Agenda and minutes

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Contact: Poppy Brewer  01622 602242

No. Item


The Committee to consider whether all items on the agenda should be webcast


RESOLVED: That all items on the agenda be webcast.





It was noted that apologies for absence had been received from Councillor Thomas Long.



Notification of Substitute Members


There were no Substitute Members.



Notification of Visiting Members


It was noted that Councillor Mrs Blackmore was in attendance as a witness to item 9 – MKIP Planning Support.


Councillors McLoughlin and Sargeant were in attendance as observers.



Disclosures by Members and Officers


There were no disclosures by Members or Officers.



To consider whether any items should be taken in private because of the possible disclosure of exempt information


RESOLVED: That all items on the agenda be taken in public as proposed.




Minutes of the Meeting held on 6 January 2015 pdf icon PDF 60 KB


RESOLVED: That the Minutes of the Meeting held on 6 January be agreed as a correct record and signed.



Minutes of the Meeting held on 12 January 2015 pdf icon PDF 89 KB


RESOLVED: That the Minutes of the Meeting held on the 12 January 2015 be agreed as a correct record and signed.


MKIP Planning Support pdf icon PDF 41 KB

(a)  Project Implementation Review – Rich Clarke, Head of Audit Partnership will be in attendance to present this report (appendix a)


(b)  Planning Support Implementation – Members of the MKIP Board will provide a response to the implementation review (appendix b)


The MKIP Board comprises of:


·  Councillor Annabelle Blackmore, Leader of Maidstone Borough Council


·  Alison Broom, Chief Executive of Maidstone Borough Council


·  Councillor Andrew Bowles, Leader of Swale Borough Council


·  Abdool Kara, Chief Executive of Swale Borough Council


·  Councillor David Jukes, Leader of Tunbridge Wells Borough Council


·  William Benson, Chief Executive of Tunbridge Wells Borough Council


·  Sandra Fryer, Interim Head of Planning Support Services


(c)  Update on the latest position  – A verbal update will be given by the MKIP Board and the Interim Head of Planning Support Services


Additional documents:


The Chairman, Councillor Mrs Gooch, welcomed the Swale Borough Council Scrutiny Committee and the Tunbridge Wells Overview and Scrutiny Committee to Maidstone for a co-located meeting of the three Committees.


The Chairman informed the Committees that nationally a great many councils were involved in sharing services, and that central Government had strongly encouraged local Councils to share services and staff. The MKIP constituent authorities were early adopters of the shared service agenda. The function of scrutiny was to objectively challenge policy development and decision making, in order to provide constructive reflection in the name of public accountability. As such the purpose of the meeting was to provide reassurance to residents and the public that lessons had been learned and improvements made.


(a) Project Implementation Review


The Committee welcomed the Head of Mid Kent Audit Partnership, Rich Clarke, who presented a report into the Planning Support Project Implementation Review. Mr Clarke outlined the three major issues identified in the report:


1.  Not employing a recognised project methodology


The project did not fully employ the project methodologies that had been well developed in-house by the MKIP authorities, nor did it fully employ formally recognised techniques such as PRINCE II. This resulted in the lack of a clear detailed project plan until late on in the process, inconsistent assignment of roles and responsibilities, and non-creation or monitoring of a project risk register. This lack of resilience made the project vulnerable to issues as they arose, and prevented the anticipation and mitigation of future problems.


2.  Not fully establishing the project’s scope and complexity


The implementation of the Planning Support Shared Service required the physical relocation of staff, the procurement and use of a new software package, combining the services under a single manager without extensive experience in planning support management, and the simultaneous delivery of another shared service which put pressure on the availability of resources.


The approach to the shared service was novel. It split an existing service into two separate components, without a consistent understanding across the three authorities as to where the divide began and ended. This also required a complete reorganisation of business processes.


The software element of the project was understood to be separate, even though it became clear from the outset that ICT related matters were of importance to the implementation of the total project.


3.  Attempting delivery within existing resources


This increased pressure on key individuals, and led to projects being delivered without the required level of expertise or time needed.


Mr Clarke noted that the three authorities had enthusiastically taken on board the findings of the report and had each committed to making improvements accordingly.


The Chairman of the meeting, Councillor Gooch, invited Members to comment upon the report.


·  Councillor Henderson (SBC) asked for clarification as to how the IT issues arose across the three authorities. Mr Clarke explained that only one of the three, Tunbridge Wells BC, had used the IDOX software before but in an earlier version. Swale and Maidstone BC had not  ...  view the full minutes text for item 120.


Duration of Meeting


7.03 p.m. to 9.47 p.m.