Agenda and minutes

Overview and Performance Scrutiny Forum
Thursday, 21st November, 2019 5.00 pm

Venue: Town Hall, Chesterfield

Contact: Charlotte Kearsey  01246 345236

Items
No. Item

22.

Declarations of Members' and Officers Interests relating to items on the Agenda

Minutes:

No declarations of interest were received.

23.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Blakemore.

24.

Deputy Leader - Council Plan and Corporate Performance pdf icon PDF 43 KB

5:05pm to 5:35pm

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Deputy Leader and Assistant Director – Policy and Communications submitted a progress report on the Council Plan for Year 1, 2019/20. The Executive Director and Assistant Director – Economic Growth also attended to answer the member’s questions. The Council Plan 2019 – 2023 had been agreed by Council in February 2019. The plan identified the key priorities, objectives and commitments of the Council over a four year period.

 

To track and challenge progress annual delivery plans would be developed. The first delivery plan for 2019/20 was agreed in February 2019. The performance against the delivery plan for quarter two (July – September 2019) was highlighted in the officer’s report.

 

The Assistant Director advised that 78% of the key milestones remained on target compared to 75% at the end of quarter 1. Progress varied across the three themes. Challenges had been experienced for 22% of the activities but remediation was taking place or being considered to bring these activities back on target.

 

A number of key activities had been completed including:

·        Opening the Saltergate Multi Storey Car Park;

·        Commencing work on new residential properties at Waterside;

·        Opening the new 3G pitch at Queen’s Park.

 

42 performance measures had been identified as key to year one delivery of the plan. It was possible to collect data for 12 of the measures at quarter 2. Ten performance measures were currently meeting their targets and two were currently performing below target.

 

The Corporate Management Team leads for all amber rated milestone activities would be meeting with relevant key officers to develop improvement strategies which would aim to support further progress in quarters three and four.

 

Members enquired whether the issues with the electric charging points in the Saltergate Multi Storey Car Park had been resolved and it was confirmed that the issues had been resolved. Members also asked whether free parking would be introduced for electric vehicles and were advised that a balance needed to be found between carbon and economic sustainability.

 

Clarification regarding the meaning of the key milestones and measures was sought. The Assistant Director provided an explanation and advised that the measures were on target or ahead of scheduled.

 

Members noted that the leisure centres had been rated amber and enquired about the efforts being made to bring in revenue in the current challenging financial environment. It was explained that areas of significant importance, such as income, were highlighted as amber and closely monitored.

 

Members thanked the officers for providing the update and answering their questions.

 

RESOLVED –

 

1.   That the update be noted.

 

2.   That Council Plan and Corporate Performance be considered at the work programming sessions for inclusion on the work programme for 2020/21.

25.

Deputy Leader - Budget pdf icon PDF 59 KB

5:35pm to 6:05pm

Minutes:

The Deputy Leader and Chief Accountant presented the General Fund Budget Monitoring and Medium-Term Forecast Update report.

 

The original budget for 2019/20 forecasted a deficit of £202k. At the end of the second quarter the position had improved to an anticipated surplus of £52k at year end. The favourable variances which had resulted in the increased surplus included:

·        Vacant posts in the Spirepride and Building Cleaning teams which would cumulatively deliver non-recurring savings of £110k in 2019/20;

·        Additional income of £44k from Derbyshire Building Control Partnership company which comprised of a £24k recharge to the company for the Assistant Director – Economic Growth carrying out Managing Director duties on behalf of the company and £20k dividend income to be paid from profits generated by the company in 2018/19;

·        IT savings delivery, the savings target for 2019/20 was £227k and at the second quarter £207k savings had been achieved.

 

It was indicated that the medium-term outlook would continue to be challenging and showed increasing deficits of £803k in 2020/21 rising to £1.1m by 2021/22.

 

The most significant risks and pressures to the medium-term financial forecast included:

·        Continued delivery of budget savings at the required level and at the right time was challenging. The Council had demonstrated a good track record of tackling budget deficits and delivering savings, but this would become more difficult over time as easier options were exhausted.

·        Fees and charges income could be affected by the state of the economy, particularly the continuing uncertainty around Brexit.

·        Property rents from the Council’s industrial, commercial and retail units could also be affected by the state of the economy. Current occupancy levels remained high and the Council would continue to invest in its rental properties but income from rental properties continued to decline.

 

Members asked whether there had been any consideration of areas where income could be increased and were advised that this was also part of the work taking place regarding commercialisation.

 

Members enquired if there was potential for any more additional income from Town Hall rental and were informed that negotiations continued.

 

Members thanked the Chief Accountant for providing the update and answering their questions.

 

RESOLVED –

 

1.   That the update be noted.

 

2.   That Budget be considered at the work programming sessions for inclusion on the work programme for 2020/21.

26.

Forward Plan

Please follow the link below to view the latest Forward Plan.

 

Forward Plan

 

6:35pm to 6:40pm

Minutes:

The Forward Plan was considered.

 

RESOLVED –

 

That the Forward Plan be noted.

27.

Work Programme for the Overview and Performance Scrutiny Forum pdf icon PDF 84 KB

6:50pm to 6:55pm

Minutes:

The Work Programme for the Overview and Performance Scrutiny Forum was considered.

 

RESOLVED –

 

That the Work Programme be approved.

 

28.

Overview and Scrutiny Developments

6:55pm to 7:00pm

Minutes:

Councillor Peter Innes, as Joint Scrutiny Chair, had been appointed to the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership Scrutiny Working Group. The first meeting was scheduled to take place on 2 December, 2019.

 

RESOLVED –

 

That the update be noted.

29.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 77 KB

7:00pm to 7:05pm

Minutes:

The Minutes of the Overview and Performance Scrutiny Forum held on 19 September, 2019 were presented.

 

RESOLVED –

 

That the Minutes be approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair.

30.

Deputy Leader - More Environmentally Friendly Council pdf icon PDF 51 KB

6:05pm to 6:35pm

Minutes:

The Deputy Leader and Assistant Director – Health and Wellbeing attended to present a progress report on the efforts which were being made to make CBC a more environmentally friendly council.

 

CBC declared a Climate Emergency on 17 July, 2019 and resolved to establish a Chesterfield Climate Change Working Group to respond to this challenge.

 

The first meeting of the working group had taken place on 23 October 2019. The Committee were informed that a productive meeting had taken place which set the scene in terms of the scale of the issue which Chesterfield faced and provided the working group an opportunity to outline the areas which they felt were important. These areas would then be used to inform future meetings and would require further review to support the development of the Council’s action plan.

 

The working group was in a relatively early phase of development but based on feedback received from the first session the group dynamic appeared to be correct. A second meeting of the working group was scheduled for 25 November 2019 and this meeting would focus on developing priorities for the action plan based on the themes identified by the group.

 

Progress on the action plan would be communicated when appropriate to a wider reference group made up of the individuals who were not selected for the working group and who expressed an interest to be part of a reference group.

 

The working group was committed to making a difference and ensuring that Chesterfield developed an action plan which would result in a co-ordinated approach to support a low carbon, resilient and sustainable borough.

 

A discussion took place around the staff resourcing for the work being carried out. There had been a budget commitment allocated to support the work but it was important to ensure absolute clarity is given to anyone involved in this area of work. It is very much the approach of the working group that changes are embedded into the day-to-day activities of the authority and the wider community.

 

A suggestion to include sustainability questionnaires in pre-qualifying requirements to suppliers was made and the members were informed that some of these were in place, but it was acknowledged that further work in this area will be required.

 

The Assistant Director was asked about how the working group members were selected. A significant number of people had expressed an interest in the working group but a manageable size was needed to ensure that the core working group was able to function effectively. The working group included 16 members of the public.

 

Members asked about the age range of the working group because climate change was a significant concern of young people. The decision had been made to invite people over the age of 18 years old to join the working group to mitigate any concerns relating to safeguarding. Members encouraged sharing information and documentation with schools to keep young people informed about the working group.

 

RESOLVED –

 

1.   That the update be noted.

 

2.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 30.

31.

Local Government Act 1972 - Exclusion of the Public

Minutes:

RESOLVED –

 

That under Section 100(A)(4) of the Local Government Act 1972 the public be excluded from the meeting for the following items of business on the grounds that they involved the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Paragraphs 1 and 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Act.

32.

Deputy Leader - More Environmentally Friendly Council - Appendix 1

6:05pm to 6:35pm

Minutes:

Pursuant to Minute No.30 – The Assistant Director – Health and Wellbeing submitted Appendix 1 of the More Environmentally Friendly Council report for consideration.

33.

Local Government Act 1972 - Re-admission of the Public

Minutes:

RESOLVED –

 

That the public be readmitted to the meeting following consideration of an item containing exempt information.

34.

Scrutiny Monitoring pdf icon PDF 120 KB

6:40pm to 6:45pm

Minutes:

The Scrutiny Monitoring Schedule was considered.

 

RESOVLED –

 

That the Scrutiny Monitoring Schedule be approved.

35.

Scrutiny Project Group Progress Updates

·        Air Pollution Scrutiny Project Group – Lead Member Councillor Lisa Collins

 

6:45pm to 6:50pm

Minutes:

Councillor Lisa Collins, Lead Member for the Air Pollution Scrutiny Project Group, provided an update on the progress of the group. The group had met and considered a large amount of data regarding the current position of air pollution in Chesterfield. The group aimed to work with three schools in the Borough to accumulate statistics about the air quality levels at each school.