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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Committee Room 1, Marmion House, Lichfield Street, Tamworth, B79 7BZ

Contact: Democratic Services 01827 709264 

No. Item


Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 365 KB


The minutes of the meeting held on 8th October 2019 were approved and signed as a correct record.


(Moved by Councillor Dr S Peaple and seconded by Councillor R Claymore)



Declarations of Interest

To receive any declarations of Members’ interests (personal and/or personal and prejudicial) in any matters which are to be considered at this meeting.


When Members are declaring a personal interest or personal and prejudicial interest in respect of which they have dispensation, they should specify the nature of such interest.  Members should leave the room if they have a personal and prejudicial interest in respect of which they do not have a dispensation. 




Councillor R Claymore declared that she had a pecuniary interest in the Private Sector Housing Enforcement Policy Update (minute 57) and accordingly would withdraw from the meeting at that point.


Chair's Update


The Chair reported on the following:

·         The QPR Executive Summary working group outputs would report back to this Committee in February 2020 and then the Committee would consider whether to make any recommendations to Cabinet; and

·         The remit for the Review of the Senior Management Restructuring, which was expected to cover a debrief of the project, including the objectives at the start of the project, the expected benefits to be delivered and the extent to which they had been realised.  The Chair confirmed that he had a meeting scheduled with the Chief Executive to discuss the structure and timeline for this.


Responses to Reports of the Corporate Scrutiny Committee

To receive an update on responses received to reports of the Corporate Scrutiny Committee.


There were no items to report to the Committee.


Consideration of Matters referred to the Corporate Scrutiny Committee from Cabinet / Council

Discussion item.


No matters had been referred to this Committee.


Working Group Updates

To receive any working group updates.


There was no further update beyond that provided earlier on the agenda by the Chair.


2019/20 Forward Plan

Discussion item – link to the Forward Plan


The Committee considered the Forward Plan and highlighted the following items for further consideration:

·         Legal Services Review – the Committee agreed to add this to the Committee’s Work Plan to review the implementation of this service in due course;

·         Update on Housing Repairs & Investment Contract – expected to be considered by Cabinet on 19th December 2019.  The Committee agreed that they would like to consider this next year and the Work Plan would be updated accordingly.



Quarter Two 2019/20 Performance Report pdf icon PDF 120 KB

Report of the Leader of the Council

Additional documents:


The Executive Director, Finance provided the Corporate Scrutiny Committee with a performance update and financial healthcheck.


In terms of the financial healthcheck there was a projected underspend and this would be considered as part of the budget process for next year.  It was reported that the HRA was on budget.


The Committee considered the delay which had been announced to the opening of the Assembly Rooms and focussed upon the following:


                      i.        The reporting in the QPR Report on the Assembly Rooms over time, and whether there were any earlier indicators which could have impacted the risk reporting.

                    ii.        The oversight of the main contractor including the role of the externally appointed project management company and the ongoing oversight of the project to ensure delivery to the revised completion date.

                   iii.        The need for there to be a review undertaken of the project after the Assembly Rooms had been completed

                   iv.        Consideration of the reputational damage caused by the delayed opening of the Assembly Rooms

                    v.        Additional costs incurred as a result of delay and any contractual provisions regarding recovery of the Council’s loss

                   vi.        The need to focus on the Assembly Rooms being opened on the new scheduled date.


The Committee resolved that the review of the Assembly Rooms project, which was expected to be undertaken must be brought to this Committee for its consideration (once available).  The Committee could consider whether to make further recommendations to Cabinet based on its contents, to support the delivery of future projects.


(Moved by Councillor Dr S Peaple and seconded by Councillor R Bilcliff)


The Committee sought further clarification in the following areas of the QPR Q2 Report:

                       i.        The reasons for the underspend in the General Fund were reported to be largely due to the change in pools from GBSLEP to the Staffordshire pilot. 

                     ii.        The arrears collection targets which the Executive Director, Finance agreed would be re-assessed for the next year.

                    iii.        The Committee requested that the report be clarified to provide further transparency regarding the grant on the Kerria project and the impact this had on borrowings.






Subject to the comments raised in the meeting, Corporate Scrutiny Committee endorsed the contents of the report.


(Moved by Councillor Dr S Peaple and seconded by Councillor R Bilcliff)



Local Council Tax Reduction Scheme 2021/22 pdf icon PDF 289 KB

Report of the Portfolio Holder for Assets and Finance

Additional documents:


The Assistant Director, Finance introduced the Local Council Tax Reduction Scheme (LCTRS) Report and set out the options and objectives for the proposed scheme for the post 2021 Local Council Tax Reduction Scheme which would go out to Consultation in 2020.  The key points of the proposed scheme were reported as follows:

·         to be cost neutral;

·         to deliver administrative savings and simplify the process;

·         to use banded discounts; and

·         to include relevant disregards.


The Head of Benefits outlined to the Committee three different options which had been modelled following which the Committee sought clarification in the following areas:

                      i.        The extent to which the proposed scheme reflected a county wide scheme.  It was reported that whilst principles had been agreed at a county level, individual Council’s schemes would be likely to contain local differences;

                    ii.        Details on where the changes (which bandings) were likely to be affected by the options modelled;

                   iii.        The Committee requested that a cost neutral version of Option 1 be produced to demonstrate how a 100% discount for the lowest income households could work and its impacts.


The Committee thanked the Officers for their work and requested that this item come back to this Committee in 2020 (and agreed to add to the Work Plan accordingly).





The impact on bandings of Option 2 be explored and details provided;



(Moved by Councillor Dr S Peaple and seconded by Councillor S Goodall)




A cost neutral version of Option 1 be developed.


(Moved by Councillor M Summers and seconded by Councillor R Bilcliff)


Councillor R Claymore left the meeting.


Private Sector Housing Enforcement Policy Update pdf icon PDF 138 KB

Report of the Assistant Director, Partnerships


The Assistant Director Partnerships provided an annual update on the impact of the Private Sector Housing Enforcement Policy approved by Cabinet on 7th September 2017.


The Assistant Director updated the Committee on progress made since the implementation of the Policy in 2017, including the interventions made by the Strategic Housing Team. These were reported to be largely informal interventions.  However, it was reported that three Prohibition Orders had been made to safeguard vulnerable people. 


It was reported that the licensing of Houses in Multiple Occupation was an area of focus for the Strategic Housing Team who continued to provide advice and support to landlords in this area.  The recent legislative changes were highlighted as well as the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards which had become law and the work undertaken by the Council to roll out the Staffordshire Warm Homes fund.


The Committee noted the report and thanked the Officers for their attendance.



Corporate Scrutiny Committee Work Plan pdf icon PDF 103 KB

To consider the Committee’s Work Plan.


The Committee discussed the Work Plan and agreed to update it as follows:


Corporate Scrutiny Work Plan

Work Plan 2019 – 2020







December 2019

Asset Management Review update (including town centre)


December 2019

Town Centre Strategy update

June 2019

December 2019

Corporate investment strategy





February 2020

QPR Q3 2019/20 Report

Regular item

February 2020

Market tender Update

August 2019

February 2020

Member Training update

June 2019

February 2020

Review of senior management restructuring


February 2020

Working group report on QPR Report Executive Summary

June 2019

February 2020

Garage Sites





March 2020

Member Support Working group – sub group on Member Communications


March 2020

Review of Cabinet decisions over previous 12 month period


March 2020

Parking Toolkit review

October 2019





Local Council Tax Reduction Scheme 2021 onwards - revisit

November 2019


Review of Legal Services (post implementation)

November 2019


The Assembly Rooms – review of project

November 2019


Housing Repairs & Investment Contract Review

November 2019


Upcoming Corporate Scrutiny Committee Meetings

5th December 2019

5th February 2020 (QPR Q3 focus)

12th March 2020