Agenda a Chofnodion

Lleoliad: Siambr y Cyngor, Y Pafiliynau, Parc Hen Lofa'r Cambrian, Cwm Clydach, Tonypandy CF40 2XX

Cyswllt: Sarah Handy - Members' Researcher & Scrutiny Officer  01443 424099

Eitemau
Rhif eitem

1.

Welcome

Cofnodion:

The Chair welcomed Members to the first virtual meeting of the Finance & Performance Scrutiny Committee for the 2020/21 Municipal Year.

 

The Chair informed Members that the agenda would be dealt with out of sequence, with agenda item 6 being dealt with first.  

2.

Ymddiheuriadau

Cofnodion:

An apology of absence was received from County Borough Councillor S. Evans.

3.

Datganiad o Fuddiant

Derbyn datganiadau o fuddiannau personol gan Gynghorwyr, yn unol â gofynion Côd Ymddygiad y Cyngor.

 

Nodwch:

 

1.    Mae gofyn i Aelodau ddatgan rhif a phwnc yr agendwm mae eu buddiant yn ymwneud ag ef a mynegi natur y buddiant personol hwnnw; a

2.   Lle bo Aelodau'n ymneilltuo o'r cyfarfod o ganlyniad i ddatgelu buddiant sy'n rhagfarnu, rhaid iddyn nhw roi gwybod i'r Cadeirydd pan fyddan nhw'n gadael.

 

 

Cofnodion:

In accordance with the Council’s Code of Conduct, there were no declarations made pertaining to the agenda.

 

4.

Cofnodion pdf icon PDF 90 KB

Derbyn cofnodion o gyfarfod blaenorol y Pwyllgor Craffu – Cyllid a Chyflawniad a gafodd ei gynnal ar 29 Ionawr 2020.

 

Cofnodion:

It was RESOLVED to approve the minutes of the XXXX as an accurate reflection of the meeting.

 

5.

ADRODDIAD BLYNYDDOL RHEOLI'R TRYSORLYS pdf icon PDF 864 KB

Trafod Adolygiad Blynyddol Rheoli'r Trysorlys 2019/20

 

Cofnodion:

The Head of Finance: Education & Financial Reporting presented the report of

The Director of Finance and Digital Services in respect of the Annual Treasury

Management Review, which had been presented to Council on the 29th July

2020 (attached to the report at Appendix 1).

 

Following the observations made by the Head of Finance – Education &

Financial Reporting, Committee raised a number of questions in respect of the

report.

 

Mr J. Fish, the Voting Elected Parent/ Governor Representative, queried

whether the £80M was planned borrowing or whether the Council were seeking

to take advantage of the low rats available at that point in time. The Head of

Finance: Education & Financial Reporting confirmed that within the Council’s

Treasury Management strategy they had set their limits to borrow up to a certain

Level, however, during that time the interest rates dropped and the Council

moved to take advantage of this.

 

A further query was raised by the Chair in respect of paragraph 8.2 in the report

and he queried why it was agreed to borrow £30M at 1.41% interest on the 5th

July 2019 when a further borrowing of £20M at a lower interest rate of 1% was agreed on the 3rd September 2019. The Chair expressed his opinion that if the full amount had been agreed at the lower interest rate this would have saved the Authority some money and he queried why this was not the case. The Head of Finance: Education & Financial Reporting informed Members that this was the case, however, this comment was made with the benefit of hindsight and that the borrowing decision was made on the basis of the information that was available at that point in time. The Head of Finance: Education & Financial Reporting emphasised that all of the rates are very advantageous when compared to previous historic rates.

 

Following discussion, Members RESOLVED to acknowledge the information within the report.

 

6.

ADRODDIAD CYFARWYDDWR Y GWASANAETHAU CYLLID A DIGIDOL pdf icon PDF 2 MB

Trafod Adroddiad Cyflawniad y Cyngor ar gyfer Chwarter 1 2020/21.

 

Cofnodion:

The Service Director – Finance and Improvement Services presented the Council’s Quarter 1 Performance Report (to 30th June 2020).

 

The Service Director explained that the Quarter 1 Performance Report was presented to Cabinet on the 24th September 2020 and contains revenue and capital budget performance; Treasury Management prudential indicators; Organisational Health information, including staff turnover; sickness and Council strategic risks; corporate plan priority action plan updates; other national measures; and target setting.

 

The Service Director advised Members that the first quarter revenue budget position is projecting a £2.903M overspend. It was emphasised that this is an early projection for the full year and reflects the impact of forecasted changes in demand through to year-end, with key pressures being primarily within Adult Social Care and Children’s Services. The projected position is also set in the unprecedented context of COVID-19 and takes into account additional Welsh Government funding received for the first 3 months of the year, and that forecasted to be received for the remainder of the year, in respect of additional expenditure incurred and income loss as a result of the pandemic.

 

Members were informed that work will continue to closely monitor the Council’s financial position, refresh financial forecasts for the full year as updated information becomes available and also engage with Welsh Government to highlight the importance of providing additional funding to meet on-going permanent cost pressures.

 

The Service Director advised the Committee that capital investment, as at 30th June 2020, is £7.7M, with projects across the programme recommencing during quarter 1, taking account of COVID-19 safety requirements, following the initial 3 week lockdown period from 23rd March. In addition, a number of schemes have been re-profiled during the quarter to reflect changes in costs and also new external grant funding approvals received.

 

Following the overview by the Service Director, Members scrutinised the report and put forward their questions.

 

Councillor S. Rees sought further information in respect of the financial impact of the latest Wales wide lockdown and the measures in place to support local businesses throughout the period. Councillor S. Rees asked if funding can be claimed back from the Welsh Government and the impact on Local Authority staff in managing the lockdown measures. The Service Director – Finance and Improvement Services advised Members that in terms of the initial business grants payments made between April-July, the payments equated to £40-50M and it was a monumental effort by RCT Staff Members across the finance department. The Service Director acknowledged that this was a challenge for staff, however, he praised all staff for their hard work and dedication. It was emphasised that whilst it is important that business grants continued to be paid on a timely basis, managers will also ensure that staff members are looked after appropriately.

 

A further query was raised by Councillor S. Rees-Owen in respect of the resources available for school learners in relation to remote learning and whether the Council is satisfied that school learners have everything that they need to  ...  view the full Cofnodion text for item 6.

7.

ARDOLL SEILWAITH CYMUNEDOL pdf icon PDF 184 KB

Trafod Adroddiad Monitro Blynyddol yr Ardoll Seilwaith Cymunedol (CIL)

 

Cofnodion:

The Director of Prosperity and Development presented his report to Members to seek Committee’s comments to be forwarded onto Cabinet in respect of the contents of the CIL Annual Monitoring Report and proposed changes to the regulation 123 List.

 

In accordance with the Community Infrastructure Levy Regulations 2010 (as amended), the Director attached to his report at Appendix A the CIL Annual Monitoring Report detailing the CIL income and expenditure. Also attached to the report as Appendix B was the Regulation 123 List, which required Members approval for publication on the Council website for a period of 28 days and consultation.

 

The Director referred Members to paragraph 5.2 of the report and advised Members that the total CIL income received in 2019/20 was £308,535.08. This included:-

 

§     80% as Strategic income = £130,626.31*

§     15% Local income = £169,768.53

§     5% Administration income = £8,140.24

 

The Director emphasised that the 80% Strategic income is less than the 15% Local income due to the amount being off-set against the infrastructure balance until the cost of the new primary school at the Llanilid development has been met.

 

A further reference was made to paragraph 5.4 of the report and the Director explained that there had been no expenditure of Strategic CIL income to date, however, he emphasised that Cabinet agreed on 20th September 2018 to spend £395,000 of Strategic CIL on Ffynnon Taf Primary School.  Members were informed that the project will include a new build extension (4 classrooms and a hall) and refurbishments to the current school buildings for school and community use.  The £395,000 Strategic CIL money is proposed to be spent by end 2020/21.

 

Members were further informed of the proposed changes to the regulation 123 List, which recognises a shift towards active travel of the South Wales Metro, the Aberdare – Hirwaun extension of passenger rail services and also work that is proposed to be removed from the list as work is now being completed through other funding streams. Members were reminded of the proposed change in respect of education, which is the  removal of Ystrad Barwig Farm due to planning application reference 18/0872/13 for residential development at Ystrad Barwig Farm being called-in by Welsh Government and the Minister decision on 15th March 2020 was to refuse the application.

 

Following discussion, Members RESOLVED:

 

1.    To approve the CIL Annual Monitoring Report (Appendix A);

2.    To approve the amended Regulation 123 List (Appendix B) for publication on the Council website for a period of 28 days and consultation; and,

3.    To approve the subsequent adoption of the amended Regulation 123 List.

 

 

8.

Rhaglen Waith y Pwyllgor Craffu – Cyllid a Chyflawniad 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 162 KB

Bydd Aelodau'r Pwyllgor Craffu – Cyllid a Chyflawniad yn trafod y Rhaglen Waith ar gyfer 2020/21.

 

Cofnodion:

The Service Director of Democratic Services & Communications gave an overview to Members in respect of the Finance & Performance Scrutiny Committee Work Programme for the 2020/21 Municipal Year

 

The Service Director of Democratic Services & Communications confirmed that the Work Programme under the new arrangements is planned on a three monthly basis and that this item would be reviewed at this juncture. 

 

The Service Director reminded Members of the current pressures on the Council as it focuses on the impact of the pandemic and its associated plans for response and recovery. Consequently, the Service Director emphasised that Committee will need to be mindful of these ongoing pressures and that Members are asked to acknowledge the balance required for a flexible and supportive scrutiny work programme. 

 

Members were advised that the Finance & Performance Scrutiny forward work programme sets out a manageable and realistic scrutiny activity for the next three months allowing for the more pressing matters to be considered whilst having the flexibility to respond to emerging issues.

 

Members were reminded that given the current climate the forward work programme priorities are subject to change should other specific business need to be considered by the Committee on this date.

 

Members were advised that the meeting scheduled to take place on the 16th November will include engagement on the Budget consultation (phase 1) as well as the Medium Term Financial Plan update.

 

Following discussion, Members RESOLVED to acknowledge the contents of the proposed draft Finance & Performance Scrutiny Work Programme for the 2020/21 Municipal Year (October –December 2020). 

 

9.

YMGYSYLLTU MEWN PERTHYNAS Â CHYLLIDEB Y CYNGOR - 2021/22 pdf icon PDF 257 KB

Derbyn adroddiad y Cyfarwyddwr Gwasanaeth – Gwasanaethau Democrataidd a Chyfathrebu 

 

Cofnodion:

The Service Director of Democratic Services & Communications presented his report on the proposed ‘digital by default’ approach to resident engagement and consultation in respect of the 2021/22 budget, considered by Cabinet on the 13th October 2020.

 

Members were reminded that in previous years the Council

has undertaken a comprehensive approach to its annual budget consultation,

involving a large number of residents and key stakeholders. However,

the current COVID-19 pandemic presents a unique set of circumstances for engagement and consultation. The Service Director emphasised that face-to-face engagement is not possible and may not be for quite some time.

Members were advised that as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic the 2021/22 annual budget consultation will take on a ‘digital by default’ approach, whilst continuing to consider hard to reach groups, those having reduced or no access to the Internet and those who prefer to engage through traditional methods.

Members were advised that a number of different approaches will take place to replace the usual face to face engagement. This will include a number of virtual meetings to outline the budget approach, answer questions and collect views.  These online (Zoom) events will give residents the opportunity to engage with and speak to Cabinet Members and senior officers regarding the Council's budget and investment priorities and will include;

·         A number of Zoom Public meetings;

·         Engagement with older people via the Older Persons Advisory Group meeting;

·         Engagement with young people via Rhondda Cynon Taf’s Youth Forums;

·         A presentation and discussion with young people via our schools;

·         Reporting to the Finance and Performance Scrutiny Committee and the School Budget Forum; and,

·         A presentation at the Community Liaison Committee

The Service Director acknowledged the difficulties of communicating with those having reduced or no access to the Internet and those who prefer to engage through traditional methods. Members were advised that a range of alternative methods have been put in place, such as:-

·         A telephone Consultation option working with the Council’s Contact Centre – The contact centre number would be made available for people to discuss their views or as a minimum to request consultation materials;   

·         Individual call backs if required.  For example, some of the members of the Disability Forum requested phone calls to provide their views during the recent Dog Fouling consultation;

·         Paper surveys and information available on request;  

·         Consultation freepost address for postal responses;

·         Easy Read/Plan English Documents – These will still need to be produced and placed online as well as being available in paper copy on request; and,  

·         Opportunity can also be provided to engage in virtual sessions through a land-line.

Members were subsequently provided with the opportunity to ask questions. The Chair sought clarification as to which Scrutiny Committee would be receiving the results of the dog fouling consultation. The Service Director of Democratic Services & Communications confirmed that the results would be presented to the Public Service Delivery, Communities & Prosperity Committee.

 

Mr J. Fish, the Voting Parent/ Governor Representative, raised his concern in respect of the Budget consultation and  ...  view the full Cofnodion text for item 9.

10.

Dolenni Ymgynghori

Gwybodaeth mewn perthynas ag ymgynghoriadau perthnasol i'w hystyried gan y Pwyllgor.

 

Cofnodion:

The Service Director of Democratic Services & Communications referenced the consultation links, which were available through the ‘RCT Scrutiny’ website.  Members were reminded that Information is provided in respect of relevant consultations for consideration by the Committee, which are circulated on a monthly basis.

 

 

11.

Adolygiad y Cadeirydd a dod â'r cyfarfod i ben

Adlewyrchu ar y cyfarfod a'r camau gweithredu i'w dwyn ymlaen.

 

Cofnodion:

The Chair thanked Members for attending the first virtual meeting of the Finance & Performance Scrutiny Committee and for engaging in a constructive and challenging discussion.

 

The Chair praised the earlier training session by AirlingClose in respect of treasury management and thanked them for providing Committee Members with such useful information. The Chair queried how often these training session will be taking place. The Service Director of Democratic Services & Communications confirmed that the training session with AirlingClose is an annual event, however, any training session that the Committee feels is needed can be factored in to the 2020/21 Forward Work Programme. The Service Director of Democratic Services & Communications acknowledged the success of having a virtual training event and confirmed that the Council will be looking to continue with this approach post the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

In light of the Welsh Government’s announcement earlier in the day regarding a ‘firebreak’ Wales wide lockdown, the Chair queried whether there was any additional information that needed to be highlighted to the Committee. The Service Director – Finance & Improvement Services confirmed that when further details are announced by Welsh Government in terms of the financial support packages available, they will be reported in the future financial quarterly reports to the Committee. 

12.

Materion Brys

Trafod unrhyw faterion sydd, yn ôl doethineb y Cadeirydd, yn faterion brys yng ngoleuni amgylchiadau arbennig.

 

 

Cofnodion:

There was no urgent business to report.