Agenda and minutes

Venue: Guildhall

Contact: Committee Administration 01905 722006, 722005, 722085 

Items
No. Item

38.

Declarations of Interest

To receive any declarations of interest.

Minutes:

The following declarations of interest were made:

 

Councillors Geraghty and Mrs L. Hodgson - Participation in Worcestershire 100% Business Rates Retention Pilot (Minute 47) and Place Partnership Five Year Business Plan (Minute 57 ) – As Worcestershire County Council Cabinet Members

 

Councillor Knight – Swan Theatre Update (Minute 49) – As a Board Member of Worcester Swan Theatre

 

Shane Flynn, Corporate Director, Finance and Resources - Place Partnership Five Year Business Plan (Minute 57) – As Director of Place Partnership. He left the meeting for consideration of this item.

39.

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.

40.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 67 KB

Of the meeting held on 19th September 2017 to be approved and signed.

Minutes:

RESOLVED: That the minutes of the meeting held on 19th September 2017 be approved as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

41.

Minutes of Personnel and General Purposes Sub-Committee pdf icon PDF 39 KB

To receive the minutes of the meetings held on 30th August and 1st September 2017.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED: That the minutes of the meetings held on 30th August and 1st September 2017 be received.

42.

Minutes of Income Generation Sub-Committee pdf icon PDF 61 KB

To receive the minutes of the meeting held on 10th October 2017.

Minutes:

RESOLVED: That the minutes of the meetings held on 10th October 2017 be received.

43.

Minutes of Place and Economic Development Sub-Committee pdf icon PDF 79 KB

To receive the minutes of the meeting held on 23rd October 2017.

Minutes:

RESOLVED: That the minutes of the meeting held on 23rd October 2017 be received.

44.

Draft Medium Term Financial Plan 2018 - 2023 pdf icon PDF 159 KB

 

1.     That the Committee endorses the high level medium term financial forecast for the next five years and for this to provide the financial framework for the Medium Term Financial Plan 2018-2023 and the detailed Draft Budget 2018/19;

 

2.   That the Committee endorses the proposed financial management priorities for the medium term planning horizon and for the proposed strategic approach to the management of the Council’s finances over the medium term; and

 

3.     That the Committee note that the medium term financial forecast will be updated following the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement in November and the publication of the Local Government Settlement in December.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee received a report on the key financial assumptions in the revised Medium Term Financial Forecast (MTFF) 2018-2023. Shane Flynn, Corporate Director – Finance and Resources, presented the report ad highlighted the main points, including the proposed financial management priorities and strategic approach to the management of the Council’s finances over the medium term. Officers responded to questions from Members on detailed aspects of the report.

 

In the ensuing discussion, a request was made for leasing options for the fleet to be explored. The Committee concluded that this should be referred to Environment Committee for consideration.       

 

RESOLVED: That the Committee:

 

1.    endorse the high level medium term financial forecast for the next five years and for this to provide the financial framework for the Medium Term Financial Plan 2018-2023 and the detailed Draft Budget 2018/19;

 

2.    endorse the proposed financial management priorities for the medium term planning horizon and for the proposed strategic approach to the management of the Council’s finances over the medium term; and

 

3.    note that the medium term financial forecast will be updated following the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement in November and the publication of the Local Government Settlement in December.

45.

Quarter 2 Financial Monitoring Report 2017/18 pdf icon PDF 152 KB

1.     That the Committee reviews the financial monitoring details including budget variances and performance indicators, for the 2nd quarter ended 30th September 2017;

 

2.     That the Committee approves the release of the three earmarked reserves identified by the Task and Finish group as being no longer required; and

 

3.     That the Committee approves the transfer of the Contaminated Land reserve balance of £960k to the City Plan Fund.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee reviewed the financial monitoring details including budget variances and performance indicators, for the 2nd quarter ended 30th September 2017.  Officers responded to questions from Members on detailed aspects of the report.

 

Officers highlighted the findings of the Task and Finish Group that had been established to review earmarked reserves. The Group had identified three individual reserves totalling £88k that are no longer required. In addition the Group proposed to transfer the Contaminated Land reserve of £960k to the City Plan Fund. Committee members expressed support for the findings and recommendations.

 

RESOLVED: That the Committee:

 

1.    approve the release of the three earmarked reserves identified by the Task and Finish group as being no longer required; and

 

2.    approve the transfer of the Contaminated Land reserve balance of £960k to the City Plan Fund.

46.

Quarter 2 Performance Report for 2017/18 pdf icon PDF 82 KB

That the Policy and Resources Committee considers the Council’s Quarter 2 performance for 2017/18.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report on progress for the current priority projects and activities which support the delivery of the Council’s City Plan, current priority projects within the Excellence Programme and the corporate suite of Key performance Indicators. Officers responded to questions from Members on detailed aspects of the report.

 

In the ensuing discussion, the following main points were made:

 

·           Reference was made to the potential for collecting this data direct from customers as opposed to using a residents' survey. The Committee were advised that consideration would be given to how the Council might improve arrangements for customer satisfaction monitoring as part of the review of the Customer Strategy.

 

·           Written clarification of funding and land transfer issues in relation to LTP4 could be provided following the County Council’s adoption of the Plan.

 

·           Members were given a detailed position statement on progress with the feasibility study for new pedestrian footbridge. A further update would be given in the Quarter 3 Monitoring Report.

 

RESOLVED: That the Committee note the Council’s Quarter 2 performance for 2017/18.

47.

Participation in Worcestershire 100% Business Rates Retention Pilot pdf icon PDF 169 KB

1.     To note the use of urgency powers to enable the Council to participate in a 100% business rates retention pilot scheme established by the Department for Communities and local Government for the financial year 2018/19 only;

 

2.     For the purposes of participating in the pilot, to agree to dissolve the Worcestershire Business Rates Pool and to participate in the formation of a new pool consisting of all Districts in Worcestershire and the County Council;

 

3.     To agree to reconstitute the Worcester Business Rates Pool in the event that the application to become a pilot pool is not successful; and

 

4.     To delegate to the Corporate Director Finance and Resources the authority to finalise the arrangements for the pool in consultation with the Chair and the Vice-chairs of the Policy and Resources Committee.

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report on various matters in relation to the Worcestershire Business Rates Pool including changes to delegations approved at Cabinet on 27th October 2015 regarding decisions on the pool governance arrangements, the transition from the current arrangements to the pilot arrangements; and formal ratification of a decision to use urgency powers to make a formal commitment to the pool.

 

Committee Members expressed support for the recommendations as set out in the report.

 

RESOLVED: That the Committee:

 

1.    note the use of urgency powers to enable the Council to participate in a 100% business rates retention pilot scheme established by the Department for Communities and local Government for the financial year 2018/19 only;

 

2.    for the purposes of participating in the pilot, agree to dissolve the Worcestershire Business Rates Pool and to participate in the formation of a new pool consisting of all Districts in Worcestershire and the County Council;

 

3.    agree to reconstitute the Worcester Business Rates Pool in the event that the application to become a pilot pool is not successful; and

 

4.    delegate to the Corporate Director Finance and Resources the authority to finalise the arrangements for the pool in consultation with the Chair and the Vice-Chairs of the Policy and Resources Committee.

48.

Corporate Transformation Programme Update pdf icon PDF 131 KB

That the Committee notes the progress made in delivering the Corporate Transformation Programme.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee received an update on progress with programmes and projects across a number of areas including a brief description and headline financial target for information. David Sutton presented the report and responded to questions from Members.

 

In the ensuing discussion, Members were advised that Car Park Asset Management Transformation was a complex project and was at a very early stage. Attention would be given to progressing the Car Parking Surveys.

 

A written reply would be given to the question on purchase of gas from Hill & Moor site.

 

RESOLVED: That the Committee note the progress made in delivering the Corporate Transformation Programme.

49.

Swan Theatre Update pdf icon PDF 117 KB

That the Committee notes progress on agreeing future leasing arrangements for the Swan Theatre.

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report on progress with agreeing future leasing arrangements for the Swan Theatre. The proposal was that the Worcester Live grant for the Swan Theatre be renewed based on a revised lease. The terms of the lease would be £1 per annum with a market rent offset by revenue grant.  As part of the agreement for the lease and subsequent approval of grant, a Service Level Agreement needs to be in place.

 

Committee Members expressed support for the proposed arrangements.

 

RESOLVED: That the Committee note progress on agreeing future leasing arrangements for the Swan Theatre.

50.

Guildhall Energy Savings pdf icon PDF 104 KB

That the Committee approves investment in energy saving measures at the Guildhall totalling £96,272, for an estimated reduction in energy costs of approximately £12,000 p.a.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee were informed that, as part of the budget setting process for 2017/18, a sum of £10,000 was approved for feasibility studies to reduce the environmental impact and expenditure of the Guildhall’s energy usage. Members considered a report on a study conducted by Place Partnership Ltd. (PPL) containing a number of proposals. Subject to approval, it was envisaged that PPL would continue to develop the design and procure and implement this project.

 

Committee Members expressed support for the report, its findings and recommendations.

 

RESOLVED: That the Committee approve investment in energy saving measures at the Guildhall totalling £96,272, for an estimated reduction in energy costs of approximately £12,000 p.a.

51.

Disposal of Part of the Park and Ride Site, Droitwich Road, Worcester pdf icon PDF 91 KB

1.     That the Committee approves in principle the disposal of part of the former Park and Ride site, Droitwich Road, Worcester for office use; and

 

2.     That the Committee delegates authority to the Corporate Director Finance and Resources, in consultation with the Chair and the Vice-chairs of the Committee, to finalise the commercial negotiations for the disposal.

 

Minutes:

At the meeting on 19th September 2017, the Committee had agreed to sell three acres of the former Park and Ride site for educational purposes. Officers have been in negotiation with a prospective purchaser who wished to acquire the remaining 2 acres of the former Park and Ride site for office use. The Committee considered a report in detail about the proposal. A conditional contract for sale subject to planning permission would be completed and Heads of Terms were in the process of being negotiated. Details of the sale price and other terms being negotiated were commercially sensitive and were set out for consideration in a confidential Appendix. A confidential valuation report has also been obtained, and details of this were also set out in the confidential Appendix.

 

In the ensuing discussion, Members expressed support for the proposal, on the grounds that it was an acceptable offer for the site and an appropriate use.

 

In response to a question, Members were advised a written response would be given on parking provision for users of Little Perdiswell.

 

RESOLVED: That the Committee:

 

1.    approve in principle the disposal of part of the former Park and Ride site, Droitwich Road, Worcester for office use; and

 

2.    delegate authority to the Corporate Director Finance and Resources, in consultation with the Chair and the Vice-chairs of the Committee, to finalise the commercial negotiations for the disposal.

52.

Any Other Business

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

Minutes:

The Chairman agreed to consider the following item as a matter of urgent business as there was currently no funding available for Worcester businesses which would have previously been eligible for the ERDF grant.

53.

Worcester City Council Business Start Up and Growth Grant Programme - Amendment To Eligibility Criteria

Minutes:

The Committee considered a proposal to amend the eligibility criteria for the Worcester City Council Business Start Up and Growth Grant programme.  A decision was required as a matter of urgency as there was currently no funding available for Worcester businesses previously eligible for the ERDF grant to support their growth plans. This had resulted in the Council being unable to refer businesses on and a decision now would allow the Council to work with partners to continue to support Worcester businesses.

 

In summary, the proposal was to amend the eligibility criteria for the Worcester City Council Business Start Up and Growth Grant programme to allow ERDF eligible businesses to apply for a grant, in those instances where funding is no longer available from schemes in the ERDF Enterprising Worcestershire programme.  These businesses would still be required to meet the other grant programme criteria.

 

The Chairman of the Place and Economic Development Sub-Committee explained that taking a decision now, rather than waiting until the next meeting of the Sub-Committee, would mean the Council could respond to immediate enquiries and allow others to be referred on.

 

RESOLVED: That the Committee approve an amendment to the eligibility criteria for Worcester City Council Business Start Up and Growth Grant programmes to allow applications from businesses which are eligible for the Worcestershire ERDF Programme, but unable to apply for a grant because funding is no longer available.

54.

Items Involving the Disclosure of Exempt Information

The Committee are invited to pass the following resolution:-

 

That under Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the press and public be excluded from the meeting for the following items of business on the grounds that they involve the likely disclosure of information as defined in Schedule 12A of the said Act.

Minutes:

RESOLVED: That under Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the press and public be excluded from the meeting for the following items of business on the grounds that they involve the likely disclosure of information as defined in Schedule 12A of the said Act.

55.

Minutes

Of the meeting held on 19th September 2017 (exempt items) to be approved and signed.

Minutes:

RESOLVED: That the minutes (exempt items) of the meeting held on 19th September 2017 be approved as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

56.

Minutes of Personnel and General Purposes Sub-Committee

To receive the minutes (exempt items) of the meetings held on 30th August and 1st September 2017.

Minutes:

RESOLVED: That the minutes (exempt items) of the meetings held on 30th August and 1st September 2017 be received.

57.

Disposal of Part of the Park and Ride Site, Droitwich Road, Worcester

To consider details of the sale price and other terms, and a confidential valuation report.

Minutes:

The Committee noted details of the sale price and other terms, and a confidential valuation report.

58.

Place Partnership Ltd. Five Year Business Plan 2017/18 to 2021/22

1.     That the Committee approves the five year business plan for Place Partnership Ltd.; and

 

2.     That the Committee agrees a budget variation.

Minutes:

The Committee considered a new five year business plan to cover the period 2017/18 to 2020/21. The Committee agreed a budget variation to accommodate the proposed increase in costs in 2017/18 and requested a report to a future meeting on the 2017/18 plan.

59.

Property Matters

To consider two reports relating to property matters.

Minutes:

The Committee considered two reports relating to property matters.