Agenda and draft minutes

Quarterly Reports, Executive - Monday, 21st November 2022 6.00 pm

Venue: Committee Rooms 1 and 2, City Hall, Beaumont Fee, Lincoln, LN1 1DD

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

Items
No. Item

47.

Confirmation of Minutes - 17 October 2022 pdf icon PDF 249 KB

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 17 October 2022 be confirmed and signed by the Leader as a correct record.

48.

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.

49.

Operational Performance Report Q2 - 2022/23 pdf icon PDF 331 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Purpose of the Report

 

To present an outturn summary of the Council’s operational performance in quarter two of 2022/23.

 

Decision

 

That the achievements and challenges identified in the Quarter 2 2022/23 operational performance report be noted.

 

Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

 

None were considered.

 

Reasons for the Decision

 

Regular monitoring of the council’s performance was a key component of the Local Performance Management Framework. This report covered the key strategic performance measures identified by members and CMT as of strategic importance.

 

The outturn summary report detailed performance against a total of 77 measures across the directorates Chief Executive’s, Communities and Environment and Housing and Investment. In total 60 performance measures out of the 77 were monitored against targets, of which nineteen were below target; thirteen were within target boundaries; 25 had exceeded a higher target, and 3 measures were recorded as data not available for this quarter

 

The Directorate for Major Developments (DMD) did not monitor performance through strategic measures.  Instead, performance was managed by the progress of the various projects DMD owned under the priorities "Driving Inclusive Economic Growth" and “Lets Address the Challenge of Climate Change.” From quarter 3 2022/23, a progress update on these projects would be included within the quarterly performance report.

 

A further 17 measures were volumetric, and provided context to overall service delivery. Commentaries on each measure were detailed in the report.

 

When compared to the previous quarter there has been an increase of 3 quarterly measures performing at or above target within the second quarter. However, there had also been an increase of 4 quarterly measures performing below target during this latest quarter. When focusing on the performance direction of travel, there had been an increase of 11 quarterly measures showing an improving performance trend and a decrease of 5 quarterly measures showing a deteriorating performance trend. This indicated that performance overall was improving across the council based on trend, however, there remained a need for service areas to focus over the next quarter on those measures performing below target and with deteriorating performance.

It was noted that factors such as resource pressures, recruitment challenges and the cost of living crisis had impacted on performance in quarter 2 2022/23. Looking ahead the cost of living crisis could lead to a further increased demand for council services, as the more vulnerable in the city looked to the council for support, which could also further impact on performance.  This was likely to be at a time when the council could see a reduction in both income for services and collection rates due to the increased financial pressures being faced by Lincoln’s residents and businesses.  Full details were provided within Appendix A to the report.  A summary of the outturn was also provided at Appendix B to the report.

 

There continued to be less demand for face to face appointments at City Hall. However, there had been an increase in demand for telephone appointments with Customer Services and owing to recruitment and retention issues, the waiting  ...  view the full minutes text for item 49.

50.

Financial Performance-Quarterly Monitoring pdf icon PDF 957 KB

Minutes:

Purpose of Report

 

To present the second quarter’s performance (up to 30 September 2022) on the Council’s General Fund, Housing Revenue Account, Housing Repairs Service and Capital Programmes, and to seek approval for changes to the capital programmes.

 

Decision

 

1.               That the financial performance for the period 1 April 2022 to 30 September 2022  and the projected outturns for 2022/23 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) of the officer’s report be noted.

 

3.               That the changes to the General Investment Programme and Housing Investment Programme as approved by the Chief Finance Officer and Lincoln Town Board as detailed in paragraphs 7.3, 7.4, 7.5 and 7.12 of the officer’s report be noted.

 

4.               That the changes to the Housing Investment Programme, as detailed in paragraph 7.9 of the officer’s report, be approved.

 

Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

 

None.

 

Reason for Decision

 

The Council approved a balanced budget earlier in 2022, but much had changed since that point.  Spiralling inflation, soaring energy prices and nationally agreed pay agreements were set to add significant cost pressures to the Council’s budget.  These were in the main part caused by national issues, beyond the Council’s control, and were impacting all Councils.  In addition, the current cost of living crisis had the potential to increase demand for the Council’s services by those who relied on the safety net provided by local government.  These unforeseen and unavoidable pressures had seriously impacted the assumptions that underpinned the MTFS.  As a result of these pressures, the General Fund was currently forecasting a significant financial shortfall for 2022/23, with cost pressures also in the Housing Revenue Account and Housing Repairs Service.

 

The impact of these new financial pressures the Council was facing could not be underestimated and were not solely related to 2022/23.  These inflationary increases would permanently increase the cost base of the Council and would have implications for the Medium-Term Financial Strategy and, in the absence of additional financial support from Central Government, would have implications for the range and level of services that the Council could continue to provide.

As a result, the Council was developing a range of mitigation actions, as part of a financial recovery programme, to ensure it retained a sustainable financial position in 2022/23 and in the medium-term.  Alongside this the Council was continuing to lobby Central Government for funding to support councils through these inflationary pressures, and for long-term sustainable funding settlements for local government.

 

As in recent years, there would continue to be a need for strong budgetary control in this financial year to balance expenditure and income within budget.

 

Whilst there were a significant number of planning variables which were subject to unprecedented levels of uncertainty, based on the latest set of assumptions as at the end of the second quarter (up to 30th September 2022) the forecast financial position of the Council was detailed at paragraph 2.6  ...  view the full minutes text for item 50.

51.

Strategic Risk Register Quarterly Review pdf icon PDF 243 KB

Minutes:

Purpose of Report

 

To provide a status report on the revised Strategic Risk Register as at the end of the second quarter 2022/23.

 

Decision

 

That the Council’s strategic risks, as at the end of quarter 2 2022/23, be noted.

 

Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

 

None were considered.  The Strategic Risk Register contained the key strategic risks to the delivery of the Council’s medium and longer term priorities.  A failure to monitor the action that was being taken to manage those risks would undermine the Council’s governance arrangements.

 

Reasons for the Decision

 

Since reporting to Members in August, the Strategic Risk Register had been refreshed and updated by the Risk Owners, and Corporate Management Team and had identified that there have been some positive movement in the Risk Register.

 

It contained twelve strategic risks as detailed within paragraph 3 of the officer’s report, along with details of relevant mitigations. 

 

The updated register was contained with Part B of this agenda, (Minute 56 referred), as it was considered to contain exempt information.

52.

Treasury Management and Prudential Code Update Mid-Year Report - 30th September 2022 pdf icon PDF 623 KB

Minutes:

Purpose of Report

 

To report the Council’s treasury management activity and the actual prudential indicators for the period 1 April 2022 to 30 September 2022, 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 2022/23 for the half-year ended 30 September 2022 be noted.

 

Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

 

None.

 

Reason for Decision

 

The prudential system for capital expenditure was well established.  One of the requirements of the Prudential Code was to ensure adequate monitoring of the capital expenditure plans, prudential indicators (PIs) and treasury management response to these plans.  The report fulfilled that requirement and included a review of compliance with Treasury and Prudential Limits and the Prudential Indicators at 30th September 2022.

 

It was noted that the Council held £64 million of investments at 30 September 2022, 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 six months to 30 September on average 100% of the portfolio was held in low risk specified investments and an average of 0% of the portfolio was held in non-specified investments with other local authorities.  It was anticipated that interest rates would reduce in the coming years.

 

This report highlighted the changes to the key prudential indicators, to enable an overview of the current status of the capital expenditure plans. It incorporated any new or revised schemes previously reported to members. Changes required to the residual prudential indicators and other related treasury management issues were also included.

53.

Statement of Accounts 2021/22 pdf icon PDF 436 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Purpose of Report

 

To present for information the final Statement of Accounts for the financial year ended 31 March 2022, following substantial completion of the audit opinion. 

 

Decision

 

That following scrutiny of the statement of accounts for the financial year ended on 31 March 2022, the Statement of Accounts be recommended to Council on 29 November 2022 for approval.

 

Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

 

None. The Council was required to publish its statement of accounts for the financial year 2021/22 with an audit opinion and certificate by no later than 30 September 2022.

 

Reasons for the Decision

 

The Statement of Accounts for 2021/22 provided a comprehensive picture of the Council’s financial circumstances and had been compiled to demonstrate probity and stewardship of public funds.

 

The Statement of Accounts for 2021/22 were still subject to verification by External Audit.  The audit of the accounts was being finalised by Mazars, who commenced the audit in July 2022.  The majority of the audit work had now been completed by Mazars, however, should any material changes be necessary as a result of this final external work, these would be reported back to a meeting of the Audit Committee by the Chief Finance Officer.

 

The Council made the statement of accounts available for public inspection for the required ten working days, between 1 and 12 August 2022, during which time, the external auditor was available to answer questions, although none were received.  During the completion of the external audit there no misstatements above the threshold level of £49,000 had been found.

 

The Council was also required to provide a documental annual review of the effectiveness of its governance arrangements (Annual Governance Statement), which sat alongside the Statement of Accounts; the overall level of assurance provided in 2021/22 was substantial (green) and was in line with the Council’s code of corporate governance.

 

However, there was one significant issue that had been identified.  This was in respect of IT Disaster Recovery, an issue which was included in the previous year’s AGS.  Although progress had been made over the last twelve months it was felt that this issue should remain on the list of significant issues, and progress against the actions would be regularly reported by management to the Audit Committee.

 

There were no new significant issues identified in 2021/22.

54.

Re-Imagining Greyfriars Project pdf icon PDF 184 KB

Minutes:

Purpose of Report

 

To update on progress made with the Greyfriars refurbishment project, to approve acceptance of a grant award of £1.95m from National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF) jointly with Heritage Lincolnshire and to approve the inclusion of the project within the General Investment Programme.

 

Decision

 

1.     That the progress made in developing the Greyfriars project through to its delivery phase be noted.

 

2.     That the acceptance of the NLHF grant award together with their standard and additional terms of grant be approved.

 

3.     That the inclusion of a £2,638,220 capital estimate in the General Investment Programme, with associated funding as set out in paragraph 9.1 of the officer’s report be approved.

 

Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

 

None.

 

Reasons for the Decision

 

Members had considered and supported different elements of the Greyfriars project previously, including the approval of a partnership arrangement with Heritage Lincolnshire and the Council’s contribution of £200,000 match funding in October 2019, ahead of the first ‘development’ stage.  Then more recently, the acquisition of land and rights from Lincolnshire County Council in May 2022. The report provided an update on progress relating to the second ‘delivery’ stage and the proposed undertaking of the approved scheme.

 

In late September, NLHF confirmed their support for the project.  Formal notification was received 17th October 2022.  The grant notification letter included the terms on which the grant was to be accepted.  This included a requirement specific to local authority grantees, which was covered by this report.

 

The project also formed part of the Lincoln Town’s Fund, with funding of £0.540m secured.

 

The Executive was reminded that Greyfriars had been placed on Historic England’s ‘Buildings At Risk’ register due to its historic significance and deteriorating condition.  Due to the Council’s limited financial resources, it was therefore essential that external funding was secured to carry out a full refurbishment of the building.

 

Working in partnership with Heritage Lincolnshire, the Council had been successful in bids to NHLF to fund extensive refurbishment works.  The grant was awarded in two parts; the first, smaller element was to undertake the development of a viable scheme.  This work, undertaken 2019-2022, was coupled with robust strategies comprising a business plan, activities plan and conservation management plan. In addition, planning consent, listed buildings consent and approval from Heritage England had all been secured.

 

The second, larger element of the grant, was the subject of the report and followed completion of the development stage and was awarded to fund the delivery stage i.e., the actual refurbishment works and related activities.

 

All officers involved in this project were congratulated on their hard work.

55.

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.

 

X. 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.

 

Y. 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, and has not been deferred for the reasons established in the published notice.

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 and Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972.

56.

Strategic Risk Register Quarterly Review

Minutes:

Purpose of Report

 

To receive the revised Strategic Risk Register as at the end of Quarter 2 2022/23.

 

Decision

 

That the Council’s strategic risks, as at the end of quarter 2 2022/23, be noted.

 

Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

 

None were considered.  The Strategic Risk Register contained the key strategic risks to the delivery of the Council’s medium and longer term priorities. A failure to monitor the action that was being taken to manage those risks would undermine the Council’s governance arrangements.

 

Reasons for the Decision

 

Further to the Strategic Risk Register – Quarterly Review report, which appeared in Part A of this agenda, this report contained the detailed Register as attached at Appendix A.

57.

Re-Imagining Greyfriars Project

Minutes:

Purpose of Report

 

As detailed in the exempt report to the Executive.

 

Decision

 

That the recommendations to the Executive, as set out in the exempt report, be approved.

 

Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

 

As detailed in the exempt report to the Executive.

 

Reasons for the Decision

 

As detailed in the exempt report to the Executive.