Agenda and minutes

Agenda and minutes

Venue: Council Chamber, Priory House, Monks Walk, Shefford

Contact: Paula Everitt  0300 300 4196

No. Item


Minutes pdf icon PDF 74 KB


To approve as a correct record the Minutes of the meeting of the Corporate Resources Overview and Scrutiny Committee held on 27 July 2017 and to note actions taken since that meeting.




RESOLVED that the Minutes of the meeting of the Corporate Resources Overview and Scrutiny Committee held on 27 July 2017 be confirmed and signed by the Chairman as a correct record.



Members' Interests

To receive from Members any declarations of interest and of any political whip in relation to any agenda item.








Chairman's Announcements and Communications

To receive any announcements from the Chairman and any matters of communication.









To receive petitions from members of the public in accordance with the Public Participation Procedure as set out in Part 4G of the Constitution.








Questions, Statements or Deputations

To receive any questions, statements or deputations from members of the public in accordance with the Public Participation Procedure as set out in Part 4G of the Constitution.









To consider any decision of the Executive referred to this Committee for review  in accordance with Part 4D of the Constitution. 








Requested Items

To consider any items referred to the Committee at the request of a Member in accordance with Part 4D of the Constitution.








Executive Members' Update


To receive a brief verbal update from the Executive Member’s for

·         Corporate Resources and

·         Education and Skills (for Assets)




The Executive Member for Education and Skills advised the Committee of the latest news and events, on behalf of Cllr Wenham,  including:-

·         Council’s website was awarded four stars in the recent Socitm Better Connected review.

·         LGSS had completed its first year in service and had appointed a new business partner.

·         A study facilitated by Deloittes for the replacement of the existing SAP Finance/Procurement System onto a new upgraded version of SAP, known as S4HANA. The outcome of the study will result in the development of the implementation plan and tender documentation. The delivery partner for the actual implementation phase will be subject to a procurement tender exercise.

·         The Assets Team had reached its capital receipts target of £12m in this Financial Year.

·         The Facilities Team had overseen repairs for a major water leak in Bedford Square, Houghton Regis and had provided regular updates to the Town Council.


In response to the update Cllr Goodchild requested that Ward Members in Houghton Regis be kept updated on developments in Bedford Square.



Human Resources Project Update pdf icon PDF 530 KB


To receive a presentation on the progress of current HR Projects.




The Assistant Director People delivered a presentation that gave an overview of the major HR projects due to be delivered by the Service.  The projects ranged from the implementation of the SAP Success Factors, HM Revenue and Customs IR35 to Project Simplify that aimed to review the current workforce and roles within the Council and finally the development of the apprenticeship scheme in conjunction with the 38 apprentices already in post.


In light of the presentation Members queried whether the implementation of IR35 had caused a shortage of contracted specialist workers.  In response, the Assistant Director advised the majority of specialist workers worked directly for the Council and it had not been adversely affected by the changes.


Members also queried whether all apprentices received a job offer from the Council at the end of a scheme.  In response, the Assistant Director advised job offers did not always follow however opportunities were available elsewhere within the authority.


NOTED the update.



Customer Services Technology Project Update pdf icon PDF 711 KB


To receive a presentation on the ICT roll out of the Storm Project in Customer Services and the future aspirations for the Council as a whole.




The Assistant Director Resources (Social Care Health and Housing) delivered a presentation that outlined the implementation of new Customer Services technology that included:

·         STORM telephony system and performance data 

·         Teleopti Work Force Management tool and

·         Scorebuddy - call monitoring


A Member reported the continued frustration felt by some residents when they tried to contact the Highways team.  The Assistant Director acknowledged there had been some difficulties and work was underway to resolve the issues. 


Members supported the introduction of the new telephony technology and requested a further update in six months time.


NOTED the presentation and welcomed an update in May 2018.



The Council's Discretionary Rate Relief Scheme pdf icon PDF 91 KB


To review and comment on an update to the Council’s Discretionary Rate Relief Scheme arising from the 2017 Spring Budget.


Additional documents:



The Head of Revenues and Benefits introduced a report that advised of the revaluation of business rates and revised Discretionary Rate Relief Scheme announced in the Spring Budget Statement that addresses the impact of some of the changes.  For the 2017 rating list an overall increase in Rateable Values of 3% has been calculated by the Valuation Office Agency for Central Bedfordshire leading to a total Rateable Value of £215m.  Some businesses, schools, pubs, doctors’ surgeries and restaurants faced significant increases in rates whilst rates had been reduced in other areas. 


The three rate relief funds were funded by Government and administered by the Revenues and Benefits Team.  It was noted that the Government grant to administer the scheme did not fully cover the additional costs. The proposed distribution of the rate reliefs closely followed the methodology Government had used in determining the funding allocations.



1.    That the new Discretionary Rate Relief scheme be approved as set out in the report. 

2.    Noting the very small value available for distribution in the final year of the scheme, the Committee further recommended that the Director of Resources, in consultation with the Executive Member for Corporate Resources, be given delegated authority to decide how best to distribute the available funds in that year, and to amend the scheme to that end.




Quarter 1 Performance Monitoring pdf icon PDF 66 KB


To receive the relevant quarterly performance information.


Additional documents:



The Head of Knowledge and Insight introduced the Quarter1 2017/18 performance report that continued to show good overall performance.  The Committee’s attention was drawn to new commentary in the data sets that explained progress that had been made against some measures.


In light of the report Members discussed the following: -

·         Concerns regarding the target on school readiness, on which the Executive Member for Education and Skills advised a piece of work was underway to investigate this in detail.  New data would be available at the end of September 2017. 

·         The growing use of the virtual Library service and a drop in footfall overall.  It was noted that this pattern was not apparent in all areas, additional usage data on the Houghton Regis library would be provided to the Member for that ward.

·         Concerns regards non-elective admissions to hospital, on which the Executive Member for Social Care and Housing responded that a piece of work to understand the reoccurring issues and to get a better understanding to inform and identify solutions in this area was underway.


In light of the discussion Members requested that previous data also be included on the score cards in order to draw a comparison in performance.


NOTED the update and agreed further details on those items outlined above would be circulated to Members of the Committee and other Members in attendance.



Fees & Charges Policy 2018-2021 and proposed Fees and Charges 2018 pdf icon PDF 11 KB


To consider and comment on the revised Central Bedfordshire Council Charging Policy 2018 – 2021 and the proposed Fees & Charges pricing schedule for January 2018.


Additional documents:



The Assistant Director Finance delivered a report that detailed proposed changes to Fees and Charges from January 2018, the rationale behind the pricing options available and the advisory 2.3% price increase in line with the current inflation figure.  Members were informed the fees and charges were based on figures to recover costs incurred and did not generate a profit.  Any increase over and above the advisory 2.3% would be considered and would need to be agreed by the Executive and ratified by full Council. Proposed increases outside of the framework had been identified in the report along with charges that reflected a zero increase, confirmed as cost reflective and at the maximum level of charge.


A Member queried the frequency of use of some charges against the costs for those services and was advised that a project had been arranged to look at this area and to subsequently introduce a major overhaul of fees and charges over the next two years.


The Committee considered whether 2.3% was an appropriate increase when 2.9% was the new inflation figure.  The majority of Members supported a figure of 2.9%.. 



·         To Executive that an inflationary increase of 2.9% be applied to fees and charges

·         Details of the fees and charges project be provided to the Committee in March 2018.


Cllr Barker requested that her disapproval of the 2.9% increase be recorded. 


Work Programme 2017/18 & Executive Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 58 KB


The report provides Members with details of the currently drafted Committee work programme and the latest Executive Forward Plan.


Additional documents:



The Committee considered the work programme and agreed to include the following items:-

·         Fees and Charges project - March 2018

·         Customer Service Update - May 2018


AGREED the work programme as set out in Appendix A subject to the addition the two items outlined above.