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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Committee Rooms A and B, Civic Offices, Elstree Way, Borehamwood

Contact: Ms Rehill, Democratic Services 

Items
No. Item

35.

Membership

Substitutes are not permitted to this Committee, unless a Member of the Committee has been unable to attend meetings for a period of three months or longer.

Minutes:

There were no changes. Councillor Harrison was welcomed in her new role of Scrutiny Chair.

36.

Communications and apologies

(a) Communications (if any) relating to business on the agenda.

 

(b) Apologies for absence.

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Grifin.

37.

Declarations of interests (if any)

Members are required to declare any Disclosable Pecuniary Interests they or their spouse/partner have in any matter which is to be considered at this meeting.  Members must also declare any other pecuniary or non-pecuniary interests they have in any matter to be considered at this meeting. The responsibility for declaring an interest rests solely with the member concerned.

 

Members must clearly state to the meeting the existence and nature of any Disclosable Pecuniary Interest, other pecuniary interest or non‑pecuniary interest and the agenda item(s) to which it/they apply.

 

Disclosable Pecuniary Interests are prescribed by the Relevant Authorities (Disclosable Pecuniary Interests) Regulations 2012 as follows:

 

a.     Employment, office, trade, profession or vocation

Any employment, office, trade, profession or vocation carried on for profit or gain.

 

b.     Sponsorship

Any payment or provision of any other financial benefit (other than from the relevant authority) made or provided within the relevant period in respect of any expenses incurred by a member in carrying out duties as a member, or towards your election expenses. This includes any payment or financial benefit from a trade union within the meaning of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992.

 

c.     Contracts

Any contract which is made between the relevant person (or a body in which the relevant person has a beneficial interest) and the relevant authority— (a) under which goods or services are to be provided or works are to be executed; and (b) which has not been fully discharged.

 

d.     Land

Any beneficial interest in land which is within the area of the relevant authority.

 

e.     Licences

Any licence (alone or jointly with others) to occupy land in the area of the relevant authority for a month or longer.

 

f.      Corporate tenancies

Any tenancy where (to the member’s knowledge) - (a) the landlord is the relevant authority; and (b) the tenant is a body in which the relevant person has a beneficial interest.

 

g.     Securities

Any beneficial interest in securities of a body where –

(a)    that body (to the member’s knowledge) has a place of business or land in the area of the relevant authority; and

(b) either (i) the total nominal value of the securities exceeds £25,000 or one hundredth of the total issued share capital of that body; or
(ii) if the share capital of that body is of more than one class, the total nominal value of the shares of any one class in which the relevant person has a beneficial interest exceeds one hundredth of the total issued share capital of that class.

 

In cases of Disclosable Pecuniary Interest, Members must withdraw from the meeting room while the matter is being considered.

Minutes:

There were none.

38.

Minutes of the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 43 KB

To confirm and sign the minutes of the meetings held on 31 March 2014 and 11 June 2014.

 

In accordance with the Constitution no discussion shall take place upon the minutes, except upon their accuracy.

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the minutes of the meetings held on 31 March 2014, and 11 June 2014 (attached as Appendix A), be approved and sign as a correct record.

39.

Financial Monitoring (regular item) pdf icon PDF 116 KB

 To consider the ATTACHED update.

Minutes:

The Head of Finance was in attendance for this item.

 

The report was presented and a number of points discussed, including:

-        the increase in surplus from £301k to £675k was due to contingency funds that had not been utilised.

-        the £26k of bad debt provision within Housing Services consisted of many small items rather that one large debt.

-        the deficit under Engineering Services was a loss on trading accounts that Officers knew was happening. It was the sort of data that was finalised in the Month 13 wash-up. Councillor Morris advised that Financial Monitors were aware of it once it happened, but not aware of it in the run-up.

RESOLVED that such issues be highlighted to Financial Monitors prior to Month 13 even if the final figures were unknown and only an interim estimate could be provided.

Action by: Head of Finance

-        Councillor Morris reported that the financial position was generally quite encouraging and unfavourable results had diminished in the past 18-24 months. There were some areas that Financial Monitors were looking into at their next meeting and which would be reported on subsequently.

-        the Committee queried the explanatory text at paragraph 2.7 of the report as it appeared to contradict the figures at 2.1. The Committee was advised that the c. £110k deficit was made up of multiple small amounts so had not been set out in the explanatory text. Officers would circulate this detailed information to the Committee after the meeting.

Action by: Director of Finance

RESOLVED that future Financial Reports include a footnote in the explanatory text whenever there was a major variance between the text’s summary of high-level deficits/surplus and the numeric deficit/surplus totals contained in the Monthly Financial Position table.

Action by: Director of Finance

40.

Performance Matters - Quarter 4 2013-2014 [quarterly item] pdf icon PDF 192 KB

To consider the ATTACHED quarterly performance monitoring report.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED that this item be deferred to the 27 July 2014 meeting.

41.

Infrastructure Scrutiny Reviews pdf icon PDF 261 KB

To consider the findings of the Transport Infrastructure Scrutiny Review. [REPORT TO FOLLOW]

 

To consider the interim update on the Social Infrastructure Scrutiny Review. [REPORT TO FOLLOW]

 

To consider the interim update on the Employment Infrastructure Scrutiny Review. [REPORT TO FOLLOW]

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor E Butler and John Cartledge were present for this item. Dr Chris Brown, Paul Zukowskyj and Callum Hale from the University of Hertfordshire were also present fort this item.

 

Councillor Butler presented the findings of the Transport Infrastructure Scrutiny Review. He thanked John Cartledge, his fellow Councillors and Sandra di Paolo for their hard work on the scrutiny. He felt their work had met the objectives that had been tasked to them and outlined the main recommendations and findings of the scrutiny as per sections 3, 7 and 8 of the report. A number of points were discussed, including:

-        Transport for London had been invited to contribute but had not been able to attend any meetings. Fortunately, John Cartledge had volunteered his assistance and provided a great deal of information to the scrutiny group.

-        the Committee noted that road congestion and the lack of capacity to expand roads for bus routes made it harder to market the region as an employment zone.

-        the Committee noted that an orbital railway was a hugely expensive as well as challenging idea, yet not only would it be good for Hertfordshire, it would also benefit London’s transport infrastructure.

 

RESOLVED that the report of the Transport Infrastructure Scrutiny Review be approved and submitted to the Executive for its consideration and response to the Review’s recommendations.

Action by: Democratic Services Officer

 

The University of Hertfordshire presented the findings of their work on behalf of the Social Infrastructure Scrutiny and a number of points were discussed, including:

-        the reports provided objective data in a systematic format. Their purpose was not to provide the answers, rather to highlight the challenges that planning policy must address. The reports gave an objective context to Hertsmere’s Local Plan.

-        the process of drafting the reports had highlighted that Hertsmere Council was not the primary delivery authority for many of the issues outlined, so having a good awareness of the data contained in the reports was critical when approaching partner agencies to resolve issues about more school places, GP surgeries etc.

-        most of the data has been broken down into the four regions, but some were at district level, eg ambulance services, house prices. In some cases the data could be drilled down to ward-level, but would not be any useful, eg the Police crime statistics were Borough-wide as that is sufficiently elicited the crime rate trends.

-        the raw data tables would be provided to the Council so that it could interrogate them for further reports. Given the size of the service and spend, the researchers had not found the expected amount of public information on the County’s Social Services. Other information had been found from various sources, eg County’s Education service, Mosaic, Shape portal.

-        the Committee asked for a ‘traffic-light’ report which compared performance across the four settlements and thereby flagged up any hot-spots/severe variations.

Action by: University of Hertfordshire

 

Councillor Harrison presented a report on behalf of the Employment Infrastructure Scrutiny.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 41.

42.

Forward Planning Programme of the Executive & Committee's Work Programme pdf icon PDF 47 KB

To consider the ATTACHED Forward Planning Programme and identify possible issues for scrutiny.

 

To consider the ATTACHED Workprogrammes of the three Scrutiny Committees and requirements for Officer and/or Portfolio Holder attendance.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chair asked Members to email him with any ideas that should be discussed at the meeting with the Executive to be held in September 2014.

 

Add Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) to June 2014 meeting – Officers to respond to the following: having learnt the lessons of the S106 system, how are we going to address them within the CIL system?

 

Add the Executive report on CIL implementation to Environment’s September 2014 agenda.

43.

Reports from Scrutiny Committees

The Chairman of the Resources and Environment Scrutiny Committees will report on the work of their respective committees in the current municipal year to date.

Minutes:

Councillor Wayne reported that Environment’s next meeting would be looking at infrastructure for phased major development sites and procurement.

44.

Overview and Scrutiny Budget

The 2014-15 balance stands at £8 850, nothing spent to date.

There is £8,000 in reserve towards the £11,600 Hertfordshire University research for the Social Infrastructure Scrutiny Review.

Minutes:

Noted the budget position.

45.

Any other business which the Chairman considers urgent

In accordance with S100B(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, amended by the Access to Information Act of 1985, no urgent business may be raised unless it has been approved by the Chair.  The item and reason for urgency must be announced at the start of the meeting.

Minutes:

There was none.

46.

Dates of future meetings

The next meeting of the Committee is scheduled to take place

at 7.30pm at the Civic Offices, Borehamwood, on Tuesday 29 July 2014.

Minutes:

The next meeting was scheduled for 27 July 2014.

Appendix A: Minutes of 11 June 2014 pdf icon PDF 24 KB