Agenda and draft minutes

Quarterly Reports, Executive - Monday, 20th June 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

1.

Confirmation of Minutes -11 April 2022 pdf icon PDF 115 KB

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 11 April 2022 be confirmed.

2.

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.

3.

Revised Tenant Involvement Strategy 2022-2025 pdf icon PDF 235 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Purpose of Report

 

To seek approval for the revised Tenant Involvement Strategy 2022 to 2025 which would replace the 2018 to 2021 strategy.

 

Decision

 

That the revised Tenant Involvement Strategy 2022 to 2025 be approved.

 

Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

 

As detailed within the report.

 

Reasons for the Decision

 

The existing Tenant Involvement Strategy was now out of date and a revised Tenant Involvement Strategy for 2022 to 2025, as set out at Appendix A to the report, had been developed.

 

The regulatory Framework for social housing and the social housing white paper required social housing landlords to have a transparent Tenant Involvement Strategy in place.

 

There were five objectives contained within the proposed Tenant Involvement Strategy, which included:

 

·         Co-design services with residents;

·         Facilitate community engagement;

·         Communicate key messages to residents;

·         Co-regulate with Lincoln Tenants’ Panel; and

·         Expand the ways residents can get involved.

 

As part of the launch of the strategy, the Lincoln Tenants Panel would carry out an initial assessment to provide a starting position against which the outcomes could be monitored.

 

The revised strategy would ensure that tenants continue to have a range of opportunities to get involved to shape housing services.

4.

Contaminated Land Inspection Strategy pdf icon PDF 252 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Purpose of Report

 

To obtain approval of the revised Contaminated Land Inspection Strategy 2022-2027.

 

Decision

 

That the revised Contaminated Land Inspection Strategy 2022-2027, as detailed at Appendix A to the report, be approved.

 

Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

 

Not have, or do not refresh, the existing Contaminated Land Inspection Strategy.  However the Council was required to have such a strategy or similar document.

 

Reasons for the Decision

 

The proposed revised strategy had been written to reflect the latest Statutory Guidance and other changes to the regime.

 

The Council had a statutory duty under Part 2A of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 to deal with land contamination and to have an inspection strategy setting out the Council’s approach.

 

The revised strategy reflected the Council’s current operational approach to focus on managing contaminated land through the planning and building control regimes and encouraging voluntary remediation by landowners rather than proactive part 2A inspections.

5.

Financial Performance - Outturn 2021/22 pdf icon PDF 1 MB

Minutes:

Purpose of Report

 

To present the provisional 2021/22 financial outturn position on the Council’s revenue and capital budgets, including: the Council’s general fund; housing revenue account (HRA); housing repairs service; and capital programmes.

 

To seek approval for the proposed transfer to General Fund and HRA earmarked reserves; and to consider new general fund carry forward requests. 

 

To note the financial changes to both the General investment Programme and the Housing Investment Programme that were above the 10% budget variance limit, as delegated to the Chief Finance Officer.

 

Decision

 

(1)  That the provisional 2021/22 financial outturn for the General Fund, Housing Revenue Account, Housing Repairs Service and Capital Programmes, as set out in sections 3 – 7 of the report, and in particular the reasons for any variances, be noted.

 

(2)  That the proposed transfer to General Fund and HRA earmarked reserves, as detailed in paragraph 3.6, 3.7 and 4.6 of the report, be approved.

 

(3)  That the new General Fund carry forward requests, not requested at quarter 3, as detailed in paragraph 3.8 of the report, be approved.

 

(4)  That the financial changes to both the General Investment Programme and the Housing Investment Programme, as detailed at paragraphs 7.4 and 7.11 in the report, that are above the 10% budget variance limit delegated to the Chief Finance Officer, be noted.

 

Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

 

As detailed in the report.

 

Reasons for the Decision

 

The report covered the General Fund Revenue, Housing Revenue Account budgets and Investment Programmes for the current financial year and set out the provisional financial outturn position.  Following the unprecedented impact of Covid-19 on the Council’s finances in 2020/21, budgets for 2021/22 were 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 and had in fact exceeded assumptions, 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 etc, whilst these issues were being addressed, they were likely to continue in the medium term and impact on the Council’s finances. Coupled with the current economic conditions of spiralling inflation, the Council would continue to face a number of significant financial challenges in 2022/23 and must ensure that its general balances and reserves were sufficient to respond to such pressures.  

 

Although the report had set out the financial outturn, which for the general fund and HRA had resulted in a positive position, the did not mean that the financial issues faced by the Council had been resolved. Beyond 2021/22, the Council was set  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.

6.

Strategic Risk Register - Quarterly Review pdf icon PDF 242 KB

Minutes:

Purpose of Report

 

To provide a status report on the revised Strategic Risk Register as at the end of the fourth quarter 2021/22.

 

Decision

 

That the Council’s strategic risks, as at the end of quarter 4 2021/22, be noted.

 

Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

 

As detailed in the report.

 

Reasons for the Decision

 

The previous update of the Strategic Risk Register had previously been reported in February 2022.  Since the last update, the Strategic Risk Register had been refreshed and updated by the Corporate Management Team.  The Strategic Risk Register reflected the significant change in circumstances in which the Council had been operating since Covid-19 and the different challenges and opportunities it now faced. 

 

Risk Number 11 – Failure to put in place safe working practices and social distancing measures to protect officers and service users, had now been removed from the register as it had been at Green status for over six months. There remained twelve risks within the register, which were detailed within the report.

7.

Treasury Management Stewardship and Actual Prudential Indicators Report 2021/22 (Outturn) pdf icon PDF 889 KB

Minutes:

Purpose of Report

 

To consider the annual Treasury Management stewardship report, which was a requirement of the Council’s reporting procedures under regulations issued under the Local Government Act 2003.  The report covered the treasury management activities and the actual prudential and treasury indicators for 2021/22. 

 

The report met the requirements of both the CIPFA Code of Practice on Treasury Management and the CIPFA Prudential Code for Capital Finance in Local Authorities.

 

Decision

 

(1)  That the actual prudential indicators, as contained within Appendices A and B to the report, be approved.

 

(2)  That the annual treasury management report for 2021/22 be approved.

 

Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

 

As detailed within the report.

 

Reasons for the Decision

 

The Chief Finance Officer had confirmed that borrowing had only been undertaken for a capital purpose and the statutory borrowing limit, the Authorised Limit, had not been breached. 

 

At 31 March 2022, the principal value of the Council’s external debt was £135.177m (£123.448m at 31 March 2021) and that of its investments was £49.85m (£33.9m at 31 March 2021). 

 

The increase in general fund financing costs as a % of net revenue stream in 2021/22, when compared with 2020/21, was due additional MRP charges and lower rates of return and investments.  The slight increase in housing revenue account financing costs had resulted from borrowing arrangements being at rates lower than those for borrowing taken previously but also higher levels of depreciation. 

 

The financial year 2021/22 had continued the challenging environment of previous years; the effect of the Covid-19 pandemic, low investment returns and continuing counterparty risk were the main features.  

8.

Operational Performance Report Quarter Four 2021/22 pdf icon PDF 370 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Purpose of Report

 

To present an outturn summary of the Council’s operational performance in quarter four of 2021/22.

 

Decision

 

That the achievements described and the issues identified in the quarter four Operational Performance Report for 2021/22 be noted.

 

Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

 

As detailed in the report.

 

Reasons for the Decision

 

The outturn summary report detailed performance against a total of 65 measures, of which 16 were below target; 17 were within target boundaries; and 14 had exceeded a higher target.  A further 18 measures were volumetric, and provided context to overall service delivery.  Commentaries on each measure were detailed in the report.

 

It was advised that some Council services could take up to 18 months to recover from the impacts of Covid-19.  The Executive reflected on the Customer Services call waiting times, which was currently averaging at 321 seconds, rather than achieving the target of 300 seconds.  This could be attributed to the reduction of call handlers by five, as part of the Council’s cost saving measures.

9.

Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (2000) (RIPA) Update pdf icon PDF 352 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Purpose of Report

 

To report the number of authorisations under Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA) 2000.

 

To consider the approval of the revised Policy.

 

Decision

 

That the updated Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 Policy be approved.

 

Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

 

It was a requirement to review the policy and update it accordingly.

 

Reasons for the Decision

 

The Council had a RIPA Policy which covered implications for all staff who investigate suspected criminal offences and other breaches of regulations for which the Council was responsible.  The Policy included the procedures for obtaining authorisations together these explain:

 

·         the purpose of the Act in relation to the Council’s functions;

·         the circumstances which it applies to;

·         how to make sure that it was complied with;

·         functions of the Central Register;

·         process for authorisations;

·         details for authorisations;

·         and provides guidance of the use of Social Media in investigations as well as guidance on the use of Covert Human Intelligence Source (CHIS) and how to obtain a CHIS authorisation.

 

The report set out the amendments to the policy.

10.

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 item 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.

 

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

11.

Strategic Risk Register Quarterly Review

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.