To discuss and agree any actions required on the Qualis Quarterly Monitoring Report – Q1/Q2 and Q3 2019/20.
Councillor A Patel, Commercial and Regulatory Portfolio Holder
Councillor A Patel submitted a report regarding the Qualis Quarterly Monitoring Report – Q1/Q2 and Q3 2019/20. He advised that Cabinet and Overview and Scrutiny had considered the Qualis Board Reports for Quarters 1, 2 and 3 at their respective meetings in September and October 2020.
Councillor Patel highlighted that the Covid-19 Pandemic had dramatically impacted on all Council activities, including the set-up and initiation of the Qualis Business Plan. This had caused delay as Covid-19 became the focus of the Council, this could not have been foreseen when the plans were agreed, so taking this into account, the impact of Covid-19, Qualis had performed in line with the expectations for these periods.
For the first three quarters Qualis had been focused on set-up and not trading and given the Council’s focus elsewhere the set-up had taken longer than originally anticipated. It should be noted that all deliverables were flagged as Green with the exception of agreeing the loan finance from EFDC to Qualis. He confirmed that this had now been agreed and that the first loans had been paid. Housing maintenance activities had also been successfully transferred to Qualis and would appear in the Q4 monitoring report.
The Shareholder Agreement and Governance arrangement, agreed by Cabinet in February 2020, set out the decision-making framework for Qualis and the ways in which the Council, in its capacity as Shareholder, could influence or control the activities of Qualis. The principal control would be through the approval of the annual Business Plan which Qualis was required to present its proposals each year within the Business Plan and only if the Council agrees the Business Plan could Qualis implement the proposals contained within it. This represents the critical control over the activities of Qualis and detailed consideration would be given to the sign-off accordingly.
Finally, Members should note that Covid-19 was having a huge financial impact on the Council and now more than ever the Council needed Qualis to be a success in order to smooth the costs of Covid-19 and provide a new income stream. Members were asked to note the report.
Councillor J M Whitehouse stated that there was a long delay in publishing the Q3 report and given that we were a working day away from Q4, would the Q4 report be going to the next Cabinet meeting in November and if not when could Members expect to see the Q4 report.
Councillor A Patel replied that it would not be ready in time for the Cabinet meeting in November but that he could provide a verbal update at that meeting. The Q4 report would be ready to go to the Cabinet meeting in December.
Councillor J Philip advised that before the Q4 report could go to Cabinet, the end of Q4 had to be reached, the reporting on the end of Q4 had to be written by the financial officers at Qualis, it then had to go to the Qualis Board for approval before it could be passed onto the Shareholder. He agreed with Councillor Patel that it would not be ready for the Cabinet meeting in November 2020 and would therefore go to the Cabinet meeting in December 2020.
That the Qualis Quarterly Monitoring Report – Q1/Q2 and Q3 2019.20 be noted.