Venue: The Paralympic Room - AVDC. View directions
Contact: Craig Saunders; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org;
Election of Chairman
That Councillor Rand be elected Chairman of the Committee for the ensuing year.
Election of Vice Chairman
That Councillor Everitt be elected Vice Chairman of the Committee for the ensuing year.
To approve as a correct record the Minutes of the meeting held on 4 April, 2018, copy attached as an appendix.
That the minutes of the meeting held on 4 April, 2018, be approved as a correct record.
To consider the attached report. (Representatives from Everyone Active, the Council’s leisure management contractor) will be attending the meeting to support the presentation of this item and answer questions).
Contact Officer: Paul Marston-Weston (01296) 585116
The Committee received a report on the key outcome and outputs achieved by the Leisure Management Contract in 2017/18 and which also provided key performance information and an overview of the key suggested actions for 2018/19. The Cabinet Member for Civic Amenities attended the meeting and responded to Members’ questions as part of the discussions.
Representatives from Everyone Active, who were responsible for the leisure management contract for Aqua Vale Swim and Fitness Centre and at the Swan Pool and Leisure Centre attended the meeting to support the presentation to Members and to answer questions. The current contract had commenced on 1 April 2013 for 10 years with a mutual option to extend for a further 5 years. This report looked at Year 5 of the contract.
Members were informed that the Leisure Management Contract realised betterment to AVDC of circa £620,000 per annum, £120,000 saving was achieved by no management fee being paid to the leisure centre operator as per the previous contract and £500,000 income was generated by EA paying the Council for the opportunity to manage the centres on AVDC’s behalf. The management fee payable to the Council for the period 2017/18 was £522,503 as it rose in line with CPI annual increases.
AVDC provided a monitoring role as part of the contract arrangements and conducted monthly monitoring by holding Contract performance meetings and inspections. This was stepped up if there were areas of concern or an increase in complaints. The regular performance meetings examined a range of performance indicators which included information similar to that contained within Appendix A to the Committee report. The information provided a baseline for future reports and for measuring contract outcomes and outputs.
The council had undertaken an extensive £2.7m modernisation project of Swan Pool and Leisure Centre between February 2015 and February 2016 which had delivered new and improved facilities and increased levels of customer satisfaction and usage. The last major modernisation project at Aqua Vale Swimming and Fitness Centre had been completed in 2012 at a cost of £6.7m.
Concerns had been raised in late 2016 over the quality of cleanliness at Aqua Vale and additional meetings and monitoring visits had been stepped up. EA had attended scrutiny meetings in April and November 2017 to respond to Members’ concerns and detailed proposed actions to improve matters. Since the last meeting, the standards of cleanliness at Aqua Vale have continued to improve greatly and much had been done by EA to address Members’ concerns.
The Cabinet Member for Civic Amenities had met with EA managers and toured the Aqua Vale on a number of occasions to see first hand the conditions and improvements made. Most recently, members of the scrutiny committee had been invited to visit Aqua Vale in June to see the centre and standards.
Currently, just under £100,000 of S106 funding was being spent to modernise and upgrade the pool side toilets, private showers and accessible changing along with new artificial planting to improve the condition and look ... view the full minutes text for item 4.
To consider the attached report.
Contact Officer: Teresa Lane (01296) 585006
The Committee received a report setting out the challenges facing Kingsbury and Market Square, Aylesbury and which outlined the plans to bring forward improvement schemes for both spaces, as well as the associated costs. This regeneration of the Aylesbury town centre was reflected in the Aylesbury Town Centre Plan (published in 2014) and in the draft Vale of Aylesbury Local Plan.
It was abundantly clear that the demand for physical retail space was changing across the UK almost every operator including Marks & Spencer’s and John Lewis partnerships were committed to undertaking portfolio reviews. Others such as House of Fraser, were already part way through that process and it was well known that the Aylesbury branch would close at some point. Whilst some of this change was offset by big box operators such as B&Q and Screwfix opening smaller, high street formats, users of town centres were undoubtedly looking to their towns (particularly those the size of Aylesbury), to provide a more social experience. National spend on casual dining and the increase in the number of restaurants and cafes had been phenomenal and whilst the dining out market had also seen a softening in recent months, spend generally in this area continued to grow, with shopping being only part of the reason to visit. Aylesbury was no exception to this trend and had seen a number of new cafes and restaurants open in recent years, with more opening as part of The Exchange development.
A theme central to the entire Town Centre Plan, was the recognition that Aylesbury needed to improve the quality of its environment and public space to help create the experience people were looking for whether living, visiting or working. Whilst it was difficult to quantify a direct financial return on investment from public realm improvement, there was strong supporting evidence which showed that it could deliver both intrinsic and non-economic benefit, and these were set out in the Committee report.
While good progress had been made on delivering a range of public space improvements including decorative colourful planters and agreeing a parking order for Kingsbury to enable enforcement of illegal parking on the central area, a range of street entertainment and events in Market Square (such as Aylesbury on Sea, Whizzfizz and the Christmas lights switch on), there were still operational and aesthetic challenges which required significant schemes to come forward.
The background and context of Kingsbury was detailed in the report. Use of Kingsbury had changed and whilst it still retained many fine buildings it had struggled in recent times to attract the footfall of its former years and to find its own identity. In 2004, a Government funded scheme to improve the public space had attract private investment in the commercial units and made it more integral to the retail circuit. However, this had not brought about the hoped for transformation. The on-going decline in footfall had led to new challenges and an increase in anti-social behaviour ranging from parking on the ... view the full minutes text for item 5.
To consider the attached report.
Contact Officer: Nuala Donnelly (01296) 585164
The Committee received a report on the Authority’s Treasury Management Strategy and its performance for the 2017/18 financial year.. An annual report was required to be brought to Council after each year end.
The main objectives for the Treasury Management team for 2017/18 were laid out in the Treasury Management Strategy agreed by Council in February 2017, which were:-
· Foremost, to maintain, the security of the Council’s deposits by only depositing with trusted financial institutions and limiting the size and length of deposit with each organisation.
· To directly manage a range of deposits in order to provide sufficient flexibility to meet day to day operational needs.
· To only undertake new long term borrowing where the business case justifies it.
The actual performance was in line with the plan which had ensured that the Council placed deposits in a decreasing market by spreading its deposits thinly across many trusted institutions in accordance with its policy. No new long term borrowings had been undertaken during the period, while the in-house team achieved interest rates above the 7 day LIBOR rate.
The Committee report charted the average monthly balances deposited by the in-house team, and detailed the average weighted rate of return received over the financial year compared to the LIBOR rates available
Over the financial year, the rate of return had increased, and credit risk reduced. For March 2018, the weighted average rate of return for the Council was 0.61% (on investment of £45.4m) This compares to Benchmarking data where, across 227 Authorities, Weighted average rate of return was 0.61%, on investment average of £67.1m. (Source of data: Link Asset Services)
Members were also provided with information showing the Council’s performance against capital and treasury indicators, as indicated by the Council’s Balance Sheet, as at 31 March 2018.
When managing the Council’s deposits the primary consideration was to protect capital rather than to maximise return as the deposited sums were public money and, therefore, any loss of capital should be avoided at all costs. The Treasury Management team continued to invest money in line with its list of approved (safe) institutions, varying the amounts and length of deposit according to the institution and the cash flow requirements at the time. Although, a safe list of institutions was maintained, major unexpected events or a sudden loss of confidence in the banking sector could not always be predicted.
Historically, the majority of the Council’s lending had been with Banks and Building Societies but ... view the full minutes text for item 6.
To consider the attached report.
Contact Officers: Nuala Donnelly (01296) 585164 / Tamsin Ireland (01296) 585004
The Committee received the Quarterly Financial Digest for the period to 31 March 2018, which represented the final outturn position for the Council for the financial year 2017-18. The digest was attached as Appendix 1 to the Committee report, and was based on the actual income and expenditure for the 12 month period from April 2017 to March 2018. The Council’s financial statements for this period would be subject to external audit.
As at the end of March 2018, an overspend against budgets (after the use of reserves) of £453,507 was reported which was slight better than the forecast anticipated in December 2017. The slight improvement to the financial outturn left the General Fund working balances at a marginally higher level than predicted, with a closing balance on the General Fund for 2017-18 of £1.977m. This was also consistent with the financial outturn position used in budget planning for 2018/19.
Members were informed that the draft annual accounts had been completed by 31 May and presented to the Audit Committee meeting on 26th June 2018. Final approval of the accounts was due by 31 July 2018.
While the accounts present the definitive position on the Authority by way of its financial resources, it did not inform the reader as to whether this was a planned or expected position. The Quarterly Financial Digest was the primary reporting tool for in-year financial management and provided management information. It was designed to explain significant financial events which occurred during the year by comparing them with the expected or budgeted equivalent figures. Members referred to the Digest whilst considering the Committee report.
Income and Expenditure
The total income and expenditure position for the period to the end of March 2018 showed a total expenditure of £135.770m, which represents an overspend against the annual budget of £3.1m. These costs largely relate to the significant restructuring exercise undertaken in 2017/18 as part of the process of delivering a financially sustainable organisation for the period of the medium term financial plan. The financial benefit of the re-organisation would help to realise significant savings in staff costs in the future years and had been central to the Council setting a balanced budget for 4 years in January 2018.
For the financial year, £1.222m of salary savings had been recognised as a result of business reviews and vacancies. Some of these vacant posts were however filled by temporary staff (agency and consultants) at a premium cost. For the financial year, temporary staffing costs were reported as being £3.137m above budgeted levels.
Further staff cost pressures to date include redundancy cost of £1.725m. All opportunities to realise in-year savings through efficiencies are actioned to ensure financial benefit. In year, there have been significant savings arising from the introduction of the new waste fleet in that running costs have been reduced significantly.
Work continues to provide Members with additional information and details on income and expenditure, and to ensure systems support the information requirements. The Committee report included details ... view the full minutes text for item 7.
To consider the future work programme. Meetings are scheduled as follows:-
15 October 2018
Silverstone Heritage Experience - update
17 December 2018
Budget Planning 2019-20
Quarterly Finance and Performance Reporting
14 January 2019
Budget Planning 2019-20
Capital Programme Review
Public Sector Equality Duty
Treasury Management Strategy
The Committee considered their work programme for the period up until April 2019.
The agenda items for future meetings would be:-
(i) 15 October 2018 – Silverstone Heritage Experience – update, Quarterly Finance and Performance report (April to June 2018)
(ii) 17 December 2018 – Budget Planning 2019-20 and the Quarterly Finance and Performance reporting.
(iii) 14 January 2019 – Budget Planning 2019-20, Capital Programme Review, Public Sector Equality Duty and the Treasury Management Strategy.
An agenda item on the Kingsbury Market Square Improvement Schemes would also need to be timetabled in due course.
That the work programme be agreed, as discussed at the meeting.