Scottish Borders Council

Agenda and minutes

Venue: Committee Rooms 2 and 3, Council Headquarters, Newtown St Boswells

Contact: Jenny Wilkinson Tel: 01835 825004  Email:

No. Item


Call-In: Monitoring General Fund Revenue Budget 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 36 KB

Consider Call-in of the decision of the Executive Committee of 22 August 2018 on the General Fund Revenue Budget Monitoring 2018/19.


Papers attached:

(a)     the Call-in Notice;

(b)     Extract from the Minute of the Executive Committee of 22 August 2018;

(c)     Report on the Monitoring of the General Fund Revenue Budget 2018/19 considered by the Executive Committee on 22 August 2018.

Additional documents:


1.1       With reference to paragraph 2 of the Executive Minute of 21 August 2018, there had been circulated copies of a Call-in of a decision of the Executive Committee relating to the Monitoring of the General Fund Revenue Budget Monitoring 2018/19.  The decision of the Executive Committee was:



(a)     note the projected corporate monitoring position reported at 30 June 2018, the pressures identified, the underlying cost drivers of this position and the identified areas of financial risk as reflected in Appendix 1;

(b)     approve the virements detailed in Appendix 2 to the report;

(c)     note the progress made in achieving Financial Plan savings in Appendix 3 to the report;

(d)     ask the Corporate Management Team to ensure measures continued to be taken to deliver a balanced budget in the current year; and

(e)     reiterate support for a culture of sound financial management in all council departments to ensure the ongoing sustainability of the Council.


1.2       Also circulated was an extract from the Minute of the Executive Committee of 21 August 2018; and the report and appendices considered by the Executive Committee on 21 August 2018. 


1.3       The Call-in had been made by Councillor Ramage, supported by Councillors Bell, Marshall, McAteer and H. Scott, and was as follows:


           I would like to call in the decision of the Executive meeting on 21 August 2018 at item 5 on the agenda – the quarterly report on the Monitoring General Fund Revenue Budget 2018/19.


I do not consider that there was sufficient examination at the meeting of the 41 pages of detail which comprised this series of papers.  That may result in the view that there should have been amendments or additions to the recommendations.”


1.4       The Chairman, Councillor Bell, welcomed officers and Members to the meeting, and described the procedure to be used during the meeting before inviting Councillor Ramage to give her reasons for the call-in.  Councillor Ramage explained that she had attended the meeting of the Executive Committee, having read the report and listed a series of questions which she had expected would have been asked by the members of the Executive, but detailed questions had not been asked.  Councillor Ramage was deeply concerned that not enough attention seemed to be paid to the serious message given to Executive Committee in their report.


1.5       The Chairman then invited the Chief Financial Officer to briefly summarise the report to the Executive Committee.  David Robertson advised that the report contained the first quarter’s monitoring of the Revenue budget to the end of June 2018, highlighting pressures of £1.36m and explaining the management actions underway to address these pressures.  These pressures amounted to c. 0.5% of the total revenue budget and a number of compensatory actions had been identified to cover them.  Reference was also made in the report to the delays in developing reporting functionality within Business World but it was noted that a new forecasting tool was now in place for use by finance staff, with the roll  ...  view the full minutes text for item 1.


Any Other Scrutiny Items which the Chairman Decides are Urgent.


Under Section 50B(4)(b) of the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973, the Chairman was of the opinion that the item dealt with in the following paragraph should be considered at the meeting as a matter of urgency, in view of the need to make an early decision and to keep Members informed.


Broadband Improvements Review


With reference to paragraph 4 of the Minute of the Audit & Scrutiny Committee of 23 August 2018, the Chairman advised members of a discussion he had had with the Executive Director (R. Dickson) and Chief Officer Economic Development regarding the methodology for the proposed Review.  A four phase approach was planned to take in the different components.  The 1st phase would be a basic information/training session for members of the Committee to allow a greater understanding of the technology and technical terms.  Next would be an invitation for Digital Scotland to address the Committee giving details of the project from its first inception to the present day; this would be followed by Council officers giving their experiences of the same project over the same timeframe.  Following this, the Committee would need to decide what further details they wished to receive and then, after receiving all the required information, reaching a conclusion.  The whole process was aimed at providing lessons learned for the R100 programme which was currently being rolled out.  It was anticipated that the Review would start in October, with a report and recommendations to the Executive Committee in December 2018. 



AGREED the process and timeline for the Broadband Improvements Review.





Scottish Borders Council

Council Headquarters Newtown St. Boswells Melrose TD6 0SA

Tel: 0300 100 1800


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