Agenda and draft minutes

Quarterly Reports, Performance Scrutiny Committee - Thursday, 17th November 2022 6.00 pm

Venue: Committee Rooms 1-2, City Hall. View directions

Contact: Clare Stait, Democratic Services Officer  01522 873292

Items
No. Item

34.

Confirmation of Minutes - 29 September 2022 pdf icon PDF 253 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 29 September 2022 be confirmed.

35.

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:

Councillor Pat Vaughan declared a Personal Interest with regard to the agenda item titled 'Operational Performance Report - Quarter 2 2022/23'. Reason: His  daughter worked in the benefits Department of the City of Lincoln Council.

 

Councillor Pat Vaughan declared a Pecuniary Interest with regard to the agenda item titled 'Financial Performance - Quarterly Monitoring'. Reason: His granddaughter worked in the Finance Department of the City of Lincoln Council.

 

36.

Confirmation of Housing Scrutiny Sub-Committee Minutes - 22 June 2022 and 11 August 2022 pdf icon PDF 319 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the minutes from the Housing Scrutiny Sub Committee held on 22 June 2022 and 11 August 2022 be noted, subject to some minor typo amendments to be made to the minutes dated 11 August 2022 by the Democratic Services Officer.

37.

Portfolio Holder under Scrutiny - Reducing Inequality pdf icon PDF 159 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

This agenda item was deferred due to the Portfolio Holder being unwell and unable to attend the meeting.

38.

Operational Performance Report - Quarter 2 2022/23 pdf icon PDF 330 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Graham Rose, Senior Strategic Policy Officer:

 

a)    presented a report to Performance Scrutiny Committee with an outturn summary of the council’s performance in Quarter 2 of 2022/23

 

b)    explained that the full report was attached as Appendix A of the report, with the Quarterly and Annual Performance Measure Outturn Tables attached as Appendix B

 

c)    referred to a recent Audit of Performance Management which had received limited assurance, reported to Audit Committee on 15 November 2022, resulting in Assistant Directors being asked to review and approve performance measures prior to being included in quarterly reports

 

d)    invited members’ comments and questions.

 

Members discussed the content of the report in further detail, asked questions and received relevant responses from officers as follows:

 

·         Question: There had been an increase of 39 customer complaints in Quarter 2 compared to Quarter 1. Was there any apparent trend for this?

·         Response: Officers would seek a more detailed breakdown on this figure from the Customer Services Manager, including any reasons for the increased number of complaints and which areas they were related to.

·         Question: There had been an increase in the average customer wait time to receive a response to telephone calls at 795 seconds in quarter 2. Response: There was the option available of ‘ring back’ or contact via e mail. Call operators had to be sensitive/patient in their approach to protect the most vulnerable clients. Officers would ask the Customer Services Manager to provide further detail on reasons for this increase for circulation to members.

·         Question: Did the Council raise awareness of the quieter times of day to our customers where call times were lower?

·         Response: Officers would seek a response from the Customer Services Manager for circulation to Members.

·         Comment: It was assumed that staff sickness would drop now more people were working from home, rather than having increased. The Chair would ask Councillor Chris Burke as relevant Portfolio Holder to respond to this issue on 8 December 2022 when he was due to report into Performance Scrutiny Sub Committee.

·         Question: There had been recent reports in the news regarding very bad issues of mould in Council properties elsewhere in the country. What advice did officers offer tenant’s to help avoid this problem?

·         Response: There were reports of mould in our council stock, the vast majority due to individual circumstances with insufficiently ventilated rooms, or clothes being dried on radiators. The authority was looking at giving online advice to tenants on measures to help avoid mould. Some properties had design defects and these were being attended to, however, the problem was nothing as bad as that reported in recent news reports.

·         There was also an issue with unscrupulous companies mail dropping council tenants suggesting they should make a claim for compensation for mould problems. There was a loop hole in the law which required government intervention; to redress the responsibility for disrepair claims against the Housing Authority which currently identified any employee recorded as  ...  view the full minutes text for item 38.

39.

Financial Performance - Quarterly Monitoring pdf icon PDF 957 KB

Minutes:

Colleen Warren, Financial Services Manager:

 

a)    presented a report to Performance Scrutiny Committee with a summary of actual income and expenditure for the Council, compared to the revised budget and how any surpluses had been allocated to reserves

 

b)    provided information on the Council’s:

 

·         General Fund Revenue Account – for 2022/23 the Council’s net General Fund Revenue Budget was set at £8,907,490, including a planned contribution from balances of £60,700, resulting in an estimated level of general balances at the year-end of £2,262,761 (after allowing for the 2021/22 outturn position). The General Fund Summary was currently projecting a forecast overspend of £912,511 (Appendix A provided a forecast General Fund Summary). There were a significant number of forecast year-end variations in income and expenditure against the approved budget. Full details of the main variances were provided in Appendix B.

 

·         Housing Revenue Account – The Housing Revenue Account was projecting a forecast overspend of £173,049 (Appendix C provided a forecast Housing Revenue Account Summary). There were a number of forecast year-end variations in income and expenditure against the approved budget. Full details of the main variances were provided in Appendix D.

 

·         Housing Repairs Service – at quarter 2 the Housing Repairs Service was forecasting a deficit of £573,908 in 2022/23. Appendix E provided a forecast summary, with full details of the main variances provided in Appendix F.

 

c)    provided information in the following areas:

 

·         General Investment Programme – the revised General Investment Programme for 2022/23 amounted to £32.342m following the quarter 1 report. At quarter 2 the programme had been reduced by £2.186m to £30.156m as shown at paragraph 7.2.

 

The overall spending on the General Investment Programme for the second quarter of 2022/23 was £2.2m which was 8.8% pf the 2022/23 active programme (excluding externally delivered schemes).

 

·         Housing Investment Programme – the Housing Investment Programme for 2022/23 in the MTFS 2022 – 2027 amounted to £21.72m. This was increased to £23.17m following approvals and year end re-profiles as part of the 2021/22 outturn. The Overall expenditure on the Housing Investment Programme for the second quarter of 2022/23 was £3.835m, which was 17% of the 2022/23 revised programme.

 

d)    invited members’ comments and questions.

 

Members discussed the content of the report in further detail, asked questions and received relevant responses from officer’s as follows:

 

·         Question: What was the impact of the Chancellor’s announcements today on the Council’s finances?

·         Response: There had been an increase announced on business rate relief from 50% to 75%. The referendum cap had been lifted to allow council taxes to be raised by 4.99 per cent. The business rate threshold was to stay the same. Housing rents were capped at 7%. Most of the impact would fall on the individual member of public

·         Question: Why was there a reduced income of £30,090 from garden waste?

·         Response: This was due to a decrease in take up of the scheme due to the current cost of living crisis.

·         Question: There was a significant anticipated  ...  view the full minutes text for item 39.

40.

Treasury Management and Prudential Code Update Report - Half Yearly Report

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Colleen Warren, Financial Services Manager:

 

a)    presented a report to Performance Scrutiny Committee on the Council’s treasury management activity and the actual prudential indicators for the period 1st April 2022 to 30th September 2022

 

b)    explained that the Council held £64m of investments as at 30th September 2022. The investment profile was shown at Appendix A

 

c)    highlighted that the Council held £130.070m of external borrowing, of which 100% were fixed rate loans as detailed within Appendix A

 

d)    invited members’ questions and comments.

 

RESOLVED that the report be noted.

 

41.

Budget Review Process 2023/24 pdf icon PDF 290 KB

Minutes:

Colleen Warren, Financial Services Manager:

 

a.    presented members with the process for scrutiny of the proposed budget and Council Tax for the 2023/24 financial year and the Medium Term Financial Strategy 2023-2028

 

b.    highlighted that it was proposed that the following governance arrangements should be in place for the Group;

 

·         The group would be made up of 9 non-Executive Members with a 6:2:1 proportionality share.

 

·         The Group would be a sub-group of the Performance Scrutiny Committee, although Members did not have to be Members of this Committee.

 

·         The Chair of the group would be the Chair of the Performance Scrutiny Committee.

 

·         The Group would be the main mechanism by which the Executive would formally consult scrutiny on the consideration of their budget proposals.

 

·         The meetings would be held in public and would be administered by Democratic Services.

 

·         Specific Portfolio Holders and Directors (or Assistant Directors) would be invited to attend the meetings of the group or be requested to provide written responses if so required.

 

·         Advice would be provided to the Group members by officers from the Council’s Financial Services Team.

 

·         The Chair of the Group shall be required to provide a report to the next full Performance Scrutiny Committee summarising the Groups findings and making recommendations to the Executive.

 

Members were asked to respond to Democratic Services to confirm member’s attendance for this group.

 

RESOLVED that:

 

1.    The objectives and governance arrangements of the Budget Review Group for 2023/24 as set out in paragraphs 3.3 – 3.4 be noted.

 

2.    The timetable for the Group as set out in paragraph 3.6 be noted.

 

3.    Nominations for membership of the Group from leaders of the respective political groups be notified to Democratic Services.

42.

Work Programme 2022/23 Update pdf icon PDF 110 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Alison Hewson, Democratic Services Officer:

 

a)    presented the draft work programme for 2022/23 as detailed at Appendix A of her report

 

b)    advised that the work programme for the Performance Scrutiny Committee was put forward annually for approval by Council; the work programme was then regularly updated throughout the year in consultation with the Performance Scrutiny Committee and its Chair

 

c)    reported that items had been scheduled in accordance with the existing work programme and officers’ guidance regarding the meetings at which the most up-to-date information could be reported to the committee; the work programme also included the list of portfolio holders under scrutiny

 

d)    requested any relevant comments or changes to the proposed work programme for 2022/23.

 

RESOLVED that the work programme 2022/23 be noted, subject to the report by the Portfolio Holder under Scrutiny for Reducing Inequality to be rescheduled to be held at the meeting of Performance Scrutiny Committee on 19 January 2023.

43.

Strategic Risk Register - Quarterly Review pdf icon PDF 243 KB

Minutes:

Colleen Warren, Financial Services Manager:

 

a)    presented Performance Scrutiny Committee with a status report of the revised Strategic Risk Register as at the end of the second quarter 2022/23

 

b)    reported that the strategic risk registers currently contained twelve 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 were 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 protect the vulnerable in relation to the Council’s PREVENT and safeguarding duties.

 

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

 

RESOLVED that the Strategic Risk Register as at the end of the second quarter 2022/23 be noted.

44.

Exclusion of 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 item(s) because it is likely that if members of the press or public were present, there would be disclosure of ‘exempt information’

Minutes:

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

45.

Strategic Risk Register - Quarterly Review

Minutes:

Colleen Warren, Financial Services Manager:

 

a)    provided members with the revised Strategic Risk Register as attached at Appendix A

 

b)    invited members’ questions and comments.

 

RESOLVED that the Strategic Risk Register as at the end of the second quarter 2022/23 be noted.