Agenda and draft minutes

Quarterly Reports, Executive - Monday, 22nd November 2021 6.00 pm

Venue: Committee Rooms 1 and 2, City Hall

Contact: Cheryl Evans, Democratic Services and Elections Manager  (01522 873439)

Items
No. Item

46.

Confirmation of Minutes - 25 October 2021 pdf icon PDF 149 KB

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 25 October 2021 be confirmed.

47.

Declarations of Interest

Please note that, in accordance with the Members' Code of Conduct, when declaring interests members must disclose the existence and nature of the interest, and whether it is a disclosable pecuniary interest (DPI) or personal and/or pecuniary.

Minutes:

No declarations of interest were received.

48.

Local Transport Plan 5 Consultation Draft pdf icon PDF 357 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Purpose of Report

 

To receive an updated on Lincolnshire County Council’s Local Transport Plan (LTP5) Consultation Draft, as detailed at Appendix A of the report, and to recommend a response on behalf of the Council. 

 

Decision

 

1.           That broad support for the Draft Local Transport Plan be endorsed.

 

2.           That authority be delegated to the Director of Major Developments and Assistant Director of Planning for detailed comments to be made on the Draft Local Transport Plan prior to the submission deadline of 1 December 2021.

 

Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

 

Making no response or objection to the LTP would jeopardise the Council’s ability to shape and influence the development of the LTP which would be detrimental to future transport plans for Lincoln.

 

Reasons for the Decision

 

On 20 October 2021, Lincolnshire County Council had released the LTP 5 for public consultation with a closing date for responses due by Wednesday 1 December 2021.  The LTP was produced every ten years by the County Council covering the short, medium, and longer-term time horizons for transport and highways for the whole county.

 

This LTP had been produced under a period of rapid change in the transport sector.  With the key driver being the mitigation of climate change coupled with the impact of Covid-19.  Changes in technology, lifestyles, working patterns and environmental concerns meant that the LTP needed to reflect these concerns and how transport could address these issues over the short, medium, and long term. 

 

Since the last LTP (4) was produced in 2013, significant changes had taken place in relation to local transport.  The Government’s announcement to ban the sale of both new petrol and diesel cars by 2030, and the steps in tackling climate change with the commitment to be net-zero carbon by 2050, would have a significant bearing on what happened to transport during the time-scale of this next LTP.  Growth in the form of new housing (Central Lincolnshire Draft Local Plan anticipated the need for 29,000 new homes up to 2040) and new employment provision (15,000 new jobs across Central Lincolnshire) would increase the pressure on the existing transport infrastructure.

 

A number of transport-focused schemes had been completed locally since the last LTP, most notably the completion of the Lincoln Eastern Bypass and the new Lincoln Central bus station.  Improvements to rail services (including frequency to London) and funding to support active travel (cycling and walking) had assisted in encouraging people to use sustainable modes of transport but clearly there was a lot more to be done.

 

The impact caused by the Covid-19 pandemic on transport and movement had been genuinely seismic and in the introduction to the LTP it stated ‘it seems likely that flexible working from home will remain to some extent for many people, and so there will likely be changes to commuting times going forward. Access to education will return to something approaching normal, but access to health and shopping activities have altered in ways that seem irreversible, at least in part. Travelling  ...  view the full minutes text for item 48.

49.

Operational Performance Report Q2 2021/22 pdf icon PDF 229 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Purpose of Report

 

To provide the Executive with an outturn summary of the operational performance position for quarter two, financial year 2021/22, from July 2021 to September 2021, with data in support found at Appendices A - C to the report.

 

Decision

 

That the achievements and issues identified within the report for quarter two of 2021/22 be noted.

 

Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

 

None.

 

Reason for Decision

 

There were 18 quarterly measures with RED (below target) statuses, all of which had been worsened as a direct or indirect result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

 

There were 15 quarterly measures with GREEN (above target) statuses, with the remaining 14 being within their acceptable boundaries.

 

It was noted that the Council was still operating within unprecedented circumstances and in addition to the normal review of service performance.  The report contained additional contextual background notes to support understanding of the level of disruption that the Council was still facing.

 

The City of Lincoln Council, like all other local authorities, had to make dramatic changes as a result of the three national lockdowns resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic, not only to ensure that the Council kept its critical services functioning, but also to deliver a community leadership role for the city in a time of crisis.

 

Whilst formal performance reporting had been limited in the first half of 2020/21, the Council restarted reporting in quarter four and it was now able to report performance figures for its key services and had resumed its usual performance reporting format.  Therefore, this report presented the performance of service areas and directorates against its agreed performance measures and targets, as well as corporate performance measures.

50.

Strategic Risk Register - Quarterly Review pdf icon PDF 243 KB

Minutes:

Purpose of Report

 

To receive a status report of the revised Strategic Risk Register as at the end of the second quarter 2021/22.

 

Decision

 

That the Council’s strategic risks as at the end of the second quarter for 2021/22 be noted.

 

Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

 

None.

 

Reason for Decision

 

An update of the Strategic Risk Register developed under the risk management approach of ‘risk appetite’, was last received in August 2021 and had contained thirteen strategic risks.

 

Since reporting in August, the Strategic Risk Register had been refreshed and updated by the Corporate Leadership Team.  The Strategic Risk Register reflected the significant change in circumstances in which the Council had been operating since the onset of Covid-19 and the different challenges and opportunities it now faced.  This review had identified that there had been some positive movements in the register.

 

The Strategic Risk Register contained thirteen risks, as follows:

 

1)           Failure to engage & influence effectively the Council’s strategic partners, council staff and all stakeholders to deliver against e.g. Council’s Vision 2025.

 

2)           Failure to deliver a sustainable Medium-Term Financial Strategy (that supports delivery of Vision 2025).

 

3)           Failure to deliver the Towards Financial Sustainability Programme whilst ensuring the resilience of the Council.

 

4)           Failure to ensure compliance with statutory duties/functions and appropriate governance arrangements are in place.

 

5)           Failure to protect the local authority's vision 2025 due to changing structures and relationships in local government and impact on size, scale and scope of the Council.

 

6)           Unable to meet the emerging changes required in the Council’s culture, behaviour and skills to support the delivery of the council’s Vision 2020/2025 and the transformational journey to one Council approach.

 

7)           Insufficient levels of resilience and capacity exist in order to deliver key strategic projects & services within the Council.

 

8)           Decline in the economic prosperity within the City Centre.

 

9)           Failure to deliver key strategic projects.

 

10)        Failure of the Council’s key contractors and partners to remain sustainable and continue to deliver value for money.

 

11)        Failure to put in place safe working practices and social distancing measures to protect officers and service users.

 

12)        Failure to protect the vulnerable in relation to the Council’s PREVENT and safeguarding duties.

 

13)        Failure to mitigate against the risk of a successful cyber-attack against the council.

 

A number of control actions had now been progressed or completed with the key movements outlined at paragraph 3.2 of the report.

 

Movement in control actions had resulted in a change to the assessed levels of likelihood and impact of two risks identified on the risk register:

 

·         Risk 11 had been decreased from Amber: Hardly Ever/Major to Green Hardly Ever/Minor – as this was now a green risk it would be monitored for 6 months and then removed from the SRR.

·         Risk 12 had decreased from Red: Probable/Critical to Amber: Possible/Critical.

 

The assessed level of each of these thirteen risks was as follows:

 

Risk No.

Risk Rating

Likelihood

Impact

8

Red/High

Almost Certain

Critical

2, 3, 10 & 13

Red/High  ...  view the full minutes text for item 50.

51.

Financial Performance - Quarterly Monitoring pdf icon PDF 929 KB

Minutes:

Purpose of Report

 

To present the second quarter’s performance (up to 30 September 2021) on the Council’s General Fund, Housing Revenue Account, Housing Repairs Service and Capital Programmes, and to seek approval for changes to both the revenue and capital programmes.

 

Decision

 

1.           That the financial performance for the period 1 April 2021 to 30 September 2021 and the projected outturns for 2021/22 be noted.

 

2.           That the underlying impact of the pressures and underspends identified in paragraphs 3.3 (and Appendix B), 4.3 (and Appendix D), and 5.2 (and Appendix F) be noted.

 

3.           That the proposed contributions from earmarked reserves, as set out in paragraph 3.6 and paragraphs 4.9 and 4.10 of the report be approved.

 

4.           That the changes to the General Investment Programme and the Housing Investment Programme, as detailed in paragraphs 7.4, 7.10 and 7.11 of the report be approved.

 

5.           That the changes to the General Investment Programme, as detailed in paragraph 7.4 of the report, be approved.

 

Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

 

None.

 

Reason for Decision

 

Following the unprecedented impact of Covid-19 on the Council’s finances in 2020/21, budgets for 2021/22 had been revised as part of the Medium Term Financial Strategy (MTFS) 2021-26, based on a number of assumptions around the speed and extent of the national and local recoveries particularly in relation to income budgets.  Whilst in many cases these assumptions had reflected the actual position to date, there were still some areas where the rate of recovery was impacting adversely on the Council’s finances.

 

In addition, the impact of Covid-19 was still being felt throughout the authority in relation to service delivery both in terms of backlogs of outstanding work, but also due to the current economic operating conditions in terms of supply chain issues, escalating costs and availability of labour.  Whilst these issues were being addressed, they were likely to continue into the medium term and impact on the Council’s finances.  Furthermore, the imposition of any new national restrictions over the winter period would adversely affect the forecast outturns provided within this report. Close monitoring of the position and implementation of mitigating actions over quarters 3-4 would be key to ensuring the Council maintained a balanced budget position for 2021/22.

 

Updates were reported as follows:

 

General Fund Revenue Account

 

For 2021/22 the Council’s net General Fund revenue budget was set at £978,410 including a planned contribution from balances of £477,240 (resulting in an estimated level of general balances at the year-end of £2,193,359, after allowing for the 2020/21 outturn position).

 

The General Fund Summary was currently projecting a forecast overspend of £46,366 (Appendix A provided a forecast General Fund Summary), resulting in general balance at the year-end of £2,146,993. 

 

There were a number of forecast year-end variations in income and expenditure against the approved budget; as detailed at paragraphs 3.3- 3.4 of the report, with the main variances provided in Appendix B to the report.

 

Although the forecast outturn for the General Fund was a deficit of £46,366  ...  view the full minutes text for item 51.

52.

Treasury Management and Prudential Code Update Report - Half Year Ended 30th September 2021 pdf icon PDF 506 KB

Minutes:

Purpose of Report

 

To report the Council’s treasury management activity and the actual prudential indicators for the period 1 April 2021 to 30 September 2021, in accordance with the requirements of the Prudential Code.

 

Decision

 

That the Prudential and Local Indicators and the actual performance against the Treasury Management Strategy 2021/22 for the half-year ended 30 September 2021 be noted.

 

Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

 

None.

 

Reason for Decision

 

It was noted that the Council held £46million of investments at 30 September 2021, with the full investment profile set out at Appendix A of the report.  Of this investment portfolio, 100% was held in low risk specified investments, the requirement for the year being a minimum of 25% of the portfolio to be specified investments.  During the 6 months to 30 September on average 96% of the portfolio was held in low risk specified investments and an average of 4% of the portfolio was held in non-specified investments with other local authorities.

 

The report highlighted changes to the key prudential indicators, setting out an overview of the current status of the authority’s capital expenditure plans and provided further information in relation to the Council’s Investment Strategy 2021/22 to 2023/24.

 

 

53.

Setting the 2021/22 Budget and Medium-Term Financial Strategy 2022/23 – 2026/27 pdf icon PDF 929 KB

Minutes:

Purpose of Report

 

To update the Executive on the latest Medium Term Financial Strategy (MTFS) position for the Council, including the challenges in preparing for the 2022/23 and future years budget, setting out the parameters within which the Council would prepare these budgets and confirm the Council’s approach to development of the budget and Medium Term Financial Strategy.

 

The report included an update on the current economic position and developments in national policy, specifically the high level of uncertainty surrounding local government financing and reforms. This, along with the ongoing implications of the Covid-19 pandemic on demand for Council’s services, escalating cost pressures and reductions in income, would inform the development of the MTFS.

 

Decision

 

1.           That the significant financial challenges and risks that the Council faced, particularly the lack of clarity surrounding future funding reforms be noted.

 

2.           That the projected budget parameters for 2022/23 and future years and the planning assumptions, as set out in Appendix A of the report be noted.

 

3.           That the budget, strategic and service planning preparation programme, set out in Appendix B of the report be noted.

 

Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

 

None.

 

Reason for Decision

 

The Council’s Vision 2025 and five strategic priorities drove the medium-term financial planning process, with changes in resource allocation determined in accordance with policies and priorities. The Medium Term Financial Strategy provided the framework for the development of annual budgets in line with the aims of the Council’s strategy and priorities.

 

In March 2021, Council agreed the budget for 2021/22 and Medium Term Financial Strategy 2021-2026, which recognised that there was a funding gap forecast in 2021/22 and across the remaining years of the Strategy. The MTFS was refreshed annually and rolled forward one year.

 

The refreshed Medium Term Financial Strategy would include financial projections for the five-year financial planning period through to 2026/27. It would set out the financial parameters within which the Council was required to work and the recommended approach to addressing the financial challenges the Council faced to develop a balanced, sustainable budget and set at Council Tax for 2022/23.

 

The refresh of MTFS needed to be seen in the context of significant inherent uncertainty for the Council, with the ongoing impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on income and expenditure assumptions, and a lack of any form of clarity on future funding settlements from government. It was a long time since the Council had any certainty during budget setting and 2022/23 looked set to continue this tradition, which made financial planning in this climate extremely challenging.

 

The Covid-19 pandemic continued to cast a shadow on the Council’s finances with budget pressures arising from demand for services, the availability of goods and services, escalating costs and ongoing, permanent, reductions in income.

 

Alongside these service pressures, the Council continued to face a lack of clear direction over whether and when each of the planned local government finance reforms would be implemented. These reforms, together, had the ability to fundamentally alter the course of the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 53.

54.

Exclusion of the Press and Public pdf icon PDF 7 KB

You are asked to resolve that the press and public be excluded from the meeting during the consideration of the following items because it is likely that if members of the press or public were present, there would be disclosure to them of 'exempt information'.

In accordance with the Local Authorities (Executive Arrangements) (Meetings and Access to Information) (England) Regulations 2012, notice is hereby given of items which will be considered in private, for which either 28 days' notice has been given or approval has been granted by the appropriate person specified in the Regulations. For further details please visit our website at http://www.lincoln.gov.uk or contact Democratic Services at City Hall, Beaumont Fee, Lincoln.

 

This item is being considered in private as it is likely to disclose exempt information, as defined in Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972. No representations have been received in relation to the proposal to consider this item in private.

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the press and public be excluded from the meeting during consideration of the following items of business because it was likely that if members of the public were present, there would be a disclosure to them of ‘exempt information’, as defined by Section 100I of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972.

55.

Strategic Risk Register Quarterly Review

Minutes:

Purpose of Report

 

To provide the Executive with an update of the revised Strategic Risk Register as at the end of the second quarter 2021/22.

 

Decision

 

That the content of the Strategic Risk Register be noted.

 

Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

 

None.

 

Reason for Decision

 

As set out at Minute 50 above.