Agenda and decisions

Finance, Innovation and Property Advisory Board - Wednesday, 15th September, 2021 7.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Gibson Drive, Kings Hill

Contact: Democratic Services  Email: committee.services@tmbc.gov.uk

Link: View Meeting

Items
No. Item

PART 1 - PUBLIC

2.

Declarations of interest pdf icon PDF 3 KB

Members in any doubt about such declarations are advised to contact Legal or Democratic Services in advance of the meeting

3.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 287 KB

To confirm as a correct record the Notes of the meeting of the Finance, Innovation and Property Advisory Board held on 21 July 2021

Matters for recommendation to the Cabinet

4.

Capital Programme Post Implementation Review Monitoring pdf icon PDF 125 KB

The report identifies the post implementation reviews carried out since the meeting of this Board in September 2020 and the capital plan schemes for which reviews will be due.  The report also brings forward a post implementation review in respect of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Software for consideration and approval.

Additional documents:

Decision:

(Report of Director of Finance and Transformation)

 

The report identified post implementation reviews carried out since the meeting of the Advisory Board in September 2020 (attached at Annex 1) and provided details of the capital plan schemes due for review (attached at Annex 3).  A post implementation review in respect of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Software was also set out for consideration.

 

Following consideration by the Finance, Innovation and Property Advisory Board, the Cabinet Member for Finance, Innovation and Property resolved that:

 

(1)             the post implementation scheme in respect of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Software, as set out at Annex 2 of the report, be approved.

 

5.

Customer Services - Corporate Call Centre pdf icon PDF 245 KB

This report asks Members to consider proposals for a corporate call centre, following the Call Centre Pilot that has been running since January 2020, helping deliver TMBC Digital Strategy and in line with the “One Council” theme.

 

This will involve discussions with all Service areas, moving away from decentralised phone numbers, having these calls triaged through the corporate call centre / Bot, and understanding efficiency saving for each service area.

Decision:

(Report of Director of Central Services and Deputy Chief Executive)

 

Following the success of a pilot model, the report set out proposals for the establishment of a corporate call centre.  These proposals would facilitate delivery of the Borough Council’s digital strategy and reflected the ‘One Council’ theme.

 

Prior to the implementation of any call centre model there would be further work on understanding customer requirements, structuring and assigning resources within the Customer Service team and identifying and clarifying potential efficiency savings for each service area.

 

Following consideration by the Finance, Innovation and Property Advisory Board, the Cabinet Member for Finance, Innovation and Property resolved that:

 

(1)             the corporate call centre model be adopted in principle, subject to Management Team continuing to work towards ensuring that any costs were paid for through efficiency savings within the Council.

 

 

 

6.

Special Expenses Consultation pdf icon PDF 544 KB

The Council launched a consultation on 22 June for a four week period regarding potential adjustments to the Special Expenses Policy.

 

The report provides details of the responses to the consultation and seeks Members’ recommendations on whether (or not) the cost of the non-strategic Public Conveniences in Tonbridge should be included within the Special Expenses policy; and also whether (or not) the cost of Christmas lights should be included within the Special Expenses policy.

Additional documents:

7.

Financial Planning and Control pdf icon PDF 199 KB

The report brings together information on three key budget areas - salaries, major operational income streams and investment income.  The performance of the key budget areas, together with approved variations to the revenue budget and areas identified through revenue budget monitoring are then summarised to provide an indicative overall budget position for the year.  The report also updates Members on capital expenditure and variations that have been agreed in relation to the capital plan.

Additional documents:

Decision:

(Report of Director of Finance and Transformation)

 

The report provided information on the three key budget areas of salaries, major operational income streams and investment income.  The performance of these key budget areas, together with approved variations to the revenue budget and areas identified through revenue budget monitoring were summarised to provide an indicative overall budget position for the year.

 

Members were also updated on capital expenditure and variations that had been agreed in relation to the capital plan.

 

Attention was drawn to the fact that the projected funding gap had widened to that reported to the Cabinet in July, which represented a significant and challenging financial position for the Borough Council. 

 

Following consideration by the Finance, Innovation and Property Advisory Board, the Cabinet Member for Finance, Innovation and Property resolved that:

 

(1)             it be noted that, as at the end of July 2021, the projected overall outturn position for the year 2021/22 was a net adverse variance of £65,500 when compared to the budget set in February 2021.

 

 

8.

Applications for Discretionary Rate Relief pdf icon PDF 216 KB

A report giving details of renewal applications for discretionary rate relief.  Details of new applications for discretionary rate relief and amendments to previous awards are also brought forward for Members’ consideration.

 

Additional documents:

Decision:

(Report of Director of Finance and Transformation)

 

The report detailed renewal and new applications for discretionary rate relief together with amendments to previous awards.

 

Since the last meeting of the Advisory Board, there had been one new application for rate relief from the Tonbridge and Malling Leisure Trust which Members were asked to consider.

 

Following consideration by the Finance, Innovation and Property Advisory Board, the Cabinet Member for Finance, Innovation and Property resolved that:

 

(1)         in respect of the reapplications for relief (as set out at Annex 2) discretionary rate relief be awarded with effect from 1 July 2021 and time limited to 31 March 2023;

 

(2)         in respect of the renewal application for 1st Ditton Scout Group, the award of 20% discretionary relief be amended to show no time limit;

 

(3)         in respect of the renewal application for K Sports Management Ltd, the award of 90% discretionary relief be amended to 70% discretionary relief for the period 1 July 2021 and time limited to 31 March 2023; and

 

(4)         in respect of the application for Tonbridge and Malling Leisure Trust, discretionary rate relief of 20% be awarded with effect from 1 July 2020 and time limited to 31 March 2023.

9.

Rural Rate Relief - Rural Settlement List pdf icon PDF 197 KB

A report informing Members of the requirement to review the Council’s rural settlement list and recommending that the current list should be retained, unaltered, for the financial year 2022/23.

Additional documents:

Decision:

(Report of Director of Finance and Transformation)

 

The report informed of the requirement to review the Borough Council’s rural settlement list and recommended that the current list should be retained unaltered for the financial year 2022/23.  The locations and boundaries of each rural settlement were illustrated in a map (attached at Annex 1).

 

Following consideration by the Finance, Innovation and Property Advisory Board, the Cabinet Member for Finance, Innovation and Property resolved that:

 

(1)             the current rural settlement list (as set out at Annex 1 to the report) remain in force for 2022/23.

10.

River Lawn, Tonbridge pdf icon PDF 133 KB

The report updates Members on the proposed disposal of open space at River Lawn, Tonbridge and asks that the Advisory Board considers options for the future.

Additional documents:

Matters submitted for Information

11.

Revenue and Benefits Update pdf icon PDF 118 KB

A report detailing recent developments in respect of council tax, business rates, council tax reduction and housing benefits.

Additional documents:

Matters for consideration in Private

13.

Exclusion of Press and Public pdf icon PDF 4 KB

The Chairman to move that the press and public be excluded from the remainder of the meeting during consideration of any items the publication of which would disclose exempt information.

PART 2 - PRIVATE

Matters for Recommendation to the Cabinet

14.

Pembury Road Options

The report sets out an update to the recent procurement of four properties for conversion to temporary accommodation in Pembury Road, Tonbridge.  Members are asked to consider the options set out in the report having regard to the latest situation which is presented, and make appropriate recommendations on the way forward to Cabinet and Council.

15.

Debts for Write Off

(Reasons : LGA 1972 – Sch 12A Paragraph 2 – Information which is likely to reveal the identity of an individual)

 

Approval is sought for the writing-off of debts that are considered to be irrecoverable.

Decision:

(Reason: LGA 1972 Sch 12A Paragraph 2 – Information which is likely to reveal the identity of an individual)

 

(Report of Director of Finance and Transformation)

 

The report sought approval for the writing-off of debts that were considered to be irrecoverable.

 

Following consideration by the Finance, Innovation and Property Advisory Board, the Cabinet Member for Finance, Innovation and Property resolved that:

 

(1)         the four items shown in the schedule of amounts over £5,000 (as set out at Annex 1) totalling £49,422.00 be written off the reason stated within the schedule.