Agenda and minutes

Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee
Thursday, 4th April, 2019 2.00 pm

Venue: Committee Suite 1,2 & 3, Westfields, Middlewich Road, Sandbach CW11 1HZ. View directions

Contact: Mark Nedderman  Senior Scrutiny Officer

No. Item


Also Present


Councillor Paul Bates – Finance and Communications Portfolio Holder

Councfiloor Paul Findlow - Corporate Policy and Legal Services Portfolio Holder

Kath O’Dwyer – Acting Chief Executive

Mart Taylor – Interim Executive Director Corporate Services

Paul Bayley - Director of Environment and Neighbourhood Services

Alex Thompson - Head of Finance & Performance

Michael Moore - Senior Social Media and Marketing Officer


Apologies for Absence


Minutes of Previous meeting pdf icon PDF 71 KB

To approve the minutes of the meeting held on  4th February, 2019.


Resolved – That the minutes of the meeting held on 4 February 2019 be confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman


Declarations of Interest

To provide an opportunity for Members and Officers to declare any disclosable pecuniary and non-pecuniary interests in any item on the agenda.


There were no declarations of interest.


Declaration of Party Whip

To provide an opportunity for Members to declare the existence of a party whip in relation to any item on the agenda.


There were no declarations of the existence of a party whip.


Public Speaking Time/Open Session

A total period of 15 minutes is allocated for members of the public to make a statement(s) on any matter that falls within the remit of the Committee.


Individual members of the public may speak for up to 5 minutes, but the Chairman will decide how the period of time allocated for public speaking will be apportioned, where there are a number of speakers.


Note: In order for officers to undertake any background research, it would be helpful if members of the public contacted the Scrutiny officer listed at the foot of the agenda, at least one working day before the meeting to provide brief details of the matter to be covered. 


There were no members of the public present who wished to speak.


Media Relations Protocol pdf icon PDF 154 KB

To review the media relations protocol as it relates to Overview and Scrutiny.


The committee considered the Council’s media relations protocol in the context of Overview and Scrutiny. The protocol provided media guidance to officers and elected members and set out the sign off process for all media communications including amongst other things, press statements


The following points were raised in respect of the protocol:


·         The protocol did not have the flexibility to allow non executive members to be quoted in press statements for example when the subject related to a specific ward issue.

·         Overview and Scrutiny committees seldom received media support even when dealing with contentious issues





(a)  That the Senior Social Media and Marketing Officer be requested to re- draft the media relations protocol with a view to making the document reflect a more collaborative  approach which would make provision for non executive members to take part in press releases when it is considered appropriate;



(b)  That the Portfolio Holder for Finance and Communication be requested to report back to this committee in due course on progress with this matter.





Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 170 KB

To note the current forward plan, identify any new items, and to determine whether any further examination of new issues is appropriate.


RESOLVED- That the Forward Plan be received and noted.




Work Programme Progress Report pdf icon PDF 76 KB

To review the work programme.

Additional documents:


The Committee reviewed its work programme.


RESOLVED – That subject to an item being added to receive a half yearly update on the progress to deliver proposals within the medium term financial strategy as it relates to corporate services, the work programme be noted.


Digital Customer Services

To receive a presentation on the Digital Customer Services from Paul Bayley

Head of Customer Services.




Paul Bayley gave a presentation on progress of the digital customer services project which began in 2015 the object of which was to enable customer contact across all services to be primarily delivered through digital channels.


The presentation demonstrated how the new digital customer services had been constructed and highlighted some real life examples of the system in operation.


RESOLVED – That presentation be noted.



Best4Business pdf icon PDF 734 KB

The Acting Executive Director, Corporate Services to provide an update.


The power point presentation from the meeting of the Best4Business Joint Scrutiny Working Group held on 13 March 2019 is attached for information.


Mark Taylor Interim Executive Director Corporate Services gave a presentation on the progress of the best4business project. The presentation had been given to the Joint working group with Cheshire West and Chester at its recent meeting.


The implementation of the new software had been subject to slippage on three occasions, but the committee was assured that the two Councils were working collaboratively and were confident that the project would still be delivered sand that savings would be achieved.




(a)  That the best4business project update be added as a standing item on the agendas for this committee for the foreseeable future;


(b)  That the acting Executive Director be requested to provide details of cost of the extension of the Oracle system to members of this committee.



Transparency Working Group pdf icon PDF 103 KB

To consider a report of the Acting Executive Director, Corporate Services.


The Committee considered a report of the acting Executive Director Corporate Services relating to the work of the transparency working group which had supported the Council’s arrangements to comply with mandatory publication requirements including compliance with the Local Government Transparency code 2015, the information Commissioners Publication Scheme, re-use of public sector information regulations 2015 and various copyright ands date licensing regulations.


Having completed its work, the transparency working group had been disbanded.




(a)  That the report be received;


(b)  That it be noted that updates on the monitoring of  the Council’s performance on open data and transparency, will be submitted to this committee in due course