To consider the Scrutiny Board’s Terms of Reference as presented in the report of the Head of Democratic Services.
The Board received the report of the Head of Democratic Services, which presented the terms of reference for the Scrutiny Board (Strategy & Resources).
In attendance for this item;
Mariana Pexton, the recently appointed Director of Strategy and Resources, provided a presentation which introduced the services that are in the Directorate and fall under the Board’s remit.
Challenges and opportunities for the Directorate were identified as: Demographic changes, ongoing impacts of Covid-19, continuing increases in cost of living pressures, financial challenges and efficiencies, embedding digital approaches, improving customer experience, recruitment and retention, workloads and burnout, collaboration between services and organisations including anchor network, managing major risks, safeguarding, cyber threats and major incidents.
The Director of Strategy and Resources provided the strategic context for the work delivered within the Directorate. The Best City Ambition underpins the city’s work and includes the three pillars; inclusive growth, health & wellbeing and zero carbon. With the Organisational Plan (later on the agenda) being the main planning document for the council.
The Director of Strategy and Resources provided an oversight into how the Directorate works, as the Board has had several new members in the new municipal year.
The following services are delivered from within the Strategy & Resources Directorate’s;
• Front line services often provided to the most vulnerable, alongside organisational leadership for key support services.
• Civic Enterprise – facilities management, passenger transport, catering, fleet, building and cleaning
• Integrated Digital Service – digital & technology strategy, information governance, digital change & inclusion and data analytics.
• Legal & Democratic - legal advice across council democratic and governance services including member support, committee support and the Lord Mayor’s office
• Financial - budget, monitoring, treasury management, internal audit, council tax, business rates, core business transformation
• Freedom to Speak Up Guardian
• Human Resources
The Chief Officer Elections and Regulatory provided an overview of services that fall under the Board’s remit;
• Entertainment licensing – licensing committee sets policy, licensing subcommittees make majority of decisions where representations received, personal licence holders, premises licenses, TENS, gambling and other licensable activities such as scrap metal
• Registrars – births, marriages and civil partnerships, deaths, citizenships
• Elections – conducting all polls, maintaining the register of electors
• Taxi and private hire licensing – licencing committee agrees policy, most decisions made by officers, PH operators, PH vehicle proprietors, PD drivers, HC proprietors, HC drivers
• Land and property search services – local land charges, searches, street registration
The Chief Officer Culture and Economy provided an overview of the areas of the City Development portfolio which are within the Board’s remit;
• Culture programmes – culture strategy, Leeds cultural investment programme, Leeds Inspired.
• Leeds museums and galleries - 9 sites. 1.2 million objects, three collections of national significance – fine and dec art, natural sciences, industrial history. Key partners include arts council England, Henry Moore Foundation, University of Leeds and Royal Armouries
• Leeds arts events and venues – programmes on millennium square. £2.8million income generated. There were 76,000 visitors at free events in Millennium Square in 2022/23
• Leeds 2023 – a year of culture delivered by Leeds culture trust in response to disqualification from European capital of culture competition. Three seasons, awakening, playing and dreaming. Three strands – produce, partner, promote.
• Inward investment service – 1 manager for the service. Major investments recently supported include JP Morgan, Bank of England, FCA, Cubo, Snowflake, Cognizant, EMI north, PEXA, BBC and Pandox. The service has an active investment pipeline representing over 3,000 jobs in the Leeds area.
The Committee sought clarity on the evaluation statistics to be gathered for Leeds 2023, and the Chief Officer Culture and Economy confirmed that these will be provided to the Board as part of the planned July report.
RESOLVED – That the Terms of Reference be noted.