Policy and Resources Committee Minutes

Date:
Tuesday 22 November 2016
Time:
10:30am
Place:
Council Offices, English Street, Dumfries

Attendance Details

Members:
Ronnie Nicholson (Chairman) - North West Dumfries
Ted Thompson (Vice-Chairman) - Lochar
Rob Davidson - Abbey
Gillian Dykes - Mid and Upper Nithsdale
Andy Ferguson - North West Dumfries
Patsy Gilroy - Dee
Jeff Leaver - Lochar
Gail Macgregor - Annandale North
Jane S Maitland - Dee
Tom A McAughtrie - Abbey
Jim McClung - Wigtown West
Jim McColm - Mid Galloway
Graham Nicol - Mid Galloway
Ronnie E Ogilvie - Annandale South
Willie Scobie - Stranraer and North Rhins
Stephen Thompson - Annandale North
Roberta Tuckfield - Wigtown West
Officials:
Gavin Stevenson - Chief Executive
Lorna Meahan - Director Corporate Services
Paul Clarkin - Head of Organisational Development Human Resources and Assets
Ronnie Dempster - Head of Enterprising Services
Paul Garrett - Head of Finance and Procurement
Graeme McIlorum - Senior Manager Business Solutions
James McDowall - Organisational Development Manager
Kirsty Peden - Community Engagement Manager
Gillian Ross - Finance and Accounting Manager
Karen Scott - Procurement & Commissioning Manager
Willie Taylor - Service Manager Licensing
Helen, Drinkwater - Principal Revenues Officer
Lindsay Nairn - Team Leader Billing Ordering and Payments Team
Rhona Lewis - Governance Officer
Apologies:
Ian Carruthers - Annandale South
Peter Diggle - Annandale North
Sean W Marshall - Annandale South
Colin Smyth - Nith
Item Number Item/Description
PUBLIC
1 SEDERUNT AND APOLOGIES

16 Members present, 4  apologies and 1 not present at the start of the meeting.

2 DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

NONE declared.

3 MINUTE OF MEETING OF 15 SEPTEMBER 2016

Decision

 

APPROVED subject to an amendment at item 16.1, that Councillor McClung had wished his DISSENT to be recorded having failed to secure a seconder for this motion that £120k Contingency Allowance allocated to Next Generation Broadband within the Capital Programme should not be used as a contribution towards the £199k for Kirkcudbright Art Gallery.

4 COUNCIL REVENUE BUDGET MONITORING 2016/17 FOR THE PERIOD ENDED 30 SEPTEMBER 2016 - REPORT BY HEAD OF FINANCE AND PROCUREMENT

Decision

 

NOTED


4.1     the Service Performance against the budget, and that Service Management Teams continue to implement tight spending control measures and active budget management to ensure expenditure is contained within agreed budgets;

4.2     the current progress on the delivery of agreed savings, as detailed in Appendix 2, and that, based on a risk assessed estimate, a potential delivery shortfall of approximately £1.446 Million has been projected; and

4.3     the estimated Change Fund balance of £3.091 Million and that, while it is anticipated that the balance will be sufficient to address further costs in relation to the delivery of 2016/17 agreed savings, there are concerns regarding the level of funding that is likely to be available to support the delivery of future savings.
 


 

MEMBER - Gail McGregor entered the meeting - 17 Members present.

5 UPDATE REPORT - STAFF SAVINGS TARGETS - REPORT BY DIRECTOR CORPORATE SERVICES

Decision

 

5.1     NOTED the progress so far in delivering the staff costs savings, which had been secured between April and October 2016 and the ongoing action being taken to secure the targets set by Full Council; and

 

5.2     AGREED to receive further progress updates on these matters.

6 FINANCIAL STRATEGY - UPDATE ON BUDGET PROCESS - REPORT BY HEAD OF FINANCE AND PROCUREMENT

Decision


6.1     NOTED that the Scottish Government would release 1 year funding details for financial year 2017/18 and that it was expected that these details would be announced on 15 December 2016;

6.2     AGREED a revised budget process, taking into account this revised timescale, as reflected at Annex 1 to Appendix 1 to the report;

 

NOTED

6.3     the progress on the implementation and deliverability of agreed savings measures for 2017/18, as detailed in Appendix 3 to the report; and

6.4     that support would continue to be provided to Members/Political Groups to support their development of 2017/18 budget plans taking into account the information reflected in this report and in a subsequent report to be presented to Full Council in December.

DISSENT - Andy Ferguson wished his dissent to be recorded from the position that there would be no prescribed engagement on the budget by the Administration with other Political Groups.
 

7 COUNCIL BUDGET 2017/18 CONSULTATION FEEDBACK - REPORT BY DIRECTOR COMMUNITIES

Decision

 
7.1     CONSIDERED the comprehensive public and staff Consultation Programme on the Council’s budget for 2017/18 undertaken (paragraph 3.4 and Appendix 1 to the report); and the arrangements for feedback to consultees and the public (paragraphs 3.10-3.11 to the report);

NOTED

7.2      the key messages as set out in paragraphs 3.7 - 3.9 and Appendix 2 to the report;

7.3      that an easy read summary of responses and a detailed analysis of all responses from the public and staff will be made widely available as detailed in paragraphs 3.10-3.11 to the report;

7.4      AGREED the next steps including the engagement of stakeholders in Impact Assessments in January - February 2017 as set out in paragraphs 3.12-3.14 to the report; and

7.5     NOTED the Committee’s thanks to the public who contributed in unprecedented numbers and the staff who were involved.

8 CAPITAL INVESTMENT STRATEGY MONITORING 2016/17 FOR THE PERIOD ENDED 30 SEPTEMBER 2016 - REPORT BY HEAD OF FINANCE AND PROCUREMENT

Decision

 

NOTED

 

8.1     the overall financial and physical progress updates for the Capital Investment Strategy and that it is currently anticipated that the funding available of £46.622 will be fully utilised this financial year as detailed in Appendix 1 to the report;

 

8.2     the progress updates on individual projects within the 2016/17 Property/Buildings (Non Schools) Asset Class Capital Programme, and the projected acceleration of £325k, as reflected within Appendix 3 to the report;

 

8.3      the financial and physical progress on the projects within the Land Asset Class Capital Programme for 2016/17 as reflected within Appendix 4 to this report and that it is currently anticipated that the programme will be fully spent; and

 

8.4     the progress updates on individual projects within the 2016/17 ICT/Business Systems Asset Class Capital Programme, and that it is currently anticipated that the programme would have acceleration of works to the value of £32k, as reflected in Appendix 5 to the report.

9 CORPORATE SERVICES - REVENUE MONITORING REPORT 2016/17 - REPORT BY DIRECTOR CORPORATE SERVICES

Decision

 

NOTED

 

9.1     that based on the monitoring position to the end of September, Corporate Services is projected to breakeven as reflected at Appendix 1 to the report;

 

9.2     that Corporate Services are currently progressing a range of measures to ensure the avoidance of any budget overspend in the current financial year;

 

9.3     that progress against the delivery of the agreed savings applied to the 2016/17 Corporate Services budget are reflected at Appendix 2 to the report; and

 

9.4     that the updated position in respect of the Policy Development budgets provided to Corporate Services as reflected at Appendix 3 to the report.

10 IMPLEMENTATION OF FINANCIAL CODE 11 - DEBT WRITE OFFS - REPORT BY HEAD OF FINANCE AND PROCUREMENT

Decision

 

PROCEDURE - the Head of Finance and Procurement advised Members that there was a typographical error at paragraph 5.6 and that the figure for Council Tax in the "No" column should read £3207.


NOTED the write-off of the following accounts which had been written off under delegated authority:- accounts below £10,000 for Council Tax, Non Domestic Rates, Sales Ledger and overpaid Housing Benefit which have been written off as detailed in paragraph 3.12 to the report; - 5 Non Domestic Rates (NDR), 3 Sales Ledger and 1 overpaid Housing Benefit account where the amounts being written off exceed £10,000 as listed in Appendix 2 to the report.
 

MEMBERS - Gillian Dykes and Rob Davidson left the meeting - 15 Members present.
 

11 DIRECTOR’S SIX MONTH ASSESSMENT OF BUSINESS PLAN PERFORMANCE - CORPORATE SERVICES 2016/17 - REPORT BY DIRECTOR CORPORATE SERVICES

Decision

 

REVIEWED

 
11.1     the six month summary of performance for Corporate Services as set out at Appendix 1 to the report;

11.2     the overall summary of performance for the directorate health and safety action plan for the six month period April to September 2016 as set out in Appendix 1 to the report; and

11.3     SCRUTINISED the exception reporting in Appendices 2 and 3 to the report and considered the actions proposed are adequate to improve performance and future monitoring of areas which have not met the target; and recognise the areas of good practice/high performance where the target has been exceeded.
 

MEMBER - Gillian Dykes re-entered the meeting - 16 Members present

12 WORKFORCE STRATEGY 2015 - 2020 UPDATE - REPORT BY HEAD OF ORGANISATIONAL DEVELOPMENT, HUMAN RESOURCES & ASSETS

Decision

 

12.1    REVIEWED the progress made under the Workforce Strategy 2015 - 2020; and

 

12.2    NOTED the aspects of the Workforce Strategy 2015 - 2020 which will continue as detailed at paragraphs 3.1 to 3.7 to the report.

 

MEMBER - Rob Davidson re-entered the meeting - 17 Members present.

13 DRAFT COUNCIL PROCUREMENT STRATEGY 2016 - 2018 AND SUSTAINABLE PROCUREMENT POLICY - REPORT BY HEAD OF FINANCE AND PROCUREMENT

Decision

 

13.1     CONSIDERED the draft Procurement Strategy, which would be presented for approval by Full Council at their meeting on 15 December 2016, within Appendix 1 of this report;

 

13.2    APPROVED the Sustainable Procurement Policy which is provided within Appendix 2 of this report; and

 

13.3     AGREED that officers would discuss the draft Procurement Strategy with the Political Groups.

14 DIGITAL AND ICT STRATEGY- DIRECTOR CORPORATE SERVICES

Decision


14.1     CONSIDERED the contents of the Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Digital and ICT Strategy (Appendix to the report);

14.2     AGREED that the priority areas outlined in the strategy should be the focus of Business and Technology Solutions workload and resource prioritisation. (Section 5 of the strategy and Paragraph 3.9 of this report.);
 

NOTED


14.3      the inclusion of Digital Services to support efficiencies and improvements in section 5.9 of the Strategy and paragraph 3.6 of this report;

 

14.4     the prioritisation of the key technology enablers in section 7 of the Strategy and paragraph 3.9 of the report; and

14.5     AGREED that the priority for expenditure of the Business Systems and ICT Capital Block allocation should support the delivery of this strategy. (Paragraph 3.16 of the report)
 

15 2018 REVIEW OF UK PARLIAMENT CONSTITUENCIES - REPORT BY DIRECTOR CORPORATE SERVICES

Vote

15.1     MOTION by GAIL MCGREGOR seconded by GILLIAN DYKES that the response to the Boundary Commission on its proposals for 2018 Review UK Parliamentary Constituencies be that the whole of Ward 9 remain in Dumfries and Galloway and that Annandale South remain in Clydesdale and Eskdale.

15.2     AMENDMENT by RONNIE NICHOLSON seconded by JIM McCLUNG that the response to the Boundary Commission on its proposals for 2018 Review UK Parliamentary Constituencies be:- (1) that the whole of Ward 9 remain in Dumfries and Galloway and that Annandale South remain in Clydesdale and Eskdale; (2) that the Commission also takes into consideration that we have very close connections and common issues in the north and, in particular, in Galloway in the west of the region, with the Ayrshires; (3) that an appropriate Officer of the Council attend the meeting on 24 November 2016 to put the Council’s proposals forward.

 

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

 

Motion - 5 Votes being:-

 

Gillian Dykes; Patsy Gilroy; Gail McGregor; Graham Nicol and Roberta Tuckfield.

 

Amendment - 11 Votes being:-

 

Ronnie Nicholson; Ted Thompson; Rob Davidson; Andy Ferguson; Jeff Leaver; Tom McAughtrie; Jim McClung; Jim McColm; Ronnie Ogilvie; Willie Scobie; and Stephen Thomson.

 

Abstention - 1 being:- Jane Maitland

 

Decision

AGREED that the response to the Boundary Commission on its proposals for 2018 Review UK Parliamentary Constituencies be:- (1) that the whole of Ward 9 remain in Dumfries and Galloway and that Annandale South remain in Clydesdale and Eskdale; (2) that the Commission also takes into consideration that we have very close connections and common issues in the north and, in particular, in Galloway in the west of the region, with the Ayrshires; (3) that an appropriate Officer of the Council attend the meeting on 24 November 2016 to put the Council’s proposals forward.

 

MEMBER - Gail McGregor left the meeting -16 Members present.
 

16 CIVIC GOVERNMENT (SCOTLAND) ACT 1982 - DUMFRIES TAXI ZONE: TAXI LIMIT (70) - POLICY FOR TRANSFER OF TAXI OPERATOR’S LICENCES - REPORT BY HEAD OF LEGAL AND DEMOCRATIC SERVICES

Decision

 
AGREED

16.1     that up until 30 November 2017, the present policy relating to transfer of Dumfries Zone Taxi Operator’s licences shall be withdrawn, viz:- an operator should be entitled to sell his business, including any goodwill, to a third party, and that the Licensing Authority would normally agree that the purchaser will be permitted to apply for the Taxi Operator’s licence in advance of all other persons on the waiting list; and

16.2     that a Taxi Demand Survey for the Dumfries Taxi Zone shall be instructed to assess whether there is significant unmet demand and, if so, how the unmet demand may be addressed including the feasibility of allowing Non-Dumfries Taxi Zone Taxis to operate within the Dumfries Taxi Zone at certain times.

MEMBER - Willie Scobie left the meeting - 15 Members present.

ADJOURNMENT OF MEETING - the Meeting adjourned at 12.50pm and reconvened at 1.20pm with 16 Members present being:- Ronnie Nicholson; Ted Thompson; Rob Davidson; Gill Dykes; Andy Ferguson; Patsy Gilroy; Jeff Leaver; Jane Maitland; Tom McAughtrie; Jim McClung; Jim McColm, Graham Nicol, Ronnie Ogilvie; Willie Scobie; Stephen Thompson; and Roberta Tuckfield.
 

17 CIVIC GOVERNMENT (SCOTLAND) ACT 1982 - TAXI AND PRIVATE HIRE VEHICLE INSPECTIONS
PROPOSAL: IN-HOUSE PROVISION BY ENTERPRISING DG - REPORT BY HEAD OF LEGAL AND DEMOCRATIC SERVICES


Decision

 

AGREED to Enterprising DG’s proposal to provide Taxi and Private Hire Vehicle Inspections in-house.

18 SERVICE REVIEW - BTB08 ADMINISTRATION AND SUPPORT SERVICES - REPORT BY DIRECTOR CORPORATE SERVICES

Decision

 

18.1     REVIEWED the options identified, attached as Appendix 1, giving consideration to the deliverability of the options together with the actions to progress; 

 

18.2     AGREED the recommended option for implementation; and

 

18.3     NOTED and AGREED the implementation timeline.

 

18.4     NOTED that the Impact Assessment is to be made available to Members.

 

MEMBER - Gillian Dykes left the meeting - 15 Members present.

19 SERVICE REVIEW - CHARGING FOR SERVICES - REPORT BY DIRECTOR CORPORATE SERVICES

Decision

 

AGREED

 

19.1     the recommended approach at section 6 and the savings options which provide the potential for additional income at section 8 to the report, to enable the achievement of the planned outcomes of the review;

 

19.2      the Charging for Services Framework and costing model at Appendix 3 to the report;

 

19.3       the plan to achieve the required level of savings or contribution to the revenue budget, as set out at Appendix 7 to the report and that outputs from all relevant service areas would be available to Members in January 2017 for use in setting the Council’s 2017/18 revenue budget.
 

20 FORMER JOHNSTON PRIMARY SCHOOL: PROPOSED COMMUNITY ASSET TRANSFER - REPORT BY DIRECTOR CORPORATE SERVICES/COMMUNITIES

Decision

 
20.1     NOTED the recommendation of Stewartry Area Committee;

CONSIDERED

20.2     the Kirkcudbright Development Trust Business Plan, as detailed in Appendix 3 to the report, for the community asset transfer of the former Johnston School, in order to create a Community Activity and Resource Centre;

20.3     the options available to the Council as described at paragraph 3.13 to the report; and

20.4     AGREED the preferred option from paragraph 3.13 as being Option 2 :- That a community asset transfer be made to the Trust for a nominal sum, with the condition that the required capital funding for the project is secured by a certain date; given the content and ambition of the Business Plan at Appendix 3 to the report, a date of 30 September 2017 would appear reasonable.


 

21 TROQUEER WASTE WATER PUMPING STATION - REPORT BY PROPERTY AND ARCHITECTURAL SERVICES MANAGER

Decision

 

21.1      NOTED the recommendation of the Nithsdale Area Committee on 2 November 2016 as detailed at paragraph 3.9 to the report;

 

AGREED

 

21.2     that three areas of land at Hamilton Starke Park, Troqueer be sold and leased to Scottish Water for upgrading the existing waste water pumping station on the terms set out in this report, and that the monies arising therefrom be credited to the Dumfries Common Good Fund; 

 

21.3     all of the other terms and conditions of the disposals be agreed by the Property and Architectural Services Manager; and

 

21.4    that a further area to the East equating to 5330sqm be rented at £750.00 per week and that the monies be credited to the Dumfries Common Good Fund.

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

Decision

 

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

23 LOCAL GOVERNMENT (SCOTLAND) ACT 1973

Decision

 

AGREED the adoption of resolution to exclude the public from the meeting in terms of Section 50A (4) of and paragraphs 6 of Part 1 of Schedule 7A to the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973.

EXEMPT
24 LAND AT GREYSTONE AVENUE, KELLOHOLM - REPORT BY HEAD OF OD, HR AND ASSETS

Decision

 

SUMMARY OF REPORT - This report provided Members with the information to consider selling an area of land which equated to some 1.36 hectares at Greystone Avenue, Kelloholm.

 

 24.1     NOTED the recommendation of Nithsdale Area Committee of 7 September 2016, as detailed at paragraph 3.9 to the report; and

 

24.2     AGREED that the land at Greystone Avenue, Kelloholm be sold.