Reports to be considered by District Executive on 5 July 2018
Members considered the reports within the District Executive agenda for 5th July 2018 and made comments as detailed below. Responses to all comments and questions were provided at the Scrutiny Committee meeting by the Leader, relevant officer, or Portfolio Holder.
Dualling of the A303 from Sparkford to Ilchester (Agenda item 6)
· Members queried if the funding from Highways England was adequate to cover SSDC resources?
Affordable Housing Development Programme (Agenda item 7)
· Paragraph 5.5 – some members queried if Magna Housing Association are restarting their development activities whether this was likely to cause any issues in the short term.
Private Sector Housing Enforcement Policy and associated charges (Agenda item 8)
· Members noted that there had been a low response to consultation and queried whether the response rate was adequate to draw conclusions. Members queried if landlords would be made aware of the new charges.
· Page 57 Table 1 – Members queried the terminology as charges are stated per hour. What happens if it’s part of an hour - should it state ‘per hour or part thereof.’
Adoption of the South Somerset Playing Pitch Strategy 2017 – 2028 (Agenda item 9)
· Some members raised concern that the Strategy seemed to focus on the number of grass pitches rather than the availability of pitches, and noted that grass pitches were high maintenance in terms of resources.
· Chard Ward Members raised a number of concerns relating specifically to the Chard area including:
o Concern about description of ‘deliverable’ when there are external factors involved and hence SSDC may not necessarily be able to control delivery of projects.
o Concern that one club was seen as the focus for the Chard area.
· Some members raised concern about community use of school pitches and noted that negotiations were needed for wider use at some locations.
· Scrutiny queried if the number of responses to the consultation was low/average/or as expected? If low, it was queried if there was a need corporately to look at how SSDC do any consultations in the future (as this is the second report to possibility mention low response rate to consultations).
Capital Budget Outturn Report for 2017/18 (Agenda item 10)
· Members noted that it was difficult to keep track of the budget for Transformation and requested if it was possible to have a table that collated all the information together for easy reference.
· Page 197 - Scrutiny queried when the reserve schemes were routinely reviewed to see if any schemes could be removed, re-profiled or funds returned to balances.
Revenue Budget Outturn Report for 2018/18 (Agenda item 11)
· Regarding recommendation C, members sought clarity that if approved what would the new total be in the Transformation Reserve?
SSDC Annual Performance Report 2017-18 (Agenda item 12)
· Members noted that Chard Refresh should be referred to as Chard Regeneration.
SSDC Transformation Programme – Progress Report (Agenda item 13)
· Members queried how many staff in total across all 3 phases had not been offered roles and what this figure was as FTEs - as in the report to Council in April 2017 it had been suggested that we “should seek to reduce our FTE’s by 77”.
· Some members commented the report was difficult to understand as there was much ‘jargon’. They also noted paragraph 18 had a typo and ‘able’ should read ‘unable’.
· Page 238 - Members noted that the remaining communications budget seemed very low and queried if this was intentional.
District Executive Forward Plan (Agenda item 14)
· Members noted a report on the purchase of land at Ham Hill was on the Forward Plan for September and queried if this was correct given that a report was being considered this month.
CONFIDENTIAL – Exclusion of the Press and Public
In accordance with Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended), the Committee resolved that the press and public be excluded from the following items in view of the likely disclosure of exempt information as described in Paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Act, i.e. “Information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information).
Purchase of Land at Ham Hill Country Park (Confidential) (Agenda item 17)
· Members did not raise any queries and were content that all the recommendations go forward.
Notification of an Urgent Executive Decision: Battery Project – Establishing a Special Purpose Vehicle (Agenda item 18)
· No comments.