Agenda and minutes

Governance, Strategy and Resources Scrutiny Board - Thursday, 22nd June, 2023 6.00 pm

Venue: Crompton Suite, Civic Centre, Oldham, West Street, Oldham, OL1 1NL. View directions

Contact: Constitutional Services 

No. Item


Appointment of Vice-Chair

To appoint a Vice-Chair for the 2023/24 Municipal Year.


RESOLVED - That Councillor Moores be appointed as Vice-Chair of the Governance, Strategy and Resources Scrutiny Board for the 2023/24 Municipal Year.



Minutes of Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 234 KB

For information, to receive the minutes of the Performance Overview and Scrutiny Committee meeting held on 23 March 2023.


RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting of the Performance Overview and Scrutiny Committee meeting held on 23 march 2023 be noted.




There were no apologies for absence.


Declaration of Interests

To Receive Declarations of Interest in any Contract or matter to be discussed at the meeting.


There were no declarations of interest.


Urgent Business

Urgent business, if any, introduced by the Chair.


There were no items of urgent business received.


Public Question Time

To receive Questions from the Public, in accordance with the Council’s Constitution.


There were no public questions for the Board to consider.


Terms of Reference pdf icon PDF 250 KB

To note the Terms of Reference previously agreed at Annual Council on 24 May 2023.


Resolved  that the terms of reference be noted.


A Councillors Workbook on Scrutiny of Finance pdf icon PDF 585 KB


Consideration was given to A Councillor’s Workbook on Scrutiny of Finance produced by the Local Government Association (LGA). The Workbook has been designed as a as a learning aid for local Councillors. It is intended to provide Councillors with insight and assistance and to develop key skills which will help to be most effective in the role of a Councillor.


Resolved that the LGA Councillor’s Workbook on Scrutiny of Finance be noted.




Work Book on Scrutiny pdf icon PDF 721 KB

To note and discuss the Work Book on Scrutiny produced by the Local Government Association as a guide for elected Members.


Consideration was given A Councillor’s Workbook on Scrutiny produced by the Local Government Association (LGA) which is designed as a learning aid for Councillors. The LGA consider that the Workbook serves as a useful tool for some of the key skills, approaches and tactics that make for an effective ward Councillor.


Resolved that the Councillor’s Workbook on Scrutiny produced by the Local Government Association be noted.


Corporate Performance Report 2022/23 for Quarter 4 - 1 January to 31 march 2023 pdf icon PDF 577 KB

To consider and discuss Corporate Performance Report 2022/23

for Quarter 4: 1st January to 31st March 2023.

Additional documents:


The Committee Scrutinised a report which presented a review of the Council performance for the fourth quarter of 2022/23 (1 January 2023 to 31 March 2023). The Committee was invited to examine areas on under performance and where appropriate recommend remedial action. The Committee was asked to note the areas of good performance.


The overview and scrutiny of performance aims to provide assurance that:

·         our business plan priorities are aligned to the needs of our residents

·         our services are good or are on track to good

·         any services that are not on track, or have identified risks, are being supported or challenged to rectify this

·         demand indicators are being noted and service provision assessed accordingly.


The purpose of this report is to provide an overview of performance against business plan priorities for the period 1st January to 31st March 2023 (Quarter 4) and where applicable the End of Year targets.

The report refers throughout to the dashboards and infographics provided as Appendix A of the report.

Appendix B of the report comprises the response to a query raised at the March meeting of the Performance Overview & Scrutiny Committee.

Annual business plans ran from 1st April 2022 to 31st March 2023; it is now year-end. The business plans included a range of actions and measures across all our services aimed at achieving the aspirations of the Corporate Plan and putting our residents first.

The Corporate Plan 2022/27 was approved by Cabinet in September 2022; going forward our business plans will be closely aligned to the priorities set out in the Plan and will run from 1st April 2023 to 31st March 2027.

Business plans are kept under review by services and can be influenced by both internal and external factors including increased demand, reduction in resources, changes in legislation or policies.

Members were advised that it is important that our performance is viewed in the context of our borough, the demand for our services and the resources available to us.

The Council needs to monitor and plan for the impact of both internal influences (e.g., staff capacity) and external factors (e.g., increased demand due to increased cost of living) on all its services.

Members were informed that

  • 89% (163/184) of actions are on track or completed
  • 71% (103/145) of risks are low, very low or closed; less than 2% (2/145) are high
  • 79% (41/52) of targeted measures are on or within target
  • 69% (36/52) of measures with end of year targets are predicted to achieve them.
  • The report sets out sets out in a chart showing End of Year Actions, Risks and Measures. Members noted that 0 measures, 3 actions & 5 risks have not been updated by the service.These figures are as expected for the end of the reporting year.


The Board was informed that each business plan measure is aligned to one of the five corporate priorities or is designated as a service specific measure.

The infographic on page 3 of Appendix A  ...  view the full minutes text for item 10.


Absence Trends Across the Authority

Report to follow.


The Board received a presentation from Vikki Morris, Assistant Director of Human Resources and Organisational Development, giving details on Workforce Absence Trends across Oldham Council.


Members were informed that


         Sickness trends back to pre-pandemic levels

         Reasons for short term and long term remains similar as it has been previously

         We are seeing greater complexity with cases – requiring more specialised skills to support and manage cases

         Number of staff in the workplace with at least 1 long term condition is increasing


Members attention was drawn to the programme of support the Council provides to staff, known as Wellbeing Matters. This covers physical, mental and lifestyle wellbeing support.  Employees have access to advice, support and counselling from an external provider, as well as a new wellbeing app which focuses on preventative and holistic wellbeing for staff. Members were made aware of digital assessments, educational guides and interactive health tools to motivate and inspire staff. The App is offered to Agency staff.


Members noted the following table for Employee Assistance Programme (EAP)

Members noted statistics relating to call topics and occupational health referrals during 2022; data on the latter was shown against other authorities in Greater Manchester.


In response to a query, Members were informed that initially there was a nervousness amongst staff coming back into the office post Covid. Hybrid working is, however, encouraged where work allows but staff are encouraged to work from the office at least 2 or 3 days a week.


Members were informed that staff can take up their health concerns with their manager, either through daily conversations or via appraisals.


Vikki Morris advised that comparative rates of sickness showing if the rates are increasing or decreasing are used. Also Oldham Council sickness rates can be measured against rates given by the Office of National Statistics.


The Board noted that the Council has trained 70 members of staff as mental health first aiders.


Resolved that


(1)  The Workforce Absence Trends presentation be receive and noted; and


(2)  Vikki Morris be thanked for her very informative presentation.



Governance Strategy and Resources Work Programme 2023/24 pdf icon PDF 269 KB


The Board considered the Governance Strategy and Resources Work Programme for 2023/24.


Members were informed that previously the work programme had been splintered over the various Scrutiny Committees so that there was a need refine a programme so that the programme aligns with the terms of reference for the Board.


The Chairman also emphasised that the programme needed to be reviewed and he and the Vice-Chairman would forward a refined version to Board Members prior to the next meeting.


The Chairman dew attention to the number of Board meetings for 2023/24 which restricted how work programme items can be properly scrutinised. It would be his intention to increase the number of meetings in the 2024/25 Calendar of Meetings when that Calendar is considered in December this year.


Resolved that a revised draft Work Programme for 2023/24 be circulated at the next scheduled Board meeting.





Key Decision Document pdf icon PDF 296 KB


Consideration was given to the Key Decision Document covering Decisions take from 19 May 2023.


Resolved that the Key Decision Document covering decisions taken from 19 May 2023 be noted.