Agenda and minutes

Venue: Training and Conference Suite, First Floor, Number One Riverside, Smith Street, Rochdale, OL16 1XU. View directions

Contact: John Addison  Senior Committee Services Officer

Items
No. Item

117.

Apologies

To receive any apologies for absence.

118.

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 interest received.

119.

Items for Exclusion of Public and Press

To determine any items on the agenda, if any, where the public are to be excluded from the meeting.

Minutes:

It was reported that there was one item of business under this item.

120.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 80 KB

Members are requested to approve the Minutes of the Meeting held on

the 23rd July 2019.

Minutes:

RESOLVED

 

That the Minutes held on the 23rd July 2019 be approved as a correct record.

121.

3rd & 4th Quarter Corporate Complaints pdf icon PDF 112 KB

For the Committee to receive information on the 3rd and 4th Quarter complaints.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Head of Information, Customers and Communities provided Members with a summary of corporate complaints and compliments received during the third and fourth quarters of 2018/19. Members were reminded that part of the Council’s performance management process was to ensure the Authority’s ambition to continuously improve services was realised.

 

It was reported that 276 new complaints had been received during the second half of 2018/19 across all services, the majority of the complaints being resolved at stage one, with only 12 escalating to stage two. It was noted that three complaints were dealt with directly at stage two due to the nature of the complaint, and 5 complaints were dealt with at stage three. A total of 164 compliments were received during the reporting period.

 

Members were pleased to not there had been a slight reduction in the overall number of complaints received the year with the majority of services receiving fewer complaints in the reporting period compared to the previous year.

 

In response to a question around fly tipping and the cot to the Council, it was noted that a written response would be provided outside of the meeting.

 

RESOLVED

 

That the report be noted.

 

122.

LGSCO Annual Review 2018-19 pdf icon PDF 101 KB

For Members to receive a report on the Annual Review of complaints made to the Local Government & Social Care Ombudsman (LGSCO) about Rochdale Borough Council in the year ending 31 March 2019.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Head of Information, Customers and Communities provided Members with a report on the Annual Review of complaints made to the Local Government & Social Care Ombudsman (LGSCO) about Rochdale Borough Council in the year ending 31 March 2019.

 

It was reported that the review showed a relatively small number of complaints received against Rochdale Council by the Ombudsman during 2018/19. In total 48 complaints and enquiries were received which was similar to the previous year. It was noted that the number of decisions made by the LGSCO differed from the number of complaints and enquiries received, as complaints may be received and decided upon in different financial years.

 

The Committee was informed that of 50 decisions made during 2018/19, only 11 complaints were subject to detailed investigation. 16 complaints were referred back to the Council as premature to be considered under the Council’s own complaints procedure, 20 complaints were closed after initial enquiries, and 3 complaints were classified as invalid. Of the 11 complaints that were investigated, 9 were found to be upheld and 2 were not upheld. The LGSCO recommended remedies for 6 of the upheld complaints, all of which were accepted and implemented.

 

RESOLVED

 

That the report be noted.

 

123.

Budget Update and Medium Term Financial Strategy 2020/21 to 2024/25 pdf icon PDF 165 KB

For Members to receive an update and Medium Term Financial Strategy 2020/21 to 2024/25.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chief Finance Officer presented to Members an update on the Medium-Term Financial Strategy 2020/21 to 2024/25. The report also provided an update on the latest budget position for the Council and Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale Clinical Commissioning Group.

 

Member were reminded that the Council currently had a budget gap and that the assumptions that underpinned the gap had been reviewed in line with the latest available information, including the impact of the Spending Round 2019, impacting on 2020/21 funding, announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer on 4th September 2019. Members noted that certainty around the funding announced on 4th September would not be gained until the Local Government Finance Settlement 2020/21, expected to be announced in late 2019.

 

It was reported that the Council’s Medium-Term Financial Strategy (MTFS) 2019/20 to 2023/24 was approved at Budget Council 27th February 2019. It was noted that the MTFS had been reviewed and updated reflecting current budget assumptions. The MTFS for 2020/21 to 2024/25 would be formally presented for approval at Budget Council 26th February 2020.

 

RESOLVED

 

That the report be noted.

 

124.

Collection Fund 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 313 KB

To receive information around the Collection Fund 2019/20.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee received a report from the Chief Finance Officer who updated Members on the Council’s Collection Fund outturn position for 2019/2020. The Committee were advised that this report would be submitted to the Council’s Cabinet, in November 2019 where the recommendations contained therein would be requested to be approved.

 

It was reported that the Collection Fund Position for 2019/20 was a forecast as a surplus of £1.454m, comprising: £0.763m surplus relating to Business Rates; and £0.691m surplus relating to Council Tax. The Council’s share of the forecast 2019/20 Collection Fund outturn surplus was £1.343m.

 

RESOLVED

 

That the report be noted.

 

125.

Discretionary Fees & Charges pdf icon PDF 106 KB

The Committee will receive a report on discretionary Fee’s and Charge’s.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chief Finance Officer provided Members with a report onthe proposed fees and charges by service for 2020/21, and details of any fees and charges above the 0% general uplift.

 

It was noted that the fees and charges in the report had been proposed by each Directorate, taking into account the 0% general uplift in Discretionary Fees and Charges agreed at Cabinet in July 2019. Any uplifts that were not in line with the 0% proposal, were highlighted in the report.

 

RESOLVED

 

That Cabinet be requested not to implement charges for new or replacement bins.

 

 

126.

Finance Update Report 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 456 KB

Scrutiny Members will receive a Finance Update report 19/20.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chief Finance Officer presented to the Committee a report, which updated Members on the Council’s financial position as at the end of July 2019. It was noted that the report had been approved by the Cabinet at its meeting in October 2019.

 

The report provided Members with details on;

 

· The forecast Revenue position, which was an overspend of £7.231m.

· An update of the Savings target of £0.135m, as part of the Revenue budget 2019/20.

· An update on the Health & Social Care Pool Budget position.

· Forecast Capital spend of £128.532m after net re-phasing of £5.948m.

 

Members held a discussion around the pooled budget and how this was/could be scrutinised, with Members agreeing that they wished to receive at its February 2020 meeting a presentation on the pooled budget, challenges it faces and what is being done to tackle the challenges.

 

RESOLVED

 

1)    That the report be noted.

 

2)    That at its February 2020 meeting, Members receive a presentation on the pooled budget, challenges it faces and what is being done to tackle the challenges.

 

127.

Schools Final Outturns and Reportable Surplus Balances 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 210 KB

The Schools Final Outturns and Reportable Surplus Balances 2018/19 will be presented to the Committee.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report on the final budget outturns and reportable surplus held by local authority-maintained schools. Members were advised that it was a requirement for Councils to review and challenge the level of surpluses held by individual schools.

 

The Committee was reminded that surplus balances greater than 8% of a school’s funding for a consecutive two-year period were subject to challenge and review by the local authority in conjunction with Schools Forum. It was reported that potentially, under Rochdale’s Scheme for Financing Schools, any surpluses fitting the defined criteria and not deemed to be used for ‘eligible’ purposes could be clawed-back with re-distribution to all schools via the fair funding formula.

 

Members considered the report and note that there were currently 29 schools (25 primary, 1 secondary, 1 nursery and 2 special) with a surplus balance greater than the threshold percentage. Of those 29 schools, 15 were subject to review in accordance with Section 4 of the Scheme for Financing Schools. It was reported that all 15 schools had provided details of the planned spend and a summary is provided to Members.

 

RESOLVED

 

That the report be noted.

 

128.

Work Programme pdf icon PDF 87 KB

For the Committee to consider it work programme for the remainder of the municipal year.

Minutes:

Members considered the Committee’s Work Programme for the remainder of the municipal year 2019/2020.

 

RESOLVED

 

That the report be noted.

 

129.

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:

It was noted that that the press and public should 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.

130.

Savings Programme 2020/21 to 2021/22 pdf icon PDF 190 KB

Members will receive the savings programme report for 20/21-21/22.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee received a report from the Chief Finance Officer on recommendations that would be presented to Cabinet on proposals in order to meet the budget gap for 2020/21 and 2021/22.

 

Members held a detailed debate on each proposal and agreed a number of suggestions to be present to Cabinet. Members further agree to look at a number of business an usual saving proposals and to look at the process involved in reporting these to Members.

 

RESOLVED

 

1)    That Cabinet be asked to reconsider the saving proposals it is considering for consultation on;

 

·         Reduction in Voluntary Sector Grants to a homelessness charity Brentwood - £3k

·         Proposal to close Milnrow Youth Centre - £3.2k

·         Environmental Management Township Rangers - £17k

 

2)    That Cabinet be requested not to implement charges for new or replacement bins.

 

3)    That the Chair, Vice-Chair and Senior Governance and Committee Officer look to set up a Task Group, to  consider how BAU decisions are taken and how they are reported to Members, looking at some appropriate examples. The Task Group will also consider the Council’s Scheme of Delegation (in relation to this matter).