Agenda, decisions and draft minutes
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The Council had before it a report by the Director of Commissioning which presented the Council Delivery Plan for 2022/23.
The report recommended:-
that the Council -
(a) note the content of the Council Delivery Plan 2022/23; and
(b) instruct the Chief Executive to realign any of the delivery commitments set out in the Plan that may be required, as a result of any potential Council budget decisions, to meet Council’s instructions.
The Council resolved:-
(i) to agree the content of the Council Delivery Plan 2022/23, noting some factual highlights from the report as detailed below:
· The Aberdeen City Region Deal (ACRD) is now in its fifth year and has grown in value from £826million to £936million primarily as a result of additional investment from the private sector
· The Council made available a total of 14,564 chromebooks and 500 MFi connections to ensure children and young people could access learning during periods of lockdown
· During school holiday periods, the Council provided supermarket vouchers to parents/carers of our young people who are entitled to free school meals on the basis of low income. In the year to date, vouchers provided were equivalent to the value of 300,570 school meals. We estimate that a further 62,400 meal equivalent vouchers will be issued in the year, bringing the total to 362,970
· The Council made over 15,000 play opportunities available to children and young people as part of our Summer of Play where the average rating for enjoyment from children and young people was 9.5/10
· The Council progressed both Council led and developer led sites to deliver 2,000 new Council house units, of which 283 new units were delivered this financial year
· The Council completed £580,000 of play area design and refurbishment work
· Aberdeen was awarded Gold Medal in the Beautiful Scotland Awards
· Clean Up Aberdeen continues to be a success. 2021 saw a record number of clean ups, 496, completed with over 2,000 volunteers involved
· Community partnerships continue to grow, with more than 150 collaborations in place, including volunteers, communities, businesses, schools, third sector organisations and companies. Thousands of volunteer hours spent in Aberdeen’s parks and green spaces
· The Accounts Commission commended Aberdeen City Council on the strong changes, improvements and ambition that have been put in place since our 2015 and 2008 Best Value reports
· The Accounts Commission also welcomed the fact the Council continues to display a self-awareness about its need to further increase its pace of improvement if it is to deliver its ambitious vision with its partners to bring positive change for all of the people of Aberdeen
· The Best Value audit report also acknowledged that the major transformation programme undertaken by the Council, with the Target Operating Model and digital strategy at is centre, had led to improvements in organisational structure and governance. It was also noted that the governance put in place had received external recognitions when the Council became the first Scottish Council to be awarded CIPFA’s Governance Mark of Excellence; and
(ii) to instruct ... view the full minutes text for item 1.
At this juncture, it was agreed that the reports on the General Fund Revenue Budget and Capital Programme and the Common Good Budget be considered together as the next item of business.
(A) The Council had before it a report by the Chief Officer - Finance which provided information on both the revenue budget for 2022/23 and capital programme for the period 2022/23 to 2026/27 in order that the approved budgets and Council Tax value could be set by the Council for the year commencing 1 April 2022.
The report recommended:-
that the Council -
(a) note the projected balance sheet position including the reserves as at 31 March 2022, shown at Appendix 1;
(b) consider the Council’s Financial Resilience Framework measures, included at Appendix 2, and Prudential Indicators, at Appendix 3, providing current and forward-looking data and insight to aid understanding of the implications of capital investment prior to setting Council Tax and the Revenue and Capital budgets;
(c) approve the Prudential Indicators as attached at Appendix 3;
(d) approve the General Fund Capital Programme as attached at Appendix 4;
(e) consider the capital projects described in Appendix 5, which were referred to the General Fund Capital Programme;
(f) approve the Revenue and Capital Reserves Policy for 2022/23 as detailed in Appendix 6;
Medium-Term Financial Projections
(g) note the forecast medium-term financial projection for the period ending 31 March 2027 as shown in paragraph 3.36;
(h) note that the Scottish Government has stated the intention to publish a Resource Spending Review in May 2022;
(i) note the important context of climate change and in particular the Net Zero Aberdeen Routemap and associated place based strategies that are in line with the Net Zero Vision to achieve the goal of a Net Zero Aberdeen by 2045, as approved by Council on 28 February 2022 (COM/22/054);
(j) note that the National Care Service consultation that took place during 2021/22 has potential implications for Council resources and operational arrangements during the period of the next Medium Term Financial Strategy;
(k) instruct the Chief Officer - Finance to refresh the Medium Term Financial Strategy and report to the Council by the end of August 2022;
(l) instruct the Chief Executive to report to the Council, by the end of August 2022, on a refreshed Target Operating Model, to address the challenges of the next 5 years;
(m) note that the conditions outlined by the Scottish Government within the Local Government Finance Settlement for 2022/23 are met by the proposals set out in the report;
(n) note the ongoing exceptional operating environment created because of the Covid-19 pandemic and price inflation that there are known and unknown risks that arise as described in the report, consideration should be given to increasing the £4m of in-year contingencies included in the budget;
(o) approve the redesign of Council services to address demand, in line with the commissioning led approach described in the report, and to set at least a balanced budget for financial year 2022/23, having due regard to:
a) The Budget Model as contained in paragraph 3.36 that identifies a funding shortfall of £32.2m for 2022/23;
b) The impact of service redesign on ... view the full minutes text for item 2.
The Council had before it a report by the Chief Officer - Finance which provided information to enable the Council to approve a revenue and capital budget for 2022/23, including setting of rents and other charges on the Housing Revenue Account (HRA) for the financial year.
The report recommended:-
that the Committee -
(a) approve the budget as attached in Appendix 1 (pages 2 to 3) of the report;
(b) note the Council decision on 10 March 2021 to maintain in 2022/23 the weekly unrebated rents for municipal houses at the level set in 2020/21;
(c) approve the level of revenue contribution to the Housing Capital budget for 2022/23 as well as note the provisional contribution for the subsequent four financial years as detailed in Appendix 1, pages 9 to 11;
(d) agree to maintain the working balances at 10% to meet future contingencies;
(e) note the Council decision on 10 March 2021 to maintain in 2022/23 the level of miscellaneous rents and service charges, including Heat with Rent at the levels set in 2020/21;
(f) approve, based on a rent freeze, the Base Capital Programme for the financial year 2022/23 Appendix 1 (pages 9 to 11);
(g) note the indicative level of the Base Capital Programme for the financial years 2023/24 to 2026/27 Appendix 1 (pages 9 to 11);
(h) delegate authority to the Chief Officer - Capital, following consultation with the Head of Commercial and Procurement, to procure the necessary professional services and construction works referred to in Appendix 1 entitled ‘New Housing Capital Programme Budget’ without the need for further approval from any other committee of the Council subject to due diligence, consistency with the financial model and affordability; and
(i) note that the delivery and programme management of the new build project was being delivered with the use of frameworks for professional services contracts which included programme and project management, technical support and quality assurance, all of which was being delivered with the normal fee scales for Housing Projects. These services would continue across the programme as new projects were identified.
The Council resolved:-
(i) to approve the budget as attached in Appendix 1 (pages 2 to 3) of the report;
(ii) to note the Council decision on 10 March 2021 to maintain in 2022/23 the weekly unrebated rents for municipal houses at the level set in 2020/21;
(iii) to approve the level of revenue contribution to the Housing Capital budget for 2022/23 as well as note the provisional contribution for the subsequent four financial years as detailed in Appendix 1, pages 9 to 11, of the report;
(iv) to agree to maintain the working balances at 10% to meet future contingencies;
(v) to note the Council decision on 10 March 2021 to maintain in 2022/23 the level of miscellaneous rents and service charges, including Heat with Rent at the levels set in 2020/21;
(vi) to approve, based on a rent freeze, the Base Capital Programme for the financial year 2022/23, Appendix 1 of the ... view the full minutes text for item 3.
The Lord Provost noted that this was the last Council meeting of the current Council term and paid tribute to Colin Taylor, Lord Dean of Guild, as this was his last Council meeting in his tenure as Lord Dean. The Lord Provost highlighted that the Lord Dean was an absolute stalwart to the city, and he had been a magnificent support to him during his term as Lord Provost.
The Lord Dean thanked the Lord Provost for his tribute and appreciated the opportunity to say a few words. He thanked Angela Scott, Jonathan Belford and Fraser Bell in particular, along with the Lord Provost, former Lord Provost George Adam and various members of staff, past and present, in the Council’s civic team. The Lord Dean added that he had received support from so many people and had made many friendships which he hoped would continue once he demitted office in 8 weeks’ time. He highlighted various achievements during his term of office and wished members well for the future.
Councillors Boulton, Houghton, Laing, Alex Nicoll and Yuill each paid their own tributes to the Lord Dean and thanked him for his excellent service.
At this juncture, Councillor Laing noted that she was stepping down at the next election after 15 years as a Councillor and 8 years as Council Leader, and thanked members for the various comments during the meeting. Councillor Laing underlined that it had been the most rewarding experience of her life and she was very thankful for the opportunity that she had been given. She thanked Angela Scott, the current Council Directors and Jonathan Belford and Fraser Bell in particular but paid tribute to Council officers from across the organisation for their efforts.
Councillor Laing summarised various highs and lows during her time as Council Leader and noted the various political opponents she had faced, as well as the political partners she had worked with. She paid tribute to Councillor Lumsden MSP who she had worked alongside as Co-Leader for four years and thanked him for his support and friendship. She also thanked Councillors Cormie and Mason as her fellow ward members as they had worked very well together in the ward; and Councillors Allan, Lesley Dunbar and Duncan within her own group who were not seeking re-election and thanked them for their service.
Councillor Laing concluded that she would miss the people and the comradeship and working with young people in particular, which had been one of the most rewarding experiences of the role. She underlined that she was proud of the Administration’s record this past 10 years and wished all members well for the future.
The Lord Provost thanked all members for their support; however he had no intention of giving up. He stated that he had enjoyed every second of being Lord Provost and remembered who had elected him and put him in office, and there were too many people to thank, however he was very grateful to them all. The Lord Provost ... view the full minutes text for item 4.