Agenda and minutes
Venue: Acorn Suite, Accrington Town Hall
Contact: Ben Caulfield - Policy and Overview & Scrutiny Officer
Apologies for absence, Substitutions, Declarations of Interest and Dispensations
Apologies for absence were submitted on behalf of Councillor Patrick McGinley and Joe McIntyre (Executive Director of Finance).
Councillor Sajid Mahmood was absent from the meeting.
There were no declarations of interest or dispensations.
Minutes of Last Meeting PDF 130 KB
To submit the Minutes of the Resources Overview and Scrutiny Committee held on 20th July 2021 for approval as a correct record.
Recommended - That the Minutes be received and approved as a correct record.
The Minutes of the meeting held on 20th July 2021 were submitted for approval as a correct record.
Resolved - That the Minutes be received and approved as a correct record.
Review of Council Reserves PDF 241 KB
To inform the Committee of the financial reserves of the Council up to the end of March 2021.
Recommended - That the report be noted.
The Deputy Chief Executive, Joe McIntyre, submitted a report to inform the Committee of the financial reserves of the Council up to the end of March 2021.
The Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Resources presented the report on Reserve Levels as at 31st March 2021. She referred to:
· The administrative process of managing Council reserves.
· The impact of cuts on services and staff numbers.
· The impact of unexpected costs, eg. Brexit, the pandemic, insurance claims.
· The use of Reserves.
Members requested responses to the following:
· Reference was made to appendix 1 (pages 12-13 of the report):
- Invest to Save Fund -0.21 - an explanation of what this was.
- Implementing Welfare Reform £610 - an explanation as to why this amount had been over allocated.
- EU Exit Funding Reserve – to know if there had been an end date given for this and details of what it had been spent on and the rules attached to how it works.
- Covid-19 Grant Reserve and the likelihood that this would disappear soon.
- Summer Fun (£1,226.50) – what this was.
- Economic Development Fund and what this was spent on (-£185,000)
- Communities Right to Bid, Communities Right to Challenge and Communities Right to Buy – more information required on these.
· Request for Members to be given more information on money coming into the Council, how it is allocated and how it is used.
The Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Resources reported that she would liaise with the Deputy Chief Executive and forward on responses to the questions submitted by Members, as outlined above.
Resolved - That the report be noted.
Performance Review 2020/21 (KPIs) PDF 1 MB
To update the Committee on the Council’s latest performance review which monitors service area performance against key priorities set out in the Corporate Strategy using key performance indicators (KPIs) which can be linked up to corporate priorities whilst trying to achieve the Council’s aims and objectives.
Recommended - That the Committee endorse and support the approach being taken in Hyndburn to meet the requirements.
The Policy Manager, Stuart Sambrook, submitted a report to update the Committee on the Council’s latest performance review which monitored service area performance against key priorities set out in the Corporate Strategy using key performance indicators (KPIs) which could be linked up to corporate priorities whilst trying to achieve the Council’s aims and objectives.
Members raised the following issues:
· Ensuring that there was responsibility for enforcement in areas such as littering and dog fouling after the pandemic.
· An increase in the number of verbal abuses towards Council staff since the pandemic.
· Improvement in communication between Council staff and the public after the pandemic with the implementation of home working and greater reliance on technology.
· The Council’s webpage needs to be more user-friendly.
· If the Council had taken any action to increase employment from the BAME community and a request of the breakdown of all representative groups.
· Disposal of community properties – who decides on the sale price?
· Why does the Council use PATROL as this is outside the Council remit?
Responses to the above issues were as follows:
- That the increase in abuse behaviour by the public could, partly, be down to an increase in mental health issues and there was ongoing training for staff to deal with these situations.
- The Policy Manager would contact the Planning Department in respect of improving public accessibility to their webpage.
- The Head of Human Resources and Policy would contact the IT Department with regards to the comment relating to the Council’s website and making it more user friendly.
- Details of the Council’s effort to encourage job applications from all parts of the community were provided.
- The Planning and Regeneration Departments would fix market values on land.
- The issue relating to the use of PATROL in the borough would be looked into by the Overview and Scrutiny Officer.
Resolved (1) That the Committee endorse and support the approach being taken in Hyndburn to meet the requirements of the Council’s aims and objectives;
(2) That the comments from Members, as set out above, be noted.