Agenda and minutes

Performance and Finance Scrutiny Sub-Committee - Thursday 3 July 2014 7.30 pm

Venue: Committee Room 6, Harrow Civic Centre, Station Road, Harrow, HA1 2XY. View directions

Contact: Manize Talukdar, Democratic & Electoral Services Officer  Tel: 020 8424 1323 E-mail:

No. Item


Attendance by Reserve Members

To note the attendance at this meeting of any duly appointed Reserve Members.


Reserve Members may attend meetings:-


(i)                 to take the place of an ordinary Member for whom they are a reserve;

(ii)               where the ordinary Member will be absent for the whole of the meeting; and

(iii)             the meeting notes at the start of the meeting at the item ‘Reserves’ that the Reserve Member is or will be attending as a reserve;

(iv)              if a Reserve Member whose intention to attend has been noted arrives after the commencement of the meeting, then that Reserve Member can only act as a Member from the start of the next item of business on the agenda after his/her arrival.


RESOLVED:  To note that there were no Reserve Members in attendance.


Appointment of Vice-Chairman


RESOLVED:  That Councillor Barry Macleod-Cullinane be appointed Vice?Chair for the 2014/15 Municipal Year.


Declarations of Interest

To receive declarations of disclosable pecuniary or non pecuniary interests, arising from business to be transacted at this meeting, from:


(a)               all Members of the Sub-Committee;

(b)               all other Members present.


RESOLVED:  To note that the following interests were declared:


Agenda Item 7 - Revenue & Capital Outturn 2013/14

Councillor Barry Macleod-Cullinane declared a non-pecuniary interest in that he had been the relevant Portfolio Holder at the time the budget had been agreed.  He would remain in the room whilst the matter was considered and voted upon.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 99 KB

That the minutes of the meeting held on 18 February 2014 be taken as read and signed as a correct record.


RESOLVED:  That the minutes of the meeting held on 18 February 2014 be taken as read and signed as a correct record.


Public Questions & Petitions

To receive any public questions received in accordance with Committee Procedure Rule 17 (Part 4B of the Constitution).


Questions will be asked in the order notice of them was received and there be a time limit of 15 minutes.


[The deadline for receipt of public questions is 3.00 pm, 2 July 2014.  Questions should be sent to  

No person may submit more than one question].


RESOLVED:  To note that no public questions or petitions were received at this meeting.


References from Council and Other Committees/Panels

To receive any references from Council and/or other Committees or Panels.


None received.



Revenue & Capital Outturn 2013/14 pdf icon PDF 151 KB

Report of the Director of Finance & Assurance.

Additional documents:


The Sub-Committee received a report of the Director of Finance and Assurance, which set out the Council’s revenue and capital outturn position for 2013/2014.  The report had been previously considered at Cabinet on 26 June 2014.  


Following a brief overview of the report by the Director of Finance and Assurance, Members made the following comments and asked the following questions:


·                    The report contained specialist jargon and language that was not accessible to members of the public.  In the interests of transparency could the report be written in simpler language in the future? 


·                    Why did the report not include an explanation of the reasons for delays in Capital Projects?


The Director of Finance & Assurance advised that the Revenue & Capital Outturn report was aimed at Councillors and was designed to enable them to make informed decisions and was not aimed at the lay person.  He added that he would be happy to receive additional feedback outside the meeting from the Councillor regarding how to make the report more accessible to members of the public. 


Capital projects were sometimes delayed for a number of different reasons, for example, there may be delays in the school expansion programme as a result of delays in receiving planning permission for building works to go ahead.


·                    There had been a history of Capital under spends in Directorates over a number of years.  What targets had been set in this area?  Did the level of capital spend add pressures on the Revenue account and impact  on service delivery and why were Members not alerted of this sooner?  He added that in his view, revenue impacts of delays and any pro-rata savings should be clarified when projects were initiated. For example, if a school building project were to be delayed, then was there a contingency fund available to cover the cost of urgent and un-anticipated requirements, such as mobile classrooms.


·                    Under the 4-yearly budget, what percentage of a Directorate’s Capital spend would he expect to be spent within the current financial year?  Was this trend of carrying forward large amounts an indication of insufficient controls of the budget-setting process?  What level of evidence would Directorates be required to present to demonstrate that projects had been well planned and that any carry forwards were justified.  For example, would any of the ‘Troubled Families Grant’ be spent in the current financial year and had the Council lost any grants as a result of not spending them in the year they were awarded.


The Director of Finance & Assurance advised that the reasons for the under spends were varied.  The recent move to a 4-year capital programme budget setting process would enable greater financial control and flexibility. He would expect the level of capital spending to be 75% for Directorates.  He added that there was a rigorous budget setting and monitoring process in place for all capital projects, which included monthly reporting on capital spend and forecasting, the use of risk registers, and oversight by the Project Management Board. 


The Primary School Expansion  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.