Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Council Chamber - Guildhall, Bath. View directions

Contact: Mark Durnford  Email: mark_durnford@bathnes.gov.uk, 01225 394458

Items
No. Item

38.

WELCOME AND INTRODUCTIONS

Minutes:

The Chairman welcomed everyone to the meeting.

 

39.

EMERGENCY EVACUATION PROCEDURE

The Chair will draw attention to the emergency evacuation procedure as set out under Note 6.

 

Minutes:

The Chairman drew attention to the emergency evacuation procedure.

 

40.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE AND SUBSTITUTIONS

Minutes:

Councillor Matt McCabe was present for the duration of the meeting as a substitute for Councillor Hal MacFie.

41.

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

At this point in the meeting declarations of interest are received from Members in any of the agenda items under consideration at the meeting. Members are asked to indicate:

(a) The agenda item number in which they have an interest to declare.

(b) The nature of their interest.

(c) Whether their interest is a disclosable pecuniary interest or an other interest,  (as defined in Part 2, A and B of the Code of Conduct and Rules for Registration of Interests)

Any Member who needs to clarify any matters relating to the declaration of interests is recommended to seek advice from the Council’s Monitoring Officeror a member of his staff before the meeting to expedite dealing with the item during the meeting.

Minutes:

The Chairman announced that although the Draft Budget contains a range of issues that members may have associated interests in, the Panel is not a decision-making body and therefore no declarations are required, unlike when the matter will be discussed at Council later in the month.

42.

TO ANNOUNCE ANY URGENT BUSINESS AGREED BY THE CHAIRMAN

Minutes:

There was none.

43.

ITEMS FROM THE PUBLIC OR COUNCILLORS - TO RECEIVE DEPUTATIONS, STATEMENTS, PETITIONS OR QUESTIONS RELATING TO THE BUSINESS OF THIS MEETING

At the time of publication no notifications had been received.

 

Minutes:

Nicolette Boater had sent two questions to the Panel, the text of which and the subsequent responses have been circulated to the Panel. She had also requested to make a statement under agenda item 9 (Draft Budget) and would do so when the item was reached.

Questions from Nicolette Boater pdf icon PDF 40 KB

Nicolette Boater submitted two questions to the Panel, the content of which and their subsequent replies are attached to these minutes.

44.

MINUTES - 13th January 2020 pdf icon PDF 100 KB

Minutes:

Councillor Alastair Singleton said that he had contacted the Democratic Services Officer regarding an amendment in relation to the Draft Corporate Strategy minute. The amendment reads as follows ‘Councillor Alastair Singleton expressed concern that the well accepted term ‘Climate Emergency’ had been changed to ‘Climate and Nature Emergency’.  He feared the change risked causing confusion and dilution of the impact of a widely recognised concept.’

 

With that amendment in mind the Panel confirmed the minutes of the previous meeting as a true record and they were duly signed by the Chairman.

45.

Cabinet Member Update

The Cabinet Member will update the Panel on any relevant issues. Panel members may ask questions on the update provided.

 

Minutes:

Councillor Richard Samuel, Cabinet Member for Resources addressed the Panel. He said that since the last meeting the majority of his time had been spent working on the budget and that he had published a decision following the Call-in of decision E3181: 23 Grosvenor Place.

46.

Draft Budget pdf icon PDF 247 KB

This report presents proposals for additional funding for both revenue and capital budgets to deliver the new Corporate Strategy. It also presents plans for savings and income generation as well as recommendations for Council Tax and Adult Social Care Precept for 2020/21.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Nicolette Boater made a statement to the Panel, a copy of which can be found on the Panel’s Minute Book and a summary is set out below.

 

I welcome this administration’s Corporate Strategy. Indeed, it communicates the Council’s core purpose, activities and associated budgetary priorities more clearly, concisely and effectively than many I’ve seen in the past. However, my purpose today is not to flatter, but to enhance and ensure the Strategy delivers.

 

My first suggestion is that, rather than just two core policies (responding to last

year’s Climate Emergency declaration and election promises), you have more and broader well-being policies thereby enabling you to strengthen the links between policy goals, activities and budgetary priorities.

 

Doing so might, for example, help prioritise actions to address the worrying unsustainability of the 83.5% of the net budget going on Social Care and the impact this might have on residents’ lives and community resilience.

 

Secondly, I hope that the holistic approach implicit in the three interlocking principles

carries through to the appraisal of investments and outcomes, and especially in relation to those straddling service areas and/or impacting on multiple communities and organizations.

 

Thirdly, to demonstrate progress, it seems that much more needs to be done to align

strategies, identify critical paths, and to develop a range of appropriate performance

indicators and metrics. In this, focusing on what matters and being mindful of what can’t be measured will be key.

 

Finally, in communicating the Strategy, as one who has long recognized that a good picture speaks louder than pages of words, I would love to see the outer circle of the diagram highlighting more policy goals.

 

Councillor Richard Samuel explained to the Panel that the setting of a budget is not a static process and that with a change in administration comes new priorities. He said that the process around Government funding is changing around us and we are still waiting for them to adequately fund Adult Social Care.

 

He stated that existing pressures are recognised within the budget and that the new Corporate Strategy underpins this process.

 

The Director of Finance added that the report seeks to outline the major aspects of the budget and show how they are aligned with the Corporate Strategy.

 

She informed the Panel that the Equalities Impact Assessments were set out on page 22 of the agenda.

 

She stated that a Council Tax increase of 1.99% is being recommended as part of the budget as well as an increase to the Adult Social Care precept of 1.99% for 2019/20 to continue to protect front-line services. The Adult Social Care precept will be specifically targeted to increases in expenditure within the ASC service. This equates to an increase of £55.76 per annum (£1.07 per week) overall on a Band D property.

 

She informed the Panel that the budget gap for 2021/22 is estimated to be £9.1m and there are currently savings plans totalling £2.4m to address this gap. Plans will be formulated early in the new financial year to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 46.

Nicolette Boater Statement pdf icon PDF 98 KB

47.

Panel Workplan pdf icon PDF 103 KB

This report presents the latest workplan for the Panel. Any suggestions for further items or amendments to the current programme will be logged and scheduled in consultation with the Panel’s Chair and supporting officers.

Minutes:

The Chairman introduced this item. He asked that the future budget report be allocated as a policy development item for the Panel.

 

Councillor Andrew Furse asked for the relevant Outturn and Budget Monitoring Reports to be shared with the Panel to allow for a more informal discussion.

 

The Chairman proposed that the Panel looks at Regeneration in terms of officer time and the costs associated with that on particular projects. He said that he would welcome working with the Cabinet member for Resources on this matter.

 

Councillor Samuel replied that he would be willing to discuss the matter further with the Chair and Vice-Chair of the Panel.