Agenda and draft minutes

Corporate and Community Overview and Scrutiny Committee - Monday, 13th June, 2022 6.00 pm

Venue: Committee Room, First Floor, BCP Civic Centre Annex, St Stephen's Rd, Bournemouth BH2 6LL. View directions

Media

Items
No. Item

11.

Apologies

To receive any apologies for absence from Councillors.

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Cllr H Allen, Cllr M Andrews and Cllr S Bartlett. Cllr S Bartlett joined the meeting virtually.

12.

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 M Cox substituted for Cllr M Andrews.

13.

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:

For the purpose of transparency Cllr M Earl advised in respect to agenda item 6, Medium Term Financial Plan MTFP update, that she worked for Bournemouth Food Bank who was the recipient of grants from the Council and had an application pending.

14.

Confirmation of Minutes pdf icon PDF 306 KB

To confirm and sign as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 19 May 2022.

15.

Public Issues

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/ieListMeetings.aspx?CommitteeID=151&Info=1&bcr=1

The deadline for the submission of public questions 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 statements, petitions or questions.

16.

Medium Term Financial Plan (MTFP) Update

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Leader of the Council and Portfolio Holder for Finance and Transformation presented a report, a copy of which had been circulated to each member and a copy of which appears as Appendix 'A' to these minutes in the Minute Book. In the ensuing discussion the Portfolio Holder and the Director of Finance responded to a number of points raised by members of the committee including:

 

·     Whether the budget was prudent as regards the issued ‘Section 25’ report. There was a series of risks and assumptions as part of the 22/23 budget which had been tested and would be carefully monitored. It was noted that the 2021/22 budget appeared prudent given the third quarter forecast. The Leader commented that they had brought in a balanced published whilst delivering on their priorities.

·     That it was concerning that weekly meetings to assess spending were required, indicating spending set within a high-risk scenario. It was noted that there had been costs associated with and these were kept under control with the regular monitoring.

·     That the risk associated with the current cost of living crisis had not been factored in when setting the budget. A good start had been made to look at the impact of cost of living but if it was ongoing, it would add further pressure to the MTFP.

·     It was good news that provisions were set aside last year and there had been a positive financial outcome. Mitigation measures in place were pushing the pressure further down the line. Mitigations had mostly been one-off measures but there were also some ongoing issues.

·     There was concern regarding the increase to the Council’s debt threshold which was increasing significantly. Future generations would be responsible for the debt. The borrowing was to fund capital investments and housing, and these needed to be backed up with a sound business case. Borrowing to fund revenue pressures was not allowed. The Leader commented that as a group of councils previously there was under borrowing and the current administration wanted to invest and build in regeneration.

·     There was a projected funding gap, for which the Council plan was to generate significant revenue receipts. New commercial models had been mentioned but it was not explained what these receipts would be. Transformation had been delayed by Covid, once the end of transformation was reached there would be a balanced position even with the cost-of-living pressures. Discussions were currently underway on this, and it was expected that there would be more detail available on this within the next quarter paper.

·     That residents didn’t view the Council as a money generating enterprise or a commercially focused organisation. The Leader advised that there were ambitious to deliver £50 million of investments ongoing every year and there was record levels of investment into new and improved services.

·     That half of council tax-payers didn’t pay by direct debit and therefore would not automatically receive the rebate. The Council Tax Team were working very hard to get the money out to people and noted the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 16.

17.

Outturn Report 2021/22

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Leader of the Council and Portfolio Holder for Finance and Transformation presented a report, a copy of which had been circulated to each Member and a copy of which appears as Appendix 'B' to these Minutes in the minute Book. The Leader placed on record his thanks to officers for supporting everyone through this process and especially to all officers in the finance team. The Committee also unanimously offered their thanks and support to the officers in the finance team. There were a number of points raised and responded to in the ensuing discussion including:

 

·     An explanation of the provision for £5.45m in respect of Bournemouth Development Company was requested as it appeared to be an expense which was not recoverable and would therefore be counted as a loss.  The Portfolio Holder was asked whether this provision would mean BDC was making a loss. The Leader explained that effectively the scheme had been paused to allow Future Places to look at this in the round. The entire £10m from both joint owners of BDC could remain capitalised, if the scheme was to go ahead then the additional funds would just be overly prudent. It was expected that profits coming forward would offset any losses. The Leader advised that if anyone wanted to discuss this with him further he would be happy go into further depth .

·     There was a further concern raised regarding the implications of this for other planned work by the BDC and also Futureplaces and the level of confidence in being able to deliver schemes going forward especially in the current financial climate. The Leader advised that there was plenty of third-party finance available as long as the right schemes were coming through. There would be a higher bar set for schemes moving forward as they would need to fit with wider regeneration.

·     Whether the Council had needed to make the £5.45 million provision because MUSE had already decided to make provision of the same, which seemed to indicate a lack of confidence. 

·     Whether there was any risk in losing any underspends outlined in the Capital Programme around the Transforming Cities Fund. The Leader advised that they were committed to the TCF and this was not his understanding but he would seek clarification on this issue with the Portfolio Holder.

·     What plans there were to address the Dedicated Schools Grant and bring down overspend. The Leader agreed that it was a material risk to the authority. The Government gave local authorities the ability to place this off of balance sheets and the Council were trying to bring this down before the flexibility ends. It was suggested that it would be a useful piece of scrutiny to look at the work going on to address this.  It was noted that this was a problem nationally.

·     Concerns were raised that some of the savings outlined had only been able to be achieved because certain things were not done, for example the seafront team had not been able to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 17.

18.

Work Plan pdf icon PDF 135 KB

The Corporate and Community Overview and Scrutiny Committee is asked to consider and identify work priorities for its next meeting pending a wider review of its forward plan at a future meeting. 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chairman of the Committee presented a report, a copy of which had been circulated to each Member and a copy of which appears as Appendix 'C' to these Minutes in the Minute Book.

 

The Corporate and Community Overview and Scrutiny Committee was asked to consider and identify work priorities for its next meeting. The Chairman advised that he would discuss the work plan with Officers and circulated recommendations to the Committee members. A Committee member advised that there appeared to be some items missing from those agreed by the previous O&S Board and it was agreed that these would be looked into and added to the work programme.

 

The Chairman also advised that he had agreed to a special meeting to consider the Beach Huts SPV Cabinet report. The date for this would need to be agreed but would be in advance of the July Cabinet meetingt would be in advance of the July Cabinet meeting.

19.

Future Meeting Dates

To consider and approve the potential suggested future meeting dates as set out below, or to set alternative dates whilst taking into consideration the approved calendar of meetings.

Potential suggested dates: -

-       Monday 17 October 2022 6.00pm (Meeting 3 – allows feed into budget monitoring/MTFP cycle)

-       Monday 5 December 2022 6.00pm (Meeting 4 – allows feed into budget monitoring/MTFP cycle)

-       Monday 30 January 2023 6.00pm (Meeting 5 – allows feed into budget setting cycle)

Minutes:

The Chairman outlined the proposed dates for future meetings as follows:

 

·       Monday 17 October 2022 6.00pm

·       Monday 5 December 2022 6.00pm

·       Monday 30 January 2023 6.00pm