Agenda and minutes

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Items
No. Item

13.

Apologies

14.

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:

    Councillor O’Neill declared a personal interest in minute C1/56/17 of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority’s Corporate Issues and Reform Overview and Scrutiny Committee, held 18th April 2018 (‘The Response to the Kerslake Report’), by virtue of the fact that he was in receipt of a Firefighters’ Pension from Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service.

15.

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.

16.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 72 KB

    To consider the minutes of the meeting of Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee held 19th June 2018 and the actions list arising therefrom.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The Committee considered the minutes of the last meeting, held 19th June 2018 and the actions list, detailing issues that were outstanding.

     

    Decision:

    1.    The minutes of the meeting of the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee, held 19th June 2018, be approved as a correct record.

    2.    The actions list, appended to the minutes, be noted.

17.

Work Programme pdf icon PDF 84 KB

    To note the Committee’s Work Programme 2018/19

    Minutes:

    Members considered an updated version of the Committee’s Work Programme for 2018/2019.  The Chair of the Committee noted the additional work load that the Committee was likely to deal with in the autumn of 2018 and in this regard it was suggested that the Committee hold an additional meeting, in October 2018, to alleviate this. In addition the Committee was asked to consider moving the dates of their scheduled meetings in November 2018, from Tuesday, 20th to Monday 19th November and in January 2019 from Tuesday, 22nd January to Monday 21st January.

     

    Decision:

    1.    The Committee’s revised and updated Work programme for 2018/19 be noted.

    2.    An additional meeting of the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee be held on Monday, 22nd October 2018, starting at 6.15pm.

    3.    The dates of the meetings of the Committee in November 2018 be moved to Monday, 19th November 2018 and the date of the meeting in January 2019, be moved to Monday, 21st January 2019.

     

    Reason for the decision:

    The report is presented for information purposes, outlining the Committee’s programme of reports during 2018/19.

18.

Greater Manchester Combined Authority Scrutiny Committee Meetings pdf icon PDF 109 KB

19.

Delegated Approvals 2017/18 pdf icon PDF 144 KB

    The Committee is requested to scrutinise delegated approvals in respect of 2017/18.

    Minutes:

    The Committee scrutinised a report of the Chief Finance Officer which provided details of approvals of spend under delegated powers in relation to Revenue and Capital Schemes funded by additional grants or income during 2017/18.

     

    Alternatives considered:

    The item was presented for information purposes, therefore no alternatives were considered and it was also noted that the Cabinet had considered this report at its meeting on 26th June 2018.

     

    Decision:

    That the he approval of spending under delegated powers made by Services during 2017/18 be noted.

     

    Reason for decision:

    The Chief Finance Officer, under approved Financial Regulations, was required to report to the Council’s Cabinet, at least annually, on schemes that had been approved under delegated powers.

20.

Finance Update Report 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 165 KB

    To consider the Council’s financial position, as at the end of May 2018.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The Committee scrutinised a report of the Chief Finance Officer which provided details of the Council’s financial position as at the end of May 2018. The Committee was advised that the report had previously been considered by the Cabinet at its meeting on 26th June 2018, where the recommendations contained therein were approved. In considering the report, Members received a revised and updated ‘dashboard’, that had been prepared by the Chief Finance Officer and which provided the information in a simplified manner by the use of graphs, charts and tables.

     

    The Chair requested details of the large value of capital items brought forward from 2017/18 into 2018/19. This analysis was provided but the Chair observed that he was concerned at this high level of rescheduling and he requested that this be considered by appropriate officers within the Council. It was confirmed that this matter was being examined by the Council’s Leadership Team. The Chair requested that a further update on this matter be incorporated into a future financial update report to be submitted to the Committee.

     

    Alternatives considered:

    There were no alternatives considered as not reporting on the Council’s financial position would not enable sufficient monitoring and identification of variations against the plan.

     

    Decision:

    That the financial update be noted.

     

    Reason for resolution:

    Effective budget management was considered to be critical to ensuring that financial resources were spent in line with the budget and were targeted towards the Council’s priorities. Monitoring enables the early identification of variations against the plan and facilitates timely corrective action.

21.

Budget 2019/20 to 2021/22 Guidelines, Timetable and Public Engagement pdf icon PDF 236 KB

    To inform the Committee of the budget guidelines, timetable and method of public engagement.

    Minutes:

    The Committee scrutinised a report of the Chief Finance Officer that had recommended to the Cabinet, at its meeting on 26th June 2018, approval of the budget guidelines, timetable and methods of public engagement to be used in preparing the detailed 2019/20 budget and provisional budgets for 2020/21 and 2021/22.

     

    Alternatives considered:

    The Council was legally obliged to set a balanced budget and the submitted report set out a planning process for the budget including details of the assumptions used in the preparation of the budget to ensure they were agreed, reasonable and consistently applied by all services. The Committee noted that the Council’s Cabinet, at its meeting on 26th June 2018, had approved the recommendations that were set out in paragraph 2 of the submitted report.

     

    Decision:

    1.    That the proposed budget timetable, as detailed at Appendix 1 of the submitted report, be noted.

    2.    That the revenue assumptions as detailed at paragraph 4.2 of the submitted and which the Cabinet had agreed be incorporated into the budget setting process, be noted.

    3.    That the revenue and capital budget principles referred to in paragraph 4.4 of the submitted report, be noted.

    4.    The proposed methods of public engagement outlined in paragraph 4.5 of the submitted report, to be included as part of the 2019/20 budget setting process, be noted.

     

    Reason for decision:

    Under the Budget and Policy Framework the Council’s Cabinet was required to approve the proposed guidelines, timetable and methods of public engagement for setting the 2019/20 Budget and Provisional Budgets for 2020/21 and 2021/22 by September each year.

22.

Savings Programme 2019/20 to 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 170 KB

    The Committee is requested to scrutinise Savings Proposals for 2019/20 to 2020/21.

    Minutes:

    The Committee scrutinised a report of the Chief Finance Officer which presented recommendations regarding Savings Proposals in order to meet the budget gap for 2019/20 and 2020/21.

     

    In presenting the report, the Chief Finance Officer advised that subject to decisions made on the individual savings proposals that it was anticipated that there would be an ongoing budget gap of approximately £1,896,000 to be identified, after savings of £1,704,000 (ongoing) and £200,000 (one-off).

     

    The Committee were informed that this report had been considered by the Council’s Cabinet at its meeting held on 24th July 2018.

     

    Alternatives considered:

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

     

    The Cabinet had given consideration to a number of options in putting forward the savings proposals contained in the report and the submitted report outlined alternative options. To do nothing was not considered to be an option as the Council was legally required to set a balanced budget.

     

    Decision:

    That the saving proposals contained in the report and the consultation timetable and process as detailed in the report be noted.

     

    Reason for decision:

    The Council was required to recommend a balanced Revenue Budget and Capital Programme 2019/20 to Budget Council and provisional budgets for 2020/21 to 2021/22. The Council was required to set a balanced budget for 2019/20 by the 11th March 2019.  To enable the achievement of this statutory requirement, savings proposals were considered to reduce the Council’s expenditure.

23.

Exclusion of Press and Public

    To consider that the press and public be excluded from the remaining part of the meeting 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 this item there may be a disclosure of information that is deemed to be exempt under Parts 1 and 4 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972.

24.

Savings Programme 2019/20 to 2020/21

    The Committee is requested to scrutinise Savings Proposals for 2019/20 to 2020/21.

    Minutes:

    The Committee scrutinised a report of the Chief Finance Officer which presented recommendations regarding Savings Proposals in order to meet the budget gap for 2019/20 and 2020/21.

     

    In presenting the report, the Chief Finance Officer advised that subject to decisions made on the individual savings proposals that it was anticipated that there would be an ongoing budget gap of £1,896,000 to be identified, after savings of £1,704,000 (ongoing) and £200,000 (one-off).

     

    Alternatives considered:

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

     

    The Committee were informed that this report had been considered by the Council’s Cabinet at its meeting held on 24th July 2018.

     

    Decision:

    1.    The Committee notes the savings proposals that have been approved  by the Cabinet, on 24th July 2018, for consultation;

    2.    That the Committee notes the savings proposals as follows:

     

    Savings Proposal

     

    NH-2019-20-013 (Neighbourhoods)

    The Committee expressed its opposition to this proposal, as presented and requested that the Cabinet reconsider.

    NH-2019-20-020 (Neighbourhoods)

    The Committee recommends that option One, as detailed in the submitted report, be approved but the Committee noted that Members will have a further opportunity to examine the proposals at the conclusion of the public consultation exercise.

    NH-2019-20-021 (Neighbourhoods)

    The Committee notes the withdrawal of this proposal

    NH-2019-20-022 (Neighbourhoods)

    That the proposal be noted

    NH-2019-20-024 (Neighbourhoods)

    That the proposal be noted

     

    Reason for decision:

    The Council is required to set a balanced budget for 2019/20 by no later than 11th March 2019 and the proposals contained in the submitted report formed part of the budget setting process.

25.

Property Investments pdf icon PDF 97 KB

    To inform Members of the performance of the Council’s recent property investments.

    Minutes:

    The Committee scrutinised a report of the Director of Economy that informed Members of the performance of the Council’s recent property investments. The report also indicated that at the current time the investments were achieving/exceeding the performance targets that had been established for this activity.

     

    Since March 2017 the Council has been implementing a commercial property investment strategy, designed to achieve rental income and revenue savings from acquiring an investment portfolio, whilst contributing to the Council’s overall regeneration aims for the borough. A budget of £30,000,000 has been made available for these acquisitions. The objective of the strategy is to promote regeneration and secure a rental return on its investments. As part of the capital programme the Council has also approved a £40,000,000 Direct Development Fund, to generate income through direct development projects by the Council which are not captured within the criteria of the existing investment funds, allowing the Council to act as a developer maximising land potential and land value, with a focus on under-utilised brownfield sites throughout the Borough.

     

    Alternatives considered: none the report was presented for information purposes.

     

    Decision:

    That the report be noted.

     

    N.B. At the conclusion of this item the Committee received an informal briefing on specific operational details appertaining to the Property Growth Fund that were considered to be commercially sensitive.