Agenda and draft minutes

Overview & Scrutiny Committee - Friday, 7th February, 2020 10.00 am

Venue: Council Chamber - FH. View directions

Items
No. Item

13.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 204 KB

To approve and sign the minutes of the meeting held on 14 January, 2020.

 

Minutes:

The Minutes of the meeting held on 14 January, 2020 were approved as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

14.

Declarations of interest

Minutes:

None.

15.

Public questions under Council Procedure Rule 5.8(h)

Minutes:

None.

16.

Councillor Questions under Council Procedure Rule 5.8(i)

Minutes:

The following question was asked by Councillor Patch

 

Following yet another fly-tipping incident in Haytor Ward (blocking the entrance to Blackpool School in Liverton yesterday morning; just a few weeks after a trailer full of vehicle tyres was abandoned in another part of Ilsington Parish) I would like to put forward the following question to be addressed by the appropriate officer for the next O&S Committee Meeting:

 

What recent year-on-year trends have been observed regarding fly-tipping incidents in Teignbridge? Specifically, for each of the last 4 years, what are the numbers of: i) fly-tipping cases reported to Teignbridge DC; ii) fly-tipping cases actively investigated; iii) prosecutions/fines arising from fly-tipping incidents.

 

Answer

 

With regard to the recent fly tipping incident in Liverton officers did visit to see if any evidence was left at the fly tip.  None was found but following our social media post we have had some responses from the public which we are following up but it is too early to say whether these will lead to a fixed penalty notice or prosecution.

 

All figures for the year 2019/20 are April to December.

 

i) fly-tipping cases reported to Teignbridge DC

 

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Notes

·         From April 2019 the way fly tips were recorded was improved to ensure all those encountered by cleansing staff were logged.  A proportion were found to have been cleared during the course of their duties without being recorded.  This has had the effect of increasing the numbers since April 2019, meaning the increase shown is not strictly comparable to previous years.  We will be able to more accurately monitor trends going forward.

 

ii) fly-tipping cases actively investigated

19/20 - 161

18/19 – 307

17/18 - 410

16/17 - 641

 

Notes

·         The majority of fly tips have no evidence either within the waste or any person who witnessed the activity and is willing to attend court.

 

iii) prosecutions/fines arising from fly-tipping incidents.

19/20 - £2000

18/19 - £3000

17/18 - £3200

16/17 - £2000

 

Councillor Patch asked a supplementary question referring to the decrease in fly-tipping cases actively investigated from 641 in 2016/17 to 161 in 2019/20 to date, and the formal process in place to undertake prosecutions, the involvement of the Police and what preventative measures were in place.

 

Information was not available at the meeting to answer the supplementary question. The Chairman advised that a written response would be given.

 

Councillor Daws referred to questions he had submitted to be put to the Committee. The meeting was advised that these questions were being dealt with in accordance with correct procedures.

 

At this juncture the Chairman adjourned the meeting for a short recess.

 

 

 

17.

Report of the Rural Aid Review Group pdf icon PDF 132 KB

Minutes:

The Chairman of the Review Group Councillor Purser, presented the report on the findings of the Review Group, and suggested potential savings elsewhere in the overall budget that could possibly be used to fund a Rural Aid grant as set out in the agenda report.

 

In response to questions from the Committee, Councillor Purser: referred to the criteria detailed in the agenda report, and advised that 30 of the District’s Parish Councils had precepts of less than £20,000. These Parish Councils may be eligible to apply for a rural aid grant depending on cash reserves, as detailed in the criteria detailed in the agenda report; and agreed to the introduction of annual reports on rural aid grants approved over the previous year, to be presented to the Committee at the end of the financial year.

 

The Portfolio older for Corporate Resources, referred positively to the Review Group’s work to produce criteria for the fund to continue at a reduced amount from £40,000 £26,000. He advised that the requested fund of £26,000

was not allocated in the budget, and means of funding would be considered at the Executive meeting on Monday.

 

RECOMMENDED

 

The Committee recommends to Executive:

 

That the Rural Aid Grant continue and be included in the budget proposals 2020/21 to 2020/23 as follows:

·      The grant be £26,000.

·      Parishes in Teignbridge with a precept of £20,000 or less, with no more than 75% of the respective parish precept cash reserves be eligible to apply.

·      The maiximum grant awarded be £2,000 per annum.

·      The grant be awarded primarily for tangible items only, such as new equipment, or building repair and refurbishment.

·      Applications be considered on their individual merit, taking into account Rural Aid grants awarded to Parish Councils in recent years.

 

 

 

18.

FINAL FINANCIAL PLAN PROPOSALS 2020/21 TO 2022/23 pdf icon PDF 224 KB

To consider the final financial plan proposals 2020/21 to 2022/23 for recommendation to Council on 24 February, 2020.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor D Cox declared an Appendix 2 interest by virtue of his position as Chairman of the CVS Trustees.

 

The Portfolio Holder for Corporate Services presented the report on the final financial plan proposals 2020/21 to 2020/23 for recommendation to Council on 24 February, 2020.  The proposals included recommended revenue and capital budgets for 2020/21 and planned in outline for 2021/22 and 2022/23.

 

The Portfolio Holder referred to pertinent factors which particularly impacted the budget:

·      Local government finance settlement for 2020/21 would be a settlement for one year only.

·      The Government was planning to introduce 75% business rates retention in 2021/22.

·      The Government’s intention to cease New Homes Bonus.

·      The senior management structure has been finalised and approved and the resultant savings will ultimately amount to in excess of £150,000 per annum.

·      The council tax support scheme is proposed to be amended to an income banded scheme due to the existing scheme not being compatible with the roll out of Universal Credit.

·      The average Teignbridge council tax of £170.17 per household is below the current average of Devon districts of £176.86.

·      A flat nominal charge for Sunday parking of £1 between the time of 10am -4pm has been included within the fees and charges for the majority of the car parks across the District.

·      The successful opt in green waste subscription would be maintained at its existing level and no increase is proposed. The fee continues to be below the national average and the average charge within Devon.

·      Revenue support grant reduced from £4.5 million to zero in 2019/20. Uncertainty existed for 2021/22 when a proposed reset of the baseline was likely to occur, reducing gains established from growth and altering business rates retention to 75%.

·      The general reserves were maintained at around 12.3% of the budget which was equivalent to just under £2.0 million. However there was much uncertainty over the move to 75% and potentially an eventual 100% business rates retention scheme with the higher risks that the Council would face.

·      The budget proposals show how the Council could start to prepare for the grant reductions and anticipated funding regime by continuing to make savings and generate income.

·      The proposals included a £5 increase in council tax next year and subsequent years and substantial capital investment over the next three years.

 

It was proposed and seconded that the Fees and Charges be included in the Initial Financial Plan Proposals for 2021/22 and future years to enable the Committee to review them as part of the budget process. This proposal was carried.

Concern was raised in regard to the introduction of a flat rate nominal charge for parking on Sunday in the Council’s car parks, particularly as the flat rate was more than the 30 minute charge in some areas. In addition, the charge may discourage Sunday shoppers to Newton Abbot. The Portfolio Holder referred to the challenge the Council was facing in balancing the budget. The proposal was a nominal charge. The Council had invested significantly in Newton  ...  view the full minutes text for item 18.

19.

Call-ins

Minutes:

None.

20.

Executive Forward Plan

The Executive Forward Plan can be found here.

Minutes:

The Committee noted the Executive Forward Plan.

21.

Work Programme pdf icon PDF 311 KB

To identify any areas of work for future meetings of the Committee.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee Work Programme circulated with the agenda was received and noted.

 

The Chairman raised the issue of rising sea levels and the effect on the District’s coast and inland towns located near rivers, and what response plans were in place. It was agreed that this issue be added to the Committee work programme and a report presented for Committee consideration.

22.

Portfolio Holder Presentation - The Leader Councillor G Hook (Strategic Direction)

Minutes:

Councillor G Hook, the Leader of and spokesperson for the Council and Portfolio Holder for Strategic Direction summarised his service areas of responsibility, challenges and achievements and how the Committee could assist. The areas of responsibility encompassed communications, Democratic and Electoral Services, Human Resources, and Strategic Direction, the overall responsibility for T10, the strategic objectives delivery and work with other strategic/regional bodies.

 

Democratic Services supported the democratic decision process by organising meetings, agendas and minutes, and providing Member Support.

Electoral Services was responsible for compiling the electoral register, organising and conducting elections, polls and referenda at local and national levels.

 

The T10 strategic objectives were approved by Council, and the Committee assisted in identifying priorities within the objectives and reviewing the council’s progress towards them.

 

The human resources function included strategic workforce planning, performance management, and change management.  Objectives included supporting delivery of key programmes such as agile working.

 

Communications had several roles including proactively communicating the Council’s vision to stakeholders and residents, analysing trends on how customers consume information to ensure the Council tailors its communication methods accordingly, and coordinating media response to any major incidents.

 

The Leader advised that he represented the Council at various local and national partnership meetings. Common themes at the meeting included: the challenge of Teignbridge and other Local Councils to provide services with an ever decreasing budget; climate change and local government reform.