Venue: Council Chamber, County Hall - County Hall. View directions
Contact: Elizabeth Patterson 01597 826980 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
To receive apologies for absence.
Apologies for absence were received from County Councillors M Barnes, S Davies, G Jones, K Lauren-Parry, J Pugh, L Roberts, E Roderick, G Thomas and Portfolio Holder P Davies (Highways, Recycling and Assets) and R Powell (Young People and Culture)
K Thomas (Principal Librarian), V Hanly (Interim Professional Lead Commercial Services), T Simmons (Procurement Specialists), J Forsey (Senior Manager – Corporate Transport) and E Patterson (Scrutiny Officer)
Declarations of interest
To receive declarations of interest from Members.
No declarations of interest were received.
Declarations of Party Whips
To receive disclosures of prohibited party whips which a Member has been given in relation to the meeting in accordance with Section 78(3) of the Local Government Measure 2011.
(NB: Members are reminded that under Section 78 Members having been given a prohibited party whip cannot vote on a matter before the Committee.)
No declarations of Party Whips were received.
To undertake pre-Cabinet scrutiny of the Welsh Library Public Standards 2017-18 outcomes.
· Cabinet Report January 2019 ‘Welsh Public Library Standards report for 2017/18’
· Welsh Public Library Standards 2017-2020 – Powys
· Connected and Ambitious Libraries: The sixth quality framework of Welsh Public Library Standards 2017-2020
· Scrutiny Briefing – Welsh Public Library Standards
The Principal Librarian presented the Cabinet report covering the Welsh Public Library Standards report for 2017-18.
The Library Service was assessed under the first years of the Sixth Framework ‘Connected and Ambitious Libraries’. The service met 11 of the 12 Core entitlements in full and partially met 1 Core Entitlement. Of the 16 Quality Indicators 10 have measures. The service met 5 in full, 1 in part and failed 4.
The period 2017-18 covered the time that the service was working with communities regarding alternative delivery models. This was also the time that the Library Service joined the all Wales Library Management Service which whilst this resulted in savings in the longer term did take two months to complete during which book purchase and supply requests could not be processed which impacted on the some of the standards.
What is the service intending to do to meet the 4 Quality Indicators (QI) which were failed in the 2017-18 report?
QI6 is ‘User attendances at library events’. The service currently have grant funding to run Reading Aloud events for people with mild dementia or depression but because Powys has small communities the service does not restrict these events to people with mild dementia or depression. The service runs open and inclusive events and does not ask users to define themselves in terms of problems. The service is keen not to introduce stigma into event attendance.
QI9 is ‘up to date and appropriate reading material’ or acquisitions. The service has never met this measure. Spending would need to increase by around £100k to meet this measure. This measure was affected by the move to the Welsh Library Service Management System but the 2018-19 results should show a return to the usual levels Powys acquisitions. Powys aim to reach a 10% replenishment rate.
QI10 is ‘Welsh language resources’. This measure is normally met and was also affected by the move to the Welsh Library Service Management System.
QI12 is ‘supply of requests’. This was not met partly because of problems with the delivery van. A new delivery van has been supplied by fleet.
Is the service speaking to Welsh Government to reword QI6 to encourage attendance at open and inclusive events?
This subject has been raised with Welsh Government during the consultation regarding the Seventh Library Framework which is currently being developed.
It is clear that some libraries are well used but also that the service faces tremendous challenges. How is the service working with Welsh Government regarding the standards in light of the financial challenges the authority faces?
Powys in conjunction with other authorities across Wales are speaking with Welsh Government regarding the standards. There are some standards that no authority in Wales are meeting such as staffing and acquisitions.
To receive a presentation in response of a scrutiny outcome regarding the savings attributed to the digraph contract.
· Scrutiny briefing 18th January 2018
· Scrutiny Committee A paper 14th December 2017
The Interim Professional Lead – Commercial Services gave a presentation on the Council’s Vehicle Spare Parts contract with Digraph Transport Supplies.
The contract had started in April 2017 and scrutiny had been undertaken in December 2017 as local contractors had expressed disquiet.
The contract had been let following a National Procurement Service procurement process. This included a commitment to local sourcing to help the local economy. Prior to April 2017 no contract had been in place, the authority were not compliant with contract regulation and workshop staff were undertaking numerous journeys to pick up parts to get vehicles back on the road. It was extremely difficult to calculate spend as there was little management information available but it was estimated that local spend was around £80k which was lower than expected. However, when the contract was let local suppliers did express concern that they were losing business.
The information presented in December 2017 showed local spend at around 18%. It has since been found that this was slightly higher than the actual local spend.
During 2018 £528k was spent on the Digraph contract. It is estimated that the previous annual spend was approximately £500k although it has not been possible to verify this.
The Digraph contract has the following advantages:
· Imprest stock provided and managed by Digraph
· Stock reviewed by Digraph on a monthly basis and advice provided to workshops by Digraph
· Payment is now by Barclaycard All Wales Purchase card
· Improvement management information and overview of spend per vehicle
This year there have been 750 deliveries (including 426 to Brecon and 325 to Newtown). The contract allows for up to two deliveries a day to each depot thereby minimising the waiting time for parts that are not maintained within the imprest stock. Deliveries are rated and none have been rated ‘poor’. The imprest stock is regularly adjusted to reflect usage.
The payment by Barclaycard has decreased the processing costs and provided much improved management information which will be available when the contract needs to be renewed.
During the last 12 months local spend has been approximately 13%. Not all spend could be spent locally (for example HGV parts cannot be sourced locally as there are no main dealers in the county). It is likely that no more than 25% could be spent locally as most local companies are motor factors and the service are looking to purchase original parts.
In addition to the local spend the contract includes a 2% rebate to be spent on community benefits. The Portfolio Holder has agreed to spend this year’s rebate supporting an apprenticeship. Digraph have also agreed to attend the Powys Careers Festival.
What are the savings figures for 2018? What is the agreed discount rate and are you confident this is the best?
When the contract was put out to tender companies were asked to quote on a basket of items which were compared to ... view the full minutes text for item 28.
To receive a verbal update from the Chair of Learning, Skills and Economy Scrutiny Committee.
The Chair noted that this was the last planned meeting of the Learning, Skills and Economy Scrutiny Committee ahead of a Council decision on the future arrangements for scrutiny committees on 24th January 2019. He thanked Committee Members for the work that they had undertaken in this committee since May 2018.
The next meeting of the Learning, Skills and Economy Scrutiny Committee (or its successor committee) will take place on Monday 11th February 2019 at 10.00am. This meeting will consider Schools Major Improvements (including verified capacity) and school budgets.
The next meeting of this committee (or successor committee) will take place on 11th February 2019.