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Agenda and minutes

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No. Item


Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 349 KB


The minutes of the meeting held on 5th February 2020 were approved as a correct record.


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


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. 




There were no declarations of interest.


Chair's Update

To receive an update from the Chair.


The Chair thanked Officers for the training which had been provided to facilitate the transition to remote meetings.  The Chair also thanked members for attending the training provided as well as joining this first remote meeting of the Corporate Scrutiny Committee.


The Chair welcomed the two new members of this Committee; Councillors Michael Oates and Peter Thurgood.


The Chair reminded members that whilst the agenda and reports for the March 2020 Corporate Scrutiny Committee meeting were published, the meeting was cancelled.  Under the work plan item later on the agenda the Chair reported that the Committee would look at this year’s possible items of business.  The Chair suggested that following this meeting, he would request that Democratic Services re-circulate to members the Review of Council and Cabinet Decisions since May 2019 Report which was attached to the March agenda and the Chair asked that members raise with him (ahead of the July Committee meeting) any specific decisions which they would like to be brought forward onto this Committee’s agenda over the coming year.


The Chair further reminded members that the draft Annual Report of this Scrutiny committee was circulated to all members of the Committee in May 2020 for comment.   The Chair reported that the intention was that this Report would be received by full Council in July.  The Chair therefore requested that if members had any final comments on that report, to provide them to the Chair by 30th June 2020.


Forward Plan

Discussion item – link to Forward Plan



The Committee considered the Forward Plan.  It was suggested that the Capital Outturn Report be considered by this Committee at its July Committee meeting.


Quarter Four 2019/20 Performance Report pdf icon PDF 119 KB

Report of the Leader of the Council

Additional documents:


The Report of the Leader of the Council which provided the Committee with a performance update and financial healthcheck was received. 


The Chair welcomed the Leader of the Council, Councillor D Cook, and the Executive Director Organisation, Assistant Director Finance and the Knowledge Performance and Insight Co-ordinator to the meeting.


The Leader of the Council introduced the report and reported that COVID-19 had had, and was expected to continue to have, an impact.  Updated forecasts had been prepared which modelled the impact on the Council’s finances.  It was currently anticipated that income levels would be 10% lower, although at this point the Leader reminded members that no one could know the full impact.


The Committee sought and received clarification in the following areas:


1.     The strategy for Solway and whether an adjustment in this was required.  The Leader reported that it was capital which would be allocated to Solway and that he considered that the strategy behind Solway would continue to be relevant in the current situation.

2.     The impact on the town centre strategy, including property /business values, and the interaction with the Future High Street Fund business case.  The Leader reported that COVID-19 would be likely to impact on the town centre and advice was being taken.

3.     The progress being made on the Customer Portal.  The Executive Director, Organisation reported that two priority processes had now moved into full testing mode, and that by the Q1 Report there would be likely to be more progress to report.

4.     The progress on regeneration work at Tinkers Green and Kerria.  The Leader agreed to update members by email as to the current position.

5.     The reasons for the underspend of the budget for the Joint Waste Arrangements.  The Leader noted that over successive years there had been an underspend and agreed that this was an area where further advice would be sought.

6.     The Leader confirmed that the unbudgeted government grant referred to was a COVID-19 related grant.

7.     Following a question, the Knowledge, Performance and Insight Co-ordinator agreed to review the figures set out in the Universal Credit summary to ensure that all historic figures were accurately represented in the graphs.

8.     The Leader was asked about the updated forecast for the General Fund which identified on the central case scenario an impact of £2.5m,  which the report indicated would require savings of around £2m per annum savings over the next five years, starting immediatley.  The Leader confirmed that the council was waiting for the Government’s decision on Fairer Funding.

9.     Whether the council’s corporate debt strategy would be revisited in light of the financial impacts on residents of COVID-19.  The Leader hoped that it would be possible to continue to work within the existing strategy.

10.The impact on the council’s ICT strategy of the financial pressures and the need sometimes to look over a longer time period to see the benefits of IT investments. The Leader agreed that this often presented difficulties around IT  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.


Corporate Scrutiny Committee Work Plan pdf icon PDF 102 KB

To consider the Committee’s Work Plan


The Committee considered the Work Plan and discussed the inclusion within it of:

1.     The Capital Outturn Report on the July 2020 agenda

2.     The inclusion of Solway on the August 2020 agenda

3.     Further amendments as considered necessary by the Chair following consultation with relevant Officers.


The draft Work Plan is set out below:


 Corporate Scrutiny Work Plan

Work Plan 2020 – 2021







May 2020        

Parking Toolkit review

October 2019

TBC - June 2020

Gungate Masterplan

January 2020

15th July 2020

Capital Outturn Report

June 2020

15th July 2020

Member Training update

June 2019

15th July 2020

Member Support Working group – sub group on Member Communications


25th August 2020

Quarter 1 2020/21 Quarterly Performance Report



25th August 2020

Local Council Tax Reduction Scheme 2021 onwards - revisit

November 2019 (date change - June 2020)

TBC - 25th August 2020

The Assembly Rooms – review of project


November 2019

TBC - 25th August 2020

Solway Trading Company update

December 2019 (date added -June 2020)

8th October 2020

Review of Legal Services (post implementation)

November 2019 (date change - June 2020)

10th December 2020

Quarter 2 2020/21 Quarterly Performance Report



3rd February 2021

Quarter 3 2020/21 Quarterly Performance Report




Review of Cabinet decisions over previous 12 month period (circulate to members post June meeting for comment)

June 2020


Housing Repairs & Investment Contract Review

November 2019


Solway Trading Company Update (2x per year)

December 2019


Market tender progress Update

August 2019

Quarter 4 2020

Asset Management update

December 2019



Upcoming Corporate Scrutiny Committee Meetings

15 July 2020

25 August 2020

8 October 2020

19 November 2020

10 December 2020

3 February 2021

11 March 2021