Policy and Resources Committee Minutes

Date:
Thursday 2 February 2017
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
Andy Ferguson - North West Dumfries
Jeff Leaver - Lochar
Gail Macgregor - Annandale North
Jane S Maitland - Dee
Sean W Marshall - Annandale South
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
Colin Wyper - Dee
Officials:
Lorna Meahan - Director Corporate Services
Paul Garrett - Head of Finance and Procurement
Richard Grieveson - Head of Lifelong Learning and Wellbeing
Ewan Green - Head of Economic Development
Harry Thomson - Head of Civic and Local Services
Louise Mathieson - Senior Manager Property and Architectural Services
Graeme McIlorum - Senior Manager Business and Technology Solutions
Gillian Ross - Finance and Accounting Manager
Rhona Lewis - Governance Officer
Apologies:
Ian Carruthers - Annandale South
Peter Diggle - Annandale North
Gillian Dykes - Mid and Upper Nithsdale
Patsy Gilroy - Dee
Colin Smyth - Nith
Item Number Item/Description
PUBLIC
1 SEDERUNT AND APOLOGIES

15 Members present, 5 apologies and 1 not present at the start of the meeting.

2 DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

NONE declared.

3 MINUTE OF MEETING OF 22 NOVEMBER 2016

Decision

 

APPROVED

 

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

4 LOCAL GOVERNMENT FINANCE SETTLEMENT 2017/18 - REPORT BY HEAD OF FINANCE AND PROCUREMENT

Decision

 

NOTED

 
4.1     the details of the Local Government Finance Settlement 2017/18 as reflected at Appendix 1 to the report; and

4.2     the measures set out in the settlement offer (detailed in Appendix 3 to the report) and that local authorities must agree to deliver all of the measures set out in the package to access the full financial benefits.
 

5 FINANCIAL STRATEGY - UPDATE OF CORPORATE BUDGET POSITION 2017/18 - REPORT BY HEAD OF FINANCE AND PROCUREMENT

Decision

 

NOTED


5.1     the update to the 2017/18 funding gap reflected at paragraph 4 to the report following further review of the budget model and the Local Government Finance Settlement;

5.2     the issues on which further clarification is being sought, as reflected at paragraph 5 to the report, and that briefings would be issued to all Members as quickly as possible following the receipt of further information/clarifications; and

5.3     that, in line with the agreed budget process, final budget proposals would be provided to the Head of Finance and Procurement by no later than Wednesday 22 February 2017 to allow publication of proposals no later than Friday 24 February 2017.
 

6 FURTHER DEVELOPMENT OF THE CAPITAL INVESTMENT STRATEGY - REPORT BY HEAD OF FINANCE AND PROCUREMENT

Decision

 

NOTED


6.1     the updates to the previously agreed Capital Investment Strategy, as reflected at Appendix 2 to the report, which reflects the details of the recently announced 2017/18 Local Government Finance Settlement and other adjustments to previously agreed assumptions;

6.2     that the updated Strategy reflected at Appendix 2 to the report includes Priority Project Allocations for the Newton Stewart and Langholm Flood Prevention Schemes which are partially netted off through 80% Scottish Government grant contributions; and

6.3     CONSIDERED the information reflected in this report as part of updating the Capital Investment Strategy to be included alongside the 2017/18 budget proposals.
 

7 COUNCIL REVENUE BUDGET MONITORING 2016/17 FOR THE PERIOD ENDED 31 DECEMBER 2016 - REPORT BY HEAD OF FINANCE AND PROCUREMENT

Decision

 

NOTED 


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

7.2     the current progress on the delivery of agreed savings, as detailed in Appendix 2 to the report, and that, based on a risk assessed estimate, a potential delivery shortfall of approximately £1.355 Million had been projected; and

7.3     the estimated Change Fund balance of £3.605 Million (including the release of Service Reserves detailed at paragraph 3.20 to the report) and that, while it was anticipated that the balance would be sufficient to address further costs in relation to the delivery of 2016/17 agreed savings, there were concerns regarding the level of funding that would likely to be available to support the delivery of future savings.
 

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

Decision


NOTED

8.1     that based on the monitoring position to the end of December, Corporate Services was projected to break even as reflected at Appendix 1 to the report;

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

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

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

MEMBER - Willie Scobie left the meeting - 15 Members present
 

9 CAPITAL INVESTMENT STRATEGY MONITORING 2016/17 FOR THE PERIOD ENDED 31 DECEMBER 2016 - REPORT BY HEAD OF FINANCE AND PROCUREMENT

NOTED

9.1     the overall financial and physical progress updates from the Capital Investment Strategy and that it was currently anticipated that the funding available of £48.248 Million would be fully utilised this financial year as detailed in Appendix 1 to the report;

9.2     the progress updates on individual projects within the 2016/17 Property/Buildings (Other) Asset Class Capital Programme, and the projected acceleration of £225k as reflected within Appendix 3 to the report;

9.3     the financial and physical progress on the projects within the Land Asset Class Capital Programme for 2016/17 and the projected slippage of £100k as reflected within Appendix 4 to this report;

9.4     the progress updates on individual projects within the 2016/17 ICT/Business Systems Asset Class Capital Programme, and that it was currently anticipated that the programme would be fully spent, as reflected in Appendix 5 to the report; and

9.5     the monitoring of capital projects from 1 January 2016 to 31 December 2016 as described at paragraphs 1.4-1.5 of Appendix 6 to the report.

MEMBER - Jim McClung left the meeting - 14 Members present
 

10 LANGHOLM DAY CENTRE AND FORMER LIBRARY, CHARLES STREET, LANGHOLM - REPORT BY DIRECTOR CORPORATE SERVICES

Decision


10.1     NOTED the recommendation of Annandale and Eskdale Area Committee, as noted at paragraph 3.17 to the report; and

10.2     AGREED that Langholm Day Centre and the Former Library be transferred to Langholm & District Day Centre for Older People Ltd for a nominal amount of £1 as detailed at paragraph 3.20 of the report.

MEMBER - Jim McClung entered the meeting - 15 Members present


 

11 LEASE OF FOOTBALL PITCH AT WHITEHILLS, LOCHMABEN - REPORT BY HEAD OF ORGANISATIONAL DEVELOPMENT HUMAN RESOURCES AND ASSETS

Decision


11.1     NOTED the recommendation of the Annandale and Eskdale Area Committee of 28 September 2016, as noted at paragraph 3.4 to the report; 

AGREED 

11.2     that the Council grant a lease for a further 25 years of the football pitch at Whitehills, Lochmaben; and

11.3     that finalisation of all other terms and conditions of the lease be delegated to the Property and Architectural Services Manager.

 

12 LEASE OF PAVILION, BEECHGROVE TENNIS COURTS, MOFFAT - REPORT BY HEAD OF ORGANISATIONAL DEVELOPMENT HUMAN RESOURCES AND ASSETS

Decision

 
12.1     NOTED the recommendation of the Annandale and Eskdale Area Committee of 25 January 2017;

AGREED

12.2     that the Council lease an area of land for a new pavilion at Beechgrove Tennis Courts, Moffat to Beechgrove Sports Partnership for a period of 25 years at a rent of £1 per annum, and

12.3     to delegate the agreement of all other terms and conditions to the Property and Architectural Services Manager.
 

13 REVISION TO LAND ASSET CLASS PROGRAMME - SPORTS PITCHES - REPORT BY DIRECTOR CYPLL

Decision


13.1     NOTED the updated position in regard to capital investment in sports pitch provision; and

13.2     AGREED to re-profile the proposed spend of the Sports Pitch Allocation to include Beechgrove Tennis Courts as detailed at 3.10 of this report, subject to the establishment of a Community Sports Hub and the transfer of responsibility of the operation, upkeep and maintenance of the Courts to the Hub.

 

DISSENT - Jane Maitland wished her dissent to be recorded having failed to secure a seconder for her motion that the Committee should receive a report on the condition of all the Council’s sports pitches, detailing the cost to repair these, before agreeing to allocate £140k to repair Beechgrove Tennis Courts.
 

14 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.

 

MEMBERS - Colin Wyper and Roberta Tuckfield left the meeting - 13 Members present

15 LOCAL GOVERNMENT SCOTLAND ACT 1973

Decision

 

AGREED the adoption of a resolution to exclude the public from the meeting in terms of Section 50a (4) of paragraphs 8 and 9 of Part 1 Schedule 7a to the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973.

EXEMPT
16 POTENTIAL LAND ACQUISITION/BURIAL GROUND DEVELOPMENT - REPORT BY DIRECTOR COMMUNITIES

Summary of report


The purpose of this report is to advise Members of the anticipated demand on resources within the land asset class to provide a new burial ground, and to seek Members’ approval to bring forward capital expenditure into the 2017/18 programme to permit the acquisition of land.

Decision

 

16.1     NOTED the duty that the Council has to provide a burial service and adequate provision of lair availability.

16.2     CONSIDERED the options outlined at paragraph 3.7 to the report and AGREED to advance the future provision of burial ground, including bringing forward £250k of expenditure into the 2017/18 Land Assets Class Programme to facilitate this.
 

17 REQUEST FOR LOAN FUNDING - REPORT BY DIRECTOR ECONOMY, ENVIRONMENT AND INFRASTRUCTURE

Summary of report


This report seeks Members agreement for the Council to provide a loan to a Partner Organisation for the acquisition of a long lease on a property.

Decision

Following a vote being taken by roll call as to whether the Partner Organisation should first of all be required to investigate alternative borrowing methods, AGREED the provision of loan funding to the Partner Organisation and that the loan be progressed by the Director of Economy, Environment and Infrastructure.