Agenda and minutes

Finance and Performance Management Cabinet Committee
Thursday, 21st June, 2018 7.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber - Civic Offices. View directions

Contact: R. Perrin Tel: (01992) 564532  Email:


No. Item


Webcasting Introduction

) This meeting is to be webcast;


(b) Members are reminded of the need to activate their microphones before speaking; and


(c) the Chairman will read the following announcement:


“I would like to remind everyone present that this meeting will be broadcast live to the Internet and will be capable of subsequent repeated viewing, with copies of the recording being made available for those that request it.


By being present at this meeting, it is likely that the recording cameras will capture your image and this will result in your image becoming part of the broadcast.


You should be aware that this may infringe your human and data protection rights. If you have any concerns then please speak to the Webcasting Officer.


Please could I also remind Members to activate their microphones before speaking.”

Additional documents:


The Chairman reminded everyone present that the meeting would be broadcast live to the Internet and that the Council had adopted a protocol for the webcasting of its meetings.


Substitute Members

To report the appointment of any substitute members for the meeting.

Additional documents:


The Cabinet Committee noted that Councillor S Kane would substitute for Councillor G Mohindra and Councillor H Kane would substitute for Councillor A Lion at this meeting.


Appointment of Chairman

Additional documents:


In the absence of the Chairman, the Leader requested nominations for this role, for the meeting.




That Councillor C Whitbread be elected as Chairman for the duration of the meeting.


Declarations of Interest

To declare interests in any item on this agenda.

Additional documents:


There were no declarations of interest pursuant to the Council’s Code of Member Conduct.



To confirm the minutes of the last meeting of the Committee held on 22 March 2018.


Click here for the FPMCC minutes on 22 March 2018.

Additional documents:




That the minutes of the meeting held on 22 March 2018 be taken as read and signed by the Chairman as a correct record.


Key Performance Indicators - 2017/18 Quarter 4 (Outturn) Performance. pdf icon PDF 94 KB

To consider the attached report (FPM-001-2018/19).

Additional documents:


The Performance Improvement Officer reported that the Council was required to make arrangements to secure continuous improvement in the way in which its functions and services were exercised, having regard to a combination of economy, efficiency and effectiveness. As part of the duty to secure continuous improvement, a range of Key Performance Indicators (KPI) relevant to the Council’s service priorities and key objectives, were adopted each year. Performance against all of the KPIs was reviewed on a quarterly basis.


The position with regard to the achievement of target performance for the KPIs at the end of the year (31 March 2018) was as follows:


(a)          21 (66%) indicators achieved the cumulative end of year target;

(b)          11 (34%) indicators had not achieve the cumulative end of year target, although 5 (16%) of the KPIs had performed within the agreed tolerance for the indicator.


The Outturn performance against the indicator set for this year was slightly worse than last year when 28 (75%) of the 37 indicators had achieved target.


The members enquired about RES 002 – What percentage of the invoices we received were paid within 30 days? The Assistant Director of Accountancy advised that this KPI was marginally short of the target and this should improve with the introduction of electronic invoicing across the Council.




(1)          That the Quarter 4 performance for the Key Performance Indicators adopted for 2017/18 be noted.


Reasons for Decision:


The KPIs provided an opportunity for the Council to focus attention on how specific areas for improvement would be addressed, and how opportunities would be exploited and better outcomes delivered. It was important that relevant performance management processes were in place to review and monitor performance against the key objectives, to ensure their continued achievability and relevance, and to identify proposals for appropriate corrective action in areas of slippage or under performance.


Other Options Considered and Rejected:


No other options were appropriate in this respect. Failure to review and monitor performance could mean that opportunities for improvement were lost and might have negative implications for judgements made about the progress of the Council. 



Corporate Plan 2018-2023 - Benefits Maps, Performance Indicator Set, Targets and Progress Reporting pdf icon PDF 246 KB

To consider the attached report (FPM-002-2018/19).

Additional documents:


The Head of Transformation presented a report on the Corporate Plan 2018-2023 including the benefits maps, performance indicator set and target and progress reporting.


The new Corporate Plan runs from 2018/19 to 2022/23 and lays out the journey the Council would take to transform the organisation to be ‘ready for the future’. This plan links the key external drivers influencing Council services, with a set of corporate aims and objectives, grouped under three corporate ambitions.


The success of the new Corporate Plan would be assessed through the achievement of a set of benefits, focussed on what the Council achieves for customers. These benefits in turn were evidenced through a set of performance indicators, with each indicator having a target and amber tolerance threshold. A Corporate Specification for each year details how the Corporate Plan was being delivered through operational objectives, with these in turn linked to annual business plans and projects and programmes from the Transformation Programme.


A combined quarterly report, containing the benefits maps, performance indicator set, Corporate Specification and Transformation Programme Highlight Report was proposed, to supersede these separate reports. The report gave an overview of performance across the Corporate Plan using benefits maps and Red-Amber-Green traffic light status indicators.


The Cabinet Sub-Committee discussed the Corporate Plan benefits maps and performance indicator set which they felt required further work, to provide a clearer understanding of what the proposed targets were for each year as a measurement  and that the commentary referred back to background documents.


The following comments were made regarding the Performance Indicators 2018/19 – Proposed Targets;


·         M1.1 – Delivery of the Epping Forest Health and Wellbeing Strategy – that the target 2018/19 needed to be clearly defined;

·         M1.3 – Percentage of Independent Living Homes in the district – that the target for 2018/19 did not match the target commentary and should be nil for 2018/19;

·         M1.4 – Cost of Bed & Breakfast accommodation for homeless people – that the target should be reduced to reflect when the pods become available and that the amount of the budget be reflected in the target not the savings;

·         M2.1 - Number of safeguarding concerns – that the target should be on the action taken rather than the amount of incidents reported;  

·         M2.3 – Compliance checks on housing council tax support benefit – that the target be amended to 20% of claims checked per year;

·         M3.1 - Number of community leaders and volunteers – that the target be reflected as a number not a percentage;

·         M3.3 – Cultural activity attendance – to define whether the cultural activities or increasing attendance at cultural events was the target;

·         M3.4 – Number of reported crimes – that the target should reflect the outcome or action taken, as this was not in the Councils control;

·         M4.4 - What percentage of our district had unacceptance levels of little – to correct a typo in the title to litter;

·         M5.1 – Number of new dwellings completed in the district – that the target was unrealistic and should  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.


Essex Procurement Hub SLA 2019-23 pdf icon PDF 115 KB

To consider the attached report (FPM-003-2018/19).

Additional documents:


The Procurement Manager presented a report regarding extending the Essex Procurement Hub Service Level Agreement for a further 4 years until 2023.


He advised that Epping Forest District Council had been a member of the Essex Procurement Hub, run by Braintree District Council since 2006, which included other members such as Colchester, Castle Point, Rochford and Maldon Councils. The Hub provided a professionally qualified procurement resource, expertise and advice to all EFDC officers 3 days a week and ran procurement exercises on the Council’s behalf when required. Furthermore, in the last 12 months it had also provided access to an e-Tendering system at no extra cost.


The Cabinet Sub-Committee commented that the Essex Procurement Hub provided value for money. 




That the proposal to sign an extended agreement (4 years) to allow Epping Forest DC to remain members of the Essex Procurement Hub be noted.


Reasons for Decision:


The Council was nearly at the end of the period covered by the current Service Level Agreement, and a decision was required as to whether or not the Council would sign the new Agreement, which would commence from April 2019.


Other Options Considered and Rejected:


There were no other options to consider.



Provisional Revenue Outturn 2017/18 pdf icon PDF 152 KB

To consider the attached report (FPM-004-2018/19).

Additional documents:


The Assistant Director (Accountancy) provided the Cabinet Sub-Committee with an overall summary of the revenue outturn for the financial year 2017/18.


The net expenditure for 2017/18 totalled £12,766,000, which was £343,000 (2.7%) below the original estimate agreed in February 2017 and £96,000 (7.5%) below the revised estimate compiled in December 2017. The variance on the revised position was almost entirely due to a change in accounting treatment relating to the rent free periods on the shopping park.


There was an in year surplus on the business rates collection fund of £1,115,000 which had moved the fund into an overall surplus of £1,028,000. There was still a significant amount set aside for Business Rate appeals


The medium term financial strategy had estimated that the Council’s portion of the deficit on the business rates collection fund would be £542,000 and on the council tax collection fund would be a surplus of £192,000. In actuality, the business rates collection fund showed a surplus at the end of March 2018 of £411,000 and the Council Tax collection fund showed a surplus of £119,000 which would be paid into the General Fund in future yearsand provided a combined net position of £880,000 better than anticipated.


The Continuing Services Budget (CSB) expenditure was £343,000 below the original estimate and £830,000 lower than the revised. The variances had arisen on both the opening CSB, which was £252,000 above the revised estimate, and the in-year figures which were £1,082,000 lower than the revised estimate.


Unlike most recent years, when measured against the original budget, salaries were overspent by £99,000. Actual salary spending for the authority in total, including agency costs, was £23,439,000 compared against an original estimate of £23,340,000. When comparing to the revised estimate there was an underspend of £301,000, most of which related to the General Fund, although some salary costs were DDF and showed a small underspend.


The actual opening CSB was £38,000 below the original and £252,000 above the revised position. The main overspend related to Housing Benefits expenditure but this was offset partially by the underspend on salaries.                                                                                                    

The in year CSB movements were rather different to the revised estimate, with the actual CSB in year reduction of £1,763,000 being £1,082,000 lower than the revised estimate. The largest individual item was a change in accounting treatment for the rental income from the shopping park. In effect income relating to the whole period of the leases had been spread over the whole period rather than just the time when income was actually received. The effect was that additional CSB income originally included in later periods had been accounted for in 2017/18 and there would be no change to the overall position once all tenants were paying.  The other two more significant items were a reduction in expected savings from the leisure contract of £106,000 due to some additional maintenance and TUPE related costs and offsetting this, additional interest income of £148,000 as cash balances available for investing did not reduce as quickly as  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9.


Provisional Capital Outturn 2017/18 pdf icon PDF 161 KB

To consider the attached report (FPM-005-2018/19).

Additional documents:


The Assistant Director (Accountancy) advised that the report set out the Council’s capital programme for 2017/18, in terms of expenditure and financing, and compared the provisional outturn figures with the revised estimates. The revised estimates, which were based on the Capital Programme, represented those adopted by the Council on the 22nd February 2018.


The overspendstotalled £13,000 on the General Fund, £144,000 on the HRA, and £37,000 on REFCuSschemes. There were savings of £35,000 on the General Fund and £355,000 on the HRA. In terms of slippage, carry forwards were recommended for totals of £799,000, £2,468,000, £67,000 and £30,000 for the General Fund, HRA, loans and REFCuS respectively; and brought forwards were recommended for totals of £1,355,000 and £15,000 for the General Fund and HRA respectively. Other variations total £11,000 on the General Fund and £5,000 on the HRA which represented additional expenditure funded from external and direct revenue sources.


The Assistant Director (Accountancy) advised that the funds available to finance the capital programme include Government grants, other public sector grants, private contributions to capital schemes, capital receipts and direct revenue funding from the General Fund and HRA. Initially any specific grants and private contributions made for particular projects were used to finance the appropriate projects, taking into account any restrictions with regard to usage and time scales. Other sources of capital finance, which carried restrictions, were also applied at the earliest opportunity in order to avoid losing potential funds and included the element of capital receipts generated from the sale of council houses, which was available solely for replacement affordable housing (often referred to as 1-4-1 receipts) and must be used within three years of receipt. As a consequence, the maximum sum allowable had been applied to the 2017/18 HRA house building programme.


Another element of capital receipts available for capital funding was known as ‘attributable’ or ‘allowable’ debt. The Council was free to use all, none or indeed a portion of the money to fund HRA expenditure. Cabinet had made a decision to use part of this sum for the new housebuilding programme, based on 30% of the ‘assumed’ debt of Council dwellings, calculated when the new self-financing regime was introduced in April 2012. The sum calculated for 2017/18 was £104,000.


In total, grants of £788,000 were used last year compared to an estimated sum of £666,000, representing an increase of £122,000. This resulted primarily from the increase in private funding made available by more section 106 monies having been received for funding the new housebuilding programme. Other private contributions utilised included a section 106 sum of £23,000 relating to the St John’s school site used by Epping Town Council to renovate the Jack Silley pavilion, a contribution of £30,000 for an improved retail unit in Loughton Broadway and a contribution of £14,000 for the Shopping Park.


The generation of capital receipts was £2,533,000 higher in 2017/18 than had been anticipated, which was mostly due to more council houses being sold than expected. A total of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 10.


Risk Management - Corporate Risk Register pdf icon PDF 94 KB

To consider the attached report (FPM-006-2018/19).

Additional documents:


The Risk Management and Insurance Officer presented a report regarding the Councils Corporate Risk Register.


The Corporate Risk Register had been considered by the Risk Management Group on 22 May 2018 and Management Board on 6 June 2018. The review identified amendments and one new risk as follows;


(a)          Risk 1 Local Plan


The risk had been extensively updated to clearly reflect the Vulnerability, Trigger and Action Plan. The Vulnerability advised the need for the Local Plan to be submitted within six months of the publication of the revised National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), which was expected in Summer 2018. Missing this timescale would result in the Council having to use the standard methodology, which would see a much increased housing target of around 923 per annum, rather than the 518 homes currently identified as the District’s housing requirement. The Trigger advised that the Council was awaiting the decision on a claim for judicial review, which was holding up the submission of the Local Plan Submission Version (LPSV). The outcome of the review could result in the Council having to take the LPSV back to full Council and a further Regulation 19 publication prior to submission. The Action Plan advised the current controls and actions to address the risk and also the required further management actions.


(b)          Risk 9 Safeguarding


The existing controls had been updated to advise the development of a bespoke EFDC e-learning training resource which all EFDC staff and Members would be required to undertake. The update also advised of a bespoke face to face training session. Both these training developments would be rolled out during summer 2018.


(c)          New Risk 12 Waste Management


A new Waste Management risk had been added to the Corporate Risk Register. The risk centres on the ability of the Council’s partner waste contractor securing profitable outlets for recycling materials processed through the Material Recycling Facility (MRF) and the possible reduction in income. The trigger for the risk had been brought about due to the Chinese government banning the import of MRF paper, which had resulted in the saturation in the commodity market. Management Board were to continue monitoring the costs and market fluctuations. The new risk had been scored C2 (Medium Likelihood/Moderate Impact).




(1)        That the Vulnerability, Trigger and Action Plan for Risk 1 be updated;


(2)        That the existing controls for Risk 9 be updated;


(3)        That the wording and scoring for the new risk 12 - Waste Management be agreed;




(4)        That the amended Corporate Risk Register be recommended to Cabinet for approval.


Reason for Decision:


It was essential that the Corporate Risk Register was regularly reviewed and kept up to date.

Other Options Considered and Rejected:


Members to suggest new risks for inclusion or changes to the scoring of existing risks.



Any Other Business

Section 100B(4)(b) of the Local Government Act 1972, requires that the permission of the Chairman be obtained, after prior notice to the Chief Executive, before urgent business not specified in the agenda (including a supplementary agenda of which the statutory period of notice has been given) may be transacted.

Additional documents:


It was noted that there was no other urgent business for consideration by the Cabinet Committee.