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SCRUTINY COMMITTEE (CORPORATE RESOURCES)

 

Minutes of a meeting held on 9th February, 2016.

 

Present:  Councillor M.R. Wilson (Chairman); Councillor Mrs. P. Drake (Vice-Chairman); Councillors K. Hatton, H.J.W. James, P.G. King, R.A. Penrose, G. Roberts and E. Williams.

 

 

827     APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE –

 

These were received from Councillors H.C. Hamilton and A.C. Williams.

 

 

828     MINUTES –

 

RECOMMENDED – T H A T the minutes of the meeting held on 12th January, 2016 be approved as a correct record.

 

 

829     DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST – 

 

No declarations were received.

 

 

830     TREASURY MANAGEMENT AND INVESTMENT STATEMENT 2016/17 (S151O) –

 

The Treasury Management Strategy itself covered a rolling period of three years and was intended to link in to the Medium Term Financial Planning process.  The Investment Strategy covered the next financial year and also included a number of statutory Prudential Indicators that may be used to support and record local decision-making. The proposed Treasury Management and Investment Strategy for 2016/17, was attached at Appendix 1 to the report. 

 

In regard to the proposed Strategy 2016/17, as at 31st December, 2015 the Authority had placed all of its investments with either the 'Debt Management Account Deposit Facility' (DMADF) of the Bank of England which were guaranteed by the UK Government or placed with UK Local Authorities.

 

The Authority would continue to use credit ratings from the three main rating agencies Fitch Ratings Ltd, Moody’s Investors Service and Standard & Poor’s to assess the risk of loss of investments.  The lowest available credit rating would be used to determine credit quality.  In addition, regard would be given to other available information on the credit quality of banks and building societies.

 

In terms of the interim report, the Council’s treasury management operations entered into for the period 1st April, 2015 to 31st December, 2015, were in accordance with the Council’s approved strategy on Treasury Management. 

 

The following table sets out the monies borrowed / repaid during the period.

 

Loan Type

Opening   Balance

Received

Repaid

Closing   Balance

 

01/04/2015

 

 

31/12/2015

 

£’000

£’000

£’000

£’000

PWLB

90,266

   63,156       

   (812)

     152,610

Other   Long Term Loans

  6,002

           0

         (2)

        6,000

Temporary   Loans

    100

760

(760)

          100

Total

     96,368

    63,916      

     (1,574)

     158,710

 

Loans borrowed from their Public Works Loan Board (PWLB) were intended to assist Local Authorities in meeting their longer term borrowing requirements.  The above loans were all at fixed rates of interest.  The rate paid on each loan was largely dependent upon the original duration of the loan and date taken out.

 

Other long term loans represented those non-PWLB loans that are repayable at least one year or more from the date they were advanced.  The bulk of this debt was represented by two market loans of £2,000,000 and £4,000,000. The balance of this debt was local bonds which expired during the period.

 

Temporary loans represent those loans that were borrowed for a period of less than one year, borrowed on notice.

 

The Council’s investments for the period to 31st December, 2015 were set out below:

 

Borrowing Institution

Opening   Balance

Invested

Returned

Closing   Balance

 

01/04/2015

£’000

£’000

31/12/2015

Local   Authorities

    30,000

74,000

    (54,000)

      50,000

Debt   Management Account Deposit Facility

   51,125

1,155,130

(1,166,005)

      40,250

Totals

         81,125

 1,229,130

(1,220,005)

       90,250

 

Interest, at an average rate of 0.33% and amounting to £201,399 had been received from maturing investments for the first nine months of 2015/2016.

 

General discussion ensued regarding the Council’s intended Borrowing Strategy, with the Chairman noting that the interest rates contained within the Statement were high in comparison to interest rates that you would normally find and available from high street banks.  He also indicated that the saver rates were also low compared to those that could be obtained from high street banks.  In response, the Principal Accountant indicated that the priority of the Council internally was to use cash investments to limit the Council’s borrowing and also to minimise risk.  In addition, she also alluded to debt rescheduling / repayment and to advice from advisors on the same which indicated that any savings made from early repayment would be small taking account of premiums that would likely to be charged for an early repayment. 

 

A Member of the Committee enquired if any advice had been obtained from CIPFA or the Council’s external advisors in relation to limiting interest rates on borrowing and maximising income on interest saving rates.  In response, the Principal Accountant acknowledged the point regarding low interest rates available to the Council and with this in mind, officers would continue to discuss the issue with treasury advisors.  In addition, the Section 151 Officer made reference to those Local Authorities who had rescheduled borrowing to reduce budgetary pressures, the consequence of such were likely to have short term benefits but with long term costs.  She also referred to the Wales Audit Office’s view that Local Authorities should resist rescheduling loan repayments given the wider context around the Future Generations Bill and placing debt onto later generations. 

 

Another Member referred to the Council’s new Bankers and enquired if they were performing to the Council’s expectations.  In response, the Section 151 Officer indicated that the new Bankers’ performance was being monitored and some issues had been identified with meetings being held regularly to address specific areas of concern. 

 

RECOMMENDED –

 

(1)       T H A T the Treasury Management interim report for the period 1st April to 31st December, 2015 be endorsed.

 

(2)       T H A T the proposed 2016/17 Treasury Management and Investment Strategy including the below draft resolutions to be considered by Council on 2nd March, 2016 be endorsed:

 

  • The Authorised Limit for External Debt be set at £229,000,000 for 2015/16, £249,000,000 for 2016/17, £254,000,000 for 2017/18 and £256,000,000 for 2018/19.
  • The Operational Boundary for External Debt be set at £210,000,000 for 2015/16, £229,000,000 for 2016/17, £227,000,000 for 2017/18 and £227,000,000 for 2018/19.
  • The Section 151 Officer be given delegated authority within the total Authorised Limit and Operational Boundary as estimated for individual years to effect movement between the separately agreed limits for borrowing and other long term liabilities.
  • An upper limit is set on its fixed interest rate exposures of for 2016/17 of £220,000,000, for 2017/18 of £234,000,000 and for 2018/19 of £234,000,000 of its net outstanding principal sum on its borrowings / investments.
  • An upper limit is set on its variable interest rate exposures of £0 for 2015/16, 2016/17, 2017/18 and 2018/19 of its net outstanding principal sum on its investments.
  • An upper limit of £15,000,000 is set for total principal sums invested for over 364 days for 2015/16, 2016/17, 2017/18 and 2018/19.
  • The amount of projected borrowing that is fixed rate maturing in each period as a percentage of total projected borrowing that is fixed rate for 2016/17 be set as below:

 

 

Upper Limit

Lower Limit

Under   12 months

20%

0%

12   months and within 24 months

20%

0%

24   months and within 5 years

30%

0%

 5 years and within 10 years

40%

0%

10   years and above

100%

0%

 

  • The Prudential Indicators set out in Appendix 1 be approved.
  • The Treasury Management Policy set out in Appendix 2 be endorsed

 

Reasons for recommendations

 

(1)       To endorse the Treasury Management Interim Report.

 

(2)       In acknowledgement that the matter was to be considered by the Audit Committee and Council.

 

 

831     EMPLOYEE TURNOVER REPORT – APRIL 2015 TO SEPTEMBER 2015 (MD) –

 

The report compared the turnover figures for the period April to September 2014 and April to September 2015 to assist monitoring of turnover over both periods and to draw meaningful comparisons. 

 

The Head of Human Resources indicated that the half year turnover figures for the period April to September 2015 showed an increase (from 5.42% to 5.98%) in comparison to the figures for the same period in the previous year.  The total number of leavers increased from 293 to 315.  Corporate turnover had increased to 6.24% (April to September 2015) from 5.10% (April to September 2014).  Turnover in schools had also increased slightly to 5.75% from 5.71% for the same period, even though the actual number of leavers had decreased (163 leavers in 2014 to 160 leavers in 2015).  This was due to a reduced average headcount within schools between the two periods. 

 

Corporate voluntary turnover had increased from 3.76% to 4.43% and schools’ voluntary turnover had decreased from 4.24% to 3.74%.  Overall voluntary turnover had remained consistent between the two periods.

 

In terms of turnover by Directorate, overall levels of turnover had increased in Directorates of Social Services (from 3.57% to 6.14%) and Learning and Skills (from 4.81% to 8.58%) over the period April to September 2015.  The number of leavers in the new Environment and Housing Directorate had decreased from 5.61% to 4.55%.  The percentage of leavers in Schools and the Resources Directorate had remained approximately the same in comparison with the same period in 2014. 

 

The highest turnover rate in relation to the average headcount of the Directorate related to Learning and Skills (45 leavers from average headcount of 524.5 employees).  The lowest rate of turnover was in Environment and Housing.  This Directorate was significantly larger than other Directorates due to the recent Senior Management restructure. 

 

In terms of voluntary turnover, Resources and Social Services Directorates had both seen an increase in number of employees who had chosen to leave the Council.  Resources had seen an increase in voluntary turnover from 4.52% (April to September 2014) to 5.90% (April to September 2015) and Social Services had seen an increase from 3.24% to 5.72% for the above periods.  There had been a decrease in voluntary turnover from 4.24% (April to September 2014) to 3.74% (April to September 2015).

 

A table showing the overall turnover rate within each Directorate was set out in paragraph 15 of the report, with a further breakdown of each Directorate into Services was also set out in Appendix 1 to the report.  In addition, a table showing the voluntary turnover rate for each Directorate was also set out in paragraph 15 of the report. 

 

As for turnover by leaving reason, voluntary turnover had remained consistent with the previous year, with a total of 217 employees choosing to leave the Council (resignations, retirements and career breaks) over the period April to September 2015 and 214 employees choosing to leave the Council over the period April to September 2015.  Voluntary turnover accounted for 4.06% of all leavers from April to September 2015.  The level of voluntary turnover had increased with the number of dismissals, redundancies and end of temporary contracts all increasing over the comparative reporting period. 

 

It was also noted that the Council had a redeployment procedure which was designed to support employees who were at risk of redundancy to find suitable alternative employment opportunities in the Council.  For the period 1st April 2015 to 30th September 2015, there had been 17 redeployment trial periods.  88.2% of these trials resulted in the employees being successfully redeployed.  Two trial periods were ongoing and continued past the end of the reporting period, with it being noted that both of these trial periods were subsequently successful following the period. 

 

Set out in paragraphs 19 and 20 of the report were detailed breakdowns of the reasons for leaving and voluntary / involuntary turnover with Appendix 2 to the report identifying the reasons that made up the leaving categories. 

 

In the period April to September 2015, 19 persons (17.3% of the corporate voluntary leavers) took the opportunity to complete and return an exit questionnaire.  This was in comparison to 10 exit questionnaires being completed over the period April to September 2014. 

 

The Head of Human Resources indicated that in an effort to improve the way feedback was obtained from leavers prior to their last working day, an electronic exit questionnaire facility was implemented from September 2015.  This was cascaded to managers to be used when employees had indicated that they had chosen to leave the employment of the Council.  This option was available in addition to the leaver being offered an exit interview with either their line manager of a personnel officer and being sent a hard copy of the exit questionnaire following their departure.  Three electronic exit questionnaires were completed during September and awareness would continue to be raised of this new method to ensure that this process was useful and to offer leavers the opportunity to provide valuable feedback.  Of the exit interview responses, the main reason given for looking for alternative employment was for “personal, family or social reasons”, followed by “career development” and “working conditions”.  The main reason given for former employees accepting a new job was “better career opportunities” which linked with the outcome of the previous question.  The final question asks “What would have enticed you to stay with the Council?” and the highest response was “nothing would have enticed me to stay” followed jointly by “better career opportunities” and “more job satisfaction”. 

 

In addition to the feedback through the exit questionnaires, managers were contacted to determine the reasons employees gave them for resigning.  46% of managers responded.  When asked why leavers were looking for alternative employment, 42% of mangers responded that the main reasons employees had left was for “career development”, mirroring the feedback given from the employees in the exit questionnaires.  26% said that employees were looking for alternative employment for “personal, family or social reasons” and 16% gave the reason of “working hours”.  The main reason provided to explain why employees accepted a new job was given as “better career opportunities” (46%) and 21% said their former employees took a new job for “personal, family or social reasons”.  When asked would have enticed employees to stay, 43% responded that “nothing would have enticed them to stay” and 14% said “better career opportunities”.

 

The Head of Human Resources’ attention then turned to turnover in the wider comparison and cited the CIPD Resourcing and Talent Planning Survey (2015) suggested that the overall rate of turnover had increased across sectors from 9.8% to 13.6%.  The report also suggested that voluntary turnover was likely to decrease across all sectors.  He also referred to XpertHR benchmarking research (2015) on labour turnover rates found the average voluntary resignation turnover rate for UK employers was 15.3%.  This was an increase in comparison to the previously reported turnover rate of 10.6%.  In the public sector, the average voluntary turnover rate was 11.5%.  The total average labour turnover rate for public sector organisations was 14.1%.  The turnover rate for the Council for 2014/15 was below these comparisons with an overall turnover rate of 8.64%.

 

Information held by the Local Government Data Unit regarding the workforce profile of Local Authorities in Wales indicated for the financial year 2014/15 the average turnover across all Local Authorities in Wales at 12.9%.  The Council was amongst the lowest overall turnover rates in Wales (18th out of 22 Local Authorities that responded to the survey). 

 

General discussion ensured regarding the trend in turnover data, with Members of the Committee making a number of observations relating to the current overall performance of the Council being in the top quartile in Wales, the percentage of turnover of staff and whether this was relevant in the overall context of the corporate health of the Council, the importance of analysing the data to understand the reasons why employees were leaving the Council’s employment.

 

A Member referred to the purpose of the report and what the Council was attempting to achieve.  In particular he referred to paragraph 24 of the report which indicated that 57% of all leavers could not be “enticed” to stay.  Whilst this was not a criticism as such, he felt that this was worrying and intimated that this reflected the lack of suitable career opportunities within the Council and enquired of the Head of Human Resources what the Council was doing to make the Council more attractive to prospective employees.  In response, the Head of Human Resources acknowledged the sentiments, however he reminded the Committee that the turnover figures were low and covered a period of significant change which may have seen employees leave the employment of the Council in advance of any impact on their personal circumstances.  He also touched upon the launch of a succession planning pilot of critical posts and a strategy to mitigate risk.  He also referred to the Leadership Café initiative which had identified issues surrounding communications, training and also what staff could expect from their managers.

 

Another Member referred to the low turnover rates but also acknowledged the point that staff may very well be aware of other pressures on the Council and suspected that some staff believed that the Council was not the best place to progress their careers given the ongoing financial challenges facing local government.  In response, the Head of Human Resources referred to job security and staff engagement around the Council’s Reshaping Services initiative.  He accepted a proportion of staff may not be reassured despite the Council’s efforts. 

 

Another Member referred to the 46% response rate of managers in relation to exit questionnaires and the reason for a low response.  The Head of Human Resources indicated that to address this problem it would be necessary for managers to concentrate on engaging directly with staff in order to be able to respond to the survey.

 

Another Member of the Committee indicated that the report content was an encouraging start as to why staff left the employment of the Council and to understand why staff were leaving.  However, he suggested that the question within the exit questionnaire which was worded “Nothing would have enticed me to stay” should be amended to “reasons or matters outside the control of the Council”.  He also felt that the percentage of staff completing the exit questionnaires needed to be improved upon. 

 

A Member of the Committee enquired if the Council had any difficulties recruiting staff within any particular profession.  In response, the Head of Human Resources indicated that there were difficulties with recruiting professional staff from the following sectors: social workers, ICT and certain legal staff.  He reiterated his previous comments regarding succession planning arrangements and acknowledged that such initiatives need to be measured in two ways, firstly, whether the post was critical to the organisation and secondly, whether the post was critical to the organisation and difficult to fill.  If it was the latter, this would feature high on the Council’s Risk Register.

 

Having regard to the above, it was

 

RECOMMENDED – T H A T the update on employee turnover rates within the Council for the period 1st April 2015 to 30th September 2015 be noted.

 

Reason for recommendation

 

To monitor the impact of turnover rates on the Council’s ability to deliver corporate objectives.

 

 

832     DRAFT CORPORATE PLAN 2016-20 (MD) –

 

The draft Corporate Plan had been formally considered by the Council’s five Scrutiny Committees during January 2016, alongside the proposed new Performance Management Framework.

 

In addition to the above, external consultation had been undertaken between 9th December, 2015 and 20th January, 2016.  Vale residents and relevant stakeholders were invited to submit comments on the draft Corporate Plan either online, in writing or via the Council’s contact centre.  To ensure that residents were aware of the consultation the project was promoted online and in the local press.  In addition to this, members of the LSB citizens’ panel were also invited to respond.  Information about the consultation was also circulated to all voluntary organisations operating within the Vale of Glamorgan by the Glamorgan Voluntary Services. 

 

Committee was informed that amendments had been made to the Plan in light of comments received and a copy of the feedback report was attached at Appendix B to the report.  The feedback report detailed the comments made and any subsequent changes that were made to the draft Plan. 

 

The vast majority of respondents had agreed with the objectives identified in the draft Corporate Plan and a joint Corporate Plan and budget consultation exercise also demonstrated that the Council should continue to look at new ways of delivering services and work closely with local communities.  Comments were made regarding a wide range of services in terms of suggestions for priorities and improvements and this information would also be used to inform annual Service Plans.  A number of comments were received with regard to tackling poverty being the responsibility of the Welsh Government and not the Council; however, this remained a priority for the Council to contribute to this important agenda.  Overall the comments were supportive of the Plan and the priorities identified e.g. on attracting businesses, improving transport and regeneration and encouraging tourism, providing services for those who were vulnerable, improving housing and education.

 

The Committee noted that many of the activities included within the draft Plan would be delivered over a number of years.  The actions included in the Service Plans set out year on year the activities that would be undertaken to achieve these objectives and monitoring of the objectives would provide the foundation for an annual progress report on the Corporate Plan which would detail the outcomes achieved. 

 

Having regard to the above, it was

 

RECOMMENDED – T H A T the changes to the draft Corporate Plan following the consultation process be noted to allow the matter to be considered by the Cabinet on 22nd February, 2016 and Council on 2nd March, 2016.

 

Reason for recommendation

 

To ensure the Council had an effective and up to date Corporate Plan which reflected the work being undertaken across the Council to improve the quality of life in the Vale of Glamorgan.

 

 

833     REVENUE MONITORING FOR THE PERIOD 1ST APRIL TO 31ST DECEMBER 2015 (MD) –

 

The Head of Finance reported the undermentioned variances in respect of the relevant Directorates where indicated:

 

Learning and Skills

 

As reported to the previous meeting of the Committee, significant pressures continued within the Inclusion Service in relation to inter Authority recoupment.  However, it was anticipated that the Learning and Skills Directorate could outturn within budget at the year end, however, the Committee noted the following variances:

 

Schools –

  • The delegated budget relating to schools was expected to balance as any under / over spend was carried forward by schools.

School Improvement and Inclusion –

  • This service was projecting an adverse variance of £565,000 however this amount could be offset by £67,000 funded from the Excluded Pupils reserve and therefore, an adverse variance of £498,000 was currently projected at the year end. 
  • There was an adverse variance on alternative curriculum placements of £67,000 which was projected due to increased demand for the service.  However, this would be funded from the Excluded Pupils reserve.
  • There was an adverse variance of £456,000 anticipated on inter Authority recoupment income. 
  • There was an adverse variance of £136,000 projected on pupil placements in independent schools and other Authorities due to an increase in the number of pupils with significant needs hat were unable to be met at Ysgol Y Deri.
  • There was an adverse variance £17,000 due to increased numbers of pupils accessing the Pupil Referral Unit.
  • The above adverse variances would be offset by a favourable variance of £61,000 on staffing costs and other income and £50,000 on Additional Learning Needs resource units. 

Service Strategy and Regulation –

  • There was an anticipated favourable variance of £14,000 due to efficiencies within the Business Support section.

Strategy and Resources –

  • This service was now anticipating a favourable variance as at year end of £476,000.  However it was noted that this underspend would be offset by an increased rates bill for St. Cyres of £161,000. 
  • There continued to be favourable variances on the transport budget of £216,000, £35,000 on salaries due to part year vacancies, £48,000 due to payments to private nurseries as a result of a reduction in non-maintained nursery settings and other variances totalled £75,000.  However there were significant pressures in relation to the Schools Long Term Supply scheme with an adverse variance of £216,000 anticipated.
  • The Early Retirement and Voluntary Redundancy scheme was projecting an adverse variance of £200,000 as reported to the last Committee meeting.

Children and Young People’s Partnership –

  • It was anticipated that the service would outturn with a favourable variance of £8,000.  The position regarding unsupported borrowing debt repayments in relation to the School Investment Strategy remained unchanged to that previously reported to the Committee with the amount of £698,000 per annum.

Libraries –

  • This service was projecting to outturn within budget after a transfer from the Libraries reserve of £178,000.

Youth Service –

  • This service was anticipated to outturn within budget after a transfer of £3,000 from the Youth Service Reserve.

Adult Community Learning –

  • This service was anticipated to outturn within budget after a £94,000 transfer from the Adult and Community Learning reserve.

Catering –

  •  This service was anticipated to outturn within budget after a transfer of £217,000 from the Catering reserve.

Arts Development –

  • This service was anticipated to outturn within budget at the year end.

Social Services

 

The Head of Finance reported that it was anticipated that the projected outturn for 2015/16 in respect of the Directorate would be an overspend of £100,000 with Committee noting that this was an improved position from the £300,000 overspend reported to the last meeting of the Committee.  The following variances were noted:

 

Children and Young People’s Services –

  • This service was anticipated to outturn £462,000 under budget at the year end.  However, the Committee noted that the Joint Budget for Residential Placements for Looked After Children was forecasting to outturn with a £250,000 underspend at the year end.  In addition, there were potential underspends elsewhere in Children’s Services of £65,000 on staffing budgets and £135,000 on alternative means of provision and accommodation costs required for the current cohort of children.  The Business Management and Innovation Division was anticipated to underspend at the year end and part of this variance was to be apportioned to the service areas, therefore £12,000 of the underspend would be allocated to Children’s Services.

 

Adult Services –

  • This service was currently anticipated to outturn £617,000 over budget at the year end.  The overspend was due to projected overspends on Community Care Packages of £850,000.  The Committee noted that annual deferred income budget 2015/16 had been set at £739,000 and as at 31st December, 2015, income received to date was £155,000 under-recovered.  It was currently being projected that this budget would outturn at £100,000 over budget by the year end and this adverse variance was included as part of the projected overspend for care packages. However, it was anticipated that there would be underspends of £200,000 elsewhere in the budget which could be used to offset part of this overspend with £165,000 from staffing, £15,000 from transport and £20,000 from premises. 

 

Business Management and Innovation –

  • It was anticipated that this budget would underspend at year end by £100,000.

 

Environment and Housing

 

The Head of Finance reported that this Directorate was currently projected to outturn at year end within target with the following variances being noted:

 

Highways and Engineering –

  • This service was currently showing a £46,000 favourable variance against the amended profiled budget.

 

Waste Management –

  • There was currently a favourable variance of £77,000 to the profiled budget.

 

Leisure –

  • Grounds Maintenance was currently showing an adverse variance of £43,000 against the profiled budget.  Leisure was currently showing a favourable variance of £76,000 against the profiled budget.

 

Transportation –

  • There was currently a favourable variance of £81,000 against the profiled budget.

 

Regulatory Services –

  • It was anticipated that the Shared Regulatory Service would outturn on target at year end.

 

Council Fund Housing –

  • This budget was anticipated to outturn with a favourable underspend of £250,000 based on current trends.

 

Public Sector Housing (HRA) –

  • This budget was anticipated to outturn on target by the year end.

 

Managing Director and Resources

 

The Head of Finance reported that the budget in respect of the above Directorate was projected to outturn with a favourable variance of £592,000 at the year end with the following variances being noted:

 

Resources –

  • As reported to the last meeting of the Committee, Resources was anticipated to outturn within budget although there was a possibility of a shortfall on Council Tax court income.

 

Regeneration –

  • There was currently a favourable variance of £92,000 to the profiled budget. 

 

Development Management –

  • There was currently a favourable variance of £189,000 to the profiled budget.

 

Private Housing –

  • It was anticipated that the Renewal Area fees position would improve by the year end with the service expected to outturn on target.

 

General Policy –

  • It was projected that there would be a favourable variance of £592,000 relating to capital charges.

 

The Head of Finance, in referring to the 2015/16 savings targets, reported that progress against these targets was set out in Appendix 1 to the report.  Services were projecting to achieve the majority of their savings and where savings may not be achieved, further information was provided.  Set out in Appendix 1 financial information showed that there was currently a projected surplus of £142,000 against the savings target.  This was due to the Prosiect Gwyrdd scheme exceeding its target, however, there were other savings which would not be achieved and would therefore offset this favourable position.  In addition, Visible Services had savings from previous years which had yet to be achieved in full, however, some progress would be made this year in their implementation.  The Head of Finance indicated that the last section contained within Appendix 1 to the report detailed the savings identified in previous years and which had yet to be fully achieved and showed a shortfall of £650,000.

 

A Member, in referring to the savings targets in respect of Visible Services, expressed his concern that without the surplus from the Prosiect Gwyrdd scheme the service would have not fully achieved their savings target.  He indicated that in the absence of future surpluses, there was significant concern that Visible Services would be capable of achieving their target without significant progress being made on those savings initiatives.  In response, the Head of Finance acknowledged the point raised by the Member and indicated that the matter was being looked at. 

 

Having regard to the above, it was

 

RECOMMENDED – T H A T the position with regard to the Authority’s 2015/16 Revenue Budget be noted.

 

Reason for recommendation

 

In acknowledgement of the projected revenue outturn for the above period.

 

 

834     CAPITAL MONITORING REPORT FOR THE PERIOD 1ST APRIL TO 31ST DECEMBER 2015 (MD) –

 

RECOMMENDED –

 

(1)       T H A T the following changes to the Capital Programme be noted:

 

  • Gwenfo Primary Expansion – The carry forward £60,000 into the 2016/17 Capital Programme. 
  • Penarth Library Damp Proofing and Lift Works – The carry forward of £60,000 into the 2016/17 Capital Programme.
  • Llanfair Demountable – To vire £25,000 from the Sandstone Repairs scheme to the Llanfair Demountable scheme.
  • Romilly Demountable – To vire £5,000 from the Sandstone Repairs scheme to the Romilly Demountable scheme.
  • ICT Infrastructure – The carry forward of £400,000 into the 2016/17 Capital Programme.
  • Hen Goleg Works – The carry forward of £221,000 into the 201617 Capital Programme.
  • Cartref Porthceri Electrical Upgrade / Southway Electrical Upgrade – To vire £23,000 from the Residential Homes Call and Assistance Systems scheme to the Cartref Porthceri Electrical Upgrade scheme, and £38,000 from the Social Services Lift Refurbishments scheme and £6,000 from Residential Homes Call and Assistance Systems scheme to the Southway Electrical Upgrade scheme.
  • Boverton Flooding – The carry forward of £130,000 into the 2016/17 Capital Programme.
  • Cross Common Bridge – The carry forward of £500,000 into the 2016/17 Capital Programme.
  • Llanmaes Flood Management Scheme – The carry forward £972,000 into the 2016/17 Capital Programme.
  • Ashpath Footpath Improvements – The carry forward of £86,000 into the 2016/17 Capital Programme.
  • Jenner Park and Colcot Pitches – The carry forward of £337,000 into the 2016/17 Capital Programme.
  • St Paul's Church – The carry forward of £233,000 into the 2016/17 Capital Programme.
  • Housing Improvement Programme – The carry forward of £825,000 for Common Parts, £775,000 for WHQS Environmental Improvements and £1,178,000 for Regeneration into the 2016/17 Capital Programme.
  • Barry Regeneration Partnership Scheme – The reprofile of projects as set out within the report, paragraph 21.
  • Cogan Hall Farm – Dinas Powys to Cosmeston Cycleway Link – The carry forward of £150,000 into the 2016/17 Capital Programme.
  • Lighting Scheme for Zig Zag Path – The carry forward of £70,000 into the 2016/17 Capital Programme.
  • Tackling Poverty – The carry forward of £10,000 into the 2016/17 Capital Programme. 
  • High Street Broad Street Traffic Management – The carry forward of £268,000 into the 2016/17 Capital Programme.
  • Marketing and Disposal of the Innovation Quarter – The carry forward of £19,000 into the 2016/17 Capital Programme.
  • Court Road Depot – Survey, feasibility and Infrastructure – The carry forward of £347,000 into the 2016/17 Capital Programme.
  • Dock Offices External Repairs – The carry forward of £40,000 into the 2016/17 Capital Programme.
  • Dock Offices – Mechanical and Electrical – The carry forward of £200,000 into the 2016/17 Capital Programme.

 

Reason for recommendation

 

To allow schemes to proceed in the current or future financial years.

 

 

835     NATIONAL LIVING WAGE / EMPLOYEE PAY POLICY 2016-17 (REF) –

 

The Committee gave consideration to the below Cabinet reference which was considered at their meeting on 8th February, 2016:

 

“On 1 April, 2016 the National Living Wage was going to be introduced at a rate of £7.20 per hour which would mean that the current bottom three pay points on the 'Green Book' pay spine would be below the statutory minimum level. The incorporation of the new National Living Wage as part of the NJC pay spine was subject to discussion between the National Employers and Unions and as part of the 2016 pay negotiations. The indications were however, that an agreement would not be reached prior to the end of the current financial year. The advice from the National Employers was therefore to begin making preparations for employees to have their pay increased in accordance with the National Living Wage. A copy of such advice was attached at Appendix B to the report. A copy of the existing NJC pay spine and the effect of the proposed interim measures was set out in Appendix C as attached to the report.

 

The Council also had a statutory requirement under the Localism Act 2011 to prepare a pay policy statement for the new financial year 2016/17. The statement needed to be approved and published by 31 March, 2016. The Pay Policy Statement for 2016/17 had been produced on the basis of statutory guidance, advice from the Welsh Local Government Association and guidance from Welsh Government. It had also been drafted on the basis of the imminent statutory requirements of the National Living Wage from 1 April, 2016 and in anticipation of the interim arrangements as set out in paragraphs 10 to 15 of the report being approved.”

 

The Head of Human Resources indicated the Cabinet had subsequently approved interim changes to the National Joint Council (NJC) Payscale in light of the implementation of the National Living Wage from 1st April 2016.  These proposals would be considered at the next Council meeting on 2nd March, 2016 for verification.

 

A Member enquired of the potential implications for the Council’s existing pay grading structure, particularly, taking account that the National Living Wage was set to rise annually up to 2020.  The Member considered that this was of particular relevance given the current pay negotiations were likely to result in the erosion of pay differentials at the lower end of the Council’s pay structure.  In response, the Head of Human Resources indicated that this issue was a challenge for national pay negotiators going forward in future years, whatever was agreed in the current pay round and in the future, had to be sustainable.  In terms of the Council’s existing pay structure and in the light of national pay negotiations and the implementation of the National Living Wage may require a review of the Council’s current pay structures.

 

Having regard to the above, it was

 

RECOMMENDED – T H A T the Cabinet resolutions of 8th February, 2016 in respect of the National Living Wage / Employee Pay Policy 2016/17 be endorsed.

 

Reason for recommendation

 

To allow the matter to be referred for final consideration and approval by Council on 2nd March, 2016.

           

 

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