Reports to be considered by District Executive on 9 January 2020
Members considered the reports within the District Executive agenda for 9 January 2020 and made comments as detailed below. Responses to questions were provided at Scrutiny Committee by the relevant officers, except those marked by an asterisk.
Somerset Waste Partnership Annual Report and Draft Business Plan 2019-24 (Agenda Item 6)
· Para 5.5 – members suggested that many readers may not understand who or what SUEZ was as it looked like an acronym – a short explanatory statement would be useful.
· What confidence was there that the Recycle More targets were achievable? Will there be any penalties or implications if the targets are not met?
· *Para 5.5 makes reference to some costs being shared by partners in accordance with household numbers – some members queried if an indication of the possible costs was known and had been budgeted for.
· Some members queried if there was a contingency in place should the roll out of Recycle More not go as expected.
· Page 17 – Point 1.3.2b – Given the Environment Strategy, several members felt it was important that SWP continue to investigate the possibility of alternative fuelled refuse vehicles.
District-wide Strategic Grants – Funding Arrangements with CASS and SPARK 2020-21 (Agenda Item 7)
· Members commended the work done by CASS to restructure themselves following removal of the SCC core grant.
· Some members queried if SPARK were working towards financial sustainability. If there was a need for financial support on an annual basis some members queried if a grant was the most appropriate way forward.
· Members felt there was a need to ensure there was no duplication of services provided by CASS, SPARK and SSDC. A member noted that some of the work of SPARK was similar to that provided by the Community Council for Somerset.
· Some members felt more detail of what the organisations do, their output and what they are achieving would be useful.
· Some members felt a mid-review progress report to Scrutiny would be of interest prior to agreeing any funding for the following year. Members acknowledged the suggestion made by the Director (Strategy & Support Services) that it would be beneficial for Scrutiny to review the commissioning model in the near future.
Council Tax Support Scheme 2020/21 (Agenda Item 8)
· Scrutiny endorsed the recommendations in the report of the Scrutiny Task and Finish Group (attached as appendix 1 to the District Executive report).
2020/21 Draft Budget and Medium Term Financial Plan Update (Agenda Item 9)
· Members raised no comments and were content that the recommendations go forward.
Policy for Awarding Private Sector Housing Grants / Loans and Other Financial Assistance (Agenda Item 10)
· *A member questioned if under Loan Policy 2: Loans for landlords point 7 should be will or intends to charge rent up to and no more than £50.00 above the Local Housing Allowance rate?
· *A member sought clarification if this could be used to help with private water supply issues.
Commercial Assets Update Report (Agenda Item 11)
· Graph at para 15 – some members noted that it would have been useful to have had the projections also included in the graph.
· Para 20 – portfolio graph – some members expressed concern at the percentage associated with retail, which is a sector currently struggling and likely to continue.
· A member asked if there was any chance under the Commercial Strategy that we would be able to provide low rent housing in South Somerset.
· Members asked for an update regarding the SSDC Opium Power Ltd final cable run.
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).
Commercial Assets Update Report (Agenda Item 11) – Confidential Appendix
· Members asked several points of detail and members acknowledged the answers provided by the Commercial Property, Land and Development Manager.
· Regarding a particular project – it was noted that some aspects had a life span, and it was suggested that profiling information (in a similar format to the other investments) would be useful.
· Regarding the graph in para 6 (of the confidential appendix) – some members felt the information would be easier to interpret if presented as a histogram.
District Executive Forward Plan (Agenda Item 12)
· No comments.