Agenda and minutes

Budget - Joint Overview and Scrutiny Committee
Thursday, 10th January, 2019 2.00 pm

Venue: Shekinah Room - Jubilee Church Life Centre, 1-5 London Road, Grantham. NG31 6EY. View directions

Contact: Anita Eckersley 

Items
No. Item

1.

Membership

    The Committee to be notified of any substitute members.

    Minutes:

    The Chairman welcomed everyone to the meeting and ran through the protocol for the meeting. He emphasised that this was an opportunity for Scrutiny Members to seek clarification on the Budget Proposals. He commented that it was hoped all Members would participate in the discussions and considerations noting that this meeting provided cross party scrutiny of the Budget Proposals for 2019/20. All Members would be provided with an opportunity to participate but they would need to indicate their intention to speak via the Vice Chairman.

     

    The Chairman then requested notification of changes in membership.

     

    It was noted that Councillor Phil Dilks would substitute for Councillor Tracey Forman for this meeting only.

2.

Apologies

    Minutes:

    Apologies for absence had been received from:

     

    Councillors, Frances Cartwright, Rachael Cooke, Nick Craft, Mike Exton, Breda-Rae Griffin, Rosemary Kaberry-Brown, Helen Powell, Judy Smith, Andrea Webster, Martin Wilkins, Paul Wood, Linda Wootten and Ray Wootten.

     

    Members absent were: Councillors Pam Bosworth, Felicity Cunningham, Bob Russell and Judy Stevens.

3.

Disclosure of Interests

4.

Action Notes of the meeting held on 10 January 2018 pdf icon PDF 155 KB

5.

Updates from the previous meeting

    Minutes:

    In response to Members queries about the progress of car parking charges and whether there was an overview of the deliverables and outcomes in respect of the 2018/19 budget proposals, the Committee was informed that car parking charges would be reconsidered at a later date and that the Growth Overview and Scrutiny Committee received Quarterly Budget Monitoring reports. Monthly monitoring was being introduced by Corporate Management Team (CMT) and Cabinet Members.

6.

Budget Proposals 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 433 KB

    Report CFM482 – Budget Proposals 2019-20 of the Cabinet Member for Finance and the Cabinet Member for Housing.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The Chairman noted that the Cabinet Member for Finance would introduce the Budget Proposals 2019/20 report after the Leader had said an initial few words.

     

    The Leader referred to the current financial year and how it had been a transition period in respect of realigning key parts of the Council’s Budgets.  The forthcoming year would be a year of consolidation and would focus on building growth and investment in the District.  During the current year, the Council had played a leading role in supporting growth and engaging with organisations and partners throughout the District and further afield. Reference was made to the Economic Summit that took place in October 2018 when the Leader had spoken about future proposals to enhance and develop the economy in the District as well as progress the delivery of housing, mixed use sites, and encourage further investment in the District from organisations outside the District. The aim was to ensure that the Council was well on its way to becoming self-sufficient and master of its own destiny.

     

    The Chairman thanked the Leader for his comments and invited the Cabinet Member for Finance to present the Budget Proposals 2019/20 Report.

     

    The Cabinet Member for Finance commented that as a key part of the development and scrutiny of the budget for the coming year, the Budget Joint Overview and Scrutiny Committee was being asked to consider the budget proposals for 2019/20 in respect of the:

     

    §  General Fund – Revenue and Capital

    §  Housing Revenue Account – Revenue and Capital

     

    The Committee was reminded that the Council was required to set a balanced budget and agree the level of Council Tax for 2019/20. The report provided details of the Cabinet’s draft proposals for the 2019/20 budget which had been formulated by the Cabinet following close working with senior officers through a number of budget workshops. The objective was to realign resources and spending plans to ensure the key priorities and aspirations of the Council could be delivered. 

     

    The report covered areas such as the funding position for the General Fund (section 2), the draft general fund budget proposals (section 3), Fees and Charges (section 4), the Housing Revenue Account (HRA) position (section 5), the Capital Programme 2019/20 to 2021/22 (section 6) and the Reserves and Balances (section 7). 

     

    Reference was made to the provisional Finance Settlement 2019/20 and how the Council remained within the Government’s four-year funding deal after having successfully submitted an Efficiency Plan. It was noted that 2019/20 would be the last year of the four-year plan. The Government was yet to conclude the findings of the “fair funding” review which was launched last year and this meant the position for future Settlement Funding for the Council was uncertain. The four-year plan covered the period 2016/17 to 2019/20 which allowed the Council to consider annual Council Tax increases of £5 per annum for the period of the Plan without the need to call a local referendum. 

     

    The options available for Council Tax setting were  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.

7.

Close of meeting