Agenda and minutes

Eastbourne Borough Council Scrutiny Committee
Monday, 4th September, 2017 6.00 pm

Venue: Town Hall, Eastbourne

Contact: Local Democracy on 01323 410000 

No. Item


Minutes of the meeting held on 30 January 2017. pdf icon PDF 75 KB


The minutes of the meeting held on 30 January 2017 were submitted and approved, and the Chairman was authorised to sign them as a correct record.




Apologies for absence.


Councillor Wallis.




Declarations of Disclosable Pecuniary Interests (DPIs) by members as required under Section 31 of the Localism Act and of other interests as required by the Code of Conduct.


There were none.




Urgent items of business.

The Chairman to notify the Committee of any items of urgent business to be added to the agenda.



The Committee noted that the Financial Performance section of item 7 Corporate Performance Q1 2017/18 had been published on 31 August.




Corporate Performance Q1 2017/18. pdf icon PDF 53 KB

Report of Deputy Chief Executive.


The Financial Performance section of this report will be to follow.

Additional documents:


The Committee considered the report of the Deputy Chief Executive regarding quarter one 2017/18 performance against the Corporate Plan priority actions, performance indicators and targets.


Members’ discussion included:

·         That the Head of Business Planning and Performance be requested at a future meeting to:


a)   Update Members further regarding how homelessness issues are being addressed.

b)   Provide further data to assist the Committee in their understanding of the variance in sickness absence.

c)   Provide further clarification of the mitigations in place to address current issues in the joint IT migration work.


·         That the Head of Finance provide an explanation to Members for the variances between profile budgets and actuals at a future meeting of the Committee.

Officers responded that:

·         A meeting had previously been arranged between the Chairman and Deputy Chairman of the Committee, and the Director of Service Delivery for an update regarding homelessness.

·         Further detailed sickness absence statistics would be provided by the Head of Business Planning and Performance to Members of the Committee at the Committee meeting on 4 December.

·         Managers were proactively managing staff sickness, including providing access to support for staff. There was also a confidential counselling service available to all staff.

·         The IT system migration had become smoother as the Joint Transformation Programme had progressed. Delays related to individual cases. Some staff had now been successfully migrated and were able to work flexibly across both Councils.

·         The Head of Finance would provide a response to Members of the Committee regarding the variances between profile budgets and actuals, and a forecast of total borrowing to April 2020, at the next Committee meeting on 4 December.



(1)        That the Chairman and Deputy Chairman of the Committee be updated on staff wellbeing and sickness absence by the Assistant Director of Human Resources and Organisational Development, as appropriate and with regard to phase two of the Joint Transformation Programme.


(2)        That the financial performance section of the quarter 2 report be reviewed by the Head of Finance to account for Members’ comments; and that a forecast of total borrowing to April 2020 be provided to Members by the Head of Finance at the next Committee meeting on 4 December.



To demonstrate the discharge of the Scrutiny Committee function to monitor all aspects of performance management activities as required by Part 3 section 2.2 (7) of the Constitution of the Council.




Maternity Survey. pdf icon PDF 54 KB

Report of Monitoring Officer and Councillor Robert Smart.


Additional documents:


The Committee considered the report of the Monitoring Officer and Councillor Smart on the Maternity Survey which had been sent to all mothers who registered births across East Sussex in 2016. Members were invited to endorse the methodology and subsequently endorse that the outcome of the survey be received and debated by the Committee at the Scrutiny Committee meeting in December.


Members’ discussion included:


·         Whether transport to and from hospitals would be considered as part of the survey, particularly with regard to service users with no access to private transport and those unable to afford a taxi.

·         The risk that only those with negative experiences of the service might respond to the survey.

·         The effect of the findings of the survey on the community interest to reintroduce maternity serves to Eastbourne District General Hospital.

·         A request that officers consider inviting representatives of relevant partner bodies to the December meeting of the Committee where the survey results would be discussed.

·         Commending Councillor Smart and the Monitoring Officer for conducting the survey.

Officers responded that:


·         Postcode analysis would enable an understanding of where respondents lived and where they had given birth. The free text section at the end of the survey would enable any respondent to state any particular concerns, including transport.

·         Since the survey opened, approximately 1000 responses had been received, providing an indication that both positive and negative experiences would be reported. Officers clarified that the results would be reported objectively so that partner bodies could use the data.

·         Representatives from relevant organisations such as the Clinical Commissioning Groups and East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust would be invited to the December Scrutiny Commitee meeting, and officers would consider how best to additionally publicise the meeting.



(1)        That the methodology used for conducting the Maternity Survey, be endorsed by the Committee.


(2)        That the outcomes of the survey be reported to the next meeting of the Scrutiny Committee for consideration.




The Executive Decision of the Leader on 3 April 2017 to conduct the Maternity Survey provided for the Scrutiny Committee to receive and comment on the outcomes of the survey.




Urgent items of business. pdf icon PDF 58 KB

Report of Scrutiny Officer. Members are requested to approve the Draft Annual Scrutiny Programme. The final programme is due to be approved by Council on 15 November 2017.

Additional documents:


The Committee considered the Annual Scrutiny Work Programme for the forthcoming year.


Members’ discussion included:


·         Requesting an update on the progress of the A27 review prior to the Final Report being presented to the Committee in December, and that officers make a further attempt to secure the attendance of  representatives from East Sussex County Council and the Highways Agency to the meeting.

·         Consideration of one work programme request: The Sovereign Centre Site; which was endorsed for inclusion on the Committee work programme as a Task Group.


Officers responded that:


·         Whilst there was no constitutional provision to require the attendance of external representatives, the Team Leader for Strategic Economic Infrastructure of East Sussex County Council would be invited to the December Scrutiny Committee. The A27 Task Group would be asked to consider which representatives of other bodies would be invited to the meeting.

·         The Sovereign Centre Site Task Group would be added to the work programme, subject to approval by Full Council.




(1)        That the Annual Work Programme be recommended to Council on 15 November 2017.


(2)        Subject to resolution 1 being satisfied, the Scrutiny Committee form the Sovereign Centre Site Task Group at its December meeting.




To discharge scrutiny procedure rule 7.1 to prepare and submit an Annual Work Programme to the Full Council.