Agenda and minutes

Cumbria Police and Crime Panel
Tuesday, 23rd January, 2018 10.30 am

Venue: Community Room, Cumbria Fire and Rescue HQ, Carleton Avenue, Penrith, CA10 2FA.

Contact: Lynn Harker  Email: lynn.harker@cumbria.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

The Panel received a written Update from the Police and Crime Commissioner for Cumbria together with a verbal update provided by the Chief Constable concerning the outcome of the Poppi Worthington Inquest.  Members agreed that a Special Meeting of the Cumbria Police and Crime Panel should be convened in due course to discuss in detail the reviews and actions which had been undertaken since the event.

 

Members also agreed that the Update should be available in the public domain and published on the Panel’s website with immediate effect.

 

32.

Apologies for Absence

To receive any apologies for absence.

 

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Mr J Lynch, Mr J Mallinson and Mr G Sunderland.

 

33.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 117 KB

To confirm as a correct record the minutes of the meeting of the Panel held on 16 October 2017 (copy enclosed).

 

Minutes:

With reference to minute 26 (Police and Crime Plan – Monitoring of Objectives) it was noted that the reference to ‘local authorities’ in the fifth paragraph should read ‘housing associations’.

 

RESOLVED,  that with the inclusion of the above amendment the minutes of the meeting held on 16 October 2017 be confirmed as a correct record.

 

34.

Declarations of Interest

To receive any declarations of interest.

 

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest on this occasion.

 

35.

Exclusion of Press and Public

To consider whether the press and public should be excluded from the meeting during consideration of any item on the Agenda.

 

Minutes:

RESOLVED,  that the press and public be not excluded from the meeting for any items of business on this occasion.

 

36.

Public Participation

To receive any items of public participation.

 

(Questions and petitions must be received in writing by Lynn Harker, Senior Democratic Services Officer at least seven working days before the date of the Panel meeting).

 

Minutes:

There were no items of public participation to be considered at this meeting.

 

37.

Revenue Budget Monitoring - Quarter 2

37a

Constabulary Revenue Budget Monitoring 2017/18 pdf icon PDF 542 KB

To consider a report from Cumbria Constabulary (copy enclosed).

Minutes:

The Panel received a report from Cumbria Constabulary which detailed their Revenue Budget Monitoring 2017/18. 

 

Members noted that the current forecast of net expenditure amounted to £113.285m compared to a revised budget of £112.373m. 

 

The Panel were informed that the variance amounts to a forecast overspend of £912k (0.81%) and was made up of a forecast overspend on expenditure budgets of £982k (0.83%) offset by additional income of £70k (1.15%).  It was explained the overspend was made up of overspends on some categories totalling £1,521k which were being partially offset by underspends on others totalling £609k.

 

The Committee noted the forecast overspend at September had increased by £655k (255%) when compared to the figure reported as at the end of June of £257k.

 

It was explained that the forecast as at the end of September assumed pay awards from September 2017 at 1% plus 1% non?consolidated award for police officers and PCSOs staff.  It was noted the total impact of the additional 1% (still to be confirmed by PCSOs and Police staff) was £412k for the financial year 2017/18.

 

Members discussed the vacant posts and it was confirmed there were 38 vacancies with 18 police officers expected to join the Force in March 2018.

 

RESOLVED,  that the report be noted.

37b

Commissioner Revenue Budget Monitoring 2017/18 pdf icon PDF 481 KB

To receive a report from the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (copy enclosed).

 

Minutes:

The Panel received a report from the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner regarding the Revenue Budget Monitoring 2017/18.

 

Members were informed that the current forecast of net expenditure amounted to £97.103m compared to a revised budget of £96.178m. 

 

The Panel noted that the variance amounted to a forecast overspend of £925k (0.96%) and was made up as follows:-

 

Ø   A forecast overspend of £13k (0.08%) in respect of the Commissioner’s budget.

 

Ø   A forecast overspend on Constabulary budgets of £912k (0.81%) of which, £982k (0.83%) represented an overspend on expenditure budgets offset by additional income of £70k (1.15%).

 

It was explained that the forecast overspend had increased by £628k (167%) compared to the position reported at the end of quarter 1 (June).  Members noted that of the increase £412k related to the part-year effect of the forecast additional 1% pay award for officers and staff which was not included in the budget.

 

RESOLVED,  that the report be noted.

 

38.

Police and Crime Commissioner Precept Proposals

38a

Constabulary (Review of Value for Money) Report and Presentation pdf icon PDF 435 KB

Report (enclosed)/Presentation (to follow).

Minutes:

The Panel received a report from the Police and Crime Commissioner for Cumbria and Cumbria Constabulary which provided an analysis of the HMICFRS VfM profile for 2017 which compared the forces within Cumbria’s Most Similar Group (MSG).  It was noted the aim of the profiles was to compare performance and the costs of achieving that performance.

 

Members were informed that the VfM Profiles in themselves had limitations and required more detailed investigation before they could be safely used as a basis for decision?making.  It was highlighted the profiles focussed on costs per head of population, which tended to show Cumbria as relatively expensive across all services due to its low resident population, noting the impact of increased population due to tourism was not taken into account.

 

It was explained that the high level analysis only covered areas of service where Cumbria had been identified as an outlier (in the top or bottom 10% and where the effect of the difference is greater than £1 per head of population) compared with its peer group.  This was either performing less well and services were either providing better value for money or performing less well and services were, or appeared to be, more expensive based on the criteria used in the profiles.

 

The Panel were informed the profile had identified 22 areas where Cumbria was shown to be an outlier, with the areas identified as being significantly above the all forces or MSG average cost.  It was noted that the annual value for money conclusion provided by external auditors was positive in respect of both the Commissioner’s and Chief Constable’s arrangements for value for money.

 

Members noted that Cumbria’s geography, topography and socio?economic environment were unique and had fixed costs associated with this regardless of other comparisons.  It was explained that population was the main determinant used in the profiles for assessing value for money which significantly disadvantaged Cumbria, which had the lowest population of 42 forces, was the fourth largest covering 2,613 square miles, was sparsely populated, classified as 98% rural and was geographically isolated.  It was emphasised the additional cost of delivering services in the physical geography was not taken into account.

 

The Panel were informed that the sparsity of the population, the rural nature of the county and the isolated geographic location of the county resulted in higher costs to deliver police services compared to other forces and, limited opportunities for cost?effective collaborations with other forces for other specialist operational services or provision of services by private companies.  Therefore, Cumbria Constabulary required more resources and equipment to deliver a police service to a small population distributed over a large area.

 

The Chief Constable then highlighted the impact of budget cuts in recent years.  He explained that most of his time in post had been spent operating on a significantly reduced budget.  The Force had seen a reduction of 39% of civilian staff since 2009 and the loss of 150 police posts, emphasising that was at a time  ...  view the full minutes text for item 38a

38b

Revenue Budget and Medium Term Financial Forecast pdf icon PDF 883 KB

(enclosed).

Minutes:

The Panel considered a report by the Cumbria Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner which provided a detailed analysis of the figures contained within the Revenue Budget for 2018/19 and the Medium Term Financial Forecast (MTFF) to 2021/22.  The Deputy Chief Finance Officer introduced the report, highlighting the detailed analysis of the 2018/19 budgets, the more unusual aspects of the budget and provided an explanation as to where the budgets had changed significantly between the years.

 

Members were informed the provisional settlement for formula funding was announced on 19 December 2017 with the funding allocated for 2018/19 being maintained at the 2017/18 levels.  It was explained the settlement indicated that the 2019/20 grant sums would also be at this level.  It was noted that at this stage it had been assumed that the figure included in the draft settlement for 2018/19 would continue to be maintained on a flat cash basis for the remainder of the MTFF.

 

The Panel were informed that Council Tax figures assumed that the Council Tax base would increase by 0.75% per annum.  The figures also assumed Council Tax precept rises of £12.00 (5.4%) per Band D property for 2018/19 and 2019/20 with around 1.94% for the final two years of the MTFF, which were subject to consultation.

 

RESOLVED,  that the report be noted.

38c

Draft Capital Strategy 2018/19 and Beyond pdf icon PDF 1019 KB

(enclosed).

Minutes:

A report was considered from the Cumbria Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner regarding the Draft Capital Strategy 2018/19 and beyond.  The report detailed information on the proposed Capital Programme for 2018/19 and beyond, both in terms of capital expenditure projections and the financing available to fund expenditure.

 

RESOLVED,  that the report be noted.

38d

Precept Consultation Responses pdf icon PDF 112 KB

To receive a verbal update.

Minutes:

The Panel received an update on the Precept Consultation responses and noted the methodology used which included media, social media, Cumbria Community Messaging and work undertaken with partnership groups.  Members were pleased with the responses received from both the urban and rural population. 

 

The Panel welcomed the format of the update and asked it be used in future.

38e

Precept Proposal and Medium Term Budget 2018/19 to 2021/22 pdf icon PDF 661 KB

(enclosed).

 

Minutes:

The Panel considered a report by the Cumbria Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner which provided an overview of the medium term financial outlook.  Members received a high level analysis of the overall financial position in support of the precept proposal.

 

Members discussed the modest investment of an additional 25 officers in the local community policing which would be facilitated by the Council Tax proposal.  The Commissioner confirmed the additional 25 police officers would be deployed to neighbourhood policing throughout the county.  The Panel noted that recruitment to the posts would be challenging and it was confirmed the money allocated would be ring?fenced for that purpose only.

 

RESOLVED,  that the report be noted.

 

39.

Draft Precept Proposals (Cumbria County Council) pdf icon PDF 422 KB

To consider a report by the Assistance Director Finance (Cumbria County Council) (copy enclosed).

 

Minutes:

Members considered a report by the Assistant Director – Finance (Cumbria County Council) regarding the Draft Precept Proposals (2018/19).  The report accompanied the report from the Cumbria Police and Crime Commissioner which set out the proposed budget and precept for 2018/19.

 

The Panel was asked to review the proposed precept and decide whether to, support the precept without qualification or comment, support the precept and make recommendations or veto the proposed precept.

 

It was MOVED by Miss H Fearon and SECONDED by Mrs J Cooke that the precept of 5.42% be supported without qualification.  Following a unanimous vote in favour of the motion, it was

 

RESOLVED,  that the precept of 5.42% be supported without qualification.

 

The Chair, on behalf of the Panel, asked that their thanks and appreciation be conveyed to all officers involved in the work undertaken with regards to the precept proposals.

 

40.

Compliments and Complaints pdf icon PDF 427 KB

To consider a report from the Monitoring Officer (Cumbria County Council) (copy to follow).

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Panel considered a report by the Monitoring Officer (Cumbria County Council) which advised members of any complaints received in accordance with the Panel’s complaints procedure.  The report outlined where appropriate, what, if any, action had been taken in respect of the complaints.

 

A member raised a concern regarding communication by County Council officers to Panel members in respect of one of the complaints.  Advice was given by the Monitoring Officer in respect of the Member/Officer Protocol and the Chair confirmed that this issue was not a matter to be dealt with in a public meeting.

 

Members discussed the proposed review of the Panel’s Complaints process and it was agreed that a working group of members, fully supported by officers, be organised to approve a revised procedure in draft, which could be recommended to the Panel at its next meeting.  The Panel also suggested that other bodies including the Local Government Association and Cumbria Police and Crime Commissioner be consulted during the process.

 

RESOLVED,  that

 

                   (1)    the report be noted;

 

                   (2)    the proposed review of the current Complaints Procedure be agreed.  The following members be appointed to the proposed Working Group to agree a draft Procedure for approval by the Panel:-

 

                           Mr R Bingham

                           Miss H Fearon

                           Mr G Sunderland

                           Mrs C Tibble.

 

41.

Panel Update Report pdf icon PDF 93 KB

To consider the Panel Briefing from the Senior Manager – Policy and Scrutiny (Cumbria County Council) (copy enclosed).

 

Minutes:

Members received a report from the Senior Manager – Policy and Scrutiny (Cumbria County Council) which updated the Panel on key issues and developments that had occurred since the last meeting on 16 October 2017 including progress on action agreed, national policy developments and the Panel’s work programme.

 

RESOLVED,  that the following be noted:-

 

                   (1)    the range of activity as set out in the report;

 

                   (2)    the Panel’s work programme.

 

42.

Date of Next Meetings

The next meetings of the Panel will be held on:

 

(1)    Appointment of Cumbria Chief Constable Confirmation Hearing – Tuesday 23 February 2018 at 10.00 am in the Control Room, Cumbria Fire and Rescue HQ, Carleton Avenue, Penrith, CA10 2FA.

 

(2)    Cumbria Police and Crime Panel - Tuesday 13 March 2018 at 10.30 am in the Community Room, Cumbria Fire and Rescue HQ, Carleton Avenue, Penrith, CA10 2FA.

 

Minutes:

It was noted that the next meetings of the Panel would be held as follows:-

 

(1)    Appointment of Cumbria Chief Constable Confirmation Hearing – Friday 23 February 2018 at 10.00 am in the Control Room, Cumbria Fire and Rescue HQ, Carleton Avenue, Penrith, CA10 2FA.

 

(2)    Cumbria Police and Crime Panel - Tuesday 13 March 2018 at 10.30 am in the Community Room, Cumbria Fire and Rescue HQ, Carleton Avenue, Penrith, CA10 2FA.

 

The Chair, on behalf of the Panel, thanked the retiring Chief Constable for his invaluable contribution to the Force during his term of office and wished him well for the future.