Venue: Civic Suite 0.1B, Pathfinder House, St Mary's Street, Huntingdon, PE29 3TN
Contact: Mr Adam Green, Democratic Services Officer (Scrutiny), Tel No. 01480 388008/e-mail Adam.Green@huntingdonshire.gov.uk
To approve as a correct record the Minutes of the Overview and Scrutiny Panel (Economy and Growth) meeting held on 8th March 2018 and the Minutes of the Overview and Scrutiny Panel (Performance and Growth) meeting held on 23rd May 2018.
Contact: A Green 388008
The Minutes of the meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Panel (Economy and Growth) held on 8th March 2018 and the Minutes of the meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Panel (Performance and Growth) held on 23rd May 2018 were approved as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.
To receive from Members declarations as to disclosable pecuniary and other interests in relation to any Agenda item.
No declarations of interest were received.
A copy of the current Notice of Key Executive Decisions is attached. Members are invited to note the Plan and to comment as appropriate on any items contained therein.
Contact: M Stimpson 388007
The Panel received and noted the current Notice of Key Executive Decisions (a copy of which is appended in the Minute Book) which has been prepared by the Executive Leader for the period 1st June 2018 to 30th September 2018.
The Panel are to receive the Authorisation of Modifications to the Huntingdonshire Local Plan to 2036 report.
Contact: C Kerr 388430
With the aid of a report by the Planning Service Manager (Policy, Implementation and Strategic Development) the report on the authorisation of modifications to the Huntingdonshire Local Plan to 2036 was presented to the Panel.
The Panel was informed that the report is asking them to consider a matter of procedure and not policy. The Planning Service Manager (Policy, Implementation and Strategic Development) informed Members that the inspector wants to begin inspection in July and that the report is recommending that the Head of Development writes to Inspector inviting modifications in order for the Local Plan to be found legally compliant and sound.
Members were informed of the issues facing the Development Management Committee when considering new developments and currently there is a tilted balance in the developers favour. The way to get back to balanced position is to have an updated Local Plan.
The Panel was informed that non-significant alterations would be made quickly and that significant alterations would be subject to a public consultation. It was explained that significant alterations are those that materially alter the Local Plan.
The Executive Councillor for Growth confirmed that the Local Plan has not changed since December 2017 and that the two sites brought forward since have been outside the plan and will be dealt with through the Development Management process.
Members were informed that all Members received bulletins with details of planning updates including when delegated authority has been used.
Following a question, it was explained to the Panel that the Housing and Economic Land Availability Assessment (HELLA) is a background document and not part of the Local Plan but it could be used if more housing is required to be included.
The Panel agreed to the recommendations contained in the report.
The Integrated Performance Report 2017/18 – Quarter 4 is to be presented to the Panel.
Contact: D Buckridge 388065
With the aid of a report by the Corporate Team Manager and the Finance Manager (a copy of which has been appended in the Minute Book) the Integrated Performance Report 2017/18 – Quarter 4 was presented to the Panel.
As the Members had the final performance for 2017/18, the Policy, Performance and Transformation Manager was in attendance and informed the Panel of the highlights for 2017/18. Members also received the highlights of the Council’s financial position from the Head of Resources.
The Panel was informed that the reason for the increase in complaints about missed bins is because of the Waste Round Reconfiguration. As a result of the reconfiguration, the days of bin collections had been changed and different drivers and crews had been allocated to the rounds and this led to some issues on the lack of knowledge. In addition, small lanes that were not on maps are where most bins were missed.
Regarding Project Management, Members were advised that some projects had a ‘Red’ status because the deadlines were unrealistic to begin with. It was explained that the Project Management Governance Board is taking a stronger role in holding Project Managers to account. There have been changes to the business case templates, more training has been provided and there is greater challenge from those approving and overseeing individual projects.
Members were informed that homelessness is measured at service level and that this is regularly reviewed by the Executive Councillor but that the indicator included in the 2017/18 Corporate Plan was the average length of stay in temporary accommodation. In addition to this the Council has a trailblazer project to tackle homelessness.
It was explained to the Panel that, as the finance is complex and interlinked, it would be difficult to identify the extra cost of getting back on track where a target is not being achieved but Officers would look into it.
The Panel was informed that improvement on delivering Disabled Facility Grants is continuing however delivery is getting more difficult every year as the Council are paying out more than they are receiving in grant from Central Government.
It was confirmed to Members that a performance indicator target is set at the beginning of the year however there is the opportunity to review this and if a good case is made to do so, or circumstances have significantly changed, then a revised target can be proposed for Member approval.
The Panel was informed that a report containing the cost of not filling vacancies and the impact on staff and service performance was due to be submitted to and discussed at the Employment Committee meeting on 28th June 2018.
A further explanation of why Operations had overspent their budget in 2017/18 was provided. Members were informed that the Waste Round Reconfiguration did not produce the savings anticipated. In addition, the Executive Councillor for Resources advised the Panel that the waste collection budget was also affected by the falling value of recyclable materials worldwide and rates of contamination in ... view the full minutes text for item 8.
The Treasury Management Annual Report 2017/18 is to be received by the Panel.
Contact: O Colbert 388067
With the aid of a report by the Head of Resources (a copy of which is appended in the Minute Book) the Treasury Management Annual Report 2017/18 was presented to the Panel. It was explained that Treasury Management Annual Report is the about the day to day management of the Council’s finances.
It was noted that the Council had loans to Huntingdonshire Regional College and Luminus and that since the loans were established those organisations had both been incorporated into larger organisations. However, it was clarified that those loans are secured against buildings.
Following a question, it was explained to the Panel that it was possible to refinance the loans however the Council would end up paying a penalty to the lender (Public Works Loan Board) to do so. This is particularly the case as the Council is holding loans with long maturity dates.
Members were informed that the aim of Treasury Management is to spread money around in order to mitigate the risk of a counterparty failure. If the Council consolidated the money in one investment then the risk would not be spread and the Council’s entire invested funds would be at risk.
(At 8.52pm, during the consideration of this item, Councillor M S Grice left the meeting.)
(At 8.54pm, during the consideration of this item, Councillor M S Grice entered the meeting.)
FORWARD WORK PROGRAMME - AGREEING THE AGENDA
The Panel is to have a discussion about possible work programme topics before agreeing the Panel’s work programme for the Municipal Year.
Contact: A Green 388008
With the aid of a presentation by the Corporate Director – Delivery, Members discussed potential Forward Work Programme and how it would work practically. The Panel was asked to consider how they can add value to their work and how it can benefit the Council and its residents.
The Panel was informed that the Council’s Annual Governance Statement has highlighted the following risks to the Council: Housing Affordability; growing number of years of ill health; wider economic environment; skills levels and educational attainment, and partner agency operational pressure.
Members were informed that the challenge for Huntingdonshire economically is not getting left behind and whether an industrial strategy would be worthwhile. The Panel was asked to consider how the Council could help make the economy successful.
The Panel highlighted the following areas of interest but stated they would give them more thought at the next Panel meeting:
· How can more businesses be attracted to the District.
· Joint working with the Overview and Scrutiny Panel (Customers and Partnerships).
(At 9.11pm, during the consideration of this item, Councillor Dr P L R Gaskin left the meeting and did not return.)