Agenda and minutes

Scrutiny Committee
Tuesday, 17 September 2019 6.30 pm

Venue: Meeting Room 1, 135 Eastern Avenue, Milton Park, Milton, OX14 4SB

Contact: Paul Bateman, Democratic Services Officer  Democratic Services Officer

Items
No. Item

12.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 114 KB

To adopt and sign as a correct record the committee minutes of the meetings held on 19 June and 2 July 2019 (attached). 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The minutes of the meetings held on 19 June 2019 and 2 July 2019 were agreed as an accurate record and were signed by the Chairman.

13.

Declarations of interest

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

 

Minutes:

None.

14.

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.

15.

Public participation

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

Minutes:

None.

16.

Financial outturn 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 185 KB

To consider the report of the head of finance (attached).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The committee considered the report of the head of finance, which gave details on the final year end position for revenue and capital expenditure against budget for the financial year 2018/19. It was noted that the report contained summarised schedules of revenue and capital expenditure for 2018/19, which provided explanations of significant variances against budget. All the figures were pre-Audit and might be subject to change as a result of the audit of the Statement of Accounts.

 

The budgets programme contained several projects which were government-funded, the funding for which had been announced during the financial year. This made spending the full amount by the end of the financial year very difficult, and complicated the reporting of the outturn position against the budget.

 

The Committee had received questions from councillors and responses were given in written form and circulated to the committee;

 

Reference page15, point 11; additional grants for flexible support and preventing homelessness totalling £262,000 and £22,000 for local authority parks - had these grants been used for this purpose? The response was that

they were earmarked funds, for the provision of services, for example MIND housing project, connexions outreach and ‘dedicated staff’.

 

Reference page 15 point11; an additional £145,000 for car parking- is the budgeting for 2019/20 in line with this increased revenue? The response was that as part of the “right sizing” the budget exercise, the base budget for 19/20 was increased (by £144,000). This reflected the volume, not the charges.

 

Page 16, point 12; refers to the contract with capita being renegotiated and the contract was £799,000 more than budget. What was the original forecast and what was the basis for the original budgets? The response was that the original budget for payments to Capita in 2018/19 was £3.747 million.  The budget was set during a period when both the contract with Capita was being renegotiated, as was the “Inter-authority agreement” (IAA), which set out the basis on which contract costs will be allocated between the council signatories to the contract.  The budget was therefore an estimate based on a previous modelling of contract costs that was set before the full financial implications of the outcome of the negotiations could be confirmed.

 

Reference page 21, appendix 3, under Community Services; reference is made to the Berinsfield co-location project and it’s continual delay - what is this project and why does it continue to be delayed? Response; in January 2019, Cabinet agreed a set of recommendations regarding Berinsfield strategic review of progress to date and proposed way forward. The report is available here: http://democratic.southoxon.gov.uk/documents/s15665/Report.pdf

 

The Berinsfield project is the phased but comprehensive enhancement and expansion of Berinsfield. It was delayed to allow a strategic review of the Berinsfield project to objectively consider the work progressed to date, current position and to recommend a proposed way forward.

 

Reference page 21, appendix 3; under Housing and Environment, reference is made to a reason for carry forward as an Air Quality project- did this project take place? Response; the air  ...  view the full minutes text for item 16.

17.

Work schedule and dates for all South and Vale scrutiny meetings pdf icon PDF 77 KB

To review the attached 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:

The Chairman commended the Work Schedule Committee to the Committee, which contained many important and interesting items for consideration. In particular,  members would be interested to learn that an item on the ‘Delivery of Crematorium, Graveyard or alternative provision over the next 20 years’ was scheduled for future consideration, on a date to be determined. This tied in well with increased interest in environmental and green issues, and also care of the elderly.

 

On 1 October 2019 the Emerging Local Plan (report back following Council resolution) would be considered by the Committee. Members were encouraged to prepare ideas and issues for this item.