Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Bromley Civic Centre

Contact: Philippa Gibbs  020 8461 7638

Items
No. Item

12.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE AND NOTIFICATION OF SUBSTITUTE MEMBERS

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were submitted by Councillor Nicky Dykes.

 

Councillor Russell Mellor submitted apologies for lateness.

13.

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

Minutes:

There were no additional declarations of interest.

14.

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 25th June 2020.

Minutes:

No questions were received.

15.

MINUTES OF THE EXECUTIVE, RESOURCES AND CONTRACTS PDS COMMITTEE MEETINGS HELD ON 18 MAY 2020 AND 27 MAY 2020 (EXCLUDING EXEMPT ITEMS) pdf icon PDF 301 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The minutes of the  meetings held on 18th May 2020 and 27th May 2020, were agreed and signed as a correct record.

 

16.

FORWARD PLAN OF KEY DECISIONS pdf icon PDF 148 KB

Minutes:

The Committee noted the Forward Plan of Key Decisions covering the period June 2020 to September 2020.

 

Members noted that final proposals for accommodation arrangements at the Civic Centre had been delayed and would be presented as soon as possible.  It was agreed that if any proposals were developed before the end of July there should be a further meeting held in public to consider the proposals. 

 

It was further noted that it was anticipated that a Full Council meeting would take place on 20th July 2020, and this was likely to be a virtual meeting.

17.

PRE-DECISION SCRUTINY OF EXECUTIVE REPORTS DUE TO BE CONSIDERED BY THE LEADER OF THE COUNCIL pdf icon PDF 6 MB

Members of the Committee are requested to refer to the separate report pack containing proposed decisions for consideration by the Leader.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered the following Part 1 reports due to be considered by the Leader of the Council on or after 2nd July 2020.

 

(1)  BUDGET MONITORING 2020/21

  Report FSD20053

 

The report was split into two key elements. Firstly it provided the first budget monitoring position for 2020/21 based on expenditure and activity levels up to the end of May 2020, excluding the financial impact of COVID-19.  The report also highlighted any significant variations which would impact on future years as well as any early warnings that could impact on the final year end position. Secondly the report identified latest indications of the financial impact of the COVID-19 situation which, at this stage, needed to be treated with some caution as a result of the ongoing uncertainty arising from moving out of lockdown to transition and ultimately the ‘new normal’.

 

The Director of Finance reported that to date additional funding of £74.8m had been received from Government to support the local response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  In addition separate support for business rates was being provided.  Members noted that in reality, the full impact of the COVID-19 pandemic was not yet known.  There were not just issues with the costs associated with the pandemic; the Council had also experienced a significant loss of income.  At the moment the potential funding gap that had been identified stood at £27.9m. 

 

In response to a question concerning recovery of business rates, the Director of Finance explained that the Council would always seek to recover outstanding monies however if there was an impact on the Council it would not be seen immediately but would be evident in 2 or 3 years.

 

The Director of Finance emphasised that as a Local Authority Bromley was in a strong position to manage the financial challenges due to previous prudent financial management.  Members and Officers were lobbying hard on the issue of funding from Central Government to ensure that there was funding for the full costs of the COVID response as these additional and unexpected costs should not fall to local tax payers. 

 

RESOLVED: That the Leader be recommended to:

 

Financial Monitoring (excluding COVID-19 impact) 

  (a)  consider the latest financial position;

  (b)  note that a projected net overspend on services of £1,415k is forecast based on information as at May 2020.

  (c)  consider the comments from Chief Officers detailed in Appendix 2 of the report;

  (d)  note the carry forwards being requested for drawdown as detailed in section 3.3 of the report;

  (e)  note a projected reduction to the General Fund balance of £2,635k as detailed in section 3.4 of the report;

  (f)  note the full year cost pressures of £4.7m as detailed in section 3.5 of the report;

  (g)  agree to the release of £104k from the 2020/21 Central Contingency relating to rough sleepers initiative grant as detailed in para. 3.2.2 of the report;

  (h)  agree that a sum of £80k is set aside as an earmarked reserve from the 2020/21 Central Contingency relating to feasibility  ...  view the full minutes text for item 17.

18.

BENEFITS SERVICE MONITORING REPORT AND COUNCIL TAX SUPPORT\REDUCTION 2021/22 pdf icon PDF 488 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Report FSD20049

 

The report provided information regarding the performance of the benefit services provided by Liberata during the period 1 October 2019 to 31 March 2020. A letter from Amanda Inwood-Field, Liberata’s London Regional Contract Director, was attached as Appendix 1. This communication provided Liberata’s perspective on performance, together with an update on initiatives to be introduced in the coming months.

 

In response to a question concerning how the £1,814,229 allocated to Bromley by the Government in response to COVID-19, to support “economically vulnerable people and households in [the] local area”, had been distributed, the Assistant Director for Exchequer Services explained that the funding would be distributed to those already in receipt of Council Tax Support this year.  The funding had been earmarked and the Council was awaiting a script from its Benefit Service software suppliers to enable the automatic distribution of the funding.

 

Members noted that the recovery of any overpayments required a lot of time and effort but that the Council was successful in terms of recovery of overpayments.  It was noted that the COVID-19 pandemic had an impact on all elements of recovery.

 

The Committee requested that a short update on the impact of COVID-19 on the Benefits Service be provided at the September meeting.

 

Turing to the consultation on the Council Tax Support/Reduction Scheme the Committee agreed that the Portfolio Holder should be recommended to agree that Option 3 (the continuation of the scheme currently in place) should form the basis of the consultation for the 2021/2022 scheme.

 

RESOLVED: That

 

1.   The report and letter provided by Liberata be noted;

 

2.   The Portfolio Holder be recommended to agree that a consultation exercise be held in August 2020 for the Authority’s 2021/22 Council Tax Support/Reduction scheme based on the scheme being the same as currently in place (i.e. the maximum contribution of working age claimants remaining at 25% of a household’s Council Tax liability).

 

 

 

19.

REVENUES SERVICE MONITORING REPORT pdf icon PDF 373 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Report FSD20050

 

The report provided information regarding the performance of the Revenues Services provided by Liberata for the six months from 1 October 2019 to 31 March 2020. A letter from Amanda Inwood-Field, Liberata’s London Regional Contract Director, provided an update on each individual service and was attached at Appendix 1 to the report with statistical data relating to the Revenues Service attached at Appendix 2.

 

The Committee noted that it has been a particularly difficult year in terms of recovery.  The variance in the amount that was collectable compared to the amount collected could be attributed to the cancellation of the March court hearing date.  This was compounded by the more sympathetic approach to recovery that had been required during the period of COVID-19 lockdown.  Members were provided with assurances that there was an expectation that any outstanding monies would be recovered and collected.

 

RESOLVED: That the report be noted.

 

 

20.

EXCHEQUER SERVICE - CONTRACT PERFORMANCE REPORT pdf icon PDF 712 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Report FSD20051

 

The report provided information regarding Liberata’s performance in the provision of Exchequer Services for the period 1st April 2019 to 31st March 2020.  A letter from Amanda Inwood-Field, Liberata’s Contract Director, provided an update on each individual service and was attached at Appendix 1 to the report with statistical data relating to the services shown in subsequent appendices.

 

RESOLVED: That the report be noted.

 

21.

CUSTOMER SERVICES CONTRACT MONITORING REPORT pdf icon PDF 738 KB

Minutes:

Report CSD20073

 

The report provided information on the performance of the Customer Service Contract provided by Liberata for the period 1st December 2019 to 31st May 2020.  A letter from Amanda Inwood-Field, Contract Director for Liberata, provided an update on each individual element and was attached at Appendix 1 to the report.

 

Members noted that the slight drop in performance in respect of answering calls in February 2020 arose from the high winds experienced in that month.  As a result of the high winds there were a number of trees down across the Borough and this resulted in a larger volume of calls.

 

RESOLVED: That the report be noted.

 

22.

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

 

 

23.

EXEMPT MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 18 MAY 2020

Minutes:

The Part 2 (exempt) minutes of the meeting held on 18th May 2020 were agreed, and signed as a correct record.

24.

PRE-DECISION SCRUTINY OF EXEMPT EXECUTIVE REPORTS DUE TO BE CONSIDERED BY THE LEADER OF THE COUNCIL

Minutes:

The Committee considered the following Part 2 (exempt) reports due to be considered by the Leader of the Council on or after 2nd July 2020.

 

(11)  CONTRACT FOR THE PROVISION OF AGENCY WORKERS (PART 2)

 

The Committee considered and discussed the Part 2 information contained within the report and made recommendations to the Leader.

 

(13)  TRANSFORMING PROPERTY SERVICES

  Report HPL2020/001

 

The Committee considered and discussed the report and made recommendations to the Leader.

 

 (14)  MANAGEMENT OF PROPERTY INVESTMENT PORTFOLIO

  Report HPR2020/014

 

The Committee considered and discussed the report and made recommendations to the Leader.

 

(15)  CAPITAL PROGRAMME MONITORING 2020/21 - APPENDIX E (PART 2)

 

The Committee noted the Part 2 appendix.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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