Background
Background

Agenda and minutes

Venue: This meeting will be a virtual meeting and therefore will not take place in a physical location

Contact: Clive Willoughby  Tel: 01946 598375

Items
No. Item

OSC161

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Felicity Wilson.

OSC162

Declarations of Interests in Agenda Items:

 

To receive declarations by Members and/ or co-optees of interests in respect of items on this Agenda.

 

Members are reminded that, in accordance with the revised Code of Conduct, they are required to declare any disclosable pecuniary interests or other registrable interests which have not already been declared in the Council’s Register of Interests. (It is a criminal offence not to declare a disclosable pecuniary interest either in the Register or at the meeting).

 

Members are advised however, in the interests of clarity and transparency, to declare at this point in the meeting, any such disclosable pecuniary interests which they have already declared in the Register, as well as any other interests.

 

Members are reminded that they may not, by law, participate or vote in any discussion in a meeting on a matter in which they have a disclosable pecuniary interest

 

Members are advised that they should leave the room during consideration of any items of business in which they have a disclosable pecuniary interest.

Minutes:

No Declarations of Interet were made.

OSC163

Minutes of the meeting held on 17 December 2020 pdf icon PDF 385 KB

Minutes:

Councillors reviewed the minutes of the previous meetings.

 

Councillor Pollen commented on the timing issues for receiving budget papers and finance performance reports that had been highlighted as a concern during the previous meeting. It was noted that, due to the delay in receiving information from the Government for the Budget, the Overview and Scrutiny Committee Meeting (OSC) was taking place after the Executive, which was against the norm as highlighted in the minutes of the previous meeting and needed to be taken into account. Councillor Pollen also highlighted that the budget papers had been received only a few days prior for most, if not all, councillors through no fault of the officers, which lead to an insufficient amount of time being given to read, understand and scrutinise the papers effectively.

 

The Chair took this opportunity to highlight the aim of the meeting to review and question the Budget papers.

 

Councillors reiterated the concern with not being able to scrutinise the papers fully in the timescale given ahead of the OSC meeting, through no fault of the council, officers or postal service.

 

RESOLVED – That with a vote of six for and two abstentions, the Committee agreed that the minutes of the meeting held on 17 December 2020 were approved as a true and accurate record.

 

 

[Councillor Dinsdale joined the meeting at 2:07pm]

 

OSC164

Executive Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 397 KB

Minutes:

The Committee reviewed the Executive Forward Plan.

 

Councillor Pollen commented that on page 8 of the pack it was noted that the Executive meeting on the Draft Budget took place before the OSC meeting.

 

Councillor Forster requested further information regarding Moss Bay Enterprise Trust. The Mayor informed Councillor Forster that it is an asset of Britain’s Energy Coast (BEC) and is under discussion between BEC and Cumbria County Council with more information being available at a later date. The Scrutiny Officer confirmed that they would provide OSC with further information once it was available.

 

RESOLVED – That,

 

a)     With no objections raised, the Executive Forward Plan was noted.

b)     The Scrutiny Officer will provide OSC with further information on Moss Bay Trust Enterprise when it is available.

 

OSC165

Draft Budget pdf icon PDF 730 KB

To consider and comment on the Budget proposals that are being considered by the Executive on 18 February.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Mayor presented his Draft Budget to the Committee.

 

Members were then invited to ask the Mayor and the Directors present questions.

 

Councillor Jones-Bulman asked if the further costs onto and within the funeral services over the past two years is justifiable. The Mayor responded that the increases have been kept to two percent annually, with inflation, which was reasonable. Previously it had been seven percent per annum. They Mayor also highlighted that significant capital investment had been placed into Bereavement Services (the Crematorium and Cemeteries) being run by Copeland Borough Council (CBC) along with vast improvements to the services offered. The Director of Corporate Resources and Commercial Strategy noted that CBC had tried to keep those costs empathetic and at an acceptable level. CBC are very aware when setting the Fees and Charges regarding what that means to residents and the sensitivity around that. The Director also highlighted, as Councillor Jones-Bulman had mentioned Funeral Poverty as an issue, that there were now other optional services to help residents through reduce rates through more choices being available. The Mayor also highlighted that he would take on board adding further communication around Bereavement for councillors, to enable them to be more aware of the benefits CBC are offering to residents.

 

Councillor Dinsdale asked for further information on where the money goes from the fines received due to littering and fly-tipping, due the large increase as noted in the Fees and Charges. The Director of Corporate Resources and Commercial Strategy informed OSC that CBC have taken the opportunity to increase the fees as, the figures before now, have been below the regulatory limit and make no apologies for raising the figure now. The Director assured members that the money received from the fines is invested back into the service, to help support the service. Especially as not all of the services that CBC offer are statutory services, but they still need to be supported. They Mayor highlighted that CBC are not profiting from the fines, money coming in from fines does not cover the costs of dealing with the issues.

 

Councillor Dinsdale also asked, on behalf of residents, regarding legal obligations for collecting waste, if there is a specific amount that needs to be collected and if they are liable for a refund should that amount not be reached. The Mayor confirmed that there would be no refund given. The Mayor also noted that, while aware of issues of some collection being missed, the reasons for this was not always at the fault of the crews (narrow streets typical of our geography, parked cars etc.). With the last twelve months also bringing their own issues. CBC have aimed to provide residents with as much information regarding missed collections through the Communications department. The Director of Corporate Resources and Commercial Strategy reiterated that there would not be any refunds and highlighted that collecting domestic household waste was a statutory obligation but there was no prescribed revenue element of expenditure applied. The Director also  ...  view the full minutes text for item OSC165

OSC166

Date and Time of Next Meeting:

The next scheduled meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee will be held on Thursday 1st April 2021 at 2pm. This will be a virtual meeting.

 

Minutes:

The next meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee will be held on Thursday 1st April 2021 at 2pm via virtual meeting.

 

 

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