Agenda and minutes

Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee
Thursday, 28th January, 2021 10.00 am, MOVED

Venue: Virtual Meeting

Contact: Joel Hammond-Gant  Tel: 01270 686468 Email:  joel.hammond-gant@cheshireeast.gov.uk

Note: The meeting recording spanned over two separate videos, the links to which can be found below 

Items
No. Item

51.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Q Abel and L Wardlaw (substituted for by Councillor S Gardiner).

52.

Minutes of Previous meeting pdf icon PDF 77 KB

To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 7 January 2021.

 

Minutes:

RESOLVED –

 

That the minutes of the previous meeting held on 7 January 2021, be approved as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

53.

Declarations of Interest

To provide an opportunity for Members and Officers to declare any disclosable pecuniary and non-pecuniary interests in any item on the agenda.

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

54.

Declaration of Party Whip

To provide an opportunity for Members to declare the existence of a party whip in relation to any item on the agenda.

Minutes:

There were no declarations of a party whip.

55.

Public Speaking Time/Open Session

A total period of 15 minutes is allocated for members of the public to make a statement(s) on any matter that falls within the remit of the Committee. Individual members of the public may speak for up to 5 minutes, but the Chairman will decide how the period of time allocated for public speaking will be apportioned, where there are a number of speakers.

 

Members of the public wishing to make a statement are asked to provide notice in writing at least three working days in advance of the meeting.

 

Minutes:

There were no members of the public present who wished to speak.

56.

Third Quarter Review (Finance) 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 170 KB

To consider the council’s finance and performance position at the third quarter point of the 2020/21 financial year, and provide any comments and feedback to Cabinet on 2 February 2021.

 

Report to follow.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The committee agreed to bring this item forward on the agenda so that it could review the council’s present financial position before looking at the longer-term financial plans in the Medium Term Financial Strategy.

 

Consideration was given to the Third Quarter Review (Finance) for the 2020/21 municipal year. Members asked questions and put comments in relation to;

 

·         the underspend of £600k in Early Help (due to held vacancies) and whether this correlated to the rise in cared for children and/or referrals to Early Help;

·         concern about the overall spend on the Best4Business Programme, in light of further one-off spends committed to it; and

·         how flexible the council would be when managing its Council Tax Support Scheme, and how residents who continued to struggle due to the impacts of Covid-19 would be supported.

 

RESOLVED –

 

1          That the report be received and noted.

 

2          That the committee’s comments and feedback be reported to Cabinet to consider, prior to its meeting on 2 February 2021.

57.

Medium Term Financial Strategy 2021-2025 pdf icon PDF 251 KB

To scrutinise the final proposed Medium Term Strategy 2021-25, including the council’s Corporate Plan, budget, policy proposals and capital programme, providing feedback and comments for Cabinet to consider on 2 February 2021.

 

Report to follow.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The committee considered the Medium Term Financial Strategy 2021-25 and the various strategies and plans it comprised. In respect of the Corporate Plan 2021-25, members asked questions and put comments in relation to;

 

·         the highly ambitious nature of the plan and that it had been well put together;

·         it brought the council more in-line with what it should be – a public-focused and public-serving organisation, rather than a business operation;

·         it was positive to see such ambitious ‘green’ targets within the plan and hope that these would be achieved; and

·         the response rate to the public consultation held.

 

Following an introduction to the report by the Director of Finance and Customer Services (s151 Officer) members put comments and asked questions in relation to;

 

·         the need for the council to increase its council tax precept to ensure it received the additional £6.9m of ringfenced funding for adult social care services;

·         the council’s total estimated spend in response to Covid-19; and

·         that there could have been greater or more detailed reference to invest-to-save strategies through the council’s proposed Capital Strategy.

 

The committee then considered in detail the changes that had been made to the budgetary proposals following the Pre-Budget Consultation 2021/22 period, with further questions asked on each of these changes.

 

RESOLVED –

 

1          That the report be received and its recommendations noted.

 

2          That the committee’s comments and feedback be reported to Cabinet to consider, prior to its meeting on 2 February 2021.

58.

Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 184 KB

To review the council’s Forward Plan of key decisions.

Minutes:

The committee reviewed the council’s Forward Plan of key decisions.

 

RESOLVED –

 

That the Forward Plan be noted.

59.

Work Programme pdf icon PDF 71 KB

To review the committee’s work programme.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The committee considered its work programme.

 

RESOLVED –

 

That the work programme be agreed.