Agenda and minutes

item 3 refer to 9 January papers, Scrutiny of the Administration's Budget Proposals - Wednesday, 16th January, 2019 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.

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Items
No. Item

1.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 80 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 9 January 2019, as circulated, were approved and signed as a correct record.

2.

2019/20 draft Portfolio Budget Proposals

To consider Portfolio Holder responses to scrutiny questions; and any further budget information provided. 

Minutes:

The Chairman welcomed members and officers to the meeting and invited Portfolio Holders to present their reports.

 

·       Establishment

o   A pay rise for staff of 2% and spinal point changes have contributed to a 3% rise in establishment costs

o   A better measure of our performance is not cost-based but against the Blaby Plan priorities, per capita cost does not provide a true comparison

 

·       Is everything possible being done to maximise income opportunities?

o   As part of the Commercial Strategy, we are looking to increase and maximise opportunities for income – the Depot Site being one example

o   There is no aim to reduce services, where we can increase income to underpin what we do

 

·       What are the Portfolio Holders thoughts about how the additional monies from the 75% Business Rate Retention Pilot are to be spent?

o   75% Business Rate Retention Pilot brings £400,000 into the Council to be used, as a one off, on Blaby Plan identified priorities e.g. infrastructure, cycle paths, heritage, homelessness etc.

 

·       Is infrastructure money focused at where growth has been greatest?

o   £400,000 is available for one year only and will not go a long way to resolve the infrastructure challenges that there are in the District

 

·       Transfer and disposal to Parishes – the hand over is very slow, what is the reason for this? How will development of a strategy in 2019/20 for managing acquisitions and disposal of Council assets assist?

o   Legal issues regarding the covenants, which is very difficult and time consuming process

o   Large number of assets to dispose of and not a small task

o   There is reduced capacity in the Assets Team given recent projects – Office Refurbishment, Memorial Garden, Relocation of the Pavilion team

 

·       Why has there been an increased cost for the cleaning contract?

o   A lot of work taking place to procure a cleaning contract which should be by Quarter 2

o   The cleaning contract covers many different sites including the Council Offices, the Depot and the Leisure Centres

 

·       The lease occupancy of the Council building – what income does this raise?

o   £428,500 is raised from lease contracts - £376,000 from units in Enderby, £125,000 raised from NHS, £9,000 from the Citizens Advice Bureau

 

·       Provide more detail on the integration and efficiencies gained? The Pilot was started in 2015 with £135,000 invested from the General Reserve Fund (Spend to Save).

o   £18,000 of savings have been made to date this financial year

o   Approximately £2,000 of savings have been made by reducing back office calls and providing more training to the Customer Services Team is planned

o   Day to day workload reduced for the Revenues and Benefits Team

o   Will continue to work to integrate the roles and continue with reviews and finish what is being done

 

·       What is the delay in delivery and benefits of bringing together the Revenues and Benefits department?

o   A business case has been proposed with suggested service improvements which will include changes to headcount in the next  ...  view the full minutes text for item 2.