Agenda and draft minutes

Executive, Resources and Contracts Policy Development and Scrutiny Committee - Monday 25 March 2024 7.00 pm

Venue: Bromley Civic Centre, Stockwell Close, Bromley, BR1 3UH

Contact: Philippa Gibbs  020 8461 7638

Items
No. Item

87.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE AND NOTIFICATION OF SUBSTITUTE MEMBERS

Minutes:

Apologies for lateness were received from Councillor Adams and Councillor Tickner.

88.

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

Minutes:

The Chairman reported that he had received some basic hospitality at a previous function hosted by Biggin Hill Airport Ltd (the same declaration had been made at previous meetings).  There were no additonal declarations of interest.

89.

QUESTIONS FROM COUNCILLORS AND MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC ATTENDING THE MEETING pdf icon PDF 317 KB

In accordance with the Council’s Constitution, members of the public may submit one question each on matters relating to the work of the Committee. Questions must have been received in writing 10 working days before the date of the meeting - by 5pm on Monday 11 March 2024.

 

Questions seeking clarification of the details of a report on the agenda may be accepted within two working days of the normal publication date of the agenda – by 5pm on Tuesday 19 March 2024.

Minutes:

One written question was received and is attached at Appendix A.

90.

MINUTES OF THE EXECUTIVE, RESOURCES AND CONTRACTS PDS COMMITTEE MEETING HELD ON 5 FEBRUARY 2024 (EXCLUDING EXEMPT ITEMS) pdf icon PDF 358 KB

Minutes:

A Member highlighted that in respect of Minute 80A (Council Tax – Second Homes Premium), the point had been made that the projected income table took no account of homes being occupied.  It was requested that the point be noted.

 

The minutes of the Executive, Resources and Contracts PDS Committee meeting held on 5 February 2024 (excluding exempt information), were agreed and signed as a correct record, subject to the amendment outlined above.

 

91.

MATTERS OUTSTANDING AND WORK PROGRAMME pdf icon PDF 246 KB

Minutes:

Report CSD24035

 

The report dealt with the Committee’s business management including matters outstanding from previous meetings and the proposed work plan for the 2024/2025 Municipal Year.

 

Members recommended that in the 2024/25 Municipal Year the Committee receive reports on the following issues:

 

-  Contracts Management (to be scheduled in September).

-  Expenditure on Consultants and Contractors (to include details on the Matrix system).

 

RESOLVED: That the report be noted.

92.

FORWARD PLAN OF KEY DECISIONS pdf icon PDF 185 KB

Minutes:

The Committee noted the Forward Plan of Key Decisions covering the period February 2024 to May 2024.

 

93.

SCRUTINY OF THE CHIEF EXECUTIVE pdf icon PDF 278 KB

Minutes:

The Chief Executive, Mr Ade Adetosoye, attended the meeting to respond to questions from the Committee. A written update for the Committee had been circulated as part of the agenda papers.  Mr Adetosoye responded to questions, making the following comments –

 

·  In relation to the Transformation Programme, the Chief Executive was confident that the transformation actions identified would deliver savings.  In terms of policy formulation, any identified savings would be presented to PDS Committees in the September meeting cycle and would be scrutinised by Members at that point.  Committees would continue to receive the usual quarterly budget monitoring reports which would set out any in-year savings and mitigation identified.  The Chief Executive confirmed that he would take steps to ensure that that the Forward Plan of Key Decisions reflected any decisions that needed to be taken as part of the Transformation Programme.

·  The Chief Executive highlighted that the Council’s Contract and Financial Procedure Rules were very clear about not allowing delegated authority for spending outside the budget.  Consequently, any growth items would be identified and reported to Members for scrutiny and decision.

·  The Council currently had a blended approach to contract management with contract managers often undertaking a number of other roles.  Any moves toward a more centralised approach to contract management would need to be carefully considered as it would inevitably consume a greater proportion of time.

·  In relation to the implementation of the new audit standards, the legal status remained unclear, and staff were currently waiting for CIPFA to provide advice.  There were a few recommendations that would have significant implications for local government.

·  Plans for the move to the new Civic Offices at Churchill Court remained on-track in terms of timeframe and budget.  Oversight of the project was very tight, and the plan remained to move into the new offices in September 2024.

·  Progress continued to be made in terms of developing the Digital Strategy.  Once the move to the new civic offices had been completed there would be a focus on digital inclusion, with free sessions being run for residents.

·  In relation to the budget, there were unprecedented challenges facing the Council over the next three years.  There remained a duty for Members to balance the budget and a duty for Officers to present options for balancing the budget.  The options that would be presented in the next three years would reflect the scale of the challenges and would bear no similarity to options presented in the past.  It would be for Members to chose whether on not they took the options being presented.  In terms of managing demand going forward, there would need to be a robust review of what could and what should be done differently going forward.

·  In terms of succession planning, the Chief Executive provided assurances that there was an internal capacity risk assessment and efforts were made to ensure that knowledge was transferred.

·  There were a few key posts where there continued to be recruitment challenges, and these were monitored by  ...  view the full minutes text for item 93.

94.

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 March 2024.

 

The Executive, Resources and Contracts PDS Committee will be looking at the following items on the Executive Agenda:

 

·  Budget Monitoring 2023/24

·  Second Homes Premium (to follow)

·  Biggin Hill Update

·  OPR Award of Contracts for Multidisciplinary Services

Minutes:

The Committee considered the following reports on the Part 1 agenda for the meeting of the Executive on 27 March 2024:

 

(5)

BUDGET MONITORING 2023/24

Report FSD24027

 

The report provided the third budget monitoring position for 2023/24 based on expenditure and activity levels up to the end of December 2024. 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.

In response to a question, the Director of Finance noted that the Transformation Programme had been in place for quite a while.  Future budget monitoring reports would make more explicit reference to mitigation savings and instances where transformation savings had not been achieved.  Concerns remained around the scale of growth, and this would need to be monitored closely.

Statutory services continued to pose challenges and lobbying continued at all levels.  If pressures continued there would be no flexibility to balance the budget.

RESOLVED: That Executive be recommended to:

1. Consider the latest financial position.

2.  Note that a projected net overspend on services of £14,206k is forecast based on information as at December 2023.

3.  Note the comments from Chief Officers detailed in Appendix 2.

4.  Note the projected reduction to the General Fund balance of £147k as detailed in section 3.3 of the report.

5.  Note the full year cost pressures of £21.1m as detailed in section 3.4 of the report.

6.  Agree the release of funding from the 2023/24 central contingency as detailed in paragraphs 3.2.2 to 3.2.5 of the report.

7.  Agree the set aside of £2.2m into an earmarked reserve to support the revenue budget for 2025/26 as detailed in section 3.8 of the report.

8.  Note the issues regarding the Community Equipment contract as detailed in paragraph 3.9 and in Part 2 of this report.

9.  Identify any issues that should be referred to individual Portfolio Holders for further action.

10.Approve additional funding DSG funding of £470k to strengthen early support for Speech and Language services in key local schools, which will for early identification and intervention for a trial period of one year. This investment is expected to generate greater savings (in excess of £470k) to reduce the DSG Deficit.

To note that the outcome of the additional investment will be reported back to members in considering options for ongoing funding.

 

(6)

SECOND HOMES PREMIUM

Report FSD24030

The report set out a proposal that a Second Home Premium was introduced from April 2025.

Members requested that the following details be circulated after the meeting:

  1. A breakdown of the £6k+ cost of the consultation.
  2. Confirmation of whether the Empty Homes Premium would be increasing (in line with the changes introduced by government) alongside the introduction of the Second Homes Premium.

RESOLVED: That the Executive be recommended to

1.  Consider the responses to the public consultation exercise at Appendix 1 of the report.

 

2.  Consider the Equality Impact  ...  view the full minutes text for item 94.

95.

POLICY DEVELOPMENT AND OTHER ITEMS

95a

ANNUAL PDS REPORT 2023/24 pdf icon PDF 192 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Report CSD24040

 

The Committee noted the Annual Policy Development and Scrutiny Report for 2023/24.  Any further comments and amendments would be incorporated by Democratic Services prior to submission to Full Council on 8th July 2024.

 

It was noted that the report from the Chairman of the Environment and Community Services PDS Committee would e circulated when available.

 

RESOLVED: That the Annual Policy Development and Scrutiny Report be approved for submission to Full Council.

 

96.

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

 

 

97.

PRE-DECISION SCRUTINY OF EXEMPT EXECUTIVE REPORTS

The Executive, Resources and Contracts PDS Committee will be looking at the following Part 2 items on the Executive Agenda:

 

·  Part 2 Budget Monitoring 2023/24

·  Part 2 Biggin Hill Update

·  Part 2 OPR Award of Contracts for Multidisciplinary Services

 

Minutes:

The Committee considered the following reports on the Part 2 agenda for the meeting of the Executive on 27 March 2024:

 

(19)

PART 2: BUDGET MONITORING 2023/24

 

Executive be recommended to note the Part 2 information.

 

(22)

PART 2 BIGGIN HILL UPDATE

 

Executive be recommended to note the Part 2 information.

 

(23)

PART 2: OPR AWARD OF CONTRACTS FOR MULTIDISCIPLINARY SERVICES

 

Executive be recommended to consider the report and approve the recommendations

Appendix A pdf icon PDF 317 KB