Agenda and minutes
Resources and Governance Scrutiny Committee
Thursday, 7th March, 2019 2.00 pm
Venue: Council Ante Chamber, Level 2, Town Hall Extension
Contact: Michael Williamson
Webcast: View the webcast
To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 7 February 2019
To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 7 February 2019 as a correct record.
Presentation by the City Treasurer
This presentation provides an of the Our Manchester Strategy and how this is helping to deliver the required Council savings targets and the effect that it will have on the Council’s future budget process
The Committee considered a presentation that provided an evaluation of Our Manchester and how this was helping to deliver the required Council savings targets and the effect that it would have on the Council’s future budget process. The presentation started by setting out the Our Manchester approach, then showed how the Monitoring and Evaluation framework operated and finally covered how this related to savings delivery and budget strategy.
Officers referred to the main points and themes within the presentation, which included:-
· An overview of Our Manchester, including an explanation of the different roles of the Our Manchester Strategy and approach, including the role of Bringing Services Together
· The monitoring and evaluation framework, outlining the approach to monitoring and evaluating Our Manchester;
· A summary of how Our Manchester was being put into practise as evidenced through Our Manchester updates to scrutiny committees and case studies;
· How Our Manchester had fed into our allocation of resources through the business planning process; and
· Monitoring and budget strategy impact, including how the Council monitors progress towards the vision for the city through the State of the City Report and how this impacts on the Council’s budget position.
Some of the key points that arose from the Committees discussions were: -
· A distinction needed to be made between the Voluntary and Community Sector and Community Groups;
· Resilient communities that had delivered positive outcomes appeared to have been penalised through reduced resources;
· More needed to be done to support community groups to compliment and support the ambitions for social prescribing in communities;
· Would Social Value be included as a key metric in the State of the City Report;
· Commenting that the metrics within the State of the City report were very challenging, especially around the issues of life expectancy and victim based crime;
· Noting the success of the Wigan Deal in managing and communicating expectations with residents, what similar work was being done in Manchester to raise awareness of Our Manchester with residents, commenting that there appeared to be currently a disconnect;
· ‘Have your say’ events should be delivered across the whole of the city as a mechanism to engage with residents;
· How was spend against outcome measured and assessed;
· What resources were allocated to the analysis of the impact of ‘Our Manchester’, noting the complexity and range of metrics; and
· Noting the importance of the interactions between frontline staff and residents, staff needed to be empowered to influence appropriate change.
Officers stated that the Our Manchester Investment Fund was designed to facilitate innovative approaches and build resilience within communities to reduce the demand on services. Officers stated that the new health model had been supported by funding from Greater Manchester and a business case was being developed to further support community groups to assist with social prescribing. Officers described that conversations were ongoing with a range of services and partners, including the police and health to align the geographical footprint in which they worked to deliver services and support the ‘Our Manchester’ approach.
Officers stated ... view the full minutes text for item 20.
Report of the City Treasurer attached
This report provides an overview of the proposed reforms to Local Government Financing and the Council’s response to the two most recent government consultations which are Business Rates Retention Reform and a review of local authorities’ relative needs and resources.
The Committee considered a report of the City Treasurer, which provided an overview of the proposed reforms to Local Government Financing and the Council’s response to the two most recent government consultations which were Business Rates Retention Reform and. A review of local authorities’ relative needs and resource.
The City Treasurer referred to the main points and themes in the report which included: -
· In October 2015 the Government committed to further reforms to Business Rates retention followed by consultations in July 2016, February 2017 and December 2018. In February 2016, the Government announced there would be a review of relative needs and resources, followed by consultations in July 2016, December 2017 and December 2018;
· The two recent consultation papers were the next steps in the Government’s programme of reform to local finance which aimed to provide a fairer and more transparent mechanism for allocating formula grant and to give Councils greater control over the money they raised locally;
· From 2020/21, there would be significant changes to Local Government financing;
· The Council was engaging with central government and other interested bodies through formal consultation responses and working groups to ensure the impact of the potential changes on local government, and particularly cities was recognised;
· In relation to Business Rates Reform Manchester had been involved in a number of programmes to maximise the resource available in the region including a Business Rates Pool across Greater Manchester (GM) and Cheshire, the Business Rates Growth Retention Scheme 2015 and a three-year 100% retention pilot from April 2017 to March 2020; and
· With regard to the review of relative need and resources the Council was working closely with the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG), Local Government Association (LGA) and other Local Authorities (particularly Core Cities) to ensure the circumstances of metropolitan cities were represented in the review, specifically in relation to the impact of deprivation on the need to spend.
Copies of the Council’s responses to the two consultations were appended to the report for the Committees consideration.
Some of the key points that arose from the Committees discussions were: -
· Members welcomed the substantive and detailed responses, noting the cuts imposed on the City Council;
· Thanking the City Treasurer and Deputy City Treasurer for the work that had been undertaken to produce the detailed and compelling submission;
· Supporting the argument put forward that deprivation needed to be a material consideration in the funding formula and not simply calculated on population figures alone, noting the continued impact of austerity and the financial pressures experienced as a result of increased social care costs;
· Welcoming the inclusion of the issues arising as a result of the significant student population, and the associated loss of revenue, within the response;
· The responses should have included recommendations that Private Landlords are charged Business Rates;
· Was the resource allocated to Business Rates appeals sufficient; and
· In relation to Business Rates and the expanding University estate, what discussions had been had with other core cities, with similar large ... view the full minutes text for item 21.
Report of the Governance and Scrutiny Support Unit.
This report provides the Committee with details of key decisions that fall within the Committee’s remit and an update on actions resulting from the Committee’s recommendations. The report also includes the Committee’s work programme, which the Committee is asked to amend as appropriate and agree.
The report of the Governance and Scrutiny Support Unit which contained key decisions within the Committee’s remit and responses to previous recommendations was submitted for comment. Members were also invited to agree the Committee’s future work programme.
The Committee notes the report and approve the work programme.