Agenda and minutes

Venue: Civic Centre, Gravesend, Kent

Contact: Email: sue.hill@gravesham.gov.uk 

Items
No. Item

25.

Apologies

Minutes:

An apology for absence was received from Kevin Woolmer, Medway Council.

 

26.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 50 KB

Minutes:

The Minutes of the meeting held on 20th January 2011 were signed by the Chairman.

27.

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

No declarations of interest were made.

28.

Reorganisation pdf icon PDF 146 KB

To consider the proposed changes to the organisational structure.

Minutes:

Tony Ven Veghel circulated an updated report relating to the changes being made to the staffing structure in order to reflect the early retirements of two staff and the formation of three operational groups.

 

The planned reduction in staffing levels had been accelerated to 1 April 2011 due comprehensive spending review.  The changes reflected a move away from the traditional geographical model to one in which three operational teams would cover the areas of plan vetting, site inspection and consultancy/public protection services. 

In order to provide flexibility it was intended that staff would move within the teams as required and team members will be rotated between the various functions to gain experience in each area of the service being delivered.  The make up and the personnel in each team had been agreed following consultation with staff and the operational details were being designed through consultation and staff workshops.

 

Members noted that future improvements to the consultancy arm of the partnership may result in consideration of its potential standing as a local authority company.

 

Members expressed their thanks to the two retirees who between them had over 78 years experience in the field for their steadfast work and wished them both a happy retirement.

 

Members also wished to express their thanks to Cllr W G Dyke from Gravesham for his support to the partnership.

 

Resolved that the new staffing arrangements be approved.

 

Reason          

 

The Joint Committee has a key role in ensuring adequate resources are in place to deliver a high quality service to customers.

29.

Annual Audit & Inspection Letter pdf icon PDF 60 KB

To consider the Annual Audit and Inspection Letter

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered the Annual Audit and Inspection letter received and a proposed response prepared by the Committee’s Section 151 officer Mick Hayward.

 

The Audit and Inspection letter confirms that the annual return was in accordance with Audit Commission requirements; contained no errors and complied with all relevant legislation and regulatory requirements.

 

Two matters concerning possible implications of changes to year-end reporting and changes to financial operating procedures to ensure that authorisation by two nominated officers concerning fees levied for building control inspections takes place were drawn to Members attention.

 

Resolved that the Annual Audit and Inspection letter and the letter of representation in response be approved.

 

Reason

 

The Joint Committee has a key role in monitoring the performance of the Partnership and the Annual Audit and Inspection etter summarises the Audit Commission’s assessment of the Partnership.

30.

Exclusion

To move, if required, that pursuant to Section 100A (4) of the Local Government Act 1972 that the public be excluded from any items included in Part B of the agenda because it is likely in view of the nature of business to be transacted that if members of the public are present during those items, there would be disclosure to them of exempt information as defined in Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Act.

 

Minutes:

Resolved that pursuant to Section 100A (4) of the Local Government Act 1972 that the public be excluded from the following items of business due to the nature of business to be transacted and the likelihood that there would be disclosure to them of exempt information as defined in Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Act.

31.

Monitoring Report - October 2010 to February 2011

To consider the current forecasts for the 2010/11 financial year and  progress of the objectives of the Business Plan 2010/11

Minutes:

The Committee was updated on the current forecasts for the 2011/12 financial year and given details of the progress made against the objectives of the Business Plan 2010/11.

 

Applications were significantly lower than last year and the expected recovery in numbers had not materialised.  Predictions by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors showed that the situation for the construction industry was likely to worsen over 2011/12 financial year.  In addition the number of non fee earning applications remained at a high level including those where adaptations were being made for disabled persons. 

 

The Partnership was looking at new ways of working and providing value for money.

Efforts included a new regime for debt recovery; detailed time analysis by staff to ensure costs were appropriately recharged and looking at the various options for the renewal of a software contract which could provide possible self serve options.

 

Finally attention was drawn to the need to each of the partner authorities to consider the future of the Partnership.  The initial term of five years would expire at the end of September 2012.  It was expected that a report detailing the legal requirements and the necessary Memorandum of Agreement would be presented to the AGM in June 2011.

 

Resolved that the report be noted.

 

Reason

The Constitution requires the Joint Committee to maintain a monitoring role on the progress of the Partnership.

 

32.

The South Thames Gateway Building Control Partnership

Minutes:

Members were extremely grateful to everyone involved in the project and expressed their pride in the work undertaken to improve and change the services provided by the Partnership.