(A report by Paul Julian, Chief Finance Officer)
Portfolio Holders: Councillor Paul Skinner, Leader (Performance), Councillor Nigel Welton, Deputy Leader (Risk) and Councillor Jonathan Noble (Finance)
Portfolio Holders and Officer
REASON FOR DECISION
The Leader introduced the quarterly report, which set out performance, risk and finance monitoring information for Quarter 1 of 2020/21 (April to June 2020).
Cabinet Members presented the headlines of the monitoring information in relation to their own portfolios.
With respect to performance, the areas of success and improvement were:
· Sickness absence (Cllr Skinner)
· Planning applications (Cllr Welton)
· Switchboard (Cllr Welton)
· Benefit and Council Tax Support processing times (Cllr Noble)
· Information requests (Cllr Noble)
· Broadly compliant food businesses (Cllr Stevens)
· Fly tip response times (Cllr Stevens)
· Number of non-local authority owned empty properties returned into occupation (Cllr Griggs)
Areas of concern/watching brief were:
· Impacted by Covid-19:
o Supporting business growth and promoting the Borough (Cllr Welton)
o Business rates and council tax collection rates (Cllr Noble)
o Car parking income (Cllr Noble)
o Swim sessions (Cllr Brown)
o Gym memberships (Cllr Brown)
o Commercial waste income (Cllr Stevens)
o Market income (Cllr Abbott)
o Housing completions and housing standards (Cllr Griggs)
The report also listed other items of note:
· The Food Standards Agency suspended the food safety inspection programme towards the end of March 2020 in light of Covid-19. The Environmental Health team had been dealing with a high number of Covid related service requests – 1,659 in the quarter.
· Increase in fly tipping incidents
Councillor Noble presented the quarterly risk information. The strategic risks had been reviewed by the Corporate Management Team, particularly with regard to the impact of Covid-19 and the Strategic Alliance with East Lindsey District Council. They would be reviewed again in light of the new Corporate Strategy and change in management structure in Quarter 2. A summary of strategic risks was set out the report and full details were contained in Appendix B.
Operational risks had been reviewed in Quarter 1 as agreed, with exception reporting of high operational/project risks and any changes to management assurance levels as set out below:
· Cremator maintenance and repair – day to day arrangements in place but overall risk still high
· Financial risks – controls in place and overall strategic risk above
· Fraud risk – controls in place
· Housing Register – project underway to review options to replace IT system currently provided by a third party
· Loss / theft / corruption of data – controls in place; cyber security arrangements strengthened in light of increased risk
· Loss of key staff in People Services – management assurance changed from green to amber in light of temporary posts. This would be addressed as part of the Strategic Alliance review.
Councillor Noble then outlined the key headlines of the financial management information and proposed that the recommendations contained in the report be approved, which were:
· Movements with respect to earmarked reserves;
· Updated Capital Programme;
· Supplementary estimates in respect of Rough Sleeper Initiative and Verify Earnings & Pension; and
· Supplementary estimates in respect of COVID-19.
Councillor Noble stated that during Quarter 1 and the temporary closure of many high street businesses during lockdown, free car parking in off street car parks was implemented from 27th March to 15th June and a corresponding record of the officer delegated decisions notice to this effect was posted on the website. Following a return to a normal service on 15th June, a further 2.5 hour free parking offer to encourage shopping and dining in the town was reintroduced from 29th June and again a record of the officer delegated decisions notice was posted on the website.
Members acknowledged the significant impact of the pandemic on performance and paid credit to all staff for extremely hard work in such difficult circumstances.
OTHER OPTIONS OR ALTERNATIVES CONSIDERED
Alternative reporting arrangements.
RECORD OF ANY CONFLICT OF INTEREST
RECORD OF ANY DISPENSATION GRANTED