Agenda and minutes

Finance and Corporate Services Select Committee - Wednesday, 8th February, 2023 7.00 pm

Venue: Committee Room 6 - Civic Centre, High Street, Uxbridge UB8 1UW. View directions

Contact: Nikki O'Halloran  Email:


No. Item


Apologies for Absence


There were no apologies for absence.


Declarations of interest in matters coming before this meeting


There were no declarations of interest in matters coming before this meeting. 


Minutes of the previous meeting - 11 January 2023 pdf icon PDF 255 KB


RESOLVED:  That the minutes of the meeting held on 11 January 2023 be agreed as a correct record.


To confirm that the items of business marked as Part I will be considered in Public and that the items marked as Part II will be considered in Private


RESOLVED:  That all items of business at this meeting be considered in public. 


Review of Procurement Within Hillingdon - Third Witness Session pdf icon PDF 241 KB


The Chairman welcomed those present to the meeting and noted that this was the third witness session in relation to the Committee’s review of procurement within Hillingdon.


Mr Matthew Kelly, the Council’s Head of Procurement, advised that, once services had been procured, contract management was part of the procurement process but was primarily undertaken within service areas, with ad hoc support provided by the Procurement Team.  When going through the initial procurement process, the Procurement Team worked with service areas to look at how the contract would be managed after it had been let.  Developing strong contract management mechanisms would help to maximise performance and reduce risks whilst protecting and enhancing the value that had been built in at the tender stage.


Members were advised that each contract was different and needed to be managed according to its needs and ranged from transactional contracts (such as stationery) to more strategic contracts (such as fleet maintenance or parking enforcement).  As such, there was no single approach to contract management used across the Council. 


Mr Roy Clark, the Council’s Head of Parking Services, advised that he managed the authority’s parking enforcement contract.  This contract required 20-25 enforcement officers per day dealing with parking regulations across the Borough.  Mr Clark noted that, as well as the back-office processes, there were a range of linked legal processes which dictated how the contract could and could not be managed. 


It was important that officers were clear on what required outcomes should be built into the contract and to ensure that these were achievable rather than unrealistic.  Sanctions could be included in the contract to enforce performance. 


The parking enforcement contract had been let for five years with the option to extend for a further five years.  In terms of contract monitoring, Mr Clark advised that he met regularly with contractors to talk about operational and strategic issues and to look at long term improvements to the contract that would provide added value to residents.  Officers monitored issues such as a significant increase in the number of tickets issued in a particular area to identify if there was something that needed to be addressed to increase compliance with parking regulations. 


Members were advised that parking enforcement around schools during the drop off and pick up times continued to be a contentious issue with some residents wanting more enforcement and other wanting less.  Ultimately, it was important that action was taken to ensure the safety of the children attending those schools. 


Mr Steve Gunter, the Council’s Fleet Manager, advised that he managed the supply of vehicles to different service areas.  The fleet comprised 295 vehicles (including vans and pool cars), most of which were owned by the Council (rather than leased), and 60 of which needed operators licences to carry commercial products.  A rolling five year programme had been put in place to replace vehicles whilst also considering any changes in legislation such as the proposed move from Low Emission Zone to Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ).  ...  view the full minutes text for item 53.


Cabinet Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 136 KB

Additional documents:


It was agreed that the Committee Members forward any comments about the Forward Plan to the Chairman prior to the meeting so that these could then be shared with Cabinet.  These comments could then be reported back to the Committee at the earliest convenience. 


Members asked that the Forward Plan report on the agenda not include items for which the report deadline had already passed. 


RESOLVED:  That the Cabinet Forward Plan be noted. 


Work Programme pdf icon PDF 155 KB

Additional documents:


It was noted that the Chairman had agreed to include an update report from the Council’s Counter Fraud Team on the agenda for the next meeting on 1 March 2023.  Members were advised that, whilst Audit was able to receive reports from the Counter Fraud Team, the Finance and Corporate Services Select Committee had Constitutional responsibility for scrutinising the work of this service area. 


A request was made to bring the report on the digitisation of customer services forward in the Work Programme to before the end of this municipal year (currently scheduled for June 2023).  Whilst it was important that the Council made efficiencies and optimised its service offering, it was also important that Hillingdon’s most vulnerable residents were not left behind if they were not digitally enabled and that they were still able to access the services that they needed.  As the move to the digitisation of the Council’s customer services was still fairly new, it was suggested that it needed time to bed in.  Concern was expressed that residents had been experiencing issues in communicating with the Council following the move to digital services and it was suggested that the numbers using these services needed to be measured and monitored.  It was agreed that regular monitoring be built into the Work Programme. 


The Committee discussed the new Members’ Enquiries system and whether it should be included on the same agenda as the digitisation of customer services which had been scheduled for the meeting in June 2023.  Members requested that they received an update on residents’ uptake of online and digital services to see where additional work could be undertaken to further increase engagement where possible. 


In terms of possible future review topics, the following were suggested:

·         Counter fraud

·         The challenges of moving to a fleet of electric vehicles


RESOLVED:  That the Committee’s Work Programme be noted.