Policy & Resources Cabinet Member – Minutes – 8 August 2014

On 25 February 2014 Council approved the revenue and capital budgets for the 2014/15 financial year respectively.  The report gave details of virements approved by the Director of Policy and Resources under delegated powers and those that required Cabinet Member approval.

Resolved – (a) That the virements at paragraph 3.1 of the report, approved by the Director of Policy and Resources under delegated powers be noted, and (b) that the permanent virements outlined in paragraph 3.2 of the report be approved.

142      (16)  LOCAL GOVERNMENT TRANSPARENCY CODE 2014The Director of Policy and Resources submitted a report to advise the Cabinet Member of recent changes to the Code of Recommended Practice for Local Authorities on Data Transparency and set out new mandated requirements which the council was required to comply with.

In September 2011 The Code of Recommended Practice for Local Authorities on Data Transparency was published setting out the key provisions for creating greater transparency through the publication of public data.

The Code was issued to meet the government’s desire to place more power into citizens’ hands to increase democratic accountability and make it easier for local people to contribute to the local decision making process and help shape public services. The government believed that availability of data could also open new markets for local business, the voluntary and community sectors, and social enterprise to run services or manage public assets.

The government had decided to make regulations requiring authorities to publish information that they felt was necessary to embed transparency standards and promote democratic accountability and required local authorities to provide the information in appropriate formats.

It was explained that local authorities were recommended to publish data in three star formats where this was suitable and appropriate, alongside open and machine-readable format, within six months of the Code being issued. 

Full details were outlined within the report and associated appendices, with appendix 1 outlining the mandatory datasets.

Resolved – (a) That the changes to the Code as detailed in Appendix 1 to the report be noted, and (b)that Option 2 to implement mandatory requirements only be approved.

The corresponding report of the following items (Minutes 143 and 144 refer) contain exempt information as defined in Paragraphs 1, 2 or 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended).

143      (17)      COMMERCIAL POLICY AND PRIORITIES 2014/15The Director of Policy and Resources submitted a report which sought approval of the 2014/15 Commercial Policy and Priorities.

The council’s commercial policy was approved by cabinet in October 2012 and set out the ambition to develop a commercial capability to drive new commercial income streams through trading council services

The original commercial policy was supplemented by a commercial priorities statement which was approved in July 2013 and the priorities translated the aspirations and objectives of the commercial policy into an initial series of defined deliverables which collectively were designed to achieve commercial income targets.

It was explained that both the policy and the plan required refreshing to reflect the progress made and evolving aspiration that had been informed by the commercial experience gained over the previous two years. An updated commercial policy and priorities statement was appended to the report.

Resolved – (a) That the key highlight summary appended to the report be noted, and (b) that the updated Commercial Policy and Priorities 2014/15 be approved.

144      (18)  DIGITAL PRINT SERVICES – NLC-NELC SHARED SERVICEThe Director of Policy and Resources submitted a report which sought approval to establish a shared digital printing service arrangement with North East Lincolnshire Council, commencing September 2014.

Following a Soft Market Testing exercise it was considered timely to revisit the printing shared services discussions with NELC. It was explained that a shared printing service could prevent future budget pressures in Digital Print Services and may deliver additional print related savings.

NELC had a strong established print unit with high end equipment and several external revenue streams. The investment, size of the team and printing reputation suggested they were better equipped to lead on a joint print arrangement with NLC.

Full details of the proposal was outlined within the report and associated appendices.

Resolved – That the shared service arrangement for Digital Print Services commencing September 2014 as outlined in Appendix A to the report be approved.