Agenda and decisions

Cabinet - Wednesday, 17th November, 2021 5.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber - 4th Floor - Civic Centre. View directions

Contact: Dereck Francis  Tel: 01902 555835 or Email: dereck.francis@wolverhampton.gov.uk

Media

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies for absence

Additional documents:

2.

Declaration of interests

Additional documents:

3.

Minutes of the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 320 KB

[For approval]

Additional documents:

4.

Capital Programme 2021-2022 to 2025-2026 Quarter Two Review pdf icon PDF 217 KB

[To approve the Capital Programme 2021-2022 to 2025-2026 Quarter Two Review]

Additional documents:

Decision:

That Council is recommended to approve:

1.    The revised, medium term General Revenue Account capital programme of £298.1 million, an increase of £6.7 million from the previously approved programme, and the change in associated resources.

 

That Cabinet approves:

1.  The virements for the General Revenue Account capital programme detailed at Appendix 4 to the report for:

     i.    existing projects totalling £4.3 million;

     ii.   new projects totalling £1.7 million.

 

2.  The virements for the Housing Revenue Account (HRA) capital programme detailed at Appendix 4 to the report for:

     i.    existing projects totalling £3.6 million.

 

The Cabinet notes:

1.    That there is an intentional ‘over-programming’ of projects to reflect the reality that some projects will inevitably be delayed due to unexpected circumstances or changes to priorities. Over-programming aims to ensure that, as far as possible, the resources available are fully utilised.

 

2.    That the following capital projects are included in a bid for external European Regional Development Fund grant as part of the Wolverhampton Investment in Smart Energy programme. If successful, and subject to confirmation of grant funding, this could attract up to 40% of external funding that would reduce the amount of internal resources required to fund the Corporate Asset Management programme. Any realised changes in resources as a result of grant confirmation will be reflected in future monitoring reports for approval.

 

·        Aldersley Leisure Centre (Hockey Pitches) – External lighting to include electrical controls & lighting columns;

·        Bradley Resource Centre – Mechanical Plant upgrade;

·        Civic Centre – Flue replacement.

5.

Treasury Management Activity Monitoring - Mid Year Review 2021-2022 pdf icon PDF 292 KB

[To approve the Treasury Management Activity Monitoring - Mid Year Review 2021-2022]

Additional documents:

Decision:

That Council is asked to note:

1.    That a mid-year review of the Treasury Management Strategy Statement had been undertaken and the Council had operated within the limits and requirements approved in March 2021, however due to the reprofiling of some capital programmes the authorised limit and operational boundary for commercial activities for 2022-2023 is forecast to be slightly in excess of the best estimate included in the Treasury Management Strategy presented to Council on 3 March 2021. This would be reviewed as part of the 2022-2023 Treasury Management Strategy.

 

2.    That revenue underspends of £899,000 for the General Revenue Account and £706,000 for the Housing Revenue Account (HRA) are forecast from treasury management activities in 2021-2022, arising as a result of re-phasing of the capital programme and lower interest rates forecast on borrowing.

 

The Cabinet notes:

1.    That there had been no change to the UK’s credit rating and therefore the Director of Finance had not been required to use the delegated authority approved by Council on 17 July 2020 to amend the Annual Investment Strategy.

6.

Performance and Budget Monitoring 2021-2022 pdf icon PDF 378 KB

[To provide an integrated finance and performance update against the Relighting Our City priorities, and the Medium Term Financial Strategy]

Additional documents:

Decision:

1.      That the establishment of supplementary expenditure budgets within the 2021-2022 approved budget as detailed in section 9.0 of the report for grant funded expenditure be approved.

 

2.      That the use of £1.0 million from the Regeneration Reserve to fund various transformation work as detailed in paragraph 10.4 of the report be approved.

 

3.      That the use of £105,000 from the Budget Contingency Reserve to fund additional resource to ensure the Council delivers on the Fairness and Inclusion agenda as detailed at paragraph 10.5 of the report be approved.

 

4.      That the contribution of £200,000 to the Budget Contingency Reserve to support environmental works in 2021-2022 as detailed in paragraph 10.6 of the report be approved.

 

5.      That the use of £124,000 from the Recovery Reserve/ Covid Emergency grant to fund additional resources within Insight and Performance to support the work around jobs, skills and enterprise as detailed at paragraph 10.7 of the report be approved.

 

6.      That the write-off of three Council Tax debts totalling £17,693.83 as detailed in Appendix 9 to the report be approved.

 

7.      That the write-off of three Non-Domestic Rates (NDR) debts totalling £30,785.94 as detailed in Appendix 10 to the report be approved.

 

8.      That the write-off of two Housing Benefit debts totalling £12,814.21 as detailed in Appendix 11 to the report be approved.

 

9.      That the write-off of one Sundry Debt totalling £5,538.16 as detailed in Appendix 8 to the report be approved.

 

10.   That 60 virements totalling £28.9 million, for transfers within directorates, as detailed in Appendix 12 to the report be approved.

 

11.   That it be noted that the General Fund projected outturn for 2021-2022 is currently forecast to be an underspend of £235,000 (excluding the impact of Covid-19).  This forecast underspend is after the transfer of £4 million into the Future Years Budget Strategy Reserve in accordance with the 2022-2023 budget strategy and £200,000 into the Budget Contingency Reserve to support environmental works.

 

12.   That it be noted that at this stage in the financial year it is difficult to forecast redundancy costs.  However, as forecast in recent years it is anticipated that the cost of redundancies can be met from reserves.

 

13.   That it be noted that a £12.3 million surplus on the Housing Revenue Account (HRA) is projected compared with a budgeted surplus of £13.1 million as shown at Table 3 and in detail at Appendix 5 to the report. The projected reduction to the surplus of £841,000 would reduce redemption of debt by £841,000.

 

14.   That it be noted that council tax accounts totalling £487,356.90, as detailed in paragraph 11.2 and Appendix 7 to the report, have been approved for write-off by the Director of Finance in accordance with the Council’s Financial Procedure Rules.

 

15.   That it be noted that 32 Non-Domestic Rates (NDR) debts totalling £259,737.68, as detailed in paragraph 11.2 and Appendix 7 to the report, have been approved for write-off by the Director of Finance in accordance with the Council’s Financial Procedure  ...  view the full decision text for item 6.

7.

Relighting Our Council pdf icon PDF 234 KB

[To approve a new approach to hybrid working to improve outcomes and best meet the needs of our city]

Additional documents:

Decision:

1.      That the Relighting Our Council vision and strategy, which sets out the high-level approach to develop a new flexible and agile operating model in order to best meet the needs of our city be approved.

 

2.      That the proposal to engage with the organisation and consult with the Trade Unions on the development of a fair, inclusive, and equitable ‘Our employee/people offer’ be approved.

 

3.      That the drawdown of £200,000 funding which has been previously set aside in the Transformation Reserve for the Our Assets Programme and the utilisation of other existing funding allocations to facilitate this strategy, as outlined in the financial implications be approved.

 

4.      That it be noted that in line with this high level Relighting Our Council strategy, further work would be done to develop a new workspace strategy, new employee offer and Our People Strategy, new staff sustainable travel policy and new digital strategy to ensure the delivery of better outcomes for local people.

 

5.      That the outcome of the pre-decision scrutiny undertaken by the Our Council Scrutiny Panel on 2 November, summarised at paragraph 2.4 and appendix 2 to the report be noted.

8.

Updated Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA) Policy pdf icon PDF 143 KB

[To approve an updated RIPA Covert Investigation Policy and corporate RIPA Operating Procedure]

Additional documents:

Decision:

1.      That the updated, corporate RIPA Covert Investigation Policy and corporate RIPA Operating Procedure be approved.

 

2.      That the contents of the report and the steps taken to address comments made by the most recent inspection of the Council’s arrangements in respect to RIPA regulated matters be noted.