Agenda and minutes

Finance Sub Committee - Tuesday, 30th July, 2019 6.00 pm

Venue: 4.02 - Quadrant, The Silverlink North, Cobalt Business Park, North Tyneside, NE27 0BY. View directions

Items
No. Item

F1/19

Appointment of Substitute Members

To receive a report on the appointment of Substitute Members.

 

Minutes:

There were no substitute members

 

F2/19

Declarations of Interest and Notification of any Dispensations Granted

You are invited to declare any registerable and/or non-registerable interests in matters appearing on the agenda, and the nature of that interest.

 

You are also invited to disclose any dispensation in relation to any registerable interests that have been granted to you in respect of any matters appearing on the agenda.

 

You are also requested to complete the Declarations of Interests card available at the meeting and return it to the Democratic Services Officer before leaving the meeting.

 

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest or dispensations reported.

 

F3/19

Minutes pdf icon PDF 63 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 12 March 2019.

Minutes:

Resolved that the minutes of the meeting held on 12 March 2019 be confirmed and signed by the Chair.

 

F4/19

Welfare Reform - Financial update pdf icon PDF 82 KB

To receive an update on the three schemes that were implemented or revised as a consequence of on-going welfare reform.

 

Minutes:

The Sub-committee considered the update report on the three schemes that were implemented or revised in April 2013 as a consequence of on-gong welfare reform.

 

Also provided was an update on the Full Services Universal Credit that was implemented in North Tyneside on 2 May 2018.

 

Discretionary Housing Payment Fund – (DHP)

 

The Discretionary Housing Payment Fund provided by the Department of Work and Pensions supports people in financial need who have a shortfall in their rent and housing benefit (or Universal Credit including the housing element). 

 

There was continued work with the Citizens Advice and refer claimants for budgeting nad debt advice which was working well and customers are engaging with support offered at the onset of a claim. If issues are dealt with at any earlier stage the need for DHP support may diminish as their financial circumstances improve.

 

Working with tenancy sustainment officers, housing advice team, other housing providers and the Community and Voluntary Sector, ensures those in most need are identified quickly and helped to claim as soon as possible.

 

 

The DHP policy is reviewed on an annual basis to ensure payments were directed to those in most need.

 

In 2018/19 there was £529, 964 allocated and the whole grant was spent.

 

Of the claims received816 claimants received support (74%), with 290 claimants made an unsuccessful claim (26%).

 

In the financial year 2019/20 £449,390 had been allocated, which was around £80,000 less than we received for the financial year 2018/19.

 

The reduction of £80,000 means funding will have to be limited to shorter periods of time or less amounts paid to individuals and to date the remaining unallocated was £169,263.

 

Local Council Tax Support Scheme

 

The number of claimants to the scheme had continued to reduce and at the end of June 2019 the number of claimants to the scheme was 17,523 split between 9,481 working age and 8,042 pensionable age claimants.

 

As at end of June 2019 the amount of Council Tax Support awarded since 1 April 2019 was £14,582,442 and due to changes to support the in year collection has been more challenging, however, it was expected that the collection rate to be unaffected at 98.5%.  The Committee was assured that residents who had difficulty in paying, were supported through flexible payment arrangements and access to debt advice and budget management where required.

 

Funding for Citizens Advice continued to provide outreach sessions to ensure residents had easy access to advice on debt and benefit entitlements.

 

Local Welfare Provision

 

For the period 1st April 2019 to 30th June 2019, there were 439 applications for Local Welfare Support, with all applications received a full screening.

 

There had been 214 crisis applications eligible for further practical support (49%). This included applicants receiving food, utility support, baby items or baby food, essential household items, or clothing.

 

Spend for the period in respect of immediate practical support amounted to £2,311, this was in addition to the annual grant to the Food Bank of £26,500. 

 

Universal Credit

 

There  ...  view the full minutes text for item F4/19

F5/19

2018/19 Provisional Finance Outturn Report pdf icon PDF 29 KB

To examine the Councils Provisional Outturn report for the General Fund, Schools Finance, Housing Revenue Account, the financial and delivery aspects of the Investment Plan and the delivery of the Treasury Management Strategy for the financial year 2018/19.

 

(This report was considered by the Cabinet at its meeting on 28 May 2019)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Head of Resources presented the 2018/19 Provisional Finance Outturn report that had considered by Cabinet on 28 May 2019. It was stated that this was the first scheduled meeting for the report to be received and the next item on the agenda would provide members greater insight to the current financial position of the authority.

 

AGREED that 2018/19 Provisional Finance Outturn Report be noted

 

F6/19

2018/19 Financial Management Report to 31 May 2019 pdf icon PDF 18 KB

To receive budget monitoring report for the current financial year which reflects the forecast financial position as at 31 May 2019.

 

(This report will be considered by the Cabinet at its meeting on 29 July 2019)

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Head of Resources presented the 2018/19 Provisional Financial Management Report to 31 May 2019 that had considered by Cabinet on 29 July 2019.

 

The report was the first monitoring report for 2019/20 and the initial forecast was that a £5.263m projected overspend. It was brought to the Committee’s attention that there were still aspects of the £10.533m 2019/20 savings programme still to be met and as a result £2.8m is included within the £5.263m overall pressure.

 

The report covers:

 

·         The forecast outturn of the Authority’s General Fund and HRA revenue budget including management mitigations where issues have been identified;

·         The delivery of 2019/20approved budget savings plans; and

·         An update on the Capital Investment Plan, includingdetails of variations and reprogramming, thatis recommended forapproval.

 

A member raised concern to schools that had continued to see their balances reducing and would face continued financial challenges and asked what measures were in place to support schools that were or forecast to be in deficit.

 

It was stated that approved changes to the Scheme for financing Schools had been made that would improve financial governance for 2019/20. Under the scheme schools would be required to return to financial balance within a maximum timescale of 3 years (previously 5 years).

 

School budgets were under pressure from rising costs relating to pay awards, pension contributions, apprenticeship levy and inflationary pressures on premises, equipment and materials.  This was in line with reduced pupil numbers in many of the schools. Work was underway to analyse school pupil projection against birth rate and to where parents school preference.

 

A member asked to the position of Norham High School and its continued deficit position. It was stated that work was continuing to look at improvements to the school performance following Ofsted inspection.

 

A member asked about the position with Monkseaton High following its flooding issue. It was stated that with regards to the flooding issue an insurance claim has been submitted.

 

A member asked with regards to Commissioning and Asset Management forecasts to if there was a formalised rate charge for services staff that were engaged externally. It was stated that work was underway to have a standardised charges and that further information would be provided.

 

It was raised in relation to Right to Buy trends that there was a marked difference between the sales assumed by self-financing and those actual RTB sales. It was stated that further information on Right to Buy would be provided.

 

AGREED that 2019/20 Financial Management Report to 31 May 2019 be noted.

 

F7/19

Exclusion Resolution

The Sub-Committee is requested to pass the following resolution:

 

Resolved that under Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended) and having applied a public interest test as defined in Part 2 of Schedule 12A of the Act, the press and public be excluded from the meeting for the following items of business on the grounds that they involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Act.

Minutes:

Resolved that under Section 100A (4) of the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended)

and having applied a public interest test as defined in Part 3 of Schedule 12A of the Act,

the press and public be excluded from the meeting for the following items of business on the grounds that they involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Act.

 

F8/19

Business and Technical Partnerships Risks

To consider the attached report which details the risks rated as red contained within the Strategic and Operational Risk Registers of the Business and Technical Partnerships with ENGIE and Capita.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Sub-committee considered the report that set out the latest monitoring update on risks which were rated high within the Strategic and Operational Risk Registers of the Business and Technical Partnerships with Engie and Capita.

 

Members were informed of a number of direction of travel of identified risks, with associated reason and agreed actions.

 

AGREED that Business and Technical Partnership Risks report noted