Agenda and minutes

Strategy and Resources Committee
Monday, 14th January, 2019 7.30 pm

Venue: Civic Offices, St Nicholas Way, Sutton SM1 1EA

Contact: Alexa Coates, Head of Committee and Management Support  Tel: 020 8770 4990 | Email:

No. Item


Apologies for absence


Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Marian James and Holly Ramsey. Councillors Chris Williams and Param Nandha attended as a substitutes for Councillors Marian James and Holly Ramsey respectively.



Declarations of Interest


There were no declarations of interest made.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 77 KB

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 29 October 2018.


The minutes of the meeting held on 29 October 2018 were agreed as a correct record and signed by the Chair.


Any Items the Chair deems urgent


There were no urgent items.



Customer Access Strategy pdf icon PDF 99 KB

The London Borough of Sutton and the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames are working together to improve the customer experience to improve outcomes, reduce costs and meet the growing expectations of our residents. The Customer Access Strategy includes our vision for customer access, how we will organise to deliver it, the capabilities we need to get there, and the benefits and risks of doing so.


Additional documents:


The Head of Customer Experience introduced the report. Members asked officers to explain the difference between citizen rather than service focus. Officers explained that this was about facilitating residents’ access to services based on their needs rather than being focused on the structures of the Council. Members discussed the difference in cost of face to face rather than online contact, and the need to support digital access to services. Officers advised that the library service and the voluntary sector would be important in supporting residents to access services digitally. Members also discussed email response rates and how the aim of responding within 10 working days would be achieved - Officers advised that in part this was about being open with residents on timescales of dealing with issues and communicating to residents about progress. 




1.    That the draft Customer Access Strategy attached as Appendix A, be approved.


Digital Strategy pdf icon PDF 135 KB

An update to the Council's Digital Strategy.

Additional documents:


The Assistant Director, Digital and ICT introduced the report. Members discussed whether third party applications had been considered as part of the digital strategy and how the Council can make use of different apps - such as reporting tools.  In addition Members also asked about whether the Council’s performance data could be made available to the public. In relation to reporting tools members supported developing use of GIS data to identify the location of issues and reducing duplicate reports.


Officers advised that part of the strategy was making the Council’s data open and transparent and this would include looking at what performance data could be available.




1.    That the updated Digital Strategy attached at Appendix A, be approved, as the Council’s main strategy to deliver improvements for the residents and businesses of, and visitors to the borough through the use of digital and smart place technology, and improved use of data. 


Proposal to apply for Employer with Heart Charter Mark in support of employees with premature babies pdf icon PDF 117 KB

This report sets out proposals to apply for the Employer with Heart Charter Mark for employers who support premature babies.  It proposes changes to Parental Leave provisions to support parents at this difficult time.



The Head of HR Consultancy introduced the report. Members requested that any subsequent policies changes be promoted to staff.




1.    That the proposal to apply for the Employer with Heart Charter Mark be endorsed and the required changes to the Council’s policies be made.


Portage Spin Out pdf icon PDF 124 KB

This paper explores the potential opportunities for Portage to spin out of the local authority. Content includes the business plan, financial plan, and options for new service delivery.

Additional documents:


The Assistant Director - Customers, Commissioning and Governance introduced the report. Members discussed support from the Council for the proposed company and whether this would be proactive or reactive. Officers advised that as this would not be a local authority owned company, there would be a key role for the advisory board in supporting the company.

The chair moved to exclude the public and press.




That the public be excluded from the meeting for the following items of business on the grounds that they involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraph 3 Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972.


As part of an exempt session Members discussed company directors, marketing, income generation, the availability of grants and the risks in supporting the transition of the service. Members requested additional resolutions in relation to the provision of professional advice and the terms of the loan repayment. The recommendations were put to the vote and unanimously carried.




1.    That the Council’s support for the transition of the internal Portage service into the Community Interest Company (CIC) based on the externally validated business plan, be confirmed.


2.    That authority to negotiate contractual arrangements as part of the transfer needed (see appendix A) be delegated to the Strategic Director of People’s Services.


3.    That authority to negotiate the transfer of office assets, buy-back support and cash-flow loan arrangements based on similar lines with other previous new delivery models be delegated to the Strategic Director of Resources


4.    That the CIC be recommended to secure professional advice formally as part of its governance arrangements


5.    That the confirmation received that the loan to the CIC will begin to be paid back from year 3, be noted.