Agenda for Overview and Scrutiny Committee (Regulatory, Compliance and Corporate Services) on Tuesday 5th March, 2019, 6.30 pm

Agenda and minutes

Venue: Birkdale Room, Town Hall, Southport

Contact: Paul Fraser  Senior Democratic Services Officer

Items
No. Item

51.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Byrom (and his Substitute Member Councillor Murphy) and Councillors Brodie-Browne, Jamieson and Killen.

 

52.

Declarations of Interest pdf icon PDF 37 KB

Members are requested to give notice of any disclosable pecuniary or personal interest

 

An advice note on declaration of interests is attached

 

 

Minutes:

No declarations of disclosable pecuniary or personal interests were received.

 

53.

Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 116 KB

Minutes of the meeting held on 12 February 2019

Minutes:

RESOLVED:

 

That the Minutes of the meeting held on 12 February 2019 be confirmed as a correct record.

 

 

54.

Revenue and Capital Update 2018/19 to 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 163 KB

Report of the Head of Corporate Resources

Minutes:

The Committee considered the report of the Head of Corporate Resources that updated on the current forecast revenue outturn position for the Council for 2018/19 and the impact on the 2019/20 budget; the current forecast on Council Tax and Business Rates collection for 2018/19; and the current position of the 2018/19 Capital Programme.

 

The report indicated that in March 2017, Council approved a three-year budget plan to March 2020; that the final two years of this plan were revised in March 2018 as part of the process of the Council setting the 2018/19 budget; that the March 2018 Budget report outlined that due to the financial pressures being faced by the Council a mid-year review would be undertaken; that the initial position following the mid-year review was reported to Cabinet in September 2018; and that the report continued to build upon that work, updating the forecast revenue outturn position for 2018/19 and highlighting the further work that had been undertaken to balance the budget for 2018/19. In this respect, the report indicated that for 2018/19 there was currently a forecast deficit of £9.238m which could be off-set with £6.046m of mitigating, one-off, actions previously identified and a further £2.815m worth of in-year savings identified by officers to achieve a balanced position at the year end. A resulting budget deficit of £0.377m remained and it was recommended that proposals be developed to meet this gap and this would include a review of all vacancies and non-essential expenditure and all current budget forecasts.

 

With regard to Council Tax the report indicated that Council Tax income was shared between the billing authority (Sefton Council) and the two major precepting authorities (the Fire and Rescue Authority, and the Police and Crime Commissioner) pro-rata to their demand on the Collection Fund; that the Council’s Budget included a Council Tax Requirement of £127.485m for 2018/19 (including Parish Precepts), which represents 85.8% of the net Council Tax income of £148.595m; and that the forecast outturn for the Council at the end of December 2018 was a surplus of £0.995m;

Concerning Business Rates the report indicated that since 1 April 2017, Business Rates income had been shared between the Council (99%) and the Fire and Rescue Authority (1%); that the Council’s Budget included retained Business Rates income of £66.449m for 2018/19, which represented 99% of the net Business Rates income of £67.120m; that Business Rates income had historically been very volatile making it difficult to forecast accurately; and that the forecast outturn for the Council at the end of December 2018 was a surplus of £1.763m on Business Rates income.

Due to Collection Fund regulations, the Council Tax and Business Rates surplus would not be transferred to the General Fund in 2018/19 but would be carried forward to be distributed in future years.

 

Regarding the Capital Programme the Council’s capital budget in 2018/19 was £35.973m; and as at the end of December 2018, expenditure of £12.912m had been incurred and a full year outturn of £27.921m was currently  ...  view the full minutes text for item 54.

55.

Disposal of Surplus Council Owned Land/Asset Management Strategy

Report of the Head of Corporate Resources to follow

Minutes:

The Committee received a presentation from Stephan Van Arendsen, Head of Corporate Resources on the Asset Management Strategy/Disposal of Surplus Council Owned Land.

 

Mr. Van Arendsen detailed:

 

·       Why the management of the Council’s asset base was important because aside from staff, the asset base was the Councils next biggest resource

·       Where the Council was at regarding policies and activities including the Asset Management Strategy and Asset Disposal Policy

·       How the strategies and policies aligned with the Councils Framework for Change programme

·       What does the next 2-3 years look like including office accommodation e.g. Magdalen House, the Locality Model, informing the direction for Growth programme and the systematic review of the asset base

·       How Members would be engaged in the decision-making process

 

Members of the Committee asked questions/commented on the following issues:

 

·       Assets becoming surplus to requirement and being disposed of; and how the sales align with the Council’s Framework for Change and new capital strategy

·       How the Council’s heritage assets are reviewed as part of the asset base

·       The factors used to identify the top 200 assets as part of the systematic review of asset base

 

RESOLVED:

 

That Mr. Van Arendsen be thanked for his informative presentation.

 

56.

Work Programme 2018/19, Scrutiny Review Topics and Key Decision Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 84 KB

Repoert of the Chief Legal and Democratic Officer

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered the report of the Chief Legal and Democratic Officer that updated on the on the Work Programme for 2018/19, topics for scrutiny reviews to be undertaken by a Working Group(s) appointed by the Committee and seeking the identification any items for pre-scrutiny by the Committee from the Key Decision Forward Plan.

 

Members of the Committee asked questions/commented on the following issues:

 

·       Had any response been received from the Liverpool City Region in connection with the recommendations contained in the Digital Inclusion Working Group Final Report

 

RESOLVED: That

 

(1)

 

the Work Programme for 2018/19 be noted;

 

(2)

the report on the “Tool-Kit” for the Armed Forces Covenant be submitted to the next meeting of the Committee to be held on 18 June 2019;

 

(3)

the up to date position in respect of Working Groups established by this Committee be noted; 

 

(4)

the Chief Legal and Democratic Officer be requested to submit a report to the next meeting of the Committee updating on the round of Community Chat events held in February and March 2019; and

 

(5)

the Chief Legal and Democratic Officer be requested to contact the Liverpool City Region to seek a response to previous correspondence regarding the implementation of recommendations contained in the Digital Inclusion Working Group Final Report

 

 

57.

Cabinet Member Report - January to March 2019 pdf icon PDF 67 KB

Report of the Chief Legal and Democratic Officer

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered the report of the Chief Legal and Democratic Officer that included the most recent report from the Cabinet Member – Regulatory, Compliance and Corporate Services.  

 

Councillor Lappin, Cabinet Member – Regulatory, Compliance and Corporate Services was in attendance to answer any questions regarding her report.

 

Members of the Committee asked questions/made comments on the following issues:

 

·       How information about Council services could be made available to residents who did not use or have access to ICT equipment

·       How the ICT client team continued to work closely with the Legal team on the ICT contract transfer activity

·       The continuing ICT project work to enable all early intervention and prevention bases

·       Council Tax collection performance against set targets

·       The administrative functions associated with the Taxi Licensing service

·       Risks associated with work undertaken to deliver the Internal Audit Plan and in future, the potential to include an additional row in the table shown on page 60 of the agenda showing the total number of recommendations

·       Council Tax collection and the correlation with the Council Tax Reduction Scheme and the national economic environment

·       Regarding asset management, the due diligence work and the appointment of consultants to undertake work on Sandbrook Way       

 

RESOLVED:  That

 

(1)    

the update report from the Cabinet Member – Regulatory, Compliance and Corporate Services be noted; and

 

(2)

 

Councillor Lappin be thanked for her attendance at the meeting.