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Minutes of the meeting held on 27 November 2012 (to be circulated prior to the meeting).
The minutes of the meeting held on 27 November 2012 were signed by the chairman as a correct record.
Items of Urgent Business authorised by the Chairman
There were no items of urgent business.
Declaration of Interests
To receive declarations by members of interests in respect of items on this agenda.
Members are reminded that, in accordance with the Localism Act 2011, they are required to declare any disclosable pecuniary interests which have not already been declared in the council’s Register of Interests. (It is a criminal offence not to declare a disclosable pecuniary interest either in the register or at the meeting).
Whilst not a legal requirement, in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 10 and in the interests of clarity and transparency, members should declare any disclosable pecuniary interests which they have already declared in the register, at this point in the meeting.
In accordance with Part B Section 2 of the Code Of Conduct, members are required to declare the existence and nature of any other interests as defined in paragraphs 8(1) or 9(2) of the Code of Conduct.
There were no declarations of interest.
Report of the Assistant Head of Community Engagement (Wellbeing).
The Assistant Head Community Engagement (Wellbeing) provided a report to update members on the social contribution Salt Ayre Sports Centre offers to the Council and its partners.
The Panel was reminded that at its meeting on 23 October 2012, members had requested an additional report regarding Salt Ayre Sports Centre. It had been advised at the meeting that the report would have to be delivered in two parts. Members were presented with information regarding the social value of services provided by Salt Ayre, and the allocation of management and administration costs. Further information in relation to performance against regional and national benchmarking standards, and possible reduction against management and admin costs would be presented to the Panel on 5 March 2013.
The Assistant Head Community Engagement (Wellbeing) outlined a range of initiatives provided by Salt Ayre Sports Centre, these included:
· Active Health Scheme: Tackling Obesity and Long Term Health Conditions
· Fitness Classes
· Sport Participation for Children and Young People
· Council Swimming Lessons
· Holiday Activities
· Diversionary Activities
· Older Person’s Sport
· Club Sport
· Disability Cycling
· Disability Adult Multi Skills Club
The Panel was advised of the provision and value of each of these initiatives, and members asked extensive questions.
Members also asked questions regarding healthy eating options available at the café. Queries were also raised with regard to benchmarking with other comparable local authorities and the private sector.
The Panel discussed the GP’s Commissioning Scheme. It was noted that the existing arrangements were due to finish at the end of March 2013. The Assistant Head Community Engagement (Wellbeing) advised that discussions were ongoing between the Council and Morecambe Bay Primary Care Trust regarding the future of the initiative. It was noted that from April 2013 the functions of the PCT would be undertaken by the Clinical Commissioning Group from April 2013.
The group queried how Salt Ayre Sports Centre was marketed to the public. It was reported that marketing of the centre was delivered in partnership with the Community Engagement Service. It was advised that further information regarding the marketing and advertising of Salt Ayre Sports Centre would be required in the report scheduled to be considered by the Panel on 5 March 2013. Some discussion took place over the benefits of utilising local radio and members were keen to determine if the marketing was having a positive effect on footfall, and as such providing value for money. It was advised that this could be investigated further and information be provided to the Panel.
The panel discussed the 2013 Youth Games which were due to be held in the district. The Assistant Head Community Engagement (Wellbeing) advised that it may be possible to secure funding from the European Union to contribute towards the cost of holding the event.
The Financial Services Manager presented the Panel with information regarding the calculation of overheads and the allocation of management and administration costs. The main basis of allocation was pro rate to the square meters for each activity area, with more specific ... view the full minutes text for item 37.
Report of Assistant Head of Community Engagement (Partnerships).
The Assistant Head of Community Engagement (Partnerships) provided information to the Panel regarding progress towards introducing commissioning arrangements for the future, which would replace the current Service Level Agreements with voluntary, community and faith sector (VCFS) partners and arts/leisure partners.
It was reported that a report titled ‘Commissioning Arrangements for the Voluntary Sector’ had been considered by Cabinet at its meeting on 4 December 2012. The report outlined the latest position regarding the introduction of commissioning arrangements for the Council’s investment in VCFS and arts/leisure, and was attached to the agenda for member’s information.
It was reported that it was expected that VCFS commissioning would be in place by April 2013, whilst arts/leisure commissioning would be developed by following the publication of the Arts Strategy in early 2013, and was expected to be in place by April 2014.
It was advised that commissioning would provide a means of steering the Council’s investment in VCFS services to achieve the maximum impact linked to current needs and opportunities in the district. In addition it was expected that commissioning would provide clear transparent arrangements which focused on value for money.
The Panel queried whether the introduction of new commissioning arrangements would result in changes to the recipients of Council grant funding, it was advised that this was a possibility.
The Panel discussed how those organisations which received money from the Council were monitored. It was reported that these organisations were monitored by the Partnerships team within the Community Engagement Service.
The Assistant Head of Community Engagement (Partnerships) advised that officers were currently considering how to monitor the new commissioning arrangements as they were introduced.
(1) That the report be noted.
Report of Assistant Head of Community Engagement (Partnerships) and Financial Services Manager.
The Panel received a report from the Cabinet member with responsibility for Finance in respect of the second quarter performance review team (PRT) cycle for 2012/13 recently undertaken by individual cabinet members. The Leader of the Council was also in attendance to answer questions.
The second quarter of individual Cabinet member PRT meetings for 2012/13 had taken place between 17 and 31 October 2012. It was advised that for the first time performance reports had been produced using the Council’s Performance Management Information System, CorVu.
Individual Cabinet members had also been provided with the half-year report previously considered by Budget and Performance Panel on 15 October 2012, and by Cabinet on 9 October 2012, regarding progress towards the achievement of Corporate Plan actions and with financial summary reports for Quarter 2 for their portfolio.
The Panel discussed issues relating to Council housing rent collection and noted that the overall number of voids was increasing. It was requested that information be provided to the Panel to outline the reasons for this increase.
The Panel discussed outstanding sundry debts and the action being taken by services to attempt to recover it. The Panel was advised that centralised recovery arrangements had been adopted for some service debts and staff were currently in the process of identifying that debt which was potentially recoverable, and that which was not. In due course a full review of the Council’s arrangements relating to collection of sundry debt would be undertaken.
The Panel discussed the expected slippage on regeneration projects such as Heysham Gateway, Business Improvement District (BID) development and the Morecambe Area Action Plan. It was advised that this was the second year that the latter two budgets had slipped, and that the creation of specific reserves was currently being considered.
(1) That the report be noted.
(2) That information be provided to the Panel to explain why the overall number of Council house voids has increased since Quarter 1.
Report of the Head of Governance.
The Democratic Support Officer submitted a report to update members on the Panel’s work programme. Members were asked to consider whether they would like to include any further items in the work programme.
With regard to the briefing note which had been asked for relating to ‘Letting of Council Buildings’, the Head of Resources requested that the Panel provide further information regarding the request to assist in the production of the briefing note. It was agreed that the chairman would liaise with the Head of Resources to communicate the information required by the Panel.
It was also noted that monitoring of VCFS contracts would be added to the work programme, with appropriate dates for monitoring included once the new commissioning arrangements had been agreed.
(1) That the report be noted and that the work programme be updated accordingly.
(2) That it be noted that the briefing note ‘Letting of Council Buildings’ will be provided once further information has been submitted to the Head of Resources.