Agenda and minutes

Resources & Delivering Value Scrutiny Board - Monday 11th July 2022 6.00 pm

Venue: Civic Suite, Solihull

Contact: Paul Rogers 


No. Item


Apologies for Absence

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Councillors: M Parker (Chairman), R Holt, J Tildesley, D Gibbin, Y Clements, M Allen, N Moses, A Adeyemo, A Hodgson,










Councillor R Sleigh OBE: Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Resources


Paul Johnson: Director of Resources and Deputy Chief Executive

Sam Gilbert: Assistant Director, Finance & Property Services

Jenny Wood: Director Adult Social Care

Mark Wills: Health, Safety and Risk Manager

Ruth Tennant: Director for Public Health

Tim Browne: Acting Director for Children’s Services

Perry Wardle: Assistant Director Economy and Infrastructure

Annabel Dolphin: Strategic Lead, Bereavement Services

Paul Rogers: Democratic Services



1.  Apologies for absence


No apologies for absence were received.



Declarations of Pecuniary or Conflicts of Interest

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No declarations of interest were received.



Questions and Deputations

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No questions or deputations were received.



Minutes pdf icon PDF 415 KB

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The Resources and Delivering Value Scrutiny Board:




(i)  To agree the Minutes arising from the Resources and Delivering Value Scrutiny Board meeting held on 6th June 2022 as an accurate record.



CPH Resources Priorities for the 2022/23 Municipal Year

Councillor R Sleigh (Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Resources) will present his portfolio priorities for the 2022/23 municipal year.  This will be a verbal report.

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The Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Resources detailed his Cabinet Member Priorities for 2022-23, with specific reference to the following areas:

The Medium-Term Financial Strategy


The June meeting of Full Cabinet approved the continuation of the Budget Strategy Group to work on a new budget for 2023/24 and an updated Medium Term Financial Strategy for 2023/24 to 2025/26.  This will need to take account of the significant cost pressures in Children’s Services and the impact of the current high inflation levels on Council Services and major contracts. The Budget process this year is expected to be one of the most challenging the Council has ever faced.


The Cost of Living


An additional section in future budget-monitoring reports to Cabinet is to be included to capture the overall impact of the increase in the cost of living on Council services and finances to facilitate the Council looking at how it can manage the demands it and the borough’s residents are facing.


Town Centre Projects and Property Investments


Scrutiny Members were informed that the CPH Resources is also Chair of the Property Investment Board, which has been established by Cabinet to make recommendations on property investments and acquisitions.  During the current financial year, the Property Investment Board (PIB) will be recommending a development partner for the phased redevelopment of Mell Square.  Details of the preferred development partner will be brought to this Scrutiny Board before a recommendation is made to Cabinet.  The Council will also be moving forward with plans for the Eastgate project, which includes the Council House site.  The Council will set a programme that follows on from the redevelopment of Mell Square.  The proposed Westgate building at the end of Homer Road remains under review whilst attempts continue to secure a significant pre-let prior to any construction contract being entered into. 


Chair of the Remuneration Committee


The CPH Resources advised Members that he was Chairman of the Council’s Remuneration Committee.  In this role, he aimed to ensure that all Council employment policies and practices were fair, comprehensive and up to date. Sickness levels and the measures that the Council takes to manage sickness were included as part of the remit of the Remuneration Committee. 


Employee Wellbeing


The Scrutiny Board was advised that the CPH Resources was in regular dialogue with the Deputy Chief Executive and other senior members of the Resources Directorate on progress with hybrid working and on the steps being taken to ensure the wellbeing of Council employees. 


Health & Safety


The CPH Resources has Cabinet Member responsibility for Health and Safety and worked with officers to track progress against the annual Health and Safety Action Plan.  The Trade Unions, schools and all Directorates of the Council are members of a Corporate Health and Safety Board that has oversight of all health and safety matters.


Income Collection


Given the current cost of living challenges, the Council aims to take a sympathetic approach to debt recovery and help residents through a number of discretionary support schemes.  The CPH resources will  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.


Resources and Delivering Value Scrutiny Board Work Programme 2022/23 pdf icon PDF 157 KB

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Members of the Scrutiny Board reviewed the updated version of the Resources and Delivering Value Work Programme 2022/23.




(i)  To agree the Resources and Delivering Value Work Programme 2022/23; and,


(ii)  To consider whether a Corporate Opportunity Register (funding opportunities) should be looked at by the Scrutiny Board at a future date.




The purpose of this report is to provide the Resources & Delivering Value Scrutiny Board with an update on the Council’s corporate risk register.

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The report before the Scrutiny Board provided an update on the Council’s corporate risk register.


The Health, Safety and Risk Manager informed Members that the Council had a legal duty to demonstrate it had sound internal controls in place. The Council had an agreed Risk Management Policy in place, which was updated annually. References were made to the Risk Matrix within the policy, which looked at the likelihood and impact of risks the Council faced.  A Corporate Risk Register was also established across the Council, which was regularly reviewed at Directorate and Corporate Leadership Team (CLT) level.


Operational risk was managed on a daily basis at Directorate level by each respective Director.  The Audit Committee held CLT accountable for risk management. Appendix B to the report detailed the corporate risks identified and how they are managed. Risks were published on the Council website in a slightly redacted version.


Having received the report introduction, Members of the Scrutiny Board asked several related questions, which in summary included the following matters:


Councillor Gibbin raised the matter of existing financial pressures within the Childrens Directorate and of the anticipated, on-going fiscal pressures in future years. Furthermore, Councillor Gibbin raised recruitment and retention in Adult Social Care as a future risk.


Councillor Tildesley referred to the Corporate Risk Register and to the risk title ‘avoidable death, serious harm or abuse of a child where the Council has a duty of care; Child safeguarding practice review or Domestic Homicide review publication leading to adverse publicity’, expressing surprise that the level of risk had been reduced from a 9 to 8.  Councillor Tildesley further noted that development of a workforce strategy regarding MASH should be raised under mitigating actions in the Corporate Risk Register, and that further information was required in relation to recruitment of social workers.


The Acting Director for Children’s Services informed the Scrutiny Board that nationally there was a shortage of 7,000 social workers.  Solihull Council was seeking to recruit, as were all local authorities nationally.  The Council was seeking to make the employment offer available at Solihull to be more attractive to potential employees. A good response had been received to adverts placed in the national press, but it was recognised that national demand for social workers would out strip supply.  The Council was in talks with the Department of Education as to how to make careers in social work attractive, seeking to put a range of strategies in place which would support recruitment and retention as well as looking to move additional staff into pressured areas.


In respect of amendment of the Corporate Risk Register rating from a 9 to 8, there were a range of mitigating actions in place. Further enhancement of the MASH capacity was sought and extension of management oversight and reporting to manage these issues was also being put in place.


Councillor Parker referenced the risk title ‘failure to secure sufficient funding to deliver the UK Central Programme’, stating that non-delivery would jeopardise the proposed health  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.


Exclusion of the Press and Public

The meeting is not open to the public during discussion of the following item because the report contains exempt information as defined in Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972.

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The meeting was not open to the public during discussion of the following item because the report contained exempt information as defined in Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972.



Appendix C - Corporate Risk Register