Agenda and minutes

Venue: Rochdale Town Hall, The Esplanade, Rochdale, OL16 1AB. View directions

Contact: Peter Thompson  01706 924715

Items
No. Item

42.

Apologies

43.

Declarations of Interest

    Members are required to declare any disclosable pecuniary, personal or personal and prejudicial interests they may have and the nature of those interests relating to items on this agenda and/or indicate if S106 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 applies to them.   

    Minutes:

    In accordance with the Council’s Code of Conduct, Councillor Robinson declared personal interests in agenda items 7 (Saving Programme 2018/19 to 2019/20 and Discretionary Fees and Charges 2018/19: Update following Consultation) and 16 (Savings Programme 2018/19 to 2019/20 – Individual Post Consultation Reports) insofar as the savings proposals contained therein related to Services that were partially or wholly in the remit of the Cabinet Member for the Housing and Environment Portfolio, to whom she was the Assistant.

44.

Urgent Items of Business

    To determine whether there are any additional items of business which, by reason of special circumstances, the Chair decides should be considered at the meeting as a matter of urgency.

    Minutes:

    There were no urgent items of business for the Committee to consider.

45.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 73 KB

    To consider the minutes of the meeting of the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee meeting held 17th October 2017.

    Minutes:

    Decision:

    The Minutes of the meeting of Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee held 17th October 2017 be approved as a correct record.

46.

Local Government Ombudsman Annual Review 2016/17 pdf icon PDF 100 KB

    To scrutinise details of the Annual Review of complaints made to the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The Committee considered a report of the Assistant Director (Information, Customers and Communities)which provided Members with an overview of the effectiveness of the Council’s Complaints Procedures, customer satisfaction with Council services and statistics including an analysis of complaints received as well as information on trends.

     

    Members were advised that the Annual Review revealed the relatively small number of complaints received against Rochdale Council by the Ombudsmen during 2016/2017. In total 40 complaints were investigated, of which only seven were subject to a detailed investigation. Of the seven complaints that were subject to an investigation, six were upheld and the other complaint was not upheld. In considering the report a member requested that the reasons for the Local Government Ombudsman not upholding the one complaint be sought and circulated to Members of the Committee.

     

    In 2016/17 Rochdale received a smaller number of complaints that were referred to the Local Government Ombudsman than neighbouring authorities (Bolton, Bury, Oldham, Salford and Tameside).

     

    Decision:

    1.    That the report be noted.

    2.    The Assistant Director (Information, Customers and Communities) be requested to seek the reasons for the Local Government Ombudsman not upholding the one outstanding complaint, in 2016/17, against Rochdale Borough Council and circulate details thereon to Members of the Committee.

     

    Reason for the recommendation:

    The report was presented for Member’s information.

47.

Resources and Neighbourhoods Directorate Plans 2017-18 Quarter 2 Performance Update pdf icon PDF 145 KB

48.

Savings Programme 2018/19 - 2019/20 and Discretionary Fees and Charges 2018/19: Update following consultation pdf icon PDF 339 KB

    The report updates Members of the Committee on the proposals post the consultation phase.

    Minutes:

    The Committee scrutinised a report of the Chief Finance Officer that provided Members with: an update on the results of consultation on the proposed Savings Programme 2018/19 to 2019/20 and an update on the results of consultation on the proposed Discretionary Fees and Charges for 2018/19. The proposal was to implement the recommended fees and charges where possible from 1st January 2018.

     

    The Chief Finance Officer reported that the report would be presented to the Cabinet, on 28th November 2017.

     

    The Committee considered the report and, in respect of the proposed fees and charges sought clarification on the proposed new charges being implemented for Rats and Mice, namely if a resident has not reported or complained about Rats and Mice at their property but these were to be dealt with by the Council would the resident still be charged, and if there was a rat or mice problem for example in an alley at the back of a row of houses would the property or land where the rats/mice were nested be charged for the removal of the rats and mice?

     

    In respect of the saving proposals Members of the Committee sought assurance that the proposed restructure of the Planning Enforcement Team would not affect the good work which has been done in relation to work with Travellers.

     

    Alternatives considered:

    The Council is legally obliged to set a balanced revenue budget. The budget setting process is complex and must be undertaken in a planned way. Whilst budgets are prepared in accordance with the approved guidelines a number of alternative options relating to savings proposals and budget pressures are considered as part of the overall budget setting process.

     

    Decision:

    1.    the recommendations contained in the submitted report be supported by this Committee and that the Cabinet be requested to concur;

    2.    the specific issues raised by Members of the Committee regarding the proposed fees and charges and savings proposals, referred to above, be investigated and the outcomes thereon be forwarded to Members of the Committee.

     

    Reason for the recommendation:

    The Cabinet, on 28th November 2017, will be required to recommend a balanced Revenue Budget for 2018/19 to the Budget Council meeting and provisional budgets for 2019/20 and 2020/21. The Council is required to set a balanced budget for 2018/19 by 11th March 2018.

49.

Calculation of the Council Tax Base for 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 165 KB

    The Committee is asked to scrutinise proposals regarding the Council Tax Base for 2018/19.

    Minutes:

    The Committee scrutinised a report of the Chief Finance Officer that sought the Committee’s views on a report that was seeking approval from the Council for: the Local Council Tax Support Scheme to remain unchanged for 2018/19; to agree the statutory council tax base calculation for 2018/19, calculated in accordance with The Local Authorities (Calculation of Council Tax Base) (England) Regulations 2012 as part of the Budget 2018/19 process; and to note the draft proposals for the change to the precepting arrangements for 2018/19 would include the Greater Manchester Mayoral functions and to approve the precept payment dates for 2018/19.

     

    The Chief Finance Officer reported that the report would be presented to the Cabinet, on 28th November 2017, prior it its submission to the Council on 13th December 2017.

     

    Alternatives Considered:

    No alternative was available, as the Council had a statutory requirement to calculate and approve a council tax base each financial year.

     

    Decision:

    That the recommendations contained in the submitted report be supported by this Committee and that the Cabinet and Council be requested to concur.

     

    Reasons for the recommendations:

    Rochdale Borough Council, as a council tax billing authority, is required each year to make statutory calculations specified in Section 33 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 (as amended). The Local Authorities (Calculation of Council Tax Base) (England) Regulations 2012 require authorities to calculate the council tax base (number of taxable properties), expressed as "band D equivalent properties". Approval of these calculations is required by 31st January in each financial year.

     

    The Committee scrutinised a report of the Chief Finance Officer that sought the Committee’s views on a report that was seeking approval from the Cabinet for: the setting of the business rates baseline for 2018/19 in accordance with the Local Government Finance Act 1988 and the Non-Domestic Rating Regulations 2013; for the precept payment dates for 2018/19; and for a delegation in respect of the calculation of the Business Rates base to Cabinet for future years.

     

    The Chief Finance Officer advised Members that this report would be submitted to Cabinet on 28th November 2017, for determination.

     

    Alternatives considered:

    No alternative were available for consideration, as the Council has a statutory requirement to estimate and set a Business Rates Baseline each financial year.

     

    Decision:

    That the recommendations contained in the submitted report be supported by this Committee and that the Cabinet be requested to concur.

     

    Reasons for the recommendations:

    The Non-Domestic Rating (Rates Retention) Regulations 2013 (SI 2013/452) required that all billing authorities notify the Secretary of State and their major precepting authority of their calculation of non-domestic rating income for the following financial year and the estimated surplus/deficit on the Collection Fund by 31st January each year.

     

50.

Setting of the Business Rates Base for 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 119 KB

    The Committee is asked to scrutinise proposals regarding the Business Rates Base for 2018/19.

    Minutes:

    The Committee scrutinised a report of the Chief Finance Officer that sought the Committee’s views on a report that was seeking approval from the Council for: the Local Council Tax Support Scheme to remain unchanged for 2018/19; to agree the statutory council tax base calculation for 2018/19, calculated in accordance with The Local Authorities (Calculation of Council Tax Base) (England) Regulations 2012 as part of the Budget 2018/19 process; and to note the draft proposals for the change to the precepting arrangements for 2018/19 would include the Greater Manchester Mayoral functions and to approve the precept payment dates for 2018/19.

     

    The Chief Finance Officer reported that the report would be presented to the Cabinet, on 28th November 2017, prior it its submission to the Council on 13th December 2017.

     

    Alternatives Considered:

    No alternative was available, as the Council had a statutory requirement to calculate and approve a council tax base each financial year.

     

    Decision:

    That the recommendations contained in the submitted report be supported by this Committee and that the Cabinet and Council be requested to concur.

     

    Reasons for the recommendations:

    Rochdale Borough Council, as a council tax billing authority, is required each year to make statutory calculations specified in Section 33 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 (as amended). The Local Authorities (Calculation of Council Tax Base) (England) Regulations 2012 require authorities to calculate the council tax base (number of taxable properties), expressed as "band D equivalent properties". Approval of these calculations is required by 31st January in each financial year.

51.

Greater Manchester Waste Disposal Levy Allocation Methodology Agreement pdf icon PDF 167 KB

    The Committee is asked to scrutinise proposals regarding the levy allocation to Greater Manchester Waste Disposal Authority in 2018/19.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The Committee scrutinised a report of the Chief Finance Officer that sought the Committee’s views on a report that was seeking approval from the Council for:

     

    a.            Reconsideration of the Levy apportionment operated for the allocation of waste disposal levy charges across the Greater Manchester districts  that have services provided by GMWDA;

    b.            approve and enter into a revised Levy Allocation Methodology Agreement (LAMA) which reflects the new arrangements which is designed to apply for 10 years;

    c.            to note that the new arrangements would be applied in full for the 2019/20 financial year onwards, with transitional arrangements being proposed for the financial year 2018/19.

     

    The Chief Finance officer reported that the current arrangements for the disposal of household waste in Greater Manchester (with the exception of Wigan MBC) were established in 2009 with the signing of the Recycling and Waste Management (PFI) Contract (the PFI Contract) with Viridor Laing (Greater Manchester) limited (VLGM). The Greater Manchester Waste Disposal Authority (GMWDA) acquired VLGM (for £1) in October 2017 which will allow existing arrangements to be formally terminated so as  to address issues that had arisen within the operation of the Contract and to enable significant efficiency savings to be released. The Districts were charged for the disposal of waste through an Inter Authority Agreement which was signed by all Districts in 2009. On termination of the PFI Contract this Agreement was no longer functional; hence the three recommendations that were listed above.

     

    The Chief Finance Officer reported that the submitted report would be presented to the Cabinet, on 28th November 2017, prior it its submission to the Council on 13th December 2017.

     

    In considering the report a Member sought an assurance that there would be opt-out clauses in the contract between the Greater Manchester Combined Authority and the Waste Disposal Providers should BREXIT negotiations result in any of the tax benefits/grants/subsidiaries reducing the cost of disposal being removed. The Committee also sought clarification as to the reasons why Wigan MBC was not part of the current arrangements for the disposal of household waste in Greater Manchester. It was agreed that clarification on these two issues be sought and Members of the Committee be advised accordingly.

     

    Alternatives considered:

    Not to approve the proposed revised IAA and request some alternative arrangement be developed and which would have to be approved by all constituent districts; or to do nothing, in which case the statutory default scheme will take effect.

     

    Decision:

    1.    That the recommendations contained in the submitted report be supported by this Committee and that the Cabinet and Council be requested to concur;

    2.    The issues raised by Members in relation to Wigan MBC and potential contractual opt-outs be explored and Members of the Committee be advised of the outcomes accordingly.

     

    Reasons for the recommendation:

    Following the decision to terminate the Recycling and Waste Management PFI Contract arrangements it was necessary for all constituent Districts to agree a new Levy which would replace the existing Inter Authority Agreement (IAA) with  ...  view the full minutes text for item 51.

52.

Manchester Airport Group (MAG) Strategic Investment pdf icon PDF 140 KB

    The Committee is asked to scrutinise public proposals relating to the Manchester Airport Group.

    Minutes:

    The Committee scrutinised a report of the Chief Finance Officer which outlined the investment proposals of the Manchester Airport Group to provide the airline capacity and standard of facilities required to secure future business growth and the longer term sustainability of the business. To facilitate this, the ten Greater Manchester authorities are therefore presented with an opportunity to make further shareholder loans to the company, funded via prudential borrowing.

     

    In considering the report, Members of the Committee sought assurances that the tax benefits associated with the Shareholder Loans had been considered by a tax adviser and agreed by HMRC as being in order.

     

    The Chief Finance Officer reported that the report would be presented to the Cabinet, on 28th November 2017, for determination.

     

    Alternatives considered:

    TheCabinetcould decidenot toagreeto theloan butthis wouldhaveimplicationson therevenuebudgetandpotentiallyaffect thefuturedividendlevelsreceivedfromMAG which are used to supportother Council spending. Alternative funding options have been reviewed, however, shareholder loans are considered to be the best option.

     

    Decision:

    1.    That the recommendations contained in the submitted report be supported by this Committee and that the Cabinet be requested to concur.

    2.    The issue relating to tax benefits associated with Shareholder Loans be explored and Members of the Committee be advised of the outcome accordingly.

     

    Reason for the recommendation:

    Theairporttransformationprogrammethattheloansare supportingshouldenablethefuture anticipateddividendrates tobe paid.Withoutthe capitalinvestmentthereis averyreal riskthat the level of dividendpayable will reduce considerably in future years.

53.

Risk Share Agreement for inclusion in the Section 75 Agreement governing the Integrated Health & Social Care Pooled Fund for 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 177 KB

    The Committee is asked to scrutinise the Risk Share Agreement for inclusion in the Section 75 Agreement governing the Integrated Health and Social Care Pooled Fund for 2018/19.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The Committee scrutinised a report of the Chief Finance Officer that updated Members on the options available for inclusion in the Risk Share Agreement contained within the Section 75 Agreement that will govern the Health and Social Care Integrated Pooled Fund for 2018/19 as recommended in the Formal Pooled Budget report on Options regarding ‘Hosting’ that had been presented to the Integrated Commissioning Board (ICB) and to the Clinical Commissioning Board’s Governing Body (HMR CCG) in July 2017.

     

    In considering the report it was suggested that the report be forwarded to Members of the Health, Schools and Care Overview and Scrutiny Committee for their information.

     

    Alternatives considered:

    The report considers risk share arrangements that existed in Tameside, Salford and Plymouth along with more mathematical and formulaic options.

     

    Decision:

    1.    the recommendations contained in the submitted report be supported by this Committee and that the Cabinet be requested to concur;

    2.    the report be forwarded to Members of the Council’s Health, Schools and Care Overview and Scrutiny Committee for their information and comment.

     

    Reasons for the recommendation:

    Section 75 of the National Health Service 2006 Act gives powers to local authorities and health bodies to establish and maintain pooled funds out of which payments may be made towards expenditure incurred in the exercise of prescribed Local Authority functions and prescribed National Health Service

    (NHS) functions. A risk sharing agreement is a schedule within the Section 75 agreement, required to manage any financial deficit or surplus on the Pooled Fund.

     

    The terms of the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Transformation Fund funding require HMR CCG and Rochdale Borough Council to operate a formal pooled fund for Adult Services as a minimum in 2018/19, which will be governed through a Section 75 agreement, for which the Head of Legal Services of the Council has been given delegated authority to prepare and enter into, noting that this will not be completed until the risk sharing agreement had been developed and approved by the HMR CCG Governing Body and the Council’s Cabinet.

     

    The submitted report considered what risk share arrangements were currently in existence in localities that were already pooling their funds, what other options there may be, and ultimately recommended a specific risk share arrangement for inclusion in the Rochdale Pooled Fund Section 75 Agreement.

     

    When reviewing the report on 20th October 2017, HMR CCG’s Governing Body requested that a further recommendation be added noting that the Risk Share agreement should be subject to an annual review.

54.

Work Programme 2017/18 pdf icon PDF 89 KB

    To review the Committee’s work programme.

    Minutes:

    Members considered the Committee’s Work Programme for 2017/2018.

     

    Decision:

    That the report be noted.

     

    Reason for the decision:

    The report is presented for information purposes, outlining the Committee’s programme of reports during 2017/18.

55.

Exclusion of Press and Public

    To consider that the press and public be excluded from the meeting, during the consideration of the following two items of business, pursuant to Section 100(A)4 of the Local Government Act 1972 on the grounds that discussions may involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in the provisions of Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972 and public interest would not be served in publishing the information.

    Minutes:

    Decision:

    That the Press and Public be excluded from the meeting during consideration of the following item of business, in accordance with the provisions of Section 100A (4) of the Local Government Act 1972, as amended.

     

    Reason for Decision:

    Should the press and public remain during debate on these items there may be a disclosure of information that is deemed to be exempt under Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972.

56.

Manchester Airport Group (MAG) Strategic Investment

    The Committee is asked to scrutinise confidential proposals relating to the Manchester Airport Group.

    Minutes:

    The Committee scrutinised a report of the Chief Finance Officer that outlined the investment proposals of the Manchester Airport Group to provide the airline capacity and standard of facilities required to secure future business growth and the longer term sustainability of the business. To facilitate the development, the Greater Manchester Councils have an opportunity to make further shareholder loans to Manchester Airport Group to bridge this gap, funded via prudential borrowing.

     

    The Chief Finance Officer reported that the report would be presented to the Cabinet, for determination on 28th November 2017.

     

    Alternatives considered:

    Alternative funding options were reviewed and outlined in paragraphs 4.3.3 to 4.3.5 of the submitted report. The Committee was advised that all of the options had inherent disadvantages – additional shareholder loans were considered to be the optimal funding solution. Without further investment, there was a danger of Manchester Airport Group losing ground in a highly competitive market, restricting future growth and income streams.

     

    Decision:

    That the recommendations contained in the submitted report be supported by this Committee and that the Cabinet be requested to concur.

     

    Reasons for the recommendation:

    The proposal is expected to improve the Council’s revenue position by £500,000 annually over 40 years. The sustainability of projected dividend income streams would also be protected. The proposal supports economic development in the region, protecting existing jobs and businesses as well as attracting new ones. Additional work is still required to work through the total loan required, its duration and interest rate, as well as drawing up relevant legal documentation.

57.

Savings Programme 2018-19 to 2019-20 individual post consultation reports

    The report updates Members of the Committee on the specific confidential proposals post the consultation phase.

    Minutes:

    The Committee scrutinised a confidential report of the Chief Finance Officer that detailed Savings Proposals which would not require service consultation. The report also sought Member’s views on various Workforce Savings Proposals that had previously been approved by the Cabinet for consultative purposes.

     

    In considering the report Members of the Committee sought clarification on work that had been undertaken to provide alternative solutions to the proposed Savings Proposals.

     

    The Chief Finance Officer reported that the report would be presented to the Cabinet, on 28th November 2017, prior it its submission to the Council on 13th December 2017.

     

    Alternatives considered:

    Whilst budgets are prepared in accordance with the approved guidelines a number of alternative options relating to savings proposals and budget pressures are considered as part of the overall budget setting process.

     

    Decision:

    1.         The identified Savings Proposals not requiring Service consultation be noted;

    2.         The Workforce Savings Proposals requiring consultation be considered as follows:

     

    Savings Proposal

     

    EC-2018-19-010

    That the proposal be noted

    NH-2018-19-015

    That the proposal be noted

    NH-2018-19-016

    That the proposal be noted

    NH-2018-19-021

    That the proposal be noted

    NH-2018-19-022

    That the proposal be noted

    NH-2018-19-023

    That the proposal be noted

     

     

     Reason for decision:

    The Council is required to set a balanced budget for 2018/19 by no later than 11th March 2018 and the proposals contained in the submitted report formed part of the budget setting process.