Agenda and minutes

Overview and Scrutiny Board
Monday, 10th February, 2020 6.00 pm

Venue: HMS Phoebe, Town Hall, Bournemouth BH2 6DY. View directions

Contact: Jill Holyoake - 01202 454715  Email: jill.holyoake@bcpcouncil.gov.uk

Media

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies

To receive any apologies for absence from Members.

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Cllr M Anderson and Cllr M Iyengar.

 

2.

Substitute Members

To receive information on any changes in the membership of the Committee.

 

Note – When a member of a Committee is unable to attend a meeting of a Committee or Sub-Committee, the relevant Political Group Leader (or their nominated representative) may, by notice to the Monitoring Officer (or their nominated representative) prior to the meeting, appoint a substitute member from within the same Political Group. The contact details on the front of this agenda should be used for notifications. 

 

Minutes:

Notification of the following substitute members for this meeting was received from the relevant political group leaders or their nominated representatives:

 

·       Cllr B Dove substituting for Cllr M Anderson

·       Cllr M White substituting for Cllr M Iyengar

 

 

3.

Declarations of Interests

Councillors are requested to declare any interests on items included in this agenda. Please refer to the workflow on the preceding page for guidance.

Declarations received will be reported at the meeting.

Minutes:

There were no declarations of disclosable pecuniary interests or other interests in respect of any items on the agenda.

 

4.

Public Speaking

To receive any public questions, statements or petitions submitted in accordance with the Constitution. Further information on the requirements for submitting these is available to view at the following link:-

https://democracy.bcpcouncil.gov.uk/documents/s2305/Public%20Items%20-%20Meeting%20Procedure%20Rules.pdf 

The deadline for the submission of public questions is Monday 3 February 2020.

The deadline for the submission of a statement is 12.00 noon, Friday 7 February 2020.

The deadline for the submission of a petition is 12.00 noon, Friday 7 February 2020.

Minutes:

There were no public questions, petitions or statements received for this meeting.

 

5.

Chairman's Update

For the Board to consider any issues raised by the Chairman which are not dealt with elsewhere on the agenda.  

 

Minutes:

The Chairman welcomed everyone to the meeting and encouraged contributions from Board members and substitutes on the agenda items being considered.

 

6.

Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 134 KB

To consider and amend the Board’s Forward Plan as appropriate and to consider the published Cabinet Forward Plan.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chairman introduced a report, a copy of which had been circulated and a copy of which appears as Appendix A to these minutes in the Minute Book.

 

He referred to the following list of items on the Cabinet Forward Plan which the Board had previously agreed to scrutinise at its March meeting:

 

·      Arts and Cultural Development in Bournemouth

·      Seascape Group Limited 5 Year Strategic Plan (2020-25)

·      Bereavement Services Business Plan – Phase 1

·      Options Appraisal for the delivery of Revenue and Benefits Services (moving to 2021)

·      Wessex Fields Site Development Strategy

 

He asked the Board to consider which of the remaining items on the Cabinet Forward Plan for March it wished to scrutinise. The Board agreed to add the following items to its March agenda:

 

·      Street Works Permitting Scheme

·      Heathlands SPD

·      Unauthorised encampments policy and practice

·      Capital investment strategy (non-treasury) 2020 – 2025

 

The Chairman reported that any further changes to the list of items for March as a result of further changes to the Cabinet Forward Plan would be discussed between him and the Vice Chairman and circulated to the Board by email for comment.

 

RESOLVED that the Forward Plan attached at Appendix A of the report be updated to reflect the above decisions, and approved.

 

 

7.

Scrutiny of Corporate Related Cabinet Reports pdf icon PDF 255 KB

To consider the following Corporate related reports scheduled for Cabinet consideration on 12 February 2020:

 

   Organisation Design – Estates Strategy

 

The O&S Board is asked to scrutinise the reports and make recommendations to Cabinet as appropriate.

 

Cabinet member invited to attend for this item: Councillor Vikki Slade, Leader of the Council.

 

The Cabinet report will be published on Tuesday 4 February 2020 and available to view at the following link: https://democracy.bcpcouncil.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=285&MId=3726&Ver=4

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Organisational Development – Estates and Accommodation Strategy

 

The Leader of the Council presented the Cabinet report, a copy of which had been circulated and which appears as Appendix F to the Cabinet minutes of 12 February 2020 in the Minute Book.

 

The Leader explained that since Cabinet had adopted the principle of a single council hub in November 2019 a BCP Estate High Level Hub Options Analysis had been developed. She summarised the key findings as set out in the report. She emphasised that a single civic centre did not mean that the Council was retreating into one place and she talked about the role of community hubs in providing services to residents.

 

Following an evaluation exercise of three core options, the recycling and refurbishment of the Bournemouth Town Hall complex was considered the most appropriate recommendation for the reasons set out in the report. Although the expected net costs of this recommendation were between £20m - £29m, the Leader clarified that this was not as recently reported a proposal to spend £29m. A further report to Cabinet in June 2020 would include the results of a market pre engagement and evaluation process, a proposed project implementation plan, and budget and funding strategy.

 

The Leader and the Corporate Director of Resources responded to questions from Board members.

 

The Leader was asked whether any public consultation had been undertaken on the proposals. She explained that there had been no public consultation at this stage, as the report was a high-level options appraisal.  However, the information gathered from the community engagement survey on how people wanted to engage with the Council would feed into the development of a customer access strategy. This strategy would help to meet the corporate objective of a ‘modern and accessible council’. Decisions on more detailed proposals around service delivery and locations would be subject to further engagement at a later date.

 

The Leader was asked whether income from the sale of the other core hub sites would be used to fund the preferred option. She explained that the proposed next steps were set out in the report and would be considered alongside the Council’s corporate objectives and the duty to provide best value. The Leader referred to a summary of the implementation approach provided in the report, which set out the key milestones for the project. More detailed information on timescales would be available in Summer 2020. Much depended on the outcome of the procurement process.

 

The Corporate Director responded to a question on whether the net costs in the report included the community hubs. He explained that the net costs were based on a ‘per square metre’ calculation, which had provided a benchmark when evaluating the three core options. This did not include the community hubs, nor did it purely cover the single civic centre either. It was noted that at each stage of the process decisions would be required on what to spend and when. Many community hubs would already be in Council ownership  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.

8.

Scrutiny of Budget Related Cabinet Reports pdf icon PDF 453 KB

To consider the following budget related reports scheduled for Cabinet consideration on 12 February 2020:

 

·       Housing Revenue Account (HRA) Budget Setting Report 2020/21 including delivery plans for the Bournemouth and Poole Neighbourhoods

 

·       Quarter 3 Budget Monitoring Report 2019/20

 

·       2020/21 Budget and Medium Term Financial Plan Update Report including an update on savings since those reported to the O&S Board at its meeting in January

 

The O&S Board is asked to scrutinise the reports and make recommendations to Cabinet as appropriate.

 

Cabinet members invited to attend for this item: Councillor David Brown, Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Finance, Councillor Keiron Wilson, Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Housing and Councillor Vikki Slade, Leader of the Council.

 

The Cabinet report will be published on Tuesday 4 February 2020 and available to view at the following link: https://democracy.bcpcouncil.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=285&MId=3726&Ver=4

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Housing Revenue Account (HRA) Budget Setting 2020/21

 

The Portfolio Holder for Housing presented the Cabinet report, a copy of which had been circulated and which appears as Appendix D to the Cabinet minutes of 12 February 2020 in the Minute Book. He summarised the purpose of the report and outlined the key recommendations. He then responded to questions from Board members.

 

The Portfolio Holder was asked about the viability challenges around the provision of new build social housing, as detailed in paragraph 76 of the report. He confirmed this was high on his agenda and would form part of the development strategy for 2020. The Council had to be financially sensible in balancing viability with how much it was able to build. Officers explained that the amount of subsidy in the HRA to offset costs was a key factor. It was noted that viability would improve if either Homes England grant or right to buy receipts were secured.

 

The Portfolio Holder provided clarification on how the effect of rent increases on residents was calculated, for example the new build in Turnbull Lane. Officers explained that the rent did not reflect Local Housing Allowance rates as they were today, as the national rent policy had resulted in an annual 1% reduction. The Portfolio Holder was asked about future plans for major projects in the Bournemouth neighbourhood. He explained that there were ambitions for 465 new homes from the HRA over the next 5 years, with over 1,000 homes from the General Fund. Officers reported that as well as identifying sites the Council was scaling up and refocussing resources in readiness for this programme.

 

The Portfolio Holder confirmed that the recommendation at 2(x) to transfer £2million of neighbourhood HRA funds to the General Fund was a legitimate transaction, as the HRA would benefit from the savings made as a result of the Council’s transformation programme. The Corporate Director for Resources responded to concerns from some Board members regarding the lack of detail in paragraph 62 of the report on exactly where the savings would be made, how this would benefit the HRA and local residents, and the associated governance arrangements for this significant level of contribution. He explained that the savings were those identified in the original Cabinet report in November 2019. The organisation development implementation plan would be subject to scrutiny prior to a final commitment from Cabinet and Council in April 2020. He agreed to discuss further the concerns raised by Board members with the Portfolio Holder and the Section 151 Officer to ensure that clarity and more detailed assurance was provided on this element of the report when the recommendations were presented to the Cabinet on 12 February.

 

 

Quarter 3 Budget Monitoring Report

 

The Portfolio Holder for Finance presented the Cabinet report, a copy of which had been circulated and which appears as Appendix C to the Cabinet minutes of 12 February 2020 in the Minute Book. He summarised the purpose of the report and outlined the key recommendations.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.