This Paper is ‘to follow’ and will be published after Members have considered the ‘Medium Term Financial Plan and Capital Strategy’ Cabinet Report that will be published on 25.10.21.
The Finance Task Group’s draft for submission to the 2nd November 2021, Cabinet Meeting; Agenda Item 10. Medium Term Financial Plan/Capital Strategy had been published for Members to comment on at this meeting before it was submitted.
The Chair clarified that the Task Group was a cross-party group of Members and that if the Commission agreed the report contents and any amendments it would be submitted to Cabinet the following day.
A Member said they thought the report was comprehensive and endorsed the comment on commercialisation although he wasn’t sure if commercialisation was the right word to use. As council budgets are very stretched and this is about improving services his view was that this should still be on the Council’s agenda and it was his view that this could be expressed in an even stronger way.
The Chair agreed and said that the Council sometimes didn’t know how much it cost to provide a service and whether what it charges residents was value for money. He said that the previous Member Working Group had looked at case studies where officers didn’t have the full information. It was also possible for the Commission to include commercial service delivery on their Work Programme if required.
The above Member suggested the Commission could offer support in looking at how this can be revised and reviewed and agreed that it was about improving service delivery and not always about how much was charged or savings that could be made.
The Chair agreed and suggested the report should refer to ‘alternative service delivery’.
Further questions and points raised by Members were as follows:
The Director of Finance said that this is difficult to achieve but if the Member could point them in direction of local authorities that have done this, they could review them.
Officers said that with regards to the Capital Strategy, governance processes were being enhanced. There was a potential development pool for approved capital projects but prior to this more work will be done at an earlier mandate stage to look at potential funding streams and risks etc. The Feasibility Fund will be utilised for this so that risks such as carbon footprints are much better understood and before decisions are made by Cabinet.
The Chair said it would be useful to have an idea of what percentage of projects falls into those categories and would be good to get some additional understanding and an indicative figure.
Officers said this was an evolving piece of work and once concluded could seek to present this information going forwards.
The Chair asked the other Commission Members if, bar the amendment the wording on commercialisation, they were happy to submit the report to the Cabinet meeting? The Commission Members all agreed the contents of the report for submission.
The Chair said that Finance Officers had done an excellent job in presenting information to Members, and he wanted to convey his thanks to them.
The Vice-Chair of the Commission expressed their thanks to the Chair for drafting the report.
Resolved: that the Finance Task Group’s Report be submitted to the 2nd November Cabinet Meeting.