Venue: Lancaster Town Hall
Contact: Tessa Mott, Democratic Services - telephone 01524 582074 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Minutes of the Meeting held on 11th July 2017 (previously circulated).
The minutes of the meeting held on 11th July 2017 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 9 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 declared at this point.
With the agreement of the Committee, the Chairman brought forward ‘Performance and Service Accounts – Environmental Services’ to allow the Environmental Services staff present to leave the meeting after the conclusion of the item (minute 11 refers).
Performance and Service Accounts - Environmental Services
Oral report of the Chief Officer (Environment).
Councillor Andrew Gardiner declared an interest at this point, the nature being that he is a County Councillor.
The Chairman welcomed the Chief Officer (Environment) and six officers from Environmental Services to the meeting.
Members were given an in depth presentation regarding Environmental Services and how it functions and performs.
The purpose of the presentation was to provide:
· An overview of Environmental Services (excluding Housing Revenue Account).
· Address an opportunity for challenge.
· Generate further budget options.
· Inform Members of the Corporate Plan.
The Chief Officer (Environment) informed of the strategic fit of the service and demonstrated how it impacts on: residents; businesses and visitors. The Key Drivers of the service were outlined as:
· Value for money.
· Generate income to invest.
· Deliver an efficient and first class service.
The Chief Officer (Environment) then introduced six officers who each presented in turn and explained their role as well as how their individual departments functioned and performed. The staff members were representatives from the following departments: Waste and Recycling; Public Realm; Business Services; Organisational Development; Parking and Administration and Repairs and Maintenance.
Topics discussed included: Staffing Levels; Recycling; Commercial Waste; Fly Tipping/Enforcement; Partnership Arrangements; Service Requests; Partnerships with other Organisations; Tenders/Procurement; Customer Needs/Community; Legislation; Carparks/Payments; Markets; CCTV; Corporate Plan and Business Improvement.
The Chief Officer (Environment) then summarised the presentation and discussed various factors which included: Resources; Savings Schedule/Projects; Benchmarking; Performance Plans; Use of Technology; Staff Training; Equality and Diversity and finally, Community Empowerment/Partnership Working.
On conclusion of the presentation the Chairman, on behalf of the panel, thanked the officers for their attendance and presentations.
Members asked questions of the Environmental Services officers present regarding various issues. Topics included; percentages of the overall budget; traffic management; garden waste collection; fly tipping/enforcement; recycling methods in other city centres/urbanised areas; direction of travel of budget/costs; trade waste operation/debtors; electric vehicles and finally, a potential review of the recycling scheme.
The Chairman asked the Chief Officer (Environment) to return to the next meeting of the Panel with savings and income generation suggestions from Environmental Services officers. It was suggested that this would formulate recommendations that would support services to develop and implement income and efficiency generating projects.
(1) That the Officers be thanked for their attendance and presentations to the Panel.
(2) That the Chief Officer Environment return to the next meeting of the Budget and Performance Panel with savings and income generation suggestions from Environmental Services officers.
Report of the Chief Officer (Resources).
The Chief Officer (Resources) submitted a report regarding the Council’s current financial position for quarter 1 of the 2017/18 monitoring cycle, and the supporting actions underway.
The report outlined the head line projections as follows:
· There was a current General Fund net overspend of £47K, forecasted to develop into an underspend of £6K by the year end.
· The Housing Revenue Account had a current overspend of £26K, which was expected to increase to £240K by the year end.
· The income from green waste collection was projected to decrease by a net £280K by the year end.
The report noted that the most significant variance of the Housing Revenue Account related to an increase in voids from an estimated 1.9% to 2.9%. If maintained this would result in a shortfall in income of £176K.
Furthermore, a consultant from APSE who is currently acting as interim Repair and Maintenance Service Manager, is currently reviewing the Repairs and Maintenance Service, with one of the key aims to reduce the amount of void losses.
Members asked a number of questions regarding: Income for Quarter 1; Salt Ayre projected losses; recuperation of initial investment in Salt Ayre; Salt Ayre employee variances and the impact of Universal Credit on social housing rent payments made to the Council.
Members requested that there be an update on the position of Salt Ayre included in each future quarterly corporate financial monitoring report.
(1) That the report be noted.
(2) That the future quarterly Corporate Financial Monitoring reports include an update on the financial position of Salt Ayre.
Report of the Chief Officer (Environment).
The Chief Officer (Environment) submitted a report regarding a review of performance against the Corporate Plan priorities and outcomes of the first quarter of the 2017-2018 financial year.
The report also outlined an update of actions taken since the last meeting of the Budget and Performance Panel on 11th July 2017, the actions taken were as follows:
· Inclusion of and revision to additional Key Performance Indicators.
· Introduction of Direction of Travel and Trending reports.
· Performance benchmarking.
Members asked a number of questions regarding: the amount of people sleeping rough in the district and how this was calculated/monitored; clarification on the five smart measures of performance; RAG indications and the placement of comparable items and the inclusion of insuperable targets and why they have been set.
It was requested that a briefing note be provided with regard to the homelessness section and how it functions. It was noted that there would be an upcoming additional meeting of the Health and Housing service, and this information was requested to be included in the upcoming presentation.
(1) That the report be noted.
(2) That the Health and Housing service include detailed information about the homelessness section and how it functions in the presentation at the upcoming additional meeting of the Budget and Performance Panel.
(3) The Panel requested that larger colour version of the reports circulated at the meeting, be provided in future prior to the meeting.
Report of the Chief Executive.
The Principal Democratic Support Officer requested Members to consider the Panel’s Work Programme for 2017/18.
It was reported that County Councillor Eddie Pope (Chair of the County Council’s Pensions Committee) had confirmed his attendance at the Budget and Performance Panel meeting scheduled for 14th November 2017. This was with regard to the Pensions item featured on the Panel’s current Work Programme.
The Principal Democratic Support Officer requested clarification about how the Panel wanted to accommodate the remaining Performance and Service Accounts presentations (previously requested by the Panel) and when the presentations would be held, options included: scheduled meetings; additional meetings or member briefings.
The Panel agreed that there be two additional meetings to accommodate the remaining presentations. It was suggested that the Health and Housing service present to the Panel in an additional meeting in October. It was also suggested that the Regeneration and Planning service, together with the Resources service both present their presentations at an additional meeting in December. The Panel agreed that Democratic Service would liaise with Members and Officers to confirm dates of the additional meetings.
It was also requested by Members that the Panel be provided with a copy of the presentations when the Agenda is published.
Members finally discussed the proposed Budget Book presentation and concluded that it would be more feasible and beneficial to have a presentation at the start of the next municipal year.
(1) That the report be noted.
(2) That there be two additional meetings of the Panel in October and December 2017, to receive Performance and Service Account presentations.
(3) That Democratic Services arrange dates for the additional meetings in October and December 2017 and confirm with Panel Members.
(4) That three of the remaining Performance and Service Accounts presentations be presented to the Panel at the additional meetings scheduled for October and December 2017.
(5) That the Health and Housing service present at the October 2017 additional meeting and that the Regeneration and Planning service, together with the Resources service, present respectively at the December 2017 meeting.
(6) That a copy of the presentations be provided when the Agenda is published.