Welcome, Introductions and Safety Information PDF 98 KB
The Chair welcomed all
attendees to the meeting, and made a safety announcement in
relation to the fire/emergency evacuation procedure.
Apologies for Absence
Apologies were received from Cllrs Steve Pearce and
Declarations of Interest
To note any declarations of
interest from the Councillors. They are
asked to indicate the relevant agenda item, the nature of the
interest and in particular whether it is a disclosable
Any declarations of interest
made at the meeting which is not on the register of interests
should be notified to the Monitoring Officer for
There were no declarations of
Minutes of the Previous Meeting and Action Sheet PDF 361 KB
the minutes of the last meeting as a correct
Due to a
technical issue with Mod.Gov and the previous meeting minutes the
Chair agreed that the minutes of the previous meeting would be
taken at the next meeting.
agreed the actions that were marked as complete will be removed and
any outstanding actions would be followed up.
Scrutiny Work Programme PDF 428 KB
To note the work programme.
The work programme was noted.
To note any announcements from
Chair asked the Executive
Director of Resources if he would as agreed briefly explain how the
Resources Directorate had altered particularly now that the
Communities Directorate no longer existed. Using the Senior
Leadership Structure diagram on the Source intranet Mike Jackson
explained using the current structure diagram which can be found
Up to 30 minutes is allowed for
Any member of the public or Councillor may
participate in Public Forum. The
detailed arrangements for so doing are set out in the Public Information Sheet at the back of this
agenda. Public Forum items should be
emailed to email@example.com and please note
that the following deadlines will apply in relation to this
Questions - Written
questions must be received 3 clear working days prior to the
meeting. For this meeting, this means
that your question(s) must be received in this office at the latest
by 5 pm on Friday 30th November
Petitions and Statements
- Petitions and statements must be received on the working day
prior to the meeting. For this meeting
this means that your submission must be received in this office at
the latest by 12.00 noon on Wednesday 5th
forum statements were received from following in relation to Item 9
– Global Parliament of Mayors Report:
- PFS 1. James Gore, Head
of Government & Stakeholder Relations: Bristol
- PFS 2. Jonathan Bower,
Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP
- PFS 3. Dr Erik
Lithander, Pro Vice-Chancellor &
Vice-President, The University of Bristol
- PFS 4. James
Durie, Chief Executive - Bristol
Chamber & West of England Initiative
A New Commercialisation Strategy for Bristol City Council PDF 219 KB
Plus a verbal Commercialisation &
Innovation Working Group up-date from Members
The Director of Commercialisation took the Members
through the published report and explained how progress had been made on the development,
implementation and evaluation of the council’s New
Commercialisation Strategy and
Programme. Some of the main discussion
points were as follows:
- A lot of work has been
undertaken across the council via a commercialisation training
programme to ensure staff have the
necessary skills to deliver the strategy and also to feed into the
- It was explained that
the recommendations at the end of the report are the ‘next
steps’ in the process. Members
were asked if they agreed with the recommendations.
- A Member said that in
his view the recent summit was very good and there was broad
cross-party agreement. He did however
comment that it felt as if “we had been here before”
but that everything was now in place and he was convinced things
will actually move on this time.
- A Member asked if the
recommendation of ‘fully explore the potential
to expand services at Exmouth Camp’ could be expanded
upon. Officers said that the Council
leases it from the National Trust. The
lease terminates in 2020 but all possibilities of increasing the
use in the meantime were being explored.
- It was asked if the
training that had been discussed would be available to Members as
well. Yes it was said, it would be
offered to Resources Scrutiny Commission Members as well as
Cllr’s Negus and Gollop.
- A Member stated that he
appreciated that much of the move towards the Council being
completely self-sufficient stemmed from central Government and
asked if it was excessively challenging and high risk, using
Bristol Energy as an example. The
response was that either way BCC is keen to be
more efficient and business-like and it needs to start
optimising the opportunities that are available to it.
- It was questioned why
there wasn’t any mention of the Bottle Yard Studios in the
report. Officers agreed to look at why this hadn’t already
been included in the information.
The Chair commented that he thought this was a good
report and thanked officers for their time.
Global Parliament of Mayors Report PDF 191 KB
was introduced to Members and
they were shown a short video
which had been produced from the event that took place on the
21st – 23rd October 2018 in
Bristol. The following key points were
highlighted to Members:
- Bristol hosted 67
mayors from 36 countries, along with representatives from 12
- The summit and fringe
events directly included over 2,500 local citizens in various
community engagement programme and activities.
- The event grew as it
developed and feedback received has been very positive.
- A list of event
outcomes are contained with the report
asked a number of questions and made the following
- Members thought the
amount of corporate sponsorship secured and the way it had been
approached was impressive.
- The number of Mayors
who attended localised events was also thought to be very good and
the collaborative and community approach that was adopted was
- Some members expressed
disappointment that elected members had not been able to
thanked officers for their time.
Brexit Scenario Assessment PDF 193 KB
of Policy & Strategy introduced the report for the
Members. Some of the officers who had
helped prepare the report were also in attendance to respond to
City Council is taking steps to ensure that it is prepared for
Brexit. This report considers
implications for the council of a ‘No Deal Brexit’ and
some of the wider organisational consequences of the UK’s
withdrawal from the EU. Threats and opportunities are considered
against seven work-streams.
explained that the report is not what officers think will happen
but is a scenario assessment to help plan and scale back action and
provide guidance for the Council, not the City as a
whole. There will also be a wider plan
coming from the Bristol Brexit Group in due course.
following points were discussed:
- Members asked about the
risk rating of the pressures on the workforce and supply chain in
the social care sector and the likelihood of it leading to
disruption given that there is already an 11% vacancy
rate. Officers said that this had been
assessed through the risk matrix but that it may need to be scored
again as it was possible that the assessment had been slightly
- A Member asked about
the levels of EU trade is coming in through our water ports and if
this would be affected. Officers said they were due to meet with
the Port Company fairly soon where issues such as potential
business disruption will be discussed
- It was asked if this
assessment was really rather late and what the potential for any
civil unrest was. Officers said that it
was a fair point and it is later than they would have liked be
flagging up uncertainty. But that
considerable planning has been going on. In fact whilst compiling this report it had been
understood just how much was actually going on. It was said that the Risk Register the Commission
had taken in a previous meeting had suggested a medium level risk
when it should probably have been scored higher.
- It was asked whether or
not any proper guidance had been received from central
Government. It was said that to date
very little planning advice had been received.
- Members were keen to
understand as much as they could about the potential for civil
unrest. Officers said that they were
doing risk assessments on this which will be included in the next
iteration of this report.
- A Member highlighted
the potential for increased levels of homelessness as an issue that
need to be taken into account. Officers
agreed and said they would take this point back.
- It was suggested that
the Council should be scenario planning on two levels 1) for the
actual date and what will happen at that point for example customs
at the ports if things go wrong and model resilience for this 2)
and longer-term if for example the pounds value reduces further and
workers decide to leave the UK.
- One Member said that
view the full minutes text for item 112.
Council Tax Base Report PDF 156 KB
introduced the report to Members and it was stated that estimates
for 2019/20 suggest the number of new chargeable dwellings added to
the valuation list will be exceeded by the number of student
exemptions awarded resulting in reduced growth of 0.95% in the tax
base. This equates to a loss in council tax revenue of
£1.6m. This directly impacts on
the resources available to fund the Council’s revenue budget
due to be considered by Full Council on
19 February 2019. It was stated that
there is growth but that the figures are overtaken by the numbers
following points were raised by Members:
said that some Bath University students now live as far away in
Hartcliffe as the rents are cheaper. It
was suggested that local authorities that have high numbers of
students should somehow be compensated for this. Officers said that there isn’t currently a
central lobby group on this issue. They
have previously talked to other core cities on this subject and
raise this again. It was also stated
that the economic ‘gross value added’ (GVA) from
students was not simplistic and needed to be taken into
were concerned about this issue and were surprised that there
wasn’t currently any lobbying taking place on
this. It was asked if the universities
were aware of these figures. It was
said that the subject is frequently raised with them and had been
again that week. It had been strongly
suggested that there is a need for more bespoke student
accommodation in the city.
confirmed that that legislation is now in place that means that
empty properties are no longer exempt from paying council
said that the council needed to understand exactly what the costs
were i.e. the pros and cons of high numbers of students in the
said that with ‘block grants’ and formulas the
financial situation was very complex.
It was thought that Core Cities had begun to look into this issue
and they would make further enquires.
Members agreed and said that there was a need for reasonable
estimates so that the Council knew what it’s argument was and where to
suggested that the council should look at all options including a
tourist tax as BANES currently is.
also suggested that investing in more property for key workers in
the city would be beneficial in a number of ways including the
collection of council tax. There was a
possibility that scrutiny could look into these issues further via
task and finish group.
Collection Fund (Surplus/Deficit) Report PDF 154 KB
report had been presented to Cabinet on the 4th December and was to
recommend the estimated Collection Fund surplus / deficit as at
31st March 2019 for determination by Full Council.
report stated that an estimated surplus at 31 March 2019 on the
Council Tax element of the Collection Fund of £2.1m be declared for 2018/19 and shared between
this Council, the Police and Crime Commissioner for Avon and
Somerset and the Avon Fire and Rescue Service in proportion to
their 2018/19 precepts on the Collection Fund.
following points were discussed:
highlighted that if they are let for less than 150 days per year,
Airbnb’s do not pay business rates. Bristol currently has 490 Airbnb’s which is
one of the largest figures outside of London. Members wanted to know if this situation was being
monitored. Yes it was said they are
being monitored, they can all be identified via their
websites. It was however said that the
council benefits from the council tax that is collected and they
would likely be in receipt of business rate relief in any
discussion then followed on the use of bailiffs and whether they
were the best approach to recovering debt. Officers said that they were only used when
necessary and that there had been a year on year decrease in their
use. A different approach was being
piloted where officers are trying to contact people where possible,
rather than using bailiffs. It was said
that as enforcement is reduced the costs to BCC are reduced and
there are fewer court costs involved too.
Chair asked a member if he would like to ‘take a lead’
on this issue and provide an up-date in future, to which he agreed
as long as it was okay with the Cabinet Member. ACTION: An up-date about the use
of bailiffs in debt recovery to be brought to a future
Chair thanked officers for their time.
Resources Performance Report Quarter 2 PDF 269 KB
The report was introduced by the Head of Insight,
Performance and Intelligence.
had as previously requested, provided an overall summary at the
beginning of the report.
Members were taken through the
significant points in the report and the following performance
indicators were discussed:
- Legal Services agency spend as % of total
salary bill: below target. As there weren’t any notes in the
comments column the Chair said he would consider asking a Member of
Legal Services to attend a future meeting.
- Number of working days lost due to
sickness absence (Resources): below target.
Members thanked officers for
the report and their time.
Task and Finish Group Up-dates (verbal)
The Chair of the Scrutiny
Budget Task and Finish Group (T&F Group) up-dated the
Commission Members on what the group had been looking at with
officers. To-date they had held five
meetings. The expected information on
the Local Government Finance Settlement from Central Government
hadn’t been received. There would
be an informal OSMB and T&F Group meeting on the
14th December to finalise the arrangements for the Resources
Scrutiny Commission - budget scrutiny meetings in
January. The potential subjects for
those meetings are Dedicated School Grants, Adult Social Care 18-64
years, Adult Social Care 64+. A report
from these meetings will go to OSMB on the 17th January
for consideration and then be submitted as a ‘Report from
Scrutiny’ to Cabinet on 22nd January,
2019. The T&F Group will
likely meet once more in February so look at any budget pressures
that might be in the P8 Finance
Other Members agreed that
this was a good plan.
As Chair of the Social Value and Procurement Task
and Finish Group provided a brief verbal up-date on the
group’s progress. The Group were
looking at a new more objective way of measuring social value in
procurement as well as the current policy to ensure is still fit
for purpose. Any recommended changes
will need to be approved at Cabinet in January.
Resources Period 6 Finance Information PDF 157 KB
Due to time constraints the
Commission did not discuss this report in any detail.
ICT Systems and Strategy - Not for publication
s.100A(4) of the Local Government Act
1972, the public be excluded from the meeting for the following
item of business on the grounds that it involves the likely
disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraph 3 of Part
1 of schedule 12A of the
This item is not
for publication and will be forwarded to Members
At this point during the
meeting members of the public and press were asked to leave the
room for this agenda item on the grounds that it involves the
likely disclosure of confidential and/or sensitive
were raised about the casework management system - generic email
account. Members said case numbers would help track things and
chase people up. It was suggested that this might be
something that could be brought to a future Resources Scrutiny
meeting. Officers agreed to highlight the issue, but this was
outside of the FSA Programme to deliver.ACTION:
to raise the issue with colleagues.
confirmed that the independent third-party board member was in the
process of being recruited. Members requested they be invited to
attend the next scrutiny meeting.
ACTION: Officers to find out if it will be
said they were keen to understand more about the risks of
the programme and were informed
that as part of the corporate risk register a complete assessment
of the risks were being carried out.
finished by saying that things were in a better position than they
were but they were not quite where they would like to be. It was
suggested that if it’s an exempt item the ICT item could be
moved to the beginning of the meeting agenda instead in