Agenda and minutes

Overview and Performance Scrutiny Forum - Thursday, 19th November, 2020 5.00 pm

Venue: Committee Room 1, Town Hall, Chesterfield

Contact: Charlotte Kearsey  01246 345236

No. Item


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


No declarations of interest were received.


Apologies for Absence


No apologies for absence were received.


Forward Plan

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


Forward Plan


The Forum considered the Forward Plan.




That the Forward Plan be noted.


Scrutiny Monitoring pdf icon PDF 310 KB


The Forum considered the Scrutiny recommendations implementation monitoring schedule.




That the Scrutiny monitoring schedule be noted.


Work Programme for the Overview and Performance Scrutiny Forum pdf icon PDF 26 KB


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




That the Work Programme be approved.


Overview and Scrutiny Developments


There was no update.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 327 KB


The Minutes of the Overview and Performance Scrutiny Forum held on 17 September, 2020 were presented.




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


Leader and Cabinet Member for Business Transformation and Customers - Arvato and Kier Transition: Lessons Learnt

(Report to follow)


6:40pm to 7:10pm





That consideration of this item be deferred and that the Committee be reconvened in December, 2020 to enable its consideration.


Deputy Leader - Budget Update pdf icon PDF 130 KB

5:10pm to 5:40pm



The Deputy Leader, Acting Chief Finance Officer and Deputy Chief Accountant attended to present a report updating the Committee about Chesterfield Borough Council’s (CBC) budget.


The Council approved the original General Fund budget for 2020/21 on 26 February 2020. The original budget for 2020/21 forecasted a surplus of £16k and the indications were that the medium-term outlook would continue to be challenging. The Medium-Term financial forecast approved by full Council on 26 February 2020 showed increasing deficits of £723k in 2021/22 rising to £827k by 2023/24.


The impact of the coronavirus pandemic and the council’s response to it in the first quarter of this financial year led to a revised deficit forecast of £3.246m being reported to members as part of the ‘Month 2 Budget Monitoring 2020/21 & Updated Medium Term Financial Forecast’ report in July. This deficit was mainly due to lost income arising from the closure of sports centres, car parks, and venues during the first national lockdown.


The Council started quarter 2 with a forecast deficit of £3.246m for the financial year 2020/21. At the end of the second quarter the position had improved to an anticipated deficit of £192k at year end. A summary of the key variances was provided in the table at paragraph 2.1 of the officer’s report. One of the key variances was a third tranche of the Covid-19 grant was received from the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) in the sum of £205k. On the 21 October a fourth tranche of £587k was announced by MHCLG. These grants brought the total received by the Council, across all four tranches of funding, to £1,889k.


The council had continued to submit Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme grant claims to HMRC. The estimate at month two was that the council might receive £500k in grant funding through this scheme. It was now anticipated that the council would receive £697k, an increase of £197k.


The council would also be eligible for Job Retention Scheme Bonus payments of £147k on the basis that no furloughed staff had been made redundant.


The Government had also provided new burdens grant funding of £160k for administering business rates reliefs and payments of Small Business Grants and Discretionary Grants to local businesses.


MHCLG launched an income compensation scheme which partially reimbursed local authorities for lost income from sales, fees and charges in 2020/21 as a result of the pandemic. CBC had recently submitted the first claim to MHCLG for the period April to July for £998k. It was estimated that this would provide around £2m of income to the council by the end of the year. MHCLG had indicated that the claims would be subject to assurance testing before payment were made.


However, the MHCLG income compensation scheme excluded reimbursement for lost rental income and demand for industrial, commercial and retail units had fallen due to the Covid-19 pandemic which had resulted in an additional cost pressures of £68k because the council was liable to pay business rates on void  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9.


Deputy Leader - Council Plan Progress Update pdf icon PDF 106 KB

5:40pm to 6:10pm


Additional documents:


The Deputy Leader and Service Director - Corporate attended to present a report updating the Forum about the progress of the Chesterfield Borough Council Plan.


The Council Plan 2019 – 2023 was agreed by Council in February 2019. The plan identified the Council’s key priorities, objectives and commitments over a four year period. Annual delivery plans are developed to track and challenge progress across the four years.


The current position was outlined in the officer’s report. The Covid-19 pandemic had brought fast moving and unprecedented challenges to communities and organisations. Chesterfield Borough Council (CBC) had to quickly reprioritise to ensure core services could be delivered, while supporting additional emergency planning, community response and economic measures.


Staff across the Council were re-deployed to support key Covid-19 response activities which included ensuring that key services, such as the crematorium, could be maintained but also supporting new areas of work. New areas of work included processing business grant applications, food and medicine deliveries, supporting testing facilities, town centre ambassadors and supporting the community and voluntary sector volunteering programmes. This had a significant impact on the Council’s ability to deliver on elements of the delivery plan for 2020/21. This impact had been assessed alongside the performance progress and some recommendations had been made regarding re-prioritisation and deferral of elements.


Appendix 1 of the officer’s report demonstrated the progress which had been made on the 41 milestones which were being tracked during 2020/21 as well as the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic:


·      63% of milestones within the delivery plan for 2020/21 had been impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic to a medium or high extent.

·      54% of the milestones remained on target for delivery by the end of March 2021.

·      A further 22% of milestones were currently rated as amber for delivery, actions had been put into place to improve where possible.

·      24% of milestones are rated red as it was certain that delivery would not be possible during 2020/21.


In the “making Chesterfield a thriving borough” section 58% of the milestones remained on target for delivery in 2020/21. Excellent progress had been achieved on key projects including:

-       Commencement of construction on the Northern Gateway Enterprise Centre.

-       First phase of commercial development at Waterside.

-       Seeking to maximise Staveley Town Deal potential - £500k of funding had been secured so far.

-       Successfully bidding for £2.4 million in external funding to help secure maximum benefits from HS2 for Chesterfield communities and businesses.

-       Progressing ambitious plans for the Heart of Chesterfield project including securing a further £650k in external funding to support market improvements.

-       Refreshing the skills action plan and activities to ensure it would respond to the significant employment and skills challenges emerging from the pandemic, particularly for young people.


There were instances where the milestone would be delivered in terms of Council activity but would not be as successful in terms of outcomes due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.


There are a number of milestones which due to the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 10.


Cabinet Member for Governance - Covid 19 Emergency Planning / Business Continuity pdf icon PDF 131 KB

6:10pm to 6:40pm



The Cabinet Member for Business Transformation and Customers and Executive Director attended to present a report about Covid-19 Emergency Planning/Business Continuity.


In 2005 Chesterfield Borough Council (CBC) had contracted with Derbyshire County Council to deliver its Emergency Planning and Business Continuity service. The Council benefited from joint working, gaining access to a larger, skilled Emergency Planning team and the provision of a dedicated Emergency Planning resource for 2.5 days per week.


To further strengthen the Council’s capacity and co-ordination of emergency and business continuity events, the Council identified two senior officers to act in emergency planning liaison roles. These staff members work alongside the Derbyshire County Council Emergency Planning team and with the Council’s Strategic Leadership Team and Corporate Management Team to respond  to an emergency or business continuity event.


The Council had detailed emergency and business continuity plans in place, which are regularly updated. Access to the plans could be obtained by authorised personnel through Resilience Direct, an online private network which enabled civil protection practitioners to work across geographical and organisational boundaries during the preparation, response and recovery phases of an event or emergency.


Dependent on the size and scale of the emergency or business continuity event, different types of strategic and tactical groups would be initiated to effectively ‘manage’ the event and this would be determined when an emergency or business continuity event was triggered.


At a local level, CBC regularly reviewed and updated service specific business continuity plans. The leadership team reviews, agrees and documents the priority services for protection and restoration in an emergency and this process would then inform the relevant activities which must be undertaken when the business continuity plan is invoked.


Individual Corporate Business Continuity Plans exist in respect of winter planning, flood planning and a flu pandemic.


On 23 March 2020, the government announced the first national lockdown. These conditions and restrictions were unprecedented and required the immediate implementation of business continuity activities so that the Council could prioritise the delivery of key services where it was legal and safe to do so. Whilst most emergencies or business continuity events would be short lived, the Coronavirus pandemic had been unique in that CBC has remained in a business continuity position for nine months and the end date is unknown.


In response to this, the CBC business continuity activity had been and would continue to be delivered in three phases:


1.    Response – the work CBC did to deal with the 1st national lockdown.

2.    Recovery – the work CBC did to reopen business and bring our workforce back in a covid-19 secure way.

3.    Response and recovery – the work CBC has been doing to deal with the 2nd national lockdown whilst supporting communities and businesses in longer term recovery.


The following business continuity structure has been implemented to enable the management of the coronavirus business continuity activity across Derbyshire:


-       Chief Executive and Leader attendance at the Derbyshire Local Outbreak Board.


-       Executive Director attendance at the Local Resilience  ...  view the full minutes text for item 11.