Agenda and draft minutes

Budget and Performance Panel
Tuesday, 10th September 2019 6.10 p.m.

Venue: Lancaster Town Hall

Contact: Stephen Metcalfe, Democratic Services - telephone 01524 582073 or email  sjmetcalfe@lancaster.gov.uk 

Items
No. Item

6.

Minutes

Minutes of the Meeting held on 2nd July, 2019 (previously circulated). 

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 2 July 2019 were signed by the Chairman as a correct record

 

7.

Items of Urgent Business authorised by the Chair

Minutes:

There were no items of urgent business.

8.

Declaration of Interests

To receive declarations by Councillors of interests in respect of items on this Agenda. 

Councillors 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, Councillors 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, Councillors 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. 

 

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest made at this point.

9.

Delivering Our Ambitions Q1 2019-20 pdf icon PDF 56 KB

Report of the Director of Corporate Services. 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Panel received a report from the Director of Corporate Services, which provided an update on performance, projects and resources during the first quarter of 2019-20 (April – June 2019.). 

 

It was noted that the report and appendices represented the initial step in aligning performance, project and resource information into an integrated format, to provide a comprehensive view of progress against the City Council’s agreed priorities. 

 

Panel Members asked several questions of the officers present regarding the report and appendices, including the following:

 

·                The average time taken to process Housing Benefit and Council Tax claims,

·                The definitions being used when counting homeless people,

·                The use of number of followers on Twitter as sole social media measure,

·                The effect of Heysham Nuclear Power Station on business rates and associated risk,

·                Brexit planning issues and Government funding.

 

The Panel requested officers to report back on:

 

·           Presenting variances as percentages rather than as numerical figures,

·           Why had there been a major overspend on Supplies and Services (Section 5.2)?

·           Why was there a large variance under Corporate Services (Section 5.1)?

·           The variance from the kilogrammes of residual waste per household target (Section A2.3),

·           The definition being used when counting homeless people (Section A3.1)?

 

After considering the report it was agreed as follows. 

 

Resolved:

 

That the performance of key indicators for Quarter 1 be noted and the issues raised for future reporting, as outlined above, be considered and reported back to the Panel. 

 

10.

Provisional Revenue, Capital and Treasury Management Outturn 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 56 KB

Report of the Chief Finance Officer 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Panel received a report from the Chief Finance Officer, which provided summary information regarding the provisional outturn for 2018/19, including treasury management.  It also set out information regarding the carry forward of capital slippage and other matters for Members’ consideration. 

 

The report advised that the Council had a legal requirement to ensure that its expenditure was fully funded and to produce accounts in accordance with proper accounting practice. In addition, the Prudential Indicators was a statutory requirement linked to the budgetary framework. 

 

Panel Members asked several questions of the officers present regarding the report, including the following:

 

·                The effect of the Climate Emergency Declaration upon investment policies,

·                Wi-fi plans for the Museums,

·                Other measures that could be included in future reports,

·                Disaggregating the category Other Corporate Income and Expenditure Items,

·                Changes to accounting conventions. 

 

The Panel requested officers to report back on:

 

·           Any changes required to this provisional report given that the annual audit had not yet been completed, 

·           The ethical investment policies and values of those institutions where Council funds were invested following the Climate Emergency declaration, including the Pension Fund, 

·           Whether additional measures such as a return on capital on major projects could be included in future reports,

·           Providing more detail on the Other Corporate Income and Expenditure Item (page 21),

·           Why had inspections on properties increased and should the budget have not increased in response (page 22),

·           What are the Wi-fi plans for the Museums and their cost (page 45). 

 

Note:  Councillor Roger Dennison declared an interest regarding the Museums, being a member of the Lancaster Regiment Panel. 

 

The Panel agreed that they wished to submit questions in advance and therefore receive more detailed answers at future meetings. It was noted that whilst the Finance Team provided the figures (and any variances), it was actually only the budget holders / project leaders who could explain the reasons behind these. It was agreed that questions should be submitted at least three days in advance of the next meeting to Democratic Services. 

 

After considering the report it was agreed as follows. 

 

Resolved:

 

(1)       That the performance of key indicators for Quarter 1 be noted and the issues raised for future reporting, as outlined above, be considered and reported back to the Panel. 

 

(2)  That any questions arising from the reports would be sent to Democratic Services at least three days in advance of the next meeting. 

 

11.

Work Programme Report pdf icon PDF 55 KB

Report of the Director of Corporate Services. 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Principal Democratic Support Officer presented a report that enabled the Panel to consider its Work Programme. 

 

Resolved:

 

That the report and appendix to the report be noted.