Agenda and minutes

Venue: Remote meeting via Zoom

Contact: Chris Cadman-Dando
Democratic Services Officer
01903 221364  Email: chris.cadman-dando@adur-worthing.gov.uk

Media

Items
No. Item

JOSC/10/20-20

Declaration of Interests

Members and officers must declare any disclosable pecuniary interests in relation to

any business on the agenda. Declarations should also be made at any stage such

an interest becomes apparent during the meeting.

 

If in doubt contact the Legal or Democratic Services representative for this meeting.

Minutes:

Councillors Kevin Boram and Carol Albury declared an interest as trustees of Impulse Leisure

JOSC/11/20-20

Substitute Members

Minutes:

There were no substitions made

JOSC/12/20-20

Confirmation of Minutes

To approve the minutes of the Joint Overview and Scrutiny Committee meeting of

held on 25 June 2020, copies of which have been previously circulated.

Minutes:

Resolved: that the minutes of the meeting of the 25 June 2020 be approved as a correct record and be signed by the Chairman 

JOSC/13/20-20

Public Question Time

So as to provide the best opportunity for the Committee to provide the public with the fullest answer, questions from the public must be submitted by 12.00pm Tuesday 21 July 2020.

 

Questions should be submitted to Democratic Services democratic.services@adur-worthing.gov.uk

 

(Note: Public Question Time will operate for a maximum of 30 minutes.)

Minutes:

There were no public questions

JOSC/14/20-20

Items Raised Under Urgency Provisions

To consider any items the Chairman of the meeting considers to be urgent

Minutes:

There were no urgent items

JOSC/15/20-20

Consideration of any matter referred to the Committee in relation to a call-in of a decision

Minutes:

There were no call-ins

JOSC/16/20-20

Joint Leaders' Interview pdf icon PDF 142 KB

To consider a report by the Director for Digital and Resources, copy attached as item 7

Minutes:

The Committee had before it a report attached as item 7,  a copy of which had been circulated to all Members, a copy of which is attached to a signed copy of these minutes. The report sets out background information on the Portfolios of the Adur and Worthing Leaders to enable the Committee to consider and question the

Leaders on issues within their portfolios and any high-level strategic issues which the Leaders are involved in connected with the work of the Councils and the Adur and Worthing communities. This interview also provides the Committee with the opportunity to discuss with the Leaders how the Councils have been responding to the Covid-19 pandemic.

 

The Leaders gave a brief introduction on their work to the Committee.

 

A Member asked the following question: Whilst Worthing Council did a great job in securing emergency accommodation for the homeless and rough sleepers at very short notice at the start of lockdown, and again when the local hotels were unable to continue this, the limited support and monitoring has lead to a huge increase in Anti-Social behaviour, in particular in some residential areas. This has resulted in many residents and communities suffering damage to their property and feeling threatened. What measures have been put in place to support these people going forward to avoid further ASB occurring? The Leader stated that he was sorry that some people were experiencing difficulties. He told the committee that all anti social behaviour was not caused by homeless people and all homeless people did not cause anti-social behaviour. The Councils were working with the police to resolve individual issues as they were the body responsible for enforcement. In terms of moving forward the Councils were building up a workforce and the number of places for emergency accommodation.

 

A Member asked the following question: Platforms for our places sets out the Councils’ vision for our town, and has been the guide book for a number of years now, in light of the post covid-19 world we find ourselves facing,  how has this vision for our area been adapted, specifically to Platform 1: Prosperous Places, Platform 2: Thriving People and Communities, Platform 3: Tackling Climate Change and Supporting our Natural Environment. Has consideration been given to allowing greater personal spacing for people using retail and social spaces by providing extended outdoor opportunities to trade, reducing traditional motor traffic in our town centres, or encouragement given to the use of electric powered shuttle busses to and from off centre transport hubs? The Leader from Worthing explained that there were a number of linked processes including the cycling and walking action groups and the creation. To some areas formally allocated to vehicles there had been accelerated temporary measures to close these areas off for hospitality businesses. The Councils had long term ambitions with regards to buses including the moving of the depot to a more appropriate location and the introduction of more environmentally friendly vehicles.

 

A Member asked the following question: The  ...  view the full minutes text for item JOSC/16/20-20

JOSC/17/20-20

Scrutiny Request on Disposal of Council Owned Land and Assets pdf icon PDF 144 KB

To consider a report by the Director for the Economy, copy attached as item 8

Minutes:

Before the Committee was a report by the Director for the Economy, attached as item 8. The report before members responded to the request from the Joint Overview and Scrutiny Committee to explain the consultation processes undertaken for the disposal of publicly owned Council land and assets following scrutiny a request relating to the disposal of land at Shoreham Beach Green, Shoreham.

 

The Head of Major Projects and Investment introduced the report to the Committee and explained the required consultation and set out important definitions and criteria for selections relating to disposal.

 

A Member asked how the ‘one public estate’ programme worked in conjunction with West Sussex County Council. The idea of the scheme was explained. Members were given an example where the car park area of the town hall was being used as a health hub for the local area.

 

The Committee asked questions about the disposal of land and how bids for the land were assessed, in particular if maximum value was sought when disposing of land and was market value achieved. Members were told that there were a number of variables that were taken into account when coming to a decision which may not necessarily include price. These could include amongst other things:  the plans for the site, the viability of the plans, community benefits of the proposals. Where disposal was made at under market value the benefits of the scheme needed to be demonstrated.

 

Members asked questions relating to consultation carried out regarding the disposal of land and were told that at the very minimum statutory requirements were met but officers sought to do more than that.

 

A Member asked how those bidding for disposed land were assessed. Members were told that a number of measures were undertaken which included a track record, funding and ability to deliver.

 

Resolved: that the report be noted

JOSC/18/20-20

Financial Performance 2019/20 - Revenue Outturn pdf icon PDF 2 MB

To consider a report by the Director for Digital and Resources, copy attached as item 9

Minutes:

The Committee had a report before it attached as item 9, a copy of which had been circulated to all Members, a copy of which is attached to a signed copy of these minutes. The report before Members outlined the revenue financial monitoring position for the end of the 2019/20 financial year for Joint Strategic Committee, Adur District and Worthing Borough Councils. At the time of publication of this report, the Statements of Accounts were completed and with the audit scheduled to commence on 4th August 2020. Any adjustments that emerge as the audit proceeds will be reported to members later in the year

 

A Member asked the following question: The outturn report highlighted an £87,000 shortfall in expected income for Worthing crematorium. As she will be aware this comes at a time when we have experienced increased mortality due to the Covid-19 pandemic, a BBC report that Worthing has the highest cremation fees in the UK, and a major Competition & Markets Authority investigation into the high cost of funeral services in the UK which is due to report in 2021. The report on the impact of Covid-19 (Agenda Item 10) comments (page 72 of the Public reports pack) “Further work regarding the position of the crematorium will be undertaken over the next months”. Would the CFO please provide a verbal update on the financial performance of Bereavement Services, including the crematorium, in the current financial year to date and indicate, in the light of a possible second Covid-19 outbreak this Winter twice the size of the first one whether she has cause for concern regarding any financial aspects of the cremation service or its attendant pricing model? Members were told that the Coronvirus act limited the services that could be delivered by the bereavement services to funeral only services - consequently during this time we have experienced a fall off in memorial income as we were unable to offer these types of service (£100k shortfall). However, the service did see an increase in demand for funeral services, particularly for cremation only services in the early part of the financial year, undertaking cremations on behalf of other Crematoriums where there were significant service pressures. The additional provision was managed by staff volunteering to work at the crematorium over the weekend from across the organisation, although overtime was paid to these volunteers. Overall in the first quarter of the year, Worthing Borough Council had an overall upswing in the amount of income of £16k, although against this the costs of overtime and other associated additional costs (utilities, supplies and services) needs to be offset.  Consequently there has been no net gain from the emergency. The prices are regularly reviewed by the crematorium manager to ensure that the services remain competitive.

 

A Member asked the following question: Please explain what MRP is and why there was a re profiling and the big difference between the figures? Members were told that the Minimum Revenue Provision is a statutory set aside from the revenue  ...  view the full minutes text for item JOSC/18/20-20

JOSC/19/20-20

Impact of Covid 19 on the Council's finances - Update on current financial performance and developing a revenue budget for 2012/22 pdf icon PDF 582 KB

To consider a report by the Director for Digital and Resources, copy attached as item 10

Minutes:

The Committee had a report before it attached as item 10, a copy of which had been circulated to all Members, a copy of which is attached to a signed copy of these minutes. The report before members updated members on the impact of the pandemic on the Council’s budgets in the current financial year briefed members on the possible impact on future years of the issues identified and to propose a budget strategy for the development of the 2021/22 budgets.

 

The Head of Finance was at the meeting to present the report and recommendations

 

A Member asked the following question: If we do enter a second wave of Covid in the winter, with a possible second lockdown, what will be the specific key financial challenges of a second-wave be to the Council finances? Members were told that it was difficult to answer as much would depend on the actions taken by government and the effectiveness of the track and trace programme - however it could be seen from the first lockdown that there would be significant impacts on car parking income and income streams from local businesses (Trade Waste). However, the Government has now committed to funding 75p in the £ of any losses from fees and charges so to a certain extent the financial risk will be mitigated by government funding for lost income.

 

A Member asked the following question: The report talks of clear focus on driving efficiency. Is it time to have a good review on outsourced services to see if they are fit for purpose and whether we could run our own and sell out to other business and generate income back into the Council? Members were told that the Councils  had very few outsourced services - most services are run in-house (waste, street sweeping, grounds maintenance...). There Were some smaller services outsourced, internal audit for example, where due to the size of the organisation, it is not possible to attract the full range of audit expertise needed within a small cohort of staff (e.g IT, contracts …) and so contracting out enables the Councils to access the full range of audit services needed.

 

A Member asked the following question: The Corporate Landlord Model is a wide programme of improvements to how the Council manage, invest and operate in our properties. which is proposed for managing our property estate has recommended £125,000 is released to help plan a disposals programme and appraisal of investments and sites. Can we be advised what this money will be used for? Is it to fund staff or for a consultant or to pay for appraisals? Members were told that the sum of £125,000 will be used to pay for a mixture additional staffing resource within the estates team as well as costs incurred in proceeding with disposals. These other costs are likely to include, agency or auctioneer fees, advertising costs, as well as costs which may add value to properties in advance of disposal for example planning advice  ...  view the full minutes text for item JOSC/19/20-20

JOSC/20/20-20

JOSC Working Group on the review of the Adur & Worthing Refuse and Recycling collection service - Post September 2019 pdf icon PDF 125 KB

To consider a report by the Director for Digital and Resources, copy attached as item 11

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee had a report before it attached as item 11, a copy of which had been circulated to all Members, a copy of which is attached to a signed copy of these minutes. The report before members set out the recommendations from the Joint Overview and  Scrutiny Committee (JOSC) Working Group which was created as part of the JOSC Work Programme to review the implementation of the Adur and Worthing new alternate weekly refuse and recycling collection service.

 

A Member of the working group set out the report before members and commended the recommendations for approval.

 

The Committee discussed the report before it and debated the information and methodology that was used by the working group. A Member opined that there needed to be more public voices in the report and asked that this be done prior to a report being submitted to the Joint Strategic Committee. On a vote the recommendation was not carried. Members discussed reconvening the working group to discuss appropriate timelines for completion of recommendations and the Chairman indicated that this was more appropriate to discuss under the work programme item.

 

On a vote members approved the recommendations of the report

 

Resolved: That in consideration of the report and recommendations from the Refuse and Recycling Working Group the JOSC refer the recommendations to the Joint Strategic Committee (JSC) for consideration in due course.

JOSC/21/20-20

Joint Overview and Scrutiny Work Programme for 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 128 KB

To consider a report by the Director for Digital and Resources, copy attached as item 12

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee had a report before it attached as item 11, a copy of which had been circulated to all Members, a copy of which is attached to a signed copy of these minutes.

 

Members discussed a proposal to reconvene the Working group on recycling and it was agreed not to take the matter forward.

 

The Committee discussed a request in relation to fox control. The Chairs recommended that the matter not be added but that the issue be sent to environmental services.

 

Resolved: that the report be noted