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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Committee Room 2 - County Hall. View directions

Contact: Lucy Gladders  03000 269712

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors H Liddle, L Maddison,

O Milburn, P Oliver, J Robinson, M Simmons and Mrs M Elliott.

2.

Substitute Members

Minutes:

There were no substitutes.

3.

Minutes of the meeting held on 29 January 2018 pdf icon PDF 80 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 29 January 2018were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman with the following amendment:-

 

Item 9 to read as follows:-

“The Board considered a report of the Director of Transformation and Partnerships which provided an information update of overview and scrutiny activity from December 2017 – 29 January 2018.

 

4.

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

5.

Report on the Council's use of powers under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 - Quarter 3 - 2017/18 pdf icon PDF 89 KB

Minutes:

The Board considered a report of the Head of Legal and Democratic Services which informed Members about the Council’s use of powers under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (‘RIPA’) during the period 1 October 2017 until 31 December 2017 (Quarter 3) to ensure that it is being used consistently with the Council’s policy and that the policy remains fit for purpose (for copy see file of Minutes).

 

Resolved:

 

That the quarterly report be received and that Council’s use of RIPA is being used consistently with the Council’s policy and that the policy remains fit for purpose.

 

 

6.

Medium Term Financial Plan (8) 2018/19 to 2021/22 and Revenue and Capital Budget 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 82 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Board considered a joint report of the Director of Transformation and Partnerships and Corporate Director of Resources which provided a summary of the Cabinet report of 7 February 2018, relating to the Medium Term Financial Plan (MTFP 8) 2018/19 to 2021/22 and Revenue and Cabinet report of 7 February 2018 (for copy see file of Minutes).

 

The Head of Corporate Finance and Commercial Services reported that by 31 March 2018, the council will have delivered savings of £209 million since 2011. He further noted that since the publication of the report the final settlement had been received by government which contained two key changes. The first being in relation to the one-off Adult Social Care Support Grant for 2018/19 and the second in relation to the miscalculation of a Section 31 Grant, which meant that an additional £264,000 would be provided to the council. As a result of these two changes there was a reduced pressure on the Budget Support Reserve (BSR) for 2018/19.

 

He went on to provide a detailed presentation of the report including detail relating to Revenue Support Grant (RSG) reductions and other specific grants which would be reduced over the MTFP (8) period totalling £5.4 million. He further noted that the settlement confirmed that the council tax referendum limit would be increased from 2% to 3% in 2018/19 to recognise the cost pressures being faced by local authorities.

 

Updates were also provided regarding the proposed pay increase and the impact that this may have on frontline services in order to fund it. The Head of Corporate Finance and Commercial Services further advised that the settlement funding assessment highlighted the major reductions to funding streams and noted the unfairness of the funding formula for Durham which had one of the largest areas of deprivation in the country.

 

Moving on the development of the MTFP(8) the Head of Corporate Finance and Commercial Services advised that table 18 of the report highlighted the revenue support grant reductions over the two year period and although it was forecasted that there would be no furtherreductions in RSG after 2019/20, the fair funding review in 2020/21 could have a significant impact upon RSG and broader government funding levels.

 

Councillor Bell referred to paragraph 175 of the report and noted the £5.6 million savings required in Adult and Health Services and asked where the £13 million received in 2018/19 would be spent and the funds received in subsequent years. The Head of Corporate Finance and Commercial Services advised that plans have been agreed with CCG’s on how this funding will be spent. Any sums unspent at the end of 2017/18 will be placed into an earmarked reserve to ensure they are available for use in line with the agreed CCG joint plan. Regarding the 2019/20 - £8m and 2020/21 £4m it was reported that this is being utilised to support the core council budget. Further information regarding plans for the expenditure of this funding should be directed to the Corporate Director  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.

7.

Review of Overview and Scrutiny Co-optee Arrangements pdf icon PDF 111 KB

Minutes:

The Board considered a report of the Director of Transformation and Partnerships which presented proposals to further update the Council’s Overview and Scrutiny co-optee arrangements, for consideration by members (for copy see file of Minutes).

 

The Head of Strategy noted her thanks to D Close, Overview and Scrutiny Officer for her hard work in preparing the report.

 

Councillor Wilkes in referring to paragraph 28 of the report queried whether the recommendation proposed that financial issues relating to educational matters were no longer reported to the Board. The Head of Strategy advised that there was no intention to fetter budget discussion at COSMB and the wording of the recommendation would be amended to better reflect that point. All issues relating to financial matters would continue to be considered by the Board.

 

Resolved:

 

i)          That the appointment protocol for non-voting, non-statutory co-optees be revised to allow currently serving co-optees to apply as part of the refresh of the appointment process to be undertaken in 2018.

ii)         That the Safer and Stronger OSC, the designated Crime and Disorder Committee for County Durham, retains the option in the future to co-opt onto the committee as statutory non-voting co-optees further partners from the Community Safety Partnership.

iii)        That the terms of reference to the COSMB and the C&YPs OSC in DCC’s Constitution are altered to state that all educational matters (non-financial) to be considered by Scrutiny are referred through the C&YPs OSC only and that the C&YPs OSC faith and parent governor representatives would only be invited to COSMB in the event of an educational matter being referred back through scrutiny via the call-in process.

 

8.

Single Use Plastics (SUP) pdf icon PDF 85 KB

Minutes:

The Board considered a report of the Director of Transformation and Partnerships which provided an overview of how the council were examining the issue of Single Use Plastics (SUPs) (for copy see file of Minutes).

 

The Overview and Scrutiny Officer advised that following the motion which was passed by County Council on 24 January 2018 various discussions had taken place with colleagues across a number of services and the proposed next steps were reported.

 

Councillor Adam as Chair of the Environment and Sustainable Communities noted that the council had been operating sustainable strategies in terms of procurement for some time, linking to climate change. He did however agree that the council should be more focussed on SUPs and ensure that this was driven forward corporately. In terms of the proposed DCC task group, he queried whether it would be appropriate for a representative from the Environment and Sustainable Communities Overview and Scrutiny Committee to have input on the working group at an early stage of discussions. It was agreed that the amendments proposed be made to the recommendations.

 

Resolved:

 

i)             That the content of the report be noted and the proposal for the establishment of a DCC SUP Task Group to address paragraph ‘a’ of the motion be agreed.

ii)            That the County Durham Environment Partnership be requested to undertake a project to address paragraphs ‘b’ and ‘c’ of the motion.

iii)           That the County Durham Environment Partnership present their findings and conclusions to the Environment and Sustainable Communities Overview and Scrutiny Committee.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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