Agenda and minutes

Overview & Scrutiny Panel
Tuesday, 24th October, 2017 7.00 pm

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

Contact: Charles Hungwe 

Items
No. Item

132.

Apologies for Absence

    Minutes:

    Apologies were received from the following Members:

     

    Councillor Dixon;

    Councillor Dennis;

    Councillor Falcon, substituted by Councillor Taylor;

    Councillor Curran, substituted by Councillor K Coleman-Cooke;

    Councillor Martin, substituted by Councillor Taylor-Smith.

133.

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.

134.

Minutes of Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 72 KB

135.

Cabinet Member Presentation - The Leader of Council Presentation on the East Kent Merger

    The presentation will address the following topic:

     

    ‘Since the proposals for an East Kent Merger have now ended, what plans does TDC have to address future budgetary concerns?’

    Minutes:

    Councillor Wells, Leader of Council made a presentation in response to a question raised by the Panel. In his presentation Councillor Wells made the following points:

     

    • Council had put in place a medium term financial strategy (MTFS) that reflected that there would not be  a merger of the East Kent authorities;
    • This was based on a four year government financial settlement;
    • The financial strategy was aimed at making the required immediate and medium term savings;
    • The merger would have made efficiency savings of about £5-7million per year across the four participating councils;
    • There would have been one-off £10million transaction costs to facilitate the changes;
    • The 2017/21 council MTFS was produced on the basis of there being no merger of the four East Kent Councils;
    • The 2018/22 was being prepared as per current arrangement (i.e TDC working on its own to identify revenue sources to build the budget);
    • There were still significant budgetary challenges;
    • There were also some uncertainties relating to the local government support grants leading up to 2020 where there would be no revenue support grant for councils;

     

    • There was no Local Government Finance Bill in this year’s Queen Speech;
    • Government funding was reducing every year and business rates may fill-in the budget gaps but there is no firm decision on that issue as there some pilot schemes still being tested;
    • In 2012/13 TDC had just over £21million in the budget compared to £19million in 2016/17 and £16.7million in 2017/18;
    • The Council received revenue support grant in 2012/13 of £9.6million and by 2021, Council would need to have in place a self-financing budget (i.e all £16.5million) as the Council would receive no revenue support grant
    • The Council had received notice of changes to the structure of the New Homes Bonus six weeks’ prior to the Council’s budget meeting, which has resulted in  a shortfall of £1million;
    • Council made some bad decisions in the past;
    • The Peer review gave credit to TDC for operating council affairs in business like way;
    • The Council was exploring a number of options to create savings, including sharing offices with external agencies like is the current situation with Thanet CCG;
    • Shire and District Councils had been the worst hit by a decrease in government revenue support grants.

     

    In response to the presentation Members raised the following points and questions:

     

    • Was there any opportunity for merging with other agencies as was suggested in a previous approach called ‘Common Places/Total Place concept’?
    • There was a urgency for TDC and other local councils in the area to make savings in short to medium term to reduce overheads and work with sustainable council budgets;
    • Parish/Town Councils would lose about 33% per year as a result of the reduced government spending;
    • What were the plans for raising the £16.5million in 2021?
    • Would it be correct to suggest that the Council may be forced to reduce some of the services it currently provides?
    • A Conference in Birmingham looked at a paper on Enterprising Councils, it was interesting to note that Sevenoaks  ...  view the full minutes text for item 135.

136.

Dreamland Project Review - Learning & Action Points Report pdf icon PDF 167 KB

    Report to follow.

    Minutes:

    Madeline Homer, CEx introduced the report and acknowledged Member contribution to reviewing the Dreamland and coming up with learning and action points regarding the management of a complex project like the Dreamland.

     

    Members in turn also acknowledged that although there had been some challenges in managing the project it had ultimately been a very successful project.

     

    The Panel noted the report.

137.

Review of OSP Work Programme for 2017/18 pdf icon PDF 179 KB

138.

Forward Plan and Exempt Cabinet Report List for 11 October 2017 - 31 March 2018 pdf icon PDF 98 KB