Agenda and draft minutes

Executive, Resources and Contracts Policy Development and Scrutiny Committee - Wednesday 23 November 2022 7.00 pm

Venue: Bromley Civic Centre

Contact: Philippa Gibbs  020 8461 7638

Items
No. Item

57.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE AND NOTIFICATION OF SUBSTITUTE MEMBERS

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Councillor Robert Evans and Councillor Felicity Bainbridge attended as substitute.

58.

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

Minutes:

The Chairman, Councillor Simon Fawthrop, declared that he was an employee of BT and would be leaving the meeting during the consideration of Item 8(12) – IT Transformation – with the Vice-Chairman taking the Chair.  Councillor Fawthrop also declared that his wife was an employee of the Council.

 

Councillor Stammers declared, in respect of Item 7(d) Redevelopment of Chislehurst Library, that she was the Chairman of the two Patient Participation Groups for the GP Practices.

59.

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 17 November 2022.

Minutes:

Two oral questions and two written questions were received for response by the Chairman and these are attached at Appendix A.

60.

MINUTES OF THE EXECUTIVE, RESOURCES AND CONTRACTS PDS COMMITTEE MEETING HELD ON 18 OCTOBER 2022 (EXCLUDING EXEMPT ITEMS) pdf icon PDF 326 KB

Minutes:

Councillor Mark Smith highlighted that at the meeting in addition to the pollution report requested, he had also requested that a financial assessment be provided.

 

The minutes of the Executive, Resources and Contracts PDS Committee meeting held on 18 October 2022, were agreed and signed as a correct record subject to the amendment outlined above.

61.

MATTERS OUTSTANDING AND WORK PROGRAMME pdf icon PDF 233 KB

Minutes:

Report CSD22125

 

The report dealt with the Committee’s business management including matters outstanding from previous meetings and the proposed work plan for the remainder of the year.

 

RESOLVED: That the report be noted.

 

62.

FORWARD PLAN OF KEY DECISIONS pdf icon PDF 197 KB

Minutes:

The Committee noted the Forward Plan of Key Decisions covering the period November 2022 to January 2023.

 

63.

RESOURCES, COMMISSIONING AND CONTRACTS MANAGEMENT PORTFOLIO - PRE-DECISION SCRUTINY

Portfolio Holder decisions for pre-decision scrutiny.

Minutes:

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

63a

TREASURY MANAGEMENT - QUARTER 2 PERFORMANCE 2022/23 & MID-YEAR REVIEW pdf icon PDF 349 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Report FSD22084

 

The report summarised treasury management activity during the second quarter of 2021/22 and included a mid-year review of the treasury management strategy statement and annual investment strategy (Appendix 4). The report ensured that the Council was implementing best practice in accordance with the CIPFA Code of Practice for Treasury Management. Investments as at 30 September 2022 totalled £390.6m (£427.6m at 30September 2021) and there was no outstanding external borrowing.

 

A Member noted that the returns being achieved from investments in the National Bank of Kuwait and the Qatar National Bank were in line with the returns achieved from High Street Banks and questioned whether there was any regime in which the Council would not invest.  In response, the Head of Corporate Finance and Accounting explained that any investments were in line with the criteria established in the Council’s Treasury Management Strategy.  Investments were not an endorsement of a regime and one of the key considerations was to maximise the income generated from investment.  The Council’s professional advisers provided a list of countries which met the minimum credit ratings required.  The Chairman noted that the investments were in the UK branch of the banks, were governed by the FCA and needed to comply UK laws and regulations.

 

In response to a question, the Head of Corporate Finance and Accounting confirmed that the Council did not have a responsible investment policy, however, the Treasury Management Strategy was presented to Committee annually and would next be presented in February 2023.  The Head of Corporate Finance and Accounting reported that CIPFA guidance had begun to introduce an ethical dimension to decisions around treasury management. 

 

In response to a question, the Head of Corporate Finance and Accounting agreed to provide a breakdown of the multi-asset find following the meeting.

 

The Director of Finance explained to the Committee that the Council’s approach to Treasury Management focused on maximising returns on investments and tried to deal with volatility in the market through an income stabilisation fund.  This was one of the long-term investments held by the Council.

 

RESOLVED: That the Portfolio Holder be recommended to:

 

1.  Note the Treasury Management performance for the second quarter of 2022/23;

 

2.  Recommend that Council approve the 2022/23 prudential indicators as set out in Appendix 4.

 

63b

CAPITAL PROGRAMME MONITORING QUARTER 2 2022-2023 pdf icon PDF 326 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

On 30 November 2022, the Executive would receive a report summarising the current position on capital expenditure and receipts following the second quarter of 2022/23 and would be asked to agree a revised capital programme for the four-year period 2022/23 to 2025/26. This report highlighted changes to be put to the Executive and the Leader in respect of the capital programme for the Resources, Commissioning and Contract Management portfolio. The revised programme for this portfolio was set out in Appendix A and detailed comments on individual schemes were shown in Appendix B.

RESOLVED: That the Portfolio Holder be recommended to note and acknowledge the changes to be put to the Executive on 30 November 2022.

63c

INSURANCE FUND ANNUAL REPORT pdf icon PDF 668 KB

Minutes:

Report FSD22067

 

The report advised Members of the Insurance Fund position as at 31st March 2022 and presented statistics relating to insurance claims for the last two years. In 2021/22, the total Fund value decreased from £4.383m to £4.002.  A mid-year review of the Fund had also been carried out and at this stage, it was estimated that the final Fund value as at 31st March 2023 would decrease to approximately £3.488m.  The position would continue to be monitored throughout the year, but Members were asked to note at this stage that potential additional contributions may need to be considered as part of the 2023/24 budget setting process. 

 

RESOLVED: That the Portfolio Holder be recommended to

 

1.  Note the contents of the report

2.  Note the potential increase in contributions to the Insurance Fund for the 2023/24 budget setting process.

 

63d

CHISLEHURST LIBRARY REDEVELOPMENT UPDATE & NEXT STEPS pdf icon PDF 220 KB

Chislehurst ward

Minutes:

Following a marketing exercise, a decision was taken in 2020 to enter into a Development Agreement with Prime Developments for the delivery of a new scheme on the existing site of Chislehurst Library, which would provide a new library facility for the Council as part of a wider mixed-use development.

Regrettably, the original terms of the offer that the decision to enter into a Development Agreement with Prime Developments was predicated on, are no longer viable and the transaction unable to progress.

The report was therefore to update Members on the latest position, and to recommend that the existing library was retained as an ongoing operational facility for provision of library services, with no further market testing to be pursued.

 

In opening the discussion, Chislehurst Ward Councillor and Committee Member Councillor Mark Smith highlighted that the recommendation was regrettable but inevitable.  The recommendations were a result of 10 lost years of investment, the impact of the pandemic and rising inflation costs.  The building now required a level of investment going forward which would enable much needed disabled access and public toilets to be installed in the property.  Only with investment could the building realise its potential as a useful community asset.

 

In response, the Director for Housing Planning and Regeneration confirmed that the Operational Property Review (for consideration later in the meeting) set out the strategic direction for the Council’s identified maintenance liabilities and the library was included in this.

 

In response to a question from the Chairman concerning why the option to remarket the property was being ruled out, the Head of Estates and Asset Management explained that the recommendation had been made to support the business case to maintain the property.  However, taking on board comments submitted before the meeting, Officers were proposing the following amendment to recommendation 3:

 

That the property is not remarketed, nor any negotiations with potentially interested developers undertaken. However, should the Council undertake any redevelopment of its own assets within the immediate Chislehurst area, then the reprovision of a library in such a scheme would, as a matter of course, be considered thus enabling a future freehold disposal or opportunity to self-deliver social housing.

The Committee agreed that any amendment to the recommendation should be discussed and agreed with the Portfolio Holder with local Ward Councillors asked to comment on the final wording.

RESOLVED: That the Portfolio Holder be recommended to:

 

1.  Agree that the terms of the proposal by the preferred purchaser, Prime Developments, are no longer viable and that the previously agreed transaction will not be progressing.

 

2.  Agree that the property is retained as an operational asset for the purpose of continuing to deliver library provision for the local area.

 

3.  Agree that the property is not remarketed, nor any negotiations with past bidders undertaken.

 

4.  Agree that should the Council undertake any redevelopment of its own assets within the immediate Chislehurst area, then the reprovision of a library in such a scheme would as a matter of course, be  ...  view the full minutes text for item 63d

64.

PRE-DECISION SCRUTINY OF EXECUTIVE REPORTS

Members of the Committee are requested to bring their copy of the agenda for the Executive meeting on 30 November 2022.

Minutes:

The Committee considered the following reports on the Part 1 agenda for the meeting of the Executive on 30 November 2022:

 

(5)  

BUDGET MONITORING 2022-2023

Report FSD22086

 

The report provided the first budget monitoring position for 2022/23 based on expenditure and activity levels up to the end of September 2022. 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.

 

RESOLVED: That the Executive be recommended to

 

1.  consider the latest financial position;

 

2.  note that a projected net overspend on services of £9,568k is forecast based on information as at July 2022.

 

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

 

4.  note a projected reduction to the General Fund balance of £1,478k as detailed in section 3.3;

 

4.  note the full year cost pressures of £9.369m as detailed in section 3.4;

 

5.  agree to the release of funding from the 2022/23 central contingency as detailed in paragraphs 3.2.2 to 3.2.6;

 

6.  agree to the release of £314k from the CEF Health Reserve Fund for expenditure in the CEF department as detailed in para. 3.8;

 

7.  identify any issues that should be referred to individual Portfolio Holders for further action.

 

(6)  

CAPITAL PROGRAMME MONITORING 2022-23

FSD22083

 

The report summarised the current position on capital expenditure and receipts following the second quarter of 2022/23 and sought the Executive’s approval to a revised capital programme.

 

RESOLVED: That, subject to the outcome of discussions later in the agenda, the Executive be recommended to

 

1.  Note the report, including a total re-phasing of £134k from 2022/23 into future years, and agree a revised capital programme.

 

2.  Approve the following amendments to the capital programme (paragraph 3.3 of the report)

 

(i)  Increase of £3,000k in relation to the budget for depots

(ii)  Increase of £20,970k for additional costs associated with Project Smith, the preferred option for the existing capital budget for the Civic Centre redevelopment scheme

 

3. --- Recommend that Council approve the increase of £23,970k to the capital programme (paragraph 3.3 of the report)

 

The Committee agreed to consider the following three items together:

 

ITEM 7: OPERATIONAL PROPERTY REVIEW, ITEM 8: PROPERTY DISPOSALS,

ITEM 9: FUTURE COUNCIL HQ OPTIONS

 

In opening the discussion, the Chairman complimented the Assistant Director for the quality of the three reports provided.  The Chairman hoped that future reports from Officers would maintain the standard.

 

The Director for Housing, Planning and Regeneration outlined that the three papers before the Committee set out the strategic direction for the Council ensuring that properties were properly managed and maintained in the future.

In discussing the reports, Members expressed concerns around the speed with which they were being asked to consider these reports and take significant decisions.  Members highlighted that they had had less than 5 days to consider and digest the information in the reports and requested that in future  ...  view the full minutes text for item 64.

65.

POLICY DEVELOPMENT AND OTHER ITEMS

65a

SECTION 106 AGREEMENTS: UPDATE pdf icon PDF 170 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Report CSD22124

 

The report provided an update on Section 106 Agreements.  In response to a question, the Infrastructure Delivery Team Leader outlined the processes for expenditure of Section 106 funds.

 

The Committee thanked the Officers for the helpful information provided in the schedules.

 

RESOLVED: That the report be noted.

 

66.

INFORMATION ITEMS pdf icon PDF 309 KB

The items comprise:

 

·  Risk Management

 

 

Members have been provided with advance copies of the briefing via e-mail.  The briefing is also available on the Council's Website at the following link: http://cds.bromley.gov.uk/ieListMeetings.aspx?CId=559&Year=0

 

Information Items will not be debated at Executive, Resources and Contracts PDS Committee unless a member of the Committee requests a discussion be held.  24 hours’ notice must be given to the Clerk.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The item comprised:

 

  • Risk Management

 

 

67.

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

 

 

68.

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 30 November 2022:

 

26

CAPITAL PROGRAMME MONITORING 2022/23 PART 2 APPENDIX

 

The Committee noted the Part 2 (exempt from publication) information provided.

 

27    

OPERATIONAL PROPERTY REVIEW (PART 2)

 

 

The Committee considered the report and made recommendations to the Executive.

 

28    

PROPERTY DISPOSALS (PART 2)  

 

 

The Committee considered the report and made recommendations to the Executive.

 

29   

FUTURE COUNCIL HQ OPTIONS (PART 2)

 

The Committee considered the report and made recommendations to the Executive.

 

29   

BIGGIN HILL AIRPORT LTD: REQUEST TO VARY USER CLAUSE (PART 2)

The Committee considered the information in Part 2 and made recommendations to the Executive.

 

Appendix A pdf icon PDF 28 KB

As the time approached 10pm the Chairman advised that the meeting guillotine needed to be invoked and the Committee took the decision not to continue the meeting beyond the 10pm guillotine.  Consequently, the following remaining items for consideration were noted:

 

Item 5: Matters Outstanding and Work Programme

Item 6: Forward Plan of Key Decisions

Item 7c: Insurance Fund Annual Report

Item 8(5): Budget Monitoring 2022/23

Item 10a: Risk Management