Venue: Meeting will be held in accordance with SI 2020/392. Link to the live stream is found here: https://www.tendringdc.gov.uk/livemeetings
Contact: Keith Simmons Tel: 01255 686580 or by Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Note: Link to the live stream is found here: https://www.tendringdc.gov.uk/livemeetings
Apologies for Absence and Substitutions
The Committee is asked to note any apologies for absence and substitutions received from Members.
An Apology for absence was submitted on behalf of Councillor Harris (with Councillor Alexander substituting).
To confirm as a correct record, the minutes of the last meeting of the Committee, held on 9 July 2020.
It was RESOLVED that the Minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on Thursday 9July 2020 be approved as a correct record and were be signed by the Chairman.
Declarations of Interest
Councillors are invited to declare any Disclosable Pecuniary Interests or Personal Interest, and the nature of it, in relation to any item on the agenda.
There were none on this occasion.
Questions on Notice pursuant to Council Procedure Rule 38
Subject to providing two working days' notice, a Member of the Committee may ask the Chairman of the Committee a question on any matter in relation to which the Council has powers or duties which affect the Tendring District and which falls within the terms of reference of the Committee.
Pursuant to the provisions of Council Procedure Rule 38, Councillor Griffiths asked the Chairman of the Committee:-
“With reference to the Resources and Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee, on Thursday 13 August, and with reference to Garden Communities Project page 53.
Would it be possible to outline the cost pressures and costings relating to this project?
In relation to
a) past expenditure and costings
b) current expenditure. and costings
c) financial risks and cost pressures relating to recent decisions by Colchester Borough Council, in relation to Garden Communities, and the financial impact and costings of those decision on Tendring District Council”.
The Chairman responded to Councillor Griffiths’ question as follows:-
“To date, the cost of the project has been met from contributions from the Government and each of the 4 partnering authorities.
In terms of the contributions that this Council has made to the project, these total £950k to date.
The latest position covering the points raised, including the recent decision of Colchester Borough Council was set out in an associated report to Cabinet on 24 July 2020.
As set out in the recommendations of that report, Cabinet noted Colchester Borough Council’s disappointing decision not to approve their partnership contribution to the NEGC project and requested the Leader of Tendring District Council to formally write to Colchester to express its concerns with regard to future working arrangements and seeking clarity around remedying their equal share of project responsibilities.
The letter from the Leader has been sent to Colchester Borough Council with a response still awaited.
An upcoming meeting of the NEGC Joint Scrutiny Panel is scheduled to consider these issues further along with exploring the various options to take the project forward”.
To provide an overview of the Council’s financial outturn for the year 2019/20 and the allocation of the associated General Fund Variance for the year.
A report was provided to the Committee of an overview of the Council’s financial outturn for the year 2019/20 and the allocation of the associated General Fund Variance for that year. The reports considered by the Corporate Finance and Governance Portfolio Holder on 17 July 2020 in respect of the Financial Outturn 2019/20 position and by Cabinet on 24 July 2020 (Minute 40 refers) in respect of the Outturn 2019/20 and propose allocation of the General Fund variance for the year were submitted to the Committee to assist it with its scrutiny of those matters.
The Committee was advised that on 17 July 2020 the Corporate Finance and Resources Portfolio Holder had considered the Financial Outturn 2019/20 and made the following decision:-
“That the Corporate Finance and Governance Portfolio Holder:-
(a) notes the financial outturn position for 2019/20 as set out in this report and appendices;
(b) approves the financing of General Fund capital expenditure for 2019/20 as detailed in Appendix D;
(c) approves the movement in uncommitted and earmarked General Fund reserves for 2019/20 set out in Appendix E;
(d) approves the qualifying carry forwards totalling £17.914m (£9.518m Revenue and £8.396m Capital) as set out in Appendix K;
(e) agrees that all other carry forwards totalling £0.658m requested by services be transferred to the relevant earmarked reserve pending consideration by Cabinet at its July 2020 meeting;
(f) that subject to the above, approves that the overall General Fund Outturn Variance for the year of £0.862m be transferred to the Revenue Commitments reserve until Cabinet formally considers the allocation of this funding at its July 2020 meeting;
(g) in respect of the HRA, approves the movement on HRA balances for 2019/20 including any commitments set out within Appendices H and/or I along with recharges to the HRA from the General fund of £2.808m for the year and the financing of the HRA capital expenditure set out in Appendix I; and
(h) delegation be given to the Council’s S151 Officer, in consultation with the Corporate Finance and Governance Portfolio Holder, to adjust the outturn position for 2019/20 along with any corresponding adjustment to earmarked reserves as a direct result of any recommendations made by the Council’s External Auditor during the course of their audit activities relating to the Council’s 2019/20 accounts.”
On 24 July 2020, Cabinet considered the Outturn 2019/20 and the Proposed Allocation of the General Fund Variance for the Year and made the following decision:-
(a) agrees that the total of £0.658m requested by Services can be retained by them via the associated carry forward requests, as set out in Appendix A to item A.6 of the Report of the Corporate Finance and Governance Portfolio Holder; and
(b) approves the allocation of the General Fund Variance for the year of £0.862m as set out in Table 1 of the Portfolio Holder’s report and repeated below:-
To enable the Committee to contribute to the development of ‘Priorities and Projects’ to be incorporated as part of the Council’s Back to Business and Recovery Plan, and Performance Management framework for the Council for 2020/21 in advance of any decisions by Cabinet/Council on those matters.
The Committee had before it a report of the Assistant Director of Governance regarding the development of ‘Priorities and Projects’ that was incorporated as part of the Council’s Back to Business and Recovery Plan, and Performance Management framework for the Council for 2020/21 in advance of any decisions by Cabinet/Council on those matters. The report included an Appendix prepared by the Assistant Director of Finance which drew together the numerous proposals and concepts arising from a survey of businesses locally, from individual Councillors and from Officers to help the District to build back better following the economic and social impact locally of the lockdown associated with the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Chairman of the Committee expressed his appreciation for the work of the Deputy Leader in launching the initiative to gather ideas to address locally the challenges arising from the lockdown.
The Committee was invited to identify its collective view on the themes and activities that should be key strands of work to focus on helping the district recover and included restarting the local economy, keeping residents and visitors safe and harnessing the power of the voluntary sector to deliver much needed services and improve the quality of life locally.
It was RECOMMENDED that Cabinet considers the following as it formulates its back to business strategy and the content of that strategy:
· In considering business development and encouragement, there should be an element that recognises the enduring and ongoing need for a range of service trades (such as plumbing, engineering, building and carpentry) – support for those business should not be overlooked and there should be engagement with other agencies to support training opportunities locally in the skills and competencies to work in those service trades.
· Similar to the above, there was an opportunity to look at opportunities to support skills development and business location associated with the off shore wind farm industry and green initiatives to lower energy usage and costs associated with that energy use (around heating, insulation and cooling) and providing services to other businesses to harness the same energy reduction measures.
· The District had tremendous potential for tourism. But this needed to harness the separate and distinct elements across the District. Branding around the opportunities and attractions of the Tendring Peninsula were critical to this to avoid visitors just visiting one town or village and not benefitting from the richness that the wider District has to offer. Part of this would be about developing and maintaining up to date directories of places to go and enjoy, to look early at promoting events to be held in 2021, to harness and reflect national and international interest such as in the years of the Olympic Games to promote related activities locally, but also to look at events and activities to try to appeal to potential visits throughout each month of the year. Increasing access to information about points and walks of interest, including facilitating elements of sampling digitally those walks, would increase interest in the Tendring peninsula going forward. ... view the full minutes text for item 74.
Agenda Items for September Meeting of the Committee
The Committee will consider and decide the proposed detail of the work to be completed at its meeting due to be held on 21 September 2020. The full Work Programme for the period October 2020 to April 2021 will then be considered at that meeting.
The Committee was advised that this meeting, and the Committee’s meetings in June and July, were extraordinary meetings and had concentrated scrutiny and overview work on particular themes. The remaining meetings of the Committee in 2020/21 were to be ordinary meetings for which a new work programme would be required.
The Committee noted that, further to Minute 73 above, it was envisaged that its meeting on 21 September 2020 would consider further the issue of projects and priorities (and delivery of those) and the related financial reserves and provisions. The Committee had also determined at its meeting on 17 February 2020 (Minute 54 refers) that there should be a further report from the Portfolio Holder for the Environment on the ambition/vision for the waste and recycling service in the District (including improving recycling levels further over the remainder of the current contract with Veolia).
The work programme for the period October 2020 to April 2021 would also be considered at the 21 September 2020 meeting.