Agenda and draft minutes

Place and Resources Scrutiny Committee - Thursday, 12th January, 2023 10.00 am

Venue: Committee Room 1, County Hall, Dorchester, DT1 1XJ. View directions

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

Media

Items
No. Item

50.

Declarations of interest

To disclose any pecuniary, other registrable or non-registrable interests as set out in the adopted Code of Conduct. In making their disclosure councillors are asked to state the agenda item, the nature of the interest and any action they propose to take as part of their declaration.

 

If required, further advice should be sought from the Monitoring Officer in advance of the meeting.

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

51.

Public Participation

Representatives of town or parish councils and members of the public who live, work or represent an organisation within the Dorset Council area are welcome to submit up to two questions or two statements for each meeting.  Alternatively, you could submit one question and one statement for each meeting.  

 

All submissions must be emailed in full to lindsey.watson@dorsetcouncil.gov.uk by 8.30am on 9 January 2023.

 

When submitting your question(s) and/or statement(s) please note that: 

 

·            no more than three minutes will be allowed for any one question or statement to be asked/read  

·            a question may include a short pre-amble to set the context and this will be included within the three minute period 

·            please note that sub divided questions count towards your total of two 

·            when submitting a question please indicate who the question is for (e.g. the name of the committee or Portfolio Holder) 

·            Include your name, address and contact details.  Only your name will be published but we may need your other details to contact you about your question or statement in advance of the meeting. 

·            questions and statements received in line with the council’s rules for public participation will be published as a supplement to the agenda 

·            all questions, statements and responses will be published in full within the minutes of the meeting.

 

Dorset Council Constitution Procedure Rule 9

Minutes:

There were no questions or statements from members of the public or local organisations.

52.

Questions from Councillors pdf icon PDF 81 KB

To receive questions submitted by councillors.  

 

Councillors can submit up to two valid questions at each meeting and sub divided questions count towards this total.   Questions and statements received will be published as a supplement to the agenda and all questions, statements and responses will be published in full within the minutes of the meeting. 

 

The submissions must be emailed in full to lindsey.watson@dorsetcouncil.gov.uk by 8.30am on 9 January 2023.

 

Dorset Council Constitution – Procedure Rule 13

Minutes:

A question was received from Councillor B Bawden.  A copy of the question and response provided are included at Appendix 1 to the minutes.

53.

Budget Strategy and Medium-Term Financial Plan pdf icon PDF 324 KB

To receive a report of the Executive Director for Corporate Development (Section 151 Officer).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The committee was invited to consider the budget proposals for 2023/24 prior to consideration at Cabinet on 23 January 2023 and Full Council on 14 February 2023. 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 2023/24.

 

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 23 January 2023 and taken into consideration as part of the budget setting process.

 

Portfolio holders and officers provided a short introduction to their budget areas as relevant and in addition, the Executive Director for Corporate Development provided an overview of Central Finance and Capital issues.

 

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 Directorate – Highways, Travel and Environment

 

·       It was noted that Dorset Travel was facing cost pressures of circa £2.5m in the current year and particular reference was made to SEND transport, which was facing significant cost increases, well above the rate of inflation.  Concern was expressed about cost increases in this area and the impact on the budget.  Recognition of the links to work with Children’s and Adult Services to reduce costs for travel for the council

·       A comment was made that it was difficult to justify increases to charges for car parking until improvements to car parks were rolled out, due to public expectation as to the service they should be getting.

 

At this point in the meeting, the committee had a ten-minute adjournment and returned at 11.43am.

 

Place Directorate – Economic Growth, Assets and Regeneration

 

·       The committee were content with the strategic approach being taken in the area of Economic Growth, Assets and Regeneration but flagged a concern around whether there were sufficient staffing levels to deliver the council’s aspirations in this area.

 

Place Directorate – Natural Environment and Ecology

 

·       In order to provide transparency around the council’s costs for climate change work, consideration should be given to how costs in this area and investments received from external sources, could be presented outside of the budget book

·       The committee wished to flag up the potential risks around decisions on the council’s vehicle fleet – purchase versus lease of vehicles and fuel type (electric versus hydrogen).

 

At this point in the meeting, it was proposed by J Andrews seconded by D Shortell and agreed by the committee, that the meeting continue beyond the 3-hour limit as set out in the Constitution.

 

Place Directorate – Planning

 

·       The committee  ...  view the full minutes text for item 53.

54.

Urgent items

To consider any items of business which the Chairman has had prior notification and considers to be urgent pursuant to section 100B (4) b) of the Local Government Act 1972. The reason for the urgency shall be recorded in the minutes.

Minutes:

There were no urgent items.

55.

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.

Appendix 1 - Questions from Councillors

Agenda item 4 – Questions from councillors

 

 

Question from Cllr Belinda Bawden

 

Could the Portfolio Holder for Highways, Travel and Environment please explain why the budget for the Lyme Regis Harbour includes an assumption on income from PWC permits (jet skis) when every user group on the Harbour Users’ Consultative Committee, except the licence applicant, is in total opposition to any proposed trial on safety and environmental grounds?

 

Response from the Portfolio Holder for Highways, Travel and Environment

 

Thank you for your question, Councillor Bawden. There has been no application for a licence to operate jet skis from Lyme Regis Harbour. There have been discussions at the Lyme Regis harbour consultative group about whether a limited number of permits could be provided through the Powerboat Club with tight restrictions on the activity and the option to remove permits if necessary. The group have been presented examples of where this, and water safety issues have been managed successfully at Weymouth Harbour and Studland. However, this is an ongoing discussion, and one that ultimately the Harbours Advisory Committee with input from the Harbour Consultative Group will have to consider.

 

I understand that there was reference made to PWC permits in the budget monitoring report at the last Harbour Advisory Committee. This report relates to all Dorset Council Harbours and the reference to Personal Watercraft was linked to Weymouth only as no such permits exist for Bridport and Lyme Regis Harbours.