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Agenda Item No. 6

 

THE VALE OF GLAMORGAN COUNCIL

 

CORPORATE PERFORMANCE AND RESOURCES SCRUTINY COMMITTEE: 1ST SEPTEMBER, 2016

 

REFERENCE FROM ENVIRONMENT AND REGENERATION SCRUTINY COMMITTEE: 19TH JULY, 2016

 

 

“191    REVENUE AND CAPITAL MONITORING FOR THE PERIOD 1ST APRIL TO 31ST MAY 2016 (DEH) –

 

Although it was early in the financial year, it was currently projected that services under the remit of the Scrutiny Committee would outturn within target at the year end.  A graph and table setting out the variance between profiled budget and actual expenditure to date was attached at Appendix 1 to the report and the Accountant referred to the following service areas.

 

The Highways and Engineering service was currently projecting a £96k favourable variance, the main reason being the vacant posts currently within the department, although it was projected that the budget would outturn on target at year end. The adverse variance of £76k for Waste Management was due to slight overspends on staffing transportation.  Plans were in place to shortly implement round changes within waste collection, which would reduce the resources required and therefore reduce the overspend.  For Transportation there was currently a favourable variance of £8k as a result of staffing costs within the division being lower than budgeted for.  There was currently a favourable variance for Regeneration of £24k against the profiled budget for May, which it was reported was  due in the main to staff vacancy savings being made whilst reappointments were being pursued.  For Development Management, Cabinet had approved on 6th June 2016, a £62k budget transfer for the Drawing Office in Development Management to Resources. 

 

Appendix 2 to the report detailed financial progress on the Capital Programme as at 31st May, 2016.  For all schemes where it was evident that the full year’s budget would not be spent during the year, the relevant officers were required to provide an explanation for the shortfall which was to be taken to the earliest available Cabinet. 

 

Reference was made to the following schemes: 

  • Boverton Flooding – An emergency power had been approved on 17th June, 2016 to apply for and accept a Welsh Government grant of £1.79m for this scheme and to amend the Capital Programme once the grant was accepted.  The Council now needed to increase its matchfunding budget, which was already included in the Capital Programme, by £166k.  It had therefore been requested that this amount be vired from the Additional Highways / Environmental Improvement scheme which was not currently fully committed.  The grant would be included in the Capital Programme once it was formally accepted. A detailed update on this scheme was also to be considered by the Committee later in the agenda.
  • Dimming of Street Lighting / Fitting of LED Lanterns – Cabinet, on 6th June 2016, approved the inclusion of £1.2m in the 2016/17 Capital Programme, funded from the Visible Services reserve.  This amendment also required approval by Council, which would be requested at the next meeting.
  • Llandough Sustainable Transport – It had been requested that additional Section 106 funding of £52k was included in the Capital Programme for this scheme.  It was also considered appropriate that the name of this scheme be amended to "Penlan Cycle/Footway".
  • Broad Street Crossing – The costs of the scheme were anticipated to be £10k more than currently budgeted, due to the need to modify the surface finishes to comply with residents’ requirements.  It had therefore been requested that the budget be increased by £10k funded from Section 106 monies.
  • Tackling Poverty – Late additional grant funding was received from Welsh Government which was used to fund schemes at George Street and Cowbridge Street.  These schemes were to be funded from Council sources and therefore budget was now available to be used for other purposes.  It had been requested that £99k be vired to the Barry Regeneration scheme to be utilised for Main Street area improvement works.

A Member queried the number of vacant posts in the Highways and Engineering department, with the suggestion that the Council considers a trainee programme to encourage “home grown” staff and develop appropriate skills. The Head of Service, in response, stated that the service did indeed have a shortage of engineers and the department was currently considering its options.  Members were keen to encourage trainee apprenticeship schemes and to explore ways of addressing this with joint approaches being considered with other / neighbouring Local Authorities.  Although aware that once trainees were fully trained they may decide to apply for jobs, seek promotion opportunities elsewhere, Members considered that trainee apprenticeship opportunities were one of the best options to encourage people into the service. It was also recognised that a number of current staff in the Council had been employed in various departments via such initiatives and had continued to be employed with the Council for some time. There being no further discussion on the report, and following advice from the Chairman of the Corporate Performance and Resources Scrutiny Committee that a report on Youth Employment was to shortly be considered by his Committee, it was subsequently   

 

RECOMMENDED –

 

(1)       T H A T the position with regard to the 2016/17 revenue and capital monitoring be noted.

 

(2)       T H A T the views of the Committee be conveyed to the Corporate Performance and Resources Scrutiny Committee in time for when they are due to consider the Youth Employment report as referred to above.

 

Reasons for recommendations

 

(1)       In view of the contents contained therein and in recognition of the current position.

 

(2)       In view of discussions at the meeting relating to vacant posts.”