Meeting documents

Corporate Overview Scrutiny Committee
Wednesday, 6th March, 2019 9.30 am

Date: Wednesday 6th March 2019 Time: 9.30 a.m. Place: Council Chamber, Civic Centre, Ebbw Vale

Please note: all Minutes are subject to approval at the next Meeting

PresentAndReport toReport of

COUNCILLOR J. COLLINS (CHAIR)

Councillors: M. Cross
G. L. Davies
L. Elias
S. Healy
R. J. Hill
H. McCarthy
G. Paulsen
K. Pritchard
B. Summers
S. Thomas
D. Wilkshire
J. Wilkins

Corporate Director of Social Services
Chief Accountant - Capital
Scrutiny Officer
THE CHAIR AND MEMBERS OF THE COUNCILDEMOCRATIC SERVICES OFFICER
Item
No
Item/Resolution Status Action
PUBLIC
1. TUDALEN GLAWR AGENDA GYMRAEG/WELSH VERSION OF AGENDA COVERSHEET
Tudalen Glawr Agenda Gymraeg/Welsh Version of Agenda Coversheet (174K/bytes)
Noted
2. SIMULTANEOUS TRANSLATION

It was noted that no requests had been received for the simultaneous translation service.

Noted
3. APOLOGIES

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors M. Cook and M. Day.

Noted
4. DECLARATIONS OF INTERESTS AND DISPENSATIONS

There were no declarations of interest or dispensations reported.

Noted
5. CORPORATE OVERVIEW SCRUTINY COMMITTEE
Minutes (180K/bytes)
Cofnodion (121K/bytes)

The Minutes of the Corporate Overview Scrutiny Committee held on 23rd January, 2019 was submitted.

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The Committee AGREED that the Minutes be accepted as a true record of proceedings.

Agreed
6. ACTION SHEET
Action Sheet (54K/bytes)

Consideration was given to the Action Sheet of the Corporate Overview Scrutiny Committee Meeting held on the 23rd January, 2019, whereupon:-

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Trinity Chapel

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A Member enquired regarding a progress update on Trinity Chapel. The Chair advised Members that a report was currently being prepared and would be presented to the Environment, Regeneration & Economic Development Scrutiny Committee for consideration.

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The Committee AGREED that the Action Sheet be noted.
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Agreed
7. TREASURY MANAGEMENT � TREASURY STRATEGY STATEMENT, INVESTMENT STRATEGY & MRP POLICY STATEMENT 2019/2020
Report (128K/bytes)
Appendix A (381K/bytes)
Appendix B (34K/bytes)

Consideration was given to report of the Chief Officer Resources which was presented to provide Members with the opportunity to scrutinise the Treasury Strategy, Investment Strategy and Minimum Revenue Provision Policy (including prudential indicators) to be adopted for the 2019/2020 financial year prior to formal recommendation to Council.

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The Chief Accountant - Capital spoke to the report and highlighted the key points contained therein. The report was prepared in accordance with the CIPFA Code of Practice on Treasury Management that requires an annual Treasury Strategy Statement to be approved in advance of the relevant financial year.

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A new requirement for all local authorities to prepare a Capital Strategy report was introduced for 2019/20 and onwards which was intended to provide:-

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� A high level overview of how capital expenditure, capital financing and treasury management activity contributed to the provision of services.
� An overview of how the associated risk was managed.
� The implications for future financial sustainability.

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In response to a Member�s question regarding the increase in the Minimum Revenue Provision for 2022/23, the Chief Accountant � Capital explained that the revised MRP Policy agreed by Council in December 2017, enabled lower levels of MRP to apply for the period 2017/18 to 2021/22. The Budget forecast for MRP from 2022/23 would subsequently increase.

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A Member enquired regarding the Council�s debt and the Chief Accountant clarified that this debt did include capital schemes and match funding.

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Another Member referred to the Wales Audit Letter regarding the level of Council borrowing. The Chief Accountant said that long term borrowing was over 50 years. The main point in the letter referred to borrowing policies and practices and the necessity for internal borrowing to avoid or reduce external borrowing.

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A Member raised concerns regarding future capital investment and the length of prudential borrowing. The Chief Accountant confirmed that the Council had not committed to any long term loans recently.

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APPENDIX A

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1.0 Introduction - 1.5 Treasury Consultants

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A Member referred to the Council�s consultants Link Asset Services and enquired if consultation had been undertaken with other local authorities. The Chief Accountant said that across Wales there were only two main consultants in this field and currently the Council used Link Asset Services as its external treasury management advisors. The annual consultant fee was �12,000 and the contract was due to expire on 30th April, 2019. A review had been undertaken and the outcome, which had been agreed with the Chief Officer Resources who had delegated powers, was to extend the contract with Link Asset Services until 30th April, 2021.

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A Member felt that the annual consultant fee of �12,000 should be included in the report.

Councillor Lynn Elias left the meeting at this juncture.

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5.0 Annual Minimum Revenue Provision (MRP) Statement

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A Member referred to the MRP and the policy the Welsh Government were implementing and the Chief Accountant said that a more commercial approach was taken in England and this policy was consistent with other local authorities in Wales. The approach taken was delivered through Link Asset Services.

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A Member enquired regarding investing in Credit Unions as many banks had closed their high street branches. The Chief Accountant said that the Council could explore this option as a commercial activity vehicle.

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The Chief Accountant informed Members that due to reporting timelines the Capital Strategy report would be presented straight to full Council but going forward the Annual report would be presented to Scrutiny Committee for consideration in the first instance.

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The Committee AGREED to recommend that the report be accepted and endorsed Option 2, namely;

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� that the Annual Treasury Strategy Statement & Annual Investment Strategy & MRP Policy Statement for 2019/2020 financial year and the Treasury Management Prudential Indicators contained therein (Appendix A) be endorsed and do not consider any amendments, prior to submission to Council for formal approval.
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Agreed
8. FORWARD WORK PROGRAMME � 17TH APRIL 2019
Report (81K/bytes)
Appendix 1 (63K/bytes)

Consideration was given to the report of the Chair of the Corporate Overview Scrutiny Committee which was presented to Members for consideration of the Corporate Overview Scrutiny Committee Forward Work Programme for the Meeting on 17th April, 2019.

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Following a request by Members to add Civil Parking & Enforcement and CCTV to the Forward Work Programme, the Chair advised that a Members Briefing Session would be arranged for both these items.

The Committee AGREED that the report be accepted and endorse Option 2; namely that the following items be submitted to the next meeting on 17th April, 2019 as presented:

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� Application of Equality Impact Assessments Across the Council
� Joint Finance and Performance Report � Quarter 3
� Fundamental Review of Disciplinary Policy

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Information Items

� Strategic Equality Plan Annual Report
� Information Management Monitoring Report

Agreed