One Member expressed disappointment over the late arrival of the action notes of the meeting held on 30 June 2020, which were issued as a supplementary report two business days prior to the meeting. A Member indicated that they had been assured that action notes from the meeting held on 13 June 2020 would arrive in ‘good time’. The Vice-Chairman explained that he had received the action notes for verification but had been on holiday at the time of receipt. He processed these on his return from holiday which accounted for the delay to other Members.
Reference was made to section 74 of the action notes of the previous meeting, which related to the Outturn Report 2019/20. One Member suggested the paragraph “The committee questioned if there was a simplified way of presenting this information to laypeople and members of the public which could be more helpful going forward” should have been an action point to see whether this was feasible. The Chairman, in response to the Member, informed the Committee that he had raised his comment as an example of one way the accounts could be made more accessible. The Chair was satisfied that this did not need to be recorded as an action point, with which the Member expressed satisfaction. The Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources confirmed that the request was being undertaken.
A Member suggested that a further comment, which had been made at the previous meeting, should also be captured as an action point: “more could be achieved from financial reports if they also contained lessons learned for the future”. It was reported by the Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources that this suggestion would be reflected within the report on the amended budget, which would be presented to the Joint Budget Overview and Scrutiny Committee in August. The report would include lessons learned regarding savings.
Reference was made to discussions during the last meeting of the Committee where a lack of pre-decision scrutiny on the Future High Streets Fund was raised as a matter of concern. The Member did not feel the action notes [bottom of page 13 of the action notes of the previous meeting] reflected the conclusions of the Committee, which was that the view of the Committee was generally positive, other than the fact that it had not been consulted earlier and concerns over the governance of the Town Team. As these areas were not reflected in the recommendation, there was concern they had not been brought to the attention of the Cabinet, particularly as the timing of the meeting meant that the Committee’s recommendation was not captured in the report to Cabinet.
Action notes to be amended from “Governance arrangements for the Town Team to be shared when available” to “Governance arrangements to the Town Team to be reported back to this Committee”
A Member questioned the phrasing on page 6 of the action notes from the previous meeting, which referred to the 2019/20 budget as ‘ambitious’. He stated that it had been acknowledged in February 2020 it was ‘not realistic’ and should be referred to as such.
A point was raised by a Member concerning the Disabled Facilities Grants recorded on page 8 of the action notes. His request for year-on-year figures for disabled facilities grants had not been captured as an action note.
A written breakdown of yearly application dates with completion dates for Disabled Facilities Grants to be supplied to the Committee.
The Chairman referred the Committee to the bottom of page 11 of the action notes regarding the publication of performance dashboards on the Council’s website.
The Committee to be provided with a timetable setting out the date by which performance reports would be published on the Council’s website.