Agenda and draft minutes

Scrutiny Committee
Thursday, 13th February, 2020 6.30 pm

Venue: Burnley Town Hall

Contact: Alison McEwan  Democracy Officer

Items
No. Item

53.

Apologies

To receive any apologies for absence.

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Councillors Bea Foster and Dale Ferrier.

54.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 230 KB

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the previous meeting.

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 21st January 2020 were approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair.

55.

Declarations of Interest

To receive any declarations of interest from Members relating to any item on the agenda, in accordance with the provisions of the Code of Conduct and/or indicate if S106 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 applies to them.

Minutes:

Councillor Andy Tatchell declared an Other (Prejudicial) Interest in Item 17 on the agenda relating to the Towneley Hall Capital Works and Town Hall Update.

56.

Notice of Key Decisions and Private Meetings pdf icon PDF 245 KB

To consider the list of future Key Decisions.

Minutes:

IT WAS AGREED

 

That the 28 day Notice of Key Decisions and Private Meetings for the 17th February 2020 Executive be noted.

57.

Community Safety Annual Report pdf icon PDF 157 KB

To provide an update to the scrutiny committee of Burnley’s community safety performance as part of the required statutory function.

Minutes:

Richard Brown  presented the Community Safety report for 2019/20 and set out the Community Safety Projects and Activity in Burnley for 2019/20, as well as the proposed activity for 2020/21.

 

Members asked the following questions;

 

·         If alleygates are removed from pre 2008 alleygating schemes, are residents still responsible for the backstreet?

It was stated that residents would still be responsible as the land was made private at the time of gating.

 

 

IT WAS AGREED

That the report be noted.

58.

Revenue Budget Q3 pdf icon PDF 628 KB

To report the forecast outturn position for the year as at 31 March 2020 based upon actual spending and income to 31 December 2019.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Amy Johnson reported on Revenue Budget Monitoring Q3 to 31 December 2019. She highlighted the salary and non-salary savings.

 

Members asked the following questions;

·         Had the non -salary savings been taken out of the budget?

It was stated that it had been built into the base of the budget.

 

 

 

IT WAS AGREED

That the report be noted.

59.

Capital Budget Q3 pdf icon PDF 251 KB

To provide Members with an update on capital expenditure and the resources position along with highlighting any variances.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Amy Johnston reported on Capital Monitoring Q3 to 31st December 2019.

 

Members asked the following questions;

·         Why was there a transfer of 150k from Vacant Property Initiative to General Capital Receipts?

Finance would provide the answer to Members in due course.

 

 

IT WAS AGREED

That the report be noted.

60.

Revenue Budget 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 592 KB

To consider the estimates of revenue income and expenditure for 2020/21 and to make recommendations to full Council about next year’s Revenue Budget.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Asad Mushtaq presented a report on the Capital Budget 2020/21.

 

Members discussed paragraph 20 regarding the proposed involvement of Scrutiny Committee with a Community Skips project, and referred to the results of a report regarding the effectiveness of community skips during 2018/19.

 

Members also asked the following questions;

·         Was New Homes Bonus (NHB) only for one year now?

It was stated that the Government had redesigned NHB and it was confirmed as only being for one year.

·         Why could collection rates of Council Tax not be protected by putting a charge against property?

It was stated that enforcement against non- payment of Council Tax was a complicated area of law and in some cases was not effective as  some properties were in negative equity.

·         What was the 40k growth item for the LDS paying for?

It was stated that it was for a one -off fee for consultants

 

IT WAS AGREED

(1)  That the report be noted; and

 

(2)  That relating to Paragraph 20 and the Community Skips Project, the Scrutiny Committee would consider a comprehensive report from Officers to enable it to consider all the issues in good time, prior to any decision being made on the project at the Executive

61.

Medium Term Financial Strategy pdf icon PDF 226 KB

To consider the longer term financial outlook within the context of a Medium-Term Financial Strategy covering the financial years 2021/22 to 2024/25, highlighting uncertainties, underlying risks and make recommendations to Council.  The Medium-Term Financial Strategy should be read in conjunction with the Revenue Budget 2020/21 and the associated statutory report of the Chief Finance Officer

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Asad Mushtaq presented a report on the Medium Term Financial Strategy.

 

Members asked the following questions;

·         Why has there been no allowance made for an increase in business rates revenue?

It was stated that there had been a number of challenges by businesses to their rateable values, and that there was some concern if the Government was to recalibrate the base line for business rates in order to make growth the new normal.

 

 

IT WAS AGREED

That the report be noted

62.

Capital Budget 2020/21 and Capital Investment Programme pdf icon PDF 192 KB

To consider the Capital Budget for 2020/21.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Asad Mushtaq presented the Capital Budget 2020/21 and Capital Investment Programme.

 

Members asked the following questions;

·         What is the value of the Town Hall and was it feasible to replace it?

It was stated that it was Grade 2 listed building and a heritage asset.

·         Regarding the Capital Receipts and Contributions analysis for 2019/20 and CIP 2021-25 why is the programme not in balance as generally in previous years and now showing a deficit?

It was stated that the easy big capital receipts were no longer available and now the Council had to prioritise health and safety issues, wind and water protection and maintain its income returns. It was also stated that borrowing was currently at historic low interest rates.

 

 

 

IT WAS AGREED

That the report be noted.

63.

Treasury Management and Prudential Borrowing pdf icon PDF 258 KB

 

To consider the o outline a treasury management strategy statement for the financial year 2020/21 and the prudential indicators for the financial years 2020/23 in line with the CIPFA’s Prudential Code 2017.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Amy Johnson presented the Treasury Management and Prudential Borrowing report.

 

IT WAS AGREED

That the report be noted.

64.

Scrutiny Review Groups

To receive an update on the work of any active Scrutiny Review Groups.

Minutes:

The Chair reported on the progress of the Committee’s Working Groups.

 

He indicated that the Railway Working Group had recently met and was aiming to present a report to the next Scrutiny Committee on the 11th March 2020 with a view to making recommendations to the Executive.

 

He also indicated that a meeting took place with Calico as part of the Private Sector Housing Working Group regarding a communications facility, and that it was also aiming to present a report to the next Scrutiny Committee on the 11th March 2020 with a view to making recommendations.

 

Members also discussed Minute 51 (21st January 2020 Scrutiny Committee) and what work the Working Group would do regarding the Contributions Supplementary Planning Document (SPD).

 

IT WAS AGREED

(1)  That the report be noted; and

 

(2)  That Democracy would contact Scrutiny Members for any volunteers to look at the issues with the SPD in parallel with the consultation which was currently taking place, and that any outcomes would be looked at by Scrutiny in good time before it was considered by the Executive.

65.

Work Programme 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 116 KB

To consider any amendments to the Work Programme for 2019/20.

Minutes:

IT WAS AGREED

That the Work Programme 2019/20 be noted.

66.

Exclusion of the Public

Minutes:

That the public be excluded from the meeting before discussion takes place on the items relating to minute 67 in view of the nature of the business to be transacted, if the public were present, there would be a disclosure to them of exempt information, within the meaning of Paragraph 12A of the Local Government Act 1972.

67.

Towneley Hall Capital Works and Town Hall Update

To update on essential works at Towneley Hall and the Town Hall.

Minutes:

Councillor Andy Tatchell left the room for this item and was not involved in the debate or vote.

 

Councillor Marcus Johnstone (Vice -Chair) took the Chair for this item.

 

David Aspin, Rob McKay, and Phil Kirby gave a presentation to Members on an update of the Town Hall Capital Works including a number of options for future work on the Town Hall.

 

Members asked a number of questions about the options for the Town Hall, their costs and sustainability.

 

Simon Goff also reported on Capital Works for Towneley Hall.

 

IT WAS AGREED

That all the recommendations in the report be endorsed to the Executive, and that Option 3 on page 23 of the presentation regarding future Town Hall Capital Works be recommended to the Executive.