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 75 KB

To approve as a correct record the Minutes of the Corporate Resources Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee held on 25 January 2018 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 25 January 2018 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.





The Chairman welcomed the new Executive Member for Assets and Housing Delivery to the meeting.  Cllr Ghent would attend future meetings to update the Committee on developments and news relating to his portfolio.




To receive petitions from members of the public in accordance with the Public Participation Procedure as set out in Annex 2 of Part A4 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 Annex 1 of part A4 of the Constitution.









To consider any decision of the Executive referred to this Committee for review  in accordance with Procedure Rule 10.10 of Part D2.  








Requested Items

To consider any items referred to the Committee at the request of a Member under Procedure Rule 3.1 of Part D2 of the Constitution.








Executive Member Update


To receive a brief verbal update from the Deputy Leader and Executive Member for Corporate Resources.




The Deputy Executive Member for Health and Communities updated the Committee on the latest news and developments for the Corporate Resources  Director that included:-

·         The new HR digital upgrade, Project Simplify, would be launched in May 2018.

·         The roll out of the Fiori system that records leave and time keeping  would be extended to include travel claims for Staff and Members.

·         Following a Service User Forum, the Legal Services Team would develop a Service Improvement Plan.

·         The Consultation Team had received over 11,000 responses to the Waste and Recycling consultation since its launch.  Sustainable Communities Overview and Scrutiny Committee and the Executive would learn of the feedback at future meetings.


A Member enquired as to the number of Town and Parish Councils that had instructed LGSS Law in the last year.  A response to this question would be provided after the meeting.


The Executive Member for Assets and Housing Development updated the Committee on the latest news and developments from his Portfolio that included

·         Preparatory work had been undertaken for the imminent arrival of modular amenity buildings at the Biggleswade South Gypsy and Traveller site.

·         The completion of land sales disaggregation negotiations with Bedford Borough Council had resulted in a payment of £4.5m to Central Bedfordshire.

·         The sale of land at Thorn Turn to Baytree Limited for two commercial buildings at a value of over £20m had been completed and work on the site would start in April 2018.



Pensions Scheme and Ethical Investments


To receive a verbal update from the Deputy Leader and Executive Member for Corporate Resources on ethical investments made by the Pensions Service.




The Deputy Executive Member for Corporate Resources gave a verbal update on the Bedfordshire Pension Scheme that included the three Bedfordshire Unitary Councils.  Members were advised that information on the policies, statements of funds and asset allocations was available on the website .  The Pension Fund Committee meets eight times a year and fund managers are invited to attend.  An ethics register is kept and is available for inspection.


A Member raised a question regarding the health of the pension fund and whether there were enough funds available to meet needs.  In response, the Director of Resources advised 74-76% of the Pension Fund could be funded and this was a healthy and not unusual position to be in for this service.


The Committee was satisfied the Bedfordshire Pension Fund was managed to a high ethical standard.


Noted the updated



Quadrant Accommodation Plan


To receive a verbal progress update on development of the Quadrant Accommodation Plan, including the work that has been carried out since the last update as well as placing in context of the work currently being undertaken to define priority activity in each quadrant.  This will be in advance of the plan itself scheduled for 31 May 2018 and before Executive in June.


The Assistant Director Assets gave a verbal updated on the Quadrant Accommodation Plan that formed part of the Asset Management Strategy.  The plan would provide accommodation and allow staff to work in a smart, agile way.  Comments received through a staff accommodation survey would inform the Draft Accommodation Plan and a report would be submitted to the next meeting for Members’ comments before it was considered by the Executive.


A budget of £2m had been allocated to spend on the Built Asset Improvement Programme (BAIP) to maintain and improve the Council’s estate.


In response to a query on what detail would be featured in the report, the Director for Community Services advised the strategic themes will detail planned changes and timescales, but could not anticipate the outcome of any public consultations on the service provision that may impact building use.


Once plans have been agreed, every effort would be made to engage with partners to allow community use of premises. 


The Committee was happy and reassured by the direction of the Quadrant Accommodation Plan and the strategic overview of built assets.


NOTED the update.


Outcomes of the Fees and Charges Project pdf icon PDF 3 MB


To receive a presentation on the outcomes of the Fees and Charges project undertaken by the Finance Team.




The Head of Corporate Finance introduced a presentation that outlined the work undertaken by the Fees and Charges project team and the outcomes established.  The new income codes would be used from April 2018 and would reduce the number of unnecessary virements and journals.  The Finance Analyst advised the new volume data would identify individual fees and charges and the team would have a clear understanding of income and be able to set a clear justification for fees and charges as well as transparent financial reporting.


The Committee commended the work of the Project Team and were assured that they would receive clear and transparent income data to ensure future fees and charges recommendations ae based on a sound basis.


NOTED the update.



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 current work programme and Executive forward plan.  The work programme was agreed subject to the addition of the following items to the 31 May 2018 meeting:-


·         Draft Farm Strategy

·         Quadrant Accommodation Plan report and

·         Land for Housing Development report.