Agenda and minutes
The Former Environment Scrutiny Panel - Oct 2000 to May 2005
Thursday, 16th December, 2004 9.30 a.m.
Contact: Dawn Mitchell, 822062 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Questions from members of the public and the press.
There were no members of the press and public present at the meeting.
It was noted that a special meeting of the Scrutiny Panel was to be held on 13th January, 2005. The scheduled meeting on the 27th January would discuss the Budget 2006/08 and the Municipal Waste Management Strategy.
Declarations of Interest.
There were no declarations of interest made.
The Performance and Development Officer submitted the Programme Area’s performance monitoring report for the 2nd quarter of 2004/05.
At the end of the quarter, 40 (89%) Key Performance Indicators were achieving their control target with action in place to ensure all the year end targets were achieved. 5 were not achieving their quarterly control targets. At the same stage last year, 78% of the Indicators were on target.
When compared with the All England figures, 7 Indicators were in the top quartile as opposed to 6 in the last quarter. The Indicator that had moved into the top quartile related to waste sent for landfill and reflected the significant investment made to the recycling infrastructure.
The areas of significant improvement related to improvements in performance on rent collection, Capital Programme spend and consumer protection visits. All had had extra performance management control put in place during the quarter which had led to better results. This provided evidence of the approach to performance management.
The Chairman commended the staff concerned for their hard work which showed in the excellent figures.
Resolved:- (1) That the report and progress made be noted.
(2) That the Panel’s comments be conveyed to the staff concerned.
The Panel noted the decisions made under delegated powers by the Cabinet Member for Housing and Environmental Services held on 15th and 29th November, 2004.
Budget 2005/06/Gershon Savings
- Presentation by Executive Director, Resources/Head of Corporate Finance
The Executive Director of Resources gave a presentation on the Medium Term Financial Strategy for 2005/06. Copies of the Pressures and Growth Bids from the Medium Term Financial Strategy and the new Council Priorities were circulated for Members present.
The presentation focused on:-
§ The Context of the Budget 2005/06
§ Revenue Budget 2004/05 – A Reminder
§ Budget 2004/05 by Programme Area – A Reminder
§ One-Off Grant and Savings
§ Revenue Budget 2005/06
§ Priorities for Expenditure
§ “A” List Growth Bids/Unavoidable Pressures
§ “B” List Growth Bids
§ “C” List Growth Bids
§ Other Bids/Pressures/Uncertainties
§ Options to Bridge the Gap
§ Programme Area Gershon Proposals
§ Medium Term Financial Strategy 2006/07 Projections
§ Medium Term Financial Strategy 2007/08 Projections
A question and answer session ensued with the following points raised:-
§ At the present time, the Authority was collecting 99% of the Council Tax.
§ There were reserves set aside to ensure the Council was able to manage all risks.
§ The Commutation Adjustment Fund was not a way of topping up balances. It was money that had a clear role associated with it for emergencies. At the end of the financial year it could be rolled forward or reinvested.
§ The interest accrued from the accounts was used to pay the interest on other loans.
§ The “A”, “B”, and “C” growth lists had been derived from the Medium Term Financial Plan. The Corporate Management Team had attempted to prioritise them. Members had to decide which fit the Council’s priorities and which they wished to fund.
§ Potential for the Commutation Adjustment Fund to fund the establishment of neighbourhood centres and one-stop-shops in conjunction with other agencies.
The Executive Director agreed to supply all Members with a brief simple explanation of the Commutation Adjustment Fund.
The Chairman expressed disappointment that copies of the presentation had not been circulated with the agenda. There had been a commitment that the Scrutiny process would be involved in the budget process earlier than in previous years but that had not appeared to have happened. The presentation had focused on the budget for the Council as a whole and not the Neighbourhoods Programme Area.
Resolved:- (1) That the Executive Director of Resources be thanked for her presentation.
(2) That all Members be supplied with:-
an explanation of the Commutation Adjustment Fund
the Gershon Guidance criteria and the rules that apply.
The minutes of the meeting held on 18th November, 2004, were noted with the addition of Councillor Russell in the list of apologies.
The Panel noted the minutes of a meeting of the Performance and Scrutiny Overview Committee held on 12th November, 2004.
It was noted that Councillor Hall was to present the Fly Tipping Review to the Cabinet meeting on 12th January, 2005.