Agenda and minutes

Agenda and minutes

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

Contact: Paula Everitt  0300 300 4196

Webcast: View the webcast

Items
No. Item

28.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 75 KB

 

To approve as a correct record the Minutes of the meeting of the Corporate Resources Overview and Scrutiny Committee held on 26 July 2018 and to note actions taken since that meeting.

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

 

RESOLVED that the Minutes of the meeting of the Corporate Resources Overview and Scrutiny Committee held on 26 July 2018 be confirmed and signed by the Chairman as a correct record.

 

29.

Members' Interests

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

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

 

Cllr Chapman declared an interest at Item 10 as she was a Trustee of the Bedfordshire Rural Communities Charities.

 

 

30.

Chairman's Announcements and Communications

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

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

 

None

 

31.

Petitions

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

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

 

None.

 

32.

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.

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

 

None.

 

33.

Call-In

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

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

 

None.

 

 

34.

Requested Items

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

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

 

None.

 

35.

Executive Members' Update

 

To receive a brief verbal update from:

·         The Deputy Leader and Executive Member for Corporate Resources and

·         The Executive Member for Assets and Housing Delivery.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

 

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

·        The process for next year’s Budget, which was in hand and would culminate in a refreshed MTFP.  .

·         The appointment of three new apprentices in HR with the prospect of permanent employment with the Council.

·         In a bid to accelerate improved service arrangements with LGSS some new initiatives had been implemented and budget efficiencies made.

·         IT had successful moved the Children’s Services Tribal system into the ‘cloud’, providing a better and more stable service for users.  The development of Box continued, and Adult Social Care had successful moved their files into a new Box file structure.

 

In response to a question The Deputy Executive Member for Corporate Resources advised a ‘family tree’ of staff contacts was in development and would be available to Members.

 

In response to a query regarding Brexit the Deputy Leader and Executive Member for Corporate Resources advised there had been no advice provided to Councils to date by the Government.  Officers had actively researched impact papers from the Local Government Association and other ‘think tank’ organisations.  The Director of Resources had considered the effect on staffing, although the impact was not considered to be significant.

 

36.

Voluntary and Community Sector Infrastructure Organisations; Local Impact Presentation pdf icon PDF 344 KB

 

To receive a presentation from the Managers of the Community Voluntary Services (CVS), Bedfordshire Rural Communities Charity (BRCC) and Community Action Bedfordshire on the support and impact of services provided to our residents.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

 

The Community Engagement Manager and representatives from the Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS) Infrastructure Organisations delivered a presentation on the services provided to various voluntary organisations and residents in Central Bedfordshire.  The VCS Infrastructure organisations also provided additional supporting reports to evidence their continued work to inspire and strengthen communities in Central Bedfordshire.

 

In light of the information provided, a Member queried whether a merger of organisations was feasible.  In response, the Executive Member for Adult Social Care advised that services offered by each organisation were diverse and a merger would not provide any savings.

 

 

The Chairman proposed a Task Force be established to enhance understanding of the value of the voluntary and community sector and how financial contributions were managed. 

 

RECOMMENDED that:-

1.    A task force be established to consider future funding for the Infrastructure Organisations and enhance the understanding of the value added by the sector to communities in Central Bedfordshire. 

2.    That the review be completed in a timely fashion to contribute to the 2019/20 budget setting process.

 

37.

Budget Strategy and Medium Term Financial Plan 2019/20 - 2022/23 pdf icon PDF 20 KB

 

Consider and comment on the attached Executive report that starts the formal process that sets a framework for 2019/20 – 2022/23 MTFP with updated planning assumptions.  It also considers the impact of changes in Local Government financing and how these may be addressed leading to the setting of a budget for 2019/20 and Council Tax rate in February 2019 which was presented to the Executive on the 7st August 2018.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

 

The Director of Resources introduced the Medium Term Financial Plan 2019/20 – 2022/23 report that outlined the Council’s current planning and approach.  Key issues were highlighted, and the report included existing figures, areas of concern and significant pressures.

 

The Council’s Corporate Management Team continued to monitor closely each directorate’s budget, however, the MTFP Strategy remained the same as last year.

 

In light of the report Members queried what steps had been taken by officers to ensure services continued to be delivered as the Council entered more uncertain times.  In response the Deputy Leader and Executive Member for Resources advised there had been a worrying increased demand for services exacerbated by the possible loss of Government grants.  Many services had been working hard to ensure the Council did not experience the same budget pressures as other authorities.

 

RECOMMENDED that the Budget Strategy and Medium Term Financial Plan 2019/20-2022/23, the approach to the consultation and framework be fully endorsed by the Committee.

 

38.

Fees and Charges January 2019 pdf icon PDF 28 KB

 

To consider and provide comments to the Executive on the proposed Fees and Charges pricing schedule and analysis for January 2019.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

 

The Director of Resources introduced the Fees and Charges report that detailed in full charges and income.  There were a small number of increases proposed that were detailed in the analysis.  The increases were based on a 2.5% assumption forecast and the volumetric data identified how much would be raised by each fee.

 

The Committee welcomed the additional data and noted there were no major price increases with the exception of the 18% increase for Land Charges services.  In response the Director advised it was now necessary to charge VAT for this service, hence the increase.

 

In response to a question regarding recovering costs for the Blue Badge scheme, the Director informed Members the services had been successful in detecting fraudulent use.

 

RECOMMENDED to the Executive that the Fees and Charges 2019 be fully endorsed.  

 

39.

Quarter 1 Budget Monitoring Report – June 2018 Revenue, Capital and Housing Revenue Account. pdf icon PDF 19 KB

 

To consider and comment on the report that sets out the Q1 budget monitoring position for 2018/19 as at the end of June 2018. It sets out the Q1 spend against the approved budgets.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

 

The Director of Resources introduced the Q1 Revenue Budget Monitoring report.  The figures showed an £0.8m overspend, however, a £2.1m contingency fund was available if required.   The Council continued to look for savings and there were a number of positive developments that were outlined in the report.

 

The Committee’s attention was drawn to the Q1 Capital Budget and the principal variances forecast along with capital receipts that showed the significant capital investment had been made.

 

Finally, the Q1 Housing Revenue Account (HRA) revenue forecast was to achieve a balanced budget and enabled the Council to invest and improve its housing stock.  A Member raised a question regarding the opportunity to borrow more money against the HRA in order to fund housing schemes.  The Executive Member for Assets and Housing Delivery advised the Council would submit a bid for additional funds at the end of September and the Committee would be advised of the outcome.

 

NOTED the Q1 Budget Monitoring reports.

 

40.

Housing Development Company pdf icon PDF 3 MB

 

To consider and comment on the proposals for a Central Bedfordshire Housing Development Company and provide recommendations to the Executive.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

 

The Director of Community Services delivered a presentation that outlined the current thinking and proposals to create a Housing Development Company and potentially supply the current housing market with an element of affordable houses.  The risks to the Council and governance concerns were raised, however, the proposals were welcomed by the Committee.

 

RECOMMENDED that:-

1.    The proposals for a Council owned Housing Development Company be supported.

2.    the Executive report be considered by the Committee for comment in November 2018.

 

41.

Work Programme 2018/19 & 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:

Minutes:

 

The Committee considered the current work programme and Executive Forward Plan.  The work programme was agreed subject to the addition of the Housing Development Report in November.