Agenda and minutes

Scrutiny Board (Strategy and Resources) - Monday, 17th July, 2023 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.




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 was no exempt information on the agenda.




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’.


There were no declarations.




Apologies for Absence and Notification of Substitutes

To receive any apologies for absence and notification of substitutes.


There were no apologies.




Minutes - 19 June 2023 pdf icon PDF 154 KB

To confirm as a correct record, the minutes of the meeting held on 19 June 2023


RESOLVED – That the minutes of the meeting held on 19 June 2023 be confirmed as a correct record.




Matters Arising


Minute 10 – Sources of Work


The work programme had been updated to reflect the discussion. A report on Attendance Management and Employee Mental Health would be brough to the September meeting.


Minute 11 – Performance Report


Members had received an update following the issues relating to the KPI on Education Health Care Plans. This will be considered by the Scrutiny Board (Children & Families) as part of the inquiry in EHCPs and the Board would receive further updates as this work develops in 2023/24.


Minute 12 – Being Our Best – Our Organisation Plan for 2023 Onwards


Members had received information on the menopause toolkit.


Minute 13 – Work Programme


Budget action plans would be addressed in the 2022/23 Financial and Treasury Management Outturn Report which are considered later on this meeting agenda.




Leeds 2023 Progress Update pdf icon PDF 333 KB

To consider a report from the Chief Officer Economy and Culture setting out progress on Leeds 2023 as it delivers cultural events throughout the city.

Additional documents:


The report of the Chief Officer, Culture and Economy provided the Board with an update on the LEEDS 2023 Year of Culture.


The update focussed on the following:


·  Programme structure

·  Signature projects

·  Partner projects

·  Research and Evaluation

·  Impact

·  Beyond 2023

·  Fundraising and sponsorship

·  Consultation and engagement with Elected Members.


The following were in attendance for this item:


-  Eve Roodhouse, Chief Officer, Culture & Economy

-  Karen Murgatroyd, Executive Manager – Leeds 2023

-  Cllr Jonathan Pryor, Executive Member for Economy, Culture & Education

-  Kully Thiari, Creative Director and CEO Leeds 2023

-  Abigail Scott Paul, Director of External Relations Leeds 2023



The Board was given an overview of events and opportunities for involvement that had happened to date which included the Awakening Event at the outset of the year and signature events that had been held. Detail of upcoming and current events was also highlighted.


A presentation was delivered on Leeds 2023 Year of Culture. The following was highlighted:


·  Data relating to impact and engagement – this was available on the Leeds 2023 website.

·  Events and projects during ‘My Leeds Summer.’

·  Engagement with schools and young people. Over 40% of schools had been involved so far and it was hoped to reach 75%.

·  Volunteer involvement – volunteers had been recruited from across all wards and had worked with other organisations across the city.

·  Media coverage – national and international.

·  Digital reach and engagement – there had been a large number of online interactions.

·  Evaluation so far and economic impact.


Thanks were expressed to all Members who had been involved and to the Leeds 2023 team for the success to date.


In response to comments and questions from the Board, discussion included the following:


·  Updates to Community Committees – Members were asked to share details of events through their wider networks where possible.

·  Members congratulated the Leeds 2023 team and in particular the Neighbourhood Hosts for their work in staging events and involvement at a local level,

·  Leeds 2023 had been designed to help people, develop skills and drive ambition with young people playing a particularly big part as a result the full impact of this may not be seen for a number of years.

·  Age profile data was being collected and members were interested in participation of over 60s in the year so far.

·  The experience in Leeds would help to support other local authorities in West Yorkshire with culture related events, notably Bradford and Kirklees.

·  There would be an economic legacy with increased spending this year but also future benefits of attracting business to the city with employment opportunities in the cultural sector.

·  Information on a ward basis with regards to engagement, events and financial benefits was requested.

·  The Inclusive Growth Strategy was currently being updated and culture would be included as an area that was prioritised for investment.

·  There were cultural organisations coming to Leeds including a northern hub for the British Library, a national poetry centre and other arts organisations.

·  Examples of partnership work with local  ...  view the full minutes text for item 22.


People Management Update pdf icon PDF 415 KB

To consider a report from the Chief Officer HR providing an overview of the Councils approach to staff performance management currently and work taking place to develop a supportive performance management framework – Let’s Talk Openly About Performance.


The report of the Chief HR Officer provided an overview and update on a number of key people management activities, particularly the Council’s approach to managing employee performance and the work taking place to develop a balanced  approach – Let’s Talk Openly About Performance.


The report also provided a progress update following the Board meeting in March with regards to the management of attendance.


The following were in attendance for this item:


-  Andy Dodman, Chief HR Officer

-  Claire Matson, Head of Human Resources

-  Mariana Pexton, Director of Strategy and Resources

-  Cllr Debra Coupar, Executive Member for Resources


The Board was given a presentation which focussed on the following two main areas:


·  Management of Attendance

·  Management of staff performance


Reference was made to the Being Our Best plan and what was expected from leaders and managers through the related Be Your Best Management Development Programme. Issues highlighted included the following:


·  Leadership training

·  Appraisal management and regular supervision

·  Health and Safety

·  Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI)

·  Managing staff performance – the Me, We, and Us Approach

·  Support available for managers and leaders including training.


In response to questions and comments from the Board, discussion included the following:


·  Interventions and support for aspiring managers, new managers and more experienced managers.

·  Mandatory EDI training for all 2,200 managers was almost complete.

·  All directorates were committed to managing employee performance. There was support for hybrid workers and there was an expectation that all staff would attend the workplace on a regular basis. Evidence had shown more one to one contact between managers and staff where homeworking was involved, albeit by remote means.

·  There were organisation design principles to ensure that numbers of staff to be managed were reasonable and appropriate. The Board requested more information on manager to staff ratios.

·  For more formal issues staff and managers are encouraged to meet in person.

·  Information was requested regarding the number of managers that had left through the early leaver’s initiative from  the 25 mentioned in the report.

·  Annual and mid-year appraisals were generally supported by more frequent, supervision meetings to ensure regular ‘check ins’ on performance and wellbeing and to ensure that any issues raised in appraisals are flagged and have been part of ongoing discussion.

·  There were checks and balances to ensure that fairness was a part of performance management.

·  Targeted support to tackle days lost to absence has been rolled out successfully and there was scope for this support to be moved to other areas where absence rates are higher.

·  There would be further information in September’s update about attendance management, alongside details from the Staff Survey.




a)  That the content of the report and the ongoing work to develop a Managing Staff Performance toolkit that will support managers to build a culture where everybody is comfortable having regular open conversations about performance be noted.

b)  That the progress made in reducing the levels of sickness absence be noted.




2022/23 Financial and Treasury Management Outturn Reports pdf icon PDF 155 KB

To consider the 2022/23 Financial and Treasury Management Outturn reports.

Additional documents:


The report of the Head of Democratic Services provided the Board with the outturn position for the 2022/23 financial year covering the General Fund revenue budget and the Housing Revenue Account (HRA) at Appendix 1 and the treasury management position at Appendix 2.


The following were in attendance for this item:


-  Victoria Bradshaw, Chief Finance Officer

-  Councillor Debra Coupar, Executive Member for Resources

-  Mariana Pexton, Director of Strategy and Resources


Highlights from the report included the following:


·  There was an overspend of £12.4 million which was a reduction of £3.9 million reported in April.

·  Main areas of overspend were in Children & Families. Pressures included spending on looked after children. This was a position that was being experienced nationally.

·  There was also overspending in Communities, Housing and Environment and this included Environmental Services and the Welfare Benefit Service.

·  There were areas of underspend in the strategic budget and within the schools DSG.

·  The figures reflected the pay award and increased costs of energy.

·  Update on the capital budget.

·  The treasury account had a £6m underspend which was largely a result of prudent borrowing and securing lower interest rates.


In response to comments and questions from the Board, discussion included the following:


·  Housing Revenue Account – there had been overspending due to general pressures such as increased costs of material and labour. There had also been an increase in tenant arrears.

·  All budget saving plans were robustly checked with input from Finance/HR/Legal Services/Asset Management where appropriate. There would be a report to Executive Board providing further updates and a number of the plans had already been achieved.

·  Transformation programme – this was needed to deliver services within the resources available. There was funding available from capital receipts for service transformation towards this.

·  Early Leaver’s Initiative – If there was any required this would be on focussed areas linked to service reviews and where ELI was justified.

·  There would be ongoing budget challenges due to inflation staying higher than expected, the pay increase being higher than budgeted for and the impact of increased interest rates.




(1)  That the content of the Financial and Treasury Management Outturn reports for 2022/23 be noted.

(2)  Consider how the priorities highlighted in the Scrutiny Board’s discussion might inform decisions about future work programming.




Work Programme pdf icon PDF 141 KB

To consider the Scrutiny Board’s work schedule for the 2023/24 municipal year.

Additional documents:


The report of the Head of Democratic Services set out the 2023/24 work programme for the Board. The report reflected comments made at the June meeting under both the sources of work item and the first version of the work programme report.


It was reported that issues relating to the Housing Revenue Account would fall under the remit of the Scrutiny Board (Environment, Housing and Communities) and a response would be provided in terms of whether Strategy and Resources Board was able to consider any elements of this given its remit on budgetary and financial matters


RESOLVED – That the report and work programme be noted.




Date and Time of Next Meeting

The next public meeting of the Board will take place on 18 September 2023 at 10.00am. There will be a pre-meeting for all board members at 9.30am.


Monday, 18 September 2023 at 10.00 a.m.  Pre-meeting for all Board Members at 9.30 a.m.