Agenda and draft minutes

Corporate Resources Overview and Scrutiny Committee - Monday, 15th April, 2024 10.00 am

Venue: Bridges Room - Civic Centre. View directions

Contact: Kate Lowes, Tel: 0191 433 4244, Email: 

No. Item


Minutes pdf icon PDF 92 KB

The Committee is asked to approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 4th March 2024.


The minutes of the meeting held on the 4th March 2024 were approved as a correct record.


Information Governance Annual Update pdf icon PDF 119 KB

Report of the Strategic Director, Corporate Services and Governance.



The Committee received a report on a overview of Information Governance arrangements within the Council and the work of the Information Governance team in the last 12 months.


In 2021 an internal audit of Information Governance was carried out and it recommended one high priority, five medium priorities and two best practice recommendations. Therefore, resources were realigned to cream the Information Governance Team in April 2022.


In 2023, Natalie Baldwin was appointed as Data Protection Officer and Hannah Hales was appointed as the Deputy Data Protection Officer. The Information Governance team now consists of:

·         The Councils Data Protection Officer

·         The Deputy Data Protection Officer

·         a Senior Business Support Officer

·         an Information Rights Officer: and

·         a Subject Access Request Officer.


The team also have support from the newly created role of Governance Support Officer, and in the process of recruiting an Information Governance and Complaints Assistant. The team is currently managed by the Governance Manager, Tim Briton.


Over the last 12 months an enormous amount of work has been undertaken in addition to daily operational work, this includes;


·         Data Breach procedure reviewed, updated and published

·         Data Protection Impact Assessment – template document and procedure reviewed, updated and published, including introducing a new DPIA referencing system and new DPIA forms for specific circumstances such as Teams / Share point requests.

·         Continuing the Information Asset Register / Record of Processing Activity project (see below)

·         Continuance of the Corporate Data Protection Group (see below)

·         Commencement of the Retentions project (see below)

·         Completion of the Privacy Notice review project

·         Trial of switching-off ‘autocomplete’ in Outlook.


The audit showed that the high priority recommendation was for ‘The Information Asset Register / Record of Processing Activity’. The project is near complete with two services to complete their documentation. An escalation process has been developed and implemented by the team to ensure that the Service Director for those remaining services who have not completed their documentation are now involved.


A further recommendation was for ‘Information Rights Work Group to be reconvened’. This has now been complete but has been renamed ‘Corporate Data Protection Group’ with the first meeting held on the 1st February 2023. Meetings have been taking place annually, however as of 1st February 2024 meetings will be held every six weeks and new terms of reference were agreed.


The final recommendation for ‘reviewing the Council’s retention period’ has been the largest task to complete for the team. This work has led to various other record management related projects, such as the work completed on introducing ‘autodelete’ within Outlook and work carried out to determine which information is stored in the Council’s GOSS and CEM systems. Due to the demand of the work it has delayed the overall project, but the team envisaged this to be complete by the end of September 2024.


Freedom of Information – Summary of Procedures has three stages.


Stage 1 – Provide Information within the statutory timescale.

·         There is an electronic tracking system to log requests. This is a full audit trail  ...  view the full minutes text for item CR31


Corporate Asset Management Plan pdf icon PDF 160 KB

Report of the Strategic Director, Housing, Environment and Healthy Communities.



The Committee received a report on the progress of the review, management, and optimisation of Corporate Assets.


The Council have been working on bringing together the management of both capital budgets and revenue budgets for property running costs of the operational portfolio. This has led to a £970k savings being made and greater efficiencies within services. In addition the Council have taken the management of Tenanted Non-Residential Portfolio in house to review and maximise the income to the Council.


Operational Portfolio:


Civic Centre – There is a total of 2,250 desks and the aim was reduce desk space by 50% due to hybrid working. To date almost 500 spaces have been released, this includes the relocation of the staff from the Dryden Centre.


There is a lot of interest in public and private sectors leasing out working space within the Civic Centre.


For 23/24 the running costs are £1.2m, this is offset by external income of £580k. Additional income can be generated by leasing out the space to third parties, but this will be determined based on space required. It has been identified that each floor of a pavilion has the potential to generate £350k-300k. Negotiations are ongoing, however, an increased income of £350k has been targeted for 25/26.


Depos – The main depos are Park Road, Shearlegs Road, Cowen Road, Penshaw and Colgate. There are smaller ancillary depos primarily used for grounds maintenance vehicle storage, welfare facilities and salt storage.


There is a proposal to relocate non-operational staff from depots to the Civic Centre to consolidate transport, grounds and winter maintenance, highways, fleet and waste operations onto the Shearlegs Road, vehicle storage and management being contained on the Park Road.  Scheme designs are being developed which will also enable the release of Penshaw Depot, Colegate depot and Follingsby site.


Improved efficiencies of frontline service delivery is the main driver for the project and the mitigation of the increasing risks to those services operating out of the existing sites.  Whilst there is no target savings for this project until the business case is complete, we are aiming for £200-300k per annum savings based on the closure of Park Road and Penshaw running costs/rental.


Other Operational Assets


The Dryden Centre was vacated in December 2023. Cabinet will consider a surplus declaration and proposal on its future use.  This will deliver a further £100k of savings in 2024/25 predicated on retaining the income across the estate.


At an operational level, colocation of services has commenced throughout the borough with a range of services now operating from the Family Hubs, Birtley Library, Leam Lane, Wrekenton Hub and Blaydon Library.  These include the locality teams, housing, Police, Citizens Advice, Mental Health Social Prescribers and a range of VCS partners.


The Council are ensure letting arrangements are consistent and are maximising the rental income. 


To date £1.2 m of external income (including HRA) is received in letting of operational space.  There is significant interest from public and voluntary sector partners in occupying space within our  ...  view the full minutes text for item CR32


Work Programme 2024-25 pdf icon PDF 82 KB

Report of the Strategic Director, Corporate Services and Governance.


Additional documents:


The Committee were presented with a report for the 2024-25 work programme .


Elected Members and relevant officers were invited to submit suggestions for inclusion in the work programme between 20th February 2024 and 5th March 2024


In accordance with the Council’s Constitution, the Corporate Resources OSC perform the overview and scrutiny role in relation to the following functions:


·         the management of the Council’s financial, human and physical resources

·         support for the democratic process

·         the involvement of the people and communities of Gateshead in the work of the Council

·         capacity building in communities, volunteering and resilience

·         social inclusion, equalities and diversity

·         the Council’s arrangements for securing efficiency and value for money; and the

·         development and operation of the Council’s procurement strategy


A list of suggestions received relevant to the remit of Corporate Resources OSC was listed in Appendix 1.




i.      That the Committee commented and noted the 2024-25 work program.


Work Programme pdf icon PDF 106 KB

Report of the Chief Executive and the Strategic Director Corporate Services and Governance


The Committee reviewed the completion of the 23/24 work programme.


It was noted that the report on Capturing wider regeneration benefits of Gateshead Quays would present at the Corporate Advisory Group on the 13th June 2024.  


The Chair would like to thank the Committee for all their hard work during the year.





i.      That the Committee note the report