Overview & Scrutiny Minutes

Date:
Tuesday, 13th June, 2017
Time:
7.30 pm
Place:
New Council Chamber, Town Hall, Reigate
 

Attendance Details

Present:
Councillors B.A. Stead (Chairman from Item 2 onwards), Mrs R.H. Absalom, R. Ashford, M. Blacker, M. Brunt, R. Coad, G. Curry, N.D. Harrison, R. Mantle, S. Parnall, D. Powell, J.M. Stephenson and Mrs R. Turner.
Also Present:
Councillor T. Schofield and Councillor Whinney
Min NoDescriptionResolution
Part I
1 ELECTION OF CHAIRMAN

RESOLVED that Councillor B.A. Stead be elected Chairman of the Committee for the Municipal Year 2017/18.
(Councillor B.A. Stead took the Chair)
 

2 ELECTION OF VICE CHAIRMAN

RESOLVED that Councillor S. Parnall be elected Vice-Chairman of the Committee for the Municipal Year 2017/18.

3 MINUTES

RESOLVED that the Minutes of the meeting held on 26 April 2017 be approved as a correct record.

4 APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE AND SUBSTITUTIONS

Committee Members: Councillor Mrs D. A. Ross-Tomlin


Other Members: None
 

5 DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

Cllr Mantle declared an interest as a Member of the Committee for Banstead Community Centre which was operated by Staywell in relation to the consideration of the 5 Year Plan performance report (Minute 8).

6 PROVISIONAL REVENUE AND CAPITAL OUTTURN 2016/17

The report before the Committee set out the provisional budget outturn, identified and explained key variances, and proposed changes to the levels of the Council’s reserves. The report also proposed increasing the Corporate Plan Delivery Fund to £4million. It also reported on treasury management activity for 2016/17.


The capital programme had underspent by £2.14M due to payment timetable slippage relating to a number of projects. The revenue budget had underspent by £1.035M (6% of the overall budget).


The Committee had received four advance questions and responses regarding the provisional outturn. The Committee discussed the outturn report, with further questions and comments made regarding:
• The limited scope for further efficiency opportunities;
• The Legal services overspend, about which it was noted that the possibility to capitalise legal expenses and the possibility to charge to the Council’s companies would be considered;
• It was confirmed that the income equalisation fund still existed and was confirmed to be an accounting procedure; and
• The appropriate staffing of services with salary underspends, in respect of which the Chief Executive advised that staff resources were periodically reviewed and there was no intention to reduce staffing but rather an ongoing effort to improve service teams.


The Chairman praised the Management Team for the successful management of the 2016/17 Budget.
RESOLVED that:
(i) the report be noted; and
(ii) the possibility of making recharges for Legal Services be considered.
 

7 QUARTERLY PERFORMANCE REPORT (Q4 - JANUARY TO MARCH 2017)

The Committee received a report that detailed the major variances on performance in relation to the Council's Key Service Indicators, Internal Audit reports and Risk Management. It also reported on progress against the LGA Action Plan.


The detailed performance information had been placed in the eMembers Room. The Committee had not received any advance questions relating to the performance report.


The Committee discussed the report, with questions and comments made regarding:
• The risks arising from the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR); the Committee was pleased to hear that a Statutory Data Protection Officer had been recruited who would analyse the requirements, identify any gaps that needed to be addressed and produce a plan to ensure compliance with the Regulations by May 2018. The Committee suggested that a GDPR Briefing be provided to Members;
• The allocation of a red risk in respect of SR8 (the UK’s exit from the European Union) as compared to the amber rating of SR2 (Financial sustainability and commercial service development). The Committee noted that the potential and uncertain wide-ranging implications of SR8 (for example loss of EU employees, many of whom were engaged directly and indirectly by the Council) was the reason for the red rating;
• The possibility of the withdrawal of recycling credits by Surrey County Council; and
• The cuts to services such as verge cutting by Surrey County Council and the need to consider whether the Council would respond by taking on those services that were important to residents.
The Committee was pleased to note examples of strong performance in the report and the progress against the LGA Action Plan.


RESOLVED that:
(i) the performance update and advanced question be noted;
(ii) a GDPR Briefing be provided to Members at an appropriate time; and
(iii) no observations be made to the Executive.
 

8 5 YEAR PLAN PERFORMANCE REPORT 2016-17

The Committee received a report providing an update and summary of progress made against the Five Year Plan priorities for the period 1 April 2016 to 31 March 2017.

 

The Committee had received one advance question in respect of the report.

 

The Committee discussed the report, with questions and comments made regarding:
• The funding of the Identification, Referral and Improvement to Safety (IRIS) project, which was confirmed to be funded by Surrey County Council, the East Surrey Clinical Commissioning Group and the relevant local authorities. This was a social endeavour rather than an opportunity to generate revenue;
• Following the cuts in carer funding by Surrey County Council, the need for dementia support funding and the importance of working with Staywell regarding their contractual obligations and performance, particularly in respect of dementia support. The Chief Executive noted the Committee’s concerns regarding dementia support in the Council’ Community Centres operated by Staywell and confirmed it would be raised with the Executive at the next Away Day;
• The possible inclusion of improved statistics and quantification of performance in future reports with an aim to produce a unified measure to enable comparison of achievements and services;
• The need for improved enforcement or deterrents in respect of antisocial activities such as fly-tipping and parking infringements. The Committee noted that the Council required political agreement as to how to progress enforcement and deterrents before it could proceed;
• The borough promotion strategy, which attracted a significant number of visitors from outside the borough;
• The importance of place and people in the Five Year Plan, which was a factor in the Council’s decisions to fund some of the services that had been cut by Surrey County Council due to budget constraints; and
• The Chief Executive agreed to discuss the need for dementia support, youth services and early years help, street lighting and parking enforcement be discussed with the Executive as part of the Service & Financial Planning for 2018/19.

The Committee was pleased to note the Council’s good progress against the Five Year Plan objectives.

 

RESOLVED that:
(i) the report be noted.
 

9 INTERNAL ANNUAL AUDIT REPORT 2016-17

The Committee received a report from the Council’s Chief Internal Auditor, RSM regarding the overall adequacy and effectiveness of the Council’s risk management, control and governance processes. The Chairman considered the report from RSM to be too sparse.

 

The Committee had received two advance questions in respect of the report.

 

The Committee discussed the report, with questions and comments made regarding:

• The low number of enhancements recommended by the report, indicating the Council had good systems of management, governance and internal control; and
• Improvements to the internal audit process and increasing the value to the Council of this process during 2017/18.

 

The Committee noted that the opinion of the Head of Internal Audit was that the Council had an adequate and effective framework for risk management, governance and internal control.

 

RESOLVED that:
(i) The report be noted; and
(ii) No observations be made to the Executive.
 

10 EXECUTIVE

It was reported that there were no items arising from the Executive that might be subject to the ‘call-in’ procedure in accordance with the provisions of the Overview and Scrutiny Procedure Rules.

11 ANY OTHER URGENT BUSINESS

None.

The meeting closed at 8.47 p.m.