Venue: Meeting via Zoom
Contact: Mary Richards, tel 01237 428705 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Apologies For Absence
There were no apologies for absence.
Confirmation of the minutes held on 7 July 2020.
It was proposed by Councillor Newton, seconded by Councillor Manley and –
That the minutes of the meeting held on 7 July 2020 be agreed and signed as a correct record.
A recorded vote was taken.
(Vote: For 10, Abstentions 1)
Further updates to the action list were made as follows:
Minute 69 That a response be made to the relevant offices of Central Government raising concerns about the local authority settlements over the years and the uncertainty that it is creating.
It was agreed a response will be made when Central Government papers are released for consultation.
The comprehensive spending review is expected towards the end of the year. However, should there be a 2nd wave of Covid-19, it might be delayed to the start of next year. Further information will be provided as it comes forward.
Minute 8: 7 July - QBR Q4 -19-20 - Electric Car Charging Fees
To amend parking order to reflect that TDC no has control over these areas.
The Senior Solicitor recapitulated that the spaces are leased to a third party and TDC has a share in the income from those charging points.
There were no public contributions.
Declaration Of Interests
Members with interests should refer to the agenda item and describe the nature of their interest when the item is considered.
Members were reminded that declarations of interest should be made as and when the specific agenda item to which they related was under discussion.
Urgent Matters Brought Forward With The Permission Of The Chair
There were no matters brought forward.
Agreement of Agenda Items Part I And II
There were no Part II items
Slide presentations were received from the Service Improvement Officer and the Interim Section 151 Officer.
The Service Improvement Officer presented a summary of the highlights of QBR 1:
Goal 1 - Prosperous and Sustainable Economy
ü Speedy payment of grants to support local business – The Government had specified that the payments should be made as quickly as possible and TDC had ranked 6th best in the country
ü 99.3% of invoices paid on time
ü Good progress with Future High Street Fund Bid
ü In depth Architectural Heritage Fund Viability study for the Globe in Torrington – Additionally a bid for a grant of £100,000 had been submitted to take the project forward
ü Safe re-opening of high streets
Goal 2 – Safer, Stronger, Healthier Communities
ü Housing Options maintained high level of service during lockdown
ü Accommodation of 11 individuals in response to Covid-19
ü Temporary accommodation provided for all owed an accommodation duty (24-26 households accommodated during lockdown)
Further work needed to be done on empty homes and the delivery of new homes/affordable homes. Because of Covid-19 lockdown builders had not been working and this had had an impact on the number of new/affordable homes being delivered.
Goal 3 – Protecting & Enhancing our Quality Environment
ü Waste and recycling collections had continued during lockdown – the only service suspended had been bulky waste but this had been reinstated in June
ü Record recycling levels (57.3%) mainly due to increased collection of glass/cardboard. 15% more than 2 years ago.
Goal 4 – Effective Customer Focused Council
ü Fast response from IT team enabled homeworking for an average of 120 officers per day, allowing for uninterrupted delivery of most services
ü Zoom technology rolled out to allow decision making Committees to re-convene
ü Improved turnaround time in planning applications – 99% approved on time
ü 53% increase in Environmental Protection Enforcement activity
ü Reduced sickness levels!
ü Staff redeployment during lockdown to help address the crisis
ü Good levels of cooperation between the Council and other agencies
A reduction in Council Tax and Business rate collection levels had been identified.
The number of confirmed Covid-19 cases recorded in Torridge was well below regional and national levels, however Covid-19 was already starting to show a big impact on the economy, with 35% of the workforce being furloughed and 4,100 self employment income support claims (72% of total) being received. TDC had introduced measures and put systems in place to support residents and the economy.
There had been a channel shift from physical to digital approaches, with e-mail being the main way in which contact was made with the Council. The Service Improvement Officer explained that the 72% increase in blocked e-mails was not only spam but also fraud attempts. Social media was becoming more and more important to the Communications Team.
The Interim S151 Officer presented slides showing the financial impact of Covid-19 as at end of June and the projected financial outturn for Quarter 1: 2020-2021.
At the ... view the full minutes text for item 17.
The Senior Capital Accountant guided Members through the briefing paper, highlighting categories and types of ethical investment and outlined the benefits and risks of each option.
Members were informed that the current Treasury Management policy had strict criteria for selecting investments (treasury deposits) and consideration had to be given to security, then liquidity and then yield. The current mandate was that deposits can be invested in UK F1 rated banks but there was no authority to invest in share or bond funds.
Discussion took place on the definition of ethical, the types of companies to invest in and the security of funds.
It was proposed by Councillor Inch and seconded by Councillor Watson
The Income Generation Task & Finish Group look at ethical investment.
The composition of the Task & Finish Group was agreed.
Mr Dengate asked that environmental, social and governance also be considered, not just the ethical element also be considered, not just the ethical element.
To review the Forward Plan.
The Forward Plan was reviewed and updated.
The Chair confirmed that the meeting on 29 September will commence at 2.00pm.