Agenda and minutes

Policy and Finance Committee - Tuesday 7th March 2023 6.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber & Blue Room, Arun Civic Centre, Maltravers Road, Littlehampton, BN17 5LF. View directions

Contact: Jane Fulton 

No. Item




Apologies were received from Councillor Cooper.



Declarations of Interest

Members and Officers are invited to make any declaration of pecuniary, personal and/or prejudicial interests that they may have in relation to items on this agenda, and are reminded that they should re-declare their interest before consideration of the items or as soon as the interest becomes apparent.


Members and Officers should make their declaration by stating:


a)             the item they have the interest in

b)             whether it is a pecuniary/personal interest and/or prejudicial interest

c)             the nature of the interest



Councillor Goodheart declared a personal interest in agenda item 9 [The Regeneration of the Regis Centre, Bognor Regis - Update Report] as a Bognor Regis Town Councillor and a resident of Bognor Regis.



Minutes pdf icon PDF 135 KB

The Committee will be asked to approve as a correct record the Minutes of the Policy and Finance Committee held on 9 February 2023, which are attached.


The minutes from the meeting of the committee held on the 9 February 2023 were approved.





There were no urgent items.



Public question time pdf icon PDF 69 KB

To receive questions from the public (for a period of up to 15 minutes)



The Chair invited questions from members of the public who had submitted their questions in advance of the meeting in accordance with the Council’s Constitution. The chair confirmed that one question had been submitted. The question was asked by the member of the public and this was responded to by the Chair.


(A schedule of the full questions asked and the responses provided can be found on the meeting’s webpage at: Arun District Council)


The Chair then drew Public Question Time to a close.



Capital Strategy 2023/24 to 2026/27 [30 Minutes] pdf icon PDF 87 KB

The report allows the Policy and Finance Committee to consider and comment on the Council’s Capital Strategy 2023/24 to 2027/28 before adoption by Full Council on 15 March 2023.


Additional documents:


The Group Head of Finance and Section 151 Officer introduced the report and explained to members that it was a requirement of the CIPFA prudential code that all councils produced a capital strategy that was approved by Members. The purpose of the strategy, which was not a budget report, was for it to be a framework that ensured that capital investment decisions were made in line with service objectives and was linked to the Treasury Management Strategy. Appendix 1 outlines the council’s approach to asset management planning, governance and business case option appraisals for individual schemes. The council was currently debt free in terms of its general fund and he confirmed that the council would likely need to borrow to fund future capital projects. He explained that borrowing was an acceptable approach if it was affordable and responsible.


 The Chair then invited the committee to ask any questions, a summary of the points raised is below;


·       Concern was raised as one member believed that it would be premature of the committee to send this to Full Council given the outstanding issue regarding the council’s budget meeting, which was currently adjourned until Thursday 9 March 2023. It was reconfirmed that the report before members was not a budget report.

·       Questions were asked regarding the types of investments the council should be considering e.g., the location of investments as well as advice regarding investments that may provide a negligible return. It was confirmed that this detail was documented in a report that went to the Audit & Governance Committee on 28 February 2023, and that the council would complete the usual due diligence prior to committing to any investment to ensure that it was a sound decision.

·       A question in relation to the councils Housing Revenue Account (HRA) where it was asked if the section 151 officer could foresee any issues or conflicts arising in the future regarding Right to Buy (RTB) receipts, the section 151 officer confirmed that a written answer would be given.



The recommendations were then proposed by Councillor Pendleton and seconded by Councillor Dixon


The Committee




that the Capital Strategy 2023/24 to 2027/28 be approved.



Carbon Action Work Plan Update [30 Minutes] pdf icon PDF 228 KB

This report provides an update on projects within the Action Plan and an overview of the Council’s Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions for the 2021-2022 financial year. 


Additional documents:


The Climate Change and Sustainability Manager presented the update report to members where he advised that it contained the emissions update for the 2021/22 financial year as well as  updates to a number of projects that have been going on over the last year. . He then highlighted the following key points;


·       Not all projects were able to have emission figures reported currently, these have been included where they are available.

·       The main body of the action plan provides information on sustainable projects that the council had undertaken and completed, were currently being undertaken or were planned for as future work.

·       Scope 1 – emissions directly attributed to the burning of fuels e.g., running the council’s fleet and heating of council offices.

·       Scope 2 – indirect emissions from the generation or purchase of electricity

·       Scope 3 – the activities of the council occurring from sources not owned or directly controlled by the council, these are both up and down stream sources and included things such as commuting, business travel and procurement. Scope 3 was confirmed as the most challenging area to reduce.

·       Scope 1 and 2 made up only 0.75% of total emissions with the remaining 99.25% lying within Scope 3


The projects detailed within the document are those which will result in the direct and indirect reduction of carbon usage. It was stated that it was important for members to note that the council must have a significant focus on its procurement as it was the highest and most challenging area to reduce and without a significant reduction in this area, an overall all significant reduction would not be achievable.


The Chair then invited questions and discussion from members. Discussion was had regarding the work being completed to reduce the number of diesel vehicles used by the council’s waste contractor, Biffa. It was confirmed that a number of options were being reviewed, however, the Officer did not believe that the technology in terms of electric vehicles was where it needed to be, in order to provide the significant reduction, the council wanted to see made. It was also stated that the council would be guided by Biffa in terms of the consideration of vehicle types e.g. electric, hydrogen etc as Biffa would be the users of the vehicles. A request was made from the Director of Environment and Communities for confirmation of the addition revenue and capital figures were regarding the food waste collections, the Director of Environment and Communities confirmed a written response would be provided. 


A request was made to obtain further information from Biffa in relation to the procurement emissions as it would be good for members to understand what Biffa’s performance in this area was currently, including their own plans on future targets.


Discussion moved on to reviewing of opportunities to install additional solar PV on council estates, including car parks and leased buildings. It was commented that it would be beneficial for the Alexandra Theatre in Bognor Regis to be included in this work..  ...  view the full minutes text for item 754.


Littlehampton Seafront Project [15 Minutes] pdf icon PDF 352 KB

This report provides an update on the Littlehampton Seafront scheme including the revised procurement process and project costs.



The Principal Landscape and Project Officer presented the update report to members and advised that the priority last few months of the project had been to define a clear procurement route for a design and build contract, but she explained that it had been a much more challenging experience than previously expected. The result of these challenges meant that it had been necessary to change the framework used for the process. The framework that would now be used was Pagabo. The remainder of the report provided members with an update on the projected costs of the project, the pre-application submitted to Planning and the ground water monitoring that was currently taking place on site.


The chair then invited members to ask questions. It was asked what the Pagabo framework was and what steps were being taking to improve the information in the council’s information boards that are situated on the seafront? The officer confirmed that Pagabo was just the name of a framework that the council could use. She then confirmed that, the information boards would be updated for the public in the coming days.


Some questions were raised specifically relating to design specifics for the project and the officer reminded members that there was currently no further information on the design side of the project. This was due to the length of time the procurement route has taken; however, she would update members as soon as the project has moved forward to this phase.


Clarification was sought regarding specifically what the recommendation was asking members to agree to and this was explained by the officer. The officer also confirmed that the advice received had not raised concerns, however any cost incurred would be something that would require balancing out as the project moves to the next phase.Discussion then moved onto the financial aspect of the project where the expected overrun cost was discussed along with options to be considered to bring the overrun costs down. The Chair confirmed that this detail would be brought back to members at a later meeting.


Support for the project was voiced where it was stated that there had been a good level of public consultation, excellent work completed by officers thus far and that future information being presented to the public should remain clear and focus on the concept plan. It was also requested that any information being put up on the information boards was also to be emailed to members.


The recommendations were proposed by Councillor Chace and seconded by Councillor Goodheart.


The Committee


          RESOLVED that


It notes the content of this report and agree the revised procurement route using Pagabo and not SCF.



The Regeneration of the Regis Centre, Bognor Regis - Update Report [15 Minutes] pdf icon PDF 328 KB

The Committee will receive a verbal update from the Council’s Regeneration Officer. This update will cover the points in the presentation attached.


(Councillor Thurston left the meeting at 18:58pm.)


The Interim Project Manager provided members with a presentation update on the regeneration of the Regis Centre, Bognor Regis. He confirmed that the Whitbread contract had been exchanged with an expected completion mid-May 2023. The project delivery had now moved into RIBA 3 design, he explained that the planning application submission would be expected towards the end of May 2023. The total project  cost forecast was confirmed to currently be within the budget envelope.


The Chair then invited member’s questions, where it was asked with the construction work forecast to start on 20 November 2023, how long do officers expect this work to take. It was confirmed that it was expected to be approximately an 18 month build programme. But this would be further informed by the procurement process (and related contractor programme) which is yet to take place and is being worked towards in tandem with RIBA 3. It was also confirmed that there were temporary locations being reviewed in order to relocate part of the Arun Arts operation and maintain a presence for them during the build period.


A member of the committee then expressed that he expected that this update would have provided more detail, he asked a number of questions on design, public and member consultation and raised concerns regarding public toilets. The officer provided reassurance to members that they would be kept informed throughout all stages of the project, he confirmed a  PR & Communications campaign was due to be rolled out shortly. And all endeavours were being undertaken to ensure this project would be as good as the council can get it.


 Discussion was then had regarding the SCF (Southern Construction framework) and the cost of using this framework, specifically how much did the 3% (OHPP) work out at, alongside had consideration been given to using Pagabo framework?  The officer explained that currently the SCF  was the most advantageous and preferred framework from a budgetary, programme and assured quality perspective. He explained that there was currently  limited interest in the construction industry as it was extremely busy, this was therefore having an impact on  achieving full contractor interest to tender due to resource issues, however expressions of interest were likely to be achieved through the SCF. He explained that there were a number of factors to consider during procurement and the process is not solely driven by cost. He confirmed he did not have the specific figures requested and would provide these at a later date as designs were worked up and costed through RIBA 3 and via the procurement/tender process. As discussion was continuing the Chair expressed that he felt if members wanted to continue this discussion, then the meeting would need to move into private session. The Director of Growth reminded members at this point that of the two project updates they had received at this meeting, both were very different from the other, one was a regeneration project, the other a construction project therefore the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 756.


Key Performance Indicators 2022-2026 - Quarter 3 Performance Report for the Period 1 April to 31 December 2022 [15 Minutes] pdf icon PDF 336 KB

This report sets out the performance of the Key Performance indicators at Quarter 1 for the period 1 April 2022 to 30 September 2022.


Additional documents:


The Group Head of Organisational Excellence advised members that the report detailed Quarter 3’s performance. She advised that all the KPI’s had been reported into all relevant committees and there were no questions for this committee to consider.


The Chair invited comment from members, where there were comments made regarding CP12, it was sad to see that there had been a slight increase in the number of missed refuse collections and this was unheard of. Were there any specific reasons as to why this had happened? It was confirmed that there had been some problems (breakdowns of vehicles) experienced, however the outlook was now much better that the new vehicles had been received. A further question was raised regarding CP42, occupied retail units in Bognor Regis, clarification was sought regarding the figures reported. The Director of Growth confirmed that these figures are reported on a 6 monthly basis. He confirmed that the 91% was calculated by a number of units occupied in a defined area and that figure was the result of the last check.



Work Programme [5 Minutes]

The Committee is asked to note that at the Committee’s first meeting in the new Municipal Year a new work programme will be presented.


The Committee were advised by the Chair that the first meeting of the committee in the new municipal year would receive its new work programme for the year 2023/24.