Meeting documents

SSDC Scrutiny Committee
Tuesday, 31st January, 2023 10.30 am

Venue: Council Chamber B, Council Offices, Brympton Way, Yeovil. View directions

Contact: Becky Sanders,Case Officer - 01935 462596  Email:

No. Item



To approve as a correct record the minutes of the previous meeting held on 3 January 2023. The draft minutes can be viewed at:


The minutes of the previous meeting held on 3 January 2023 were approved as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.


Apologies for absence


Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Brian Hamilton, Paul Maxwell and Robin Pailthorpe.


Councillor Brian Hamilton was in attendance on-line via Zoom.


Declarations of Interest

In accordance with the Council's current Code of Conduct (as amended 26 February 2015), which includes all the provisions relating to Disclosable Pecuniary Interests (DPI), personal and prejudicial interests, Members are asked to declare any DPI and also any personal interests (and whether or not such personal interests are also "prejudicial") in relation to any matter on the Agenda for this meeting.


Councillor Barbara Appleby declared a personal interest for item 8 on the District Executive Agenda – Yeovil Crematorium, as she is the Parish Clerk for Yeovil Without Parish Council who have an 11% interest in the Crematorium.


Councillors Lucy Trimnell and Sue Osborne each declared a personal interest for items on the District Executive agenda, as they are also members of Somerset County Council, and decisions contained within the reports would have an impact on the new Somerset Council going forwards.


Public question time


There were no members of the public present at the meeting.


Issues arising from previous meetings

This is an opportunity for Members to question the progress on issues arising from previous meetings.  However, this does not allow for the re-opening of a debate on any item not forming part of this agenda.


There were no issues raised from previous meetings.


Chairman's Announcements


The Chairman welcomed two Democratic Services Officers from Mendip District Council who were present as observers.


The Chairman noted this was his last meeting of the Scrutiny Committee as he was not able to be present at the March meeting. He sincerely thanked members of the Committee and their predecessors for their input, and the support everyone had provided to both himself and the Committee. He believed the Scrutiny Committee had been one of the most effective and able committees that he had worked with over many years of working with the Local Authority. 



Verbal update on reports considered by District Executive on 5 January 2023 pdf icon PDF 39 KB


The Chairman reminded members of the December and January meetings where the Section 106 Update report had been considered. He noted that the report had been circulated to all members either via a meeting of an Area Committee or via email. He encouraged members to read the report and respond with any queries.


Reports to be considered by District Executive on 2 February 2023 pdf icon PDF 157 KB


Members considered the reports within the District Executive agenda for 2 February 2023 and raised comments and questions as detailed below. Responses to many questions and comments were provided at Scrutiny Committee by the relevant officers or Portfolio Holder – except any marked by an asterisk.


Wincanton Town Centre Regeneration - Revisions to Timetable (Agenda item 6)


·      Para 1 What is the total number of projects in South Somerset that have been deferred as part of this local government reorganisation capital expenditure review?

·      Para 4 How can we be assured that Wincanton regeneration will go ahead in a years’ time, given that that significant financial pressures on the new Somerset Council is likely to continue into 24/25 and beyond?

·      Para 4 Regarding the business case that will be taken to the new Somerset Council, who will write this, and does this mean that the regeneration project goes back to square one in terms of the evidence base, consultation etc…

·      *Para 7 How many key empty premises in the town have been brought back into use in the year 22-23?

·      Para 10 Regarding the 1.902m being reprofiled into the 24/25 financial year, is there a risk that this is going to be reallocated by Somerset Council?

·      Para 11 – 151 will review the revenue costs can be capitalised and funded by borrowing rather than earmarked reserves. Do we really want to be adding to the borrowing?

·      Para 10 There is an inaccuracy in the Q3 proposed figures that needs to be corrected.

·      Have there been any redevelopment works at The White Horse in Wincanton?

·      Why has a risk matrix not been included in this report?

·      How is the decision to defer the project going to be communicated to the people of Wincanton? There is reputational risk to this Council if it is not communicated appropriately.


SSDC Opium Power Ltd - distribution of 2022/23 half year profits (Agenda
item 7)


·      Para 5 Will SSDC’s portion of the dividend be spent this year financial year 22/23, or will it be passed onto the new Somerset Council.

·      Para 9 Why is this dividend not being used to reduce the total outstanding on the loan from SSDC to Opium Power Ltd as per Option 1 at Para 18 of the report?

·      Para 5 Regarding the 900k being paid as dividend, this is close to the 1m limit set by the Section 24 notice, does the S151 officer at Somerset County Council have any influence on decision-making here?

·      Para 18 and 19 refers to two possible options, why are these options not being presented to the District Executive for a decision?

·      Para 20 Regarding the Net Present Value of 516k realised over 25 years, would this increase if interest rates rise?

·      Para 22 Regarding the risk that profit may not outlast the term of borrowing, what could cause this and how likely is it?

·      Is this a one-off amendment to the terms and conditions of the Shareholders agreement, and is there a risk that this sets  ...  view the full minutes text for item 93.


Update on matters of interest pdf icon PDF 41 KB


There were no updates on matters of interest.


Scrutiny Work Programme pdf icon PDF 140 KB


There were no updates or discussion. Members were content to note the Work Programme.


Date of next meeting pdf icon PDF 39 KB


Members noted that the next meeting of Scrutiny Committee was scheduled for Tuesday 28 February 2023 at 10.30am, in the Council Chamber, Brympton Way, Yeovil.