Shaping the Council Committee – 15 November 2010

PRESENT: Councillor Kirk in the chair.

Councillors L Foster, J Briggs, Davison, Mrs Redfern and Swift.

The committee met at Pittwood House, Scunthorpe.

92 DECLARATIONS OF PERSONAL OR PERSONAL AND PREJUDICIAL INTERESTS – There were no declarations of personal or personal and prejudicial interests.

93 MINUTES – Resolved – That the minutes of the meeting of the committee held on 22 October, 2010 be approved as a correct record subject to the deletion of the final part of the last sentence in paragraph (d) of the resolution “and that……” and the substitution of the following:

“and that arrangements be made for a presentation to the first of those meetings in relation to the Data Observatory Project.”

94 PRESENTATION – DATA OBSERVATORY PROJECT – The Head of Resources, Strategic Investment and Funding gave a presentation on the Data Observatory Project. This was a project that enabled the council to hold significant amounts of information about many of its functions in effect in a “one stop shop” for information. The information was held on a database and could be used by the council when planning the current and future alignment of its services. Funding had been received which had assisted in the purchase of the platform on which the information was held and discussions had been taking place about how best to utilise the information to the benefit of the council.

Members asked a number of questions about the use of the system and its information and how best to use it efficiently in the current climate. Reference was also made as to how the system linked to other information systems such as GIS and GAP.

Resolved – That no further work be carried out in relation to the structural implications arising from the Data Observatory Project until such time as all the Service Directors are in place in the new Senior Management Structure, at which point the Service Directors can design structures within their service areas in full collaboration for approval by this committee.

95 THE FUTURE MANAGEMENT STRUCTURE OF THE COUNCIL – BUSINESS CASE – The Chief Executive submitted a report together with details of the Business Case and Terms of Reference in relation to the review of the management structure of the council.

The Business Structure and Terms of Reference attached to the report set out details of the business case and consultation process to be followed in the Senior Management Review together with the timescales of the review process.

The Chief Executive reported that he had written to the Deputy Chief Executive and all Service Directors about the review process, that generic job descriptions had been prepared and that the process of appointing the Service Directors would be done as quickly as possible.

Resolved – That the report be noted.

96 THE FUTURE MANAGEMENT STRUCTURE OF THE COUNCIL – SERVICE STRUCTURES – A report was submitted by the Chief Executive which referred to the decision of the committee to approve a structure of six service areas (minute 91 refers) and considered the next stages in the review of the Senior Management Structure, in particular potential service groupings.

The new Council Management Structure had to reinforce a “one council” approach and must have the capacity at the top level to achieve corporate and council goals and objectives, as well as provide leadership to services. The one council approach had to recognise that there were a range of crucial, organisational critical things that were best managed together to allow the front line services to concentrate on getting things right for the public.

The report commented on various possible groupings of services within the broad outline of the six service areas previously agreed by the committee. Further much more detailed work would be carried out when the Service Directors were in place in line with the discussions so far held by the committee.

Reference was also made to the ongoing national debate about the Health Service and particularly the potential transfer of public health to local government. The Chief Executive reported that there were indications that this could be done earlier than originally anticipated and could take place in April 2011. This matter would be monitored and taken into account if this were to happen.

Members commented on the contents of the report and noted that the reference to service area groupings was broadly in line with the structure agreed at the last meeting, but would of course be subject to further detailed work once the Service Directors were in place.

Resolved – (a) That the committee notes the contents and options set out in the report, and (b) that further work as identified in the report be undertaken on the functions to be included in each service area.

97 THE FUTURE MANAGEMENT STRUCTURE OF THE COUNCIL – INFRASTRUCTURE SERVICE AREA – This item was deferred for consideration at the next meeting of the committee.