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The Minutes from the meeting held on 7th June 2016 were taken as read and signed as a correct record.
The Board was advised that no public questions had been received.
The Board was presented with the Minutes relating to the Corporate Services Portfolio which had been considered by the Executive Board since the last meeting of the Board.
RESOLVED: That the minutes be noted.
A report was presented to the Board by the Strategic Director, Enterprise, Community and Resources, which informed members of the project delivery of the Local Area Forums for the financial period 1 April 2015 to 31 March 2016.
Members were advised that Local Area Forums (LAF) were set up in 2001 to take policy development to communities, bridging the gap between key agencies working within the Borough. Each LAF was led by the respective local Councillors and supported by a Senior Officer from the Council. Other partner organisations such as the Police, Fire Service, Housing Associations, Youth and Voluntary sector bodies also attended LAF’s to keep the community informed of local developments and to respond to local concerns.
It was reported that in 2015/16, £550,000 was allocated to the Area Forums which was allocated on a per capita basis across the seven LAF’s that covered the Borough; details of each area’s funding was provided in the report. Projects funded through the LAF’s were categorised into the following key areas:-
· Improved Parks;
· Pedestrian and Highway Improvements;
· Children and Youth Facilities;
· Community Events;
· Community Initiatives; and
· Community Resources and Equipment.
It was highlighted that the Area Forum budget had enabled the leverage of other grants, and through joint working, had secured access to funds from other agencies. Overall, an additional amount of £751,149.42 (compared to £316,630 in 2014/15) was levered in to support area forum projects providing a total budget of £1,234,071.74 (compared to £833,440 in 2014/15). It was noted this significant increase was due to large grants for two projects being successful in this period.
Finally, the report provided Members with examples of case studies which demonstrated the positive impacts that Area Forum projects had in Halton’s communities.
Members requested a further report on the impact of the recent Internal Audit recommendations with regard to LAF’s.
1. the report be received; and
2. a further report be brought to a future Board meeting on the impact of the recent Internal Audit recommendations with regard to LAF’s.
The Board received a report which provided an update on the collection of council tax. The report detailed the:
· collection rates in Halton over the past ten years;
· impact of localisation of council tax support;
· council tax arrears position for each of the past seven years;
· cash collection figures; and
· recovery action undertaken for council tax debt.
It was noted that despite increased recovery activity, the arrears had increased significantly each year and this trend was expected to continue. Arising from the discussion, it was agreed that a further report would be brought to a future meeting concerning the effects of additional court costs on individuals.
1. the latest position regarding the billing and collection of council tax as set out in the report be noted; and
2. a further report be brought to a future meeting concerning the effects of additional court costs on individuals.
The Board received a report from the Strategic Director, Policy and Resources, which presented the Performance Monitoring Reports for Quarter 1 of 2016/17.
The reports related to the following functional areas which reported to the Board and detailed progress against service objectives and milestones, and performance targets and provided information relating to key developments and emerging issues that had arisen during the period:
· Human Resources and Organisational Development;
· ICT and Administrative Support;
· Legal and Democracy;
· Policy and Performance;
· Property Services; and
· Catering, Stadium and Registration Services.
Arising from the discussion, Members requested that an update report be submitted to a future meeting on Widnes Market.
1. the first quarter performance monitoring reports be received and noted; and
2. an update report on Widnes Market be brought to a future meeting