Agenda and minutes

Venue: Council Chamber, Council Offices, Cecil Street, Margate, Kent. View directions

Contact: Charles Hungwe 

Items
No. Item

165.

Apologies for Absence

166.

Declarations of Interest

    To receive any declarations of interest. Members are advised to consider the advice contained within the Declaration of Interest form attached at the back of this agenda. If a Member declares an interest, they should complete that form and hand it to the officer clerking the meeting and then take the prescribed course of action.

    Minutes:

    There were no declarations of interest made at the meeting.

167.

Minutes of Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 74 KB

168.

EK Shared Services and EK Human Resources Performance pdf icon PDF 54 KB

    To monitor half-yearly, the performance of the shared services or outsourced arrangements against set targets and conduct annual review of agreements for these arrangements to ensure value for money and savings; and propose action points for improvement.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Dominic Whelan, Director of EK Services introduced the agenda item. With reference to the report in the agenda pack, he gave an outline of the performance of EK Services and EK Human Resources for the period April to August 2015. ICT team was performing above set standard even though the team was faced with staff shortage. Mr Whelan said that the organisation was currently undertaking a new staff recruitment drive. Members were advised that there were a number of key projects being undertaken to achieve further performance improvements in the delivery of shared services.

     

    EK Services was conducting a review of the existing cost and financial model; the aim is to provide better granularity on the cost of managing and delivering the service to the partner local authorities and to allow accurate benchmarking and commercial pricing for potential new business, where applicable. They were exploring other potential revenue sources that would bring in additional income to the shared services arrangements for the benefit of the partner local Councils.

     

    EK Services were also progressing well with the implementation of two new technical projects. A single Revenues and Benefits system is being introduced that would bring all three partner Councils onto a common platform that will provide operational improvement, better customer self-serve options as well as delivering savings. A new single telephony system is being procured to replace the existing and obsolete current system.

     

    EK Human Resources were in process of delivering a new Human Resources system that would make it easier for staff to access their personal information, submit claims and apply for leave. The system would also bring payroll in-house. This will provide major benefits to the users such as self-serve claims, reduce paper based transactions and deliver savings over the current payroll provider.

     

    Members sought advice on how Thanet District Council contribution to the overall EK Services budget was worked out. In response, Mr Whelan said that TDC contributed 36.34% and this was worked out at the start of the shared services arrangement in 2011 and was based on the budget spend by each of the partner Councils. The overall budget monitoring was conducted in consultation with the section 151 officers for the partner local Councils.

     

    EK Services were in the process of review their financial model whose results could be available in the next few months. The organisation was also trying to source for new business in order to help reduce the costs each of the partner Councils was paying towards the EK Services budget.

     

    Members asked whether the roll-out of the universal credit would affect the Council’s revenue collection. Mr Whelan said that initially there would be minimal impact as the roll-out would initially be limited to single parent cases and that the organisation would be monitoring the situation carefully. A Members Briefing would be held to advise councillors on the new benefits system to be introduced in October 2015.

     

    Members noted that the performance of all the shared services arrangements was generally satisfactory and that there  ...  view the full minutes text for item 168.

169.

EK Housing - Half Year Review pdf icon PDF 221 KB

170.

Corporate Performance Report pdf icon PDF 135 KB

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Tim Willis, Director of Corporate Resources & Section 151 Officer led debate on the item. Members asked for additional detail regarding what the historical issues were that had been reported under the ‘Next Steps’ waste collection project (PR061). Madeline Homer agreed to provide a fuller response outside the meeting.

     

    Members noted that there had been some improvement regarding the cleanliness of the Thanet beaches and other public spaces. They were concerned about long term sickness being faced the organisation. Speaking under Council Procedure 24.1 a Member requested for information regarding the specific causes of and the departments affected by the long term sickness. They also asked management to look into how this issue could best be addressed. In response Tim Willis agreed to provide the requested information outside the meeting.

     

    Tim Willis agreed to bring back a report with the breakdown of information as requested by the working party. He advised the meeting that management had reviewed the processing of Freedom of Information Requests (FOIs) and had set up a two stage process to replace the previous three stage process. It was hoped that this would improve the response times of processing these requests.

     

    Members noted the report.

171.

Dreamland Update Report

    Madeline Homer, CEx to make a presentation at the meeting.

    Minutes:

    Nick Dermott, Heritage Development Advisor introduced the joint officer presentation. He gave a historical background to the Dreamland Project. Grant Burton, Capital Development Manager gave a presentation on the key project works that were carried out restore the Dreamland. Tim Willis then provided financial information on the project, including a budget background commentary on the sources of funding that have been used to date to fund the Dreamland. He said that the Dreamland budget had been affected by key events that included the following:

     

    1.  The breakdown in relations with the former land owners and subsequent CPO meant they would no longer contribute monies to the scheme;

    2.  The prolonged length of the Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) process and the spend deadline for Sea Change grant monies meant it could no longer count as match funding towards the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) grant;

    3.  The potential costs of compensation to the former land owners;

    4.  The increase in HLF grant from £3m to £5.8m;

    5.  The latest report detailing an increase in costs associated with the project.

     

    The meeting was further informed of the following on-going costs associated with the Dreamland project:

     

    1.  The Council continues to incur on-going costs for the up-keep of the wider Dreamland estate, e.g. maintenance, insurance and general estate management;

    2.  Under the lease for the Heritage Amusement Park some of these costs can be recharged to the incoming operator, but the Council is liable for the costs associated with the remainder of the cinema building (until tenants can be found) and the car park;

    3.  Current forecasted costs can be met through income achieved by the car park and from base budget;

    4.  The car park income is not ring-fenced for the project but is being utilised to finance the initial estate costs.

     

    Madeline Homer advised the meeting that due diligence had been undertaken in order to ascertain the viability of the new operator for the Dreamland and that a budget had been set aside for the CPO compensation. Negotiations for compensation with previous owner were currently on-going.

     

    Members noted the report.