Agenda and minutes

Scrutiny Commission - Wednesday, 9th February, 2022 5.30 p.m.

The Agenda for this meeting will be published 5 clear working days before the scheduled date of the meeting. The Minutes and Decisions for this meeting will normally be published within 9 working days following the date of the meeting.

Note: this does not apply to Scrutiny Working Groups or Scrutiny Commissioners meetings, please contact the relevant Scrutiny Officer for more information on the work programme for these Groups.

Venue: Council Chamber - Council Offices, Narborough

Contact: Sandeep Tiensa  0116 272 7640

Items
No. Item

221.

Disclosures of Interests from Members

To receive disclosures of interests from Members (ie. The existence and the nature of those interests in respect of items on this agenda).

Minutes:

No disclosures were received.

222.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 213 KB

To approve and sign the minutes of the meeting held on 3 November 2021 (enclosed).

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 3 November 2021, as circulated, were approved and signed as a correct record.

223.

Gender Pay Gap pdf icon PDF 242 KB

To consider the report of the Strategic HR Manager (enclosed).

Minutes:

Considered - Report of the Strategic HR Manager, presented by the Strategic Director (Section 151 Officer).

 

224.

Commercial Strategy

Members will receive an update from the Strategic Director (S.151) on the Commercial Strategy before it is considered by full Council on Thursday 24 February 2022.

Minutes:

The Strategic Director (S.151 Officer) presented an update to Scrutiny Commission on the draft Commercial Strategy 2022-27.

 

The presentation covered the following points:

 

·         The First Commercial Strategy adopted by the Council was in 2018.

·         The Council illustrated considerable success in outcomes against the action plan in 2019 but further progress stalled during the period that followed due to the focus of the Council and officers dealing with the pandemic.

·         The fact that the Council is facing considerable future funding gaps gives great importance to revisiting the Commercial Strategy.

·         The newly updated Prudential Code - includes the requirement that an authority must not borrow for the purpose of investment primarily for financial return.

·         The Commercial Strategy includes an Action Plan to be updated annually.

·         Updates on progress will be delivered to Members via quarterly financial reporting, scrutiny of the budget and reports to Cabinet & Council as appropriate.

 

The Strategic Director (S151 Officer) advised Members that due the update in the Prudential Code, any borrowing for investment must be justified to follow what Blaby District Council represents and must be linked to our District.

 

The Strategic Director (S151 Officer) presented the following priority themes of the Commercial Strategy:

 

·         Strengthening and Efficiency of Services.

·         Investment in and Maximisation of Asset Utilisation.

·         Selling Services.

·         Maximising Partnership Working and Encouraging Corporate Social Responsibility.

·         Exploiting External Funding Opportunities.

 

Cllr. Shane Blackwell questioned whether we are working with businesses on corporate social responsibility (CSR) projects within the District?

 

The Strategic Director (S151 Officer) responded that we do try to work with businesses in Blaby District to encourage CSR projects such as volunteer week. An example was given of the Council working with local schools to create work experience projects in the new Glen Parva Prison.

 

 

225.

Scrutiny of the Administrations draft 2022/23 Budget Proposals pdf icon PDF 214 KB

To consider the report of the Senior Democratic Services Officer (enclosed).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Considered – Report of the Senior Democratic Services & Scrutiny Officer.

 

Following consideration of the Commercial Strategy item earlier in the meeting,  Members requested that Recommendation 3 of the report be amended to read that, Scrutiny was broadly supportive of the objectives of the Strategy.

 

Members provided feedback on some minor amendments in the report, which were noted by the Senior Democratic Services & Scrutiny Officer, and were to be included in the final version to be submitted to Cabinet Executive.  

 

 

226.

Consideration of Forward Plan Items pdf icon PDF 263 KB

To identify if Forward Plan items require further discussion or information for Scrutiny Members.

 

Minutes:

No items were raised for further information or examination.

227.

Further Actions for Scrutiny arising from Meeting

Minutes:

The Chairman, Cllr. Geoff Welsh led a discussion with Members on an item that had been raised by a Member for possible examination by Scrutiny.   The Member had requested that further information be provided on how to respond to queries from East Midlands Homes (EMH) residents who needed repairs, or accessing help for very vulnerable residents.

 

It was agreed that the Senior Democratic Services & Scrutiny Officer would contact EMH to find out further information, and that the Scrutiny Commissioners would consider this at the next meeting.