Agenda and minutes

Statutory Reports, Policy, Finance and Development Committee
Tuesday, 23rd September, 2014 7.00 pm

Venue: Council Offices, Station Road, Wigston

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

Items
No. Item

38.

Apologies for absence

Minutes:

L Broadley, K Loydall.

39.

Appointment of Substitutes

Minutes:

None.

40.

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

None.

41.

Minutes of the last meeting pdf icon PDF 96 KB

Minutes:

RESOLVED: That the minutes of the previous meeting of the Committee held on 22 July 2014, be taken as read, confirmed and signed.

42.

Petitions and Deputations

Minutes:

None.

43.

Action List pdf icon PDF 48 KB

Minutes:

Members noted the action list. It was confirmed by the Director of Services that the works to demolish the portacabins at the Council Offices would commence on Friday, 26 September 2014.

44.

ISA260 Annual Governance Report 2013/14 pdf icon PDF 60 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered the External Auditors Annual Governance Report for 2013/14 which should be read in conjunction with these minutes as a composite document.

 

The Director of KPMG Auditors summarised the key headlines as set out on page 20 of the report pages.

 

He stated that an unqualified audit opinion on the financial statements and value for money aspect submitted by the Council had been issued. He went on to state that a small number of non-trivial adjustments had been made by the Council which were of a presentational nature and had not impacted upon the General Fund.

 

He informed Members that a prior year adjustment had been made to reflect changes in the international accounting standard IAS19 Employee Benefits, which is not required. He went on to say that the explanation for this had been accepted and there were no changes to the accounts as a result.

 

Further, he stated that organisational controls were in place for effective control of the financial environment and value for money for the Council.

 

Members heard that one recommendation had been made in relation to the authorisation of Journals, which had already been actioned.

 

The Chairman commended the report and thanked the Finance team for their hard work.

 

RESOLVED: That the content of the Annual Governance Report produced by KPMG Auditors for 2013/14 be accepted.

45.

Annual Governance Statement 2013/14 pdf icon PDF 170 KB

Minutes:

The Committee considered the report of the Chief Financial Officer and Section 151 Officer as set out in report pages 33 – 52 which should be read in conjunction with these minutes as a composite document.

 

The Finance Manager informed Members that the draft report had been approved by the Committee in July and now required formal certification and approval by the Committee. He went on to say that the report gives significant assurance on governance arrangements.

 

 

A Member of the Committee raised concerns in relation to the action points that had been put in place for significant control issues in respect of housing repairs as set out in report pages 51. He contended that the action points did not match up with the identified issues and so it was not clear that the action had been carried out. He went on to make the point that the reports brought to committee should be clear and current as a matter of good governance.

 

The Director of Services confirmed that actions had addressed the issues identified and an update would be provided to Members by the Head of Community.

 

The Chief Executive confirmed that future reporting would be clear in this regard.

 

RESOLVED: That the Annual Governance Report for 2013/14 be approved.

46.

Treasury Management Outturn Report 2013/14 pdf icon PDF 134 KB

Minutes:

The Committee considered the report of the Chief Financial Officer and Section 151 Officer as set out in report pages 53 – 67 which should be read in conjunction with these minutes as a composite document.

 

The Finance Manager informed Members that the report confirmed that the treasury management function is operated in accordance with treasury management practices adopted by the Council, which are in line with Code of Practice on Treasury Management in Local Government.

 

In response to a question from a Member, the Finance Manager confirmed that investments could be withdrawn very quickly from institutions that drop below an acceptable rating. 

 

RESOLVED: That the report be noted.

47.

Statement of Accounts 2013/14 pdf icon PDF 90 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered the report of the Chief Financial Officer and Section 151 Officer as set out in report pages 68 – 213 which should be read in conjunction with these minutes as a composite document.

 

RESOLVED:

 

  1. That the Statement of Accounts for 2013/14 be approved and signed following the meeting.

 

  1. That the “Letter of Representation” be approved and signed following the meeting.

48.

Statement of Community Involvement pdf icon PDF 54 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered the report of the Planning Policy and Regeneration Manager as set out in report pages 214 – 253 which should be read in conjunction with these minutes as a composite document.

 

A Member of the Committee queried the low number of responses to the consultation.

 

The Planning Policy and Regeneration Manager confirmed that a full six week consultation had been sent to around 800 addresses and email addresses.

 

RESOLVED: That the report be noted and the Oadby and Wigston Statement of Community Involvement be adopted.

49.

Leicester and Leicestershire Housing Market Area Memorandum of Understanding pdf icon PDF 172 KB

Minutes:

The Committee considered the report of the Planning Policy and Regeneration Manager as set out in report pages 254 – 262 which should be read in conjunction with these minutes as a composite document.

 

The Planning Policy and Regeneration Manager informed Members that the Leicester and Leicestershire Housing Market Area Memorandum of Understanding demonstrates partnership working on strategic planning policy matters, in line with the requirements of the Duty to Co-operate.

 

A Member requested that copies of the minutes of the Member Advisory Group be provided to Members and that further information requests be followed up by the Leader of the Council, as the Member representative on the Group.

 

The Leader of the Council agreed to send the minutes to all councillors but made the point that these matters are dynamic and can change very quickly. He committed to continue updating Members at Council meetings.

 

In response to a question from a Member, the Leader of the Council confirmed that in the event of a decision being made at the Member Advisory Group under delegated powers, an update would be provided to Members as soon as possible.

 

RESOLVED:

 

  1. Approval be given for the Council to become a signatory to the ‘Leicester and Leicestershire Housing Market Area Memorandum of Understanding relating to Objectively Assessed Need for Housing’

 

  1. Delegate Authority to the Planning Policy and Regeneration Manager, in consultation with the Leader of the Council, to agree any subsequent changes to the Memorandum of Understanding that may arise through the Leicester and Leicestershire Member Advisory Group prior to signing the document. The Leader of the Council is the Borough Council’s Member representative on the Member Advisory Group.

50.

Investor Prospectus pdf icon PDF 99 KB

Minutes:

The Committee considered the report of the Planning Policy and Regeneration Manager as set out in report pages 263 – 268 which should be read in conjunction with these minutes as a composite document.

 

The Planning Policy and Regeneration Manager informed Members that display boards of the Investor Prospectus were available for inspection.

 

A Member commented that he had not been notified that display boards should be viewed prior to the meeting and requested that the meeting be adjourned for a short period so that Members could view the display boards. He asked for better planning and notification in future.

 

The meeting adjourned at 19:35 so that Members of the Committee could view the display boards.

 

The meeting reconvened at 19:39.

 

The Committee discussed the wording and presentation of the Investor Prospectus, which they agreed would appeal to investors. The Chairman requested that Members email the Planning Policy and Regeneration Manager directly with suggestions.

 

RESOLVED:

 

  1. The design and initial content of the Investor Prospectus be approved to allow printing to take place in October 2014.

 

  1. The launch of the Investor Prospectus be approved at a cost estimated to be in the region of £2500 to be funded from the Borough Marketing Budget.

51.

Food Waste Services pdf icon PDF 67 KB

Minutes:

The Committee considered the report of the Chief Executive as set out in report pages 269 – 271 which should be read in conjunction with these minutes as a composite document.

 

The Chief Executive summarised the report and informed Members that the recommendation to extend the existing trial period had been worked up by the Waste Task Group at it’s meeting on 20 August 2014.

 

He went on to remind Members that the scheme will be funded by a Department of Communities and Local Government grant until March 2015 but any continuation of the scheme would be fully funded by the Council.

 

The Leader of the Council emphasised that the scheme should be reviewed at the end of the first quarter of 2015/16 municipal year to allow for adequate consideration of the impact of any countywide scheme that may be developed.

 

RESOLVED:

 

  1. That the Council continues with the existing food waste trial collection scheme for the three rounds in Oadby, Wigston and South Wigston at a cost of £80k per year for the financial year 2015/16.

 

  1. That the funding for the continuation of the scheme should be considered as part of the 2015/16 budget setting process as it will no longer be possible to fund the scheme using the Government grant money which the Council received for 2013/14/15.

 

  1. That this position is reviewed in the first quarter of 2015/16 once it is known if there is the possibility of a countywide food waste recycling scheme being introduced.

52.

Procurement of Refuse Vehicles pdf icon PDF 67 KB

Minutes:

The Committee considered the report of the Chief Executive as set out in report pages 272 – 274 which should be read in conjunction with these minutes as a composite document.

 

The Chief Executive informed Members the current fleet of refuse vehicles require urgent replacement due to having reached the end of their useful life, which raises health and safety issues and increases the cost of keeping them in use. He emphasised that it was important to start the process now so that grant money from the Department of Community and Local Government could be utilised before the end of March 2015.

 

He went on to say that the procurement of new vehicles as a capital spend is recommended rather than entering into a lease agreement, which would increase future revenue costs at a time when savings were being looked at. Further, he added that the vehicles would need to be fit for purpose for around 7-10 years so good quality vehicles would be required.

 

In response to a question from a Member, The Chief Executive confirmed that the current fleet would gain a small receipt of around £15k.

 

RESOLVED:  That approval be given for the procurement of seven new refuse vehicles in order to ensure that an efficient and safe weekly Borough wide refuse collection service continues to be provided.

53.

Customer Services Transformation pdf icon PDF 116 KB

Minutes:

The Committee considered the report of the Director of Services as set out in report pages 275 – 283 which should be read in conjunction with these minutes as a composite document.

 

The Director of Services reported that work since the last meeting had been underway where more detailed costings and timescales had been worked up, which meant that the project would be delivered by June/July 2015 rather than February 2015 as originally proposed.

 

She informed Members that the project team were currently co-ordinating the transformation. It was noted that a change of use application, consideration of ICT systems, and consultations with staff had been undertaken. Members heard that positive feedback on the project had been received from customer service staff and managers across the organisation.

 

A Member of the Committee sought assurance that by voting on this matter, they would not be prejudiced from determining a change of use application for the proposed customer service property. The Director of Services confirmed that the change of use application would be a separate consideration based on planning merits and so a Member could vote on both matters.

 

 

The Leader of the Council noted that the transformation project would improve access to services and ease pressure on the back office by making simple transactions more automated, which will allow staff to deal with more complex matters and service users.

 

RESOLVED:

 

  1. That the lease of the identified premises and subject to the application for change of use being successful, be approved.

 

  1. That the budget allocation of £157,000 from within the existing 2014/15 capital programme for the project be approved.

 

  1. That an additional net annual revenue budget of £45,000 for the service as part of the 2015/16 budget setting process be approved.

 

  1. That a corporate customer service “vision” as set out below be adopted. “For residents to feel valued, respected, listened to and taken seriously whenever they have contact with the Council. The Council will achieve this by delivering a consistent and high level of customer service across the organisation.  Residents will be able to contact the Council easily and conveniently and the customer service they receive will fulfil their expectations.”

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