Agenda and minutes

Overview and Scrutiny Board - Monday, 18th October, 2021 2.00 pm

Venue: Committee Suite, Civic Centre, Poole BH15 2RU. View directions

Contact: Claire Johnston - 01202 123663  Email: claire.johnston@bcpcouncil.gov.uk

Media

Items
No. Item

90.

Tribute to Sir David Amess, MP

Minutes:

The Board stood in silent tribute to Sir David Amess, Member of Parliament for Southend West, who had been tragically killed while meeting his constituents on 15 October 2021.

 

91.

Apologies

To receive any apologies for absence from Members.

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Cllr L Dedman, Cllr T O’Neill, and Cllr C Rigby.

92.

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:

Cllr D Borthwick substituted for Cllr T O’Neill for this meeting of the Board.

 

93.

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 none.

94.

Confirmation of Minutes pdf icon PDF 318 KB

To confirm and sign as a correct record the minutes of the meetings held on 20 September 2021.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the minutes of the meetings held on 20 September 2021 be confirmed and signed as a correct record.

 

94a

Action Sheet pdf icon PDF 269 KB

To note and comment on the attached action sheet which tracks decisions, actions and recommendations from previous meetings.

Minutes:

The Chairman reported that in respect of the action at minute no. 28 the Head of Planning had confirmed that Bournemouth Development Company was making affordable housing contributions, including £106,000 secured for the Madeira Road* development and £1million expected for the Winter Gardens. This action was therefore closed.

 

*After the meeting the Chairman clarified that he had stated Madeira Road in error, it was in fact the Leyton Mount development.

 

95.

Public Speaking

To receive any public questions, statements or petitions submitted in accordance with the Constitution, which is available to view at the following link:

https://democracy.bcpcouncil.gov.uk/ieListMeetings.aspx?CommitteeID=151&Info=1&bcr=1

The deadline for the submission of a public question is 4 clear working days before the meeting.

The deadline for the submission of a statement is midday the working day before the meeting.

The deadline for the submission of a petition is 10 working days before the meeting.

Minutes:

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

96.

Scrutiny of Transformation Related Cabinet Reports pdf icon PDF 565 KB

To consider the following Transformation related reports scheduled for Cabinet consideration on 27 October:

 

·       Estates and Accommodation – Poole Civic Space

·       Organisational Design – Implementation Progress

·       Smart Place Programme – ‘Futures Fund' funding of Gigabit Fibre and Smart Place Resources

 

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 Drew Mellor, Portfolio Holder for Finance and Transformation

 

The Cabinet report for this item is included with the agenda for consideration by the Overview and Scrutiny Board.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Estates and Accommodation – Poole Civic Space

 

The Leader of the Council with Portfolio for Finance and Transformation presented a report, a copy of which had been circulated to each member of the Board and a copy of which appears as Appendix 'A' to these minutes in the Minute Book. The Leader and officers addressed a number of points raised by the Board including:

 

·        Potential for conflict between the coroner and mayoralty in using the building would be managed through a booking system. This had been a key consideration when looking at which functions would complement each other best and had been discussed with both parties.

·       It was hoped that next year’s Mayor Making could take place before the commencement of works. The Mayoralty might need to be relocated to an interim location while the building was remodelled. The Mayor would continue to be consulted.

·       Whether the 17.5% contingency figure within the capital budget requirement could be reduced by accelerating plans for the rest of the site. It was explained that the costs reflected the nature of the work required to separate the vertical slice and enable it to operate independently. The Urban Regeneration Company (URC) was now looking at options for the wider site.

·       The figures shown in Appendix 2 were queried as incomplete. It was confirmed that the capital budget requirement total was £1.074 million and that the appendix would be adjusted.

·        A Board member asked why opportunities for the community use of the building had not been considered, as requested by the Members Working Group. It was confirmed that although the coroner and mayoralty were the key tenants, nothing had been ruled out for the building or the wider site.

·       A Board member queried the use of the term ‘disposal’ and asked about plans for the rest of the site, including the reference to a hotel and housing in the URC work programme.  It was explained that the area outside the red line was located for alternative use and was now part of an active workstream for the Future Places team. The Leader confirmed that the asset was not being sold or disposed of and the best possible community use would be made.

·       A councillor commented on the energy shortcomings of the current building and asked why a more campus based, energy efficient system wasn’t being put forward. It was explained that in the short term the most viable option was to operate with electric heating. Longer term there may be more opportunity for solar energy.  The solar panels on the multi storey car park would be retained, or if necessary relocated.

·       It was premature to make any decision on introducing car parking charges before the completion of work on BCP Civic Centre and before staff working patterns in the ‘new normal’ had been established.

During the discussion there were references to different types of community use, including the facility for community groups to book rooms for meetings and events, the community function of coroner and mayoralty  ...  view the full minutes text for item 96.

97.

Scrutiny of Finance Related Cabinet Reports pdf icon PDF 385 KB

To consider the following Finance related reports scheduled for Cabinet consideration on 27 October 2021:

 

   MTFP Update

 

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 Drew Mellor, Portfolio Holder for Finance and Transformation

 

The Cabinet report for this item is included with the agenda for consideration by the Overview and Scrutiny Board.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Medium Term Financial Plan (MTFP) Update – The Leader of the Council with Portfolio for Finance and Transformation presented a report, a copy of which had been circulated to each member of the Board and a copy of which appears as Appendix 'D' to these minutes in the Minute Book. The Leader and officers addressed a number of points raised by the Board including:

 

·       There were concerns that the funding gap had now increased from £7.1milion to £31.1 million. A Board member questioned the likelihood of achieving collectively all of the assumptions listed in the report. He commented on the additional spending allowed this year, the decision not to raise council tax, and that in his view the Council was acting recklessly. The Leader confirmed the current administration’s commitment to delivering low council tax and the rationale for the 1.5% increase in the council tax base. He explained that the Transformation programme provided the long-term solution to delivering savings, alongside maximising opportunities to invest in new assets. He referred to the different approaches taken by the current and previous administration and did not believe the Council was acting recklessly.

·       A Board member asked whether the pay award assumption had been underestimated bearing in mind the Unions were asking for a 10% increase. It was explained that Pay and Reward had taken forward the principle of a net nil cost. It was acknowledged that the pay situation may need reviewing should inflation remain at the current level.

·       The Finance Manager referred the Board to paragraph 25 of the report which listed the latest key assumptions, including the further growth in children’s services and the new 1.25% in employers’ national insurance contributions for the health and social care levy. Changes since the June report included the increase to 3.4% for the pay award and the increase in inflation.

·       A Board member asked what the basis was for the council tax base assumption and referred to current issues in the construction industry. It was explained that the assumption was not only based on housing but also on collection rates.

·       The latest position in respect of income generation was set out in the report. This indicated that while some areas had performed very well, assumptions had been adjusted to reflect that not all income streams would return to pre Covid levels until April 2024.

·       A Board member asked how the Council was preparing financially for the new social care proposals. It was explained that councils had been left worse off by the proposals and further work was still required on what was a long-term issue. The Portfolio Holder was taking an interventionist approach to the adult social care market, including the recent decision in relation to extra care provision.

·       A Board member asked if the Council was lobbying for new burdens funding to cover the costs of administering the allocations. It was explained that the Council was in dialogue with local MPs regarding a social care funding solution and the LGA continued to lobby  ...  view the full minutes text for item 97.