Meeting documents

Joint Scrutiny Committee (Budget Monitoring)
Monday, 6th November, 2017 9.30 am

Date: Monday 6th November 2017 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 L. ELIAS (CHAIR)
Item
No
Item/Resolution Status Action
PUBLIC
1. TUDALEN GLAWR AGENDA/WELSH VERSION OF AGENDA
Tudalen Glawr Agenda Gymraeg/Welsh Agenda Coversheet (173K/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 D. Bevan, J. Collins, M. Cross, M. Day, K. Hayden, J. Holt, M. Moore, G. Paulsen, T. Sharrem, B. Willis and L. C. Winnett.

Noted
4. DECLARATIONS OF INTERESTS AND DISPENSATIONS

There were no declarations of interest or dispensations reported.

Noted
5. JOINT SCRUTINY COMMITTEE (BUDGET MONITORING)
Minutes (219K/bytes)
Cofnodion (151K/bytes)

Consideration was given to the Minutes of the Joint Scrutiny Committee (Budget Monitoring) held on 11th September, 2017.

RESOLVED that the Minutes be accepted as a true record of proceedings.

Agreed
6. ACTION SHEET
Action Sheet (45K/bytes)

The Action Sheet arising from the Joint Scrutiny Committee (Budget Monitoring) held on 11th September, 2017 was submitted, whereupon:-

Silent Valley Waste Services

The Head of Public Services confirmed that a Members Briefing Session would be held on 16th November, 2017.

RESOLVED that the Action Sheet be noted.

Agreed
7. REVENUE BUDGET MONITORING 2017/2018, FORECAST TO 31 MARCH 2018 (AS AT 30 SEPTEMBER 2017)
Report (122K/bytes)
Appendix 1 (50K/bytes)
Appendix 2 and 3 (360K/bytes)
Appendix 4a-d, 5 and 6 (465K/bytes)

Consideration was given to report of the Chief Finance Officer which presented Members with a forecast of the end of the financial year position across all portfolios for the financial year 2017/18.

The Chief Finance Officer spoke to the report and highlighted the main points contained therein including that the Council forecast showed an adverse variance across all portfolios of 1.23 million for the current financial year.

RESOLVED to recommend that the report be accepted and

  • budget holders to operate within approved budgetary control procedures for the 2017/18 financial year be supported; and
  • action plans to address forecast adverse variances, when considering the financial forecast be supported; and
  • the proposed budget virements actioned during the period be supported.
Agreed
8. 2017/2018 FORECAST CAPITAL EXPENDITURE Q2 (AS AT 30 SEPTEMBER 2017)
Report (119K/bytes)
Appendix 1 - 3 (495K/bytes)

Consideration was given to report of the Head of Financial Services which provided an overview of each Portfolio's forecast capital expenditure against funding approvals for the 2017/18 financial years.

The Chief Finance Officer spoke to the report and highlighted the main points contained therein which included a breakdown of the current financial position.

The Chief Finance Officer informed Members that a report would be presented to Council in December to consider options in relation to the forecast overspend.

In response to a Member's question regarding the ongoing costs for Abertillery Leisure Centre demolition, the Head of Technical Services said that tenders had been received and subject to CLT approval and subject to caveats the contract would be awarded.

A Member referred to Appendix 1 and the 224,000 future funding for the Cardiff City Deal and the Chief Finance Officer commented that all Council's had signed off the business case. At this stage the level of capital spend was a forecast only based on a model of assumed spend.

RESOLVED to recommend that the report be accepted and

  • the forecast capital spend for 2017/18 and appropriate financial control procedures agreed by Council be supported; and
  • the budgetary control and monitoring procedures in place within the Capital Team to safeguard Authority funding be noted;
Agreed
9. USE OF GENERAL AND EARMARKED RESERVES
Report (166K/bytes)
Appendix 2 (63K/bytes)
Appendix 3 (48K/bytes)

Consideration was given to report of the Head of Financial Services which provided the forecast reserves position for 2017/18 as at Quarter 2.

The Chief Finance Officer spoke to the report and highlighted the main points contained therein. He pointed out that an increase of 2.09m was needed to return to the target level for general reserves of 5.423m (4%).

A Member raised concerns regarding how to achieve this figure in relation to current cost pressures. The Chief Finance Officer said that as part of the budget setting process Action Plans would need to address adverse variances arising in 2017/18 to move towards the 4% target level.

Another Member raised concerns in relation to the Revenue Support Grant (RSG) and the Council's diminishing general reserves. Blaenau Gwent was one of the worst affected areas with regard to falling population, universal credit and reduced NNDR receipts from business. The Chief Finance Officer said that the population of Blaenau Gwent had fallen in recent years which resulted in a reduction of RSG funding. The Council did not benefit directly from non domestic rates collected in the area as these were passed directly onto the Welsh Government. In relation to the Cardiff City Deal, 10 Local Authorities were proposing to the Welsh Government to ring fence non domestic rates from which Blaenau Gwent would benefit from any gain share.

A Member pointed out that land had been made available for development which would raise revenue for the Council re Council Tax.

The Chair commented that the Council needed to ensure that developers were attracted to the area and the Cardiff City Deal needed to benefit Blaenau Gwent.

Another Member commented that the basis for the 10 Council Leaders to sit on the Cardiff City Deal Joint Cabinet was to ensure fairness across Wales and produce a strategy for sustainable development across the region. He pointed out that Blaenau Gwent needed to collaborate with other authorities to prosper.

The Chair commented that it was important for new regimes to work for the betterment of the whole community and to move forward and to become more efficient the Council would need collaboration.

A Member called for regular position statements on the Cardiff City Deal going forward. It was noted that a report on the Cardiff City Deal would be presented to the Environment, Regeneration & Economic Development Scrutiny Committee shortly.

RESOLVED to recommend that the report be accepted and that

  • development of Action Plans to address the 1.23m forecast adverse variance for 2017/18 (Option 2) be supported; and
  • development of a replenishment plan to re-establish the General Reserve to the 4% target level be supported.
Agreed