Agenda and minutes

Policy, Finance and Development Committee
Tuesday, 22nd July, 2014 7.00 pm

Venue: Council Offices, Station Road, Wigston. View directions

Contact: Ian Dobson  Email: ian.dobson@oadby-wigston.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies for absence

Minutes:

L Broadley, B Dave

2.

Appointment of Substitutes

Minutes:

None.

3.

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

None.

4.

Minutes of the last meeting pdf icon PDF 111 KB

Minutes:

The Committee agreed that Councillor K Loydall had declared an interest in relation to agenda item 14 which concerned Age UK, which had not been recorded in the minutes of the meeting of 25 March 2014.

 

RESOLVED: That the minutes of the previous meeting of the Committee held on 25 March 2014, be taken as read, confirmed and signed, subject to the amendment stated above.

5.

Action List pdf icon PDF 43 KB

Minutes:

The Director of Services updated Members on the progress of the demolition of the portacabins and confirmed that it would be complete before September 2014.

6.

Petitions and Deputations

Minutes:

None.

7.

Internal Audit Progress Report 2013/14 and 2014/15 pdf icon PDF 67 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered the report of the Chief Financial Officer which should be read in conjunction with these minutes as a composite document.

 

A Member of the Committee requested an update about work being carried out to identify external funding streams from Leicestershire County Council. The Chief Financial Officer confirmed that a full report would be brought to the next meeting of the Committee.

 

In response to questions from the Committee, the Head of Community reported that the Council is 100% up to date with gas safety checks at the time of the meeting. Further, the Internal Audit Manager confirmed that systems and processes were now in place to prevent any slippage going undetected.

 

The Head of Internal Audit reported that CW Audit had been commissioned to complete work in respect of Protecting the Public Purse which would be reported to the next meeting.

 

RESOLVED: That Members noted the contents of the report for 2013/14 and 2014/15.

8.

Internal Audit Annual Report 2013/14 pdf icon PDF 72 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered the report of the Chief Financial Officer which should be read in conjunction with these minutes as a composite document.

 

The Head of Internal Audit confirmed that his overall opinion is that significant assurance can be given that there is a generally sound system of internal control. He went on to say that issues relating to health and safety, payroll and expenses and housing responsive repairs should be declared in the Annual Governance Statement.

 

The Internal Audit Manager confirmed that significantly improved internal controls to deal with housing responsive repairs will be embedded by the implementation of the Orchard software system.

 

The Chairman requested that in the event of follow up work being required in the future, that a report is brought back to the committee highlighting the revised level of assurance.

 

RESOLVED: That Members noted the contents of the report.

9.

Provisional Committee Budget Outturn Report - 2013/14 pdf icon PDF 68 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered the report of the Chief Financial Officer which should be read in conjunction with these minutes as a composite document.

 

RESOLVED: That the reported outturn positions be noted.

10.

Overall Provisional Budget Outturn Report - 2013/14 pdf icon PDF 83 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered the report of the Chief Financial Officer which should be read in conjunction with these minutes as a composite document.

 

The Chief Financial Officer informed Members that the provision of a Budget Equilibrium Reserve would help to get over the main financial difficulties arising out the reduction in funding from Central Government in 2014/15.

 

RESOLVED: That

 

1.    the report and overall provisional outturn positions for both the General Fund and the Housing Revenue Account 2013/14 be noted.

 

2.    the requested revenue and capital carry forwards for both the General Fund and Housing Revenue Account as set out in Appendix 3 of the report be approved.

 

3.    the transfer of £200,000 from the General Fund Reserve to the Budget Equilibrium Reserve be approved.

11.

Committee Budget Review - April to May 2014 pdf icon PDF 54 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered the report of the Chief Financial Officer which should be read in conjunction with these minutes as a composite document.

 

The Chief Financial Officer commented that the report was being made very early in the financial year and so only April and May were available for consideration.

 

RESOLVED: That the reported positions be noted.

12.

Draft Annual Governance Statement 2013/14 pdf icon PDF 180 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered the report of the Chief Financial Officer which should be read in conjunction with these minutes as a composite document.

 

RESOLVED: That the Draft Annual Governance Statement (2013/14) be approved and referred to the Leader of the Council and Chief Executive for formal certification.

13.

Resident Forum Outturn Budget Position and Allocation Requests pdf icon PDF 50 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered the report of the Chief Financial Officer which should be read in conjunction with these minutes as a composite document.

 

The Chief Financial Officer reported that there were no additional requests from Wigston Residents Forum, which met after the report had been published.

 

The Committee commented that the commemorative banner requested by Oadby Residents Forum should include appropriate commemorative wording which does not imply celebration.

 

The Leader of the Council requested that additional funds be allocated to the Forums during the next budget setting process.

 

RESOLVED: That

 

  1. the Forum budget positions be noted.

 

  1. the ongoing forum schemes have their budgets carried forward for completion in 2014/15.

 

  1. the allocation requests contained within the report be approved.

14.

Adoption of Terms of Reference for Customer Services Task Group pdf icon PDF 45 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered the report of the Chief Executive which should be read in conjunction with these minutes as a composite document.

 

The Director of Services informed Members that the Customer Service Task Group had agreed a number of outcomes, which had been incorporated into a standard terms of reference template.

 

Some discussion took place around the specific wording of the outcomes.

 

RESOLVED: That the terms of reference be adopted.

15.

Investors in People (Outcomes) pdf icon PDF 59 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered the report of the Head of Corporate Resources which should be read in conjunction with these minutes as a composite document.

 

The Head of Corporate Resources informed Members that the Investors In People accreditation had now been maintained for the past 18 years. She went on to say that the assessment had led to the creation of a continuous improvement plan, which is currently on target.

 

The Leader of the Council thanked all staff for their contribution to the assessments and the subsequent accreditation. He went on to request that enquiries be commenced for ISO (International Organisation for Standardisation) accreditation.

 

RESOLVED: That the Investors In People report and continuous action plan be noted.

16.

Local Development Scheme pdf icon PDF 53 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered the report of the Planning Policy and Regeneration Manager which should be read in conjunction with these minutes as a composite document.

 

RESOLVED: That the Local Development Scheme 2014 be approved for publication.

17.

Strategic Housing Market Assessment and Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment Update pdf icon PDF 266 KB

Minutes:

The Committee considered the report of the Planning Policy and Regeneration Manager which should be read in conjunction with these minutes as a composite document.

 

The Planning Policy and Regeneration Manager informed Members that a Memorandum of Understanding which is currently being prepared will be brought to Committee at a later date. He went on to say that the content of this is currently being considered by councils within the Housing Market Area.

 

RESOLVED: That the contents of the report be noted.

18.

Joint Strategic Planning Manager pdf icon PDF 54 KB

Minutes:

The Committee considered the report of the Planning Policy and Regeneration Manager which should be read in conjunction with these minutes as a composite document.

 

RESOLVED: That approval be given

 

  1. for the Council to become an equal partner in the finding and setting of work priorities for a Joint Strategic Planning Manager in the Leicester and Leicestershire Housing Market Area.

 

  1. for the Council to contribute 10% of the total cost equating to a maximum contribution of £7k per annum for two years (2014/15 and 2015/16).

19.

Blaby Road Park Pavilion pdf icon PDF 55 KB

Minutes:

The Committee considered the report of the Planning Policy and Regeneration Manager which should be read in conjunction with these minutes as a composite document.

 

In response to a question from a Member, the Planning Policy and Regeneration Manager confirmed that the £100k cost for the contracting of a project manager and for the delivery of the project will be met entirely through section 106 agreement monies associated with the Tesco store development in South Wigston.

 

He went on to confirm that the toilet would be secured at night. 

 

RESOLVED: That the Council contracts the services of a project manager to progress and deliver the refurbishment and extension of Blaby Road Park Pavilion, including the cost of a fully accessible public toilet at an approximate cost of £100k using funding remaining from the Section 106 agreement associated with the Tesco store development in South Wigston.

20.

Progress with Development Opportunities in the Borough pdf icon PDF 72 KB

Minutes:

The Committee considered the joint report of the Planning Policy and Regeneration Manager and Head of Community which should be read in conjunction with these minutes as a composite document.

 

The Head of Community confirmed that the property would be exempt from the Right To Buy Scheme, due to the adaptations that would be required.

 

A Member of the Committee enquired after the rights of succession in circumstances of disabled persons and the position in relation to carers. In response, the Head of Corporate Resources advised that the legal position would have to be considered and clearly set out in any such tenancy agreement.

 

In response to a question from a Member, the Head of Community confirmed that the announcement in respect of a proposed affordable housing development at Bennett Way is due to be made at the end of July 2014.

 

RESOLVED: That

 

  1. the position with regard to development opportunities in the Borough be noted.

 

  1. that delegated authority be given to Officers to explore the possibility of purchasing a suitable property for a family with two young children with disabilities to add to the Council’s housing stock within current market values of £189k – £200k.

21.

Disability Facilities Grant (DFG) pdf icon PDF 72 KB

Minutes:

The Committee considered the report of the Head of Community which should be read in conjunction with these minutes as a composite document.

 

RESOLVED: That additional capital funding of £257k be made available to meet current demand for Disabilities Facilities Grants as recommended by Service Delivery Committee.

22.

41 Canal Street, South Wigston pdf icon PDF 68 KB

Minutes:

The Committee considered the report of the Planning Policy and Regeneration Manager which should be read in conjunction with these minutes as a composite document.

 

RESOLVED: That further Expressions of Interest be sought for an appropriate development partner to enable the compulsory purchase of the building and refurbishment for an appropriate use.

23.

Noise Nuisance Investigation Policy 2014-17 pdf icon PDF 47 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered the report of the Head of Community which should be read in conjunction with these minutes as a composite document.

 

The Head of Community informed Members that the proposed policy seeks to address noise complaints in a wider context than that of statutory nuisance, to improve the Council’s response to such issues through the newly established Corporate Enforcement Team. She went on to say that the Policy incorporates a framework for Environmental Health’s use of new powers contained within the Anti-Social Behaviour and Policing Act 2014.

 

A Member of the Committee congratulated the Head of Community on the Policy and commented that aspects of the new powers contained within the Anti-Social Behaviour and Policing Act 2014 would require consideration by the Community Safety Partnership and its partners which would inform how certain procedures would work in practice.

 

The Head of Community confirmed that partnership working would be a key element to proper use of the Policy, as specified within the Policy and report. She went on to say that it was important for the Council to have a sound basis for dealing with noise nuisance.

 

The Head of Corporate Resources confirmed that the requirements of the new act had been considered carefully which was reflected in the Policy to allow for it to be updated accordingly through delegated powers that had been requested by the Head of Community.

 

RESOLVED: That the Policy be adopted and that delegated powers be given to the Head of Community to amend the Policy when the new powers contained within the Anti-Social Behaviour and Policing Act 2014 are in effect.

24.

Private Sector Housing Renewals (Financial Assistance) Policy 2014/17 pdf icon PDF 52 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered the report of the Head of Community which should be read in conjunction with these minutes as a composite document.

 

RESOLVED: That the review Private Sector Housing Renewals (Financial Assistance) Policy 2014/17 be adopted as recommended by Service Delivery Committee.

25.

Environmental Information Regulations 2004 Policy pdf icon PDF 47 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered the report of the Head of Corporate Resources which should be read in conjunction with these minutes as a composite document.

 

RESOLVED: That

 

  1. the Policy be adopted for use across all Council Services.

 

  1. the scale of charges attached at appendix 1 of the report be adopted for use by the Council.

26.

Corporate Enforcement and Prosecution Policy pdf icon PDF 47 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered the report of the Head of Corporate Resources which should be read in conjunction with these minutes as a composite document.

 

The Head of Corporate Resources informed the Committee that the Policy will allow effective, efficient and consistent governance of enforcement matters across all regulatory services.

 

Several Members commented on the overdue need for such a process to be introduced and thanked the Head of Corporate Resources and the Solicitor for this policy and initiative.

 

RESOLVED: That the Policy be approved and adopted for use across all of the Council’s regulatory services.

27.

Revised Corporate Resources Policies (HR) pdf icon PDF 52 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered the report of the Head of Corporate Resources which should be read in conjunction with these minutes as a composite document.

 

The Head of Corporate Resources informed Members that work had been undertaken to update and refresh the Policies in line with legislative changes.

 

RESOLVED: That the Policies be approved and adopted.

28.

Complaints, Compliments and Comments Policy pdf icon PDF 48 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered the report of the Head of Corporate Resources which should be read in conjunction with these minutes as a composite document.

 

The Paralegal informed the Committee that the Policy ensures a fair and consistent approach for recognising compliments, dealing with comments and handling complaints.

 

The Leader of the Council commended the Policy and requested that consideration is given to a support mechanism for Member involvement in dealing with complaints.

 

RESOLVED: That the Policy be approved and adopted.

29.

Adoption of Open Spaces pdf icon PDF 56 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered the report of the Head of Corporate Resources which should be read in conjunction with these minutes as a composite document.

 

The Paralegal informed the Committee that the report seeks authority to liaise with landowners and adopt if it is within the Council’s interests to do so.

 

The Committee discussed this matter and agreed with the principle of the proposal. It was requested that a further report be brought back to the Committee with projected costs and ongoing costs following contact being made with the respective landowners.

 

The Paralegal updated the Committee on a recent piece of work undertaken by the Legal Team in registering land ownership records with the Land Registry.

 

He went on to suggest that a reconciliation exercise could be undertaken to inform a Borough wide strategy for the adoption of open spaces and brought back to the Committee, which was welcomed by Members.

 

RESOLVED:

 

  1. That delegated authority be given to the Legal Team to make contact with the respective owners of the open spaces in Oadby Woodlands Ward and a further report with costs and ongoing costs is brought to a future meeting.

 

  1. That a reconciliation exercise be undertaken to identify a strategy for dealing with similar open spaces across the Borough in consultation with the Greening of the Borough Task Group.

30.

Annual Review of Local Government Ombudsman Complaints pdf icon PDF 53 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered the report of the Head of Corporate Resources which should be read in conjunction with these minutes as a composite document.

 

The Head of Corporate Resources explained that she had submitted an appeal in respect of the complaint that was upheld and was confident that the LGO would reconsider the further information that was being submitted.

 

RESOLVED: That the contents of the report be noted.

31.

Future Burial Provisions pdf icon PDF 56 KB

Minutes:

The Committee considered the report of the Chief Financial Officer which should be read in conjunction with these minutes as a composite document.

 

The Chief Financial Officer informed Members that consultation was ongoing with faith leaders and a further report would be brought to the next meeting of this Committee.

 

RESOLVED:

 

  1. That the report be noted.

 

  1. That the Chief Financial Officer be approved to monitor and increase the total budget for this expenditure by virement.

32.

Leisure Contract Update

Minutes:

The Director of Services provided an update in relation to the Brocks Hill Café which is currently being operated by the leisure management contractor, Sports Leisure Management (SLM). Members heard that concern in relation to the disparity between the pricing structure at the inspection of the Daventry site and Brocks Hill Café is due to a refresh of all prices across all SLM sites.

 

She went on to say that the operation of the site would continue to be monitored. It was noted that Brocks Hill staff that were formerly involved in the operation of the Café have now been freed up for other duties.

 

The Director of Services confirmed that the demolition of Wigston swimming pool would commence in the next 3 weeks and take around 2 weeks to complete.

33.

Exclusion of Press and Public

Minutes:

RESOLVED: That under Section 100 A (4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the press and public be excluded from the remainder of the meeting on the grounds that the business to be transacted involves the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Act (as amended).

34.

Leisure Contract Management Update

Minutes:

The Leader of the Council requested an explanation from the Director of Services and Chief Financial Officer of the reasons that the supplementary report had been deemed to be exempt from access to information requirements and not to be included on the open agenda.

 

The Director of Services explained the reasons for the exempt report was that negotiations were still ongoing and went on to confirm that a full public report would be brought before the committee once these have been concluded.

 

The Committee considered the report of the Director of Services which should be read in conjunction with these minutes as a composite document.

 

The Director of Services reported to the Committee that abnormal ground conditions at Parklands and Wigston swimming pool have been identified by the contractor which has resulted in additional provisional costs being put forward.

 

These are being looked at by the Council’s independent consultants.

 

RESOLVED: That the recommendations contained within the report be adopted.

35.

Sports Ground, Leicester Road, Countesthorpe

Minutes:

The Committee considered the report of the Chief Financial Officer which should be read in conjunction with these minutes as a composite document.

 

RESOLVED: That the recommendations contained within the report be adopted.

36.

Customer Service Transformation Programme

Minutes:

The Committee considered the report of the Director of Services which should be read in conjunction with these minutes as a composite document.

 

RESOLVED:           

 

  1. That Members endorse and support the Customer Service Transformation Programme as set out in this report

 

  1. That Members determine option E as the option they wish to pursue in respect of the location of the transformed Customer Services following the additional information obtained and included as requested by the Task Group

 

  1. That Members agree the project plan for option E as set out in Appendix 2 of this report.

 

  1. That Officers commence negotiations for the lease of the property in Wigston as an identified site for Option E and to bring a full business case of all the costings for Option E to the next meeting of this committee with more details of costs savings.

 

  1. That a series of standards for service delivery of customer services need to be established through further consultation with residents for consideration by the Task Group and approval by the Policy, Finance and Development committee

37.

Adoption And Purchase of Open Space Land Known as Oadby Grange Country Park

Minutes:

ADOPTION AND PURCHASE OF OPEN SPACE LAND KNOWN AS OADBY GRANGE COUNTRY PARK

 

The Committee considered the report of the Head of Corporate Resources which should be read in conjunction with these minutes as a composite document.

 

The Chair thanked the Head of Corporate Resources and her team for their successful negotiations, in bringing this longstanding matter arising out of a s.106 agreement, to an end. 

 

Members requested that the matter be referred to Place Shaping Working Group to work up the detail of the County Park proposals.

 

RESOLVED: That the entire site known as Oadby Grange Country Park, as negotiated and agreed in principle with the land owner be approved and adopted as set out in recommendation 2 of the report.

 

38.

Customer Services Review

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