Cabinet response to recommendations of the Finance Panel (Panel of the Scrutiny Committee) made on 25/02/2020 concerning The Social Value Act 2012 and Social Responsibility in Procurement

Recommendation

Agree?

Comment

1)    That the Council benchmarks its spending with SMEs against other similar councils nationally

Yes

We have already done some of this work informally and we would like to take this forward as far as data permits.

2)    That the Council underwrites an event for social value similar to that run by Fraud Prevention, which brings neighbouring Councils, support service providers and experts together to improve overall standards. The Council should also seek to understand better from SMEs the barriers faced and seek to reduce them.

Yes

We will try to take forward an appropriate event (whether in person or virtual) as part of our new procurement strategy. 

 

 

Cabinet response to recommendations of the Scrutiny Committee made on 06/07/2020 concerning the Local Growth Funded Projects report

Recommendation

Agree?

Comment

That the Council confirms that the brief for the development at Standingford House, Cave St includes the adjacent Council-owned land and that it is registered as being for mixed business/residential use.

Partially

The Council’s plans do include the land adjacent to the Standingford House site. The land is, at present, registered as commercial (not mixed use). A change to mixed residential/commercial use is being considered as one option. It is contingent upon a full appraisal of the options and subject to planning permission,  and would include no loss of commercial space.

 

 

 

 

Cabinet response to recommendations of the Finance and Performance Panel made on 07/07/2020 concerning the Integrated Performance Report 2019/20 Q4 report

Recommendation

Agree?

Comment

1)    That the Council reviews the service charges it makes to Council housing tenants to ensure current levels reflect actual costs.

 

Yes

The Council takes its responsibilities towards tackling poverty and extremely seriously and recognises that now is a particularly sensitive time financially for many. To ensure that tenants are not overcharged a selection of the charges made to tenants are reviewed each year. This has proven to be a cost-effective means of monitoring charging levels. It is worth noting that previous reviews have indicated minimal differences between the charges levied by the Council and its actual expenditure (between five and ten pence per week).

 

When we reconcile the actual charges for leaseholders each year, we compare those costs against the tenant service charges in the blocks and then make any changes to tenant service charges ahead of budget setting for the following year. It should be noted that the accounting periods for tenants and leaseholders are different so the charges won’t be completely identical but they are usually very similar.

 

Where the Council has found discrepancies it has made changes, previously removing the window cleaning charges when the service was not fully delivered. It is the intention of the Council to continue to review the suitability its charging schedule and make any adjustments as required. This will obviously be especially important this year in view of the circumstances.

 

 

Cabinet response to recommendations of the Housing and Homelessness Panel made on 03/08/2020 concerning the Housing Delivery Plan

Recommendation

Agree?

Comment

1)    That the Council updates its programme of engagement and progress to date to include dates for recommencement of paused activities

Yes

Previously paused workstreams are restarting over the next few weeks, and the updated information on these will be added to the Housing Delivery Test Action Plan before submitting to MHCLG