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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Committee Room 2 - County Hall. View directions

Contact: Lucy Gladders  03000 269712

No. Item


Apologies for Absence


Substitute Members


Councillor M Davinson for Councillor H Smith


Councillor J Nicholson for Councillor A Shield


Minutes of the meeting held on 18 December 2017 pdf icon PDF 94 KB


The minutes of the meeting held on 18 December were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.


Matters arising

The Corporate Scrutiny and Performance Manager referred to page 10 of the minutes and the query raised by Councillor Adam relating to affordable homes and noted that the figure had been understated as a result of an anomaly however would be corrected for the quarter 3 report.


In addition on the same page, the request for the Head of Digital and Customer Service to attend a future meeting had been noted and the topic was included in the boards work programme.


Declarations of Interest


There were no declarations of interest.


Medium Term Financial Plan (8),Council Plan, Service Plans 2018/19-2021/22 pdf icon PDF 78 KB

(Report to follow)

Additional documents:


The Board considered a joint report of the Director of Transformation and Partnerships and Corporate Director Resources which provided Members with an update on the Medium Term Financial Plan (8) (for copy see file of Minutes).


The Head of Corporate Finance and Commercial Services reported that the MTFP(8) report to Cabinet in October 2017 forecasted that additional savings of £37 million would be required to balance the budget over the 2018/19 to 2021/22 period. In addition at that time there was still a great deal of uncertainty regarding Business Rate Retention,  the Fair Funding Review, the Social Care Review and the level of funding beyond the current four year settlement.


On 22 November 2017 the Autumn Budget was published and on the 19 December the provisional Local Government settlement  was received. The impact of these announcements alongside increases in budget pressures had resulted in an increase in the savings requirement over MTFP(8) to £48.1 million. The modelling assumed a council tax increase of 3.99% in 2018/19 and 2019/20. It was therefore forecast that a contribution in 2018/19 of £2.5 million would be required from the Budget Support Reserve.


The Head of Corporate Finance and Commercial Services further went on to provide detail relating to Business Rates and the National Living Wage increase.


Moving on details were provided relating to the provisional Local Government Finance Settlement which was published on 19 December 2017 and provided details on the increase from 2% to 3% in the council tax referendum limit for 2018/19 and 2019/20, core grants, Business Rate Retention and the Rural Services Delivery Grant.


Members further noted updates with regard to the 2018/19 Budget and base budget pressures especially in relation to the impact of the two year pay offer and pressures in adult and children’s social care. Overall the amendments to the MTFP(8) Model had increased the savings requirement across the MTFP(8) period by £10.6 million. In addition Members noted the increase in base budget pressures and the requirement to increase the utilisation of the BSR.


The Head of Partnerships and Community Engagement then went on to provide an overview of the budget consultation process which had enabled the council to engage with over 3,3000 people of which 1,175 gave their views. 78.1% indicated that they thought the proposals represented a reasonable approach. He further circulated to members a copy of a table which had been omitted from the report under paragraph 64.


Councillor Jopling asked where the detail was regarding service underspends and asked what happened to any unspent budget at year end. In response the Head of Corporate Finance and Commercial Services advised that this detail was contained in the outturn reports reported to Cabinet on a quarterly basis. He further noted that each service had its own cash limit and were able to carry forward any underspend in to the next financial year. He referred to the Children and Young People’s service grouping, noting that there are  overspends in this area, however were able  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.


Customer Feedback Report Quarter 2, 2017/18 pdf icon PDF 108 KB

Additional documents:


The Board considered a report of the Corporate Director of Resources which presented the Customer Feedback: Complaints, Complaints, Compliments and Suggestions report for quarter 2, 2017/18 (for copy see file of Minutes).


Councillor Maddison referred to page 20 of the report and asked whether additional information could be provided regard adult social care complaints and how cases were tracked and handed over to case workers. The Customer Relations Manager advised that further detail could be provided within the quarter 3 report – but could also be picked up by the relevant overview and scrutiny committee. It was noted that the numbers of complaints recorded that quarter did not always match the numbers resolved; this was due to some complaints still being subject to investigation when the report is written. This would be looked at to improve the way in which the numbers are reported.


Councillor Batey, in referring to a recent issue regarding missed bin collections in her division added that she would like to see the actions and lessons learned to be articulated in the next quarterly report to show how the issues had been addressed. The Customer Relations Manager noted that this could be provided however noted that due to the timing of the bin incidents data may fall across both quarters 3 and 4.


Further discussion took place regarding recycling and Councillor Makepeace referred to a specific issue in his division, he further noted issues regarding fly tipping and difficulties with the CRM system not relaying information once an issue had been resolved. Councillor Crute noted that environment issues should be referred to the Environment and Sustainable Communities Overview and Scrutiny Committee.


Councillor Jopling asked how compensation for ombudsman cases was calculated. In response the Customer Relations Manager advised that decisions on compensation were taken in line with ombudsman guidance and the Council’s remedies policy.


Councillor Patterson noted that she was aware of issues around CRM reporting and lack of updates provided. Councillor Turnbull also noted that he had experienced issues in his division whereby issues had been marked as completed without feedback as to what action had been taken as the issues appeared unresolved.  The Customer Relations Manager advised that she would take the comments back.


Resolved: that the content of the report be noted.




Update in relation to Petitions pdf icon PDF 83 KB

Additional documents:


The Board considered a report of the Head of Legal and Democratic Services which provided for information the quarterly update in relation to the current situation regarding various petitions received by the Authority (for copy see file of Minutes).




That the content of the report be noted.


Notice of Key Decisions pdf icon PDF 90 KB

Additional documents:


The Board considered a report of the Head of Legal and Democratic Services which provided a list of key decisions that were scheduled to be considered by the Executive (for copy see file of Minutes).


The Senior Committee Services Officer reported that since the last update the School Admission Arrangements for the Academic Year 2019/20 and the Proposals to change the age range of Bowburn Junior School from 7-11 to 3-11 from 1 September 2019 and to close Bowburn Infant and Nursery School as a registered school from 31 August 2019 had been added to the plan.



That the content of the report be noted.


Information Update from the Chairs of the Overview and Scrutiny Committees pdf icon PDF 129 KB


There were no updates given.


Such other business as, in the opinion of the Chairman of the meeting, is of sufficient urgency to warrant consideration


Democratic Services
Durham County Council
County Hall
County Durham
03000 269 714