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No. Item


Apologies for Absence


Apologies for absence were received from Councillor T Jay and Councillor M Oates.


Minutes of a Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 247 KB


The minutes of the meeting held on 18th January 2021 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


There was no update.


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


There were none to be considered at this meeting.


2020/21 Forward Plan

Discussion item – Link to the Forward Plan:



There were no new items identified from the Forward plan for this Committee’s consideration.


Quarter Three 2020/21 Performance Report pdf icon PDF 119 KB

(Report of the Leader of the Council)

Additional documents:


The Chair welcomed the Executive Director, Finance and the Knowledge, Performance and Insight Coordinator to the meeting for this item which was for the Committee to receive a performance update and financial health check for Quarter 3, prior to the Report of the Leader of the Council being presented to Cabinet at its meeting on 18th February 2021.


Councillor D Cook joined the meeting at 6.15pm.


The Committee sought clarifications in the following areas:

·       Discretionary Housing Benefits – in particular, why the council believed lower levels of claims had been received in Q3 whilst the amounts claimed were higher, and what the effect had been of the Local Housing Allowance on Discretionary Housing Payments. The Executive Directive Finance agreed to provide further detail to the Committee on why the levels were lower and on any effect of the Local Housing Allowance.

·       In terms of the Financial Healthcheck section, questions were raised over the presentation of budget lines by Executive Director and Assistant Director areas.

·       Collection rates and the council’s confidence in these levels and how that is reflected in the MTFS.  The Executive Director, Finance reported that the collection fund had been closely reviewed during January 2021 and all relevant preceptors updated.  It was further reported that an updated version from that provided at the Joint Scrutiny (Budgets) meeting, would be reflected in the Budget report to be considered by full Council on 23 February 2021.  It was expected that the council tax collection fund, on an estimated basis, would declare a surplus for the next financial year, as government rules allowed deficits to be spread over three years.  In terms of business rates collection fund, this was significantly reduced, however, there was significant grant income which partly offset the deficit.

·       The reasons for the burial rates being lower this year, which was understood to be as a result of choice.

·       Clarification over some descriptors used in the report such as “small” for the housing hardship fund.  The Executive Director reported that this was £20,000.

·       Strategies to manage the risks ahead with the potential for the furlough scheme and government grants to be withdrawn and the impacts this could have on the council and local residents. The Leader of the Council responded that these risks were being monitored and that the council provided support to help residents manage debt.  He agreed to provide further details to members as to the specific forms of support available. 

·       How the core spending power information captured council income streams.  The Leader of the Council agreed to circulate the Government produced data to members.

·       In terms of Treasury Management clarification was sought of the interest rate applied to the historic borrowings which were from the Treasury Public Management Loans Board at 4.05% interest, and whether it would be possible for other capital available to the council (potentially form the General Fund) to be utilised. The Executive Director, Finance responded that whilst possible, there would be a premium to be paid in the event  ...  view the full minutes text for item 65.


Corporate Scrutiny Committee Work Plan pdf icon PDF 103 KB

To consider the Committee’s Work Plan


The Committee Work Plan was updated as follows:


Corporate Scrutiny Work Plan

Work Plan 2020 – 2021







11th March 2021

Update on Potential Legal Actions


October 2020

11th March 2021

Solway trading company update



11th March 2021

Review of Legal Services (post implementation)

November 2019


March / June 2021

Review of Cabinet decisions over previous 12 month period


December 2020

Quarter 4 2020/21

Asset Management update


December 2019

June 2021 (tbc)

Review of Write Offs (full update)


July 2020

Dates to be agreed


Update on corporate prioritisation


August 2020


Market tender progress Update

August 2019


Parking Toolkit review

October 2019


Housing Repairs & Investment Contract Review

November 2019


Solway Trading Company Update (2x per year)

December 2019


Gungate Masterplan

January 2020


Customer Portal - post implementation review

November 2020




Upcoming Corporate Scrutiny Committee Meetings

11 March 2021