Agenda and minutes

Scrutiny Committee
Tuesday, 29 September 2020 6.30 pm

Venue: virtual

Contact: Candida Mckelvey, Democratic Services Officer 

Note: watch at our youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTj2pCic8vzucpzIaSWE3UQ  

Items
No. Item

49.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 125 KB

To adopt and sign the minutes of the scrutiny committee meeting held on 8 July 2020 as a correct record.

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting on 8 July were agreed as a correct record and will be signed by the chair as such.

50.

Declarations of interest

To receive any declarations of disclosable pecuniary interests in respect of items on the agenda for this meeting. 

 

Minutes:

None.

51.

Urgent business and chairman's announcements

To receive notification of any matters which the chairman determines should be considered as urgent business and the special circumstances which have made the matters urgent, and to receive any announcements from the chairman. 

Minutes:

None.

52.

Public participation

To receive any questions or statements from members of the public that have registered to speak. 

Minutes:

None.

53.

Work schedule and dates for all South and Vale scrutiny meetings

To review the scrutiny work schedule. Please note, although the dates are confirmed, the items under consideration are subject to being withdrawn, added to or rearranged without further notice.

 

Minutes:

It was asked whether the item on civil parking enforcement (CPE) could be brought to a separate meeting of south scrutiny committee (currently it is going to the joint meeting). Relevant officers to be asked.

54.

Revised budget pdf icon PDF 136 KB

To consider the report of the Head of Finance.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Cabinet member for finance and corporate assets, Councillor Leigh Rawlins, introduced the revised budget report.

The budget has been revised mid-year due to the coronavirus pandemic. Grant funding is not enough to plug the gap in terms of additional expenditure and lost income. If the additional budget is insufficient then a further report may need to go to Council in February 2021.

The report in this item is going to Cabinet to recommend changes to 2020/21 budgets to reflect the financial impact of the Coronavirus pandemic, and other matters, on the council.

Cabinet is asked to recommend to Council that it:

  1. Agrees that the net revenue expenditure budget for 2020/21 be increased to £16.177 million with the increase to be funded from revenue reserves.
  2. Agrees the additions to the capital programme as detailed in Appendix 2 of this report to be funded from capital receipts.

 

Scrutiny were asked to review the report and the Cabinet member for finance and the Interim Head of Finance were present to answer questions.

 

 

55.

Establishing a delivery vehicle pdf icon PDF 123 KB

To consider the report of the Acting Deputy Chief Executive - Place

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Cabinet member for economic development and regeneration, Councillor Robin Bennett, introduced the paper on “establishing a council-owned delivery vehicle”.

Scrutiny Committee is asked to review the proposal to develop a Business Case to establish a council-owned delivery vehicle and to provide any recommendations to Cabinet on the approach.

This proposal is to move forward on affordable housing aims, but caution is needed since the impact of the pandemic. External advice was commissioned and it was advised that in light of changes, the delivery vehicle should cover broader projects. This is a value for money requirement for the business case for a council-owned company. Broader projects include regeneration, community projects and affordable housing.

Acting Deputy Chief Executive for Place, Suzanne Malcolm was also present to answer questions. Suzanne explained that this is the first step in the process, and that as the project progresses, it will come back to scrutiny for review.

Questions were asked about the governance arrangements, and it was explained that this will be explored in the next stage.

The business case will be a cautious, step by step approach.

Councillors discussed low social rent as a priority. Councillors were assured that there would be no duplication of work the council are already doing. The report was welcomed by Councillor Gawrysiak, who asked about the timeline – the motion at Council was July 2019. The report includes an appendix showing the sequence of events. Councillor Gawrysiak suggested setting up a roundtable of councillors to help shape the delivery vehicle.

 

The committee debated the item and overall supported the proposal, with their priority being social rent, and to be able to be involved in shaping the vehicle. Councillor Khan also added that he thinks residents should be asked their opinion of what is needed of the delivery vehicle.

 

Recommendation:

That scrutiny committee recommend to Cabinet to proceed to the business case for “establishing a council-owned vehicle” as soon as possible. Recommendations on approach include clarity over finances, asking for resident’s views on what is needed, and a roundtable for councillors to help shape the delivery vehicle. Scrutiny are content that the progress will be reported into scrutiny at relevant stages.

 

 

 

 

56.

Corporate Plan pdf icon PDF 108 KB

An opportunity for Committee to review the draft Corporate Plan 2020-24 themes,
programmes, projects and measures after the public engagement exercise and
provide any recommendations to Cabinet in advance of Cabinet on 1 October 2020.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Cabinet member for corporate services, Councillor Andrea Powell, introduced the report.

This was an opportunity for the committee to review the draft Corporate Plan 2020-24 themes, programmes, projects and measures after the public engagement exercise and provide any recommendations to Cabinet in advance of Cabinet on 1 October 2020. Points raised are listed as follows:

 

  • The council is committing to open, regular reporting. Delivered projects will be fully scoped with delivery indicators.
  • It was clarified that one easy read report was requested.
  • No postcode data – a lost opportunity? Can be looked at in future.
  • Can CPE be explained.
  • The ranking process will inform the scoping of proposed delivery plans
  • Discussion about engaging with young people. How do we engage with all communities? Social media is used, but we’ve been hindered by the pandemic.
  • It was agreed that improvements can be made in future to reach young people and engage with parish councils.
  • Summer is a difficult time to engage due to summer holidays.
  • The new Covid-19 community hub will be an excellent resource for reaching out - contact lists.
  • Young people who are heading to college/university may choose not to engage as they are leaving the area.

 

 

 

 

57.

Exclusion of the public

To consider whether to exclude members of the press and public from the meeting for the following item of business under Part 1 of Schedule 12A Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972 and as amended by the Local Government (Access to Information) (Variation) Order 2006 on the grounds that:

(i)        it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraphs 1-7 Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Act, and

(ii)       the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information. 

Minutes:

RESOLVED to exclude members of the press and public from the meeting for the following items of business under Part 1 of Schedule 12A Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972 and as amended by the Local Government (Access to Information) (Variation) Order 2006 on the grounds that: (i) they involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Act, and (ii) the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.

58.

Confidential GLL report

To consider the report of the Head of Development and Regeneration.

Minutes:

The committee considered a report on leisure centres.

 

 

59.

Confidential appendices for revised budget South

Minutes:

The confidential items on the two appendices were reviewed, and Interim Head of Finance and Cabinet member for finance and corporate assets were present to answer questions.

 

Meeting closed at 21.06pm