Report of the Joint Steering Group
Consideration was given to a report that sought a decision of the Council regarding whether or not a Local Authority Controlled Company (LACC) should be established jointly with South Hams District Council.
In his introduction, the Leader informed that:-
- it was his intention to propose a slightly amended recommendation to that which was outlined in the presented agenda report. The Leader advised that the purpose of his amendments was two-fold:
1. To provide a clear direction of travel whereby the Council would not be proceeding with the LACC in its current proposed form; and
2. To ensure that the Council kept every one of its potential options open, whilst not precluding the shared working agenda with South Hams District Council.
- any issues that were outside of the revised (and approved) terms of reference for the Joint Steering Group (JSG) would require the approval of full Council;
- the JSG being an excellent example of the two local authorities working together. In the future, it was envisaged that the role of the JSG would be to look in-depth at all possible future options before ultimately presenting its recommendations to the Council. To keep all Members informed, the Leader gave a commitment for regular progress updates to be given to the wider membership from the JSG.
In discussion, reference was made to:-
(a) the project timescales. In reply to a question regarding the pension matter only being identified as a ‘red line’ to South Hams District Council Members at the very last minute of the project, the Leader acknowledged that, in hindsight, the JSG could have resolved this matter initially.
That being said, the Leader reminded the Council that the project timescales were incredibly tight and it had therefore been deemed necessary to undertake a number of elements in parallel;
(b) notes arising from JSG meetings. In the future, it was agreed that the JSG meeting notes would be made available to the wider membership on the Council’s Modern.Gov portal;
(c) sharing best practice. The Leader gave assurances that the Executive Directors were continually making him aware of the approaches that were being taken by local authorities across the country to address their respective budget pressures;
(d) the work of the JSG. Some Members recorded their gratitude for the extensive work that had been undertaken by the JSG in making these evidence based recommendations.
Having been moved by Cllr P R Sanders and seconded by Cllr R E Baldwin, it was then submitted to the Meeting and declared to be CARRIED and “RESOLVED that:
1. the Council should not proceed with the Local Authority Controlled Company in its current proposed form;
2. the recommendations of the Joint Steering Group (as at presented Appendix 1 of the agenda report) be noted;
3. the Joint Steering Group continue to meet with revised terms of reference being put into place to consider other options;
4. the first priority from West Devon Borough Council is for the Joint Steering Group to consider options for establishing a reduced scope LACC, with the priority on delivering Waste and associated savings;
5. the revised terms of reference for the Joint Steering Group be delegated to the Executive Director (Strategy and Commissioning), in consultation with the Leader of the Council and the Leader of the Independent Group; and
6. the remaining funding for the LACC project be earmarked to fund further work by the Joint Steering Group within their revised terms of reference.