Agenda and draft minutes

Environmental & Public Protection Scrutiny Committee - Monday, 1st February, 2021 10.00 am

Venue: Virtual Meeting. View directions

Contact: Janine Owen  01267 224030

Media

Items
No. Item

1.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

Additional documents:

Minutes:

An apology for absence was received from Councillor P. Edwards

2.

DECLARATIONS OF PERSONAL INTEREST INCLUDING ANY PARTY WHIPS ISSUED IN RELATION TO ANY AGENDA ITEM.

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Minutes:

There were no declarations of personal interest or of any party whips.

 

 

3.

PUBLIC QUESTIONS (NONE RECEIVED)

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Minutes:

The Chair advised that no public questions had been received.

 

4.

HALF YEAR PERFORMANCE REPORT 2020/21(1ST APRIL TO 30TH SEPTEMBER 2020) pdf icon PDF 322 KB

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Minutes:

The Committee considered the 2020/21 Half Year Performance Report for the period 1st April to 30th September 2020.

 

The report detailed the progress made against the performance measures contained in the Corporate Strategy 2020/21. It was noted that, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Departmental Action Plans for 2020/21 were not currently being monitored in order to enable services to focus on dealing with emergencies.  Instead of monitoring actions set prior to the pandemic, a half year Covid-19 Community Impact Assessment had been produced and it was also intended to produce an annual report on the Corporate Strategy Wellbeing Objectives for 2020/21.

 

The following questions/observations were raised on the report:-

 

  • Officers were asked if the present waste amnesty has led to a higher incident of fly tipping of hazardous waste.  The Committee was informed that this was the case when the HWRC site was closed but there have been no problems since then;
  • Reference was made to the fact that some measures are listed as having no target and officers were asked if this was just for the Covid period as it was difficult to scrutinise if there are no targets.  The Head of Homes and Safer Communities confirmed that this was just for the Covid period as because of the circumstances the targets wouldn’t really tell us anything during this period.  He added that these targets will be re-visited.

 

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED that the report be received.

 

5.

REVENUE BUDGET STRATEGY CONSULTATION 2021/22 to 2023/24 pdf icon PDF 238 KB

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Minutes:

The Committee considered the Council’s Revenue Budget Strategy 2021/22 to 2023/24 which provided a current view of the revenue budget for 2021/2022 together with indicative figures for the 2022/2023 and 2023/2024 financial years.  The report was based on officers’ projections of spending requirements and took account of the provisional settlement issued by Welsh Government on the 22nd December, 2020. It also reflected current departmental submissions for savings proposals after taking account of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the delivery of those savings.

 

It was noted that, whilst significant work had already been undertaken in preparing the budget, this report represented an initial position statement which would be updated over the coming month as the budget was further developed, council members are engaged and public consultation takes place.  The final settlement was due to be received from Welsh Government on 2nd March, 2021.

 

It was pointed out that Covid-19 has led not just to unprecedented additional costs but also to the collapse of important income, particularly during periods of lockdown. Taken together, it was anticipated that the combination of additional expenditure and income loss would have a £30 million impact on Carmarthenshire’s current year budgets. Authorities have submitted monthly claims, which have been assessed and to a very significant extent, fully refunded by WG. Looking ahead to next year, continued WG funding in this way has not been committed at this stage, not least because WG itself does not yet have funding confirmed as a consequence of Westminster Covid-19 related expenditure.

 

Although the Strategy proposed a 4.89% Council Tax increase for each of the three financial years, the Executive Board had recommended that the increase for 2021/22 be reduced to 4.48%.  This recommendation would be considered by Council at its meeting to be held on 3rd March, 2021 when setting the Council Tax level for 2021/22.  Additionally, the Welsh Government final settlement figure was to be announced on the 2nd March 2021 and any amendments required to be considered in relation to the Budget Strategy arising from that announcement would also be considered by Council on the 3rd March.

 

The Committee thereupon considered the following detailed budget information appended to the Strategy, relevant to its remit:-

 

·         Appendix A(i) – Efficiency summary for the Environment and Public Protection Services

·         Appendix A(ii) – Growth Pressures summary for the Environment Service

·         Appendix B – Budget monitoring report for the Environment and Public Protection Services

·         Appendix C – Charging Digest for the Environment and Public Protection Services

 

Whilst the budget proposals assumed the full delivery of all the savings proposals, together with the identification and delivery of the shortfall in savings proposals for the 2022/23 and 2023/24 financial years, further cost reductions would need to be identified for those latter years in order to maintain the current Budget Strategy and level of Council Tax. The savings to be identified in years 2 and 3 of the Strategy amounted to £1.96 million and departments would work over the forthcoming year  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.

6.

REVENUE AND CAPITAL BUDGET MONITORING REPORT 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 243 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered the Revenue and Capital Budget Monitoring Report for the Environmental and Public Protection Services which provided an update on the latest budgetary position as at 31st October, 2020 in respect of 2020/21.

 

The following question was asked in relation to the report:-

 

·       Reference was made to the number of vacant posts in the Public Protection Service and officers were asked if these have been advertised/filled.  The Consumer and Business Affairs Manager explained that there has been a lot of staff movement to help the TTP team and the aim was to fill all vacant posts as soon as possible. 

 

RESOLVED that the report be received.

 

7.

EXPLANATION FOR NON-SUBMISSION OF SCRUTINY REPORT pdf icon PDF 101 KB

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Minutes:

The Committee received an explanation for the non-submission of the following scrutiny report:-

 

  • Anti-Social Behaviour Policy

 

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED that the information be noted.

 

8.

FORTHCOMING ITEMS pdf icon PDF 295 KB

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Minutes:

The Committee considered a list of items to be included on the agenda of the next meeting to be held on 5th March, 2021.

 

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED that the information be noted.

 

 

9.

TO SIGN AS A CORRECT RECORD THE MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF THE COMMITTEE HELD ON THE 14TH DECEMBER 2020 pdf icon PDF 317 KB

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Minutes:

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on the 14th December, 2020 be signed as a correct record.