Agenda and draft minutes

Finance and Resources Overview and Scrutiny
Tuesday, 6th February, 2018 7.30 pm

Venue: Conference Room 1 - The Forum. View directions

Contact: Rebecca Twidle  Member Support

Items
No. Item

77.

Minutes

To confirm the minutes from the previous meeting

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 7 November and 4 December 2017 were agreed by the Members present and signed by the Chairman.

78.

Apologies for absence

To receive any apologies for absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were submitted on behalf of Cllr McLean and Cllr Tindall.

79.

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]

 

Minutes:

Cllr Douris declared an interest; he said a company of which he is a principal shareholder rented a garage from DBC.

80.

Public Participation

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

Minutes:

None.

 

81.

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

Minutes:

None.

 

82.

Action points from the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 46 KB

Minutes:

The Chairman noted that all action points had been completed, and, in particular, was pleased to note the decrease in costs of agency staff. M Rawdon confirmed that these costs were being closely monitored, and where possible, staff were directly employed as this was more cost effective. Cllr Douris asked if the majority of agency staff were located in the Clean, Safe & Green team; M Rawdon confirmed this was correct but also clarified that the larger spend of agency costs was office based agency staff.

 

J Deane confirmed that the response to the Action Point asking for the Business Rates Retention figure as a percentage was not correct; He said, as a whole, this figure was approximately 5%, while as growth, it was 40%; the Chairman thanked him for this clarification.

83.

Joint Budget Preparations 2018/2019 pdf icon PDF 128 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chair introduced the item; he noted that both Joint Budgets had provided good, detailed presentations. He asked officers if they had anything further they wished to add to the presentations. He then invited questions for officers.

 

The Chairman noted pg 8, item 6 of the agenda pack: “The Council leases 39-41 The Marlowes to an external tenant. The rent free period associated with this property ends during 2018/19. The Council can expect to receive six months of rent on this property, representing £160k of additional income”. He asked if DBC were in target to receive this income. N Brown confirmed this; 50% of the rental was due to be paid in September 2018.

 

Cllr Adeleke asked for further clarification of the information contained within J Deane’s presentation. J Deane said that in his view there was a risk with the Fair Funding Review, that by the time central Government had consulted all stakeholders, and all the different concerns had been raised, the model may look very similar to the existing one. He said that in order for Local Authorities (LA’s) to retain all locally raised business rates, there would be additional responsibilities; there were concerns that the cost of delivering these responsibilities may be more than the additional funding from the retained business rates.

 

Cllr Adeleke then asked for a further explanation of the figures relating to the Business Rates retention that were contained within J Deane’s presentation. He noted outgoings of £60 million, in comparison to only an income of £3 million. J Deane said that these figures were based on the Assessment of Need once the new model had been completed; J Deane said that this model was not due to be completed until Autumn 2019. He said between now and then, DBC would be working with all stakeholders including The Department for Communities and Local Government, and other LA’s) to inform this model, input its views, as well as gaining an understanding of what these responsibilities would be. He confirmed from Autumn 2019, there would be a consultation period where DBC and other LA’s would have the opportunity to review the model and consider its effect/impact, and then provide feedback. He said it was not impossible that DBC could face a significant reduction of its Assessment of Need.

 

Cllr Adeleke raised concerns, asking if DBC was effectively being penalised for being a successful borough.  He said it appeared that the more successful a borough was, the more central Government appeared to “claw back”. He asked what could be done to mitigate this?  J Deane said that he had attended a meeting with other district councils across the Country where this very point was raised; why should successful or entrepreneurial councils face a reduction in their Assessment of Need? He said that responses by central Government had tended to be non-committal on this point.  J Deane re-iterated that DBC would push to represent its interests to the review, as well as lobby central Government.

 

Cllr Douris referred  ...  view the full minutes text for item 83.

84.

Work Programme pdf icon PDF 103 KB

Minutes:

The Chair referred to the work programme at pg 80 of the agenda pack. Cllr Douris raised the possibility of the Committee considering a specific element contained within the reports, and whether there would be an opportunity to interrogate or review it in more detail. J Deane confirmed that this suggestion was being reviewed by M Brookes. He said that the new Assistant Director was due to start in approximately a month and that there would be an opportunity to discuss with him and the Committee what they would like to scrutinise. M Brookes added that all the work programmes of the Overview & Scrutiny Committees were now considered at CMT, and items which were relevant to the Corporate Work Plan were being devised; M Brookes said that these would then be fed back.

 

Cllr Taylor asked that the work programme be updated to reflect the departed officers.

 

The Meeting ended at 20:30. The Chair closed the meeting and thanked those present for their attendance. He also asked that the Committee’s thanks be passed onto staff, in recognition for their hard work.