Agenda and minutes

Policy Development Committee
Thursday, 14th November, 2019 2.00 pm

Venue: Barum Room - Brynsworthy. View directions

Contact: Corporate and Community Services  01271 388253

Link: Audio available here

Items
No. Item

20.

Apologies

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Campbell.

21.

To approve as correct records the minutes of the meetings held on 12th September and 15th October 2019 (attached). pdf icon PDF 294 KB

Subject to the inclusion of apologies from Councillor Hunt in the minutes of the 12th September 2019.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

 

RESOLVED that the minutes of the meetings held on 12th September and 15th October 2019 (circulated previously) be approved as correct records and signed by the Chair.

22.

Declarations of Interest.

(Please telephone the Corporate and Community Services team to prepare a form for your signature before the meeting. Interests must be re-declared when the item is called, and Councillors must leave the room if necessary).

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest announced.

23.

Performance and Financial Management Quarter 2 of 2019/20. pdf icon PDF 304 KB

Report by the Head of Resources to the Strategy and Resources Committee held on 4th November 2019 (attached).

 

(a) Minute Extract of the Strategy and Resources Committee held on 4th

November 2019 (to follow).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report to the Strategy and Resources Committee on 4th November 2019 by the Head of Resources regarding the Performance and Financial Management Quarter 2 of 2019/20.

 

The Chair welcomed the Accountancy Services Manager and the Exchequer Manager to the meeting.

 

The Accountancy Services Manager highlighted the following points to the Committee:

 

·         As at 30th September 2019, the latest forecast net budget was £12.605m, which produced a budget deficit of £0.087m. The deficit for quarter one was £0.028m.

·         Operational Services had seen increasing pressure in quarter two on various budgets due to increased levels of missed collections and higher levels of sickness absence. Employee costs were currently forecast to exceed the budget by £0.229m, the main reasons contributing to this overspend were increased use of agency and overtime to cover the inefficiencies.

·         The Head of Operational Services had outlined plans to address some of the issues by:

 

Ø  Introducing changes to the workshop to reduce vehicles off the road – The working hours of the vehicle workshop had been extended as part of a trial to increase vehicle availability and to reduce overtime both in the workshop and on the collection crews. The number of technicians had also been increased

from five to six as part of the trial. Previously the workshop had been operating between 6am and 5pm with one technician in at 6am. The workshop would now be operating between 6am and 6pm with two technicians in from 6am to 2pm, two from 8am to 4pm, and two from 10am to 6pm. Productivity would be closely monitored to establish the level of repairs / maintenance that were undertaken between 6am & 7am and 3pm & 6pm (the vehicles needed to be available to the collection staff between 7am and 3pm). The intention was to complete more work outside of core hours and to minimise reduced vehicle availability from breakdowns and maintenance. This in turn would reduce /remove the need for collection crews to work beyond 3pm or on a Saturday to “catch up” due to the lack of vehicle availability.

Ø  Challenging the resource allocation across all Works and Recycling manual sections had identified that the street cleansing team could be reduced by two (over the winter months) and they would now be redeployed to assist with cover

on the refuse and recycling services which in turn would see a positive reduction in the number of agency staff used for cover. In addition an analysis of winter tonnages had been undertaken for the green collection service. Resource requirements had been challenged across the 10 day collection cycle and crew sizes had been reduced accordingly (in consultation with the staff) this created a pool of staff that would now be redeployed to cover holiday and sickness across black and recycling services which would produce a positive reduction in agency support. Weekly usage of agency and overtime would now be tracked against the revised projections.

Ø  The average number of days lost to sickness in  ...  view the full minutes text for item 23.

24.

Treasury Management Strategy Statement and Annual Investment Strategy Mid-Year Treasury Management Review 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 496 KB

Report by the Chief Financial Officer to the Strategy and Resources Committee held on 4th November 2019 (attached).

 

(a) Minute Extract of the Strategy and Resources Committee held on 4th

November 2019 (to follow).

 

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report to the Strategy and Resources Committee on 4th November 2019 by the Chief Financial Officer regarding the Treasury Management Strategy Statement and Annual Investment Strategy Mid-Year Review Report 2019/20.

 

The Exchequer Managerhighlighted the following points to the Committee:

 

·         The Treasury Management Strategy Statement (TMSS) for 2019/20 was approved by Full Council on 25thFebruary 2019.

·         The TMSS approved previously required revision in the light of economic and operational movements during the year. He outlined the proposed changes, which were as follows:

 

Ø  The Capital Financing Requirement had reduced from £6.44m to £5.462m.

Ø  The Authorised Borrowing limit had increased from £11m to £22.5m.

Ø  The Maturity Structure of Debt over 10 years had increased from 50% to 90%.

 

·         The Council’s Capital (Prudential Indicators), which outlined the Prudential Indicator for Capital Expenditure together with the changes to financing of the Capital Programme.

·         The Changes to the Prudential Indicators for the Capital Financing

Requirement, External Debt and the Operational Boundary.

·         The limits to Borrowing Activity, which had a revised indicator for the authorised limit for external debt of £22.5m.

·         The Council held £18.6m of investments as at 30 September 2019 (£8.56m at 31st March 2019) and the investment portfolio yield for the first six months of the year was 0.70% against the benchmark 7 day LIBID of 0.57%.

·         The Council’s budgeted investment return for 2019/20 was £70,000. As at 30th September 2019 £62,203 investment interest was earned in the half-year period.

·         The Council’s Capital Financing Requirement (CFR) for 2019/20 was £5.46m. The CFR denotes the Council’s underlying need to borrow for capital purposes. If the CFR was positive the Council may borrow from the Public Works Loan Board (PWLB), or the market (external borrowing), or from internal balances on a temporary basis (internal borrowing). The balance of external and internal borrowing was generally driven by market conditions.

·         At present, the Council had projected total external borrowing of £1.25m and utilising £4.21m of cash flow funds in lieu of borrowing. This was a prudent and cost effective approach in the current economic climate but would require ongoing monitoring of economic conditions.

·         During October 2019, HM Treasury announced, with immediate effect, that it was increasing the margin that applies to new loans from the PWLB by 100bps (one percent) on top of usual lending terms. This was in part due to some local authorities substantially increasing their use of the PWLB in recent months, as the cost of borrowing had fallen to record lows. This had effectively restored interest rates to the levels available in 2018.

 

RESOLVED that, the recommendations of the Strategy and Resources Committee be endorsed.

 

 

25.

Work Programme/Forward Plan. pdf icon PDF 112 KB

To consider the Policy Development work programme/forward plan 2019/20 (attached).

Minutes:

The Committee considered the work programme/forward plan for 2019/20 (circulated previously).

 

The Chairman explained that the Clerk was currently collating feedback that he had received from other Members in relation to items of interest for future inclusion in the work programme.

 

RESOLVED, that the Work Programme be noted.