Agenda and minutes

Resources and Fire & Rescue Overview and Scrutiny Committee - Thursday 27 May 2021 9.30 am

Venue: Shire Hall, Warwick - Shire Hall. View directions

Contact: John Cole  Trainee Democratic Services Officer


No. Item



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Apologies were received from Councillor Piers Daniell and Councillor Martin Watson. Councillor Marian Humphreys and Councillor Chris Mills were present as substitutes.


Apologies were also received from Councillor Andy Crump, Councillor Sue Markham, Councillor Will Roberts, and Councillor Robert Tromans; and from officers Kushal Birla (Assistant Director, Business & Customer Services) and Sarah Duxbury (Assistant Director, Governance & Policy).


Disclosures of Pecuniary and Non-Pecuniary Interests

Members are required to register their disclosable pecuniary interests within 28 days of their election of appointment to the Council. ?Any changes to matters registered or new matters that require to be registered must be notified to the Monitoring Officer as soon as practicable after they arise.


A member attending a meeting where a matter arises in which they have a disclosable pecuniary interest must (unless ?they have a dispensation):


• Declare the interest if ?they have not already registered it

• Not participate in any discussion or vote

• ?Leave the meeting room until the matter has been dealt with

• Give written notice of any unregistered interest to the Monitoring Officer within 28 days of the meeting.


Non-pecuniary interests relevant to the agenda should be declared at the commencement of the meeting.


The public reports referred to are available on the Warwickshire website


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There were none.


Chair's Announcements

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There were none.


Minutes of Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 334 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 9 March 2021.

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That the minutes of the meeting held on 9 March 2021 be approved as a correct record.


There were no matters arising.



Public Question Time

Up to 30 minutes of the meeting is available for members of the public to ask questions on any matters relevant to the business of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee. Questioners may ask two questions and can speak for up to three minutes each. To be sure of receiving an answer to an appropriate question, please contact John Cole (Democratic Services) at least two working days prior to the meeting.

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No public questions were received or presented at the meeting.



Questions to Portfolio Holders relevant to the Overview and Scrutiny Committee

Up to 30 minutes of the meeting is available for the Committee to put questions to the Leader and Portfolio Holders on any matters relevant to the remit of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee.

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Councillor Boad requested an update of progress made towards establishment of a cross-party Integrated Risk Management Plan (IRMP) Assurance Panel. It was resolved that a written update would be provided following the meeting.



Work Programme pdf icon PDF 186 KB

To consider the Committee’s proposed Work Programme and future areas of scrutiny.

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Councillor Boad requested that consideration be given to the Integrated Risk Management Plan (IRMP) Assurance Panel at the Committee’s next meeting on 14 July 2021. The Chair agreed that this would be a suitable course of action.




That the Committee agrees the updated 2021/22 Work Programme, as set out in the report, and notes the scheduled future meeting dates.



Warwickshire Recovery and Investment Fund pdf icon PDF 1 MB

The report and appendices are attached.

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Councillor Butlin introduced the report and provided an overview of the Warwickshire Recovery and Investment Fund (WRIF). He stated that, prior to the outbreak of coronavirus, economic growth in Warwickshire had been strong; recovery from the effects of the Pandemic was a key priority for the Authority.


Councillor Butlin stated that the Pandemic had severely impacted upon levels of employment and productivity in Warwickshire. In response, a recovery plan had been devised which included development of WRIF which would have the capability to intervene effectively to provide targeted financial support to local businesses.


Councillor Butlin emphasised the scale of WRIF. The initiative would make use of the Council’s own financial resources as well its ability to borrow at a cheap rate. This provided a means to enact measures to stimulate the economy at a critical time.


Councillor Butlin requested that the Committee scrutinise proposals, including economic output, governance, and legal and financial considerations. The view of the Committee would be reported to Cabinet prior to presentation of the relevant aspects of proposals to full Council. The launch of the scheme was proposed to coincide with the lifting of restrictions. WRIF would seek to mitigate the impact of the cessation of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (and other government support) and provide employment opportunities for individuals facing redundancy.


Councillor Butlin outlined the aims of the proposals. WRIF would be a policy response to economic recovery, it was not orientated to generate substantial returns. However, any surpluses generated by the end of the five-year scheme could be taken forward for reinvestment in a modified form.


Councillor Butlin stated that WRIF was subject to a high level of governance. It would be vital to enact measures to ensure that taxpayers’ money was managed wisely. It was an ambitious project to improve the quality of life in Warwickshire and promote economic recovery.


Rob Powell (Strategic Director, Resources) summarised the work undertaken to date. It was intended that WCC make use of its financial resilience to accelerate delivery of the organisation’s policy objectives and address the economic impact of COVID-19. Investment would be targeted to drive the Warwickshire economy of the future. He stated that the WRIF was a closed fund, with a five-year timescale and a maximum investment by the Council of £140million. This sum had been ringfenced; Cabinet would make a judgement whether to recommend proposals to full Council in July 2021.


Rob Powell stated that WRIF had been developed with input across service areas, including Economy & Skills, Finance, and Governance & Policy. Engagement with the Chamber of Commerce, Local Enterprise Partnership, Local Growth Hub and others had confirmed the need for intervention. This was not a speculative initiative; it sought to address a known gap in access to finance for businesses.


Rob Powell stated that the WRIF report had been shared with the External Auditor, Grant Thornton (who, helpfully, had been the auditors of recent public interest reports), to test the thinking and development of these proposals. A subsequent conversation with the Assistant  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.