Agenda and draft minutes

Overview and Scrutiny Committee – Resources - Tuesday, 4th June, 2024 7.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Millmead House, Millmead, Guildford, Surrey GU2 4BB. View directions

Contact: James Dearling, Tel no: 01483 444141 Email:  james.dearling@guildford.gov.uk 

Media

Items
No. Item

OSR1

Apologies for Absence and Notification of Substitute Members

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee was advised of apologies from Councillors Jason Fenwick and Richard Mills OBE.  There were no substitutes.

 

OSR2

Local Code of Conduct and Declaration of Disclosable Pecuniary Interests

In accordance with the local Code of Conduct, a councillor is required to disclose at the meeting any Disclosable Pecuniary Interest (DPI) that they may have in respect of any matter for consideration on this agenda. Any councillor with a DPI must not participate in any discussion or vote regarding that matter and they must withdraw from the meeting immediately before consideration of the matter.

 

If that DPI has not been registered, the councillor must notify the Monitoring Officer of the details of the DPI within 28 days of the date of the meeting.

 

Councillors are further invited to disclose any non-pecuniary interest which may be relevant to any matter on this agenda, in the interests of transparency, and to confirm that it will not affect their objectivity in relation to that matter.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There were no declarations of Disclosable Pecuniary Interests or disclosures of non-pecuniary interests.

 

OSR3

Financial Monitoring – Provisional 2023-24 Outturn Position

A verbal update from the Strategic Director of Finance, Guildford and Waverley Borough Councils.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Strategic Director of Finance advised the meeting that the Council’s draft accounts for the last financial year were published on 31 May 2024 and that this was the first time in the last four or five years that the statutory deadline for publication had been achieved.

 

The Strategic Director of Finance advised that the 2023-24 year had started with a £3m deficit.  The Committee was advised of the financial recovery plan process and other measures enacted during the year, and an outline was provided of how a corporate underspend had been used to date.  The Strategic Director of Finance indicated that he would be proposing using some of the remaining underspend on invest-to-save actions. 

 

The Strategic Director of Finance confirmed that a written report on the outturn for 2023-24 would be submitted to the Committee’s next meeting, including all budget variances and impacts on the Council’s reserves and balances.  He indicated that reports detailing the development of the Budget and its proposals would be submitted to the Committee in July, September, November, and January for scrutiny prior to consideration by full Council.  The meeting was informed that briefing sessions would be held prior to full Council meetings to enable Councillors to receive and question information in private.

 

In response to a question, the Strategic Director of Finance referred to the four sessions before full Council meetings where officers would be available to answer questions.  He indicated that in addition to opportunities at Committee meetings, Councillors could contact members of the finance team direct with their queries.

 

The Lead Councillor for Finance and Assets referred to the financial progress and improvements achieved in the previous 12 months, including the finance recovery plan and the establishment of monthly expenditure reporting.

 

In reply to a question, the Strategic Director of Finance confirmed the four financial reports scheduled for the next meeting of the Committee and that members of the finance team would be present to respond to questions from the Committee.

 

The Chairperson thanked the Strategic Director of Finance for his update and the Lead Councillor for Finance and Property for attending.

 

OSR4

Performance Monitoring Report 2023-24 Quarter 4 pdf icon PDF 80 KB

Should Committee members have any queries about specific performance indicators detailed in the Performance Monitoring Report, please submit these to andrea.barnett@guildford.gov.uk at least two days prior to the Committee meeting to enable an explanation to be given.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chairperson welcomed the Lead Councillor for Community and Organisational Development, the Corporate Strategy and Performance Manager, the Policy Officer, Strategy and Performance, and the Assistant Director of Organisational Development.

 

The Lead Councillor for Community and Organisational Development introduced the report submitted to the Committee.  She advised the meeting that the report was part of the Council’s performance monitoring framework and presented an overview of performance against key performance indicators (KPIs) at the end of Quarter 4.  She noted that performance monitoring involved the collection, analysis and use of information to manage performance, maximise positive impacts, and minimise risk of adverse impacts.  The Lead Councillor for Community and Organisational Development indicated that the KPIs would be reviewed and rolled out from Quarter 1 of 2024-25, to ensure that were fit for purpose, meaningful, and aligned to the key themes and objectives of the Corporate Strategy.  In addition, she advised that the reporting template would be reviewed to make it more visual and demonstrative of trends.  The Lead Councillor for Community and Organisational Development concluded by inviting questions from the Committee.

 

The Chairperson indicated that the question order would follow the four headings within the report Environment, Homes and Jobs, Community, and Council, and finish with general questions and suggestions about the reporting of performance.

 

During the ensuing discussion a number of points and questions were raised:

 

·       The Chairperson referred to a query raised at a previous meeting of the Council’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee; namely, the lack of a target for the household waste KPIs ENV1 and ENV2 and the lack of a response to members to explain why.  In reply, the Corporate Strategy and Performance Manager agreed that a target should be allocated and advised that the Council was a signatory to the Surrey Joint Municipal Waste Management Strategy.  He indicated that the county level target was sixty percent, and it was under review and anticipated to increase in line with the requirements of the recently passed Environment Act.  The Corporate Strategy and Performance Manager informed the meeting that a KPI target for household waste would be included within future performance monitoring reports.

 

·       With reference to a query raised at a previous meeting of the Council’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee concerning H&J11, the percentage of affordable housing units granted planning permission on eligible sites, the Chairperson asked why an explanation of the quarterly variations had not been provided to Councillors as requested.  In addition, in relation to H&J 10, the percentage of vacant town centre retail units, the Chairperson referred to an earlier request for information on what the Council could do to encourage occupancy of the town centre shops.  In response, the Policy Officer, Strategy and Performance, advised that the external company that had provided H&J10 data was no longer able to do so, and the Council was looking to other sources.  The Corporate Strategy and Performance Manager indicated that a written response concerning H&J11 would be provided to Committee members.  

 

·       A Committee member  ...  view the full minutes text for item OSR4

OSR5

Guildford and Waverley Transformation and Collaboration Update

A verbal update.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chairperson reminded the meeting that this item had been deferred due to the heightened political sensitivities of the pre-election period.