Agenda and minutes

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Venue: Committee Room 1, Town Hall, Chorley

Contact: Nina Neisser  Email: nina.neisser@chorley.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

20.OS.59

Minutes of meeting Thursday, 26 September 2019 of Overview and Scrutiny Committee pdf icon PDF 91 KB

Minutes:

Decision: That the minutes of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee held on 26 September 2019 be approved as a correct record for signature by the Chair.

20.OS.60

Declarations of Any Interests

Members are reminded of their responsibility to declare any pecuniary interest in respect of matters contained in this agenda.

 

If you have a pecuniary interest you must withdraw from the meeting. Normally you should leave the room before the business starts to be discussed. You do, however, have the same right to speak as a member of the public and may remain in the room to enable you to exercise that right and then leave immediately. In either case you must not seek to improperly influence a decision on the matter.

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest received.

20.OS.61

Public Questions

Members of the public who have requested the opportunity to ask a question(s) on an item on the agenda will be asked to put their question(s) to the Committee.  Each member of the public will be allowed to ask one supplementary question within his/her allocated 3 minutes. 

Minutes:

There were no public questions for consideration.

20.OS.62

Executive Cabinet Minutes pdf icon PDF 91 KB

To consider the Executive Cabinet minutes of the meeting held on 17 October 2019 and 14 November 2019.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Decision: That the minutes of the Executive Cabinet meetings held on 17 October 2019 and 14 November 2019 be noted.

20.OS.63

Notice of Executive Decisions pdf icon PDF 460 KB

To view the latest notice of Executive Decisions click here: https://democracy.chorley.gov.uk/mgListPlanItems.aspx?PlanId=903&RP=115.

 

The document is also attached and correct as of 15 January 2020.

Minutes:

Members of the Committee considered the Notice of Executive Decisions for September 2019 which gave notice of key and other major decisions Executive Members are expected to make. The Notice is reviewed on a regular basis to ensure that it is up to date and fit for purpose.

20.OS.64

Budget Scrutiny pdf icon PDF 1 MB

Report of the Chief Finance Officer.

 

The Executive Member for Resources will be present at the meeting to answer any questions the Committee may have.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Executive Member for Resources, Councillor Peter Wilson, presented the report which set out the budget position for 2020/21 including the forecast for the following two years to 2022/23 and also presented proposals in respect of the use of forecast resources identified in 2020/21 as well as consultation on the budget.

 

The budget forecasts over the next 3 years had been updated to take account of the following;

·         Due to the investments made by the Council and the efficiencies achieved, there was no proposed increase in council tax in 2020/21

·         There was no proposed increase in council tax in 2021/2022 or 2022/23, this would be revisited every year and would be dependent on upon the outcome of the Government announcements regarding the Fair Funding Review and Business Rates Retention.

·         Continued investment of approximately £1million that would deliver corporate strategy priorities

·         Strategies to reduce the budget deficit in the medium term.

 

The Committee were advised that 2019-20 was due to be the final year of the Government’s four-year Settlement, however following the Spending Round 2019, councils would receive a further one-year Settlement as the planned changes from the Fair Funding Review and 75% Business Rates retention had been delayed by at least one year until April 2021 at the earliest.

 

Chorley Council benefitted in 2019/20 from being a member of the Lancashire 75% business rates pilot. The spending round 2019 announced that all 75% pilots would be disbanded. The budget assumed that in 2020/21 the council would revert to member of the Lancashire business rates pool as per the guidance from Government. The spending review also announced a gradual reduction and ultimate removal of New Homes Bonus.

 

With regards to Council Tax, the Provisional Local Government Finance Settlement announced a council tax referendum principle of up to 2% in 2020/21. The council expects a gradual slowdown in house building over the coming three years, however there were still sites coming forward. An average 1.5% expansion of the base was forecast in the draft budget for 2021/22 onwards.

 

Following discussion on the slowdown in house building, the committee were advised that this was in relation to previous years where the borough had experienced an increase in house building e.g. the development of Buckshaw. The Executive Member undertook to find out the specific house building numbers.

 

As part of the triennial pension review the Lancashire County Pension Fund announced an increase in employer pension contributions for 2020/21 to 2022/23 to meet the future costs of the scheme. The contributions had increased from 14.4% to 16.4% resulting in an increase in the council’s contribution. This was lower than the 17.7% assumed in the previous year’s budget.

 

Members welcomed the reduction in the contributions to the pension deficit and that the Lancashire County Pension Fund had outperformed most local authority pension funds over the past 3 years. Looking forward the pension fund provided figures that forecast Chorley Council’s contribution to the prior year deficit which would reduce by approximately £500k, reducing the council’s budgeted contributions  ...  view the full minutes text for item 20.OS.64

20.OS.65

Health Scrutiny pdf icon PDF 215 KB

To consider the Work Plan of Lancashire County Council’s Health Scrutiny Committee. The Council’s representative on the Committee, Councillor Margaret France, will give a verbal update.

Minutes:

Members were advised that the last meeting of the Lancashire County Council’s Health Scrutiny had been cancelled and there was no update at this time. The next meeting was scheduled for 4 February 2020; therefore Councillor Margaret France would provide an update at the meeting on 19 March.

 

Decision: that the update be noted.

 

20.OS.66

Review of Neighbourhood Working following the Boundary Review

Discussion to consider the review of neighbourhood working and neighbourhood area meetings following the Boundary Review and all-out elections in May 2020.

Minutes:

Following the boundary review and upcoming all-out elections in May 2020, it was agreed that neighbourhood working and neighbourhood area meetings would need to be reviewed.

 

The Chair proposed that a special meeting take place on Thursday, 27 February at 6.30pm to address this. It was agreed that the Chairs of each of the neighbourhood area meetings also be invited attend this meeting. The Committee agreed the approach and the importance of addressing this.

 

Decision:

1.    That a special meeting take place on Thursday, 27 February to address neighbourhood working

2.    That the Chairs from each of the Neighbourhood Area Meetings be invited to attend.

 

20.OS.67

Executive Cabinet Response to the Overview and Scrutiny Task Group on Social Housing Standards pdf icon PDF 350 KB

Report of Director (Early Intervention and Support).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

At its meeting on 1 August 2019, the Executive Cabinet agreed 29 out of the 31 recommendations put forward by the Overview and Scrutiny Task Group on the Quality of Social Housing, with an alternative solution for the remaining two.

 

It was agreed that the majority of the Task Group’s recommendations, with the exclusion of item 12 and 13, were incorporated into a social Housing Standards Charter, to be developed and agreed with the Registered Housing Providers.

 

Members welcomed the response and the Chair advised that a monitoring report would be coming to the Committee later in the year.

 

Decision: that the Executive Cabinet response be noted.

 

20.OS.68

Reports from the Task and Finish Groups

Overview and Scrutiny Task and Finish Group - Developing the Council’s Green Agenda

To receive a verbal update on the inquiry from the Chair, Councillor Steve Holgate.

Minutes:

Cllr Paul Sloan, Vice-Chair of the Task Group informed Members of the work that had been undertaken to date as part of the Task Group Inquiry. This included sub-group meetings with Chorley Council officers and external partners and site visits to Lancaster City Council and GA Pet Food Partners Manufacturing Site in Bretherton to observe best practice. A position statement was created which included where the council currently sat in comparison to other councils and the estimated costings going forward which fed into the 2020/21 budget proposals.

 

Members were advised that officers were in the process of drafting the final report. This would be taken to the Task Group at a special meeting on 11 February, before being circulated to the Overview and Scrutiny Committee on 27 February. Once agreed, this would be taken to the Executive Cabinet in March for approval.

 

Decision: that the verbal update be noted.

20.OS.69

Overview and Scrutiny Work Programme pdf icon PDF 219 KB

To consider the Scrutiny Work Programme for 2019/20.

Minutes:

Members considered the work programme for the Overview and Scrutiny Committee, Performance Panel and task group topic areas for 2019/20.

 

The Chair highlighted how busy the Committee had been in the year to date, and following the meeting in March would have addressed all the topics outlined within the work programme.

 

Decision: That the work programme be noted.

 

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20.OS.70

Any urgent business previously agreed with the Chair