SHR Board Meeting - 2 November 2021

Published

10 December 2021

Updated

10 December 2021

Present

Present  
George Walker (GW) SHR Chair
Siobhan White (SW)   SHR Board member
Bob Gill (BG) SHR Board member
Ewan Fraser (EF) SHR Board member
Andrew Watson (AW)            SHR Board member
Marieke Dwarshuis (MD) SHR Board member
Helen Trouten Torres (HTT)  SHR Board member 
Lindsay Paterson (LP)
SHR Board member
In attendance  
Michael Cameron (MC) SHR Chief Executive
Ian Brennan (IB)

SHR Director of Regulation

Iain Muirhead (IM)

SHR Director of Digital & Business Support 

Roisin Harris (RH)

SHR Corporate Governance Manager 

Clare Nicolson (CN)

SHR Business Manager (item 2)

Observer

 

Fiona Johnstone (FJ)

SHR Finance Officer (item2)

 

 

Welcome, apologies and declarations of interest

GW welcomed all present.  Colin Stewart (CS), SHR Board member submitted

Apologies.  There were no declarations of interest.   

SHR Budget & Operating Plan mid-year review

MC introduced the mid-year review proposals for SHR’s budget and operating plan.  He highlighted the context including:

  • the impact of recruitment delays on work plans and the resource input needed to manage the processes as well as budget implications and related discussions with Scottish Government;
  • achievements to date during the year as well as some areas of delay; and
  • new work streams that have been added during the first half of the year.

MC reported that Scottish Government has indicated that it would welcome return of any underspend at this point in the year and noted that this was attributed largely to the impact of recruitment delays.   He confirmed that the Scottish Government has given assurance that any returns will not impact on SHR’s budgetary position when planning for 2022/23 and reported that the mid-year proposals have been formed on this basis of making a return. 

The Board considered the mid-year budget and operating plan reviews and discussed:

  • stakeholder events, noting the impact of Covid restrictions on plans, savings achieved through virtual meetings, but that there may be further spend on conferences to come during the spring, subject to restrictions;
  • potential to commission work that is at risk, noting this is being explored for some work, but recognising that even outsourced work has a management resource overhead;
  • future staff training budget planning, noting the in-house platforms available to SHR staff;
  • experience of similar resourcing issues in other public bodies; and
  • the importance of both returning funds, agreeing this was important part of SHR’s relationship with Scottish Government, while retaining enough to ensue SHR still has sufficient resources for work planned in the remainder of the year.

The Board considered the operating plan review proposals and discussed:

  • staff wellbeing and resilience, welcoming a commissioned programme to support staff starting in November and noting it will cover a wide range of sessions open to all staff;
  • stakeholder engagement and what might be possible in the remainder of the year subject to restrictions. The Board noted the current engagement arrangements including the Scottish Social Housing Resilience Group and the Regional Network SHR Liaison Group.  It also noted ongoing discussions around attendance at conferences and business critical meetings with third parties. 

The Board noted the expenditure in the year to date against the original revenue and capital budgets and the current forecast year end outturn.  It approved the re-stated revenue and capital budgets for 2021/22; and agreed to return £225,000 revenue and £50,000 capital funding funding to the Scottish Government.  The Board also approved the restated operating plan, noting work plans for the remainder of 2021/22. 

 Actions: CN to arrange a mid-year return of funds to the Scottish Government.

AOB

HTT updated the Board  on the recent Regional Network SHR Liaison Group that she attended with CS.  The Board noted the issues raised around housing options and tenant satisfaction. IB confirmed these would be picked by under SHR’s risk assessment of social landlords and in discussions with Scottish Government.

IB reported that he will leave SHR in early 2022.  The Board thanked him for his contributions over many years and noted plans for a managed handover.   

Effectiveness of meetings and papers

The Board agreed that discussions had been very useful.  It discussed the potential for in-person Board meetings and noted phased work to re-open SHR’s offices in line with Scottish Government guidelines.  The Board also noted the restrictive size of SHR’s Boardroom and that planning is ongoing to allow for hybrid meetings in the future. 

DONMs

The Board noted that it will meet on 7 December 2021.