Economic Development and Corporate Issues Scrutiny Panel – 3 November 2008

PRESENT: Councillor Smith in the chair.

Councillors Wardle (vice-chairman), Ali, Bainbridge, Barkworth, Berry and Waltham.

Councillors Poole, Whiteley and Wilson attended the meeting in accordance with Procedure Rule 37(b)

The panel met at Pittwood House, Scunthorpe.

76 DECLARATIONS OF PERSONAL OR PERSONAL AND PREJUDICIAL INTERESTS AND DECLARATIONS OF WHIPPING ARRANGEMENTS (IF ANY) – The following members declared a personal interest in the following matter: –

Subject & Nature of Interest
Councillor M Ali
Licence Holder

No whip was declared.

77 MINUTES – Resolved – That the minutes of the proceedings of this panel held on 8 September 2008, having been printed and circulated amongst the members, be taken as read and correctly recorded and signed by the chair.

78 PUBLIC SPEAKING – There were no requests from members of the public to address the Scrutiny Panel.

79 (7) BUDGET REVIEW OCTOBER 2008 – The Chair welcomed Mike Wedgewood, Service Director Finance to the meeting and invited him to address the panel.

Mike Wedgewood indicated that his report was part of a quarterly review process for the revenue and capital budgets. It built on monthly monitoring and provided an opportunity for members to consider the financial position on a regular basis. This year it had particular emphasis on the Local Area Agreement (LAA) to ensure that adequate resources were committed to delivering the shared local strategic priorities.

The report reviewed the approved revenue budget, considered the implications of the council’s investments with Icelandic banks, considered the slippage in the capital programme and the resources which funded it and considered the resource implications of the Community Strategy and Local Area Agreement.

In relation to the revenue budget for 2008/2009 the report detailed a number of potential overspends together with some compensatory under spends, considered the Local Area Agreement and Community Strategy in detail and the detail of the Capital Programme for 2008/2011. In relation to the investments in Icelandic banks members commented on this and the Service Director confirmed that the investments had been made in line with the council’s treasury management policy and treasury guidelines. At the time of investment there had been no indication of any risk associated with this decision. The Capital programme for 2008/2009 would be delivered and Cabinet had asked for a full review and further report to its next meeting.

Resolved – (a) That the Service Director Finance be thanked for his attendance and his valuable work in such difficult economic times, and (b) that a full review of the capital programme and also revenue budget be undertaken prior to the Council’s budget meeting in February 2009.


(i) Update on the panel’s public consultation exercise – The Service Director Legal and Democratic was invited to provide an oral update on the exercise so far. He confirmed that 424 responses had been received from members of the public, these originated from the Direct magazine article and also North Lincolnshire Council’s website. Information would be compiled and discussed a future meeting of the panel.

The panel was advised that a good response had been received from market traders, and again once the information had been compiled, this would be open for discussion at the aforementioned proposed meeting.

Resolved – (a) That the position be noted, and (b) that a sub-group meeting of the panel be arranged for Friday 21 November 2008 to review the responses from both the public and also traders.

(ii) Visits to North Lincolnshire’s Markets – The Chair confirmed that the visit to Brigg Farmers Market had been very useful and that the information and feedback offered by the Town Manager and also traders had been excellent.

The next site visit would be to Ashby and Brigg weekday markets, and would be attended by Councillors Smith, Ali and Barkworth.

Resolved – That the position be noted.

(iii) Visits to comparable markets – The Chair confirmed that members of the panel had recently visited Grimsby market. The panel was advised that the market had seen recent improvements brought about by effective customer care policies.

Resolved – (a) That the position be noted, and (b) that thanks be sent to the Grimsby Market Manager.

(iv) Focus groups for traders and also the public – Members engaged in discussion and the following dates were proposed:

  • Traders focus group – Thursday 20 November 2008
  • Public focus group – Tuesday 2 December 2008

Resolved – That the position be noted.

81 (8) LEADER OF THE COUNCILS FORWARD PLAN – NOVEMBER 2008 TO FEBRUARY 2009 – The Service Director Legal and Democratic circulated the Leader of North Lincolnshire Council’s Forward Plan for November 2008 to February 2009.

The plan contained details of all matters and issues likely to be the subject of key decisions for a period of the next four months, updated on a monthly basis.

Resolved – That the Leader of the Council’s Forward Plan for November 2008 to February 2009 be noted.

82 ADDED ITEM – There was no added item for discussion at this meeting.