Agenda and minutes

Venue: Bromley Civic Centre

Contact: Philippa Gibbs  020 8461 7638

Items
No. Item

83.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE AND NOTIFICATION OF SUBSTITUTE MEMBERS

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Councillors Harmer, Cartwright and Rutherford.  Councillors Terry, Pierce and Onslow attended as their respective substitutes.

84.

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

Minutes:

Item 13 – Risk Management: Councillor Fawthrop declared an interest as an employee of British Telecom.  He also declared that his wife was an employee in the Council’s HR Department providing training to staff.

85.

QUESTIONS FROM COUNCILLORS AND MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC ATTENDING THE MEETING

In accordance with the Council’s Constitution, questions that are not specific to reports on the agenda must have been received in writing 10 working days before the date of the meeting. 

 

Questions specifically on reports on the agenda should be received within two working days of the normal publication date of the agenda.  Please ensure that questions specifically on reports on the agenda are received by the Democratic Services Team by 5pm on Thursday 14th November 2019.

Minutes:

No questions had been received.

86.

MINUTES OF THE EXECUTIVE AND RESOURCES PDS COMMITTEE MEETING HELD ON 9 OCTOBER 2019 (EXCLUDING EXEMPT ITEMS) pdf icon PDF 128 KB

Minutes:

The third bullet point on page 12 was amended to read:- ‘The Chief Executive was not aware of any plans to merge London boroughs and have 5 ‘Super Boroughs’.’

 

Subject to the addition of the above amendment, the Minutes of the meeting held on 9th October 2019 were agreed, and signed as a correct record.

 

87.

MATTERS OUTSTANDING AND WORK PROGRAMME pdf icon PDF 163 KB

Minutes:

Report CSD19164

 

The Committee considered a report setting out matters outstanding from previous meetings and the proposed work plan for 2019/20.

 

RESOLVED: That

 

  1. Progress on matters outstanding from previous meetings be noted; and

 

  1. The Work Programme for 2019/20 be noted.

88.

FORWARD PLAN OF KEY DECISIONS pdf icon PDF 129 KB

Minutes:

The Committee noted the Forward Plan of Key Decisions covering the period November 2019-February 2020.

89.

QUESTIONS TO THE PORTFOLIO HOLDER FROM MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC AND COUNCILLORS ATTENDING THE MEETING

In accordance with the Council’s Constitution, questions that are not specific to reports on the agenda must have been received in writing 10 working days before the date of the meeting. 

 

Questions specifically on reports on the agenda should be received within two working days of the normal publication date of the agenda.  Please ensure that questions specifically on reports on the agenda are received by the Democratic Services Team by 5pm on Thursday 14th November 2019.

Minutes:

In response to a question from Councillor Benington on the Executive’s consideration of the Council Tax report, the Director of Finance confirmed that meetings with Local Residents’ Associations were scheduled to take place over the next two weeks.

90.

RESOURCES, COMMISSIONING AND CONTRACTS PORTFOLIO - PRE-DECISION SCRUTINY

Portfolio Holder decisions for pre-decision scrutiny.

Minutes:

The Committee considered the following report where the Resources, Contracts and Commissioning Portfolio Holder was recommended to take a decision.

90a

TREASURY MANAGEMENT - QUARTER 2 PERFORMANCE 2019/20 & MID-YEAR REVIEW pdf icon PDF 266 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Report FSD19103

 

The Committee considered a summary of treasury management activity during the second quarter of 2019/20. The report also included a Mid-Year Review of the Treasury Management Strategy Statement and Annual Investment Strategy and ensured that the Council was implementing best practice in accordance with the CIPFA Code of Practice for Treasury Management.  Investments as at 30th September 2019 totalled £346m and there was no outstanding external borrowing.  For information and comparison, the balance of investments stood at £331.8m as at 30th June 2019, £311.6m as at 31st March 2019, and, at the time of writing the report (11th November 2019) it stood at £365.7m.

 

Members were advised that the budgeted income was £3.3m and the report referred to additional income of £500k projected for the current year.

 

In regard to paragraph 3.4.5, Councillor Mellor congratulated the Director of Finance on the recovery of £4,985k (leaving a balance of just 2%), following the administration of the Heritable Bank. 

 

The Project Beckenham Loan continued to generate income at a rate of 6%.  However, the property was now vacant and the developer had repaid £1m with £1.3m still outstanding.

 

RESOLVED: That the Portfolio Holder be recommended to:-

 

1.  note the Treasury Management performance for the second quarter of 2019/20; and

 

2.  recommend that Council approves the 2019/20 prudential indicators as set out in Annex B1.

91.

PRE-DECISION SCRUTINY OF EXECUTIVE REPORTS

Members of the Committee are requested to bring their copy of the agenda for the Executive meeting on 27 November 2019

Minutes:

The Committee considered the following reports on the Part 1 agenda for the meeting of the Executive on 27 November 2019

 

(6)  BUDGET MONITORING 2019/20

  Report FSD19102

 

The Committee considered a report which provided the second budget monitoring position for 2019/20 based on expenditure and activity levels up to the end of September 2019.

 

Referring to the £2m overspend, the Chairman emphasised the need for continuous efforts to be made to stay within budget.  The Director of Finance confirmed that the principle to contain costs was ever present and there needed to be justification and management action in place to mitigate against any overspends recognising that in some cases the overspend fell outside the Council’s direct control.

 

The report identified expenditure pressures which could have an impact on future years, particularly in the areas of Adult Care and Children’s Social Care.  Additional Government funding was expected next year however, these areas would still remain under pressure.

 

Where an overspend was the result of activity, the Council would need to be satisfied there was still enough value for money in that activity to support any additional spend.

 

Councillor Tickner queried the request for a further £25k to cover business rate charges, one of which was in a BID area.  The Director of Finance agreed to confirm with Councillor Tickner who would be responsible for paying this.

 

Discussion turned to the impact of the election on the local government settlement for 2020/21.  The Director of Finance advised that the statutory deadline for agreeing Council Tax was 11 March.  It was not clear when the final settlement would be known which could impact on the dates and arrangements for the final decisions to be made by Members.

 

RESOLVED: That the Executive be recommended to:-

 

1.  consider the latest financial position;

2.  note that a projected net overspend on services of £1,578k is forecast based on information as at September 2019;

3.  consider the comments from Chief Officers detailed in Appendix 2 of the report;

4.  note a projected variation of £281k debit from investment income as detailed in sections 3.5 and 3.6 of the report;

5.  note a projected increase to the General Fund balance of £814k as detailed in section 3.3 of the report;

6.  note the full year cost pressures of £5.2m as detailed in section 3.4 of the report;

7.  note the return of £37k to the 2019/20 Central Contingency relating to the Exchequer contract inflation as detailed in paragraph 3.2.2 of the report;

8.  note the return of £40k to the 2019/20 Central Contingency relating to the Mortuary contract as detailed in para. 3.2.2;

9.  note the return of £91k to the 2019/20 Central Contingency relating to the Exchequer contract as detailed in paragraph 3.2.2 of the report;

10.  agree to the release of £217k credit from the 2019/20 Central Contingency relating to savings allocated to the review of staffing as detailed in paragraph 3.2.3 of the report;

11.  agree to the release of £42k from the 2019/20 Central  ...  view the full minutes text for item 91.

92.

SCRUTINY OF THE PORTFOLIO HOLDER FOR RESOURCES, COMMISSIONING AND CONTRACTS MANAGEMENT pdf icon PDF 74 KB

(Report to follow)

Minutes:

The Portfolio Holder for Resources, Commissioning and Contracts Management, Councillor Graham Arthur, attended the meeting to respond to questions from the Committee. The Portfolio Holder had circulated a written update for the Committee prior to the meeting.  Councillor Arthur responded to questions, making the following comments –

 

·  In regard to the Exchequer Contract, the £12m initial investment made by the contractor related to digitalisation work and technology within customer services.  This was an invest to save initiative which would result in some benefit to other boroughs but would ultimately provide Bromley with the wider advantages that come with digitalisation.

 

·  In relation to budget overspend, there was concern that nationally, there appeared to be a significant amount of  spare money.  As a result, there was a danger that the public may think that the Council had plenty of funds available thereby increasing their expectation.  This assumption was wrong; the Council still had financial issues.  There was a need for greater awareness on what the Council can do and it was important to keep within spending limits.

 

·  The Bromley Staff Conference took place on 19 November with a second session scheduled for 21 November.  The conference centred around transformation, with a repeated theme about driving up services with sufficient finances.

 

·  A meeting between the Portfolio Holder and the Director of Corporate Services regarding additional signage/lighting etc. for polling stations during the coming General Election would shortly take place.

 

·  Options to change and simplify the Council’s procurement process would be reviewed in the future.

 

·  The Council’s Legal Team had successfully defended a challenge to the London Plan.

 

·  The Assistant Director, Governance and Contracts was taking a more pragmatic and flexible view in the way the procurement system operated, in particular the length of time taken from start to finish.  It was hoped that a review of the system would attract more tenders.

 

The Chairman thanked Councillor Arthur for his contribution.

93.

TFM CONTRACT REPORT pdf icon PDF 190 KB

(to follow)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Report DRR19/061

 

The Committee received an update on the Facilities Management offering by Amey Plc in respect of performance from January to September 2019 together with a detailed review of the approach Cushman and Wakefield had applied in relation to their targeted £1m savings from the TFM Contract.  The Chairman welcomed Mr Darren Nolan and Mr Mike Alder to the meeting who attended on behalf of Amey Plc and Cushman and Wakefield respectively. 

 

This item was further considered under the accompanying Part 2 report (Item 18).

 

RESOLVED: That the update be noted.

 

94.

RISK MANAGEMENT pdf icon PDF 139 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Report FSD19099

 

The Committee considered the current iteration of the Corporate Risk Register together with those for the Corporate Services, Finance, Human Resources and Customer Services departments. 

 

Councillor Wilkins requested an update on the current position in regard to the Finance Risk Register (Ref 5 on page 65 of the report).  The Director of Finance reported that this related to part of the scheduled transformation work and an update on the statutory review would be incorporated within the transformation plans which would be considered early in the new calendar year.  He confirmed that scrutiny of the arrangements would be considered by the ERC PDS Committee.

 

RESOLVED: That the report be noted.

 

95.

LOCAL GOVERNMENT ACT 1972 AS AMENDED BY THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT (ACCESS TO INFORMATION) (VARIATION) ORDER 2006, AND THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 2000

The Chairman to move that the Press and public be excluded during consideration of the items of business listed below as it is likely in view of the nature of the business to be transacted or the nature of the proceedings that if members of the Press and public were present there would be disclosure to them of exempt information.

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the Press and public be excluded during consideration of the items of business referred to below as it is likely in view of the nature of the business to be transacted or the nature of the proceedings that if members of the Press and public were present there would be disclosure to them of exempt information.

 

The following summaries

refer to matters involving exempt information

 

 

96.

EXEMPT MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 9 OCTOBER 2019

Minutes:

The Part 2 (exempt) minutes of the meeting held on 9th October 2019 were agreed, and signed as a correct record.

97.

PRE-DECISION SCRUTINY OF EXEMPT EXECUTIVE REPORTS

Minutes:

The Committee considered the following reports on the Part 2 agenda for the meeting of the Executive on 27th November 2019:

 

(25)   PROVISION OF HOUSING AT WEST WICKHAM LIBRARY AND STATION ROAD CAR PARK, WEST WICKHAM (PART 1)

  Report DRR19/054

 

Members also considered additional confidential information set out in the Part 2 (Exempt) report and made recommendations to the Committee.

 

No further comments were made.

98.

INVESTMENT PROPERTY PORTFOLIO REVIEW

Minutes:

The Committee considered the Part 2 (exempt from publication) review of the Council’s Investment Property Portfolio.

99.

TFM CONTRACT REPORT PART 2 INFORMATION

(to follow)

Minutes:

Report DRR 19/061

 

Members considered confidential information accompanying the Part 1 report at Item 12.

 

RESOLVED that the report be noted.

 

Original Text: