Overview and Scrutiny Committee
Thursday 10 December 2009 7.00 pm
Venue: Room 8, Lambeth Town Hall, Brixton Hill, SW2 1RW. View directions
Contact: Matthew Mannion, Tel: 020 7926 2225, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Declarations of Interest
Minutes of Previous Meeting PDF 81 KB
To agree the minutes of
the meeting of [DATE] as an accurate record of the
RESOLVED: That the minutes of the
meeting held on 13 October 2009 be approved and signed by the Chair
as a correct record of the proceedings.
Public Notice Questions with response PDF 75 KB
for Information: Tom Barrett, Scrutiny Manager, 020
7926 2235, email@example.com
- Public Notice
Question: SC OS 01 OCT 09-10 submitted by Mr De Maynard
Mr De Maynard addressed the Committee
reporting that the rental increases that he had actually
experienced significantly differed from those promised by the
formula presented in the response.
Officers promised to respond in more detail
about the figures and to examine any mismatch. It was also agreed
that a copy of the response would be sent to Members of the
Committee and would be examined at the next meeting if
RESOLVED: That the Public Notice
Question and response be noted.
Clapham Park Homes Update PDF 117 KB
(Report No 256/09-10)
Contact for Information: Kate
Zaki – Client Manager, firstname.lastname@example.org, 020 7926
Officers from the Council and Clapham Park
Homes (CPH) introduced the report and apologised for the delay in
being able to present the report to Committee. They then summarised
the current situation as follows:
- Regular meetings were held between
Council Officers and CPH to examine progress and any issues that
may arise including the timescales for delivering the project.
- The CPH Business Plan had come under
pressure as the current economic climate made it difficult to sell
properties on the private market.
- Plans were therefore being altered
to frontload the development of social housing but that this had an
impact on the loan agreements which had been based on a plan to use
sales to subsidise the building of social housing.
- Officers expressed confidence that
the project would be delivered as planned, for example keeping the
current social housing mix, but did state that the timescales for
some parts of the project would probably have to be extended due to
these problems related to the current financial climate.
- Amendments to the Social Housing mix
or changes to the Section 106 agreement would require that an
application be presented to the Planning Applications Committee for
- CPH were also examining ways of
maximising income and were bidding for new grant funding.
- It was acknowledged that local
residents had expressed concerns about the level of continuous
engagement from CPH but that the report provided information on a
large number of consultations that had taken place and were
continuing to run.
Following questions from Members, officers
- There were no plans to change the
standards that the scheme would be built to but that they would
look to see if buildings could be used more efficiently such as by
combining services within single buildings.
- Although it was likely that more of
the social housing would now be built earlier than many of the
private properties, there was flexibility in the scheme so that
advantage could be taken of changes in the market.
Moving on to looking at issues around the consultation process,
a number of points were raised by local residents and Members
- Some Ward Councillors were still having difficulties arranging
meetings with Senior CPH staff, however, officers from CPH assured
the Committee that meetings did take place and that they were open
to having further discussions and that Ward Councillors were also
invited to general consultation events.
- Details were provided on a large number of consultation
exercises and events that had taken place and were continuing to
was explained that although CPH did work with Tenants’
and Residents’ Associations (TRA) they took the view that
they needed to reach out beyond those associations in order to
reach all local residents.
Following questions about the scheme from
Members and residents, Officers stated that:
- Current development was geared
towards re-housing existing tenants so it was not anticipated that
there would be a significant increase in the population until the
later stages of the project and that this would be a
view the full minutes text for item 4.
Draft revenue and capital budgets 2010/11 - 2012/13 for the Office of the Chief Executive PDF 126 KB
(Report No 269/09-10)
Contact for Information: Jason Hinton, Interim
Divisional Director Resources, 020 7926 9210
Officers introduced the report highlighting
the new savings proposals that resulted in a 15% reduction on costs
despite having to absorb new cost pressures.
In answer to questions, officers explained
- Some savings on the current
year’s budget had been shared with other departments and this
had resulted in a large variance between the Budget agreed at
February 2009 Council and the final Full Year Budget and that the
savings had been spread through the budgets of other departments so
they would show consequential savings.
- Maternity cover had to be covered
locally by Business Units.
- Around 60% of the potential
identified savings from the recent reorganisation of the Chief
Executive’s department had been realised directly but that
the rest of the savings had then been found through other
RESOLVED: That the report be
Scrutiny of the draft revenue and capital budgets 2010/11 - 2012/13 for Housing Regeneration and Environment PDF 126 KB
(Report No 266/09-10)
Contact for Information: Anthony Wilkinson
– Strategic Finance Manager, 020 7926 1706
Officers introduced the report explaining that
the Committee were being asked to examine those parts of the budget
that specifically related to Regeneration and Enterprise. They
highlighted both the savings proposals but also areas where growth
bids were being prepared. It was also reported that discussions
were continuing on projects that were being hit by the impact of
the credit crunch.
Responding to questions, officers reported
- There was a £7.3 million
overspend in the current year’s
budget and that a recovery plan was in place to deal with this
including a release of a £3 million contingency to cover
costs in the temporary accommodation budget.
- The additional costs relating to the
Temporary Accommodation budget had been built into the proposals
for next year.
- The opening of the new neighbourhood
employment centre had been delayed but was going to proceed at the
beginning of 2010.
- They would report back to Members
with details on the facilities costs for the new Norwood Hall Joint
- Most of the older style Temporary
Accommodation contracts had now ceased and that changes to Central
Government grants had now been factored into the budget
- Lower than anticipated income from the Parking Service were being addressed
and it was now recognised that the previous target had been
Members also debated whether:
- Efficiency savings could still be
found within the department and whether old problems were now
- Costs relating to borrow through PFI
schemes were too high, officers agreed to provide more detail on
the relative costs of borrowing money relative to standard Council
borrowing and how the overall costs comparisons that were used in
taking the decision. It was also noted that a PFI may have been the
only way the Council was able to raise the finance at this
- Whether the Norwood Hall site would
have better served as a location for a new Primary School.
Councillor Peck explained that it was anticipated that another site
would be found for the Primary School. Concerns were expressed
about whether a site in an industrial area that had been mentioned
by some was suitable for a school and whether there was a danger
that it would result in the closure of local businesses.
Finally, it was noted that the savings
proposals in the report were flexible at the moment but would be
firmed up once the base budgets had been finalised and that more
information would be provided to Members at a later date.
RESOLVED: that the report be
Work Programme PDF 81 KB
(Report No: 268/09-10)
for Information: Tom Barrett, Scrutiny Manager, 020
7926 2235, email@example.com
Item and Report: (Report
Contact for Information:
Elaine Carter, Lead Scrutiny Officer, 020 7926 0027 firstname.lastname@example.org
was reported that the new Local Democracy, Economic Development and
Construction Act brought Scrutiny into the Petitions process with
the opportunity for residents to demand that senior officers be
held to account by Committee. It also brought in a new requirement
to have a Statutory Scrutiny Officer.
further discussion it was noted that:
- Progress was continuing in arranging an event to look at Section
237 powers and issues.
- ESOL/Lambeth College and Working with the Voluntary Sector
reports were in production.
- LVAC should be invited to the committee’s meeting in
January and their constituent bodies notified of the
- Members were requested to support the preparation of a report
detailing their suggestions for the development of Overview and
Scrutiny over the next four years.
RESOLVED:that the work
programme and updated actions and information requests be