Agenda and minutes

Scrutiny Board (Strategy and Resources) - Monday, 12th December, 2022 10.00 am

Venue: Civic Hall, Leeds, LS1 1UR. View directions

Contact: Robert Clayton 0113 378 8790  Email:

Link: to View Meeting Recording

No. Item


Appeals Against Refusal of Inspection of Documents

To consider any appeals in accordance with Procedure Rule 25* of the Access to Information Procedure Rules (in the event of an Appeal the press and public will be excluded).


(* In accordance with Procedure Rule 25, notice of an appeal must be received in writing by the Head of Governance Services at least 24 hours before the meeting).


There were no appeals against refusal of inspection of documents.


Exempt Information - Possible Exclusion of the Press and Public

1  To highlight reports or appendices which officers have identified as containing exempt information, and where officers consider that the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information, for the reasons outlined in the report.


2  To consider whether or not to accept the officers recommendation in respect of the above information.


3  If so, to formally pass the following resolution:-


RESOLVED – That the press and public be excluded from the meeting during consideration of the following parts of the agenda designated as containing exempt information on the grounds that it is likely, in view of the nature of the business to be transacted or the nature of the proceedings, that if members of the press and public were present there would be disclosure to them of exempt information, as follows:


  No exempt items have been identified.


There were no exempt items.


Late Items

To identify items which have been admitted to the agenda by the Chair for consideration.


(The special circumstances shall be specified in the minutes.)


There were no late items.


Declaration of Interests

To disclose or draw attention to any interests in accordance with Leeds City Council’s ‘Councillor Code of Conduct’.


No declarations of interests were made at the meeting.


Apologies for Absence and Notification of Substitutes

To receive any apologies for absence and notification of substitutes.


Apologies for absence were received from Cllr Coupar.


Minutes - 7 November 2022 pdf icon PDF 187 KB

To confirm as a correct record, the minutes of the meeting held on 7 November 2022.


RESOLVED – To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 7th November 2022 as a correct record.


Matters arising


The Principal Scrutiny Adviser highlighted the following actions from the previous minutes:

Minute 54 – Leeds 2023 Update

Further information on community engagement had been circulated to Members in the form of more detail on the dashboards there were discussed. In addition, details on neighbourhood hosts and grant funding had also been circulated along with details of additional Member engagement planned for January 2023.


Minute 55 – Shared Prosperity Fund – Scrutiny Board Update

Additional information on revenue/capital breakdown and overall funding amounts had been shared with Board Members.


Minute 56 – Financial Health Monitoring, Impact of Inflation and Medium Term Financial Strategy

Members were reminded about the Budget Working Group scheduled for 15 December 2022, at 10.30am.


Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Update - Staff Networks pdf icon PDF 420 KB

To receive an update report from the Director of Resources on Equality, Diversity and Inclusion which includes input and feedback from the LGBT+, Women’s Voice and Early Careers staff networks. This item builds on previous work undertaken by the Board in 2021 and earlier in 2022 which has sought to hear directly about lived experiences working for the Council from the Council’s staff networks.

Additional documents:


The report of the Director of Resources provided the Board with a further update on corporate Equality Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) activity in the current year and included contributions from the LGBT+, Women’s Voice and Early Careers staff networks.


In attendance for this item were:

·  Cllr James Lewis – Leader of Council

·  Cllr Mary Harland – Executive Member for Communities

·  Tom Riordan – Chief Executive

·  Neil Evans – Director of Resources

·  John Ebo – Head of HR Projects EDI

·  Vic Clarke – Women’s Voice Staff Network

·  Kat Denvir – Chair, LGBT+ Network

·  Sasha Walton – Chair, Early Careers Network

·  Vanessa Wenham – Freedom to Speak Up Guardian


The Chair started by saying that this item followed on from a previous item heard in January 2022, when the Board had received items on the Race Equality Action Plan, Disability Equality Action Plan as well as attendance from four staff networks. He said that this was an issue that the Council takes very seriously, and it was the remit of the Scrutiny Board to challenge inequality in the Council.


The Chief Executive said it was good to attend this meeting as equality was something he was passionate about and one of the reasons he wanted to come to Leeds City Council, and to Leeds as it had a good reputation for equality. He was of the view that the pandemic and Black Lives Matter movement had raised the profile of these issues and created a need to reflect on them and one of the things that came out of this period was hearing more from the lived experiences of staff. He said that for those in positions of authority it was sometimes a hard message to hear. Although, the Council was doing really good work to address these issues, the Council was committed to do more as some of the issues experienced by colleagues highlighted areas where practice had not good enough. The staff networks, along with the Trade Unions who play a more formal and statutory role, are at the centre of giving a voice to people and take account of the full range of protected characteristics and are therefore at the heart of our consultation processes. It was his view that the staff networks were there to challenge the Council and they had done this effectively and progress had been made. It was the sign of a positive culture where people can be open to challenge and accept that we cannot always get things right.


In order to ensure that Equality, Diversity and Inclusion is at the core of the Council’s activity reverse monitoring is undertaken and this includes the Chief Executive, Tom Riordan, who is engaged in reverse mentoring with the Chair of the LGBT+ network with the aim of developing social learning, strengthening employee relationships and shaping the Council’s inclusive culture


The Head of HR Projects EDI thanked the Scrutiny Board for having this item. He said that EDI was important and something that we must do in  ...  view the full minutes text for item 66.


Devolution Update pdf icon PDF 191 KB

To receive an update report on devolution in West Yorkshire to focus on the progress that has been delivered since the first mayoral elections in May 2021. The report provides information on the new structures that are in place as they relate to Leeds, details of key achievements delivered through the devolved structures, focuses on ongoing challenges and examples of partnership activity with the Council, which will benefit people living and working in Leeds.


The report of the Director of Resources provided a devolution update for the Scrutiny Board since the delivery of the Devolution Deal and the first mayoral elections in May 2021. It highlighted the key achievements delivered through devolved structures and partnership activities and their impact on Leeds, as well as key challenges and how the Devolution Deal may evolve going forward.


In attendance for this item were:

  • Cllr James Lewis – Deputy Mayor /Leader of Council
  • Tom Riordan – Chief Executive
  • Neil Evans – Director of Resources
  • Martin Farrington – Director of City Development
  • Ben Still – WYCA Managing Director
  • Cllr P Truswell – Chair of Infrastructure, Investment and Inclusive Growth Scrutiny Board
  • Cllr B Anderson – Chair of Environment, Housing and Communities Scrutiny Board
  • Cllr A Marshall-Katung – Chair of Adults, Health and Active Lifestyles Scrutiny Board


The Chair said that the Chairs of other Scrutiny Boards were in attendance for this item because devolution crossed many areas of the Council and therefore potentially the remits of the different scrutiny boards.


The Director of City Development opened the item providing the Board with the following points:

  • The report gave an overview of the West Yorkshire Devolution Deal which was announced in the Budget in March 2020 with the final consenting order in January 2021 and mayoral election in May 2021.
  • As a devolution deal there was more than £1.8 billion in funding over the next 30 years, including £38 million per year in not inflation linked gainshare funding divided into25% capital and 75% revenue.
  • The West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA) also took a decision to take on borrowing for non-transport powers through separate legislation. In December 2021 the Government informed WYCA of its intention to lay a draft order in Parliament on this matter in January 2022.
  • The report covered the funding position, partnership working the proposals for a single investment fund recognising that some of the funding is ring-fenced, West Yorkshire Investment Strategy and highlighted the key benefits following the devolution deal which included the work of the inward investment authority who work closely with the Council and other authorities. It also provided information on the gainshare funding and how this has been divided up.


Responding to questions from the Chairs of the Scrutiny Boards and the Board Members of Strategy and Resources Scrutiny Board the following information was provided:


Funding and Inflation

It was noted that there are variable amounts of autonomy in relation to funding, depending on the nature of the funding coming in on transport. The most autonomy of funding WYCA has is on gainshare, which is still subject to two processes which are the five yearly gateway review with Government that ensures the money is spent according to the good value for money principles and secondly that there is a requirement for the funding to be spent through the Combined Authorities Assurance Framework, which was referenced in the submitted report.


The limits of the funding are around the devolution deal, which are in promoting  ...  view the full minutes text for item 67.


Core Business Transformation pdf icon PDF 175 KB

To consider the report of the Head of Democratic Services that provides an update on the Core Business Transformation (CBT) Programme, which aims to transform Finance, Procurement, HR and Payroll activities across the Council.

Additional documents:


The report of the Head of Democratic Services provided the Board with an update on the progress of the Core Business Transformation programme.


Attending the meeting for this item were:

·  Neil Evans – Director of Resources

·  Victoria Bradshaw – Chief Officer Financial Services


Members were informed that phase one of the Core Business Transformation focusses on financial services and replacing the existing FMS system which is now nearing ‘end of life’ with future phases planned to deal with other functions such as HR and payroll.


Members were advised that external auditors had concerns that the current system could not provide the information that was required.


In response to questions from the Board the following information was provided:

·  Capital receipts can be used to fund service transformation under the Government’s Flexible Use of Capital Receipts Directive.

·  The current system is 20 years old, and technology has moved on, the new system would be able to provide bespoke reports, information for budget holders, provided detailed information and trend analysis.

·  The system is CIPFA recommended and used in other authorities.

·  Financial Services has recently restructured and the accountants who currently input to the FMS system will be able to focus on other areas of work.

·  The new system will be operational by October 2023 with plans to deliver improvements in other services following that.


RESOLVED – To note the content of the report and appendices and to highlight any future areas of scrutiny work arising from discussions of this item.


Work Programme pdf icon PDF 145 KB

To consider the Scrutiny Board’s work programme for the 2022/23 municipal year.

Additional documents:


The report of the Head of Democratic Services set out the 2022/23 work programme for the Scrutiny Board (Strategy and Resources) and was reflective of board member discussions to date.


The Principal Scrutiny Adviser informed the Board that a draft work schedule for the Strategy and Resources Scrutiny Board was presented at Appendix 1 of the submitted report. Members were asked to note the minutes of Executive Board held on 23rd November which were appended to the report at Appendix 2.


The Chair suggested that he will explore the possibility of a working group to do more work on EDI following today’s item.


RESOLVED – To consider, discuss and note the Scrutiny Board’s work schedule for the 2022/23 municipal year.


Date and Time of Next Meeting

The next meeting of Strategy and Resources Scrutiny Board is scheduled for 16 January 2023 at 10.00AM, There will be a pre-meeting for all Board members at 9.45am.


To note the next meeting of the Board will be on 16th January 2023 at 10:00am. There will be a pre-meeting for all Board members at 9:45am