The Committee will receive a report regarding the Spending Protocol. Members will have an opportunity to discuss, ask questions and comment.
The Chairman confirmed that the Spending Protocol had been requested by the Chairman of the Implementation Plan TFG, Cllr Barbara Gibbs. Due to the large budget programme going forward there was a need for consistency across the whole council regarding project planning for delivery of projects and for decision making processes. The Chairman noted that the projects outlined in the report provided initial information and there would be more detail available in the future.
Mr R Ambrose, Section 151 Officer, explained that the Spending Protocol applied to the transition period and attempted to capture new commitments that the existing authorities were considering or those projects that had significant financial risks Projects included within the schedule had been reviewed and approved by the Shadow Executive with the aim of protecting the new authority and making sure it would start life in the best possible financial position. It was noted that the report provided information on the Shadow Executive decisions and also included the sovereign council with further details being via the links in the documents.
In response to member queries the following points were noted:
· A member supported the inclusion of the use of S106 affordable housing and the South East Aylesbury Link Road projects as it was understood that substantial work would be required to resolve these matters and commitments would need to be made.
· With regards to the Woodlands and Eastern Link Road South it was reported that the Stakeholder Board for this project and governance arrangements would start once the planning agreements were signed. The Shadow Executive had considered this project due to the additional funding requirements.
· Regarding the South East Aylesbury Link Road Mr Ambrose confirmed this had been included due to the increased funding required. The governance arrangements regarding this would be set up and proper arrangements would be made.
· The Gerrards Cross Car Park project had been deferred to the new council as this was considered a significant financial risk. The business case had been updated and the decision had been delayed until a Parking Strategy for the new authority was in place.
· Regarding the South East Aylesbury Link Road it was requested that this scheme be brought to an early meeting of the new Community Board for Aylesbury so that members could discuss the project ahead of approval. The Chairman noted that critical projects should all be treated in the same way at the new authority and he would expect that local members would be fully involved.
· It was noted that the Budget Task and Finish Group had asked for meaningful Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to be used for comparison purposes in relation to the Waste Contract. It was noted that the Shadow Executive had agreed this in principle and would be taking this forward.
Mr Ambrose noted that whilst the Shadow Executive had agreed this recommendation 11, regarding the Capital Programme, it would not be possible to complete this review in time for the next meeting. However these parameters of the review could be shared with members outside of a formal meeting to discuss and agree the approach. The Chairman agreed and noted that members would want the option to comment and provide clarity on the matter.