Council services by letter

Agenda and minutes

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Venue: Committee Room 5, Harrow Civic Centre, Station Road, Harrow, HA1 2XY. View directions

Contact: Democratic Services  Tel: 020 8424 1277 E-mail:  democratic.services@harrow.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

26.

Attendance by Reserve Members

To note the attendance at this meeting of any duly appointed Reserve Members.

 

Reserve Members may attend meetings:-

 

(i)                 to take the place of an ordinary Member for whom they are a reserve;

(ii)               where the ordinary Member will be absent for the whole of the meeting; and

(iii)             the meeting notes at the start of the meeting at the item ‘Reserves’ that the Reserve Member is or will be attending as a reserve;

(iv)              if a Reserve Member whose intention to attend has been noted arrives after the commencement of the meeting, then that Reserve Member can only act as a Member from the start of the next item of business on the agenda after his/her arrival.

Minutes:

RESOLVED:  To note that there were no Reserve Members in attendance.

27.

Appointment of Vice-Chair

To consider the appointment of a Vice-Chair to the Performance & Finance Scrutiny Sub-Committee for the Municipal Year 2019/2020.

Minutes:

RESOLVED:  To appoint Councillor Pritesh Patel as Vice-Chair of the Performance and Finance Scrutiny Sub-Committe for the 2019/2020 Municipal Year.

28.

Declarations of Interest

To receive declarations of disclosable pecuniary or non pecuniary interests, arising from business to be transacted at this meeting, from:

 

(a)               all Members of the Sub-Committee;

(b)               all other Members present.

Minutes:

RESOLVED:  To note that there were no declarations of interest made by Members.

29.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 172 KB

That the minutes of the meeting held on 27 March 2019 be taken as read and signed as a correct record.

Minutes:

A Member advised that he had yet to receive the information requested in relation to the Rayners Lane Triangle project (Minute 21 refers); the Director of Finance apologised for the omission and undertook forward the information.

 

RESOLVED:  That the minutes of the meeting held on 27 March 2019 be taken as read and signed as a correct record.

30.

Public Questions, Petitions, Deputations

To receive any public questions received in accordance with Committee Procedure Rule 17 (Part 4B of the Constitution).

 

Questions will be asked in the order in which they were received.  There will be a time limit of 15 minutes for the asking and answering of public questions.

 

[The deadline for receipt of public questions is 3.00 pm, Wednesday 24 July 2019.  Questions should be sent to publicquestions@harrow.gov.uk  

No person may submit more than one question].

Minutes:

RESOLVED:  To note that there were no public questions, petitions and deputations received at this meeting.

31.

References from Council and Other Committees/Panels

To receive any references from Council and/or other Committees or Panels.

Minutes:

RESOLVED:  To note that there were no references from Council and other committees/panels.

RESOLVED ITEMS

32.

Information Report - Revenue and Capital Outturn, Savings Update and Budget Strategy pdf icon PDF 178 KB

Report of the Director of Finance

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chair invited questions from members of the Sub-Committee on the three reports considered by Cabinet in June and July 2019 concerning the Revenue and Capital Outturn, Savings Update and Budget Strategy.  The following points were raised and discussed:

 

(a)          The 2018-19 underspend for the Finance Division included a £200,000 transfer into an Investment Property Reserve – was this additional to the other £200,000 of underspend for the division reported in the same paragraph, did it relate to a particular project/property and why had it not been considered as part of the overall business case for investment properties? 

 

The Director of Finance confirmed that the transfer was additional to the other £200,000 underspend reported.  She advised that the transfer was not related to a specific project/property, but rather was designed to cover possible for future costs, acting as a type of “sinking fund” to respond to the need for repairs and maintenance, for example, when a property might need to be refurbished on a change of tenancies.  The investment property business plan took account of many different factors which might affect net cost, including voids; in this case, it had been decided to allocate these surplus funds to provide further support to the programme in future.

 

(b)          Which “corporate IT capital project” was involved in the £2.7m write-off to revenue?

 

The Director of Finance advised that this related to the decision not to implement the Bartec project in the Community Directorate and to proceed instead with the Abavas system; as a result of this change, it had been necessary to write the capital project cost back to revenue.  The Portfolio Holder for Finance and Resources added that the Bartec system had been tried for street works and grounds maintenance, but this had not proved successful.                   

 

(c)          There had been an overspend on staffing costs in the waste management service - who was responsible for deciding on the use of overtime and should there not be a strategic, policy-driven approach to the use of overtime in the organisation?

 

The Director of Finance confirmed that entitlement to overtime payments was specified in relevant terms and conditions of employment of Council staff and was controlled through formal agreements with any external agency providing staff cover.  The Portfolio Holder for Finance and Resources explained that this overspend was due to the particular circumstances in this case and, as a general rule, there was very limited use of overtime across the Council.  The Director of Finance undertook to provide information on overtime costs and the approach to the use of overtime.       

 

(d)          There appeared to be a discrepancy between the figures for overall underspend reported as between the main report and Appendix 3 – why was this?

 

The Portfolio Holder for Finance and Resources advised that this appeared to be related to the re-designation of certain funds as a result of consolidating resources for future use; for example, the use of the term “business risk” reserve instead of “commercialisation” reserve.

 

(e)          With £53m in reserves  ...  view the full minutes text for item 32.

33.

Any Other Business

Which cannot otherwise be dealt with.

Minutes:

The Chair informed Members that they would receive an update on the proposed report on Customer Services following her further discussions with officers.