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What is scrutiny working on now?

Find out what is going on in scrutiny.

Keep up to date with all the current work of scrutiny by subscribing to our monthly update. You are also able to access previous editions.

The agreed scrutiny work programme for 2017/18 can be downloaded below.

Current Performance Panels

  • Service Improvement & Finance (convener: Cllr Chris Holley)

Latest Update:

The last meeting on 14 February incorporated the Annual Budget Scrutiny and the Highways and Transportation Commissioning Review. Cllr Rob Stewart, Cllr Clive Lloyd and Finance Lead Ben Smith attended to advise and answer questions on the budget. Cllr Mark Thomas, Stuart Davies and Phil John attended from the Highways and Transportation Department to assist with scrutiny of the commissioning review.  Feedback on both items was presented to Cabinet on 15 Feb.

  • Schools Performance (convener: Cllr Mo Sykes)

Latest Update:

The Panel in February met with the Headteacher Bishop Vaughan Catholic Comprehensive School to discuss their current performance and prospects for improvement.  They then meet in May to discuss and plan their work for the coming municipal year.

  • Public Services Board (convener: Cllr Mary Jones)

Latest Update:

The next meeting will look at the Early Years Work Stream including a presentation from Sian Bingham, Early Years and Family Support Manager. There will also be a discussion around the Wellbeing of Future Generations Act and how the Panel can and do use it to inform and develop their scrutiny work.

  • Child & Family Services (convener: Cllr Paxton Hood-Williams)

Latest Update:

The next meeting will look at the quarterly performance monitoring report and consider the Children Services Complaints Annual Report 2016/17.  The Panel will also undertake an end of year review.

  • Adult Services (convener: Cllr Peter Black)

Latest Update:

The Panel met on 20 March to hold a question and answer session with the Cabinet Member for Health and Well-being and to consider the Adult Services Complaints Annual Report 2016/17.  The Panel will meet again on 17 April to undertake pre-decision scrutiny on the Day Services and Residential Care Commissioning Reviews.

  • Development & Regeneration (convener: Cllr Jeff Jones)

A progress report presented to the Scrutiny program committee in April's meeting is now available to view here. This gives a detailed update on the progress made by this panel.

 

Current Inquiry Panels:

  • Regional Working

Key Question: How can the Council, with its partners, develop and improve regional working for the benefit of Swansea and its residents? 

The panel met in March to start to draw their inquiry to a close by reviewing the evidence they have gathered and discussing conclusions and possible recommendations.  The last meeting of the Panel will be arranged in May to look at the final report.

Projected end date: May 2018

  • Natural Environment (convener: Cllr Peter Jones)

Latest Update:

Key Question: to be agreed

The panel will meet for the first time on 26 March to have a presentation which outlines how the Council currently meets its commitments in relation to the Natural Environment under the Well-being of Future Generations Act. A further meeting in April will entail an overall briefing for relevant background information and to discuss how current services meet requirements under the Act. This will provide the starting point for the Panel to decide the direction and content of the inquiry.

 

Follow Up on Completed Inquiries:

Follow-ups of inquiries will consider both the implementation of scrutiny recommendations and wider impact / difference made. Inquiry Panels are reconvened between 6-12 months after cabinet decision on Inquiry reports.

Inquiry

Cabinet Decision

Recommendations

Follow Up Panel Meeting

  AgreedPartlyRejected 

School Governance

16 Jun 2016

6

2

4

25 Sep 2017 (complete)

Response to other 4 recommendations: Action already in place

Building Sustainable Communities

19 Jan 2017

10

0

0

17 Oct 2017 (complete)

Child & Adolescent Mental Health Services

16 Feb 2017

13

1

1

15 Nov 2017 (further follow up tba in 9-12 months)

Tackling Poverty

15 Jun 2017

12

1

2

tba

School Readiness

15 Jun 2017

9

0

0

27 Mar 2018

Regional Scrutiny:

  • Education Through Regional Working

A regional scrutiny councillors group has been set up in order to coordinate scrutiny work and ensure a consistent approach across the six councils participating in ERW. At present this involves two meetings per year. Swansea is represented by the Chair of the Scrutiny Programme Committee and Convener of the Schools Performance Panel.

The Group met on 9 March 2018 and was hosted by Carmarthenshire Council. The group discussed the Annual verified data for the region, the effects of poverty in rural wales and progress with the the recently established ERW review and reform programme board.  They also met with Kirsty Williams Welsh Government Cabinet Secretary for Education about the future of regional working in this area. The next meeting will take place in September 2018 and will be hosted by Neath Port Talbot.

Swansea's Scrutiny Team is providing the support for this group as the Council's contribution to ERW.

 

Working Groups:

A number of topics have been identified which will be dealt with through one-off Working Groups.

  • Community Cohesion & Hate Crime (convener: Cllr Elliot King)

This Working Group met on 14 November which enabled information and discussion / questions about the council's work and effectiveness to support and promote community cohesion and tackle hate crime, and consider the current situation. The Working Group will meet again around May 2018 to focus on Community Cohesion, as there was concern about the lack of an overarching direction, or strategy, for this aspect. 

  • Roads & Footway Maintenance (convener: Cllr Sam Pritchard)

This is an area of public concern and enabled scrutiny councillors to ask about the situation in Swansea and work / measures to tackle problems, with reference to:

  • Service practices and procedures (e.g. dealing with pot holes)
  • Use of resources / impact of budget cuts
  • Quality and effectiveness of maintenance and repair
  • Efforts to minimise disruption to major access roads
  • Challenges / improvement issues.

The Working Group meeting took place on 31 January and a letter was sent to the Cabinet Member with the views and recommendations of the Working Group.  A response has now been received from the Cabinet Member, and appears within this agenda under item 11 (Scrutiny Letters).

  • Local Flood Risk Management (convener: Cllr Peter Jones)

This is an annual recurring item in the work programme. The working group met on 20 February to receive an annual update to monitor progress on the delivery of the Flood Risk Management Plan. The Cabinet Member for Environment Services attended to update the group.  A letter will now be sent to the Cabinet Member with the views and recommendations of the Working Group.

  • Renewable Energy (convener: Cllr Sam Pritchard)

This will enable information and discussion / questions on the Council's aims and objectives, development projects / initiatives, and progress in the promotion and use of renewable energy, and benefits. This topic is relevant to the aims of the Wellbeing of Future Generations Act and sustainable development. This meeting has been arranged for 26 March.

  • Homelessness (convener: Cllr Peter Black)

This will enable information, questions and discussion on activities to manage homelessness, the current position, performance of relevant services, and challenges and will also enable opportunity to influence the draft Homelessness Strategy. This Working Group will consist of two meetings with the first meeting taking place in mid-May. 

 

Further Working Groups to be convened, in the order of priority shown (membership / conveners to be appointed in due course):

  1. Digital Inclusion - This will enable councillors to follow up on the Working Group meeting held in March 2017.  At that meeting the Working Group detailed a number of issues to be considered as part of a review of the council's digital inclusion strategy.  Councillors will be able to consider how well prepared both the Council itself and the public is to use and communicate / engage via digital technology.
  2. Bus Services - This will enable information and discussion / questions about the relationship between the Council and service providers e.g. progress with the agreement of a Quality Bus Contract, and consider current service issues.
  3. Public Conveniences - This will enable information and discussion / questions on public convenience provision / access in Swansea, and relevant concerns.
  4. Archive Service - This would enable discussion about current service delivery, performance, and challenges. There is particular concern about accommodation issues and their effect on the service.
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