Agenda item

Agenda item

Scrutiny Committee Reports

The following Scrutiny reports are being submitted to this meeting:-


  • Benefits Fundamental Service Review (agenda item 18 refers)
  • Partnership Working and Increasing Public Involvement in Decision-Making
  • Asset Management Framework


There may also be written or oral Scrutiny reports on these matters following the meeting of the Finance and Performance (Scrutiny) Panel on 29th November:-


v     HRA 30 Year Business Plan (agenda item 8 refers)

v     Budget Monitoring (agenda item 10 refers)

v     Performance Monitoring (agenda item 11 refers)

v     Treasury Management Strategy (agenda item 12 refers)



The Chair of the Value and Performance Scrutiny Committee submitted two reports (previously circulated, now appended) on the Benefits Fundamental Service Review and the Asset Management Framework.


The Chair of the Finance and Performance Panel of the Value and Performance Scrutiny Committee also submitted two reports (previously circulated, now appended) making comments on the Housing Revenue Account Business Plan 2012-42 and Corporate Plan performance.


The Chair of the Communities and Partnerships Scrutiny Committee submitted a report (previously circulated, now appended) on Partnership working and increased public involvement in decision making.


Resolved to thank the Scrutiny Committees and the Scrutiny Panel for their useful input and to accept the recommendations in the reports, namely:-


Benefits Fundamental Service Review


(1)   That the Board should be satisfied that the re-allocation of support service charges from Customer Services away from Benefits and towards other service users did not increase the total cost of those services;


(2)   That the Board should be more ambitious in its setting of economic targets for the Review and work towards a benchmark that reflected the best of those local authorities with similar ambitions.


Asset Management Framework


(1)   That the Board should agree to affirm its commitment to providing good and sustainable budgets to tackle the maintenance backlog and investment in order to provide for the most effective use of the Council’s assets and that each political group should support this within their own budget proposals;


(2)   That the Board should set a target in the Asset Management Framework of a 5% rate of return on investment assets.


Housing Revenue Account Business Plan


(1)   To review as a matter of urgency the Council’s current policy and partnerships for rent debt and debt advice management in order to ensure that the Council has in place the resources and systems to support tenants, and otherwise to do all the Council can to avoid or contain debt;


(2)   That the Housing Fundamental Service Review should aim for clear value for money targets and ambitions so that robust and transparent delivery could be achieved;


(3)   In the context of co-regulation and performance management, to take all opportunities to ensure that the Housing Service offered represented good value for money when compared to the best and that management costs per dwelling be set in comparable terms.


Corporate Plan Performance


(1)   That the information presented for the Corporate Plan targets should represent the accurate position at the point of measurement.


Partnership Working and increased public involvement in decision making


(1)    That an extension to the performance reporting framework that was already in place around the Corporate Plan be developed to show up to 12 targets from partnership action plans that were specific to the City and contributed to or directly delivered the Council’s corporate priorities and to report to members twice yearly on progress;


(2)    That Scrutiny members should have early access to the organisational forward planning of the Policy Framework and strategies so they are clear on development and progress;


(3)    To agree that Councillor Wilkinson should take the lead on Scrutiny involvement in the Oxford Strategic Partnership refresh;


(4)    To agree that a Scrutiny member should ‘shadow’ the Board member engaged in the Health and Well Being Partnership;


(5)    That a quarterly newsletter on partnership working be produced for residents’ groups and other interested parties.



Supporting documents: