Agenda and draft minutes

Audit, Crime & Disorder and Scrutiny Committee
Tuesday, 19th June, 2018 7.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber - Epsom Town Hall. View directions

Contact: Tim Richardson, 01372 732122  Email: trichardson@epsom-ewell.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

1.

Question Time

To take any questions from members of the Public.

Please note: Members of the Public are requested to inform the Democratic Services Officer before the meeting begins if they wish to ask a verbal question to the Committee.

Minutes:

No questions were asked or had been submitted by members of the public.

2.

Declarations of Interest

Members are asked to declare the existence and nature of any Disclosable Pecuniary Interests in respect of any item of business to be considered at the meeting.

Minutes:

No declarations of interest were made by Councillors in items on the agenda for this meeting.

3.

Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 91 KB

The Committee is asked to confirm as a true record the Minutes of the Meeting of the Committee held on 19 April 2018 (attached) and to authorise the Chairman to sign them.


Minutes:

The Minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 20 March 2018 were agreed as a true record and signed by the Chairman.

4.

Community Safety Partnership - End of Year Report pdf icon PDF 87 KB

This report fulfils the statutory responsibility to scrutinise the work of the Community Safety Partnership (CSP), for the year 2017-2018.

Minutes:

The Committee received a report of the work of the Community Safety Partnership (CSP) for 2017-18. The Committee was requested to scrutinise the work of the CSP in compliance with the requirement placed on the Council by the Police and Justice Act 2006.

The Committee noted that the Borough was covered by the East Surrey CSP, which also included the Boroughs and Districts of Reigate and Banstead, Mole Valley and Tandridge. The current priorities of the CSP were antisocial behaviour, domestic abuse and rural crime. The Committee also noted that the Council intended to recruit to the role of Community Safety Officer, following the post becoming vacant earlier in 2018.

Inspector Joe Easterbrook (Surrey Police) was in attendance at the meeting and provided the Committee with a verbal presentation of the work undertaken by Surrey Police within the Borough of Epsom and Ewell during 2017-18. This included information regarding: performance indicators; projects and operations such as domestic abuse PCSO intervention, targeted antisocial behaviour and thefts from motor vehicles; unauthorised traveller encampments; Community Harm and Risk Management Meetings (CHaRMM) and Joint Action Groups (JAG).

Following consideration, the Committee:

(1)          Noted the work of the CSP for 2017-18.

5.

Internal Audit Monitoring Report pdf icon PDF 82 KB

This report summarises progress against the audit plan for 2017/18.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee received a report summarising progress against the audit plan for 2017/18.

Three audits had been finalised since the Committee’s last meeting. These were: Private Sector Leasing, Data Protection/GDPR and Commercial Property Acquisitions supplementary report. One audit (Cyber security and IT General Controls) remained outstanding as it had not yet been finalised. This would be included within the Internal Audit monitoring report to be presented to the Committee in November 2018, and the Committee was informed that it was anticipated to include ten medium and two low priority recommendations.

Following consideration, the Committee:

(1)          Agreed to receive the internal audit progress report for 2017/18.

6.

Internal Audit Assurance Report 2017/18 pdf icon PDF 76 KB

This report advises the Committee on the Council’s internal audit assurance level for 2017/18.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee received a report advising it of the Council’s Internal Audit assurance level for 2017/18.

The Head of Internal Audit’s opinion was detailed in Annex 1 to the report. This stated that the Council had an adequate and effective framework for risk management, governance and internal control. However, the auditor’s work had identified some further enhancements to the framework of risk management, governance and internal control to ensure that it would remain adequate and effective.

The Committee noted that the internal auditor had not issued any reports relating to the Council in 2017/18 with either “no assurance” or “partial assurance”. It was also noted that the auditors’ opinion would not be changed once the one remaining audit for 2017/18 (Cyber security and IT General Controls) had been finalised.

The following matters were considered:

a)            Audit of planning applications income. Following a question from a member of the Committee, the Head of Corporate Governance informed the meeting that this audit had examined the processes followed and security of payments for planning applications submitted to the Council. It had not been a review of the level of income generated by the service.

b)            Management response within 5 working days of draft report. The Committee noted that a low percentage of draft audit reports had received a management response from officers within the five working day target. Officers would seek to improve upon this in future.

Following consideration, the Committee:

(1)          Agreed to receive the Internal Audit Annual Report for the year ended 31 March 2018 and the Review of Performance of Internal Audit by the Chief Finance Officer.

7.

Customer Complaints Annual Report 17/18 pdf icon PDF 87 KB

This report summarises the volumes and reasons for stage 1, stage 2 and stage 3 complaints received from customers between 1 April 2017 to 31 March 2018.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee received a report summarising the volumes and reasons for stage 1, 2 and 3 complaints received by the Council between 1 April 2017 and 31 March 2018.

The Committee was informed that a complaint was considered to be any expression of dissatisfaction received by the Council about the level of service provided to a customer, a service the Council had said it would provide but didn’t, or a service the Council had said that it wouldn’t provide but did. The Council had received 1,103 complaints during 2017/18, and 97% of these had been resolved at stage 1. A changed complaints process had been introduced in January 2018, reducing the total number of stages from three to two.

The following matters were considered:

a)            Automated response to internet-submitted complaints. Following a query from members of the Committee, it was noted that an automated response was sent to all internet submitted complaints sent to the Council. Two members of the Committee reported that they had not received automated responses to recent communications, and it was noted that officers would look into the matter.

b)            Recent service issues for the Contact Centre. The Chief Operating Officer informed the Committee that staff sickness and turnover had both been factors in the service issues recently affecting the Council’s Contact Centre. The issues were being addressed.

Following consideration, the Committee:

(1)          Considered and noted the findings of the annual report of customer complaints, which detailed complaints received between 1 April 2017 to 31 March 2018.

8.

Order of business at this meeting

Minutes:

The Chairman informed the Committee that the business of the meeting would be reordered, with Item 9 of the agenda (Annual report on RIPA usage & approval of Policy & Guidance on lawful surveillance) considered prior to Item 8 (Annual Governance Statement 2017/18).

9.

Annual Report on RIPA usage & approval of Policy & Guidance on lawfull surveillance pdf icon PDF 71 KB

To give an annual report to members on activities relating to surveillance by the Council and policies under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee received a report detailing activities in relation to surveillance by the Council and policies under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (RIPA).

The Office of the Surveillance Commissioner had inspected the Council’s RIPA procedures and activity in 2017. The recommendations made by this review were incorporated into an amended Policy, and agreed by the Strategy and Resources Committee on 17 April 2018.

The Council had made no use of powers provided under RIPA during 2016-17. During 2017-18 it had made one application to undertake directed surveillance, and this had led to the conviction of a defendant for fly tipping.

Following consideration, the Committee:

(1)          Noted the annual report of the Council’s use of its RIPA powers.

(2)          Approved the Council’s Policy & Guidance on Lawful Surveillance for the forthcoming year, as attached at Annex 1 to the report.

10.

Annual Governance Statement 2017/18 pdf icon PDF 94 KB

This report seeks the Committee’s formal approval of the draft Annual Governance Statement (AGS) and the arrangements made for its preparation as part of the 2017/18 financial statements.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee received a report seeking its approval of the draft Annual Governance Statement (AGS) and arrangements made for its preparation as part of the 2017/18 financial statements.

The Committee considered the report and Draft AGS 2017/18. The following matter was considered:

a)            Inclusion of changes to Senior Officer structure in section 6 of the AGS. The Committee noted that section 6  of the AGS (“Significant operational events in 2017/18”) did not detail the changes to Senior Officer structure which had been implemented during the year, such as the appointment of a new Chief Executive, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Legal Officer. The Committee considered that it was not necessary to amend the AGS to record this information, as each post had been successfully filled.

Councillor Hannah Dalton requested that it be recorded in the Minutes that it was her view that section 6 of the AGS should be amended to make reference to the changes in senior officer structure implemented during the year.

Following consideration, the Committee:

(1)          Confirmed the adequacy of the arrangements made for preparing the Annual Governance Statement.

(2)          Endorsed the 2017/18 AGS prior to it being certified by the Chief Executive and the Chairman of the Strategy & Resources Committee.

(3)          Agreed to give delegated authority to the Chief Finance Officer to make any required amendments prior to its submission with the Statement of Accounts.

11.

Annual Report on the Use of Delegated Powers pdf icon PDF 75 KB

In accordance with the Council’s Scheme of Delegation to Officers, this report sets out significant decisions taken by Officers in consultation with Committee Chairmen since 20 June 2017.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee received a report setting our significant decisions taken by Officers in consultation with Committee Chairmen since 20 June 2017, in accordance with the Council’s Scheme of Delegation to Officers. Twenty-two delegated authority forms had been issued during the year, with 19 decisions taken as a result. The remaining 3 forms had been cancelled.

Following consideration, the Committee:

(1)          Noted that 19 significant decisions taken by Officers in consultation with Chairmen had been recorded using the delegated authority proforma since 20 June 2017.

12.

Corporate Plan: Key Priority Targets for 2018 to 2019 pdf icon PDF 105 KB

This report provides the year-end position for the Key Priority Targets 2017 to 2018, under our Corporate Plan. It also provides a list of all the Key Priority Targets for 2018 to 2019.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee received a report providing the year-end position for the Key Priority Targets 2017-18, and a list of all Key Priority Targets for 2018-19. The Council had achieved 43 (68%) of its targets for 2017-18, and not achieved 20 (32%). Three targets had been classified as being information only indicators and were excluded from the overall percentages.

The following matters were considered:

a)            ‘No data’ for targets. The Committee noted that no data was available for 3 targets. This management information had previously been extracted from the Council’s systems by the Head of Planning, but following that post becoming vacant there was a shortage of the necessary skills to do so.  A new Head of Planning would be in post shortly, and would seek to build service resilience in this area.

The Committee noted that there was a discrepancy between the information tables (stating that there was no data for Jan-March 2018) and summary graph (displaying data for Jan-March 2018) on pages 231–233 of the agenda.

b)            Target to complete phase 2 of the website. This target was “not achieved” for 2017-18. The Chief Operating Officer informed the Committee that this had been delayed in light of the Council ending its shared ICT service arrangement with Elmbridge Borough Council, and the current work stream to procure a new customer relationship management (CRM) system. A member of the Committee expressed concern that delays to the procurement of a single central system was likely to knock-on to other projects.

c)            Correction to progress of Plan E Phase 1 target. The Committee noted a correction to  the progress of the following target listed on page 235 of the agenda: ”Plan E (Phase 1): Finalise and agree the design for the Market Place improvements in partnership with Surrey County Council (SCC)”. The progress for this action was corrected as follows: “Jan to March: SCC submitted a proposed finalised design for the Marketplace in March”.

d)            Single-use plastics. A member of the Committee highlighted that the Council had not included any specific targets relating to a reduction in the use of single-use plastics in its Key Priority Targets for 2018-19. The Chief Operating Officer acknowledged that such activity was of national priority, and that it would be possible to include it within the targets for 2019-20. Due to the lead-time in setting the targets for 2018-19 it had not been possible to do so for the current year, but it was hoped that the Council would still be able to take action on the matter.

Following consideration, the Committee:

(1)          Noted the performance reported in Annexes 1 and 2 to the report and did not identify any areas of concern.

(2)          Noted the actions that have been proposed or taken where a Key Priority Target has not been achieved, as shown in table 4.1 of the report.

(3)          Noted the Key Priority Targets set for 2018 to 2019 as detailed in Annex 3 of the report and outlined in paragraph  ...  view the full minutes text for item 12.

13.

Work Programme 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 65 KB

This report asks the Committee to agree its work programme for 2018/19.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee received a report asking it to agree its work programme for 2018/19.

Following consideration, the Committee:

(1)          Approved the work programme 2018/19 attached as Annex 1 to the report.

14.

Warm wishes to Councillor Mike Teasdale

Minutes:

The Committee expressed warm wishes to Councillor Mike Teasdale following his recent hospitalisation, and hoped that he would have a speedy and successful recovery.