Agenda and minutes

Resources Scrutiny Panel (Now Growth, Infrastructure & Resources Scrutiny - See this link for meetings prior to May 2017)
Thursday, 12th November, 2015 7.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Catmose, Oakham, Rutland, LE15 6HP. View directions

Contact: Kim Cross  01572 758458

Items
No. Item

352.

RECORD OF MEETING

To confirm the record of the meeting of the Resources Scrutiny Panel held on 10th September 2015 (previously circulated).

Minutes:

The Record of the Meeting of the Resources Scrutiny Panel held on 10 September 2015, copies of which had been previously circulated, was confirmed and signed by the Chairman.

 

353.

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 in respect of the items on the agenda for this meeting.

 

354.

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 were received for this meeting.

355.

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 had been received from Members.

356.

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.

 

357.

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 was referred to the Panel for a decision in relation to call-in of a decision in accordance with Procedure Rule 206.

 

358.

OVERVIEW OF RESOURCES DIRECTORATE

To receive a presentation from the Director for Resources.

Minutes:

A presentation was received from The Director for Resources, the purpose of which was to brief the panel on the teams and services provided, the work that has been done around vision and strategy, the current priorities and an overview of the Council’s budgetary framework (the Presentation can be seen at Appendix A to these minutes).

 

During the presentation the following points were noted:

 

i)     Concerns were raised regarding the use of the IT underspends to upgrade Agresso.  Officers explained that Agresso would need to be upgraded at some stage and that various options were being considered including working work another local authority which would enable the Council to upgrade whilst achieving lower annual running costs.

ii)     A question was also asked regarding how the Council funded capital expenditure and its current level of borrowing.  It was explained that the Council does have useable balances and other assets which mean that borrowing could be repaid but also that the Council may retain a level of borrowing if it can afford to do so.  Members asked why borrowing is not repaid now to avoid high interest costs.  It was explained that the Council took advice on this from its Treasury advisors and that repaying borrowing now would not be prudent given the redemption charges involved.

 

AGREED:

 

1)    That the Panel noted the contents of the presentation.

 

Appendix A - Overview of Resources Directorate Presentation pdf icon PDF 9 MB

359.

STRATEGIC AIMS AND OBJECTIVES pdf icon PDF 71 KB

To receive Report No. 208/2015 from the Chief Executive.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Report No. 208/2015 for the Chief Executive was received, the purpose of which was to provide the panel with the opportunity to be consulted on the council’s Strategic Aims and Objectives and to feed back to Cabinet any comments as part of the consultation process.

 

During the discussion various points were noted including:

 

i)        Members were not clear whether existing aims and objectives were being met and how the Council intended to measure success in the future.  The Director explained that whilst no annual report is produced, the aims and objectives are covered in the Quarterly report

ii)        It would be helpful to reflect current work with Health including the Better Care Fund and Better Care Together

iii)        The work with the voluntary sector in particular building capacity and supporting delivery of the ‘Big Society’ could be featured more strongly

iv)        The needs of and our aspirations for older people are not reflected

v)        The work and drive around school improvement could be more detailed

vi)        The panel agreed to email their feedback directly to the Corporate Support Team to ensure that it is all captured

 

AGREED:

 

1)    That the Panel noted the contents of Report No. 164/2015 and Appendix A; and

2)    That the Panel would recommend to Cabinet, via the Director for Resources any changes to the Strategic Aims and Objectives for 2016-2020.

 

360.

Q2 FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT REPORT pdf icon PDF 83 KB

To receive Report No. 206/2015 from the Director for Resources.

(Circulated under separate cover).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Report No. 206/2015 from the Director for Resources was received, the purpose of which was to inform the panel of the full year forecast position as at Quarter 2 for 2015/16 and to alert them to issues that may impact on the Medium Term Financial Plan to enable them to maintain sound financial management of the Council’s operations.

 

During the discussion the following points were noted:

 

i)        The Panel questioned the legal services costs and requested an update from the legal team to be brought to a future Panel meeting;

ii)        Clarification was sought regarding the social worker market supplements and it was explained that it was part of the Council’ strategy to reduce turnover and facilitate recruitment so as to avoid high interim costs; and

iii)        The Panel sought clarification over the spending on pool cars and whether better value for money could be achieved.

 

---o0o---

Mr A Stewart left the meeting at 8.20pm

---o0o---

 

AGREED:

 

1)     That the panel noted the contents of Report No. 206 /2015.

 

361.

Q2 PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT REPORT pdf icon PDF 671 KB

To receive Report No.217/2015 from the Chief Executive.

(Circulated under separate cover).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Report No. 217/2015 from the Director for Resources was received, the purpose of which was to inform the panel on the council’s performance for the second quarter of 2015/16.

 

During the discussion the following points were noted:

 

i)        That the Panel requested better indication of areas within the People directorate; and

ii)        The Panel noted that the Places directorate had received a large number of compliments and clarification was sought if any themes and best practice should be shared across the Council.

 

AGREED:

 

1)    That the panel noted the overall position in relation to performance for the second quarter of 2015/16 and the actions being taken to address areas of underperformance.

 

 

362.

CUSTOMER SERVICES PERFORMANCE & STRATEGY pdf icon PDF 2 MB

To receive Report No.192/2015 from the Director for Resources.

 

Minutes:

Report No. 192/2015 from the Director for Resources was received, the purpose of which was to provide the panel with an overview of the service and its objectives; to update the Resources Scrutiny Panel on the developments of customer services within the Customer Service Team (CST) and as part of the wider Council and to provide an assurance around the future strategy and positive direction of travel.

 

During the discussion the following points were noted:

 

i)        The Panel questioned the effectiveness of the Self Service options and floor walkers that form part of the future plans for Customer Services;

ii)        Concerns were raised regarding the digital strategy and its impact on the residents of Rutland, namely those who might not be able to access services digitally;

iii)        The Panel raised concerns over the abandoned calls not answered within 15 seconds;

iv)        The Panel congratulated the Customer Service Team for the excellent statistics regarding enquiries resolved at the front desk and in the call centre, both exceeded their target.

 

AGREED:

 

1)    That the Panel noted the improvements made to the customer service function and notes the future Customer Services strategy, which identified areas for development within the service and across the Council; and

2)    That the Panel provided guidance on any area that they wanted to see included in the Customer Service development strategy.

 

---o0o---

Mrs D Baker and Mr J Khetani left the meeting at 9pm

---o0o---

 


363.

WELFARE REFORM UPDATE

To receive a presentation from the Assistant Director for Finance.

Minutes:

A presentation was received from the Revenues and Benefits Manager, the purpose of which was to provide the Panel with an overview of the ‘welfare’ system and the Council’s role, a recap on the benefit changes that were introduced in 2013, an update on the most recent changes and the potential impact (the presentation can be seen at Appendix B to these minutes).

 

During the discussion the following points were noted:

 

i)        Clarification was sought whether the required funding would be coming from the RCC budget as the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) only provided funding for the first 2 years.  It was explained that crisis loans were now funded out of the General Fund not specific grants ;

ii)        The panel clarified that claimants who couldn’t access the DWP online application system would be offered assistance at RCC by a member of the Revenue and Benefits team.

 

AGREED:

 

1)    That the panel noted the contents of the presentation.

 

---o0o---

Mrs A Grinney left the meeting at 9.34pm

---o0o---

 

Appendix B - Welfare Reform Update Presentation pdf icon PDF 2 MB

364.

REVIEW OF FORWARD PLAN

To consider Scrutiny issues to review.

Copies of the Forward Plan will be available at the meeting

Minutes:

The panel reviewed the Forward Plan and noted the forthcoming reports.

 

 

 

365.

ANY URGENT BUSINESS

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

Minutes:

No items of urgent business had been previously notified to the person presiding.

 

 

366.

DATE AND PREVIEW OF NEXT MEETING

13th January 2016 (Budget)

Minutes:

Thursday 13th January 2016