Policy and Resources Committee Minutes

Date:
Thursday 16 November 2017
Time:
10:30am
Place:
Council Offices, English Street, Dumfries

Attendance Details

Members:
Rob Davidson (Chairman) - Abbey
Elaine Murray (Vice-Chairman) - Nith
Dougie Campbell - Dee and Glenkens
Ian Carruthers - Annandale South
Archie Dryburgh - Annandale East and Eskdale
Andy Ferguson - North West Dumfries
Andrew Giusti - Stranraer and the Rhins
Malcolm Johnstone - Nith
Jeff Leaver - Lochar
Gail Macgregor - Annandale North
Jane S Maitland - Dee and Glenkens
Sean W Marshall - Annandale South
Henry McClelland - Annandale South
Ronnie Nicholson - North West Dumfries
Graham Nicol - Mid Galloway and Wigtown West
Ros Surtees - Stranraer and the Rhins
Stephen Thompson - Annandale North
Officials:
Lorna Meahan - Director Corporate Services
Gillian Ross - Acting Head of Finance and Procurement
Stewart Clanachan - Performance and Reward Manager
Gemma Lowery - Treasury and Capital Manager
Louise Matheson - Senior Manager Property and Architectural Services
James McDowall - Organisational Development Manager
Graeme McIlorum - Senior Manager - Business and Technology Solutions
Karen Scott - Procurement and Commissioning Manager
Lindsay Wilson - Financial Transactions Manager
Darren Burns - Project Manager
Alastair Johnson - Assistant Estate Manager
Helen Drinkwater - Principal Revenues Officer
Andrew Ewart - Treasury/Insurance Officer
Rhona Lewis - Head of Legal and Democratic Services
Apologies:
Richard Brodie - Annandale South
John Charteris - Lochar
Douglas Fairbairn - Annandale North
David Inglis - Mid Galloway and Wigtown West
Item Number Item/Description
PUBLIC
1 SEDERUNT AND APOLOGIES

17 Members present and 4 apologies.

2 DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

NONE declared.

3 MINUTE OF MEETING OF 14 SEPTEMBER 2017

Decision

 

APPROVED

4 2018 REVIEW OF UK PARLIAMENTARY CONSTITUENCIES - PUBLIC CONSULTATION - REVISED PROPOSALS - REPORT BY HEAD OF LEGAL AND DEMOCRATIC SERVICES

Decision

 

NOTED

 

4.1      that the Boundary Commission for Scotland had published its Revised Proposals for UK Parliamentary Constituencies as detailed at Appendix 2 to the report;

 

4.2      that Members acknowledged that the Boundary Commission had taken onboard their views in regards to the creation of Galloway and Dumfries and Dumfriesshire and Lanarkshire South East constituencies; and 

 

4.3     the concern of some Members that there may be some confusion with the constituency being called "Galloway and Dumfries" rather than "Dumfries and Galloway" but others supported and understood the reasoning given that the constituency does not cover all of Dumfries and Galloway area;

 

4.4     that Political Groups and individuals are able to respond direct to the Boundary Commission on its latest proposals but there would be no further formal response from the Council.

5 COUNCIL REVENUE BUDGET MONITORING 2017/18 FOR THE PERIOD ENDED 30 SEPTEMBER 2017 - REPORT BY HEAD OF FINANCE AND PROCUREMENT

Decision

 

NOTED

 

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

 

5.2     the budgetary pressures being experienced by Economy, Environment & Infrastructure as detailed at sections 3.4 - 3.8 of the report, and that a detailed action plan to address currently projected net overspend would be presented to Members of EEI Committee on 21 November 2017;

 

5.3     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 £1.478 Million had been projected; and

 

5.4     the estimated Change Fund balance of £2.820 Million and that, while it was anticipated that the balance would be sufficient to address further costs in relation to the delivery of 2017/18 agreed savings, there was a risk that the balance of funding that would be available at the end of the financial year may be insufficient to support the delivery of savings in future.

6 CAPITAL INVESTMENT STRATEGY MONITORING 2017/18 FOR THE PERIOD ENDED 30 SEPTEMBER 2017 - REPORT BY HEAD OF FINANCE AND PROCUREMENT

Decision

 

NOTED

 

6.1     the current 10 Year Capital Investment Strategy (Appendix 1 to the report) had been updated to reflect current expenditure projections;

 

6.2     the financial and physical progress against the 2017/18 capital programme for the quarter ending 30 September 17 as detailed at Appendix 2 and Appendix 3 of the report and that acceleration of £334k was currently anticipated this financial year;

 

6.3     the progress updates on individual projects within the 2017/18 Property/Buildings(Other) Asset Class Capital Programme, and the projected acceleration of £100k, as reflected within Appendix 4 to the report; and

 

6.4     the progress updates on individual projects within the 2017/18 ICT/Business Systems Asset Class Capital Programme, which was projected to spend in line with the funding allocations, as reflected in Appendix 5 to the report.

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

Decision

 

7.1     NOTED and SCRUTINISED the write-off of the following accounts which had been wrote off under delegated authority:-

7.1.1 - accounts below £10,000 for Council Tax, Non Domestic Rates, Sundry Debtors and Overpaid Housing Benefit which had been written off as detailed in Paragraph 3.13 to the report;

 

7.1.2 - 3 Non Domestic Rates (NDR), 1 Overpaid Housing Benefit and 5 Sundry Debtor accounts where the amounts being wrote off exceed £10,000 as listed in Appendix 2 to the report; and

 

7.2     NOTED that the Committee would like to congratulate staff for their tenacity in the recovery of £96,576 previously written off.

 

MEMBER - Ian Carruthers left the meeting - 16 Members present.

8 TREASURY MANAGEMENT MID YEAR REVIEW 2017/18 - HEAD OF FINANCE AND PROCUREMENT

Decision

 

8.1     NOTED the transactions and debt performance for the period 1 April 2017 to 30 September 2017 as detailed in the Appendix to the report Treasury Management Mid-Year Review 2017/18;

 

AGREED

 

8.2     to increase the counterparty limit for the Council's bank (Bank of Scotland) from £20 million to £25 million for a 6 month period, as detailed in the Appendix Treasury Management Mid-Year Review 2017/18, Section 4.0; and

 

8.3     that an update report be brought to the March 2018 Meeting of Policy and Resources Committee. 

 

MEMBER - Ian Carruthers entered the meeting - 17 Members present.

9 PROCUREMENT AND COMMISSIONING REGULAR UPDATE - FINANCIAL YEAR 2017/18, QUARTER 2 (1 JULY 2017 - 30 SEPTEMBER 2017) - REPORT BY HEAD OF FINANCE AND PROCUREMENT

Decision

 

NOTED the update on the Council’s procurement performance and activities for quarter 2 (1 July - 30 September 2017) and for the financial year to date as detailed in Appendices 1 and 2 of this report;

10 CORPORATE SERVICES - REVENUE MONITORING REPORT 2017/18 - REPORT BY HEAD OF FINANCE AND PROCUREMENT

Decision

 

NOTED

 

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

 

10.2     that Corporate Services were currently progressing a range of measures to ensure the outturn for the service against budget was balanced in the current financial year;

 

10.3     the progress against the delivery of the agreed savings applied to the 2017/18 Corporate Services budget was reflected at Appendix 2 to the report; and

 

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

11 DIRECTOR’S SIX MONTH ASSESSMENT OF BUSINESS PLAN PERFORMANCE - CORPORATE SERVICES 2017/18 - REPORT BY DIRECTOR CORPORATE SERVICES

Decision

 

11.1     REVIEWED the six month summary of performance for Corporate Services Directorate Business Plan for the period April 2017 to September 2017 which included the performance information on Health and Safety as set out in Appendix 1 to the report;

 

11.2     SCRUTINISED the exception reporting in Appendix 2 and Appendix 3 to the report and AGREED the actions proposed were adequate to improve performance and future monitoring of areas which had not met the target; and RECOGNISED the areas of good practice/high performance where the target had been exceeded and summarised in this report;

 

11.3     AGREED the proposed amendments to the current business plan projects as set out in Appendix 4 to the report;

 

11.4     NOTED that the Corporate Services Business Plan for 2018-2022 to be brought to members in the new year would be fully aligned to reflect the priorities and commitments within the Council Plan 2017-2022, including those areas set out at Appendix 5 to the report; and
 

11.5    AGREED to reflect in future performance reporting positive responses and compliments the Council receives for the work it undertakes.

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 (Appendix to the report);

 

12.2    NOTED the aspects of the Workforce Strategy 2015 - 2020 which will continue as detailed at paragraphs 3.1 to 3.8 to the report; and

 

12.3    AGREED that an update report be brought back to this Committee next summer following the agreement of the Council's Business Plans.

13 PROPOSED COMMUNITY ASSET TRANSFER:- STAKEFORD AND SUMMERVILLE COMMUNITY CENTRE - REPORT BY DIRECTOR COMMUNITIES

Decision

 

13.1      CONSIDERED the Business Plan at Appendix 2 to the report and the proposal for a Community Asset Transfer of Stakeford and Summerville Community Centre, Steel Avenue, Dumfries DG2 0AB as set out in paragraphs 3.6 to 3.8 to the report; and

 

13.2      in recognition of the social and economic benefits of the project to the area, AGREED to the transfer of the property at no chargeable consideration with the condition that reassurances be given by the Glen Aros Church that the facility would be operated in accordance with equality and inclusivity values.

 

DISSENT - Jane Maitland wished her dissent to be recorded after failing to secure a seconder for her motion to not decide on this application until the Committee had seen appendices 3 and 4 from Nithsdale Area Committee.
 

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

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

 

Decision

 

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

15 LOCAL GOVERNMENT (SCOTLAND) ACT 1973

Decision

 

AGREED to adopt a resolution to exclude the public from the meeting in terms of Section 50a (4) of paragraph 2 of Part 1 Schedule 7a to the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973.

 

EXEMPT
16 FORMER WESTERKIRK SCHOOLHOUSE - REPORT BY HEAD OF ORGANISATIONAL DEVELOPMENT, HUMAN RESOURCES AND ASSETS

MEMBER - Gail Macgregor entered the meeting - 17 Members present

 

Summary of report

To seek Members’ agreement to the terms of the proposed offer to sell the Former Westerkirk Primary School to the occupiers.

 

Summary of decision

Members agreed to offer to sell Westerkirk Schoolhouse to the occupiers.