Agenda and minutes

Overview and Scrutiny Commission - Thursday, 25 January 2018 7.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Fourth Floor, Easthampstead House, Bracknell. View directions

Contact: Kirsty Hunt  01344 353108

Note No. Item



Apologies for Absence/Substitute Members

To receive apologies for absence and to note the attendance of any substitute members.


Apologies were received from Councillors Allen, Porter and Tullett.


Councillor Mrs Mattick was acting as a substitute for Councillor Tullett.



Minutes and Matters Arising pdf icon PDF 157 KB

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Commission held on 16 November 2017.


RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting of the Commission held on 17 November 2017 be approved as a correct record, and signed by the Chairman.



Declarations of Interest and Party Whip

Members are asked to declare any disclosable pecuniary or affected interests in respect of any matter to be considered at this meeting.


Any Member with a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest in a matter should withdraw from the meeting when the matter is under consideration and should notify the Democratic Services Officer in attendance that they are withdrawing as they have such an interest. If the Disclosable Pecuniary Interest is not entered on the register of Members interests the Monitoring Officer must be notified of the interest within 28 days.


Any Member with an affected Interest in a matter must disclose the interest to the meeting.  There is no requirement to withdraw from the meeting when the interest is only an affected interest, but the Monitoring Officer should be notified of the interest, if not previously notified of it, within 28 days of the meeting.


Councillor Mrs Birch declared a personal interest as the spouse of the Executive

Member for Adult Services, Health and Housing.


During item 7 Councillor Virgo declared an affected interest as an independent board member of South Hill Park Trust.



Urgent Items of Business

Any other items which, pursuant to Section 100B(4)(b) of the Local Government Act 1972, the Chairman decides are urgent.


There were no items of urgent business.


Public Participation

To receive submissions from members of the public which have been submitted in advance in accordance with the Council’s Public Participation Scheme for Overview and Scrutiny.


No submissions had been made by members of the public under the Council’s Public

Participation Scheme for Overview and Scrutiny.



Executive Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 151 KB

Scheduled Executive Key and Non-Key Decisions of a corporate nature are attached for consideration.


Members received and noted the scheduled Key and Non-Key Executive Decisions

of a corporate nature.


It was noted that the first six items should not have been included as they had already been considered by the Executive.


In relation to item reference 1073356 – Bracknell Forest Lottery the Chairman advised the meeting that the Executive had agreed to form a working group to consider if a local lottery for Bracknell Forest should be established.


The Council's Budget Consultation pdf icon PDF 282 KB

To consider the Council’s draft budget proposals for 2018/19:

a)    Resources Directorate

b)    Feedback from Overview and Scrutiny Panels and overall conclusions


Please note that each Overview and Scrutiny Panel has considered the draft budget proposals for the relevant directorate and the full Revenue and Capital annexes are available as part of the Executive agenda papers considered at the meeting of 19 December 2017:



Additional documents:


Councillor Virgo had declared an affected interest in the item as he was an independent board member of South Hill Park Trust.


The Commission considered a report that set out draft budget proposals for 2018/19. It was reported that the Executive would be considering all representations made at its meeting on 13 February 2018, before recommending the budget to Council.


The Borough Treasurer updated the Commission and made the following points:


  • The draft budget proposals for 2018/19 had been agreed by the Executive at its meeting on the 19 December 2017, before the Government had released details on the provisional settlement. The Secretary of State had listened to local government concerns about Children’s Services pressures and had given flexibility for local Council’s to increase Council Tax by an additional 1% above the 3% general increase and 2% increase for Adult Social Care pressures. This meant a possible 6% increase.
  • Overview and Scrutiny’s contribution to the consultation process was a key element in the budget setting process.
  • No changes had been announced to the New Homes Bonus.
  • The Berkshire bid to participate in a business rates pilot has been accepted with Bracknell Forest acting as the lead Council. This was good news as additional funding would be available.
  • In order to respond to the pressures in Children, Young People and Learning and Adult Social Care there was a reliance on the delivery of transformation projects.
  • In 2018/19 there was a modest capital budget under £9million and there would be no need for additional borrowing and no new capital demands.


The Director of Corporate Services reported that within her directorate there were pressures which underpinned the ability to transform and to keep up with legislative changes. The proposed savings were genuine efficiency savings generated by shifts in operations such as savings related to working in the Microsoft environment.


The Members noted the supplementary report which included the relevant budget minute extract from each Panel meeting.


Concerns were raised about the implementation of the £35k saving proposal to provide all agendas electronically. The Commission queried the details of when the decision was made, who by, together with what consultation had taken place with Members. The Director of Resources explained that this proposal was in response to the Council’s difficult financial situation and reflected the whole Council’s approach to reducing paper. It was explained that relevant IT kit, support and training would be provided so that Members could use the Mod.Gov application to access information and ensure that all Members were confident in using electronic screens. It was confirmed that adaptations would be made to respond to individual’s needs. The Director stated that it had been recognised that some reports would require printing and examples were discussed such as the Local Plan, site visits, budget papers. It was confirmed that some paper copies would be available for public meetings however these would be the rarity. In response to concerns around difficulties using the software it was acknowledged that it would take time to learn  ...  view the full minutes text for item 42.



Work Programme and Panel Activity Update pdf icon PDF 343 KB

To note the progress against the Overview and Scrutiny work programme, and the reports from Overview and Scrutiny Panel Chairmen on each Panel’s progress against the work programme.


The Commission noted progress against the Overview and Scrutiny work programme for 2017-18 and the reports from Overview and Scrutiny Panel Chairmen on each Panel’s progress against the work programme (where provided). It was agreed that a number of the indicators should be changed to Amber to reflect their delayed completion due to lack of officer resource. In particular the review on Houses in Multiple Occupation which had not met since July 2017. The Chairman noted that steps were in hand to recruit to the Overview and Scrutiny team.


Councillor Mrs Birch, Chairman of Children, Young People and Learning Overview and Scrutiny Panel provided a verbal update that they had had a good meeting considering the budget and the next meeting would be focused on schools performance as the results had been ratified.