Agenda and draft minutes

Finance and Corporate Services Select Committee - Wednesday, 17th April, 2024 7.00 pm

Venue: Committee Room 5 - Civic Centre. View directions

Contact: Anisha Teji  01895 277655 Email:

No. Item


Apologies for Absence


There were no apologies for absence.


Declarations of interest in matters coming before this meeting




Minutes of the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 207 KB


RESOLVED: That the minutes from the meeting on 5 March 2024 be agreed subject to noting the Committee’s request for the final report on the Council’s Consultation Arrangements be considered at Full Council.


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


It was confirmed that agenda items 1 – 5 and 7 – 8 would be considered in Part I.


It was agreed that agenda item 6 – Presentation on Cyber Security would be heard in Part II due to information relating to any action taken or to be taken in connection with the prevention, investigation or prosecution of crime.


The Council's Transformation and Business Change Programme pdf icon PDF 440 KB

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The Lead Officer for Transformation and Business Change, Chief Digital and Information Officer, Corporate Director for Central Services and Corporate Director for Finance  presented the item on The Council’s Transformation and Business Change Programme.


The presentation provided an overview on the Council’s transformation programme, the programme to date, current projects, the Council Strategy 2022 – 2026, change projects and delivering financial effectiveness. Officers discussed the ambition, resources, and governance structure for the transformation, highlighting the mission to create a sustainable, efficient, and resident-friendly council. The Council’s history of transformation and the recent focus on technology to enhance service delivery was emphasised.


In March 2023, a new transformation program was initiated, involving the recruitment of a skilled business change team and a £10 million capital investment in technology, digital, and data. A digital roadmap for the next three years was established. The governance process for project monitoring was explained, featuring a lifecycle approach and regular service development meetings for oversight and accountability.


The presentation covered 27 live projects aligned with the Council’s strategy, including projects for housing and homelessness, which aimed to improve customer experience and data use. A review of fostering services sought to address recruitment and retention challenges, aiming for cost savings and better outcomes for foster children.


The UK Shared Prosperity Fund project was allocated £1.7 million, including capital, for community, business growth and how the Council could improve communities and place. An employability project in the concept stage aimed to maximise employment opportunities for residents, and updates on the digital project focused on enhancing the Council’s digital capabilities.


The employability project’s goal to link residents with meaningful work and the digital project’s focus on customer experience and digital inclusion were discussed. The financial case for service transformation was emphasised, with a need for efficiency and value for money despite financial challenges.


The Committee welcomed the transformation programme’s focus on Council operation efficiency and improved resident services. Officers detailed their resident engagement approach, using the fostering project as an example of feedback collection. The importance of tracking project benefits, the outcomes and ensuring delivery in accordance with the business plan and exploring why desired outcomes had not been delivered was highlighted.


The conversation shifted to the broader benefits of the transformation programme, such as the positive impact on children in foster care. The need to communicate these benefits to residents was discussed. Officers reported on a fostering event and ongoing evaluations of initiatives. They also discussed the financial aspects of transformation, including potential efficiency gains through digital transformation.

Specific examples included establishing children’s residential homes and integrating technology to support independent living were highlighted to the Committee.


Some concerns were raised regarding project feasibility and resilience. Officers outlined their strategic planning process, emphasising best practices and strong governance. it was explained in the past, the Council embarked on transformative projects, initially driven by data demands and opportunities in areas like housing and fostering. However, moving forward, the Zero Based budgeting collaboration with Grant Thornton provided an additional layer  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.


Presentation on Cyber Security


This item was discussed as a Part II item without the press or public present as the information under discussion contained confidential or exempt information as defined by law in the Local Government (Access to Information) Act 1985.  This was because it discussed ‘information relating to any action taken or to be taken in connection with the prevention, investigation or prosecution of crime, e.g. proposed police action or planned trading standards investigation.’ (paragraph 7 of the schedule to the Act).


The Council’s Chief Digital and Information Officer provided the Committee with insights into the current threat landscape and recent cyber incidents.  The presentation highlighted various trends, including supply chain attacks, triple extortion, ransomware as a service, attacking unpatched systems, and phishing. Case studies were explored and how different organisations had been impacted by the attacks. Members heard about the need for improvement in specific areas and the importance of addressing cyber threats and enhancing cyber security culture in organisations.


RESOLVED: That the presentation on Cyber Security be noted.


Cabinet Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 237 KB

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RESOLVED: That the Forward Plan be noted.


Work Programme pdf icon PDF 139 KB

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RESOLVED: That the work programme be noted.