Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Microsoft Teams Live Event - Remote

Contact: Victoria Foreman  Email: vforeman@selby.gov.uk or 01757 292046

Media

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillor W Nichols; Councillor R Packham was in attendance as a substitute for Councillor Nichols.

2.

Disclosures of Interest

A copy of the Register of Interest for each Selby District Councillor is available for inspection at www.selby.gov.uk.

 

Councillors should declare to the meeting any disclosable pecuniary interest in any item of business on this agenda which is not already entered in their Register of Interests.

 

Councillors should leave the meeting and take no part in the consideration, discussion or vote on any matter in which they have a disclosable pecuniary interest.

 

Councillors should also declare any other interests.  Having made the declaration, provided the other interest is not a disclosable pecuniary interest, the Councillor may stay in the meeting, speak and vote on that item of business.

 

If in doubt, Councillors are advised to seek advice from the Monitoring Officer.

 

Minutes:

There were no disclosures of interest.

3.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 155 KB

To confirm as a correct record the minutes of the meetings of the Scrutiny Committee held on 4 February and 13 February 2020.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered the minutes of the meetings held on 4 and 13 February 2020.

 

RESOLVED:

To approve the minutes of the Scrutiny Committee meetings held on 4 and 13 February 2020 for signing by the Chair.

 

4.

Chair's Address to the Scrutiny Committee

Minutes:

There was no Chair’s address to the Committee.

5.

Financial Results and Budget Exceptions Reports Quarter 3 (to 31 December 2019) and Quarter 4 (to 31 March 2020) pdf icon PDF 389 KB

Members are asked to consider the reports of the Chief Finance Officer which set out Financial Results and Budget Exceptions Reports for Quarters 3 and 4 respectively (Quarter 3 to 31 December 2019 and Quarter 4 to 31 March 2020).

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee received the reports of the Chief Finance Officer which asked Members to consider and comment on the financial information that covered both Quarters 3 and 4 of 2019-20.

 

Quarter 3

 

Officers explained that at the end of Quarter 3, the General Fund (GF) was forecasting a breakeven position. There continued to be a shortfall on planned savings and shortfalls on key income streams but these had been mitigated by in year savings. The Housing Revenue Account (HRA) was indicating a higher surplus than at Quarter 2 of (£180k). This was due to continuing lower external borrowing requirements partially offset by lower savings expected in the current financial year from the implementation of the new housing system.

 

The Committee noted that GF savings were showing a forecast shortfall of £353k and the HRA a shortfall of £195k as a result of delayed projects, and some reprioritisation. The capital programme was forecasting an underspend of (£23.6m); (£16.9m) GF and (£6.7m) HRA. In the general fund, £11.6m related to slippage in the Housing Trust loans budget. Proposals for phase 2 of the Housing Development Programme were currently being developed and would be put forward to the Executive when finalised.

 

Members acknowledged that the recently approved acquisition of the waste collection fleet and wheelie bins had been added to the capital programme, but the £4m cost of the vehicles was now not expected to be incurred until the first half of next year; therefore it was recommended that the budget be rolled into 2020/21.

 

In the HRA a number of programmes had been delayed whilst contracts were being procured, resulting in significant slippage. Expectations were that spend on these committed programmes would be completed in 2020/21 along with the further works already planned for that year.

 

The Programme for Growth was progressing well with projects delivering over multiple years. It was expected that funds from the business rates pool, towards the costs of Tour De Yorkshire and UCI cycling races, would be received in Quarter 4.

 

Quarter 4

 

Officers then took Members through the Quarter 4 report and explained that after carry forward requests, the Council’s year end results for 2019/20 showed a deficit of £363k including proposed carry forwards on the General Fund against budget. There were a number of variances (positive and negative) which made up the deficit, including: a shortfall on planned savings, adverse variances across a number of income streams, partly offset by in year staffing savings, higher investment income and unused contingency.

 

Members noted that the Housing Revenue Account showed a surplus of (£315k), which was mainly driven by lower external borrowing requirements, unused contingency, increased investment income and lower costs on premises cost. This was partly offset by a shortfall in savings due to the delays in the implementation of the housing system and increased void costs to assist with faster turnaround times. The surplus would be transferred to the Major Repairs Reserve to help fund future capital expenditure.

 

It was acknowledged by Members that planned  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.

6.

Treasury Management Quarterly Update Quarter 3 and Quarter 4 - 2019-20 pdf icon PDF 390 KB

Members are asked to consider the reports of the Chief Finance Officer whichreviews the Council’s borrowing and investment activity (Treasury Management) for the periods 1April to 31 December 2019 (Quarter 3) and 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2020 (Quarter 4), which present performance against the Prudential Indicators. 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee received the reports of the Chief Finance Officer for Quarters 3 and 4 of 2019-29, which asked Members to consider and comment on the information contained therein, to comply with the Treasury Management Code of Practice.

 

Members noted that the reports reviewed the Council’s borrowing and investment activity (Treasury Management) for the periods 1April 2019 to 31 December 2019 (Quarter 3) and 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2020 (Quarter 4) and presented performance against the Prudential Indicators.

 

Quarter 3

 

Officers explained that on average the Council’s investments totalled £63.9m over the first 3 quarters at an average rate of 0.92%, and had earned interest of £441k (£304k allocated to the General Fund; £137k allocated to the HRA) which was £114k above the year to date budget. Whilst cash balances were expected to reduce over the year, should interest rates remain static, forecast returns could be in the region of £572k, a budget surplus of £137k. However, a no-deal Brexit could lead to a cut in the Bank Rate and therefore the position would be kept under review.

 

The Committee were informed that in addition to investments held in the NYCC investment pool, the Council had £4.83m invested in property funds as at 31 December 2019, with a net rate of return of 2.42% (3.95% revenue return and 1.53% capital loss), and achieved revenue income of £146.2k to the end of Quarter 3 and a capital loss of £75.2k.

 

Officers also explained that long-term borrowing had totalled £59.3m at 31 December 2019, (£1.6m relating to the General Fund; £57.7m relating to the HRA). Interest payments of £2.5m were forecast for 2019/20, which was a saving of £0.3m against budget. The Council had no short term borrowing in place as of 31 December 2019. The Council’s affordable limits for borrowing were not breached during this period.

 

Quarter 4/Annual Review 2019-20

 

The Committee noted that the Council’s investments held in the NYCC investment pool totalled £66.04m over the year at an average rate of 0.91% and earned interest of £601k (£415k allocated to the General Fund; £186k allocated to the HRA) which was £166k above the total annual budget.  This exceeded estimates at Quarter 3, which remained prudent in the event that Brexit would result in a sharp decline in rates. For the General Fund £65k interest earned above a £350k threshold would be transferred to the contingency reserve.

 

Members were informed that in addition to investments held in the pool, the Council had £4.69m invested in property funds as at 31 March 2020. The funds achieved 3.46% revenue return and 4.54% capital loss. This resulted in revenue income of £168.9k to the end of Quarter 4 and an ‘unrealised’ capital loss of £222.8k. These funds were long term investments and changes in capital values were realised when the units in the funds were sold.

 

Officers gave details of the long-term borrowing that totalled £59.3m at 31 March 2020, (£1.6m relating to the General Fund; £57.7m relating to the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.

7.

Corporate Performance Report - Quarter 4 - 2019/20 (January to March)/Year End 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 390 KB

Members are asked to consider the report of the Head of Business Development and Improvement which provides a progress update on delivery of the Council’s Corporate Plan 2015-20, as measured by a combination of progress against priority projects/high level actions and performance against KPIs.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee received the report of the Head of Business Development and Improvement which asked Members to consider and comment on the performance information contained in the report.

 

Members noted that the quarterly corporate performance report provided a progress update on delivery of the Council’s Corporate Plan 2015-20 as measured by a combination of: progress against priority projects/high level actions, and performance against KPIs. The report before the Committee also included a year-end summary of progress on delivery of the Council’s Corporate Plan 2015-2020 as measured by year-end performance against KPIs in 2019/20 compared with year end data for KPIs in 2018/19.

 

Officers gave an overview of the report and detailed what had went well in Quarter 4; emergency response and support to residents and businesses during flooding in February and Covid-19 (which remained a live incident), Council housing rent and arrears collection, sundry debt collection, the average wait time in minutes before a customer phone call was answered by an advisor, access of benefits forms and taxation direct debit forms online and the average days to re-let standard voids.

 

However, the Committee also noted that performance had not been as good in some areas; average days sick per full time employee, number of affordable homes provided in the district, missed waste collections, number of SMEs supported, corporate complaints, visits to leisure centres and amount of planned savings achieved.

 

Members asked Officers to provide some further information on the costs of not re-letting void properties and on the provision of affordable homes, particularly what was causing the difference between the targets and the number of actual homes delivered.

 

RESOLVED:

i.             To note the Corporate Performance Report for Quarter 4 2019-20 (January to March)/Year End 2019-20.

 

ii.           To ask Officers to provide further information on the costs of not re-letting void properties and on the provision of affordable homes, particularly what was causing the difference between the targets and the number of actual homes delivered.

 

8.

Scrutiny Committee Annual Report 2019-20 pdf icon PDF 402 KB

Members are asked to consider the Scrutiny Committee Annual Report 2019-20 and to make any comments or suggestions as to how the format of the Committee’s Annual Report could be improved for future years.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Democratic Services Officer introduced the report which asked the Committee to approve the Scrutiny Committee Annual Report 2019-20 and make any comments or suggestions as to how the format of the Committee’s Annual Report could be improved for future years.

 

Members noted that the Scrutiny Committee was required, under Article 6 of the Constitution, to prepare an annual report reviewing its work during the previous municipal year.

 

The Committee confirmed that they were happy with the contents of the Annual Report 2019-20 as set out in the agenda.

 

RESOLVED:

To approve the Scrutiny Committee Annual Report 2019-20.

 

9.

Work Programme pdf icon PDF 329 KB

To consider the Committee’s work programme.

 

 

Minutes:

The Chair asked the Committee to consider and comment on their Work Programme for 2020-21.

 

RESOLVED:

To note the Work Programme for 2020-21 as circulated.