Choosing our priorities for 2016/17

Last week scrutiny councillors held their 5th annual Work Planning Conference. This is an event open to all scrutiny councillors, co-optees and lay members from the Audit and Standards Committees. The purpose was to think about what topics scrutiny should focus on next year.

Councillors considered a range of inputs including:

  • Review of last year’s work plan
  • The Council’s corporate priorities (provided by Mike Hawes, Corporate Director for Resources)
  • Suggestions and ideas from Cabinet, the public, staff, partners and from councillors (via survey)

The main topics coming out of the discussions were:

  • Collaboration – how effective is it? How could the Council’s collaboration with its partners be improved?
  • Preparedness for School – This is one of the key challenges for Swansea as a Healthy City but is the Council getting this right? How can support for 0-3 year olds be improved so that they arrive at school ready to learn?
  • Corporate Building Services – Does it offer value for money?
  • Digital Inclusion – Many council services will be digital in future but is the quality of services being preserved? How can we ensure that people who are not being excluded from services once they become digital?
  • Housing Strategy – The Council has ambitious plans for meeting housing need through building new homes but how realistic are these plans? How can housing needs best be met?

Other topic suggestions included:

  • Deprivation of liberty safeguards
  • Vibrant and Viable city centre
  • Job creation
  • Community cohesion
  • Safeguarding
  • Estates / asset management
  • School transport
  • Residents parking
  • Planning / section 106 money
  • Well-being of Future Generations Act

The Scrutiny Programme Committee will draw on these proposals when considering its new work plan when it meets again in June.  Some topics may be dealt with by existing performance panels, some by working groups and some may be tackled through in depth inquiries.

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