Agenda and draft minutes


Special Meeting, Budget Planning Committee - Tuesday 18 August 2020 6.30 pm

Venue: Virtual meeting

Contact: Emma Faulkner, Democratic and Elections  Email: democracy@cherwellandsouthnorthants.gov.uk, 01295 221953

Media

Items
No. Item

7.

Declarations of Interest

Members are asked to declare any interest and the nature of that interest which they may have in any of the items under consideration at this meeting.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

8.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 198 KB

To confirm as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 21 July 2020.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 21 July 2020 were confirmed as a correct record, to be signed by the Chairman in due course.

9.

Chairman's Announcements

To receive communications from the Chairman.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There were no announcements.

10.

Urgent Business

The Chairman to advise whether they have agreed to any item of urgent business being admitted to the agenda.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There were no items of urgent business.

11.

Revised Budget 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 462 KB

*** Please note that the appendix to this report will follow as it is being reviewed and finalised ***

 

Report of Director of Finance

 

Purpose of report

 

To give Budget Planning Committee the opportunity to consider the Revised Budget 2020/21 and the proposed in-year savings proposals

 

Recommendations

            

The meeting is recommended to:

 

 1.1         Provide feedback to the Executive on the 2020/21 in-year savings proposals.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report from the Director of Finance that detailed a revised budget for the 2020-21 financial year.

 

The report explained that in-year savings were required as a result of the financial impact of Covid-19.

 

Alongside the report the Committee received a detailed presentation regarding the proposals. Corporate Directors and Lead Members summarised the proposed savings for each directorate, and answered questions from the Committee. 

 

Having conducted a detailed scrutiny of the proposals, it was proposed by Councillor Nick Mawer and seconded by Councillor Phil Chapman that the 2020/21 in-year savings proposals be endorsed, and recommended the Executive recommend to Full Council that they be adopted at the Special Council on 7 September 2020. The Committee made the following detailed comments:

 

Revised Building Control Fee Schedule

 

o      Clarity was provided that the 5% increase referred to the overall across the board increase and some individual fees were increased by a higher percentage.

 

o      It was noted that the proposed fees were bringing Cherwell District Council to the average level for comparable neighbouring local authorities but Members queried if they were comparative to independent building control inspectors. Approved Inspectors were not required to publish their fees as we in the public sector are required to.  CDC Building Control’s market share is currently at around 70% and increasing which would indicate it is competitive.

 

o      In response to questions regarding a behavioural impact assessment, it was confirmed that this had not been undertaken as there would be additional cost top carrying out such an assessment. It was standard Cherwell DC practice, as for other Building Control services in neighbouring areas, for comparisons to be made between Authorities in the Oxfordshire/Warwickshire cluster group and fees adjusted accordingly. The exercise requires proposed fee increases to be balanced against the risk of under-recovery of costs and therefore set an appropriate level. Experience has shown that customers of CDC Building Control service are more interested in service than cost, noting that the cost of a Building Control application is very small compared with the construction cost of a development.

 

Delayed Recruitment to Vacant Posts due to Covid-19

 

o      Noted that delayed recruitment was not impacting service delivery due to reallocating work and new ways of working.

o      Kidlington Co-ordinator (Growth and Economy): Assurance was given that recruitment to the post was delayed and as a new post, there had been no impact on service provision.

 

o      5 Wellbeing part time posts: the work these discretionary posts would have undertaken would not have been possible with the covid restrictions 

 

o      Community Warden: Noted that three Community Warden posts were filled and there was one vacancy for which recruitment was being paused for in-year savings. Along with all other options, the post would be reviewed as part of the 2021/22 budget setting process.

 

Deletion of Vacant Posts

 

o      Assurance was provided that deleting two vacant Planning posts and two Growth Deal workstream posts would not impact service delivery. The Growth Deal posts had been planned to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 11.