At the Committee’s previous meeting on 19 November 2019, a number of actions were raised relating to InvestSK.
Action 1: Members asked for InvestSK to circulate the breakdown of newly created jobs in South Kesteven
Members had been advised that 97 jobs had been created within the district. The Committee clarified that it would like a breakdown of these new jobs by sector to see if any trends or gaps could be identified. A suggestion was made that specific case studies could be used as examples to promote InvestSK’s work.
Action 2: Members asked InvestSK to circulate a list setting out those officers who were on secondment from SKDC and those who worked directly for the company
This information was provided.
Action 3: Members requested a copy of the minutes from the InvestSK AGM
The minutes from the InvestSK AGM were awaiting the sign-off of the Chairman. As soon as the minutes had been signed-off, Committee members were advised that a copy would be sent to them.
Action 4: Clarification was required on the legal position as to whether an indemnity would be provided in the event of negligence
The Monitoring Officer stated that Directors and Officers liability cover for negligence was standard in the public sector. All officers acting in good faith would be covered if negligence occurred through their actions. Cover would not cover negligence where an officer was not acting in good faith or where there was criminal misconduct. The Committee was advised that the Articles of Association would be reviewed by legal services and that final instructions on the extent of this work were still awaited.
Action 5: The Chief Executive and Directors of InvestSK were asked to produce a proposal for sharing accounts with the Companies Committee
The Committee agreed that it would have been more constructive if it had set out what it expected in respect of the financial information to be provided. It was noted that a workshop had been scheduled for May 2020 at which members would determine the level of finance and governance reporting it required for each company.
Action 6: Copies of the 3-year budget projection to be circulated to committee members
The papers circulated at the previous meeting referred to a 3-year budget plan. InvestSK had not circulated a copy because there had been significant changes since that time. Members asked when they could expect to see the company’s 3-year budget. There was recognition amongst members that budgets changed over time, but it was important to see that information. Other members did not see how a budget could be produced without an agreed business plan. Reference was made to the Council’s proposed budget for 2020/21, which had recently been published as part of the papers for the Budget Overview and Scrutiny Committee. The proposals included a reduction in funding for InvestSK to £800,000. InvestSK would be required to produce a business plan around the level of funding that was being proposed.
Action 7: InvestSK to update its business plan and forward to the committee for consideration within the proceeding 6-months
This dovetailed with debate on the Committee’s work programme; a copy of the business plan for InvestSK would be presented to the Committee on 28 April 2020.