Agenda and minutes

Performance and Finance Scrutiny Committee - Monday, 13th September, 2021 11.00 am

Venue: County Hall, Chichester, PO19 1RQ

Contact: Lisa Sampson on 033 022 28193  Email:  lisa.sampson@westsussex.gov.uk

Media

Items
No. Item

11.

Declarations of Interest

Members and officers must declare any pecuniary or personal interest in any business on the agenda.  They should also make declarations at any stage such an interest becomes apparent during the meeting.  Consideration should be given to leaving the meeting if the nature of the interest warrants it.  If in doubt please contact Democratic Services before the meeting.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

11.1  In relation to the Performance and Resources Report:

·         Cllr Hillier declared a personal interest [economy] as the Cabinet Member for Economic Growth at Mid Sussex District Council.

·         Cllr Boram declared a personal interest as the Executive Member for Health and Wellbeing at Adur District Council.

·         Cllr B Cooper declared a personal interest [public health savings] as a public health consultant.

12.

Committee membership

The Committee is asked to note the changes to its membership as below:

·       Cllr Sarah Payne has been appointed to the Committee.

·       Cllr Trevor Bence has been appointed to the Committee as a substitute (Conservative).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

12.1  The Committee notes its membership and welcomes Cllr Payne as a Member of the Committee and Cllr Bence as a substitute Member.

13.

Minutes of the last meeting of the Committee pdf icon PDF 123 KB

The Committee is asked to agree the minutes of the meeting held on 5 July 2021 (cream paper).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

13.1  Resolved – That the minutes of the meeting held on 5 July 2021 be approved as a correct record and that they be signed by the Chairman.

14.

Quarter 1 Performance and Resources Report (PRR) as at the end of June 2021 pdf icon PDF 146 KB

A report by the Director of Finance and Support Services, setting out the finance and performance position as at the end of June 2021.

 

The Committee is asked to examine the data and supporting commentary for the PRR report and make any recommendations for action to the relevant Cabinet Member or Scrutiny Committee.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

14.1  The Committee considered the Quarter 1 Performance and Resources Report (PRR) from the Director of Finance and Support Services summarising the positions of finance, performance, risk, workforce, and capital programme as at the end of June 2021 (copy appended to the signed minutes).

 

14.2  The Chief Executive introduced the report, supported by the Leader, Cabinet Member for Finance and Property, the Cabinet Member for Economy and Support Services, the Director of Finance and Support Services, and the Interim Director of HR and Organisational Development.  They highlighted the financial position of the Council, the Government’s comprehensive spending review which is expected to provide a three year funding deal from April 2022, and the effects of inflation for building materials on the Capital Programme.  Uncertainty of cost remains in a number of services as a result of the effects of Covid and Brexit; any deficit from Council Tax and Business Rate receipts will be smoothed by the budget fund reserve and estimates will be refreshed in the Medium-Term Financial Strategy 2022/23 report.

 

14.3  The Committee made comments in relation to the PRR including those that follow. It:

·         Welcomed the new format PRR which is readable and navigable.  Suggested some improvements to the report to aid understanding as noted below.  The Cabinet Members present and Chief Executive undertook to consider the suggested improvements:

a.    The Performance Summary [Graph 1] is hard to interpret and relate against measures in the portfolios, adding a commentary would help or an improved table with a column to say which corporate priority it represents.

b.    The black arrows on the Our Council Performance Measures table don’t show the direction of performance as clearly as the previous version.

c.    That progress with the council’s climate change objectives be drawn out more clearly throughout the report, including actions taken to save carbon and encourage sustainability.

d.    Requested that comparator/contextual information in relation to the workforce statistics is included so the Committee can gauge staff performance.

e.    That the impacts on red-rated capital programme projects and their financing be made clearer.

f.     On the RIDDOR reporting in the workforce report to add a column giving the previous year’s total reported incidents to aid comparison. 

·         Suggested a briefing be provided with further information on how the delayed funding settlement for Adult Social Care will impact on the Council’s finances.  The Leader will ensure a full briefing is provided to all Members.

·         Raised particular concerns around the issues highlighted in the ‘Keeping people safe from vulnerable situations’ corporate priority and requested that the relevant scrutiny committees review the specific performance issues in that area.

·         Asked the Committee’s Business Planning Group (BPG) to consider scrutiny of how effectively planned savings are delivered and how future change is managed and monitored within the council.

·         Noted the excellent performance on KPI 52 [partnership working] and KPI 16 [social value].  Welcomed including a new KPI 45 on Member training and development needs.

·         Regarding KPI 15 [enterprises supported to start, revive, innovate and grow] requested information on  ...  view the full minutes text for item 14.

15.

Update on progress in the Joint Venture Partnership for the County Council in Property Development pdf icon PDF 105 KB

A report by the Director of Property and Assets on the progress made in establishing the Joint Venture (JV) Partnership. 

 

Committee to consider the governance setup and progress made in setting up the JV partnership to date and make any relevant recommendations to the Cabinet Member for Finance and Property. 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

15.1  The Committee considered the report from the Director of Property and Assets outlining the progress made in establishing the Joint Venture (JV) Partnership (copy appended to the signed minutes).

 

15.2  The Cabinet Member for Finance and Property introduced the report supported by the Director of Property and Assets.  They highlighted the progress made in setting up the JV for property development and appointing the wholly owned company Edes Estates Limited (the WOC).  Planning applications for development should begin towards the end of 2021.  They recognised the input of the Technical Project Manager (Place Services), and offered thanks for his excellence and dedication in leading this work over the last 18 months.

 

15.3  The Committee made comments in relation to the JV report including those that follow.  It:

·         Queried the importance of the lending of additional funding to the JV being at prevailing commercial market rates.  It was confirmed that the JV can source funding from any lender, and that if the Council wishes to lend to the JV it must be at competitive market rates for legal reasons. 

·         Asked who the guarantees are taken out with for any future insolvency of the contractor.  It was confirmed that the parent company guarantee is from the Morgan Sindall Group PLC as stipulated in the tender, and development in phases further mitigates risk to the JV.

·         Enquired whether external legal advice was taken on the JV.  It was confirmed that advice had been sought from Sharpe Pritchard legal services as well as Pinsent Mason and Browne Jacobsen.

·         Asked whether there are any tax implications to developing land under the JV arrangements as compared to selling the land for development.  It was confirmed that there are tax implications and a tax expert will be engaged to advise the JV.

 

15.4  Resolved – That the Scrutiny Committee has been involved throughout the establishment of the JV and that it is satisfied with the governance setup and progress made in setting up the JV partnership to date.

16.

Work Programme Planning and possible items for future scrutiny pdf icon PDF 291 KB

The Committee is asked to review its work programme which reflects the outcome of discussions at the committee’s Business Planning Group meeting on 23 July 2021.

 

The Committee is asked to review the extract of the Forward Plan of Key Decisions (Appendix A) and mention any items believed to be of relevance to the business of the scrutiny committee.  An update of any relevant changes to the Forward Plan will be tabled ahead of the meeting.

 

If any member puts forward such an item, the Committee’s role at this meeting is to assess, briefly, whether to refer the matter to its Business Planning Group (BPG) to consider in detail.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

16.1  The Committee considered the forward work programme and the extract of the Forward Plan of Key Decisions (copies appended to the signed minutes).

 

16.2  Items for the Business Planning Group to consider incorporating into the Committee’s work programme were identified, including:

·         An item on how savings are delivered, how change is managed, and how savings and change will be monitored in future.

·         It was highlighted that the Government’s proposed Integrated Care System (ICS) is due to be implemented in 6 months’ time; it has potential benefits, however the Council will be a 50% partner to the costs alongside the NHS.  Members were encouraged to follow the scrutiny of the ICS which will be considered by the Health and Adult Social Care Scrutiny Committee.

 

16.3  Resolved – That the Committee’s Business Planning Group consider the items as noted in 16.2 for inclusion into the 2021/22 work programme.

17.

Date of Next Meeting

The next meeting of the Committee will be held on 1 November 2021 at 10.30am.  Probable agenda items include:

·         Medium Term Financial Strategy 2022/23

·         People Framework

·         Asset Strategy

·         Treasury Management Mid-Year Report 2021/22

 

Any member wishing to place an item on the agenda for the meeting must notify the Director of Law and Assurance by 20 October 2021.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

17.1  The Committee notes its next meeting will take place on 1 November 2021, commencing at 10.30am.