To consider the updated Strategic Risk Register to ensure that it accurately reflects the Council’s risks.
Stuart McKellar, Borough Treasurer presented the Committee with an updated Strategic Risk Register. In accordance with the Risk Management Strategy the Strategic Risk Register had been updated and reviewed by the Strategic Risk Management Group (SRMG) on a quarterly basis and by the Corporate Management Team (CMT) at least twice a year.
Key changes in the updated Register were:
· A reduction in the Finance risk to reflect reduced budget pressures, making this now an amber rather than red risk.
· The combining of risks that a) jobs in the town centre impact on Council and Council contractors ability to recruit and b) loss of key staff. This was being tracked in part around Social Care providers.
· Reducing the risk on school places as proposals were now being put forward hence reducing this from red to amber.
· To remove the risk on the Coral Reef project which had now been delivered.
· Reducing the safeguarding risk following the outcome of the OFSTED inspection hence reducing this from red to amber.
· The risk on IT had been reframed to focus on the IT Strategy implementation and now incorporated cyber risks.
· With respect to the risk on the Binfield Learning Village, it was expected that the next monthly report on the programme would indicate it was no longer a red risk but would move to amber. If this was confirmed, CMT's view was that the project would continue to be closely monitored by CMT acting as the Programme Board but should not be included in the Strategic Risk Register.
The Committee was advised that whilst the Coral Reef scheme had overspent against budget, the matter was being addressed.
The Committee was advised that Nikki Edwards, Director of Children, Young People and Learning, was comfortable with the reduction in the risk related to safeguarding from red to amber even with the loss of staff following the successful OFSTED inspection.
The Committee was advised that the risk in respect of Binfield Learning Village related to the absence of a proper electrical connection to the site and the concern that SSE would not be able to install the connection in time for the planned opening.
With regard to the risk that the Council and its outsourced providers were unable to recruit and retain staff, the loss of key Council staff through redundancy, retirements, etc. and the management of services with reduced capacity, Councillor Mrs Temperton said vacancy and absenteeism rates, particularly in relation to sickness, were also needed in order to assess the health, wellbeing and strength of the Council. Stuart McKellar said he would question the reporting of these issues with Nikki Gibbons, Chief Officer, Human Resources. The Committee noted that the problems of vacancy rates and retention and absenteeism of staff was primarily in Adult Social Care due to the increasing demand for its services and in Children’s Social Care due to high caseloads. Additionally, the Council had a good reputation which led to a loss of staff who had been poached by other Local Authority’s and a struggle to attract new staff due to the high cost of living in the area.
RESOLVED that the Committee’s comments be noted.