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Agenda, decisions and minutes

Venue: Committee Rooms 1 & 2 - Civic Suite. View directions

Contact: Charlotte Dale (020 8314 8286)  Email: charlotte.dale@lewisham.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

1.

Minutes of the meeting held on 28 January 2019 pdf icon PDF 304 KB

Decision:

 

RESOLVED: That the minutes of the meeting held on 28 January 2019 be agreed as an accurate record of the meeting.

Minutes:

1.1         The minutes of the last meeting referred to an inclusive toilet. Councillor Walsh commented that it was important that the proposed toilet was a gender neutral toilet and not a disabled toilet, labelled inclusive.

 

1.2         The Chair reported that the corporate strategy had been amended in line with the referral made by the Committee at the last meeting; and had now been agreed by full Council.

 

1.3         Updates on Cabinet Member actions agreed at the last meeting, were tabled.

 

1.4       RESOLVED: That the minutes of the meeting held on 28 January 2019 be agreed as an accurate record of the meeting.

2.

Declarations of Interest pdf icon PDF 201 KB

Decision:

Councillor Hall declared a non-prejudicial interest as a Member of the Lewisham Trade Union Council.

Minutes:

2.1       Councillor Hall declared a non-prejudicial interest as a Member of the Lewisham Trade Union Council.

3.

Referral from the Overview and Scrutiny Business Panel on the Council's Procurement Procedures pdf icon PDF 191 KB

Decision:

RESOLVED: That the following referral be forwarded to Mayor and Cabinet:

 

Business Panel:

 

1.     Notes that the scoring system and the balance between quality and price is not robust nor transparent when awarding contract to organisations.

 

2.     Calls for the Council to re-examine its process of quality versus cost, and ensure there is a thorough examination of the factors within both price and quality.

 

3.     Is not convinced continuity or proximity of provision are given sufficient thought in the transition period as part of the evaluation and that needs to be weighted accordingly.

 

4.     In accordance with the Administration’s Manifesto commitments to use an in-house provider and secure services locally whenever possible, prominent sections of the process should examine the advantages and disadvantages of in-house and local provision.


It is proposed that:

 

·         The scoring system should be very clear and easy to understand.

·         Mayor and Cabinet should take time to consider proposals from officers

before making a decision.

·         Sufficient time and consideration must be given to responses to scrutiny in

recognition of the need for parity of esteem.

·         In future: quality, location, continuity and in-house consideration should

feature largely when awarding contracts.

 

The Committee also asks that Mayor & Cabinet asks officers to consider best practice, including with regard to social value, from other local authorities and report back to Mayor & Cabinet and the Public Accounts Select Committee. Salford City Council is cited as a potential example of good practice.

 

 

Minutes:

3.1       The Vice-Chair introduced the referral from Business Panel. It was reported that on 29 January 2019, Business Panel had considered a Mayor and Cabinet report on the Award of a contract for the Carer Information Advice and Support Service and had decided to call the decision in. On 6 February 2019, Mayor and Cabinet considered the Call-In but were satisfied that due diligence had been undertaken and that the correct decision had been delivered. The decision was upheld although it was agreed that the contract would be closely monitored. On 19 February 2019 Business Panel agreed to make a referral to the Overview and Scrutiny Committee asking it to support a review of the Council’s Procurement Procedures, as it was not satisfied that its concerns regarding underlying issues with the way in which procurement was being carried out, had been addressed.

 

3.2       The committee discussed current procurement procedures and the following views were expressed:

 

·         The ranking system was simplistic and should be more complex to allow better analysis.

·         Contracts were sometimes underbid in order to win the contract, but then not fulfilled at a cost to the council. There needed to be a thorough interrogation of the prices put forward in bids.

·         Contract reports were usually entirely exempt, whereas a better approach might be to redact the truly exempt information or put this information in a part 2 appendix with the main report being part 1. This would better accord with the Administration’s stated aims of openness and transparency.

 

3.3         It was agreed that the referral from Business Panel requesting a review of the Council’s procurement procedures would be endorsed, with one amendment regarding best practice, and forwarded to Mayor and Cabinet.

 

3.4         RESOLVED: That the following referral be forwarded to Mayor and Cabinet:

 

Business Panel:

 

1.     Notes that the scoring system and the balance between quality and price is not robust nor transparent when awarding contract to organisations.

 

2.     Calls for the Council to re-examine its process of quality versus cost, and ensure there is a thorough examination of the factors within both price and quality.

 

3.     Is not convinced continuity or proximity of provision are given sufficient thought in the transition period as part of the evaluation and that needs to be weighted accordingly.

 

4.     In accordance with the Administration’s Manifesto commitments to use an in-house provider and secure services locally whenever possible, prominent sections of the process should examine the advantages and disadvantages of in-house and local provision.


It is proposed that:

 

·         The scoring system should be very clear and easy to understand.

·         Mayor and Cabinet should take time to consider proposals from officers

before making a decision.

·         Sufficient time and consideration must be given to responses to scrutiny in

recognition of the need for parity of esteem.

·         In future: quality, location, continuity and in-house consideration should

feature largely when awarding contracts.

 

The Committee also asks that Mayor & Cabinet asks officers to consider best practice, including with regard to social value, from other local authorities and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 3.

4.

Cabinet Member Question and Answer Session pdf icon PDF 132 KB

Decision:

RESOLVED: That the updates be noted and that a referral be sent to Mayor and Cabinet requesting that a report be prepared by the Head of Law explaining why written reports had not been prepared for this meeting, including a timeline of events; outlining the current legal advice pertaining to Cabinet Member Question and Answer Sessions; and explaining the procedure going forward.

 

 

Minutes:

4.1      The part of this item pertaining to legal advice (paragraphs 4.2 and 4.3) was considered directly after item 1, Minutes of the meeting held on 28 January 2019.

 

4.2      The Committee noted that written reports had not be provided by the Cabinet Members present as requested; the letters sent to the Cabinet Members who attended the last Question and Answer Session had not been published; and formal responses from those Cabinet Members had not been received and published. It was noted that the receipt of legal advice pertaining to Cabinet Member Question and Answer sessions had prevented this from happening in time for the meeting, but that a procedure would be developed to allow written reports to be received for future meetings, with legal and financial implications as required. Letters sent to Cabinet Members and their responses would also be published.

 

4.3      The Committee requested that a report be prepared by the Head of Law explaining what had happened and the procedure going forward.

 

4.4.   Councillor Best gave a short presentation and the following key points were noted:

 

·                Managing a tight budget against a backdrop of rising demand and complex needs was difficult, but officers were trying to work in innovative ways and to manage demand.

·                The Care at Home Model had been approved by Mayor and Cabinet in November 2018 and it involved the integration of a number of health and social care services via a Section 75 agreement between the Council and the Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust.

·                Lewisham was the first local authority to become sugar smart and it was also taking part in the childhood obesity trailblazer programme. 11,000 children in 35 Lewisham schools were taking part in the daily mile initiative.

·                The borough had achieved UNICEF baby friendly accreditation.

·                A new Sexual Health Strategy was about to be launched and the Council was working closely with Southwark and Lambeth in this regard, including jointly procuring some services.

·                The Council had signed the UNISON Ethical Care Charter.

 

4.4      In response to questions from Members, the following points were noted:

 

·         The Director of Public Health was retiring after ten years’ service, having changed the landscape of public health.

·         Although cafés in parks were generally successful, the selected bidder had pulled out of Mountsfield Park. A report to the Executive Director of Customer Services was expected shortly on the fresh procurement exercise and the Friends of Mountsfield Park and other stakeholders would be consulted. The Cabinet Member would arrange a meeting with ward councillors to discuss this issue further.

·         Vacant posts were always reviewed before they were advertised and recruitment of a new Director of Public Health and a new Executive Director for Community Services was underway.

·         The Cabinet Member would raise the issue of people with learning disabilities not understanding how their money and benefits were being managed, with officers. The advocacy service Speaking Up could be helpful in this regard.

·         Although not aware of anyone being unable to get through to the Council to report  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.

5.

Items to be referred to Mayor and Cabinet

Decision:

RESOLVED: That two referrals be made to Mayor and Cabinet as outlined above in sections 3 and 4.

Minutes:

RESOLVED: That two referrals be made to Mayor and Cabinet as outlined above in sections 3 and 4.