Agenda and minutes

Strata Joint Scrutiny Committee - Wednesday 6th September 2017 5.30 pm

Venue: Rennes Room, Civic Centre, Paris Street, Exeter. View directions

Contact: Howard Bassett, Democratic Services Officer (Committees)  Telephone 01392 265107 or email

No. Item




In the absence of Councillor Lyons, the meeting was chaired by Councillor Leadbetter of Exeter City Council.





To receive apologies for absence from Committee members.



These were received from Councillors Dewhirst, Haines and Lyons.


Councillor Sheldon was substituting for Councillor Lyons.




Minutes pdf icon PDF 111 KB

To sign the minutes of the meeting held on 15 June 2017.




The minutes of the meeting held on 15 June 2017 were taken as read and signed by the Chair as correct.



Declarations of Interest

Councillors are reminded of the need to declare any disclosable pecuniary interests that relate to business on the agenda and which have not already been included in the register of interests, before any discussion takes place on the item. Unless the interest is sensitive, you must also disclose the nature of the interest. In accordance with the Council's Code of Conduct, you must then leave the room and must not participate in any further discussion of the item.  Councillors requiring clarification should seek the advice of the Monitoring Officer prior to the day of the meeting.



No declarations of pecuniary interest were made.



Questions from the Public Under Procedural Rules

A period of up to 15 minutes will be set aside to deal with questions to the Committee from members of the public.


Each individual will be restricted to speaking for a total of 3 minutes.


Where a question does not relate to an agenda item details of questions should be notified to the Proper Officer of the Relevant Council at least two working days prior to the meeting.






Question from Members of the Councils under Procedure Rules

To receive questions from Members of the Councils.


Where a question does not relate to an agenda item details of questions should be notified to the Proper Officer of the Relevant Council at least two working days prior to the meeting.






Strata IT Director's Report pdf icon PDF 980 KB

To consider the report of the Strata IT Director.



The Strata IT Director presented the quarterly report on the functioning of the Strata organisation, the aim being to provide background to the core areas of specialisation within Strata and identifying key activities, successes and areas for improvement. The report included a SWOT analysis. He highlighted the following key areas:-


·         the Global Desktop Improvement Programme (GDIP) was in place to improve the overall end user experience of the Global Desktop environment with regular updates issued. Action plans had been drawn up to address issues experienced and Strata was working closely with technology partners;

·         in respect of Global Communications, the Strata Service Desk had been moved to the Anywhere365 solution to manage workload across the service desk which was giving better visibility of call patterns and had helped effective management;

·         the number of cyber threats identified by Strata remained high and effective protection of the three authorities IT environments was in place, the Strata Compliance and Security team continuing to manage on a daily basis phishing attacks. This was a significant challenge and had increased the workload in the team. Trends in attacks had been identified and there were excellent tools in place to add layers of protection;

·         the number of Business Change Requests (BCR’s) had reduced through pro-active monitoring and management and good progress was being made in reducing workload in a number of areas;

·         recruitment of new staff had proved effective enabling members of the Strata management to free up time to enable them to better manage their teams, and to be less operational. There were some 1,800 users and 67 Strata staff;

·         Strata was in a position to attract high quality staff with regular approaches from both individuals and from agencies interested in working for Strata, with the East Devon Human Resources team highly supportive. Two new team members had been recruited into the Business Systems discipline andthree new apprentices had commenced work on 5 September on a structured two-year apprenticeship programme. Exeter College delivered a programme of work experience, well received by both students and college staff. During a week in June, seven ‘IT’ students worked alongside Strata teams and the same exercise would be repeated in 2018;

·         it was noticeable that Strata was being successful in staff recruitment despite private sector competition as the overall Strata package which included pension rights and sick pay was an attraction;

·         monthly town meetings were held with all Strata staff;

·         a new Strata web site had been launched; and

·         the Multi-Function printer Devices had been launched across the three authorities, Ricoh having won the tender.


The IT Director’s report also included a table of project resources and capacity. It showed a drop in project utilisation (which had been over 70% for the majority of the last 15 months) would lead to more time available to work on BCRs. Ideally, Strata project utilisation would be at approximately 50% of available resource time. It was predicted that, by November 2017, project utilisation would be in the region of 55% of available  ...  view the full minutes text for item 46.


Strata Budget Monitoring Quarter 1 - 2016/17 pdf icon PDF 55 KB

To consider the report of the Director Responsible for Finance.


Additional documents:


The Director responsible for Finance reported that Strata had been given a total of £6,104,000 to run the IT Services in 2017/18 along with funding for various capital projects. The 2017/18 Business Plan had revised the savings profile set out in the original Business Cases over the initial ten year period of the Company.


The Strata budget was on track to deliver around £255,000 of revenue savings for the Councils in 2017/18. Strata had asked for £210,000 for specific service improvements but this had not yet been approved by the three Councils. At the three month stage the Board was projecting a savings of £255,520 against the total original target of £252,836.


The report set out variations in the capital budget.


The Board was satisfied that the refund provided to the three owners during May 2017 was appropriate, subject to final approval at Teignbridge of the company being allowed to keep the additional £210,000.


Strata Joint Scrutiny Committee noted and supported the report.



People data report - 2016/17 pdf icon PDF 110 KB

To consider the report of the Alternate Director with lead responsibility for Human Resources.



The Alternate Director with Lead Responsibility for Human Resources presented the report setting out key people information for 2016/17. The report covered headcount, turnover, absence, recruitment, apprentices and age profiles. Strata had recruited three apprentices for each of the three councils.


Strata Joint Scrutiny Committee noted and supported the report.