Agenda and minutes

Finance and Resources Overview and Scrutiny
Tuesday, 4th December, 2018 7.30 pm

Venue: Conference Room 1 - The Forum. View directions

Contact: Corporate and Democratic Support  01442 228209

No. Item



To confirm the minutes from the previous meeting



Following a Joint meeting of the OSC’s where a budget presentation was given, the Finance & Resources OSC meeting began at 8.05pm.


The minutes from 06 November 2018 were agreed and then signed by the Chairman.



Apologies for absence

To receive any apologies for absence


Apologies for absence were received from Cllrs Chapman and McLean. 



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]



Cllr Douris declared an interest as he is a principal shareholder in a company that rents a garage from the Council


Public Participation

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





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




Action points from the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 67 KB


The Chair mentioned that there were some outstanding actions that needed completing.


In regards to the query from Cllr Elliot on the slippage with the FM contract, B Hosier confirmed that we don’t have slippage on revenue expenditure, it would be an overspend.  This amounted to 18% of the FM budget, broken down into task orders £45k and asset verification of £25k.  When the budget was set for this year, it was very early for the move into this building and wasn’t fully aware of what the building needed so there was a need to amend the overspend on the current budget.


C Baker responded on the outstanding query on FR_RO1 relating to whether anything was being done to mitigate the risk.  The risk report contains the controls and mitigations.


M Brookes confirmed that the second closure order was required in the DBCvOgundipe case as there was further incidents of anti-social behaviour.


Cllr Tindall mentioned the response in regards to the slippage on the garage project which related to legal party walls and asked if this is the first time the issue has arisen.  N Howcutt advised that he was not aware that this had arisen previously.


Cllr Tindall asked if the residents in sheltered accommodation would be refunded the 24p per week now that it has been confirmed that the window cleaning service has not been provided.  N Howcut will confirm with the service.

Action N Howcutt



Budget Preparations 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 136 KB

Additional documents:


N Howcutt gave a presentation on the Finance & Resources service. The presentation is appended to the minutes as Appendix A.  Questions arising were as follows:


Cllr Douris enquired how many properties would be affected by the empty homes policy and why.  N Howcutt advised it would be about 100.  C Baker confirmed there were various reasons why the properties have been left unoccupied. 


Cllr Tindall asked if these properties could be empty as the resident had to go into a care home.  C Baker said that there are some exemptions and this would be one of the reasons.  Also properties must be empty for two years before the premium is applied, and we contact council tax payers before this period ends.


Cllr Tindall asked for clarification on whether it is likely that there will be any new homes bonus come through this year that could be used for capital projects.  N Howcutt confirmed this was reducing year on year by about £200k.


Cllr Douris mentioned 39-41 Marlowes and that there had been a lot of work undertaken.  S Marshall confirmed that the Health Authority had undertaken this work and not the Council.  Cllr Taylor advised he had been on a tour of the building with Health in Dacorum OSC and they confirmed that £2m was spent on works.


M Brookes presented the budget for Corporate and Contracted Services.  The presentation is appended at Appendix B.  Questions raised on the presentation were as follows:


Cllr Douris asked if we still have a Barrister working for us.  M Brookes confirmed that both Chris Gaunt and Usman Mohammed are Barristers


Cllr Douris highlighted that The Forum was being recognised across Hertfordshire for bringing in a number of services from different sectors.


L Roberts gave a presentation on the Performance, People and Innovation Service.  The presentation is appended at Appendix C.  Questions raised following the presentation were as follows:


Cllr Taylor mentioned that he had previously been involved in developing online training for Members with HR and queried if this will be included in the new HR system.  L Roberts advised that the new system may not be a learning system.  It will record what training has taken place for individuals and the learning platform is being looked at as well and there is no reason why this shouldn’t look at Members as well.


Cllr Tindall queried what the £63k outturn on employees in Human Resources is for.  L Roberts replied that this is actually the recruitment budget where we have gone to the market using agents so we’ve spent more on recruitment of hard to fill posts.  Cllr Tindall asked if this will occur in the future.  L Roberts confirmed that this is not related, because the process in which we recruit is not directly related to the HR system, however we have got a recruitment project looking at how we recruit people and the way in which we recruit them, for example using LinkedIn. 


Cllr Taylor raised concerns regarding the back up  ...  view the full minutes text for item 133.


Work Programme pdf icon PDF 110 KB


There were no additions to the Work Programme.


It was agreed that the Chair would be asked if L Roberts was the only Officer required to attend the January meeting as there was only the New Normal report listed on the agenda.