Agenda and minutes

Resources Overview & Scrutiny Panel
Wednesday, 28th November, 2018 10.00 am

Venue: The Council Chamber, Moorlands House, Leek

Contact: Pat Trafford, Democratic & Community Services Officer. Tel. 01538 395551 

No. Item


Notification of Substitute Members, if any


Councillor K Jackson noted that the Leader of the Council – Councillor Ralphs – who was Portfolio Holder for each of the items on the agenda, was not present. This was disingenuous.


Minutes of the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 96 KB


RESOLVED – That the Minutes of the meeting of the Resources Overview & Scrutiny Panel held on 3 October 2018 be APPROVED  as a correct record and signed by the Chair.



Urgent items of Business, if any (24 hours notice to be provided to the Chairman)


There were no urgent items.


Declaration of Interests:

      i.        Disclosable Pecuniary Interests;

     ii.        Other Interests.


There were no declarations of interest made.


Questions to Portfolio Holders, if any


There were no questions.


2nd Quarter 2018/19 Performance, Procurement & Financial Review pdf icon PDF 88 KB

Additional documents:


Claire Hazeldene – Finance, Income & Procurement Manager – summarised the Council’s position as at the end of the 2nd Quarter of 2018/19 (30 September 2018) as follows:-






The Finance headlines for the Second Quarter were:

Performance against Budget

·           The General Fund budget for 2018/19 was forecast to be £66,790 underspent at the Quarter Two stage.

Efficiency Programme

·           To date, £299,630 had been achieved against the 2018/19 efficiency target of £830,000.  At that stage the target was expected to be met with the impacts of any delays in any of the programmed projects offset by other efficiency savings e.g. staff vacancies.

Capital Programme

·           The revised Capital Programme budget for 2018/19 was £5.8 million including the carry forward of capital underspends from 2017/18.  The projected outturn for the year was £4.8million – with £1.1million of Asset Management Projects expected to be reprofiled into future years.

Treasury Management

·           Cash investments held at 30 September 2018 totalled £7.6 million. The Ascent loan and debenture stood at £14 million;

·           Council borrowing at 30 September 2018 totalled £12 million (relating to the Ascent loan);

·           The Council’s net interest receipts budget target was projected to be on target.

Revenue Collection

·           56.7% of Council Tax was collected by 30 September 2018, compared to 56.7% for the same period last year;

·           56.8% of Business Rates was collected by 30 September 2018 compared with 57.0% for the same period last year;

·           At the end of Quarter Two the value of sundry debt that was over 60 days old was £99,980 which compares with £103,240 at 30th September 2017.


Appendix A


The Procurement headlines for the Second Quarter were:

·         14 procurement activities were completed;

·         The Procurement forward plan included 63 procurement activities for 2018/19 (either SMDC only or joint);

·         At the 30th September 2018, 56% of procurement activity undertaken was on the forward plan and the Council paid 96% of its invoices within 30 days during the year.


Appendix B


The Performance headlines for the Second Quarter were:

·         75% of the key performance indicators were on track

·         Of the 25 Priority Actions within the Corporate Plan, two were still to commence, one was rated amber awaiting a decision, the remainder being classified as ‘Green’; and

·         The Council received 57 complaints, 102 comments and 40 compliments in the Second Quarter. Repeat complaints and response times both on track.


Appendix C


There was an extra section in the Finance part of the report which related specifically to Alliance Environmental Services (AES).


It was felt that projected savings may not be achieved within the year, but there were sufficient amounts shown as underspends to counteract this. Savings were on track to be achieved in the long term.


Responding to member queries, Andrew Stokes and / or Claire Hazeldene said as follows(responses in brackets):-


·         How does the figure of 96% of invoices paid within 30 days compare to other authorities? (Fairly good in comparison.)

·         Under the Capital Programme, the Asset Management Programme had been re-profiled?  ...  view the full minutes text for item 36.


Medium Term Financial Plan Update pdf icon PDF 83 KB

Additional documents:


Andrew Stokes confirmed that this report represented the start of the budget-setting process for 2019/20. The plan had been rolled forward to include the period up to 2022/23.


Progression against the efficiency programme was on target for 2018/19, but the ability to limit the impact of the reduction in central government support and achieve the overall 4 year programme was underpinned by the following:-


·         The realisation of savings from the continued implementation of the alternative delivery model for Waste, Streets and Parks via the transfer of services to trading company Alliance Environment Services;

·         A review of current leisure centre provision in order to reduce the Council’s subsidy;

·         The delivery of the Local Plan in order to achieve income generation from sustained housing and economic growth;

·         Reviewing fees and charges and identifying new sources of income generation;

·         Retained business rates through economic growth and the saving of the levy payable to central government as a consequence of the Council's membership of the Staffordshire Business Rates Pool (as per the current Business Rates system) and potential benefits if selected as a pilot County for 75% business rates retention in 2019/20.


A further update of the Medium Term Financial Plan would be provided when considering final budget proposals in February 2019. The following actions would need to be completed to ensure that the proposals were robust:-


·         Complete review of the Council's transformation programme and production of revised forecasts as required;

·         Development of the Council’s Capital Strategy and update on progress of the development of an Asset Management Strategy;

·         Development of detailed budget plans for 2019/20;

·         Development of detailed proposals for fees and charges increases;

·         Review progress of the efficiency programme;

·         Complete review of reserves and balances;

·         Continue to monitor the ongoing issues arising from the Autumn budget, retention of Business Rates and the associated financial implications for the Council.


The medium term general fund revenue position was tabulated as follows:-


 Summary Revenue Position














Revenue Consequences of Capital Spend (section 4.2)





Interest Rate Changes (section 5.1)





Inflation Pressures (section 5.2)





Increased / (Reduced) Budget Demand (section 5.3)





Budget Growth (section 5.4)





Increased Council Tax Income (section 6.1)





Business Rates Retention (section 6.2)





Changes in Collection Fund Surplus (section 6.3)





Reduction in Government Grant (section 6.4)





Additional Fees and Charges (section 6.5)





Contribution to / (Use of) Reserves & Balances (section 7.3)










In Year Change in Position





Existing Efficiency & Rationalisation Plan (section 4.3)





Growth Efficiencies Realised









Budget (Surplus) / Deficit





Cumulative (Surplus) / Deficit







Members raised the following points (responses in brackets):-


1.    Legislation changes regarding New Homes Bonus and Business Rates Retention  ...  view the full minutes text for item 37.


Work Programme pdf icon PDF 51 KB

Any additional items to be added to the Work Programme:-

      i.        Chairman’s items;

     ii.        Members’ items;

    iii.        Forward Plan.

Additional documents:


Andrew Stokes agreed to provide a report by way of an update on the ASCENT scheme to the next meeting of the Panel. The visit by Millbrook Healthcare Ltd was also added to the Work Programme for the next meeting.


RESOLVED – That, with the amendments as stated above, the Work Programme for the remainder of 2018/19 ne NOTED.