Agenda and minutes

Statutory Reports, Policy, Finance and Development Committee
Tuesday, 20th September, 2016 7.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber - Council Offices. View directions

Contact: Samuel Ball  Email: samuel.ball@oadby-wigston.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

21.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

An apology for absence was received from Councillors E R Barr, L A Bentley, G A Boulter and Mrs S B Morris.

22.

Appointment of Substitutes

To appoint substitute Members in accordance with Rule 4 of Part 4 of the Constitution.

Minutes:

RESOLVED THAT:

 

Councillor Mrs L Eaton substitute as Vice Chair for the duration of the meeting.

23.

Declarations of Interest

Members are reminded that any declaration of interest should be made having regard to the Members’ Code of Conduct. In particular, Members must make clear the nature of the interest and whether it is 'pecuniary' or ‘non-pecuniary'.

Minutes:

None.

24.

Minutes of the Previous Meeting held on 19 July 2016 pdf icon PDF 121 KB

To read, confirm and sign the minutes of the previous meeting in accordance with Rule 17 of Part 4 of the Constitution.

Minutes:

RESOLVED THAT:

 

The minutes of the previous meeting of the Committee held on 19 July 2016 be taken as read, confirmed and signed.

25.

Action List Arising from the Meeting held on 19 July 2016 DOCX 41 KB

Minutes:

RESOLVED THAT:

 

The Action List be noted by Members.

26.

Petitions and Deputations

To receive any Petitions and, or, Deputations in accordance with Rule 24 of Part 4 of the Constitution.

Minutes:

None.

27.

ISA 260 Annual Governance Report 2015/16 pdf icon PDF 90 KB

Members are advised that the ISA 260 Annual Governance Report 2015/16 shall be received in a Supplementary Agenda Update issued ahead of the meeting of the Committee in due course.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee gave consideration to the report and appendix as set out in the two supplementary agenda updates (at pages 1 - 33) as jointly-delivered and summarised by the Interim Chief Finance Officer (Section 151 Officer), the KPMG Director, Mr Tony Crawley, and KMPG Manager, Ms Yola Geen, which should be read together with these minutes as a composite document.

 

Councillor J W Boyce moved the recommendation as set out at paragraph 2.1 of the report (at page 1).

 

Councillor K J Loydall seconded the recommendation.

 

Councillor B Dave enquired as to whether the Service Level Agreement (SLA) with the payroll provider, Leicestershire County Council (LCC), had been signed and if the SLA funds had been paid to LCC. He further sought clarification as to areas and reasons behind the ‘debtors provisioning’ as set out in the appendix (at page 13).

 

The Director of Services / Monitoring Officer and the KMPG Director jointly-advised that the SLA was in the process of being reviewed and was to be signed imminently. It was said that an informal legal arrangement did exist in lieu of the signed SLA and that payroll services continued to be provided upon the receipt of funds.

 

The KMPG Director advised that a breakdown of the ‘debtors provisioning’ areas and the reasons for was to be provided.

 

Councillor J W Boyce stated that the area of ‘debtors provisioning’ was a speculative one framed on a professional’s technical opinion. He further requested that the revised timetable for audit submission(s) be trial-ran from next financial year ahead of 2018.

 

The KMPG Director advised that meetings of this Committee to consider statutory reports were to be held by the end of July in subsequent years to meet the revised timetable accordingly. He stated that no other deadlines were subject to change.

 

Councillor R Fahey enquired as to when the pension scheme was last reviewed and if Officers were being periodically updated as to any significant changes to the same.

 

The Interim Chief Finance Officer and the KMPG Director jointly-advised the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) was a national, defined-benefits scheme as administered by LCC as the scheme provider. They stated the deficit on the pension scheme represented long term assumptions and estimates made by the actuary at LCC. It was said that the recommended review of the actuary’s assumptions was to feature in the proceeding year’s figures and any increases or decreases in contributions likely to impact upon the Council’s Medium-Term Financial Strategy (MTFS) was be reported back to a subsequent meeting of this Committee.

 

Periodic updates to all LGPS members were said to be directly provided by LCC.

 

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED THAT:

 

The Committee accepts the content of KPMG’s Annual Governance Report.

 

In accordance with Rule 7.3 of Part 4 of the Constitution, the Chair moved for the order of business to be altered and taken in the order as reflected in the minutes.

 

RESOLVED THAT:

 

The order of business be altered, accordingly.

28.

Statement of Accounts 2015/16 DOCX 80 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee gave consideration to the report and appendices (at pages 67 - 197) as delivered and summarised by the Interim Chief Finance Officer (Section 151 Officer) which should be read together with these minutes as a composite document.

 

Councillor J W Boyce moved the recommendations en bloc as set out at paragraphs 2.1 to 2.2 of the report (at page 67).

 

Councillor K J Loydall seconded the recommendations.

 

RESOLVED THAT:

 

(i)        The Committee approve the Statement of Accounts for the year 2015/16;

(ii)       The Chief Finance Officer (Section 151 Officer) be delegated authority to agree minor alterations to the statement as recommended by the Council’s auditor; and

(iii)      The Committee approve the “Letter of Representation” to be signed by the Chief Finance Officer (Section 151 Officer) and the Chair of this Committee following this meeting.

 

Votes For                   9

Votes Against            0

Abstentions               1

29.

Annual Governance Statement 2015/16 DOCX 70 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee gave consideration to the report and appendix (at pages 14 - 35) as delivered and summarised by the Interim Chief Finance Officer (Section 151 Officer) which should be read together with these minutes as a composite document.

 

The Chair moved the recommendation as set out at paragraph 2 of the report (at page 14).

 

Councillor K J Loydall seconded the recommendation.

 

Councillor G S Atwal enquired as to what measures had been taken to restore working relationships between the Senior Management Team (SMT) and Officers.

 

Councillor J W Boyce stated there no such issue existed at the present time to which the Member’s question referred and referenced the Member to the Leader’s Statement delivered at the meeting of the Council held on 06 September 2016.

 

RESOLVED THAT:

 

The Annual Governance Statement 2015/16 (as set out in Appendix 1) be approved and referred to the Leader of the Council and Chief Executive for formal certification.

 

Votes For                   9

Votes Against            0

Abstentions               1

30.

Budget Strategy 2017/18 - 2018/19 DOCX 104 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee gave consideration to the report and appendix (at pages 36 - 53) as delivered and summarised by the Interim Chief Finance Officer (Section 151 Officer) which should be read together with these minutes as a composite document.

 

The Chair moved the recommendations as set out at paragraphs 2.1 to 2.3 of the report (at page 36).

 

Councillor J W Boyce seconded the recommendations.

 

Councillor J W Boyce stated that challenging times were faced by the public sector and, in particular, local government in terms of strategic budget-setting in the years ahead: however, noted the achievements (viz. customer services transformation, new leisure centres) hitherto made by the Council to respond accordingly.

 

The Member said that ongoing work was being undertaken in partnership with all stakeholders, including the Local Government Association (LGA), to identify areas to further invest and to save. The role of the Combined Authority for Leicester/shire was further mentioned insofar as it may enjoy new powers to lower rates and demand contributions to local infrastructure. He invited opposition Members to engage in an open dialogue with the Administration and to submit any alternative proposals before 21 February 2017 for due consideration together with robust evidence.

 

Councillor G A Atwal commended the Budget Strategy. With reference to ‘General Fund Services’ at paragraph 2.8 of the report (at page 39), he enquired as to whether the 3% reduction is salary budgets would result in any job losses at the Council.

 

The Interim Chief Finance Officer advised that the 3% represented an abstract vacancy factor and that, although this did not indicate to any job losses at the present time, it could not be excluded from future consideration to bridge the funding gap. He reiterated that any decision in this respect would require resolution by Members.

 

Councillor J W Boyce stated any intimation of redundancies at the present time could not be substantiated until a systematic review of all service-areas was completed to ascertain if it was necessary or not. He said that this process would be conducted in open session through the committee process.

 

Councillor B Dave noted the democratic-importance of the contributions made by opposition Members to the Budget Strategy and undertook to engage constructively in the process. He further acknowledged the upcoming challenges faced by Council.

 

Councillor J Kaufman sought the opinion of the KMPG Director as whether the contents of the Annual Governance Report or Statement of Accounts for 2015/16 corroborated any of the recent claims made by the Member of Parliament (MP) for the Harborough Constituency, The Rt Hon Sir Edward Garnier MP QC, against the Council.

 

The KMPG Director advised that the providing of such an opinion went beyond the terms of reference expected of the auditor’s responsibilities.

 

Councillor K J Loydall suggested the need for a system of checks and balances in respect of local authorities’ ability to decrease rates and increase rents to reduce the scope for exploitation. He further raised a concern regarding the uncertainty posed to service-delivery without the commensurate  ...  view the full minutes text for item 30.

31.

Treasury Management Annual Report 2015/16 DOCX 166 KB

Minutes:

The Committee gave consideration to the report and appendices (at pages 54 - 66) as delivered and summarised by the Interim Chief Finance Officer (Section 151 Officer) which should be read together with these minutes as a composite document.

 

Councillor J W Boyce moved the recommendation as set out at paragraph 2.1 of the report (at page 54).

 

The Chair seconded the recommendation.

 

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED THAT:

 

The contents of the report be noted by Members.

32.

Economic Regeneration Strategy 2015-2020 DOCX 64 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee gave consideration to the report and appendices (at pages 198 - 233) as delivered and summarised by the Planning, Development and Regeneration Manager which should be read together with these minutes as a composite document.

 

The Chair moved the recommendation as set out at paragraph 2.1 of the report (at page 200).

 

Councillor J W Boyce seconded the recommendation.

 

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED THAT:

 

The Economic Regeneration Strategy 2015-2020 as the Economic Regeneration Strategy for the Borough be adopted.

33.

North West Leicestershire Local Plan - Publication Version DOCX 61 KB

Minutes:

The Committee gave consideration to the report (at pages 234 - 235) as delivered and summarised by the Planning, Development and Regeneration Manager which should be read together with these minutes as a composite document.

 

Councillor J W Boyce moved the recommendation as set out at paragraph 2.1 of the report (at page 200).

 

The Chair seconded the recommendation.

 

Councillor J W Boyce advised Members that evidence-based work was currently being undertaken to renew this Council’s Local Plan which, once complete, would brought back as a report to subsequent meeting of this Committee.

 

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED THAT:

 

The comments set out in paragraphs 3.4 to 3.7 of the report as Oadby and Wigston Borough Council’s formal response to the publication version of the North West Leicestershire District Council Local Plan be approved.

34.

Christmas and Festive Lights pdf icon PDF 122 KB

Minutes:

The Committee gave consideration to the report as set out in the agenda supplement update (at pages 33 - 36) as delivered and summarised by the Planning, Development and Regeneration Manager which should be read together with these minutes as a composite document.

 

The Chair moved the recommendations as set out at paragraph 2.1 of the report (at page 33).

 

Councillor K J Loydall seconded the recommendations.

 

The Chair commended the success of the switching-on of the Christmas lights event in Oadby in the year previous and expressed his gratitude to all those involved.

 

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED THAT:

 

(i)     The issues experienced during the 2015/16 festive period and the works that will be put in place during the year to rectify these be noted by Members; and

(ii)    The procedure for reporting of any Christmas light failures (as set out in section 7) be followed.