Agenda and minutes

Venue: Conference Room, Argyle Road, Sevenoaks

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No. Item


Minutes pdf icon PDF 37 KB

To agree the Minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 16 June 2015, as a correct record.


Resolved: That the Minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 16 June 2015 be approved and signed by the Chairman as a correct record.



Declarations of Interest

Any interests not already registered


No additional declarations of interest were made.



Actions from Previous Meetings


There were none.


Update from Portfolio Holder pdf icon PDF 23 KB


The Portfolio Holder’s update was noted.



Referrals from Cabinet or the Audit Committee


There were none.


SENCIO Presentation pdf icon PDF 4 MB

Additional documents:


The Chairman welcomed Jane Parish - Chief Executive, Adam Perry – Community & Centres Director and Sarah McDonnell – Marketing Manager from SENCIO who jointly gave a presentation to the Committee and answered queries.


In response to questions concerning future funding the Chief Executive, SENCIO, advised that within their strategic plan were key areas where potential growth had been identified and were constantly looking at efficiency savings and innovative ways to be as efficient and effective as possible.  The Community & Centres Director encouraged members to contact him with regards to any help could be given to sports groups in the north of the district.  With regards to marketing door drops were more costly and therefore carried out for specific issues such as targeting areas that would have been affected by the Fairfield Leisure Centre refurbishment.  Some concerns were raised with regards to the customer experience at White Oak, which it was noted were being addressed.  With regards to ‘gang’ concerns and youth provision they were able to provide facilities and coaches and there were already activities aimed at these age groups, but other than that it was a KCC issue.


The Chairman, on behalf of the Committee, thanked them for attending.


Budget: Review of Service Dashboards and Service Change Impact Assessments (SCIAS) pdf icon PDF 52 KB

Additional documents:


The Chief Finance Officer advised that the report before the Committee was the second stage of the budget process and would be presented to all Advisory Committees.  The first stage had been the ‘Financial Prospects and Budget Strategy’ report which had been reported to Cabinet on 17 September 2015.  The purpose of this report was to ensure that all Members of the Advisory Committees had a role to play in the governance of the Council and the budget decision making process and to make suggestions to Cabinet on growth and savings ideas for the services within their terms of reference. 


The main message was that this should be a significant step towards the Council becoming financially self-sufficient.  The 10-year budget at Appendix F to the report, included no Revenue Support Grant (RSG) from 2016/17 and no New Homes Bonus (NHB) from 2019/20.  In practice it was likely that some funding would still be received from these sources in the near future but the amounts were unknown.  The Financial Prospects report had recommended that any amounts that were received were placed into the Financial Plan Reserve which could be used to support the 10-year budget by funding invest to save initiatives and support for the Property Investment Strategy.  Using the funding for these purposes would result in additional year on year income that was not impacted by Government decisions.


Members had agreed the last 10-year budget in February and the changes that had been made since then included:


  • Rolling the 10-year budget on for one year and updating base figures.
  • Removing reliance on RSG
  • Reducing the Council Tax increase assumption to 2% for all years
  • Reducing fees and charges inflation to 2.5% for all years
  • Reducing pay award inflation to 1% for 4 years
  • Including income from PIS for the first time of £500k from 16/17, £700k from 18/19, £800k from 23/24
  • Savings of £500k in 16/17 and then £100k pa for all future years


The current list of growth and savings proposals was £52,000 short of the £500,000 target (if all of the proposals were accepted), and Members were therefore being asked for further suggestions for growth and savings ideas.  He further reminded Members that that £5.3m had been saved from 2011/12 to 2016/17 (113 items) and there had been over £10m of savings since 2005/06. 


Members reviewed Appendix D which contained the growth and savings proposals put forward by the Portfolio Holders and Chief Officers, and the Service Change Impact Assessments (SCIAs) in Appendix E.  Members also considered and gave individual answers to the following five questions:


a) What services should the Council invest more in?

b)What services should the Council disinvest from?

c)  What services work well?

d)What services don’t work well?

e)  What issues would you like Cabinet to take into account?


The Chief Finance Officer summarised the views put forward and Members considered whether there was anything they wanted taken forward  ...  view the full minutes text for item 15.


With the Committee’s agreement agenda items 10 and 11 forward for consideration.


Review of Disabled Facilities Grant process pdf icon PDF 89 KB

Additional documents:


Members considered a report which set out the findings of the evaluation of a pilot project undertaken by the Housing Advice and Standards Team to deliver all aspects of Disabled Facilities Grants (DFGs) in house.  The findings supported a Portfolio Holder decision which was taken where it has been agreed that the pilot project was successful and the Council should continue to provide all aspects of works connected with DFGs in house.


Benefits of the in house service had been identified as:


     Improved ability to effectively manage DFG budget spend;

     A more responsive service for residents is provided with a high level of customer satisfaction;

     The generation of income for the Council;

     Positive benefits for the Council’s reputation as the Council is identified by residents and their extended families as providing a valuable and much needed service.


The Advisory Committee expressed their thanks to the Housing Advice and Standards Team for their work on this project.


Resolved:  That the report be noted.


Health Inequalities Action Plan - End of Year Summary Report And Draft 2015-2018 plan pdf icon PDF 42 KB

Additional documents:



Members considered the 2014/15 annual summary report of the Sevenoaks District ‘Mind the Gap’ Health Inequalities Action Plan and the draft 2015-18 Sevenoaks District Health Inequalities Action Plan which summarised the actions taken by Health Action Team partners.  As a member of the Advisory Committee and the Chairman of the Health Liaison Board, Cllr Mrs Bosley advised that the Health Liaison Board had considered the same report and supported the recommendations made. Adoption of the new three year Plan was required to continue the work of reducing health inequalities across the District.


Public Sector Equality Duty


Members noted that consideration had been given to impacts under the Public Sector Equality Duty.


Resolved:  That

a)        the ‘Mind the Gap’ Health Inequalities Action Plan be noted; and

b)        it be recommended to Cabinet that the Draft 2015 – 18 Sevenoaks District Health Inequalities Action Plan be adopted.



To note minutes of the Health Liaison Board pdf icon PDF 40 KB

To note the minutes of the meetings of the Health Liaison Board held on 8 July and 16 September 2015, and receive any updates from the Chairman of the Health Liaison Board.


(16 September to follow)


The unpublished draft minutes of the meeting of the Health Liaison Board held on 16 September 2015 were tabled, which the Committee noted along with the minutes of the meeting held on 8 July 2015, and the the Chairman of the Health Liaison Board highlighted key areas of note.


HERO Verbal Update (to include a short presentation on the initiative) pdf icon PDF 107 KB


The Committee received a short presentation by the Chief Housing Officer, updating them on the HERO Project (Housing Energy Retraining and Options).  A Member queried whether there was the possibility of working with the ‘Welfare to Work’ scheme, and agreed to pass on details of a contact.


Fuel Poverty - briefing note pdf icon PDF 71 KB


Members considered a briefing paper which had been put together by the Housing Policy Team’s graduate intern.  Having recently completed an MSc in energy policy and sustainability, he had been asked to review the District Council’s fuel poverty strategy and related work programmes and to give his thoughts and suggestions for service improvements.  Members considered it an excellent report.


If Members had any comments or feedback they were asked to forward them to the Energy Conservation & Initiatives Officer.


Work Plan pdf icon PDF 16 KB


The Chairman advised that all items bar the item on West Kent Housing to be moved to the next meeting, and that the meeting would close for a ‘member level think tank’ on the Council’s Strategic Housing Market Assessment to which all members of the Council would be invited to attend.  From that event the Housing Policy Manager would prepare a report to come back to Committee for recommendations to be made to Cabinet.  There wold therefore be some movement in the work plan between the 2016 March and summer meetings.


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