Agenda and minutes

Scrutiny Committee for Leader, Finance and Performance - Wednesday, 26th August, 2020 4.00 pm

New regulations came into effect on 4 April 2020 to allow Councils to hold meetings remotely via electronic means. As such, Council and Committee meetings will occur with appropriate Councillors participating via a remote video link. Public access to the meetings is via a live stream video through the Council’s official YouTube channel

Venue: via Remote Video Link

Contact: Email: committees@midsussex.gov.uk 

Media

Items
No. Item

1.

Roll Call and Virtual Meetings Explanation.

Minutes:

The Chairman carried out a roll call to establish attendance at the meeting. The Solicitor to the Council provided information on the format of the virtual meeting.

2.

To note Substitutes in Accordance with Council Procedure Rule 4 - Substitutes at Meetings of Committees etc.

Minutes:

Councillor Brown substituted for Councillor Eves,  Councillor Dabell substituted for Councillor Cromie and Councillor Boutrup substituted for Councillor Coote.

3.

To receive apologies for absence.

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Councillors Coote, Cromie and Eves.

4.

To receive Declarations of Interests from Members in respect of any matter on the Agenda.

Minutes:

Councillor Heidi Brunsdon and Councillor Andrew Lea declared an interest in Item 7 as they are Members of West Sussex County Council.

5.

To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 17 June 2020. pdf icon PDF 204 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 17 June 2019 were agreed as a correct record and electronically signed by the Chairman.

6.

To consider any items that the Chairman agrees to take as urgent business.

Minutes:

None.

7.

Revised Corporate Plan 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 248 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chairman noted the effect of the pandemic on the residents of Mid Sussex. He highlighted that through sound budget management the Council was in a better position than some other councils.

           

Kathryn Hall, Chief Executive introduced the report and noted that it is unprecedented to revise the Corporate Plan and Budget during the financial year.  She highlighted the four main impacts of the pandemic: additional duties were placed on the Council by the Government as a direct result of the pandemic and these had not been planned for; there had been noticeable change in service demand, an unanticipated shift in how residents access the Council’s services, and significant impact on the Council’s finances, primarily significant income reduction. It is essential to revise the Plan and financial strategy to account for the impact of the pandemic.  The Plan has been revised using the Council’s priorities as a framework and includes recovery plans for remainder of the current year and as a basis for the Corporate Plan for 2021/22.

 

The Leader of the Council reminded Members that the budget had been agreed in March just before lockdown.  The environment planned for was very different to the current circumstances and it was right to make changes.  The Council has performed well during the crisis and this must be built on. The Council must be able to respond to changes in how residents access the services, continue to support community groups and vulnerable residents. He confirmed the revised Corporate Plan and Budget is a covid recovery plan and also sets the ground work for next year’s plan.

 

APPENDIX A – SUSTAINABLE ECONOMIC GROWTH & APPENDIX B – STRONG AND RESILIANT COMMUNITIES

 

Judy Holmes, Assistant Chief Executive introduced Appendix A and confirmed that the Plan used the Council’s current corporate priorities and is a blend of refocussed work and some modest new activities, to support post Covid recovery.

 

Discussion was held on joint ventures for town centre regeneration, progress on the Full Fibre project, prioritising housing development, the Orchards marketing strategy, renegotiations of Section 106 agreements and food hygiene inspections.

 

The Assistant Chief Executive commented that a flexible approach to regeneration was vital.  She confirmed that the Full Fibre project has been tendered and is in the process of being delivered.  The marketing strategy was an aim for the Council pre Covid-19.  It aims to secure inward investment to support a growing, recovering economy. In relation to s106 renegotiations the Government asked local authorities to work positively with developers to renegotiate Section 106 agreements.

 

The Leader confirmed the Council is open to proposals but needs to be able to balance the ability to leverage investment and risks to tax payer. He noted viability concerns with projects at the current time and reiterated that the Council has a good track record of partnership working.  

 

The Chief Executive reminded Members that the funding of the Full Fibre project had been secured from the Government and the LEP.  The route starts north of Brighton and passes through Burgess  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.

8.

Questions pursuant to Council Procedure Rule 10.2 due notice of which has been given.

Minutes:

None.