Agenda and draft minutes

Community and Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee - Monday, 25th November, 2019 7.00 pm

Venue: David Hicks 1 - Civic Offices, Shute End, Wokingham RG40 1BN. View directions

Contact: Callum Wernham  Democratic & Electoral Services Specialist

Items
No. Item

31.

Apologies

To receive any apologies for absence.

Minutes:

An apology for absence was submitted from Councillor Paul Fishwick. Rachelle Shepherd-DuBey attended the meeting as a substitute.

32.

Minutes of Previous Meetings pdf icon PDF 229 KB

To confirm the Minutes of the meeting held on 2 September 2019, the Minutes of the extraordinary meeting held on 24 September 2019 and the Minutes of the extraordinary meeting held on 30 October 2019.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 2 September 2019, the Minutes of the extraordinary meeting of the Committee held on 24 September 2019 and the Minutes of the extraordinary meeting of the Committee held on 30 October 2019 were confirmed as a correct records and signed by the Chairman.

33.

Declaration of Interest

To receive any declarations of interest.

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

34.

Public Question Time

To answer any public questions

 

A period of 30 minutes will be allowed for members of the public to ask questions submitted under notice.

 

The Council welcomes questions from members of the public about the work of this committee.

 

Subject to meeting certain timescales, questions can relate to general issues concerned with the work of the Committee or an item which is on the Agenda for this meeting.  For full details of the procedure for submitting questions please contact the Democratic Services Section on the numbers given below or go to www.wokingham.gov.uk/publicquestions

Minutes:

There were no public questions.

35.

Member Question Time

To answer any member questions.

Minutes:

There were no Member questions.

36.

Medium Term Financial Plan 2020-23 - Revenue Budget and Special Items pdf icon PDF 122 KB

To consider aspects of the draft 2020-23 MTFP, with a focus on growth and savings bids over £50k within Corporate Services and Customer and Localities Services. In addition, special items and bids under £50k are supplied

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee received and reviewed a report, set out in agenda pages 23 to 42, which detailed all revenue growth and savings bids over £50k for Corporate Services and Customer and Localities Services. In addition, special items and bids for all service areas under £50k were also provided.

 

Michael Firmager (Deputy Executive Member for Environment and Leisure), Sarah Hollamby (Director of Customer and Localities), Pauline Jorgensen (Executive Member for Highways and Transport), Graham Ebers (Deputy Chief Executive – Director of Corporate Services) and John Kaiser (Executive Member for Finance and Housing) attended the meeting to answer Member queries.

 

Graham Ebers stated that including the papers received for this meeting, the Committee had effectively seen the entire suite of the proposed draft revenue budget to date. Graham added that the capital budget would be provided to the Committee at a future meeting. Graham stated that the main change to items previously seen by the Committee were related to the revenue monitoring of the ongoing financial pressures present within Children’s Services.

 

During the ensuing discussion Members raised the following points and queries: 

 

·           Relating to agenda page 28, could more detail be given as to this income (saving)? Officer response – These figures were residual income over and above the income achieved within the 2019/20 budget. A 2 percent return on investment was expected, which was in line with policy. Officers would derive the exact amount of the £100m that had already been invested and feedback to the Committee.

 

·           Relating to agenda page 29, when was this additional £100m scheduled to be approved? Officer response – This would form a part of the proposed Medium Term Financial Plan (MTFP) to be presented to Council in February 2020.

 

·           In relation to the investment strategy, what contingency was in place to prepare for any potential downturn in the economy? Officer response – In undertaking work on the investment portfolio, both internal and external specialists had devised a scheme that worked within policy (i.e. achieving a 2 percent return) whilst making use of safe investments with contingency plans available. Each investment was evaluated and scrutinised by specialists on an investment by investment basis. The primary focus of each investment was a strong covenant, with proper due diligence carried out for each specific investment.

 

·           Relating to agenda page 29, how would any income derived from investments be used? Officer response – New income streams would be used as a credit towards other Council services.

 

·           Relating to agenda page 31, were there plans for additional funding over and above the proposed £50k to tackle the climate emergency? Officer response – There was currently a 20 strong team of Officers across the Council developing strategies and policy to tackle the climate emergency. This specific bid was for an Officer to coordinate the Council’s effort to tackle the climate emergency. There were a host of proposed capital projects to help tackle the climate emergency, and this specific post was designed to mobilise and coordinate the Council’s response. The Executive Member  ...  view the full minutes text for item 36.

37.

Work Programme pdf icon PDF 165 KB

To consider the work programme for the remainder of the 2019/20 municipal year

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report about its work programme, set out in agenda pages 43 to 50, which outlined the proposed forward programme for the Committee for the remainder of the 2019/20 municipal year.

 

RESOLVED That:

 

1)     The extraordinary meeting of the Committee scheduled for 6 January include items relating to the proposed capital programme, and an update on the Council’s property investment group;

 

2)     The meeting of the Committee scheduled for 13 January include items relating to the review of burial grounds, and an update on the upcoming Borough Design Guide.