The Joint Committee for Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole met on 16 April 2018. Here’s a summary of what was discussed and agreed.
Programme Resourcing The BCP Programme is split into three phases. Members were presented with a report setting out the anticipated resources and costs required to support the remaining tasks for Phase 1 of the programme, as well as to start mobilising the Phase 2 tasks and workstreams. This did not include costs required for Phase 3 as it is not possible to reliably assess these until the vision of the new council is set out. Also excluded are the running costs of the Shadow Authority.
Members of the Joint Committee agreed the following recommendations:
- Agree the initial estimated new costs and budget of £1.1m required to support Phases 1 and 2 of the BCP Programme.
- Agree to allocate the residual unallocated resources of £1.16m already set aside by the preceding authorities to the BCP unitary to cover the initial estimated costs.
- Note and endorse the principle that additional resources will be required to support the preceding authorities in delivering the BCP Programme while also delivering day to day services.
- Delegate authority to the BCP Programme Board to allocate the budget(s) within and across the categories outlined within the report, in consultation with the appropriate senior officers from the preceding authorities where necessary.
- Agree the creation of a strategic Task & Finish Working Group to provide oversight and leadership to the programme
- Agree to the changes in the composition of the BCP Programme Board
Phase 2 of BCP Programme will include approximately 32 service area workstreams split into portfolio areas of Children’s, Adult’s, Place/ Environment and Economy and Corporate services. These workstreams will run throughout Phase 2 to ensure day one service continuity and successful disaggregation and reaggregation of services.
Parliamentary Orders These are the formal Orders that go through the Parliamentary Process to create the new council. They legally create it and set up a Shadow Authority as well as dealing with electoral matters. The Structural Change Order (SCO) was presented to Parliament on 29 March. Once the SCO is approved and until the new council exists, the Shadow Authority will consist of all 120 Members from Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole councils (as well as five Dorset County Council members for disaggregation matters), who will each nominate members to form the Shadow Executive. The Shadow Executive will be made up proportionally of sixteen councillors with eight from Bournemouth, six from Poole and two from Christchurch. It is anticipated that the SCO will be passed in early June which means the first meeting of Shadow Authority will be early-mid June
We expect there to be two further orders once the SCO is approved and these will cover finance, assets, civic arrangements and staffing. We expect these to be laid in parliament before recess in July.
Council Tax Harmonisation – Members received an update on how work is progressing with the council tax harmonisation task and finish group.
Now that all councils have set their council tax for 2018/19 financial modelling for council tax harmonisation has been revised. The revised modelling now shows that there are five compliant models based on the joint committee’s resolution.
Members agreed that the following would go in the finance order laid before parliament:
That the harmonisation of council tax in the BCP unitary council takes place over a period of less than eight years and in each year the differential between the highest and lowest prevailing rates will reduce.