Agenda and draft minutes

REMOTE & INFORMAL, Resources and Performance Select Committee - Friday, 17 December 2021 10.00 am

Contact: Kunwar Khan, Scrutiny Officer 

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Items
No. Item

36/21

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE AND SUBSTITUTIONS

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    Purpose of the item:

     

    To receive any apologies for absence and substitutions.

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    David Lewis of Camberley attended as a substitute for Rebecca Jennings-Evans.  David Lewis of Cobham attended as a substitute for Tony Samuels.

37/21

MINUTES OF THE PREVIOUS MEETINGS: 17 SEPTEMBER 2021 pdf icon PDF 248 KB

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    Purpose of the item:

     

    To agree the minutes of the Resources and Performance Select Committee held on 17September 2021 as a true and accurate record of proceedings.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The minutes of the Resources and Performance Select Committee held on 17 September 2021 were reviewed. The minutes will be formally agreed at the 20 January 2022 Committee Meeting.

38/21

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

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    Purpose of the item:

     

    All Members present are required to declare, at this point in the meeting or as soon as possible thereafter:

     

          I.        Any disclosable pecuniary interests and/or

     

        II.        Other interests arising under the Code of Conduct in respect of any item(s) of business being considered at this meeting.

     

    NOTES:

     

    ·         Members are reminded that they must not participate in any item where they have a disclosable pecuniary interest.

     

    ·         As well as an interest of the Member, this includes any interest, of which the Member is aware, that relates to the Member’s spouse or civil partner (or any person with whom the Member is living as a spouse or civil partner).

     

    ·         Members with a significant personal interest may participate in the discussion and vote on that matter unless that interest could be reasonably regarded as prejudicial.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    None received.

39/21

QUESTIONS AND PETITIONS

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    Purpose of the item:

     

    To receive any questions or petitions.

     

    NOTES:

     

    1.    The deadline for Members’ questions is 12:00pm four working days before the meeting (13 December 2021).

     

    2.    The deadline for public questions is seven days before the meeting (10 December 2021).

     

    3.    The deadline for petitions was 14 days before the meeting, and no petitions have been received.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    None received.

40/21

2022/23 DRAFT BUDGET REPORT AND MEDIUM-TERM FINANCIAL STRATEGY TO 2026/27 pdf icon PDF 229 KB

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    Purpose of the item:

     

    Scrutiny of 2022/23 Draft Budget and Medium-Term Financial Strategy to 2026/27.

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Witnesses:

     

    Leigh Whitehouse, Deputy Chief Executive and Executive Director Resources

    Marie Snelling, Executive Director, Customers and Communities

    Anna D’Alessandro, Director, Corporate Finance and Commercial

    Rachel Wigley, Director Finance, Insights & Performance

    Nicola O’Connor, Strategic Finance Business Partner

    Mark Hak-Sanders, Strategic Finance Business Partner

     

    Officers introduced a summary of the item and outlined the key aspects of the report pointing out that all budget assumptions and work undertaken for the Medium-Term Financial Strategy (MTFS) included the Council’s priorities and community vision for 2030.

     

    Key points raised during the discussion:

     

    1.    The Chairman asked what would be the impact of the proposed budget reductions or efficiencies on residents and the Council’s service delivery? Officers said that an entire budget package was being produced with updated impact assessments to take into account any changes to service delivery. They added that where the service had identified equality implications, impact assessments would be drafted alongside these in addition to being presented to the relevant Select Committee and Cabinet as part of the future approval process.

     

    2.    The Chairman added that it was not only detail that was required but the impact of changes to services in general. It would be advantageous to assess the effect on residents in relation to efficiencies as early as possible.  Officers agreed that the considering the implications of efficiencies were an important part of the design process.

     

    3.    The Chairman asked if all Members could expect a further briefing following the finance settlement announcement.

    Officers confirmed that they would be happy to brief members further once all budget implications had been worked through.

     

    4.    The Chairman asked if the cost in terms of the National Insurance increase was known. Officers said that the total cost to Surrey County Council before any other implications was £2.5m.

     

    5.    A Member asked how items would be selected in relation to the Twin Track budget setting process given that it would be likely that their remits would cross Select Committees. Officers said that they were mindful of the need to present items to the Budget Task Group in addition to more than one Select Committee.

     

    6.    A Member asked what assumptions had been built in in terms of staffing cost and any increases. Officers said that the draft budget assumed a 2% inflationary pay rise across each year of the Medium-Term Financial Strategy but discussions were ongoing and needed to reflect any changes in the final budget.

     

    7.    A Member enquired how the recruitment of professional staff, particularly in the two social care areas could be improved? Officers said that work regarding pay and rewards had been undertaken and that a three-year programme was in consideration.  The recruitment of social care staff and those in children’s services were at the forefront of this work as these areas were reliant on agency staff currently.

     

    8.    A Member asked how would further increases to the Council Tax be presented to taxpayers already concerned about their personal finances? Officers agreed that there was a national cost of living  ...  view the full minutes text for item 40/21

41/21

PROPERTY PROGRAMME UPDATE (FACILITIES MANAGEMENT- FORWARD MAINTENANCE, SURPLUS ASSETS AND DISPOSALS WORKSTREAM) pdf icon PDF 321 KB

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    6a. FACILITIES MANAGEMENT- FORWARD MAINTENANCE

     

    6b. SURPLUS ASSETS AND DISPOSALS WORKSTREAM

     

    Purpose of the report:

     

    The purpose of the two strands of this report is to:

     

    a.    To provide insight on how Forward Maintenance Works (Life-cycle Replacement Works) are identified and prioritised (not day-to-day compliance, planned or reactive maintenance).

     

    b.    To outline the process and progress to date of the Surplus Assets and Disposals workstream as well as providing information on how the workstream generates and takes forward housing development opportunities.

     

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Witnesses:

     

    Natalie Bramhall, Cabinet Member for Property and Waste

     

    Leigh Whitehouse, Deputy Chief Executive and Executive Director, Resources

    Simon Crowther, Director, Land and Property

    Graham Glenn, Head of Acquisitions & Disposals

    Brian Boundy, Facilities Management

     

    Officers summarised the Forward Work Maintenance and Surplus Assets and Disposals Workstream papers previously. Forecast works were outlined in addition to planned work in children’s homes and adult care homes. All work undertaken supported the Greener Futures delivery plan to achieve net zero by 2030.

     

     

    Key points raised during the discussion:

     

    1.    The Chairman asked for an indication of the amount of money being considered for children's homes? Officers explained that there was a range of £2.7m and £4.3m which would consider the long-term hold of the property or the medium-term strategy.

     

    2.    The Chairman asked if there could be more focus on keeping assets in good repair. Officers explained that to manage the estate they were putting in place a risk-based maintenance regime as opposed to a reactive approach.

    Based on that risk and knowledge of our asset condition, officers plan to put together a program of works for next year and subsequent years that will meet that that need.

     

    3.    The Chairman asked if officers were satisfied they had the required resources in relation to the surplus assets disposal workstream? Officers said that they had extra colleagues joining the team in February and were reviewing some of the supply chain activities in terms of external resources. This would be brought through on the forward plan for a procurement.

     

    4.    The Vice-Chairman asked if more information was available regarding the spending on external resources secured to bridge the shortfall in capacity?

    Officers said that the external consultants, Turner and Townsend, were brought in to support specifically selected projects. They had worked with the capital development team and the relationship had been utilised to then provide additional resources where there were vacancies within the project surveying team, bolstering capacity to deliver the projects that were in the pipeline. The Vice-Chairman asked how much Turner and Townsend were paid? Officers explained that they were paid on a fee basis, at a commercially agreed rate per project and value of those projects.

     

    5.    The Chairman queried the reference to maintenance in children's homes and the excessive amount of time taken for some repairs to be completed? Officers said that temporary solution were provided but that sometimes there were delays with supply chains and the manufacturing of items that needed to be replaced.

     

     

     

     

    Recommendations:

     

    The Resources and Performance Select Committee recommends that Cabinet Member for Property and Waste ensures that appropriate maintenance and repairs to the County Council owned properties are not deferred.

42/21

CABINET MEMBER UPDATE - CABINET MEMBER FOR PROPERTY (NATALIE BRAMHALL) pdf icon PDF 145 KB

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    Purpose of the report:

     

    To update Resources and Performance Select Committee on the next year’s priorities in this portfolio.  

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Witnesses:

     

    Natalie Bramhall, Cabinet Member for Property

     

    Leigh Whitehouse, Deputy Chief Executive

    Simon Crowther, Director – Land and Property

    Brian Boundy, Facilities Management

     

    The Cabinet Member for Property and Waste summarised the Property Update Report including an overview of capital delivery followed by capital projects.

     

     

    Key points raised during the discussion:

     

    1.    The Vice-Chairman asked if the service was on track to deliver all identified projects and asked which ones were causing the most challenges? The Cabinet Member for Property said that the service was on track to deliver all items identified as priorities and added that The Priory School was likely to cause the most challenges.

     

    2.    The Vice-Chairman asked what was the total value of the disposal of any assets identified by services as surplus to requirement? The Cabinet Member for Property said that the figure from the surplus assets on the balance sheet was £35m excluding an investment opportunity that would be completing imminently.

     

    3.    A Member asked if the September 2023 delivery date for The Priory School was achievable? An officer explained that a contractor had recently been engaged under a pre-construction services agreement for the project and they provided a construction plan and timeline to deliver the project by September 2023.

     

    4.    The Chairman asked what reassurances were there that good project management was implemented in all cases to avoid costly delays? Officers said that design processes were being followed for all projects and stakeholders were signing off at the end of each stage. Design consultations were taking place with each department throughout to ensure any problems were identified in good time.

     

    5.    The Chairman wished the service luck with the ambitious projects that were to be delivered and asked if the Select Committee could have regular updates including being notified of any issues arising which could cause delays. The Chairman also requested site visits if practical to enable a genuine understanding of the projects being discussed. The Cabinet Member for Property and Waste agreed that site visits would be helpful

     

     

43/21

FORWARD WORK PROGRAMME AND RECOMMENDATION TRACKER pdf icon PDF 94 KB

44/21

DATE OF THE NEXT MEETING

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    The next meeting of the Resources and Performance Select Committee will be held on 20 January at 10:00am.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The next meeting will be held on 20 January 2022 at 10am