortage of surveyors and inspectors caused the focus to be on completing projects and is the explanation behind the low figures of ‘reactive repair jobs inspected post work completion. The underperformance of ‘returning land ownership enquiries was another symptom of staff shortage, but the service was an add on and not business critical.

 

A major loss of income was from the delay with Tatton Gardens following the fire and the fungal contamination that followed. It was decided to resolve the problem earlier than later. The opening would be in phases, which would take place in October and Christmas/new year, with residents moving in following the completion of the construction work. Members were reassured that the finishing touches were prioritised, and corners would not be cut.

 

The income from the car parks were down due to the continuation of the Covid charges. A new car park strategy to be introduced at the end of the year. In response to a query relating to contactless payments, there was uncertainty due to the legislation in place.

 

The market refurbishment had been paused at  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.

8.

Business Plan Progress Update pdf icon PDF 393 KB

To receive and consider the report of the Deputy Chief Executive.

Minutes:

The performance of the business plans was deemed to be good with 181 projects across all of the directorates. The majority were green and were in the first few months of delivery following the formal agreement n June. The projects that had not started were due to begin in the next or following quarter. The projects that were on hold required a decision as to wether the project moved forward or if time scales needed to be adhusted.

 

Updates were provided quarterly which determined the status of the project as Red, Amber, or Green.

 

A number of the red project were discussed that related to Commercial and property, some was due to capacity issues, ICT and customer services.

 

Not every project had involvement with the cabinet members, as projects varied in size and scale, some were small, discrete and administrative, however the large corporate strategy projects would go through quarterly monitoring and the cabinet members.

 

Members raised the concern that there were some projects that were on hold were serious such as flood defense work for the river Chor in Astley Park, animal welfare, health and safety, food safety and electrical safety.

 

Members enquired if the café at Primrose Gardens would be open to the public as well as residents, information to be relayed to Members following the meeting about the café, and in relation to the pilot project for Occupational Therapy, and the flood defences.