Policy and Resources Committee Minutes

Date:
Thursday 20 June 2013
Time:
2:00pm
Place:
Council Offices, English Street, Dumfries

Attendance Details

Members:
Brian Collins (Vice-Chairman) - Castle Douglas and Glenkens
Ian Carruthers - Annandale South
Finlay Carson - Castle Douglas and Glenkens
Iain Dick - Stranraer and North Rhins
Gillian Dykes - Mid and Upper Nithsdale
Alistair Geddes - Mid Galloway
Jeff Leaver - Lochar
Gail Macgregor - Annandale North
Jane S Maitland - Dee
Sean W Marshall - Annandale South
Tom A McAughtrie - Abbey
Jim McClung - Wigtown West
Jim McColm - Mid Galloway
Graham Nicol - Mid Galloway
Colin Smyth - Nith
Officials:
Alex Haswell - Director Chief Executive Service
Sean Barrett - Devolved Services Finance Manager
Claire Caution - Committee Clerk (item 6 onwards)
Paul Garrett - Head of Finance
Ewan Green - Head of Economic Development
Richard Grieveson - Head of Resource Planning and Community Services
Allan Monteforte - Senior Social Work Manager
Audrey Ritchie - Principal Solicitor
Gillian Ross - Corporate Finance Manager
Claire Thomson - Committee Clerk (up to item 5)
Justin Tracy - Director of Community and Customer Services
Apologies:
Ivor A Hyslop (Chairman) - Lochar
Ronnie Nicholson - North West Dumfries
Ronnie E Ogilvie - Annandale South
Willie Scobie - Stranraer and North Rhins
Item Number Item/Description
PUBLIC
1 SEDERUNT AND APOLOGIES

15 Members present, 4 apologies

2 DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

2.1      Jane Maitland and Gill Dykes declared interests in item 11 (92-102 High Street, Dumfries - Dumfries Showcase/The Stove) due to their husband/husband's business being a member of a Chamber of Commerce and determined that their interest was such that they required to leave the meeting.

 

2.2      Finlay Carson declared an interest in item 11 (92-102 High Street, Dumfries - Dumfries Showcase/The Stove) due to his being a former Chairman of a Chamber of Commerce and determined that his interest was such that he required to leave the meeting.

MINUTE
3 MINUTE OF MEETING OF 21 MAY 2013

Decision

 

APPROVED.

MONITORING REPORTS FOR SCRUTINY
4 CORPORATE REVENUE OUTTURN REPORT 2012/13 - REPORT BY HEAD OF FINANCE

VOTE

 

4.1       MOTION by COLIN SMYTH seconded by SEAN W MARSHALL to note the significant challenges faced by the Council in delivering  a balanced budget and the severe changes within Social work Services and to agree that Social Work Services make a bid to the Corporate Change Fund or be considered for budget pressure funding where appropriate.

 

4.2      AMENDMENT by BRIAN COLLINS seconded by ALISTAIR GEDDES to agree, in principle, to apply funding to support the creation of a Social Work Support Fund of up to £1 Million, subject to detailed scrutiny and approval of spend by both the Social Work Services Committee and this Committee.

 

4.3      On a vote being taken by roll call, Members voted as follows:-

 

Motion - 6 votes being:-

 

Jeff Leaver, Jane S Maitland, Sean W Marshall, Tom McAughtrie, Jim McColm and Colin Smyth

 

Amendment 9 votes being:-

 

Brian Collins, Ian Carruthers, Finlay Carson, Iain Dick, Gill Dykes, Alistair Geddes, Gail Macgregor, Jim McClung and Graham Nicol

 

Decision

 

4.4      NOTED that Unallocated General Fund Balances as at 31 March 2013 were £7.6 Million, equating to 2% of annual planned expenditure;

 

AGREED

 

4.5      to apply funding to support the reinstatement of the Severe Weather Emergency Fund - £500k, with monitoring of spend against strict criteria;

 

4.6      in principle to apply funding to support the creation of a Social Work Support Fund of up to £1 Million, subject to detailed scrutiny and approval of spend by both the Social Work Services Committee and this Committee; 
 

NOTED

 

4.7      that the Council held a number of funds for specific projects and commitments, as detailed in Appendices 2 and 3 of the report; and

 

4.8      that consideration of the role played by the holding of sinking funds in reducing net borrowing/interest charges would be followed up by political groups as part of the budget process.

5 CORPORATE CAPITAL PROGRAMME OUTTURN REPORT 2012/13 - REPORT BY HEAD OF FINANCE

Decision

 

NOTED

 

5.1      net Capital Spending in 2012/13 of £32.235 Million, which exceeded the previous spending forecast of spending on agreed projects;

 

5.2      net Capital Receipts of £820k generated in 2012/13; and

 

5.3      that a more detailed narrative on capital programme projects be submitted to Service Committees as part of their capital monitoring reports and AGREED to receive a report on criteria to be applied in referring slippage on capital project(s) to the Scrutiny and Performance Committee.

6 CHIEF EXECUTIVE SERVICE FINAL OUTTURN REPORT 2012/13 - REPORT BY DIRECTOR CHIEF EXECUTIVE SERVICE

Decision

 

NOTED

 

6.1      the 2012/13 final outturn positions for each of the services within the Chief Executive Service and that a £51k underspend had been achieved; and

 

6.2      that this underspend had been transferred to the Earmarked/Committed Funds.
 

7 COMMUNITY AND CUSTOMER SERVICES REVENUE BUDGET OUTTURN REPORT FOR THE YEAR TO 31 MARCH 2013 - REPORT BY DIRECTOR OF COMMUNITY AND CUSTOMER SERVICES

Decision

 

NOTED

 

7.1      the final 2012/13 final outturn positions for each of the services within the Community and Customer Service and that an underspend of £340k (equating to 0.96% of the budget) had been achieved;

 

7.2      that this amount had been transferred to Earmarked/Committed Funds; and

 

7.3      AGREED to receive further detail on area based spend as part of the Activity Based Budgeting information being presented to this Committee at its next meeting.

STRATEGIC BUSINESS
8 HOMELESSNESS REVIEW - REPORT BY DIRECTOR OF SOCIAL WORK

Decision

 

8.1      NOTED the recommendation by the Wigtown Area Committee on 4 July 2012 that an overarching and all encompassing review on all elements of homeless services and provision be carried out and the decision of this Committee on 21 May 2013 that the report presented at that meeting contained insufficient detailed information to determine whether or not a review should be undertaken;

 

AGREED

 

8.2      that it was not appropriate that a review of Homeless Service and Provision be undertaken at this time for the following reasons:-

 

8.2.1   that a range of improvement measures in business and financial management arrangements were currently being progressed by the Social Work Management Team to improve service and budgetary control;

 

8.2.2   that the Homelessness Service would be considered as part of a themed inspection report by the Housing Regulator across Scotland looking at the housing options approach and how it had been introduced in 6 areas of Scotland;

 

8.2.3   that that Service would be included in the service programme to implement the Public Service Improvement Framework across all Social Work Services;

 

8.3      to recommend to the appropriate Committee that consideration be given to the use and occupation levels of accommodation used to support homeless provision and its statutory responsibilities as Housing Authority; and

 

8.4      to recommend that the ad hoc Sub Committee reviewing the Scheme of Administration and Delegation to Committees give consideration to which might be the most appropriate Committee to consider Homeless Provision in the future. 

9 SERVICE REVIEW - LEISURE AND SPORT FACILITIES - REPORT BY DIRECTOR COMMUNITY AND CUSTOMER SERVICES

Decision

 

AGREED the detailed scope and outcomes of the Leisure and Sport Facilities service review which had been initiated through the 2013/14 budget development process, with the inclusion of using sports facilities to improve people's lives and reducing inequalities, proposed sports facilities at Dumfries and Galloway College and improving learning and employment opportunities.

10 SERVICE REVIEW - CULTURE REVIEW - REPORT BY DIRECTOR COMMUNITY AND CUSTOMER SERVICES

Decision

 

AGREED the detailed scope of the Culture review which had been initiated through the 2013/14 budget development process, subject to the inclusion of the Stewartry Museum.

 

MEMBERS - Finlay Carson, Gill Dykes and Jane S Maitland left the meeting - 12 Members present

11 92-102 HIGH STREET, DUMFRIES: DUMFRIES SHOWCASE / THE STOVE - REPORT BY DIRECTOR PLANNING AND ENVIRONMENT SERVICES

Decision

 

AGREED to defer consideration of this report to the next meeting of this Committee to allow for presentation of a detailed Business Case.

PROPERTY MATTERS
12 LEASE OF FORMER GLENZIER PRIMARY SCHOOL, CANONBIE - REPORT BY DIRECTOR CHIEF EXECUTIVE SERVICE

Decision

 

NOTED that the report had been withdrawn by the Proper Officer following a legal challenge.

13 ANY OTHER BUSINESS DEEMED URGENT BY THE CHAIRMAN DUE TO THE NEED FOR A DECISION

Decision

 

NOTED that there was no business deemed urgent by the Chairman due to the need for a decision.

14 LOCAL GOVERNMENT (SCOTLAND) ACT 1973

Decision

 

AGREED to adopt a resolution to exclude the public from the meeting in terms of and Paragraph 12 of Part 1 of Schedule 7A to the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973.

EXEMPT
15 ORDINARY RESIDENCE - REPORT BY DIRECTOR OF SOCIAL WORK (PARAGRAPH 12)

Summary of report - Members were advised on the issue of Ordinary Residence determinations relating to the financial responsibility for the care, support and accommodation of service users placed in the Dumfries and Galloway area and were provided with an overview of the financial risks this presented.

 

Decision

 

NOTED

 

15.1     the current situation in Dumfries and Galloway regarding Ordinary Residence;

 

15.2     the backdated costs incurred to date and the projected further backdated costs;

 

15.3     the actions taken so far, particularly the representation made to the Scottish Government and their response to date;

 

AGREED

 

15.4     to receive a further report once more detail was received on the national position and its implications for this Council; and

 

15.5     to settle one further case, and after that no further payments be made in relation to this issue until further consideration has been made, and advice received through the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities and the Scottish Government.