Policy and Resources Committee Minutes

Date:
Thursday 14 June 2018
Time:
10:30am
Place:
Council Offices, English Street, Dumfries

Attendance Details

Members:
Rob Davidson (Chairman) - Abbey
Elaine Murray (Vice-Chairman) - Nith
Richard Brodie - Annandale South
Dougie Campbell - Dee and Glenkens
Ian Carruthers - Annandale South
John Charteris - Lochar
Archie Dryburgh - Annandale East and Eskdale
Andy Ferguson - North West Dumfries
Andrew Giusti - Stranraer and the Rhins
David Inglis - Mid Galloway and Wigtown West
Malcolm Johnstone - Nith
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
Ronnie Tait - Annandale East and Eskdale
Adam Wilson - Annandale North
Officials:
Lorna Meahan - Director Corporate Services
Rhona Lewis - Head of Legal and Democratic Services
Paul Clarkin - Head of Organisational Development, Human Resources and Assets
Paul Garrett - Head of Finance and Procurement
Gordon Bryce - Transport Operations Manager
Fiona Daubney - Ward Manager
Nick Evans - Democratic Services Manager
Richard Fox - Finance Officer, Audit
Stuart Hamilton - Ward Manager
Sharon Hines - Licensing Manager
Jayne Howat - Business Improvement Officer
Stephen Jack - Lifelong Learning Manager
Ieuan Morgan - Treasury and Capital Manager
Paul McCulloch - Property and Architectural Services Manager
James McDowall - Organisational Development Manager
Gillian Ross - Finance and Accounting Manager
Karen Scott - Procurement and Commissioning Manager
Apologies:
Doug Fairbairn - Annandale North
Stephen Thompson - Annandale North
Item Number Item/Description
PUBLIC
1 SEDERUNT AND APOLOGIES

19 Members present, 2 apologies.

2 DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

David Inglis declared an interest at Item 12 by virtue of the fact that he was involved in the tendering process for contracts through his employment but determined that his interest was such that he would not leave the meeting during consideration of that matter.

 

Ronnie Tait declared an interest at Item 22 by virtue of the fact that he was a Director and Trustee to the Eskdale Foundation and that he was a Member of the Community Group who had been taking this proposal forward.

 

Malcolm Johnstone declared an interest at Item 12 by virtue of the fact that he was involved in the tendering process for contracts through his employment but determined that his interest was such that he would not leave the meeting during consideration of that matter.

 

Henry McClelland declared an interest at Item 12 by virtue of the fact that he was involved in the tendering process for contracts through his employment but determined that his interest was such that he would not leave the meeting during consideration of that matter.

 

Archie Dryburgh declared an interest at Item 22 by virtue of the fact that he was a Non Executive Director to the Eskdale Foundation but he determined that his interest was such that he would not leave the meeting during consideration of that matter.

3 MINUTE OF MEETING OF 22 MARCH 2018

Decision

 

APPROVED

4 SCOTLAND'S DIGITAL PARTICIPATION CHARTER - REPORT BY HEAD OF LIFELONG LEARNING AND WELLBEING

Decision

 

4.1     AGREED that the Council would sign up to Scotland’s Digital Participation Charter and that it would commit to developing and improving digital skills for staff, Elected Members, young people and our communities; and

 

4.2     NOTED the types of skills and opportunities which were already available for staff, young people and customers as detailed at paragraph 3.10 and in the Appendix to the report.

5 DUMFRIES AND GALLOWAY COUNCIL RESPONSE TO THE SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT CONSULTATION ON INCREASING EMPLOYMENT OF DISABLED PEOPLE IN THE PUBLIC SECTOR - REPORT BY HEAD OF ORGANISATIONAL DEVELOPMENT, HUMAN RESOURCES AND ASSETS

Decision

 

AGREED the response to the Scottish Government consultation as detailed in the Appendix to the report in advance of the deadline of 15 August 2018.

6 OCCUPATIONAL ROAD RISK POLICY - REPORT BY HEAD OF ENTERPRISING SERVICES

Decision

 

AGREED the Occupational Road Risk Policy (Appendix to the report).

7 REVIEW OF OUR SUBSTANCE MISUSE POLICY - REPORT BY HEAD OF ORGANISATIONAL DEVELOPMENT, HUMAN RESOURCES AND ASSETS

Decision

 

7.1      AGREED the Substance Misuse Policy (Appendix to the report) subject to the following amendments:-

 

7.1.1  that Paragraph 2.4 would state that: While employees should be aware that the Council will take action where it is required in relation to substance misuse, it is important to emphasise that the Council is committed to creating an environment where employees are able to acknowledge and address any issue and seek advice and treatment.;

 

7.1.2  that Paragraph 2.5 be clarified to Members and should read: The Council will treat sympathetically request for help from employees with an alcohol or drug issues.  During any programme of support and treatment the employee will remain subject to the requirements of the Policy.

 

7.1.3  that Paragraph 3.2 should read: Where a manager has reasonable cause to suspect an employee is unfit/unsafe to undertake the work and discuss with them their concerns in a private setting to establish whether there is a reasonable explanation for the behaviour.  It is also appropriate to request that another manager or supervisor is present during the discussion.  The employee may be accompanied by a Trade Union Representative or a work colleague.

 

7.2     AGREED that a progress report be brought to the November meeting of the Policy and Resources Committee detailing:- the progress of the implementation of the Policy; the development of the guidance and training to Managers and Trade Union Representatives; the usefulness of the materials and the appropriateness of how these have been deployed; a report on the incidence of the Policy's application; and an opportunity to make any further recommendations with regards to the implementation of the Policy. 

8 CORPORATE REVENUE OUTTURN REPORT 2017/18 - REPORT BY HEAD OF FINANCE AND PROCUREMENT

Decision

 

8.1     NOTED the service outturn positions detailed within Appendix 1 to the report;

 

8.2     AGREED the non-recurring application of unallocated budget pressure funding to address the identified overspend within EEI of £953k, as detailed at section 3.8 to the report;

 

8.3     AGREED the application of the Severe Weather Emergency Fund (£500k) and Scottish Government Severe Winter Weather Funding (£458k) to address the additional expenditure of £958k incurred as a result of the winter response;

 

8.4     AGREED the application of £500k corporate funding to support the re-instatement of the Severe Weather Emergency Fund, as detailed at section 3.11 to the report;

 

8.5     NOTED that in a challenging year 85% (£12.212 Million) of agreed savings had been delivered in 2017/18 and that £2.060 Million, as detailed at section 3.15 to the report, had been met from the Change Fund in line with the approach agreed during the financial year;

 

8.6     NOTED that Unallocated General Fund Balances as at 31 March 2018 remain at £6.825 Million equating to 2% of annual planned expenditure in line with the agreed corporate policy and budget principles agreed by Full Council;

 

8.7     NOTED that there was currently an unallocated amount of £3.171 Million available within the Corporate Change Fund to support and enable the achievement of significant further required savings for the upcoming financial year, as detailed at Appendix 4 to the report; and

 

8.8     AGREED the amounts held by the Council in a number of funds for specific projects and commitments, as detailed at Appendices 5 & 6 to the report.

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

Decision

 

NOTED the write-off of the following accounts which had been written off under delegated authority:- (1) - accounts below £10,000 for Council Tax, Non Domestic Rates, Sundry Debtors and Overpaid Housing Benefit which had been wrote off as detailed in paragraph 5.7 to the report; (2) - 3 Non Domestic Rates (NDR) and 4 Sundry Debtors accounts where the amounts being wrote off exceed £10,000 as listed in Appendix 2 to the report; and (3) - the % of debts wrote off against net collectable as noted in Appendix 3 to the report.

10 CORPORATE SERVICES REVENUE BUDGET OUTTURN 2017-18 - REPORT BY DIRECTOR CORPORATE SERVICES

Decision

 

NOTED

 

10.1    the final outturn for Corporate Services as detailed at Appendix 1 to the report resulting in an underspend of £79k for financial year 2017-18;

 

10.2    the full delivery of the agreed savings applied to the 2017-18 Corporate Services budget as detailed at Appendix 2 to the report;

 

10.3     the utilisation of policy development allocations provided to Corporate Services for the financial year 2017-18 at Appendix 3 to the report; and

 

10.4     AGREED to the transfer of £79k to Service Reserves, £68k of which was ring fenced funding for Individual Electoral Registration and the remaining £11k to Efficiency Programs to support business process improvements and future savings.

11 DIRECTORS END OF YEAR ASSESSMENT OF CORPORATE SERVICES BUSINESS PLAN PERFORMANCE 2017/18 - REPORT BY DIRECTOR CORPORATE SERVICES

Decision

 

NOTED

 

11.1    the overall summary for the end of year performance for the Corporate Services Directorate Business Plan for the period 1 April 2017 to 31 March 2018 (Appendix 1 to the report);

 

11.2    the exception reporting and AGREED that the actions proposed were adequate to improve performance and enable future monitoring of areas which had not met the target; in Appendices 2 and 3 to the report;

 

11.3    that any amendments or developments requested as a result of Committee scrutiny of this performance information would be incorporated into the new Corporate Services 2018-23 Business Plan, including performance with relevant comparison against other Local Authorities where available, which would be presented for member consideration at the 4 September 2018 Meeting of the Policy and Resource Committee.

 

ADJOURNMENT OF MEETING - The meeting adjourned at 12:32 and reconvened at 13:00 with 18 Members present being:- Rob Davidson (Chairman), Elaine Murray (Vice-Chairman), Richard Brodie, Dougie Campbell, Ian Carruthers, John Charteris, Archie Dryburgh, Andy Ferguson, Andrew Giusti, Malcolm Johnstone, Jane Maitland, Sean Marshall, Henry McClelland, Ronnie Nicholson, Graham Nicol, Ros Surtees, Ronnie Tait and Adam Wilson.

12 CONTRACT AND SUPPLIER MANAGEMENT STRATEGY - REPORT BY HEAD OF FINANCE AND PROCUREMENT

 Decision

 

AGREED the Contract and Supplier Management Strategy at Appendix 1 to this report.

13 CIVIC GOVERNMENT (SCOTLAND) ACT 1982 (1982 ACT) SECTIONS 17 AND 18A TAXI LICENSING: REVIEW OF MAXIMUM FARE STRUCTURE - REPORT BY HEAD OF LEGAL AND DEMOCRATIC SERVICES

Decision

 

AGREED

 

13.1    to make amendments to the existing Maximum Fare Structure detailed at the Appendix to this report;

 

13.2     to adopt a new Maximum Fare Structure detailed in the Appendix to this report with the following amendments:-

 

13.2.1 that a premium of £1.00 per hire may be charged for all hirings commenced between midnight and 06.00 hours;

 

13.2.2 that a charge of 40p may be made for each period of 2 minutes waiting time or uncompleted part thereof;

 

13.2.3 that a charge of up to £100 may be made for any 'soiling' by hirer which necessitates the taxi being removed from service for cleaning.  FURTHER AGREED that an advisory notice be sent to Taxi companies to advise this charge excludes those with medical conditions; and

 

13.3     that the new Maximum Fare Structure will take effect from 1 September 2018 (subject to no representations being received following publication of the Structure as detailed in paragraph 3.13 in the report.

 

14 CIVIC GOVERNMENT (SCOTLAND) ACT 1982 (1982 ACT) SCHEDULE 1, PARAGRAPH 16A ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATIONS - REPORT BY HEAD OF LEGAL AND DEMOCRATIC SERVICES

MEMBER - Malcolm Johnstone left the meeting.  17 Members present.

 

Decision

 

AGREED

 

14.1    the intention to accept, by electronic communications, applications for the grant or renewal of a licence; objections or representations and notifications of a change to a licence;

 

14.2    the intention to use electronic communications to provide notices and reasons; and

 

14.3    NOTED that application forms/site notices will be amended to reflect this new change in policy.

15 DUMFRIES AND GALLOWAY DRAFT ANNUAL GOVERNANCE STATEMENT 2017/18 - REPORT BY DIRECTOR CORPORATE SERVICES

Decision

 

NOTED

 

15.1    that the Local Code of Corporate Governance would be presented to the Policy and Resources Committee meeting on 4 September 2018;

 

15.2    the draft Annual Governance Statement for 2017/18 (Appendix to the report) and that this would be presented to the Audit, Risk and Scrutiny Committee on 21 June 2018;

 

15.3    AGREED to delegate to the Head of Legal and Democratic Services to arrange the necessary revisions to the draft Annual Governance Statement following this Committee; and

 

15.4    NOTED that the Annual Governance Statement for 2017/18 would form part of the unaudited financial accounts presented to Full Council on 26 June 2018.

 

16 CORPORATE ANTI-FRAUD AND ANTI-CORRUPTION POLICY STATEMENT AND STRATEGY - REPORT BY HEAD OF LEGAL AND DEMOCRATIC SERVICES

Decision

 

AGREED

 

16.1    the Anti-Fraud and Anti-Corruption Policy Statement and Strategy (Appendix 1 to the report); and

 

16.2    that an invitation be sent to all Members to an Anti-Fraud and Anti-Corruption Seminar when this had been arranged. 

17 RISK MANAGEMENT FRAMEWORK - REPORT BY HEAD OF LEGAL AND DEMOCRATIC SERVICES

Decision

 

AGREED

 

17.1    the updated Risk Management Policy Statement as detailed at Appendix 1 to the report, reflecting changes summarised at paragraph 3.5.1 in the report;

 

17.2    the updated Risk Management Strategy as detailed at Appendix 2 to the report, reflecting changes summarised at paragraph 3.5.2 in the report, which together with the Policy Statement form the Risk Management Framework; and

 

17.3    NOTED the Action Plan developed intended to improve understanding on risk management across the Council as detailed at Appendix 3 to the report.
 

18 GENERAL DATA PROTECTION REGULATIONS (GDPR) UPDATE - REPORT BY HEAD OF LEGAL AND DEMOCRATIC SERVICES

Decision

 

NOTED the work the Council had undertook to prepare and ensure compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation, which came into effect on 25 May 2018, and to strengthen our core data protection arrangements.

19 CORPORATE CAPITAL INVESTMENT STRATEGY - FINAL OUTTURN 2017/18 - REPORT BY HEAD OF FINANCE AND PROCUREMENT

Decision

 

NOTED

 

Overall Programme

19.1    the net Capital Spending in 2017/18 of £73.013 Million (Appendix 1 to the report), which reflects the utilisation of 97.2% of the agreed funding available;

 

19.2    the net Capital Receipts of £0.384 Million as detailed in Appendix 2 to the report; with a further £116k of surplus receipts generated in previous years applied to meet the £500k receipts target as explained at paragraph 3.10 of this report;

 

Asset Class Programme

19.3    the progress updates on individual projects within the 2017/18 Property/Buildings (Other) Asset Class Capital Programme reflecting the acceleration of works to the value of £131k, as reflected in Appendix 4 to the report; and

 

19.4    the progress updates on individual projects within the 2017/18 ICT/Business Systems Asset Class Programme reflecting the acceleration of works to the value of £363k, as reflected in Appendix 5 to the report.

20 PROPERTY/BUILDINGS (OTHER) AND ICT BUSINESS SYSTEMS ASSET CLASS CAPITAL PROGRAMMES 2018/19-2020/21 - REPORT BY DIRECTOR CORPORATE SERVICES

Decision

 

AGREED

 

20.1    the funding allocations within the Property/Buildings (Other) Asset Class Capital Programme for 2018/19 to 2020/21 as set out in Appendix 1 to the report; and

 

20.2    the funding allocations within the ICT/Business Asset Class Programme for 2018/19 to 2020/21 as set out in Appendix 2 to the report.
 

21 PROPOSED COMMUNITY ASSET TRANSFER: PLOT OF LAND, CLOSEBURN - REPORT BY DIRECTOR COMMUNITIES

Decision

 

NOTED

 

21.1    the Nith Valley Leaf Trust (NVLT) Business Plan at Appendix 2 to the report for the proposed Community Asset Transfer of land at Castle Crescent, Closeburn, as detailed in Appendix 1 to the report; 

 

21.2    the recommendation of Nithsdale Area Committee as detailed in paragraph 3.7 to the report; and

 

21.3    AGREED to the Community Asset Transfer of the land detailed in Appendix 1 to the report, for the sum of £15,000 as proposed by Nith Valley Leaf Trust.

 

MEMBER - Ronnie Tait left the meeting.  16 Members present.
 

22 FORMER POLICE STATION, BUCCLEUCH SQUARE, LANGHOLM - PROPOSED COMMUNITY ASSET TRANSFER - REPORT BY DIRECTOR COMMUNITIES

Decision

 

NOTED

 

22.1    the Eskdale Foundation’s Business Plan, as detailed in Appendix 1 to the report, for the community asset transfer of the Former Police Station, Buccleuch Square, Langholm;

 

22.2    the recommendations of Annandale and Eskdale Area Committee in relation to the proposal as set out in paragraphs 3.15 and 3.16 to the report; and

 

22.3    in recognition of the social and economic benefits of the project to the area, AGREED to transfer the Former Police Station, Buccleuch Square, Langholm to the Eskdale Foundation for the nominal sum of £1, with the condition that if the Foundation does not have the required capital funding in place for the project by 30 November 2018 and the property transfer had already been effected then the Foundation will reconvey the property to the Council for the nominal sum of £1.
 

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

Decision

 

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