Corporate Scrutiny Panel – 25 October 2012
Councillors Wilson (vice-chair), Ali, England and Wardle.
Councillor Whiteley attended the meeting in accordance with the provisions of Procedure Rule 1.36 (b).
The panel met at the Civic Centre, Scunthorpe.
119 DECLARATIONS OF DISCLOSABLE PECUNIARY INTERESTS AND PERSONAL OR PERSONAL AND PREJUDICIAL INTERESTS AND DECLARATIONS OF WHIPPING ARRANGEMENTS (IF ANY) – Councillor Ali declared a personal interest in Minute 122 as Chair of the Crosby Community Association.
No whip was declared.
120 MINUTES – Resolved – That the minutes of the proceeding of this panel held on 4 October 2012, having been printed and circulated amongst the members, be taken as read and correctly recorded and signed by the Chairman.
121 PUBLIC REQUESTS TO SPEAK– There were no requests received.
122 LOCALISING SUPPORT FOR COUNCIL TAX – The Chairman welcomed Mike Wedgewood, Peter Fijalkowski and Jo Robinson to the meeting, the council’s Director of Policy and Resources, Assistant Director Financial Services and the Local Taxation and Benefits Shared Service Manager for North and North East Lincolnshire Councils respectively. The Director, Assistant Director and Shared Service Manager had been invited to discuss the proposals for a local council tax support scheme.
The Director informed the meeting that the consultation on the council’s preferred localised support for council tax scheme had now closed. The intention was to update the panel at this meeting as to the initial findings, key themes and observations arising from the consultation.
However, the Government recently announced a ‘cap-for-funding deal’. This announcement was for transitional funding worth £100 million for councils which limited the amount residents currently exempt from council tax must pay in the future. Under the one year agreement, the council, if it was to choose to limit the charge to 8.5% or less of currently exempt residents’ liability when the council introduced its localised scheme in April would be eligible to access the funding.
This announcement, therefore, meant that the council would have to undertake a further piece of work to measure the impact this government announcement would have on the council.
The Chairman also facilitated a discussion between the panel and the Director, Assistant Director and Income and Collections Manager on the government announcement and its likely impact on the council were it to accept the offer of additional funding.
The Chairman then updated the panel on a recent Benefits Conference and Financial Inclusion Conference that he had been invited to and relayed his observations from the respective conferences.
Resolved – (a) That the Director of Policy and Resources, Assistant Director Financial Services and the Local Taxation and Benefits Shared Service Manager for North and North East Lincolnshire Council be thanked for their attendance and for answering members questions; (b) that the recent government announcement on the ‘cap-for-funding deal’ be noted, and (c) that the scrutiny panel unfortunately can not provide a response to council on the council’s preferred localised support for council tax scheme due to the recent government announcement as the lack of the time the members had to analyse its impact.
123 (9) OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY ANNUAL REPORT 2011/2012 – The Director of Policy and Resources submitted the Overview and Scrutiny Annual Report 2011/12 for consideration and endorsement.
An oral overview of the report was provided. Members were advised how the report outlined the developments within Overview and Scrutiny in 2011/2012, the effective working relationships that had been developed with external partners, a summary of the work carried out by each of the three panels in the last council year and the future challenges faced.
Resolved – (a) That the Overview and Scrutiny Annual Report 2011-2012 be received, and (b) that the annual report be published and circulated to appropriate partners and organisations.
124 15 NOVEMBER 2012 MEETING – The Chairman informed the meeting that as a result of the election for the Police and Crime Commissioner being held on the same day as the Panel’s next timetabled meeting on the 15th November 2012, it would be appropriate to cancel the meeting.
Resolved – That the meeting of the panel on 15 November 2012 be cancelled.
125 ADDED ITEM – There was no added item for consideration at the meeting