Contact: Sarah Handy, Members' Researcher & Scrutiny Officer 01443 424098
Welcome & Apologies
Apologies of absence were received from County Borough Councillors
M. Powell, T. Williams and H. Boggis.
In the absence of the Chair, the Vice Chair, Councillor G. Thomas conducted the meeting. It was agreed to deal with the agenda items out of sequence.
Declaration of Interest
To receive disclosures of personal interest from Members in accordance with the Code of Conduct
1. Members are requested to identify the item number and subject matter that their interest relates to and signify the nature of the personal interest: and
2. Where Members withdraw from a meeting as a consequence of the disclosure of a prejudicial interest they must notify the Chairman when they leave.
In accordance with the Council’s Code of Conduct, there were no declarations made pertaining to the agenda.
To receive the minutes of the previous meeting of the Finance and Performance Scrutiny Committee held on the 20th July 2021.
It was RESOLVED to approve the minutes of the 20th July 2021 as an accurate reflection of the meeting, subject to the following amendment:
Item 8, page 9: Councillor G. Thomas clarified that his question pertained to whether we could also have a manufacturing strategy in conjunction with the Tourism Strategy.
Information is provided in respect of relevant consultations for consideration by the Committee.
The Chair 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.
To undertake pre scrutiny of the Community Infrastructure Levy Annual Monitoring Report.
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 consultation.
The Director referred Members to paragraph 5.2 of the report and advised Members that the total CIL income received in 2021/22 was £176,332.59. This included:-
· 80% as Strategic income = £24,481.84
· 15% Local income = £150,320.64
· 5% Administration income = £1530.12
The Director emphasised that the 80% Strategic income is less than the 15% Local income due to the amount being off-set against the cost of the new primary school at the Llanilid development as this was a CIL payment in lieu of a financial contribution.
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 the end 2021/22.
Members were further informed of the proposed changes to the regulation 123 List, however, the broad thrust of the List remains the same as it proposes highway and education projects that support and mitigate the growth anticipated through the Council’s Local Development Plan. Members were referred to Appendix C for the proposed changes.
The Director advised Members that there was one proposed change to the transportation project part of the List, which is to remove the Mountain Ash Cross Valley Link as it has progressed without the need for CIL funding. There was also one proposed change to the education project part of the List, which was to remove the new/additional education provision to serve Station Road, Church Village as this infrastructure project is to be funded using S106 education contributions
Following this, Members had the opportunity to scrutinise the report.
Councillor Caple queried whether the Council was able to use the CIL funding towards flooding prevention infrastructure in light of Storm Ciara and Storm Dennis. The Director advised Members that in theory it could be used, however, he remined Members that the purpose of the CIL was for new infrastructure to support growth identified in the Local Development Plan.
Mr Fish, the Voting Parent / Governor Representative, queried what happens to the CIL commitment in light of the changes to Church Village. ... view the full minutes text for item 15.
Understanding the Council's Budget
To provide Committee Members with an overview of the Council’s 2021/22 Revenue Budget and 3-year Capital Programme (2021/22 to 2023/24).
Members were provided with an overview of the Council’s 2021/22 Revenue Budget and 3-year Capital Programme.
In respect of Education & Inclusion Services revenue budgets, Members received an overview from the Head of Finance - Education and Financial Reporting. Members were provided with details of individual school budgets and a breakdown of the budget per service area for the non-schools part of the Group. The Head of Finance - Education and Financial Reporting stated that if there is a deficit in an individual school then the school must follow the Schools Deficit Protocol and must provide a plan on how it will make good the deficit.
Following the presentation, discussions ensued and Members were provided with an opportunity to scrutinise the information.
Councillor Bradwick queried how many schools in the County Borough are in the Red status and how many are in the Black status. The Head of Finance - Education and Financial Reporting advised Members that the information wasn’t available at present but will be distributed to Members following the meeting.
Discussions ensued and Mr Fish queried whether information was available on the figures available in relation to how much of the deficit is in relation to statement of pupils and how much of the 6.2 is still available. The Head of Finance - Education and Financial Reporting advised the Committee that the information was not available at present but will be fed back to the Committee in due course. It was confirmed that a consultation is currently ongoing in respect of Additional Needs Funding and that the service is currently in the process of compiling the results of the consultation.
Following discussion, Members received a presentation from the Head of Finance – Community & Children’s Services. Members were provided with a budget breakdown in respect of Adult Services, Children’s Services, Leisure, Public Health and Protection & Housing and Transformation.
Discussions ensued and Councillor S. Rees-Owen raised a query in respect of the external placement with residential care. It was noted that the cost of care is extremely high and it was queried what plans are in place to tackle this issue. It was also queried what could be done to place people more local rather than sending them elsewhere. The Head of Finance – Community & Children’s Services noted that the complexity of young children coming through is increasing and that alternative ways are being sought through the ICF fund. It was noted that it is also dependent on ‘supply and demand’ and it was emphasised that it still remains a ‘sellers market’.
Councillor Yeo queried whether the Council is currently on target in terms of its budget in this area. The Head of Finance – Community & Children’s confirmed that the service currently looks to be on budget with a potential overspend of £500,000. It was emphasised that the future remains uncertain in terms of social care, particularly in respect of the impact of COVID on the families in the County Borough.
Discussions continued and the Head of ... view the full minutes text for item 16.
To consider the Council’s Treasury Management Annual Report 2020/21.
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 2020/21, which had been presented to Council on the
14th July 2021 (attached to the report at Appendix 1).
This report details the activities undertaken by the Treasury Management
function during 2020/21 Municipal Year. Key points were noted as follows:
• The Council has complied with all relevant Codes of Practice,
regulations and guidance (para 4.2);
• An underspend of £250k in the Net Capital Financing budget (para
• Compliance has been achieved in terms of all Prudential and Treasury
indicators (para 9.1);
• The Council continues to adopt a low risk strategy in terms of investing
and borrowing (paras 6.1.7, 7.1 and 10.2);
• Details of the Council’s non-financial investments (para 11.7).
Following discussion, Members RESOLVED to acknowledge the information within the report.
To consider any items, which the Chairman, by reason of special circumstances, is of the opinion should be considered at the meeting as a matter of urgency
There was no urgent business to report.
Chair's Review and Close
To reflect on the meeting and actions to be taken forward.
The Chair thanked Members for attending and thanked officers for providing the Committee with a detailed overview.