Agenda for Finance Cabinet Member Meeting on Monday, 21st July, 2008, 4.00pm

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Agenda, decisions and minutes

Venue: Committee Room 1, Hove Town Hall. View directions

Contact: Nara Miranda, Democratic Services Officer; Tel: (01273) 291004 (voice-mail only)  Email: nara.miranda@brighton-hove.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

14.

Procedural Business

    (a)  Declarations of Interest by all Members present of any personal interests in matters on the agenda, the nature of any interest and whether the Members regard the interest as prejudicial under the terms of the Code of Conduct.

     

    (b)  Exclusion of Press and Public - To consider whether, in view of the nature of the business to be transacted, or the nature of the proceedings, the press and public should be excluded from the meeting when any of the following items are under consideration.

     

    NOTE:  Any item appearing in Part 2 of the Agenda states in its heading the category under which the information disclosed in the report is exempt from disclosure and therefore not available to the public.

     

    A list and description of the exempt categories is available for public inspection at Brighton and Hove Town Halls.

     

    Minutes:

    14a     Declarations of Interests

     

    14a.1  There were none.

     

    14b    Exclusion of Press and Public

     

    14b.1  The Cabinet Member considered whether the press and public should be excluded from the meeting during the consideration of any items contained in the agenda, having regard to the nature of the business to be transacted and the nature of the proceedings and the likelihood as to whether, if members of the press and public were present, there would be disclosure to them of confidential or exempt information as defined in Schedule 12A, Part 5A, Section 100A(4) or 100 1 of the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended).

     

    14b.2  RESOLVED – That the press and public be not excluded from the meeting.

15.

Minutes of the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 72 KB

16.

Cabinet Member's Communications

17.

Items reserved for discussion

    (a)  Items reserved by the Cabinet Member

     

    (b)  Items reserved by the Opposition Spokesperson

     

    (c)  Items reserved by Members, with the agreement of the Cabinet Member.

     

    NOTE: Public Questions, Written Questions form Councillors, Petitions, Deputations, Letters from Councillors and Notices of Motion will be reserved automatically.

    Minutes:

    17.1       RESOLVED – That all items be reserved for discussion.

18.

Public Questions

19.

Written Questions from Councillors

20.

Petitions

21.

Deputations

22.

Letters from Councillors

23.

Notices of Motions referred from Council

24.

Matters referred for reconsideration

25.

Reports from Overview & Scrutiny Committees

26.

Income Collection & Recovery 2007/08 pdf icon PDF 163 KB

    Report of the Director of Finance & Resources (copy attached).

    Decision:

    1.     That the contents of the report be noted.

    Minutes:

    26.1       The Cabinet Member considered a report of The Director of Finance & Resources on income collection and recovery performance for 2007/08 as at quarter 4 (March 2008).  The report highlighted improvement and best practice actions.  The quarterly reports would ensure that the Cabinet Member for Finance was aware of the Council’s current performance and arrangements for continually improving income collection and recovery (for copy see minute book).

     

    26.2       The Cabinet Member stressed the strong focus on income collection and recovery and was pleased to report that the two services had achieved Charter Mark Status.  The services would help those in severe hardship but be tough on those people who don’t pay.

     

    26.3       The Opposition Spokesperson referred to paragraph 3.5 relating to BVPI 79bii Housing Benefit overpayments recovered as a percentage of the total amount of HB overpayment debt outstanding.  He asked if this related to overpayments made to council tenants only or covered all categories of housing benefit claimants.  The Assistant Director, Financial Services confirmed that it related to all categories of claimants.

     

    26.4       The Opposition Spokesperson referred to paragraph 8.5 in relation to Risk and Opportunity Management Implications.  He asked if the risk assessment was a one off exercise or carried out on a continuous basis.  The Assistant Director, Financial Services replied that it was carried out on an annual basis.  Officers reviewed all budgets across the council.   The Director of Finance & Resources confirmed that in addition to the annual review, officers could review individual budgets at any point, if there were concerns.

     

    26.5       RESOLVED – That having considered the information and the reasons set out in the report, the Cabinet Member accepted the following recommendation:

     

    (1)       That the contents of the report be noted.

27.

Treasury Management Policy Statement (incorporating the Annual Investment Strategy) 2007/08 - End of Year Review pdf icon PDF 161 KB

    Report of the Director of Finance & Resources (copy attached).

    Decision:

    1.     That the action taken during the second half year to meet the treasury management policy statement and practices (including the annual investment strategy) be endorsed.

     

    2.     That it be noted that the authorised limit and operational boundary set by the Council have not been exceeded.

    Minutes:

    27.1       The Cabinet Member considered a report of The Director of Finance & Resources concerning the action taken during the second half of the financial year 2007/2008 on the Treasury Management Policy Statement, including the investment strategy.  The action for the first half year was reported to the Financial Management Sub-Committee on 23 November 2007 (for copy see minute book).

     

    27.2       RESOLVED – That having considered the information and the reasons set out in the report, the Cabinet Member accepted the following recommendations:

     

    (1)       That the action taken during the second half year to meet the treasury management policy statement and practices (including the annual investment strategy) be endorsed.

     

    (2)       That it be noted that the authorised limit and operational boundary set by the Council have not been exceeded.

28.

Annual Value for Money and Efficiency Report pdf icon PDF 112 KB

    Report of the Director of Finance & Resources (copy attached).

    Additional documents:

    Decision:

    1.     That the achievement against the 2007/08 efficiency target reported in the “backward look” Annual Efficiency Statement submission be noted.

     

    2.     That the actions taken in 2007/08 to improve the council’s use of its resources be noted.

     

    3.     That the actions planned for 2008/09 to improve the council’s use of its resources be agreed.

    Minutes:

    28.1       The Cabinet Member considered a report of the Director of Finance & Resources which provided an update on the council’s value for money programme and performance against government efficiency targets as reported in Annual Efficiency statements submitted to central government.  The report also provided a framework for action planning to improve the council’s use of its resources and reported on its delivery against those plans (for copy see minute book).

     

    28.2       The Opposition Spokesperson referred to paragraph 3.5.  He asked if there was scope in working with other local authorities to bulk buy.  The Director of Finance and Resources replied that there were opportunities to buy goods and services through the Sussex Consortium and a national framework. The council were increasingly involved in joint procurement work.

     

    28.3       The Opposition Spokesperson referred to paragraph 5.6 in relation to the Transformation Fund. He asked if this was used by Price Waterhouse Coopers. The Assistant Director Financial Services replied that the Transformation Fund did not fund Price Waterhouse Coopers.  The fund built capacity.  Outside expertise might be brought in or it might simply be used to bring in extra officer capacity, including temporary staff.  The Director of Finance and Resources explained that the fund was used for pump priming projects each year.  One example was providing additional capacity for improving corporate debt collecting.

     

    28.4       RESOLVED – That having considered the information and the reasons set out in the report, the Cabinet Member accepted the following recommendations:

     

    (1)       That the achievement against the 2007/08 efficiency target reported in the “backward look” Annual Efficiency Statement submission be noted.

     

    (2)       That the actions taken in 2007/08 to improve the council’s use of its resources be noted.

     

    (3)       That the actions planned for 2008/09 to improve the council’s use of its resources be agreed.

 


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