Agenda item


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



The Chair invited Councillor Richard Samuel (Cabinet Member – Economic Development and Resources) to update the Panel on the latest within his portfolio.


Councillor Richard Samuel highlighted the following points:


·  Councillor Samuel’s Cabinet Member responsibilities have now been extended to cover Economic Development and Resources.

·  The Outturn position for last year was very favourable to Council because there would not be any overspend. The Outturn report would be presented to the Cabinet at July meeting.

·  The pressure on reserves, that the Council had been expecting, has not turned out to be the case due to significant amount of government grants coming in at different times and due to a big drop in pressure on adults and children's services. Nevertheless, the Council would still face quite a lot of pressure over the next three years.  There may be a possibility  for joint work with the Children, Adults, Health and Wellbeing Panel on future spending in adult services

·  The Cabinet has received high level estimates for the unexpected shortfall between income and expenditure next year which at the moment was somewhere between £11m to £12m.  The Council would start to develop a more formalised process, to give, amongst other things, Parish and Town Councils more of a meaningful input as well as to this Panel.

·  Capital Programme last year, as expected, slipped quite a lot.  It was quite a loss as it was not possible to progress schemes due to lockdown restrictions.  There was quite a shortage of suppliers, in particular in the building industry.

·  The way the Council runs its commercial property would be looked at as well as the future for spending on adult services, in particular with new appointments on Directors’ level.  The Cabinet ‘Commercial Estate Review’ report in July would provide more details on property and commercial estate.

·  Councillor Samuel also mentioned about Council’s aspirations to invest in the range of schemes around Bath and North East Somerset to boost area’s economy and employment. 



The Chair thanked Councillor Samuel for an update.


Following questions and suggestions from the Panel to Councillor Samuel, these points were highlighted:


·  The Corporate PDS Panel should have Economic Development within their remit.

·  Ward Councillors should be encouraged to get involved and provide information from their own Wards on development opportunities, which was welcomed by Councillor Samuel.  Councillor Samuel was invited to present a current list of potential development opportunities in North East Somerset.

·  Regarding the £50k saving under Transport (suggested areas were gulley emptying, grit filling and drainage systems) - the Council has been affected with the shortage of HGV drivers. Nationally, there was a deficit of around 100,000 HGV drivers, and the Council would be looking into different measures to address this issue which have led to failures and breakdowns in the recycling and waste collection service.

·  The Chair agreed to write a letter to Chief Executive, Chief Operating Officer and Director of People and Policy expressing Panel’s concerns on the shortage of HGV drivers in the Council.

·  In terms of proposed saving of £22k for Park and Ride – the Cabinet would be addressing this issue in parking strategies and city centre security reports.

·  Panel to invite to Cabinet Member Councillor Manda Rigby to provide an update with focus on WECA providing an oversight of Transport policy and what has been done for our residents.


The Chair thanked Councillor Richard Samuel for an update.