Agenda and minutes

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Items
No. Item

76.

Apologies

77.

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:

    There were no declaration of interests.

78.

Urgent Items of Business

79.

Items for Exclusion of Public and Press

80.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 93 KB

    For the Committee to receive the Minutes of the Meeting held on the 21st January 2019.

    Minutes:

    RESOLVED

     

    That the Minutes of the meeting held on the 21st January 2019 be signed as a correct record, subject to the removal of Councillor Smith from the apologies list and the inclusion of Councillor Mir.

81.

Digital strategy presentation

    The Senior Customer Access Manager, will provide the Committee with a presentation on the Digital Strategy.

    Minutes:

    The Senior Customer Access Manager provided the Committee with a presentation on the Digital Strategy that was being developed for the Council. Members were informed that the Council had a great track record when it came to digital outputs for the Brough, but didn’t have in place a strategy.

     

    The presentation covered areas where a digital strategy would benefit the Borough;

     

    ·         Creates more resilient communities

    ·         Delivering more prosperity development in the area

    ·         Supports the growth of business

    ·         Allows more people to live at home longer

    ·         Supports improving digital skills

    ·         Improving digital infrastructure

    ·         Allows citizens to do more when and where they want

     

    It was noted that digital strategy could help achieve reductions in the cost of public services through increased efficiency, automation and effectiveness. It could allow an increase in the productivity of the public sector workforce through flexible and agile working. It could allow the Council to completely rethink the way that it delivers services rather than just computerising them.

     

    Members were informed that the ability to operate effectively in a digital age was a key skill for residents, and in particular young people leaving school. This would help to increase their job readiness and ability to thrive in work, maximising the use of technology to support health, wellbeing, community networks and democracy throughout a person’s life. It was noted that the whole population must have access to technology, infrastructure and skills to ensure they get the most from the digital age.

     

    The Senior Customer Access Manager reminded Members that to fully realise the benefits that digital technology could bring, the Council needed to pull together its digital work into one place, increase its scope beyond the work that the Council was doing as an organisation and align this work to other partners so that we were co-ordinating the work across the Borough.

     

    Members had a detailed round table discussion with Officers around growing access to digital services, connecting services together and improving skills and understanding of a digital future for the Borough.

     

    RESLOVED

     

    That the presentation be noted.

     

82.

Agilisys Performance of KPI's

    Members will receive information around Agilisys Performance of KPI's.

    Minutes:

    The Senior Customer Access Manager provided the Committee with a presentation on the performance of the Contact centre. The presentation provided Members with key performance indictors which had shown improvement over the past 6 months and improvements to customer experience when dealing with the Council.

     

    It was reported that over the forthcoming year the customer access team would:

     

    ·         Be undertaking analysis and business case development for Customer Transformation Programme

    ·         Be delivering against an agreed Digital Strategy

    ·         Provide customer service skills training to ICT and HR colleagues

    ·         Will have delivered online service workshops to 70+ housing associations, RSLs and other support organisations

    ·         Continue to drive take-up of MyAccount and wider CTax/Benefits online services through an online and offline marketing campaign and further access channel improvements

    ·         Review opportunities to support Adult Care through customer access channels

    ·         Integrate CCG Patient Services Team into RBC Customer Access Service

     

    RESLOVED

     

    That the presentation be noted

     

83.

Council Tax Discount for Special Constables pdf icon PDF 98 KB

    For the Committee to receive a report on Council Tax Discount for Special Constables.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The Deputy Chief Finance Officer informed the Committee of a proposal that Cabinet would be asked to consider to provide a 50% discount from the payment of Council Tax to Special Constables who lived and serve in the Borough.

     

    It was reported that the Special Constabulary consisted of volunteer officers, who gave up their spare time to assist with the policing of Greater Manchester and increase the effectiveness of local police initiatives. Special Constables were a vital part of the police service, helping to prevent crime and interacting with the diverse communities they serve. It was noted that the Greater Manchester Police force were fully supportive of introducing this Special Constable Council Tax discount.

     

    Members supposed this proposal unanimously and in response to a question around the number of people in the Borough this would help, it was noted about 10 and it would in future be rolled out to other groups.

     

    RESLOVED

     

    That the report be noted.

     

84.

Budget 2019/20 - 2021/22 - Local Government Act 2003 Requirements pdf icon PDF 513 KB

    The Chief Finance Officer will present a report on the Budget 2019/20 - 2021/22 - Local Government Act 2003 Requirements.

    Minutes:

    The Deputy Chief Finance Officer presented to Members a report that would be sent to the next Cabinet meeting with the proposed Revenue Budget, Capital Programme, and Council Tax 2019/20 for recommendation to Budget Council on 27th February 2019. It was noted that the information contained in the report was subject to the Final Local Government Finance Settlement and approval of the Mayor of Greater Manchester precepts for 2019/20.

     

    Members were informed that the report set out the key financial challenges and issues which would be faced by the Council over the period 2019/20 to 2021/22 and provided details of the assumptions and estimates which underpin the budget. The budget also took into account the latest known developments both regional and at a local level and reports on the integration of health and social care within the pooled budget arrangements.

     

    The Committee was informed of the revenue proposals which were being recommended to Cabinet to enable a balanced budget to be considered and presented to Budget Council for approval. It was noted that the capital programme being recommended to Cabinet had been consulted on during the Autumn 2018. This would also be presented to Budget Council for approval.

     

    RESLOVED

     

    That the report be noted.

     

85.

Medium Term Financial Strategy 2019/20 to 2023/24 pdf icon PDF 102 KB

    The Committee will receive a report on the Medium Term Financial Strategy 2019/20 – 2023/24.

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The Councils Chief Finance Officer presented to Members the Medium-Term Financial Strategy (MTFS), with Members being reminded that the MTFS provided a robust, consistent and sustainable approach to establishing and maintaining a stable and prudent financial basis on which the Council’s services were delivered.

    It was reported that the MTFS was one of the key strategic plans for the Council and is a five-year plan which set out the Council’s commitment to provide services that met the needs of people locally and represent good value for money.

    It was noted that this report would be presented to the next Cabinet meeting, updating Cabinet Members on the Council’s Medium-Term Financial Strategy 2019/20 to 2023/24.

     

    The Chief Finance Officer informed members that there are numerous issues which could impact on the Council’s budget. It was noted that budget assumptions contained in the Strategy would be regularly reviewed and updated to ensure that the medium-term forecasts provided an early indication of any changes, both as a result of Government changes and local pressures affecting the medium-term financial plan.

     

    It was further noted that MTFS would be reviewed and updated during the year to reflect the latest position in regard to the Council’s financial position, priorities and future plans.

     

    RESLOVED

     

    That the report be noted.

     

86.

Revenue Budget, Capital Programme and Council Tax 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 761 KB

    The Chief Finance Officer will report to the Committee on the Revenue Budget, Capital Programme and Council Tax 2019/20.

    Minutes:

    The Deputy Chief Finance Officer presented to Members a report that would be sent to the next Cabinet meeting with the proposed Revenue Budget, Capital Programme, and Council Tax 2019/20 for recommendation to Budget Council on 27th February 2019. It was noted that the information contained in the report was subject to the Final Local Government Finance Settlement and approval of the Mayor of Greater Manchester precepts for 2019/20.

     

    Members were informed that the report set out the key financial challenges and issues which would be faced by the Council over the period 2019/20 to 2021/22 and provided details of the assumptions and estimates which underpin the budget. The budget also took into account the latest known developments both regional and at a local level and reports on the integration of health and social care within the pooled budget arrangements.

     

    The Committee was informed of the revenue proposals which were being recommended to Cabinet to enable a balanced budget to be considered and presented to Budget Council for approval. It was noted that the capital programme being recommended to Cabinet had been consulted on during the Autumn 2018. This would also be presented to Budget Council for approval.

     

    RESLOVED

     

    That the report be noted.

     

87.

2019-20 Discretionary Business Rate Relief Policy Report pdf icon PDF 99 KB

    The Committee is asked to consider a report on proposals for the Discretionary Business Rate Relief Policy for 2019/20.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The Deputy Chief Finance Officer presented to the Committee a report that requested the Discretionary Business Rate Relief Policy needed to be amended for 2019/20 due to a change announced in the 2018 budget and to end changes introduced in the 2016 and 2017 budgets. Cabinet would also requested to consider a proposal to revise the Policy to raise additional business rate income at its next meeting.

     

    Members were presented with the draft 2019/20 Policy document noting that it currently assumes that all the recommendations would be adopted, but this document will only be finalised after decisions of Council on 27 February 2019.

     

    It was reported that a total of 14 businesses (19 different properties) would be affected if the rateable value limit was reduced to £19,999. If the Policy was changed, discretionary relief would still continue to be provided to charitable and not-for-profit organisations occupying small business properties with a rateable value of £19,999 or less. Currently, this would still apply to 83 properties, which was a loss of income to the Council of approximately £76,000 per annum.

     

    RESLOVED

     

    That the report be noted.

     

88.

Treasury Management Strategy 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 131 KB

    For the Committee to receive a report on the Treasury Management Strategy 2019/20.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The Deputy Chief Finance Officer presented to Members a report on the 2019/20 Treasury Management Strategy (TMS) which outlined how the Council would meet the requirements of the relevant legislation, codes of practice and guidance that form the Prudential Framework

    It was noted that the Treasury Management Strategy was the Council’s policy for ensuring that:

    · borrowing in the long term is undertaken for capital purposes

    · borrowing plans are affordable and achieve best value

    · total debt remains within our authorised limit and prudential indicators

    · risks are identified and controlled

    · cashflows are managed to ensure that the Council can meet its financial obligations

     

    It was reported that the Council intended to maintain an under-borrowed position for the period covered by the Strategy, using its own internal balances to fund capital expenditure whenever possible but being aware of the possibility of interest rate rises.  Members were reminded that Interest rates were currently relatively low and expected to rise slowly over the next three years. It was noted that the Council’s overall borrowing requirement increased over the period of the strategy.

     

    The Committee was informed that the Council’s treasury investment priorities would continue to place emphasis on security over return. Minimum credit criteria would be set to ensure the creditworthiness of counterparties which would be closely monitored throughout the year to minimise risk. Limits were also placed on the amounts that can be placed with individual institutions and the durations of investments.

     

    RESOLVED

     

    That the report be noted.

     

89.

Capital Investment and Disposal Strategy 2019-22 pdf icon PDF 158 KB

    For the Committee to receive the Capital Investment and Disposal Strategy 2019-22.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

     

    The Committees received a report from the Deputy Chief Finance Officer outlying the capital, investment and disposal strategy for the Council. It was reported that the report when presented to Cabinet on the 12th February 2019, would seek the approval for the 2019/20 Capital Investment and Disposal Strategy, which outlined how the Council would meet the requirements of the relevant legislation, codes of practice and guidance that form the Prudential Framework, and MHCLG Guidance on Local Authority Investments

     

    It was noted that the 2019/20 Capital Investment and Disposal Strategy was the Council’s policy for ensuring that the following outcomes were met:

    · To provide an overview of the Council’s plans for capital investments/disposals, and asset management planning.

    · To set out the governance process for approval and monitoring of capital expenditure, and any related long-term liabilities.

    · To show how the Council’s planned capital expenditure will be funded within the context of relevant funding limits, how any external debt will be repaid, and what the associated costs are.

    · To set out the Council’s approach to commercial activities including due diligence, risk appetite and proportionality in respect of the Council’s overall resources.

    · To summarise the knowledge and skills available to the Council, and whether these are considered to be commensurate with its risk appetite.

     

    Member were reminded that the Strategy was a high-level overview of how the Council’s capital expenditure, capital financing and treasury management activity contribute to the provision of services. The Strategy provided an overview of how risks were managed, and what the implications are for future financial sustainability. The purpose of the Strategy was to set out how the Council takes capital expenditure and investment decisions in line with service objectives and properly takes account of stewardship, value for money, prudence, sustainability and affordability.

     

    RESOLVED

     

    That the report be noted.