Agenda item

PRE-DECISION SCRUTINY OF EXECUTIVE REPORTS

Members of the Committee are requested to bring their copy of the agenda for the Executive meeting on Wednesday 10th July 2019.

Minutes:

The Committee considered the following reports on the Part 1 agenda for the meeting of the Executive on 10th July 2019:

 

(6)  BUDGET MONITORING 2019/20

  Report CSD19119

 

The Committee considered the first budget monitoring position for 2019/20 based on expenditure and activity levels up to the end of May 2019.  The report also highlighted significant variations which would impact on future years as well as early warnings that could impact on the final year end position.

 

The Director of Finance noted that growth pressures and the full year effect had to be carefully monitored.

 

The Chairman highlighted that on the whole the picture was positive and the financial position had been far worse in previous years.

 

Members noted the significant income received from property investments and requested a report on the performance of property investments at the next meeting. 

 

 

RESOLVED: That the Executive be recommended to:

 

1. Consider the latest financial position;

2. Note that a projected net overspend on services of £2,084k is forecast based on information as at May 2019;

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

4. Note a projected variation of £696k debit from investment income as detailed in sections 3.6 and 3.7 of the report;

5. Note the carry forwards being requested for drawdown as detailed in section 3.3 of the report;

6.  Note a projected reduction to the General Fund balance of £2,788k as detailed in section 3.4 of the report;

7.   Note the full year cost pressures of £3.7m as detailed in section 3.5 of the report;

8.  Agree to the release of £70k from the 2019/20 Central Contingency relating to street lighting costs as detailed in para. 3.2.2 of the report;

9.  Agree to the release of £52k from the 2019/20 Central Contingency relating to additional Exchequer and TFM contract costs as detailed in para. 3.2.4 of the report;

10.  Agree to the release of £584k credit from the 2019/20 Central Contingency relating to savings allocated to the review of staffing as detailed in para. 3.2.5 of the report;

11.   Note the return to the Central Contingency of £898k as detailed in para. 3.2.6 of the report;

12.  Agree to allocate £900k from the Health and Social Care Initiative Reserve to support additional Children’s Social Care costs as detailed in para 3.10 of the report;

13.   Recommend to Council that £1m transferred from the Health and Social Care Initiative Reserve to support the BCCG with their transformation plan for 2019/20 as detailed in para. 3.10 of the report;

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

 

(7)  CAPITAL PROGRAMME MONITORING – 1ST QUARTER 2019/20

  Report FSD19067

 

The Committee considered the current position on capital expenditure and receipts following the 1st quarter of 2019/20.  The report also sought the Executive’s approval to a revised Capital Programme.

 

RESOLVED: That Executive be recommended to:

 

1.  Note the report, including a total rephasing of £45,868k from 2019/20 into future years, and agree a revised Capital Programme;

2.  Approve the following amendments to the Capital Programme:

(i)  Deletion of the £391k residual balance on the Beacon House Refurbishment scheme and increase of £391k to the Basic Need scheme as detailed in paragraph 3.3.2;

(ii)  Deletion of £40k from the Phoenix Centre scheme as detailed in paragraph 3.3.3;

(iii)  Addition of £239k for the Devolved Formula Capital 19/20 scheme as detailed in paragraph 3.3.4; and

(iv)  Increase of £16k for the Banbury House Demolition/Site Preparation scheme as detailed in paragraph 3.3.5.

3.  Note that a report elsewhere on the Executive agenda requests the addition of £1.5m to the Capital Programme for Boiler Plant Works;

4.  Note that a report elsewhere on the Executive agenda requests the addition of £6.0m to the Capital Programme for the provision of modular homes as detailed in paragraph 3.3.6 of the report; and

5.  Recommend that Council agrees an increase of £1,922k on Transport for London (TfL) funded Traffic and Highways schemes as detailed in paragraph 3.3.1 of the report.

 

(8)  CENTRAL LIBRARY/CHURCHILL THEATRE DEFECTIVE TILING: REQUEST FOR ADDITIONAL FUNDING

  Report DRR19/037

 

The Committee considered a report seeking additional funding to enable works on the Central Library/Churchill Theatre tiling to proceed.

 

RESOLVED: That the Executive be recommended to:

 

  1. Approve additional funding of £110k from the earmarked reserve for the Infrastructure Investment Fund to undertake the temporary works.

 

  1. Agree that call in should not be applicable to allow the purchase order to be raised immediately so that there is sufficient lead-in time for commencement of the work prior to the expiry of the extant planning permission.

 

 

 

(9)  REPLACEMENT OF THE DISTRICT HEATING SYSTEM BOILERS AND RELATED WORKS TO WALNUTS LEISURE CENTRE

  Report DRR19/038

 

The Committee considered a report requesting the funding to carry out essential replacement of the boilers at the Walnuts Leisure Centre to prevent total breakdown.  In addition associated repairs to the secondary heating plant at the Walnuts Leisure Centre were also required.

 

RESOLVED: That the Executive be recommended to:

 

  1. Approve funding in the sum of £1.5m from capital receipts to carry out the works outlined in this report and add the scheme to the Capital Programme, subject to agreement of Full Council.

 

  1. Approve the procurement proposals outlined in sections 3.14 to 3.17 in the report.

 

  1. Grant delegated authority to the Director of Regeneration to approve variations using the contingency; and

 

  1. Grant delegated authority to the Director of Regeneration to finalise the contributions from leaseholders which would reduce the net cost to the Council of this scheme.

 

 

(15)  TRANSFORMING BROMLEY

  Report CSD19108

 

The Committee considered a report providing an overview of the Transforming Bromley roadmap for 2019 – 2023, which set out the organisation’s strategic priorities to improve outcomes for residents over the next four years.  The roadmap set out the principles of the Transformation Programme, a four-year programme formed of six cross-cutting work streams that would deliver transformation options to address the organisation’s emerging budget gap of £31.7m by 2022/23, as well as addressing identified growth pressures affecting service delivery.  The report also set out the eight strategic priorities of the Roadmap alongside the Transformation Programme.

 

The Chief Executive noted that the covering report provided the context to the Transformation Programme, whilst the Roadmap provided the details surrounding the development of proposals for managing the budget gap of £32m in 4 years.

 

The Vice-Chairman expressed concern around the fact that whilst there were firm proposals for managing pressures in the Housing and Environment directorates, the two directorates responsible for the majority of spend across the Council (Children’s Services and Adults Social Care) had as yet not provided detailed proposals for delivering savings.  In response, the Interim Chief Executive highlighted that the Transformation Programme had been launched in April 2019 and as such the Council was three months into a 4 year programme.  In relation to service transformation in Adult Social Care, officers were awaiting the Government’s Adult Social Care Green Paper which could have implications for the approach to service delivery in Adult Social Care.

 

The Chairman noted that the energy and enthusiasm that had been bought to service redesign in the Housing directorate was refreshing.  The Chairman stressed the importance of ensuring this level of energy and enthusiasm across all directorates.  In order to deliver savings of £32m in 4 years the Council would need to identify savings in the region of £40m-£42m as it was likely that not all the savings identified could be achieved.  In response the Interim Chief Executive provided assurances that all work streams were working at the same pace and with the same rigor as the Housing work stream.  There was innovative thinking and proposals would be presented, through the Transformation Board,  in due course.

 

In response to a  question, the Interim Chief Executive confirmed that the Corporate Transformation Team was reaching out to other Local Authorities across the Country to identify and learn from best practice. 

 

The Interim Chief Executive also highlighted that the fact that some directorates were responsible for delivering statutory responsibilities should not be a barrier to delivering savings.  As long as service redesign was approached sensitively and carefully savings could be delivered.  What was important was ensuring that the right services were delivered to the right people at the right time.  The Chairman suggested that it may be helpful for individual PDS Committee to review the statutory services in their areas and to understand the thresholds and statutory requirements.

 

The Interim Chief Executive highlighted the success of the recently formed specialist Early Intervention Team.  The Team carried a caseload of approximately 40 children and young people and delivered specific and targeted early intervention.  Currently the cost of the Team was less than £200,000 however it was anticipated that the work being done by the Team could deliver savings in the region of £600,000-£700,000.  It would take time for the results and key outcomes for this cohort of 40 children and young people to be realised but this was exactly the type of service transformation needed.  Similar work in terms of early intervention was also being delivered within Adult Social Care through Integrated Care Networks.

 

In response to a question concerning recruitment to the posts currently filled by Interim Directors,  the Interim Chief Executive highlighted that the interim Directors had bought  new ideas and energy to their directorates.  As services stabilised there would be a need to go out to the market to recruit permanent staff but the Interim arrangements had worked well.

 

The Interim Chief Executive, in relation to questions surrounding the risks around failure to deliver the required service transformation, highlighted that the Transformation Programme was not about ‘salami slicing’ budgets.  It was about identifying how and why some local authorities were able to deliver services for lower unit costs.  It was also about identifying how services could be delivered more efficiently and effectively, and about managing the needs of residents differently.  That was why there was a need to proceed with caution and take time to identify the most appropriate savings.  The Transformation Programme was not about taking easy options but instead identifying what could be done to continue to provide quality services at a lower cost.  The reality was that there may be a need to spend more in order to deliver bigger savings in the future.

 

The Chairman  noted that there was money within the Capital Programme for improvements to peoples’ homes.  This was one obvious area for invest-to save as it would enable people to remain in their homes for longer.  The Chairman suggested that there was a need to take an holistic approach to the strategy for transformation.

 

In response to a question, the Interim Chief Executive highlighted that Councillors had a fundamental duty to deliver a balanced budget and this was enshrined in statute. It was therefore essential that Members and Officers worked together.  Officers would put forward proposals to meet the level of savings required and Members would need to take decisions on the proposals based on Officer advice.  There was a clear need to make progress in terms of identifying and delivering savings. 

 

RESOLVED: That the Executive be recommended to:

 

  1. Note and comment on the report.

 

  1. Agree that the relevant Chief Officer reports back to their respective PDS Committee/s on the progress of the Transforming Bromley Programme as a standing item.

 

  1. Note that the Transformation Programme is on the Corporate Risk Register and will be monitored in line with the Council’s risk management procedures.

 

 (16)  REVIEW OF CORPORATE LEADERSHIP STRUCTURE

  Report CSD19110

 

The Committee considered a report setting out the key proposals following a review of the corporate leadership structure to ensure an appropriately robust and effective leadership and management structure was in place to deliver the transformation agenda for Bromley.  The key reasons for the review of the corporate leadership structure were:-

a)  Identifying and addressing current and future business requirements to create a sustainable and fit-for-purpose leadership structure; and

b)  Reconfiguring complementary functions/services to improve organisational performance.

 

The Chairman welcomed the report and asked the Interim Chief Executive to also give consideration to evolving the Member structure to enable it to complement the new Officer structure.  The Chairman also suggested that there should  be adequate contingency to meet the Council’s requirement to deliver services going forward.

 

In relation to leadership training and a leadership development programme, the Interim Chief Executive confirmed that work had begun on this with the corporate Leadership Team reviewing leadership qualities going forward.  A training programme would be cascaded through the organisation.

 

In response to a question concerning the ‘vacancy factor’, the Interim Chief Executive explained that an alternative way of looking at it was the savings that could be made as a result of recruitment drag – i.e. the time a post was vacant after an employee left the Council and before a replacement was appointed.

 

A Member sought assurances that the recent improvement seen by Members in processes for procurement and commissioning wold not fall away as a result of the changes to the organisational structure.  The Interim Chief Executive confirmed that the recent improvements should be sustained.  The Commissioning Team had early input into any reports and there was now added value in terms of the alignment between the procurement and legal teams.  The Assistant Director: Governance and Contracts was chairman of the internal Procurement Board and therefore had early input into reports through this process.

 

RESOLVED: That:

 

  1. The Executive be recommended to note and comment on the report.

 

2.  That the Leader be recommended to agree to the consequential name changes of officer titles for the scheme of Executive delegation to reflect the corporate leadership structure and recommends that Council agree the necessary consequential officer name changes for the Non-Executive scheme and descriptive text in the constitution.

 

3.  Prior to finalising the 2020/2021 budget, the Executive ensure adequate contingency to meet the Council’s core capacity requirements to deliver services and key transformation challenges.

 

 

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