To receive the report of the Strategic Manager (Resources).
The Service Improvement Officer advised that quite a few supplementary questions had been received although these had been raised by only 3 Committee Members and he urged all Committee Members to submit questions.
Members’ attention was drawn to the changes in planning service measures with regard to the recording of application processing times. Historically, the figures had recorded averages and had been skewed by only one or 2 applications. They were now presented as percentage values and were broken down to reflect where extensions had been agreed. A further 10/10 survey of the planning service over a 6 month period had been planned. This will probably now take place in the new year.
The Questions and Answers document was reviewed and the Chair sought feedback to the responses. Actions were raised and comments made as follows:
Page 16 – Capital & Reserves – schedule for when capital and reserves would be spent.
The Strategic Manager (Resources) explained that expenditure used to be profiled as it was useful for treasury management purposes. However, this was a very time consuming exercise as consideration had to be given to slippage and extended timings required by particular capital projects.
The Finance Manager clarified the accounting format. It was noted that the shortfall would only be made up from money from the overall scheme, not taken from individual projects.
Page 22 - End to End time for processing Disabled Facility grants
The Service Improvement Officer explained that TDC had shared responsibility and this was reflected in the figures. One or 2 long term projects would also skew the results. Councillor Cottle-Hunkin asked for a breakdown which showed TDC’s performance.
Page 13 – Highlights: Leisure centre stats
Councillor Pennington told the Committee that 1610 Leisure Services will be attending External Overview & Scrutiny on 27 November. The contract had a further 18 months to run.
Page 17 – Earmarked reserves: Section 106
Mr Dengate asked where the £100,000 expected by the Atlantic Racquet Centre would come from. The Strategic Manager (Resources) replied that this would come from the Daddon Hill development at a future date.
Reference was made to a spreadsheet, giving fuller details of S106 monies, which used to be circulated in addition to the summary presented to Committee. The Service Improvement Officer to follow up.
The Strategic Manager (Resources) reiterated that S106 monies cannot be forward allocated. He also said S106 obligations are tracked and recorded but sometimes things change and may be subject to change or renegotiation.
Councillor Cottle-Hunkin asked whether Ward Members could use unallocated monies. The Strategic Manager (Resources) will check with the Planning & Economy Manager.
It was noted that a lot of money had been set aside for recreational projects, which presumably would only be allocated once the Play Strategy had been finalised. Councillor Pennington informed the Committee that the Play Strategy will be going to the next External O&S meeting although it may not be fully completed by then.
The Service Improvement Officer will check with the Strategic Enabling Officer whether there is any detail behind the money set aside for recreational projects.
Pages 18 – 20 Local Industrial Strategies
Concerns were expressed regarding the joint strategy in as much as it appeared that North Devon Council were to benefit more than Torridge. It was hoped the action plan and strategy could be used to develop tourism in Torridge.
It was proposed by Councillor Manley, seconded by Councillor Newton and –
That the £424,474 underspend in the revenue budget be transferred to the capital budget to bridge the £1m gap in the capital budget.
(Vote: For – unanimous)