Agenda and minutes

Policy and Resources Select Committee
Monday, 22nd January, 2018 10.00 am

Venue: Wellington Room, Elizabeth II Court South, The Castle, Winchester

Contact: Email: members.services@hants.gov.uk 

Items
No. Item

26.

Apologies for absence

To receive any apologies for absence.

Minutes:

Apologies were received on behalf of Cllr Keith House. Cllr Mike Thornton, the Liberal Democrat Substitute Member, attended in his place.

27.

Declarations of interest

All Members who believe they have a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest in any matter to be considered at the meeting must declare that interest and, having regard to the circumstances described in Part 3 Paragraph 1.5 of the County Council's Members' Code of Conduct, leave the meeting while the matter is discussed, save for exercising any right to speak in accordance with Paragraph 1.6 of the Code. Furthermore all Members with a Non-Pecuniary interest in a matter being considered at the meeting should consider whether such interest should be declared, and having regard to Part 5, Paragraph 2 of the Code, consider whether it is appropriate to leave the meeting while the matter is discussed, save for exercising any right to speak in accordance with the Code.

Minutes:

Members were mindful that where they believed they had a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest in any matter considered at the meeting they must declare that interest at the time of the relevant debate and, having regard to the circumstances described in Part 3, Paragraph 1.5 of the County Council's Members' Code of Conduct, leave the meeting while the matter was discussed, save for exercising any right to speak in accordance with Paragraph 1.6 of the Code. Furthermore Members were mindful that where they believed they had a Non-Pecuniary interest in a matter being considered at the meeting they considered whether such interest should be declared, and having regard to Part 5, Paragraph 2 of the Code, considered whether it was appropriate to leave the meeting whilst the matter was discussed, save for exercising any right to speak in accordance with the Code.

28.

Minutes of previous meeting pdf icon PDF 72 KB

To confirm the minutes of the previous meeting

Minutes:

The minutes of the last meeting were reviewed and agreed.

29.

Deputations

To receive any deputations notified under Standing Order 12.

Minutes:

No deputations were received at this meeting.

30.

Chairman's Announcements

To receive any announcements the Chairman may wish to make.

Minutes:

The Chairman reported that Members of the Children & Young People Select Committee had requested to ‘Call In’ the decision of the Executive Lead Member for Children’s Services regarding proposals to close two overnight residential respite homes for children with disabilities. The Call In meeting was due to take place on 30 January 2018.

31.

2018/19 Revenue Budget Report for Policy and Resources pdf icon PDF 23 KB

For the Policy and Resources Select Committee to consider a budget setting report considered by Cabinet on 11 December 2017 for background, and to pre-scrutinise the proposed revenue budget for 2018/19 for Policy & Resources (which is due for consideration by the Executive Member for Policy & Resources at the decision day on 22 January 2018 at 2:00pm).

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Select Committee received a report and supporting presentation from the Chief Executive, Director of Culture, Communities and Business Services, Director of Corporate Resources and Director of Transformation and Governance, regarding the proposed Revenue Budget for 2018/19 for the services within the portfolio of the Executive Member for Policy & Resources (see Item 6 in the Minute Book). As background, the report considered by Cabinet on 11 December 2017 regarding Budget Setting and Provisional Cash Limits 2018/19 was also provided, to provide context for how the budgets had been set for 2018/19.

 

Members were informed about the latest financial position for the Council overall, and the position for the policy and resources budgets. In terms of the overall position, it was noted that pressures being experienced in Adults and Childrens services meant that there was likely to be a delay in delivery of their savings under the Transformation to 2019 programme. This would impact on capacity to respond to the next round of savings.

 

For the current budget preparation, it was noted that the council tax threshold prior to requiring a referendum had been raised by 1%. It would be for full Council to consider whether to take advantage of this in setting the council tax rate for Hampshire. A Fair Funding review was underway, however the results were not expected until 2020/21. It was expected that up to 75% of business rates would be retained by 20/21, however the business rates retention policy was based on fiscal neutrality, and would be re-set every few years, so a degree of re-distribution would remain.

 

Regarding the policy and resources budget, it was noted that this included the budget for Members grants, currently at £8,000 per year per member. This was currently being supported by reserves, following a decision to reduce this budget under Transformation to 2017, and would be subject to review again in 2018.

 

Members asked questions for clarification and debated the proposals. Members congratulated officers for creating a balanced budget in challenging circumstances.

 

Following the debate, the Chairman proposed the recommendation, which was carried (with four against) as follows;

 

RECOMMENDED:

 

The Policy and Resources Select Committee support the recommendations being proposed to the Executive Member for Policy and Resources to approve for submission to the Leader and the Cabinet:

·         The revised revenue budget for 2017/18 as set out in Appendix 1.

·         The summary revenue budget for 2018/19 as set out in Appendix 1.

32.

Capital programme for 2018/19 to 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 23 KB

For the Policy and Resources Select Committee to pre-scrutinise the proposals for the Policy and Resources Capital Programme for 2018/19 – 2020/21 (see report attached due to be considered by the Executive Member for Policy and Resources at 2:00pm on 22 January 2018).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Select Committee received a report and supporting presentation regarding the proposed Capital Programme for 2018/19 to 2020/21 for Policy & Resources (see Item 7 in the Minute Book).

 

Following the debate, the Chairman proposed the recommendation which was carried (4 against) as follows;

 

RECOMMENDED:

 

That the Policy and Resources Select Committee supports the recommendations being proposed to the Executive Member for Policy and Resources to approve for submission to the Leader and the Cabinet:

·         The capital programme for 2018/19 to 2020/21 as set out in Appendix 1.

·         The revised capital programme for 2017/18 as set out in Appendix 2.

33.

Annual IT update pdf icon PDF 222 KB

To receive an update from the Head of IT on behalf of the Director of Corporate Resources regarding IT activity over the past year, and priorities for the year ahead, including transformation to 2019 savings.

Minutes:

The Select Committee received a report on behalf of the Director of Corporate Resources by the Head of IT, providing the annual IT update (see Item 8 in the Minute Book). Members heard about the current context for IT, and activity over the past year. Looking forward, Members heard that priorities over the coming year included exploring opportunities for Robotic Process Automation, complete device refresh for staff, implementation of SharePoint for electronic document and records management and completing implementation of a new wireless network. IT were also heavily involved in supporting the rest of the organisation with Transformation to 2019 initiatives.

 

Members asked questions for clarification, and heard that it is normal in the IT industry to use contractors to supplement employed staff, to use resource efficiently against time limited projects. It was confirmed that a corporate allocation had been made of £32 million to support the delivery of other department’s transformation projects with a dependence on IT.

 

The desktop delivery model was being reviewed to support mobile working. The Chairman suggested a Member briefing on IT issues for Members when appropriate.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the report is noted.

34.

Trading Standards Transformation to 2019 Savings pdf icon PDF 856 KB

To receive a presentation on behalf of the Director of Culture Communities and Business Services regarding the transformation to 2019 savings requirements for the Trading Standards Service.

Minutes:

The Select Committee received a presentation on behalf of the Director of Culture Communities and Business Services, from the Head of Trading Standards (see Item 9 in the Minute Book). Members had requested to hear more about how the Trading Standards service planned to make their savings for the Transformation to 2019 programme.

 

Trading Standards had a target to make savings of £450,000 equivalent to 22% of their budget. The service was looking at ways to work more efficiently, being an early adopter of mobile devices and considering opportunities for robotic process automation. There were also income generation opportunities, working with businesses to recover the costs of providing support and expertise to them on standards issues.

 

Members asked questions for clarification. Members heard that an officer had been recruited by the Economy, Transport and Environment Department to focus on fly tipping, and was hosted by Trading Standards due to the link to rogue traders and the intelligence databases the team had access to.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the update is noted.

35.

Work Programme pdf icon PDF 212 KB

To review the work programme of topics to be considered by the Select Committee in future.

Minutes:

The Chairman presented the proposed work programme for the Select Committee, as updated since the last meeting (see Item 10 in the Minute Book).

 

It was noted that an update on the Transformation to 2019 programme could be considered for the April meeting, and the Chairman would meet with officers to consider suitable topics to further populate the work programme.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the Work Programme is agreed, subject to any amendments agreed at this meeting.