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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Committee Room 1 & 2, The Guildhall, Market Square, Cambridge, CB2 3QJ. View directions

Contact: Democratic Services  Committee Manager

Items
No. Item

18/48/Civ

Apologies

Minutes:

No apologies were received.

18/49/Civ

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

 

Item

Name

Interest

18/52/Civa

Ms Jackson

Personal: Employed as Chief Executive. Report discusses salary.

18/53/Civ

Councillor Benstead

Personal: Council

appointed Trustee of

Cambridge Live

18/57/Civ

Councillor Robertson

Personal: Council

appointed representative on Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Audit and Governance Committee

 

18/50/Civ

Minutes pdf icon PDF 265 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The minutes of the meetings held on 11 July 2018 were approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair.

 

The Chief Executive referred to the 2018 election review report.  She had been made aware that that the Electoral Commission had decided that the Council had not met all the required performance standards for electoral registration.  The Commission said that the Council were required to make a personal visit to all students who did not return canvass forms, even though the council was unable to get access in many cases.

 

The Chief Executive undertook to circulate the election review report to councillors once it was published.

18/51/Civ

Public Questions

Minutes:

There were no public questions.

18/52/Civ

Officer Delegated Decision

18/52/Civa

To Implement the Joint Negotiating Committee for Chief Executives and Chief Officers of Local Authorities Pay Award for 2018-2020 pdf icon PDF 88 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The decision was noted.

18/53/Civ

Ernst and Young Annual Audit Letter pdf icon PDF 2 MB

Minutes:

The Committee received a report from Principal Accountant (Technical & Financial Accounting) regarding the Annual Audit Letter from Ernst & Young, which summarised the key issues arising from their 2017/18 audit.

 

In response to the report Councillors commented that the ‘clean’ report from Ernst & Young reflected good work by Officers.

 

In response to Councillors’ questions the Principal Accountant (Technical & Financial Accounting) said:

  i.  The audit fee had been discussed with Ernst & Young.

a.  The standard fee was determined by Public Sector Audit Appointments (PSAA) as part of the national awarding of audit contracts, but this no longer reflected the shape of the Council.

b.  The Council had discussed establishing a new standard fee with Ernst & Young, but there was no provision for this under the PSAA arrangements.

c.  Certain fees would therefore continue to accrue in future in addition to the standard one eg group reporting.

  ii.  Legal and accountancy definitions of controlled entities were different. The impact of Cambridge Live on fees in future was to be determined.

 

Unanimously agreed to note the contents of the Annual Audit Letter.

18/54/Civ

Internal Audit Plan: Progress Report pdf icon PDF 436 KB

Minutes:

The committee received a progress report from the Head of Internal Audit regarding the work of Internal Audit, completed between March 2018 to September 2018.

 

In response to members’ questions about system reviews (p54) the Head of Internal Audit said the following:

i.  It was too early to give a report on the Streets & Open Spaces Project.

ii.  He undertook to bring an audit update to committee regarding Serious Organised Crime as this was of particular interest to Councillors and residents.

 

Unanimously resolvedto note the contents of the report.

18/55/Civ

Freedom Of Information, Data Protection And Transparency: Annual Report 2017/18 pdf icon PDF 709 KB

Minutes:

The Committee received a report from the Information Governance Manager regarding an annual report on performance and activity during 2017/18 on transparency issues. This included data protection; requests for information under Freedom of Information (FOI) and Environmental Information Regulations (EIR); and open data.

 

In response to members’ questions about system reviews (p54) the Information Governance Managersaid the following:

  i.  (Reference paragraph 3.9 on p65).

a.  The decision was made to notify the Information Commissioners Office of the malware incident affecting one computer, to enable individuals to safeguard themselves from any potential risk.

b.  The Council had a tool kit to follow, which recorded decisions made and reasons for them.

c.  There was a small risk of data breach so the Information Commissioners Office was notified. The Council tried to identify which people had been affected and then contacted them. There was no noticeable impact on people eg privacy breaches. Findings were pending from the Information Commissioners Office.

  ii.  (Reference paragraph 3.38 on p72). Under GDPR, the public have a Right of Access which is equivalent to Subject Access Requests (SAR) under DPA 1998. The Council was unlikely to see a surge in requests for information. People who were disgruntled with the Council were more likely to submit information requests to the council than the general public.

 

Councillor Dalzell proposed an amendment to the incident type table (reference paragraph 3.7 on p64). Requested a new column be added in future setting out risk/impact information.

 

The Committee unanimously agreed the amendment.

 

Unanimously resolvedto note the changes to information legislation under GDPR & Data Protection Act 2018 in May 2018.

18/56/Civ

Annual Complaints Report 2017-18 pdf icon PDF 358 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The committee received a report from the Business and Development Manager regarding an analysis of the complaints and compliments received by the Council during 2017-18 under the Corporate Complaints, Compliments and Comments procedure.

 

Members said in response to the Officer’s report:

  i.  Complaints about the Waste Service were not going down as much as other services eg Planning. However the service had undergone a major review and attracted compliments as well as complaints.

  ii.  The Council received 327,000 contacts. Only a minority were complaints, most feedback was good.

 

In response to members’ questions the Business and Development Manager said the following:

  i.  Reports could be provided as necessary regarding monitoring of the Waste Service.

  ii.  Feedback on customer satisfaction was regularly reviewed. Staff were then coached on areas for improvement. Customer satisfaction was higher for phone contacts than email, so a specific training course could be arranged to address the issues with email contact.

 

Members asked to have an update report on complaints about the Waste service in the current year.

 

Councillor McPherson queried why the City Council’s response target should be amended to ten working days to better align with South Cambridgeshire, instead of South Cambridgeshire amending their target. The Chief Executive said that complaints that involved more than one service can often require a more detailed investigation and response. As such, they also required a longer response time, so it was better to extend the City Council’s response time.

 

Resolved (by 4 votes to 0) to:

  i.  Consider the draft Annual Complaints Report for 2017-18 (Appendix A of the Officer’s report), and approve for publication on the Council’s website.

  ii.  Amend the City Council’s response target to ten working days to better align with South Cambridgeshire.

  iii.  Receive an update report an update report on complaints about the Waste Service in the current year.

18/57/Civ

Independent Remuneration Panel - Special Responsibility Allowance Update pdf icon PDF 287 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee received a report from the Democratic Services Manager.

 

The Council (at its meeting on 22 February 2018) agreed a new Special Responsibility Allowance be paid to the Cabinet Member on the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority for municipal year 2017/18. It also approved further evidence gathering on the work of city councillor responsibilities on the Combined Authority, Greater Cambridge Partnership and Police and Crime Panel, reporting back to the Civic Affairs Committee in the new municipal year.

 

In response to the report the Committee and Independent Remuneration Panel representative said that succession planning for representatives on groups (eg Combined Authority) and committees was an important consideration. This should be considered proactively not reactively ie before someone steps down.

 

Councillor Robertson proposed an amendment to increase the Special Responsibility Allowance for the Combined Authority Cabinet Member from 50% to 100% of basic allowance.

 

The Committee agreed the amendment (by 4 votes to 0).

 

Resolved (by 4 votes to 0) to recommend the IRPs recommendations for Special Responsibility Allowances to Council. With the addition of an amendment that the percentage of Basic Allowance for the Combined Authority Cabinet Member be increased from 50% to 100%.

18/58/Civ

Process for Scrutiny of the Council's Budget pdf icon PDF 396 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee received a report from Head of Corporate Strategy regarding the process for scrutiny of the council's budget.

 

Councillor O’Connell proposed an amendment to option A:

  i.  That the Strategy and Resources Scrutiny Committee and the Executive meet on 11 February 2019.

  ii.  That budget amendments to be considered at S&R Scrutiny Committee are submitted by 1 February.

  iii.  Budget amendments consequential to Executive amendments made at the Executive meeting are submitted to Council at least 4 days before the meeting.

 

With the permission of the Chair, Councillor Bick spoke to the amendment:

  iv.  Explained that the amendment would afford opposition groups a similar timeframe to produce budget amendments as under the current process.

  v.  The Liberal Democrat Group preferred option B to option A.  Option A saved time pressure on officers and ruling group members, at the expense of opposition members.

  vi.  Expressed concern about the reduction in opportunity for scrutiny of the BSR set out in the timeline in the Officer’s report.

 vii.  Asked that the amount of time available to amend the budget be reviewed. Consideration of budget amendments could not start until the BSR was published.

a.  Opposition Councillors had 4 weeks to consider amendments under the current 2018/19 arrangements.

b.  Option A would give less than 3 weeks for budget amendments. This was a significant change.

viii.  Asked Civic Affairs to consider the amendment, which would move the proposed Executive and Strategy & Resources Committee dates, plus amendment submission dates.

 

The Committee was advised by the Chief Executive that the amendment was workable, in terms of timings, from an officer perspective.

 

Councillor Robertson stated that the proposal looked reasonable and could see why it would be reasonable to give opposition members adequate time to produce budget amendments.

 

Councillor O’Connell sought clarification how revised submission dates would be affected by Part 4C Budget and Policy Framework Procedure Rules amendments set out on p130 of the Officer’s report. The Democratic Services Manager stated that the re-wording of Part 4C to accommodate the tabled amendment would be circulated to the Committee prior to it being published for Council’s approval on 18 October.

 

The Committee unanimously supported the amendment.

 

Unanimously resolved to recommend to Council the changes to the Council’s budget and policy framework procedure (part 4c) and Council Procedure Rules appendix 2 budget recommendations and amendments (part 4a) as set out in Appendix A of the Officer’s report and as amended below:

  i.  That the Strategy and Resources Scrutiny Committee and the Executive meet on 11 February 2019.

  ii.  That budget amendments to be considered at S&R Scrutiny Committee are submitted by 1 February.

  iii.  Budget amendments consequential to Executive amendments made at the Executive meeting are submitted to Council at least 4 days before the meeting.

18/59/Civ

Calendar of Meetings 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 279 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee received a report from the Democratic Services Manager seeking approval of the Council’s meeting calendar for the Municipal Year 2019/20 (indicative).

 

Members asked that political conference dates be checked in the calendar.

 

Unanimously resolved to approve the meetings calendar 2019/20, subject to any amendments to reflect 18/58/Civ and party conferences.