Agenda and minutes

Budget - Joint Overview and Scrutiny Committee - Tuesday, 14th January, 2020 2.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber - South Kesteven House, St. Peter's Hill, Grantham. NG31 6PZ. View directions

Items
No. Item

8.

Apologies

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    Minutes:

    Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Fellows, Kaberry-Brown, Moran, Morgan, Ian Stokes, and Thomas.  

9.

Disclosure of interests

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    Members are ask to disclose any interests in matters for consideration at the meeting.

    Minutes:

    There were no interests disclosed.

10.

Action notes from the meeting held on 10 January 2019 pdf icon PDF 212 KB

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    Minutes:

    The action notes of the meeting held on 10 January 2019 were noted and agreed as a correct record.

11.

Updates from the previous meeting

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    Minutes:

    None.

12.

Budget proposals 2020/21 and indicative budgets for 2021/22 and 2022/23 pdf icon PDF 309 KB

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    The report of the Cabinet Member for Finance.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The Committee was given a presentation on the medium term financial outlook and budget update, which summarised the budget report and appendices and provided the national context in which the budget had been prepared.

     

    The Funding Position for the General Fund, General Fund Budget Proposals and Fees and Charges

     

    The funding settlement from the government had been confirmed for a one year period only. A continuation of the Rural Services Delivery Grant had been confirmed for the 2020/21 period. The New Homes Bonus funding amount had also been confirmed for 2020/21; this would be paid with the legacy payments due from previous years’ allocations, but was expected to reduce moving forward. The forecast Business Rates Reset was expected to reduce baseline funding in the medium term, although the level of reduction was not yet known.

     

    The anticipated reduction in government funding for Local Authorities would require an increased reliance on Council Tax levels in order to maintain a balanced budget and keep pace with any other funding reductions. The Council would be asked to consider increasing its proportion of the annual Council Tax charge in 2020/21 by £5 for a band D property, as permitted within the Council Tax referendum limits for District Councils.

     

    It was expected that a further forecast of funding would become available as government Fair Funding Review and Business Rates Reset updates were received. The budget proposals for 2020/21 had been developed to achieve a balanced position without the need to utilise reserves.

     

    Members were asked if they had any questions relating to the General Fund funding position and budgetary proposals or Fees and Charges.

     

    Members referred to Special Expense Area (SEA) levy currently included within the Council Tax charge for some areas of the district. One Member asked why the Deepings SEA could not be removed within the 2020/21 budget proposals. It was explained that contractual commitments did not allow for this change to be implemented at the present time, but that it would be included in the negotiations for the long term leisure offer. The concept of SEAs across the district would be considered by the Finance, Economic Development and Corporate Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee at a future meeting.

     

    Members enquired about the reviewed provision for Customer Services at the Stamford, Bourne and Deepings area offices. The Committee were informed that a report relating to the Customer Experience Strategy would be presented to the Rural and Communities Overview and Scrutiny Committee at its next meeting. The focus of the strategy would be on improving access for self-service to reduce the number of manual queries and thereby the cost of service delivery, whilst also maintaining the required level of additional support where necessary.

     

    The Committee asked for a further explanation of the decision to reduce the funding allocated to InvestSK and enquired as to whether the Council had considered bringing the services back in-house. The Leader of the Council explained that a review of the services currently provided by InvestSK had been undertaken. This  ...  view the full minutes text for item 12.

13.

Any other business which the Chairman, by reasons of special circumstances, decides is urgent

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    Minutes:

    There were no matters of urgent business to discuss.

14.

Close of meeting

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    Minutes:

    The meeting closed at 15:25.