Agenda and minutes

Finance and Resources Overview and Scrutiny - Tuesday, 6th December, 2022 7.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, The Forum. View directions

Contact: Corporate and Democratic Support  01442 228209

No. Item


Minutes pdf icon PDF 260 KB

To confirm the minutes from the previous meeting


The minutes of the previous meeting were agreed by the members present and then signed by the Chairman.


Councillor Symington referred to an agreement that there would be a report on Electric Vehicle (EV) charging points coming to the committee in March but noted it wasn’t included on the work programme.


The Chairman confirmed this would be amended.



Apologies for absence

To receive any apologies for absence


Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Adeleke, Chapman and Townsend.



Declarations of Interest

To receive any declarations of interest


A member with a disclosable pecuniary interest or a personal interest in a matter who attends a meeting of the authority at which the matter is considered -


(i)            must disclose the interest at the start of the meeting or when the interest becomes apparent


and, if the interest is a disclosable pecuniary interest, or a personal interest which is also prejudicial


(ii)           may not participate in any discussion or vote on the matter (and must withdraw to the public seating area) unless they have been granted a dispensation.


A member who discloses at a meeting a disclosable pecuniary interest which is not registered in the Members’ Register of Interests, or is not the subject of a pending notification, must notify the Monitoring Officer of the interest within 28 days of the disclosure.


Disclosable pecuniary interests, personal and prejudicial interests are defined in Part 2 of the Code of Conduct For Members


[If a member is in any doubt as to whether they have an interest which should be declared they should seek the advice of the Monitoring Officer before the start of the meeting]



There were no declarations of interest.



Public Participation

An opportunity for members of the public to make statements or ask questions in accordance with the rules as to public participation


There was no public participation.



Consideration of any matter referred to the committee in relation to call-in




Action points from the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 285 KB


The Chairman confirmed the action points had been circulated and were also included in the agenda.



Draft 2023/24 Budget Proposals pdf icon PDF 730 KB

Additional documents:


The draft budget 2023/24 proposals relating to the finance and resources overview and scrutiny committee were presented by N Howcutt.


With regards to the commercially sensitive information in the presentation it was agreed that the committee would briefly move into Part II and exclude the public. N Howcutt asked the members present to maintain confidentiality on these matters.


Full details can be found in the Part II minutes.


Transformation, Customer and People Strategies


The next section of the report was presented by A Wilkie.


Councillor Mahmood questioned the intended saving of £1.8m on general fund efficiencies against the additional costs of £0.5m. He wondered where savings would be made when so much is being spent.


N Howcutt outlined the pay award as being a cost increase and reductions in government funding, which would need to be balanced. He felt the PMO (programme management office) was providing resources to deliver savings, being there to support the delivery.


A Wilkie added that in reality, people were needed to work on the strategy. A further point being that in terms of efficiencies, A Wilkie suggested that through digitisation and better structuring we would need fewer people, which would deliver a better service for residents. A Wilkie felt that the majority of spend was on people, which was where he thought efficiencies would be made.


Councillor Mahmood thought apprentices and graduates were a great thing for the community, he thanked A Wilkie for his explanation.


Referring to 5.6, where a vacancy of 5% was quoted, Councillor Tindall wondered whether they were looking for staff to fill those vacancies, questioning the current vacancy rates, staff shortages and fluctuations going forward.


N Howcutt explain that vacancies were due to the time lag between somebody leaving and starting, reporting that there had been an assessment done several years ago where it was shown that that was around 5% of total staff costs. N Howcutt went on to outline scenarios where the 5% would or would not be achieved, saying it was an assumption that had worked out effectively over the past few years.


Councillor Tindall wondered whether recruitment costs were added in, he further questioned the phrasing of A Wilkie ‘needing fewer people,' wondering whether this was a hint towards digitalisation.


A Wilkie reported that feedback from the customer strategy work with residents had been that they want to use the digital strategy to engage with the council, he felt more could be done in that space by automating and introducing more self-service. A Wilkie referred to vacancies in the system particularly at the moment because of recruitment and retention challenges, thinking that identifying different parts of the business doing similar types of work could be brought together to do it more efficiently. He looked forward to the output of the commercial strategy early in the New Year.


Councillor Tindall stressed the importance of ensuring that people who were not digitally aware do not lose out because of digitalisation,


A Wilkie gave his assurance  ...  view the full minutes text for item 62.


Quarter 2 Financial Monitoring Report 2022-23 pdf icon PDF 540 KB

Additional documents:


N Howcutt gave a brief synopsis of the report which he noted had already been to Cabinet. N Howcutt outlined that the budget showed an improved performance on Q1 and that they were on track to achieve a balanced budget by year end. The Q3 budget report would be presented to the committee in the New Year.


There were no questions.




The report was noted.



Work Programme pdf icon PDF 117 KB


The Chairman highlighted that one additional item, the EV charging report, would be added to the March meeting.



Leisure Contract


Full details can be found in the Part 2 Minutes.