Agenda item - Strategic Risk Focus: SR30, SR23, SR21 and SR26

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Agenda item

Strategic Risk Focus: SR30, SR23, SR21 and SR26

Report of the Executive Lead Officer, Strategy, Governance & Law

 

Decision:

RESOLVED: That the Committee:

 

1.    Noted the streamlining of the risk management process as agreed at ELT on 21 November 2018.

 

2.    Noted the changes to the council’s SRR.

 

3.    Noted  Appendix 1 for details of SR30; SR23; SR21; and SR26.

 

4.    Noted  Appendix 2: Information on the council’s risk management process relative to Strategic Risks (SRs); and Suggested questions for Members to ask Risk Owners and officers on Strategic Risks.

 

5.    Having considered Appendix 1 and any clarification and/or comments from the officers, the Committee did not decide to make any recommendations to any other council body.

 

      

 

Minutes:

44.1    The Committee considered a report of the Executive Lead Officer, Strategy, Governance & Law that provided detail on the actions taken and future actions to manage each strategic risk.

 

44.2    The Risk Management Lead introduced the report and confirmed that the last Executive Leadership Team (ELT) meeting was on the 21st November 2018 and she highlighted three main points:

            1. There were now a total of 17 strategic risks with one new risk SR34 related to Our People’s Promise.

            2.  SR20 - the risk related to the inability to integrate Health & Adult Social Care was now the most significant increased risk score.

            3. Following a Management Task Review across the Council ELT confirmed that there would be no change to how strategic risk was calculated. However the Risk Management Lead confirmed that now she would be facilitating and minuting all the Directorate Risk Reviews as requested by the ELT and that these would replace use of the CAMMS risk software for Directorate Risks.

 

44.3    Councillor Sykes noted the significant increase in risk scores regarding SR20 ‘Inability to Integrate health and adult social care at local level and deliver timely and appropriate interventions; and asked if there was an officer present who could speak on this matter.

 

SR20 - Geoff Raw – Chief Executive

 

44.4    The Chief Executive spoke about this risk regarding Adult Social Care referring to the “graph of doom” which had been presented three or four years previously by the Local Government Association (LGA) and had identified the long term financial pressures on the service, in dealing with the rising ageing population.  He stated that he had received a provisional long term Government settlement which would be presented to Budget Council and he also confirmed that there had been a Government consultation and a  Fair Funding Review and that a Green paper on the future of social care was also expected.  Meanwhile, he also confirmed that the £1.2 million budget from the local authority may initially appear to be a significant sum, but gave an example that if a patient’s recovery was delayed and they might have to spend three years in care, then the extra funding would only cover the residential care required for ten people. So he confirmed that funding remained a challenging issue.

 

44.5    Councillor Robins asked for an explanation on how any risk and its impact were linked and gave an example of SR20 where the risk rose and yet the impact was the same.  The Risk Management Lead answered that it was quite possible that the impact remained the same although the likelihood may increase. She also confirmed that the impact related to the previous risk score and she stated that for the next meeting she could add the previous risk score to this table to clarify this.

           

44.6    The Chief Executive gave an explanation on the difference between impact and risk by giving the background to this.  He stated that dealing with the cost of Adult Social Care is currently one of the biggest challenges for a Local Authority - which meant, if this was not addressed, it would affect ongoing viability of the council.   He then confirmed that 18 months ago the Council tried to engage with the Clinical Working Group on integrating health and social care this issue and confirmed that some working groups had not performed as well as they had hoped and therefore the likelihood of things being difficult had increased.  He confirmed that he hoped to double the efforts on this issue over the next year in order to reduce risk. 

 

44.7    Councillor Janio asked how the focus on individual risks was re-assessed throughout the year and whether they were still classed as local risks.  The Chief Executive replied that there would be revisions in certain circumstances. For instance the council would take any extra national funding from a Fair Funding Review or a Green paper into account, in terms of impact on risk.

 

            SR21 Larissa Reed – Executive Director, Neighbourhoods, Communities & Housing

 

44.8    The Executive Director, Neighbourhoods, Communities & Housing summarised this housing risk by confirming the causes and existing controls that had been put in place which included allocation polices, procurement of temporary accommodation, and bringing back the use of long term empty properties.

 

44.9    Councillor Sykes questioned firstly the risk action regarding Government meetings from 30th March 2018 – 30%, and secondly the narrative on page 9 around negotiating with developers development resources which did not appear to respond to the 80% risk given.   The Executive Director, Neighbourhoods, Communities & Housingreplied that  regarding the first question, she had met with Homes England and had also consulted with Government as a member of ARCH and that she was putting in a bid for Government funding in order to respond to the fast pace of change.  She also stated that the 30% stated was in fact closer to 60 – 70% due to the changes in timing of these different funding meetings. 

 

44.10  The Head of Housing Strategy, Property & Investment stated that the Housing Committee had agreed extra Revenue resources which enabled this further funding.  He also confirmed that the Council was reviewing its approach in order to give  more options to purchase housing and that through the Housing and New Homes Committee they were looking at new resources to explore planning and enable existing sites.

 

44.11  Councillor Janio asked if student housing could be used to offset strategic housing targets, thus allowing family homes to be released and he also asked if the report on this would come back to Audit & Standards or the Housing and New Homes Committee.  The Executive Director, Economy, Environment & Culture confirmed that student housing could be used to offset housing targets and that this could be reported back to either the Housing and New Homes Committee or Tourism Development and Culture Committee (TDC).

 

44.12  The Chair queried the types of housing risk in the 3 key questions referred to on page 26.  The Executive Director, Neighbourhoods, Communities & Housing confirmed that all forms of housing were included  but that the report focussed on the types of housing that the Council have control over.  She confirmed that in future reports they could add additional forms of housing to the table.

 

            SR26 – Larissa Reed - Executive Director, Neighbourhoods, Communities & Housing

 

44.13  The Executive Director, Neighbourhoods, Communities & Housing introduced this risk around strengthening the relationship with citizens in the way that the Council worked.  She stated that there was a first and second line of defence and that the council was winning with this approach, citing the Communities Fund and Neighbourhood Development Plans as examples of increased involvement.

 

44.14  Councillor Sykes asked two questions, the first regarding maintaining trust with citizens as mentioned on page 16 and whether the lack of improvement in Cityclean was not a way of improving trust with citizens.  Secondly, he queried whether the figure of 2,000 people who received the e-newsletter as stated on page 17 was very small and how this compared to other authorities. The Executive Director, Neighbourhoods, Communities & Housinganswered that they were looking into the best way of communicating to citizens such as the Housing In  magazine , which was currently produced in hard copy only that  tenants were now asking for via email.  She confirmed that tenants used this together with the council website and social media to gain information and as a transactional tool.  She also stated that her team had worked with other councils and that this was a problem that was a struggle for all councils and that people generally received too many emails and therefore looked instead at sections of the website or social media aimed at their part of the city.  Therefore they were currently listening to people and the methods of communications were constantly under review.

 

44.15  Councillor Sykes stated that the council needed to present itself in a credible way.  The Executive Director, Economy, Environment & Culture replied that in relation to Cityclean, the Council was aware that significant details were going to the 22nd January ETS Committee meeting  and that the council needed to be honest and focussed on a progress of this report.

 

44.16  The Chair stated that it must be difficult to control communication separately by Directorate across the whole council and asked if this risk should be owned by all the different Executive Directorates, or if not, by whom.  The Executive Director, Neighbourhoods, Communities & Housing replied that each Directorate had a corporate responsibility for the customer and confirmed that although she liaised with colleagues, she still held personal responsibility for her Directorate.  She also stated that every time she asked for help from her ELT colleagues, she was always given 100% support.

 

44.17  Councillor Robins stated that he appreciated the difficulty in communicating with citizens and that this conscious effort to encourage the use of the council website may be worth commenting further on.  The Executive Director, Neighbourhoods, Communities & Housing confirmed that the old website was difficult to navigate and had since been changed by focussing on what customers use, such as highlighting the more specific link for Brighton & Hove Parking permits – not just the council home page.  She summarised that the website communication should be simple and without fuss in order to get key, relevant messages across.

 

44.18  Councillor Gilbey asked whether the round of sessions for the Full Council Hub mentioned on page 46 would be expanded.  The Executive Director, Neighbourhoods, Communities & Housing replied that the council wanted to test and challenge this in certain areas and confirmed that the council needed to identify the next key places to go with the Action Plan for  their own area. She confirmed that the council needed to ensure that it had the resources ready to deliver these actions.

             

          SR23 – Nick Hibberd - Executive Director, Economy, Environment & Culture

 

44.19  The Executive Director, Economy, Environment & Culture introduced this risk, confirming that he had previously spoken to the Committee on the subject of the high importance of the Seafront to the city. He stated that it was a key part of our transport infrastructure and would naturally deteriorate over time due to use.  He confirmed that this risk originated from a Cross Party Strategic Delivery Board that took place in 2014, and whose findings concluded that significant investment was required in order to ensure that the Seafront was successful.  The Executive Director, Economy, Environment & Culture highlighted that this had been worked at over the last couple of years and three lines of defence had been highlighted on page 22 of the plan.  He highlighted the progression of projects in Shoreham and Black Rock, and investment in the i360 and Shelter Hall in Brighton.  He also highlighted the importance of the A259 road which had been given a 120 year life and included the seafront arches along the lower promenade.  The second line of defence had been the Seafront plan from 2016 established in 2009 with an investment plan that followed the detailed eastern seafront including the regeneration from the Pier to Black Rock.  The Tourism Development and Culture (TD&C) Committee had been receiving updates including a major project update on this project.   He also confirmed that reports had gone to the Greater Brighton Economic Board which had designated the Government funding for this.  He also highlighted the recent outcome of a series of investment internal audit reviews which had just been finalised after Christmas 2018.  From the review there were short recommendations on how the Council could strengthen its position on this and reflect the Annual Report. He confirmed that they would start work on these recommendations in January 2019 and that major projects were reflected in this strategic risk and that in order to ensure this, the Investment Progress group were meeting on a regular basis.

 

44.20  Councillor Janio stated that he felt the whole of the Seafront should include areas such as Hove and Portslade and the Chair added that the Marina and King Alfred’s areas were not mentioned either. The Executive Director, Economy, Environment & Culture confirmed that the seafront did include the whole of the city including all of these areas and that the progress of the work was about prioritisation.

 

44.21  Councillor Sykes noted the point on page 3, Risk Action 25 there had been an issue in recruiting a Project Manager and that this was also a problem for SR21 as stated on page 12.  He asked whether there was a problem with recruitment and what the Council were doing to address this. The Executive Director, Economy, Environment & Culture answered that there had been some recruitment problems, but not in this area where they had appointed three project managers and all staff were excellent.  He added that they had been waiting on funding from the HLF bid, which was not successful, since there was not enough funding to go around and therefore since the December news of the unsuccessful bid, they were now progressing with crowdfunding for the Arches project.  The Chair enquired whether this was the second failed bid for the Arches project and The Executive Director, Economy, Environment & Culture confirmed that it was and that the next opportunity to bid was in March 2019.  He confirmed that it was a normal situation to keep applying for the HLF funding until it was successful and that they were also looking at alternative plans and opportunities for grant funding for the Arches.

 

44.22  Councillor Janio commented that the risk assessments were done well and that it was a good job in comparison with some other councils.

 

44.23  Councillor Phillips asked whether the Shelter Hall project was currently on track and The Executive Director, Economy, Environment & Culture confirmed that it was on track, despite some previously escalating costs, since they were now working to budget within the revised timescale and that the concrete structure was now underway.  The Chair asked whether there should be a separate risk action regarding the delivery of the Waterfront & other major seafront projects and the Executive Director, Economy, Environment & Culture stated that they would reflect the risks within this better and that the work to start preparing the development strategies was now on track but that they would continue to monitor the situation.

 

            SR30 – Geoff Raw, Chief Executive

 

44.24  The Chief Executive highlighted a number of issues that caused concern on this risk and confirmed that since the council were currently in an ambiguous era due to Brexit, the approach the council was taking was for a worst case scenario. He stated that, at present the Council had certain ways of dealing with these risks and that, coming up to the Budget Council meeting, members and officers were working with partners through policy committees and ELT meetings as well as two monthly private executive meetings in order to help keep the city working.  He added that they also had forums such as the Brighton & Hove City Management Board to reach out to other parts of the city.

 

44.25  The Chair asked how the individual elements of this broad risk were assessed and whether the council owned that risk.  The Chief Executive replied that when there had been a critical incident such as the Shoreham air crash, the Sussex Resilience forum had taken this on, so that there was a structured approach for an emergency situation.  Where there was an issue arising over a longer period of time such as seafront disrepair, the best way to deal with this was being addressed in order to ensure the system of governance.  He gave the example of the current situation in France where there  had been a  lot of civil disorder, and in order for prevent a similar situation, then establishing good systems of governance was key. He also confirmed that Brexit was an issue and by taking advice from the Government and discussing this with partners across the region, where areas could be affected by any changes in legislation.

 

44.26  Councillor Gilbey asked if the Police had been involved with this process and the Chief Executive replied gave some examples of police collaboration such as the City Management Board where the Police and Ambulance services had been involved and there had been representation from the Crime Commissioner.

 

44.27  RESOLVED: That the Committee:

 

1.    Noted the streamlining of the risk management process as agreed at ELT on 21 November 2018.

 

2.    Noted the changes to the council’s SRR.

 

3.    Noted  Appendix 1 for details of SR30; SR23; SR21; and SR26.

 

4.    Noted  Appendix 2: Information on the council’s risk management process relative to Strategic Risks (SRs); and Suggested questions for Members to ask Risk Owners and officers on Strategic Risks.

 

5.    Having considered Appendix 1 and any clarification and/or comments from the officers, the Committee did not decide to make any recommendations to any other council body.

 

 

 

Supporting documents:

 


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