Agenda and minutes

Overview and Scrutiny Management Committee - Tuesday 7 February 2023 10.30 am

Venue: Kennet Room - County Hall, Bythesea Road, Trowbridge, BA14 8JN. View directions


No. Item



To receive details of any apologies or substitutions for the meeting.


Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Bill Parks. Councillor Parks was substituted by Councillor Pip Ridout.



Minutes of the Previous Meeting

To approve and sign the minutes of the meeting held on 24 January 2023.


Please note that this report will follow as a later supplement.

Supporting documents:


The minutes of the meeting held on 24 January 2023 were presented for consideration. Subject to updating the attendance list to include Councillors Iain Wallis, Jo Trigg and Elizabeth Threlfall it was then,



To approve and sign as a true and correct record the minutes of the

meeting held on 24 January 2023.


Declarations of Interest

To receive any declarations of disclosable interests or dispensations granted by the Standards Committee.


There were no declarations of interest.


Chairman's Announcements

To receive any announcements through the Chair.


The Chairman noted with great sadness the sudden passing of Helen Jones, Director, Procurement and Commissioning. Terence Herbert, Chief Executive, shared the sentiment in a statement and assured that the Committee’s condolences and appreciation of Helen’s contribution to Overview and Scrutiny’s work would be passed on to her family.


The Chairman also noted that Councillor Bill Parks had been appointed Portfolio Holder for Waste and would therefore no longer be a member of the Committee. The Chairman thanked Councillor Parks for the expertise he had brought to overview and scrutiny.


Public Participation

The Council welcomes contributions from members of the public.



If you would like to make a statement at this meeting on any item on this agenda, please register to do so at least 10 minutes prior to the meeting. Up to 3 speakers are permitted to speak for up to 3 minutes each on any agenda item. Please contact the officer named on the front of the agenda for any further clarification.



To receive any questions from members of the public or members of the Council received in accordance with the constitution.


Those wishing to ask questions are required to give notice of any such questions in writing to the officer named on the front of this agenda no later than 5pm on 31 January 2023 in order to be guaranteed of a written response. In order to receive a verbal response, questions must be submitted no later than 5pm on 2 February 2023. Please contact the officer named on the front of this agenda for further advice. Questions may be asked without notice if the Chairman decides that the matter is urgent.


Details of any questions received will be circulated to Committee members prior to the meeting and made available at the meeting and on the Council’s website.


There were no questions or statements submitted by members of the public.


Procedure of Meeting

Amendments will be taken in the order they are submitted and one at a time unless agreed otherwise. Although some of the amendments may be interdependent in that they relate to combined savings and/or growth, Overview and Scrutiny will want the opportunity to comment of each although with the ability to acknowledge their dependency if appropriate.


The running order of speakers on each will be:


·       Respective group leader/spokesman/individual to present the circulated amendment explaining the purpose, implications, intended outcome and link to the Business Plan;


·       The Leader of the Council and/or responsible Cabinet Member(s) to be given the opportunity to respond;


·       Corporate Leadership Team to comment (if appropriate);


·       Management Committee Members to ask questions of the proposer(s) and respondent(s) in order to gain evidence;


·       Clarification from statutory officers and other relevant directors (if necessary);


·       Contribution from any other Members (if invited);


·       Chairman to sum up and seek a consensus view of the Committee as appropriate.


Any consensus views of the Committee (and not of individual members) will form part of the minutes of the meeting for report to Council on 21 February 2023.


The procedure for consideration of amendments to the budget was detailed as set out in the agenda papers. The meeting had been opened late in order to allow members to fully consider the reports on the submitted amendments.


Councillor Nick Botterill, Cabinet Member for Finance, Development Management, and Strategic Planning, then addressed the Committee. He announced that on 6 February 2023 the council was informed that the local government settlement was to be favourably adjusted, granting the council an additional £0.500m. Councillor Botterill explained it was not clear at this stage whether this was a one-off or would form part of future settlements. He stated that the extra funding was in part down to a reassessment of the national rural services grant and said that the council was proposing to put £0.150m towards regularising their work with Visit Wiltshire, leaving £0.350m for the business plan priority reserve.



Wiltshire Council's Budget 2023/24: Amendments

To consider amendments from any political group or individual Members on the initial draft of the executive proposed budget.


Any amendments that may be received will be circulated as soon as they are available.

Supporting documents:


A budget proposal was agreed by Cabinet on 31 January 2023 for discussion at Full Council on 21 February 2023. One proposed amendment to that budget was received from Councillor Ricky Rogers, and four were received from Councillors Ian Thorn and Gavin Grant. The amendments were presented as detailed in the agenda supplement. Full comments were detailed in the attached report.


Councillor Rogers introduced his budget amendment, proposing that the rent increase for Wiltshire Council owned social dwelling rents be reduced from 7% to 5%. He suggested that many people living in social housing would struggle to afford the 7% increase, noting representations he had received from tenants. He claimed that due to difficulties in employing skilled tradespeople and contractors to repair and maintain social housing, the council would be unable to spend all the additional revenue that a 7% rent increase would generate this financial year. Councillor Rogers drew attention to reserve levels at other authorities such as Southampton which were at a lower level than Wiltshire, despite a larger housing stock.


Comments from statutory officers including the Section 151 Officer and Monitoring Officer were set out in the agenda supplement.


The Committee discussed the proposed amendment. They sought detail on how the Cabinet had reached their decision to increase rent by 7% following recommendation by the Housing Board, whether housing associations had done the same, the possibility that reducing the rent increase would impede the council’s capacity to adequately maintain social dwellings and noted that residents of other housing associations would be paying for a larger increase than those under the council’s social housing under the proposal. The Committee also discussed whether those in social housing were more in need of financial support than prospective first-time buyers or those in private rented accommodation.


The Chairman thanked Councillor Rogers for his proposal before moving on to the four amendments proposed by Councillors Ian Thorn and Gavin Grant.


Councillors Thorn and Grant introduced the first of their proposed amendments, which sought to remove the income budget introduced in 2022/23 as a result of the saving included in the budget to introduce parking charges for charge Blue Badge holders, which would amount to £0.040m. The consequent £0.040m loss of funding in 2023/24 and 2024/25 would be met by reducing the £1m Wiltshire Towns Funding budget by £0.040m to allow for a budget surplus to fund this pressure. In 2025/26, it was proposed to meet this loss of funding by an increase in the assumption in growth in the council tax base from 1.2% to 1.25%, which results in an additional £0.169m of basic council tax. Councillor Grant noted that it was difficult to accurately quantify the fiscal impact of the proposal, as no data existed for how many blue badge holders currently pay for car parking, but that the estimates had been provided in discussion with officers.


Comments from statutory officers including the Section 151 Officer and Monitoring Officer were set out in the agenda supplement.


The Committee discussed the proposed  ...  view the full minutes text for item 21.


Date of Next Meeting

To confirm the date of the next meeting as 21 March 2023.


The date of the next meeting was confirmed as 21 March 2023.


Urgent Items

Any other items of business which the Chairman agrees to consider as a matter of urgency.


There were no urgent items.