Agenda and minutes

Dorset Council - Place and Resources Scrutiny Committee
Friday, 11th December, 2020 11.30 am

Venue: A link to the meeting can be found on the front page of the agenda.. View directions

Contact: Lindsey Watson  01305 252209 / Email: lindsey.watson@dorsetcouncil.gov.uk

Note: Please note this meeting will start at 11.30am or on the rising of the People & Health Scrutiny Committee (meeting starting at 10am on this morning). The two meetings are being held in separate MS Teams Live Events and the Place and Resources Scrutiny Committee will not start until the close of the People and Health Scrutiny Committee. 

Media

Items
No. Item

24.

Declarations of interest

To receive any declarations of interest.

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

25.

Public Participation

To receive questions or statements on the business of the committee from town and parish councils and members of the public.

 

Public speaking has been suspended for virtual committee meetings during the Covid-19 crisis and public participation will be dealt with through written submissions only.

 

Members of the public who live, work or represent an organisation within the Dorset Council area, may submit up to two questions or a statement of up to a maximum of 450 words.  All submissions must be sent electronically to lindsey.watson@dorsetcouncil.gov.uk by the deadline set out below.  When submitting a question please indicate who the question is for and include your name, address and contact details.  Questions and statements received in line with the council’s rules for public participation will be published as a supplement to the agenda.

 

Questions will be read out by an officer of the council and a response given by the appropriate Portfolio Holder or officer at the meeting.  All questions, statements and responses will be published in full within the minutes of the meeting.  The deadline for submission of the full text of a question or statement is 8.30am on Tuesday 8 December 2020.

Minutes:

There were no submissions from town or parish councils or from members of the public.

26.

Budget Scrutiny pdf icon PDF 204 KB

The scrutiny committees are asked to consider the budget proposals on behalf of the residents of Dorset, and to provide constructive challenge to decision-makers before a final decision is made.

Minutes:

The committee was invited to consider the budget proposals for 2021/22 prior to consideration at Cabinet on 19 January 2021 and Full Council on 16 February 2021. The report gave a summary of progress to date on the budget strategy and process, and provided the opportunity for the scrutiny committees to review further, budget assumptions and actions being proposed to deliver a balanced and sustainable budget for 2021/22.

 

The Place and Resources Scrutiny Committee had the opportunity to consider the implications of the proposals on behalf of residents of Dorset and to provide constructive challenge to decision makers before a final decision was made. It was noted that the comments made by the committee would be reported to Cabinet on 19 January 2021 and taken into consideration as part of the budget setting process.

 

The Executive Director of Place and Executive Director of Corporate Development provided a short introduction to their budget areas and following this, councillors discussed the issues arising.

 

Further to the discussion held, the Chairman provided a summary of the key points raised during the discussion in relation to each area covered by the committee and noted that the points below would be submitted to Cabinet as part of the budget setting process:

 

Place

 

·                Consideration to be given to developing an approach to increase car parking fees by 5% across the board.  This to be flagged up as a direction of travel for officers to undertake more detailed work on.

·                There is a need for careful funding plans for any future transition of libraries or tourist information centres.

 

·                Concern expressed with regard to the availability of budget/resources for work identified in the Dorset Council Climate and Ecological Emergency Strategy action plan and the potential issues this may have on the climate and the reputation of the council.  The committee wishes to support the Leader of the Council in the continued lobbying of the government for a fairer funding deal for local government and the exploration of additional funding from government.

 

·                Councillors appointed as Dorset Council representatives on outside bodies are encouraged to resist requests for increases in funding for these bodies at this time.

 

·                Concern over the level of resource available for planning enforcement activities.  Note – this area to be reviewed by the Place and Resources Scrutiny Committee at the January 2021 meeting.

 

·                There is a need to review the impact of proposed reductions to staff training budgets.  The example raised at committee was within the Place budget and a reduction of 20%.  As a post meeting note, the Director of Place notes that this review may need to go wider than Place as it is thought that the council is proposing reductions across the board – therefore this may need to be dealt with as a corporate issue.

 

Corporate Development

 

·                There is a requirement for increased capacity in the Democratic Services, Team with particular reference to support to overview and scrutiny functions, if resources are available in the budget.

 

·                A concern is raised in respect  ...  view the full minutes text for item 26.

27.

Exempt Business

To move the exclusion of the press and the public for the following item in view of the likely disclosure of exempt information within the meaning of paragraph x of schedule 12 A to the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended).

 

The public and the press will be asked to leave the meeting whilst the item of business is considered.

 

There is no exempt business.

Minutes:

There was no exempt business.