Agenda and minutes

Resources Scrutiny Panel (Now Growth, Infrastructure & Resources Scrutiny - See this link for meetings prior to May 2017)
Thursday, 27th April, 2017 7.00 pm

Items
No. Item

787.

RECORD OF MEETING

To confirm the record of the meeting of the Resources Scrutiny Panel held on 16 February 2017 (previously circulated).

Minutes:

The Record of the Meeting of the Resources Scrutiny Panel held on 16 February 2017, copies of which had been previously circulated, were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

788.

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

In accordance with the Regulations, Members are invited to declare any disclosable interests under the Code of Conduct and the nature if those interests in respect of items on this Agenda and/or indicate if Section 106 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 applies to them.

Minutes:

No declarations of interest were made.

789.

PETITIONS, DEPUTATIONS AND QUESTIONS

To receive any petitions, deputations and questions received from Members of the Public in accordance with the provisions of Procedure Rule 217.

 

The total time allowed for this item shall be 30 minutes. Petitions, declarations and questions shall be dealt with in the order in which they are received. Questions may also be submitted at short notice by giving a written copy to the Committee Administrator 15 minutes before the start of the meeting.

 

The total time allowed for questions at short notice is 15 minutes out of the total time of 30 minutes. Any petitions, deputations and questions that have been submitted with prior formal notice will take precedence over questions submitted at short notice. Any questions that are not considered within the time limit shall receive a written response after the meeting and be the subject of a report to the next meeting.

Minutes:

No petitions, deputations or questions had been received.

790.

QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE FROM MEMBERS

To consider any questions with notice from Members received in accordance with the provisions of Procedure Rules No 219 and 219A.

Minutes:

No questions with notice had been received from Members.

791.

NOTICES OF MOTION FROM MEMBERS

To consider any Notices of Motion from Members submitted in accordance with the provisions of Procedure Rule No 220.

Minutes:

No notices of motion had been received from Members.

792.

CONSIDERATIONS OF ANY MATTER REFERRED TO THE PANEL FOR A DECISION IN RELATION TO CALL IN OF A DECISION

To consider any matter referred to the Panel for a decision in relation to call in of a decision in accordance with Procedure Rule 206.

Minutes:

No matter had been referred to the Panel for a decision in relation to call-in of a decision in accordance with Procedure Rule 206.

793.

POVERTY IN RUTLAND - GREEN PAPER pdf icon PDF 3 MB

To receive Report No. 91/2017 from the Scrutiny Commission.

(Report circulated under separate cover)

Minutes:

Report No. 91/2017 was received from the Scrutiny Commission.

 

Mr Della Rocca provided members with a view of key issues officers had taken from the previous meetings where Resources Scrutiny Panel had considered the project. 

 

During discussion the following points were noted:

 

a)    Officers to look further at the Financial Crisis Fund in regard to its management.  It is currently monitored within the Revenue’s and Benefits function of the Council.  It may be that an external provision could be more suited to providing more holistic support to those in financial difficulty.  There may also be other funding, either internally or externally, that could be made available and this would be looked into. 

b)    Mr Walters had provided feedback from a schools visit regarding financial skills education; this would be shared with relevant officers within the education department. 

c)    The authority had looked at ways in which debt recovery could be done more empathetically.  Staff had received training in this area and the standard letters issues were being revised.  Mr Della Rocca advised that there was now a full time officer covering this area.

d)    Officers were looking at ways to articulate the general financial support offered across all departments within the council, for example; Council Tax Discretionary Support, Crisis Loans and warm home initiative.  This was proving more challenging than anticipated and the feedback from the project had been helpful in this area.

e)    Miss Waller asked that a clear definition around poverty in Rutland be incorporated into the White Paper.  The report mentioned Community Agents within the consultation, members asked how many of these were still active, Mr Lammie confirmed that he knew of one in his ward area.  Mr Hemsley advised that he would feed back on the numbers once confirmed.

f)     That some parishes and communities within the county had trusts that could provide funds to those in need, for example education funding or a property letting trust.  Members suggested that an information gathering exercise be carried out specifically to identify such funds.  It was noted that this could well take a significant amount of time as historic funds may be missed if they had not been used in recent times.

g)    That the timeframe for completion of the project had been affected by the announcement of a Parliamentary Election in June.  Scrutiny Commission would confirm to panel members in due course.

h)   That thought be given to the use of excessive terminology before publication of the White Paper.  It was also requested that National data be excluded as the Green Paper stated Rutland was different but did not focus wholly on the county.

 

 

AGREED

 

That the Panel NOTED the content of the report and that the following be considered for inclusion in the White Paper:

 

a)    Formation of a body to collate information from across the county in regard to potential funding available from sources such as trust funds or other such funds as noted in f) above.

b)    That a standard paragraph be included in  ...  view the full minutes text for item 793.

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19.25 Mr Della Rocca left the meeting and did not return

 

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794.

STREET NAMING AND NUMBERING POLICY pdf icon PDF 52 KB

To receive Report No. 90/2017 from the Director for Resources.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Report No. 90/2017 was received from the Director for Resources.

 

Mr Nix, Head of IT and Customer Services introduced the report advising that members were being asked for feedback on the renewal of the existing Street Naming and Numbering (SNN) Policy.  Mr Nix highlighted that clarification around the legal position in respect of charging was being sought and would be resolved before the final presentation of the policy to Cabinet.

 

During discussion the following points were noted:

 

a)    That the Council had a statutory duty to approve road names and house numbers.

b)    Members discussed the new proposals to charge for discretionary street naming as detailed in Appendix C to the report, the logistics of application and collection of such charges was debated, it was noted that members did not want this to result in an adverse cost impact on the Council. 

c)    Members agreed the concept of charging in principal and asked that officers develop a method of doing so outside of the meeting.

d)    That the proposed Policy would ensure that future developments would not be allocated a street name where that name already existed elsewhere in the County. 

e)    Members advised officers of a typographical error in the policy.  Mr Nix would ensure this was amended before the final policy was published.

 

 

AGREED:

 

That the Panel NOTED the content of the report.

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19.35 Mr Nix left the meeting and did not return

 

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795.

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ANNUAL REPORT pdf icon PDF 86 KB

To receive Report No. 79/2017 from the Director for Resources

Minutes:

Report No. 79/2017 was received from the Director for Resources.

 

During discussion the following points were noted:

 

a)    The overall performance indicator for responses within the statutory timescale was 99% with Quarters 2, 3 and 4 being 100%.  This rate was continuing into Quarter 1 of the New Year.

b)    Mrs Mogg advised members that she was very pleased with the performance for the past year particularly as the number of requests had increased over previous years.

c)    The responses to requests were published on the Council website; members requested that a link to this be provided to them rather than the current email.  Mrs Mogg agreed that officers would look into this and confirm the frequency of the updates. If the website was updated at the same time each week then an email alert advising this may not be necessary and a one off link to the website would be provided to members.

d)    Mr Lammie noted that it was encouraging to see such good performance in regard to Freedom of Information.  Mrs Mogg advised that the Corporate Support Team worked hard to achieve this rate with the continued support of those who responded to the requests within the authority.

 

AGREED

 

That the Panel NOTED the content of the report.

796.

REVIEW OF FORWARD PLAN

To consider Scrutiny issues to review

Copies of the Forward Plan will be available at the meeting

Minutes:

The following items on the published Forward Plan were to be suggested to the Scrutiny Commission for consideration at future meetings:

 

Oakham Enterprise Park – Phase 2 Development

Discretionary Revaluation Rate Relief Policy

 

797.

ANY URGENT BUSINESS

To receive any items of urgent business which have been previously notified to the person presiding.

Minutes:

There was no urgent business.

798.

DATE AND PREVIEW OF NEXT MEETING

Date to be agreed at Annual Council.

Minutes:

Meeting date to be agreed at Annual Council.