Agenda and minutes

Venue: Committee Room, Council Offices, Urban Road, Kirkby-in-Ashfield. View directions

Contact: Lynn Cain  Email:

No. Item


Declarations of Disclosable Pecuniary or Personal Interests and Non-Disclosable Pecuniary/Other Interests


There were no declarations of interest made.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 81 KB

Additional documents:



that the minutes of the meetings of the Committee held on 16th November and 12th December, 2017, be received and approved as a correct record.


Presentation - Budget Update


Committee received a presentation from the Corporate Finance Manager (and Section 151 Officer) outlining an update position on the Council’s Budget following the budget presentation previously given in October 2017.


An update was given in respect of the following:-


Revised Budget 2017/18

·         Discretionary Rate Relief

·         Business Rates – one-off return

·         Reduced Capital Financing

·         Section 31 Grant – potential for increase

·         Earmarked Reserves

·         General Fund Balance;


Updates from Provisional Settlement for 2018/19

·         Council Tax

·         Business Rates

·         New Homes Bonus

·         Revenue Support Grant;


Budget 2018/19 – Savings/Income Generation

·         Commercial Property Update

·         Pay

·         Housing Benefits

·         HRA IT Purchases

·         Service Reviews and savings

·         One-off budgets savings for 2017/18

·         Service Reductions

·         Recharges

·         Borrowing and Capital Financing

·         Total Expenditure

·         Earmarked Reserves;


Housing Revenue Account

·         Revised Budget 2017/18

·         Budget – Net Income;


HRA Budget 2018/19

·         Main Variances between 2017/18 and 2018/19

·         Movement in Earmarked Reserves

·         Overall Position.



that the update position on the Council’s Budget for2017/18 and 2018/19, as presented, be received and duly noted.


Review of Peer Challenge Recommendations pdf icon PDF 194 KB


The Council’s Corporate Performance and Improvement Manager presented a progress report in relation to the implementation of key recommendations following the LGA Peer Challenge review in March 2017.  The findings from the review were extremely positive and showed a significant improvement in Leadership and culture since the previous challenge in 2013. 


Progress on the recommendations were outlined as follows:-


Annual Review of Corporate Plan

The Corporate Plan was reviewed and published in June 2017 and the refresh included a Corporate Leadership Team (CLT) review of priority projects and Corporate Scorecard measures.  The Council’s Project Management Framework continued to manage key projects and activity against annual priorities for delivery and the 2018/19 review of the Corporate Plan was already in progress.


Strategic Opportunities and Partnership Working

The Council continued to exploit opportunities for collaborative working with partners including joint funding with D2N2 LEP, approved LEP investment through the Town Centres Programme for the Kirkby Leisure Centre, an incorporate set of 3 highway priorities in the County Council’s Place Plan and effective project governance by the Regeneration Programme Board.


Senior Officer and Member time had been invested in key partnership meetings and the new Place Leadership Board (Ashfield Aspire) was progressing well engaging key businesses and community groups.


Prioritisation of New/Key Initiatives

A single transformation vision has been set out in the ‘Strategic Direction’ that was agreed by Cabinet in October 2017.  Work was continuing to ensure alignment of the Council’s strategic direction and the commercialism agenda has been further developed over the last 12 months with focus on commercial property investment.


The transformation and service review programme was currently being delivered by the Corporate Transformation and Efficiency Programme Board and external specialist support (Socitm) had recently been commissioned to enable the Council to further understand how new technology can be used to deliver transformation.


Agreement of Financial Targets

The Council’s Corporate Savings Plan, linked to the Medium Term Financial Strategy (MTFS), collates financial targets for key saving streams and performance against targets and is monitored by XLT, CLT and Cabinet.  Potential savings streams were currently being considered for procurement opportunities.


Combination of MTFS, Budget and Capital Programme

into a Comprehensive MTFS document

A review to consider the best approach for presenting the Council’s financial position in a clear and consistent manner is due to be undertaken in 2018/19 with implementation envisaged for 2019.


Involvement of Opposition Members in Strategic Scrutiny Reviews

A recent service review has resulted in the creation of a dedicated scrutiny officer resource within the Democratic Services Team to undertake research and enable the development of a different approach to the scrutiny work programme.  The scrutiny work programme continued to be aligned to the Corporate Plan.


Two non-voting tenant representatives have been appointed to the Overview and Scrutiny Committee for housing performance issues and the Overview and Scrutiny Committee had also taken the opportunity to utilise social media (facebook Live Streaming and Twitter) to widen engagement in the meetings. Further use of social media is also  ...  view the full minutes text for item OS24


Corporate Scorecard – April to September 2017 pdf icon PDF 169 KB

Additional documents:


The Corporate Performance and Improvement Manager presented the Quarter 2 Corporate Scorecard to enable Members to review the levels of performance achieved and assist with the delivery of the Corporate Plan.


The year-end figures for 2016/17 were very positive with an 80% improvement across the corporate scorecard and 91% achievement against targets. The outturn from Quarter 2, 2017/18 was also promising to date indicating a 65% improvement across the scorecard with 77% of measures achieving or exceeding their targets.


Improved Performance

Areas of improved performance were highlighted as follows:


·         Rent collection levels were at the highest comparative Quarter 2 position;


·         Processing of all types of planning applications were well above nationally prescribed standard targets and last year’s performance outturns;


·         Void turnaround was currently 5 days quicker than previous years;


·         Tenants being assisted with money advice was increasing and greater than target;


·         Homelessness levels due to domestic violence were two thirds less than Quarter 2 last year;


·         Private sector enforcement activity nearly doubled to those achieved last year and also the year before, particularly for damp and mould;


·         Service requests regarding dog fouling were 40% lower than last year and 68% lower than 2013/14 levels;


·         A 10% reduction in levels of anti-social behaviour across the District;


·         Direct debit payments increased by 4% with a continued review of payment channels and digital accessibility for customers.


Areas for Improvement


Outdoor Market Stall Occupation

Current market stall occupation levels were 6% lower than the same period in 2016/17.  A slight reduction had been anticipated due to a change in market days offered but Sutton were particularly underperforming whilst Hucknall were improving following the town centre improvements. It was also noted that footfall was currently down in Sutton town centre by 11%. The Council however, were continuing to actively promote the market incentives currently on offer both within and outside the District.


Long Term Empty Properties

14% less long term empty properties had been brought back into use compared to the same period last year but this had now been turned around in Quarter 3 with a 22% improvement.  Loss of capacity within the team had contributed to the dip in performance but due to proactive enforcement activity and exceptional work from the team this had enabled good outturn figures to be achieved.  An imminent report to be considered by Cabinet in relation to an Enforced Sales Procedure would hopefully improve performance further.


Affordable Homes

The number of affordable homes within Ashfield was significantly lower than the previous year.  It had been recognised that this was due to a lack of local registered provider development resulting from reduced access to grants and S106 opportunities.


Fly-Tipping Service Requests

Service requests for removal of fly-tipping had increased by 32% with indicators that the trend was due to worsen still further.  It was acknowledged that the worsening trend was unfolding nationally and also being experienced by neighbouring authorities.  A District Councils Network event had been run recently which had identified some proposals that would be submitted to Government  ...  view the full minutes text for item OS25


Overview and Scrutiny Workplan 2017-18 pdf icon PDF 273 KB


Committee considered the latest position on the remaining topics from the 2017/18 work plan. Members were informed that an additional topic had been suggested for the workplan regarding a review of Council support for Christmas Events. It was envisaged that Members will consider how best the Council can support communities with their planning and implementation of future Christmas events (i.e. trees, lights and entertainment).



a)    the ongoing topics included on the 2017/18 Scrutiny Workplan, be noted;


b)    the review of Council Support for future Christmas Events, be added to the 2018/19 Scrutiny Workplan.



Consulting, reviewing and agreeing items for the Scrutiny Workplan provides guidance and direction for the work undertaken by Scrutiny in the coming year.