Agenda and minutes

Corporate Review Committee - Friday 10th January 2020 10.00 am

Venue: Oak Room, County Buildings, Stafford

Contact: Nick Pountney 

No. Item


Declarations of Interest


There were no declarations of interest made at this meeting.


Minutes of the meeting held on 4 November 2019 pdf icon PDF 214 KB


RESOLVED: That the minutes of the meeting held on 4 November 2019 be confirmed and signed by the Chairman.


Vision and Strategy for Public Services pdf icon PDF 210 KB


In September 2018 the County Council had been subject to a Local Government Association Peer Challenge. The assessment had been positive and provided an opportunity to reflect on priorities and focus attention on moving towards realising Staffordshire’s ambitions.


In February 2019 the Council had signed-off the balanced Medium Term Financial Strategy (MTFS) for 2019/24. This reflected the ambition for the County as well as taking account of the serious challenges Staffordshire faced and was against a backdrop of reduced Government funding and growing demand for services. Following lobbying throughout 2019 the Government had acted to include some additional one-off monies for 2020-21, although a longer term solution was required.


Cabinet and the Senior Leadership Team had previously agreed that a key priority for Staffordshire was to develop a unifying vision for the County to enable better civic leadership and outcomes. This had been a key recommendation of the Peer Challenge.  Work to develop this vision was undertaken through Network Staffordshire, a group of senior leaders from across the county, including councils, universities, Police, Local Enterprise Partnerships, Fire and Rescue Service and the Commissioner’s Office. Information gathered from a series of interviews with key systems leaders across the county had been fed into a workshop of Network Staffordshire, resulting in three emerging themes for collaborative working being agreed, these being: Smart Staffordshire and %g; better use of data across Staffordshire; and, place branding.


Work had been undertaken around the three agreed themes and Members received details of developments for each, including: a growth deal bid to Government on 5G supported by Network Staffordshire; commissioning exploration into a brand for Staffordshire, with a view to launch both this and a Staffordshire vision in May 2020; and exploring the possibility of developing a partnership Data Institute in Staffordshire.


Alongside this work a recurring question had been how to raise aspirations in Staffordshire, both for the place itself and for its residents. An All Party Member Group (APWG) had been set up to consider aspirations in 2019, with the first set of findings from this group currently being considered by Cabinet. Two deep dives had been undertaken in North Yorkshire and East Sussex, to explore examples of raising aspirations, presenting a number of practical suggestions and themes.


The Committee were aware that the County Council’s Strategic Plan had been signed off by Full Council in February 2018. Discussions had more recently considered whether the Plan remained fit for purpose, and in October Cabinet and the Senior Leadership Team agreed that the Plan required a refresh rather than a rewrite. Following this it had been agreed that areas for re-fresh would be:

·         reflect the climate change emergency

·         reaffirm commitment to raising aspirations in Staffordshire

·         review enablers, including calling them principles

·         simplify language used


Members were keen to understand how the “better use of data” theme would work in practice. Whilst day to day information sharing across organisations already took place, this work looked at developing a Data Institute which would bring together data from a  ...  view the full minutes text for item 29.


Select Committee Work Programmes pdf icon PDF 367 KB

Additional documents:


Part of the remit of the Corporate Review Committee was to have a strategic approach to the work undertaken by Select Committees. In doing this the Committee received Select Committee work programme on a quarterly basis. Each Select Committee Chairman outlined the work undertaken and their priorities for future scrutiny.


The Health Select Committee’s scrutiny work was around: autism care; supportive carers; NHS delayed discharges ; a workshop on Primary Care with Dr John James, Primary Care Lead, and the CCG Chairs; the Winter Strategy; harmonisation of CCG policies, with Marcus Warnes (CCG responsible officer) attending the 3 February Select Committee for this issue; and, public health use of extra funding. Adult social care spend and demographic pressures was suggested as a future item for this Select Committee.


The Prosperous Staffordshire Select Committee’s scrutiny had looked at holding the Cabinet Member to account on issues such as Infrastructure Plus, including scrutinising representatives from Amey. They had considered issues around education strategies and skills. An inquiry day on community transport was being organised to support more in-depth scrutiny, and work around the Economic Strategy and supporting new entrepreneurship in Staffordshire would include considering how well we support these new businesses.


One of the Safe and Strong Communities Select Committee’s key areas of work currently was the Children’s Transformation Plan Phase 2. This would change the way we work significantly. On being asked if the troubled families fund was still in existence and being considered by this Select Committee, Members were informed that this was an area of continued scrutiny for the Committee.


RESOLVED: That the Select Committee Work Programmes be noted.


Work Programme pdf icon PDF 275 KB


The Scrutiny Manager updated Members on their work programme, including adding the new digital strategy to the March meeting.


RESOLVED: That the work programme be noted.