Council services by letter

Agenda and minutes

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Venue: Committee Rooms 1 & 2, Harrow Civic Centre, Station Road, Harrow, HA1 2XY. View directions

Contact: Daksha Ghelani, Senior Democratic Services Officer  Tel: 020 8424 1881 E-mail:  daksha.ghelani@harrow.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

97.

Attendance by Reserve Members

To note the attendance at this meeting of any duly appointed Reserve Members.

 

Reserve Members may attend meetings:-

 

(i)                 to take the place of an ordinary Member for whom they are a reserve;

(ii)               where the ordinary Member will be absent for the whole of the meeting; and

(iii)             the meeting notes at the start of the meeting at the item ‘Reserves’ that the Reserve Member is or will be attending as a reserve;

(iv)              if a Reserve Member whose intention to attend has been noted arrives after the commencement of the meeting, then that Reserve Member can only act as a Member from the start of the next item of business on the agenda after his/her arrival.

Minutes:

RESOLVED:  To note that there were no Reserve Members in attendance.

98.

Declarations of Interest

To receive declarations of disclosable pecuniary or non pecuniary interests, arising from business to be transacted at this meeting, from:

 

(a)               all Members of the Committee;

(b)               all other Members present.

Minutes:

RESOLVED:  To note that the following interest was declared:

 

Agenda Item 8 - Draft Borough Plan 2020-2030 including the Draft Corporate Plan

During consideration of item 8, Councillor Jean Lammiman declared a non-pecuniary interest in that she was Chair of Governors at Shaftesbury School.  She would remain in the room whilst the matter was considered and voted upon.

99.

Minutes

99a

Minutes of the Ordinary Meeting held on 7 January 2020 pdf icon PDF 130 KB

That the minutes of the ordinary meeting held on 7 January 2020 be taken as read and signed as a correct record.

Minutes:

RESOLVED:  That the minutes of the ordinary meeting held on 7 January 2020, be taken as read and signed as a correct record.

99b

Minutes of the Special Meeting held on 23 January 2020

That the minutes of the special meeting held on 23 January 2020 be taken as read and signed as a correct record.

Minutes:

The Chair reported that the minutes were being consulted on and were not available that evening.  However, the draft minutes would be submitted to Cabinet on 13 February 2020 as part of the consultation process on the budget.

 

RESOLVED:  To note that the minutes of the special meeting held on 23 January 2020 were not available and that consideration of the minutes be deferred to the next meeting of the Committee.

100.

Public Questions

To receive any public questions received in accordance with Committee Procedure Rule 17 (Part 4B of the Constitution).

 

Questions will be asked in the order in which they were received.  There will be a time limit of 15 minutes for the asking and answering of public questions.

 

[The deadline for receipt of public questions is 3.00 pm, 6 February 2020.  Questions should be sent to publicquestions@harrow.gov.uk   

No person may submit more than one question].

Minutes:

RESOLVED:  To note that no public questions were received.

101.

Petitions

To receive petitions (if any) submitted by members of the public/Councillors under the provisions of Committee Procedure Rule 15 (Part 4B of the Constitution).

Minutes:

RESOLVED:  To note that no petitions had been received.

102.

References from Council/Cabinet

(if any).

Minutes:

None received.

RESOLVED ITEMS

103.

Role of Members towards the journey of becoming a more modern, flexible and agile Council and the planned move to a new Civic Centre

Verbal Update and presentation slides from the Corporate Director of Resources.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee received a presentation from the Corporate Director of Resources, which set out the Council’s journey towards becoming a more modern, flexible and agile Council with a move to a new Civic Centre.

 

The Corporate Director circulated his presentation titled ‘Members and the Flexible Futures Programme’ at the meeting and described the planning of the Modernisation Programme which was intended to take the Council into the digital world.  He referred to the various slides as follows:

 

Slide 1 – Modernising How We Work – Themes

It was intended to review the Council as a whole and the ‘client journey’ would also focus on residents.  It was intended to automate manual processes.

 

The ‘core enabling’ would entail the modernisation of internal processes and tools and the empowerment of staff.  It would examine how officers worked with a view to simplifying and standardising processes such as sickness absence.  Training and motivation of staff would be fundamental in ensuring an empowered and energised staff.  A flexible and modern workspace would help support the move to a new Civic Centre.

 

Slide 2 – What is Flexible Futures?

The Council was preparing to move to a new Civic Centre in 2023/24 and it was intended to embed a flexible approach to work which untied staff from ‘owning’ a desk and allowed staff to work from any place.  The physical space would be defined, including special requirements.

 

Additionally, how staff worked in a space and how they were managed would also be defined.  Training would form an integral part of this exercise.  It was intended to introduce new technological devices to ensure flexibility and allow for smarter working.  Ensuring security of data would form an essential ingredient of this exercise.  Workplace design would examine various steps – flexible, smarter and agile working by allowing staff to work anywhere, at anytime and anyhow with anyone and anything.  The vision towards achieving this ambition was being worked on.

 

Members of the Council would need to be involved in this journey and provide leadership to help embed flexible and agile working.

 

The Committee asked a number of questions which were responded to as follows:

 

What arrangements would be in place to allow staff to work from home and would synergy working be available?

 

Staff would be able to work from any place, including libraries and coffee shops.  The policies on working from home, including lone working, would be revised. In this context, data security would be particularly important.  It was expected that no one would have their ‘own’ desk but the teams would be allocated an area.  Other facilities, such as ‘interview rooms’, would also be required for some service areas.

 

On average, what percentage of time were desks currently occupied?  Had the move to smarter working been costed?  Was there room to be more aspirational?

 

The Corporate Director replied that whilst he did not have the figures to hand, it was in the region of 50% and desk space was available in the building. Currently, the Council’s  ...  view the full minutes text for item 103.

104.

Draft Borough Plan 2020-2030 including the Draft Corporate Plan

Report of the Chief Executive.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee received a report of the Chief Executive, which set out a draft Borough Plan for 2020-2030 for consultation and further development during 2020.  The report incorporated the Council’s Corporate Plan, which set out the Council’s role in delivering the broader partnership agenda and the Corporate Priorities for 2020/21.

 

The Leader of the Council introduced the report and explained the need to look beyond the short term and that the Borough Plan provided a 10-year vision and set out the Council’s direction of travel.  There was a need to address the Climate Emergency by taking the borough on a journey to becoming net-zero carbon during the life of the Plan.  Additionally, the Council intended to move to a new Civic Centre.  The Leader added that funding streams for Councils had changed and Councils were now more reliant on the tax payer rather than on government grants.  He explained that the report before the Committee included two elements: the Borough Plan and the Corporate Plan.  The Director stated that the Document would remain a draft throughout 2020.

 

The Director of Strategy reported on the work undertaken prior to the drafting of the Borough Plan and the Corporate Priorities and explained how the Council and partners had arrived with the set of eight priorities, which included focus areas in which the borough needed to improve (five priorities) and those areas where strong foundations were being built to sustain and support the priorities (three priorities).  The Leader explained that he would like to see the five priorities eventually joining up with the three priorities where the Council was doing well.  The Director outlined the next steps and the need to take the Borough Plan/Corporate Plan and Priorities forward with partner and resident engagement at which point there would be an opportunity to change the priorities.  At present, the Plan did not contain significant detail and a more detailed delivery plan would be submitted to Cabinet and also the Committee.

 

The Director of Strategy responded to questions relating to the report.  The Director explained that the Corporate Plan was the Draft Borough Plan and that the Corporate Plan Delivery Plan would set out details of how the priorities would be delivered.  The Corporate Plan Delivery Plan and the short term Delivery Plan would be the same document and would set out how to develop the short term delivery of the Borough Plan.  He explained that the Council was embarking on a new journey and would be looking at a 10-year vision with its partners.  He explained that the Corporate Priorities were set out in the report and contained a narrative.

 

In response to a question about the need for the Corporate Plan to align with the Council’s budget and whether the report to O&S, Cabinet and Council was compliant with the requirements set out in the Council’s Constitution, he confirmed that it was.  We would comply with the constitutional requirement by adopting a set of draft Corporate Priorities as, in effect, our  ...  view the full minutes text for item 104.

105.

Dates of Future Meetings

Municipal Year 2019/20 (7.30pm)

21 April 2020

 

Municipal Year 2020/21 (7.30pm)

14 May 2020 (special)

2 June 2020

7 July 2020 (special)

15 September 2020

10 November 2020

12 January 2021 (special)

9 February 2021

20 April 2021

Minutes:

RESOLVED:  That the dates of future meetings listed below be noted:

 

Municipal Year 2019/20 (7.30 pm)

21 April 2020

 

Municipal Year 2020/21 (7.30 pm)

14 May 2020 (special)

2 June 2020

7 July 2020 (special)

15 September 2020

10 November 2020

12 January 2021 (special)

9 February 2021

20 April 2021