Agenda and minutes

Venue: Guildhall

Contact: Committee Administration 01905 722006, 722005, 722085 

Items
No. Item

1.

Declarations of Interest

To receive any declarations of interest.

Minutes:

The following declarations of interest were made:

 

Councillor Mrs L. Hodgson – Quarter 4/Annual Performance Report for 2016/17 (Minute 4) - As a Member of the Corporation of Heart of Worcestershire College

 

Councillor Geraghty - Business Rates – Temporary Discretionary Relief Scheme (Minute 5) – As a member of Worcestershire County Council

2.

Public Representations

Up to a total of fifteen minutes can be allowed, with each speaker being allocated a maximum of five minutes, for members of the public to present a petition, ask a question or comment on any matter on the Agenda or within the remit of the Committee.

Minutes:

None.

3.

Terms of Reference and Work Programme pdf icon PDF 107 KB

That Committee notes the content of this report.

Minutes:

The Committee noted its Terms of Reference, as agreed at the Council meeting on 17th May 2017.  The Committee also considered an indicative work programme. In the ensuing discussion the following main points were made:

 

    Communications/Stakeholder Engagement Plan will be rescheduled from July to a new date to be confirmed.

    There will be private all-Member Budget sessions in late September/early October as well as a public consultation.  Members indicated that at least two all-Members sessions would be required as part of the Budget preparations. Officers will draw up an indicative timeline for the Budget.

    A peer review would be valuable but it would be appropriate to undertake this later in the year.

 

There were a number of issues that Members asked Officers to feed into the work programme:

 

    Reviewing Shared Services performance.

    Review of Transformation Plan progress.

    Review progress on City Plan priorities including a “deep dive” look at one specific theme per meeting. The Chair and Vice-Chairs would decide which one to look at first with a view to including an item on the July Committee agenda.

    Receiving reports or presentations from Sub-Committees.

 

RESOLVED: That the Committee note the report.

4.

Quarter 4/Annual Performance Report for 2016/17 pdf icon PDF 94 KB

That the Policy and Resource Committee notes the Council’s Quarter 4 and annual performance for 2016/17.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report on the Council’s Quarter 4 and annual performance for 2016/17.  Officers responded to questions from Members on detailed aspects of the report.

 

In the ensuing discussion, Officers agreed to provide written responses to the following questions:

 

·         Progress on Gheluvelt Park Sons of Rest building and why this is rated Green;

·         The current position with regard to the New Pedestrian Bridge;

·         Why Arrangements for CCTV is rated Amber, and what steps are being taken to get to Green.

 

For future quarterly reports Members wanted some benchmarking with comparable authorities and where Key Performance Indicators are Amber or Red there should be a specific comment on the intended actions to bring the measure back on plan.

 

It was also commented that Members should have an opportunity to influence standards and targets for Shared Services performance, maybe via the Customer Strategy.

 

RESOLVED: That the Committee note the report.

5.

Business Rates - Temporary Discretionary Relief Scheme pdf icon PDF 97 KB

1.     Approval of a temporary discretionary business rate relief scheme utilising Government support announced in the budget to assist those businesses seeing the largest increases following the recent revaluation of business rateable values which took effect from 1 April 2017; and

 

2.     Delegate authority to the Interim S151 Officer, in consultation with the Committee Chair and Vice Chairs, to finalise the details of the scheme.

Minutes:

The Committee considered proposals for a temporary discretionary business rate relief scheme, utilising Government support announced in the budget to assist businesses following the recent revaluation of business rateable values which took effect from 1 April 2017. The report set out the details of the proposed scheme. The Committee were advised that Government may issue additional conditions and regulations on the allocation of this funding prior to implementation of the scheme. Therefore, the proposal was to delegate the finalisation of the details of the scheme to the Corporate Director - Resources in consultation with the Chair and Vice Chairs of the Committee.

 

In the ensuing discussion, Members asked for the following aspects to be addressed prior to finalising the details:

 

·         There should be consultation with relevant business groups on the proposed scheme;

·         Officers to investigate what approach North Worcestershire local authorities are taking; and

·         Officers to provide more information on which businesses are included/excluded.

 

The Chair and Vice-Chairs would finalise the details of the scheme, subject to the points listed above.

 

RESOLVED: That the Committee:

 

1.    approve a temporary discretionary business rate relief scheme utilising Government support announced in the budget to assist those businesses seeing the largest increases following the recent revaluation of business rateable values which took effect from 1 April 2017; and

 

2.    delegate authority to the Interim S151 Officer, in consultation with the Chair and Vice Chairs, to finalise the details of the scheme, subject to the points listed above.

6.

Quarter 4 Financial Monitoring Report 2016/17 pdf icon PDF 120 KB

1.  That the Committee reviews the financial monitoring details including budget variances and performance indicators, for the 4th quarter ended 31st March 2017; and

 

2.  That the Committee approves the allocation of the 2016/17 budget surplus as detailed in the report.

 

(Report to follow)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee reviewed the financial monitoring details, including budget variances and performance indicators, for the 4th quarter ended 31st March 2017.  Officers responded to questions from Members on detailed aspects of the report.

 

In the ensuing discussion, Officers agreed to provide a written response to a request for information on progress with the Cleaner and Greener vehicle replacement programme.

 

Members considered proposals for Budget Surplus Allocation, as set out in paragraph 11 of the report. In the ensuing discussion, there was agreement that 50% of surplus income – equating to £250,000 – should be allocated to the Small Projects Development Fund.  There was also agreement that, to achieve the intention to adopt a minimum General Fund balance of £1.4m, a contribution of £81,000 should be made from the current underspend.

 

It was proposed and seconded that the Committee should agree to establish a task and finish group to look in more detail at all of the existing earmarked reserves, to make recommendations to set a prudent target level of each reserve and report back to the July Committee meeting. Upon being put to the vote, this amendment to the Officer recommendations was agreed.

 

RESOLVED: That the Committee:

 

1.    note the financial monitoring details including budget variances and performance indicators, for the 4th quarter ended 31st March 2017;

 

2.    agree the Officer recommendations in respect of the allocation of the 2016/17 budget surplus to the Small Projects Development Fund and General Fund, as detailed in paragraph 11 of the report; and

 

3.    agree to establish a task and finish group to look in more detail at all of the existing earmarked reserves and make recommendations, as set out above, the Group to be made up of the Chairman plus 2 Conservative and 2 Labour Members, to be appointed by Group Leaders.

7.

Any Other Business

Which in the opinion of the Chairman is of sufficient urgency as to warrant consideration.

Minutes:

The Chairman agreed to consider this matter as an item of urgent business because a number of organisations to which appointments were made would be meeting in early June.

 

The Chairman made reference to the Appointment of Representatives to Outside Bodies, which was on the work programme for the July meeting of the Committee. The Chairman proposed that authority be given to the 3 Group Leaders to agree the appointments for 2017/18 prior to the next meeting.  The decisions would then be reported to the Committee in July.  Other Committee Members expressed support for the proposal.

 

RESOLVED: That the Committee delegate authority to the Group Leaders to agree appointments for 2017/18 and that the decisions be reported to July meeting for ratification.