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The minutes of the meeting held on 17 January 2019 were agreed as a correct record subject to the following corrections:
· The standing reports to Cabinet (LDS337, LDS338, LDS339 and LDS340) were presented by the Deputy Leader
· The police officer attending the Communities and Wellbeing Overview and Scrutiny Committee was Detective Chief Superintendent Davidson
Disclosure of Interests (if any)
Councillor Dr. Moseley stated that he was a Director of EnvironmentSK, which was the subject of some of the recommendations within the Budget Proposals 2019/20 report.
The Deputy Leader expressed his gratitude to the people who had supported the Cabinet team that entered the Rotary Club Swimarathon, which had raised just under £1,000.
The Cabinet recommends to Council:
1. To set a General Fund budget requirement of £14.632m for 2019/20 detailed at section 3 of this report and shown in detail at Appendix A (inclusive of special expenses).
2. To propose a Council Tax level for 2019/20 (Band D property)
3. To note the indicative base estimates for 2020/21 and 2021/22 as detailed in the summary at Appendix A.
4. To approve dwelling rent decreases of 1% in accordance with Government guideline rent providing an average rent of £77.62 (an average rental decrease of £0.81 per a week)
5. To approve an increase in garage rents of 2.5%
6. To approve an average increase of 2.5% in service charges for communal facilities and communal rooms
7. To approve an increase in shared ownership rents by CPI +1% (4%)
8. To approve the Housing Revenue Account for the year 2019/20 and indicative years 2020/21 and 2021/22 detailed at section 5 of this report and shown at Appendix A
9. Approve the General Fund Capital programme for 2019/20 to 2021/22 detailed at section 6 of this report and shown at Appendix D
10. Approve the Capital Financing statement detailed at Appendix D
11. Approve the Housing Investment programme for 2019/20 to 2021/22 detailed at section 6 of this report and as shown at Appendix D
12. Approve the Capital Financing statement detailed at Appendix D
13. To approve the movements in Revenue and Capital reserves and balances detailed at section 8 of this report and shown at Appendix E.
14. To approve the movements in HRA revenue and Capital reserves and balances detailed at section 8 of this report and shown at Appendix E.
15. To approve the fees and charges detailed at section 4 of this report and shown at Appendix F.
16. To approve the Treasury Management Strategy detailed at section 7 of this report and provided at Appendix G
17. To approve the Capital Strategy detailed at section 6 of this report and provided at Appendix H
18. To approve the Property Investment Policy detailed at section 6 of this report and provided at Appendix I
19. That the title of the report is changed from ‘Budget Proposals 2019/20’ to ‘A district that works for everyone, delivering opportunity’
Reasons for decision:
1. The report of the Cabinet Members for Finance and Housing, which was presented to Cabinet on 7 February 2019
2. The report of the Cabinet Members for Finance and Housing, which was considered by Cabinet on 17 January 2019
3. The minutes of the Cabinet meeting held on 17 January 2019 at which the Council agreed its draft Budget 2019/20, including provision for a Scrutiny Officer, and approved consultation on Council Tax levels
4. Comments made by the Budget Overview and Scrutiny Committee at its meeting on 10 January 2019
5. Feedback from Council Tax consultation which ran from 21 January 2019 to 4 February 2019
6. The provisional finance settlement 2019/20
7. The funding position for the General Fund ... view the full decision text for item 79.
The Cabinet Member introduced his report on the Budget proposals for 2019/20. In doing so he explained that the Council was required to set a balanced budget and that the proposals set out in the report were based on a Council Tax increase of £5 on a Band D property while supporting the Council in meeting its growth ambitions. Since the Cabinet had met on 17 January 2019, there had been a public consultation exercise on Council Tax proposals, which ran between 21 January and 4 February 2019.
The Cabinet Member for Finance highlighted the change that had been made to accommodate budgetary provision for a Scrutiny Officer since Cabinet had considered the draft Budget proposals on 17 January 2019. He informed Cabinet Members that, in respect of proposals relating to the use of the Council’s reserves, that their levels would still be higher than other local authorities and supported by assets that would provide the Council with income in the future.
Members of the Cabinet were given the opportunity to debate the Budget proposals, key points raised in debate included:
· The review of the Council’s committee arrangements to make the Council’s decision-making arrangements work in the best way possible, from which the recommendation for a Scrutiny Officer had arisen
· The creation of a new website for the Council to replace outdated technology
· Improvements that were being made to IT to enable the organisation to work in a modern and agile way
· The intention to continue conducting an annual staff survey and the recent launch of the new Employee Handbook
· The Council was able to increase Council Tax by £5 on a Band D property because it had a dispensation from Government as it was one of the lowest charging authorities in the country
· The work being undertaken by ‘Little Clean’ teams, which were part of the legacy of the ‘Big Clean’ initiative
· Work had been undertaken to align the vehicle replacement schedule so that it would have a more event effect on the Budget
· If the Council did not increase Council Tax then it would impact on the services that it could deliver and its ability to achieve its ambitions
· The preparation of the Budget had included engagement and involvement from all parties through the Scrutiny function
· The prices for market stalls had been frozen to assist natural growth and a new market was being launched in Market Deeping
· Bus station charges had been frozen
· Investment in visitor economy included a new visitor website and a new festival for Bourne; funding for the visitor guide had also been secured for a further year
· The Budget included £50k of additional support to help businesses move into new premises, which would bring economic benefits in the future
· The Property Investment Policy stated that it was an ambition of the Council to continue growing the economy
· The Council had exchanged contracts in the purchase of the Cummins Generator site in Stamford on Monday 4 February 2019
· Work was underway on the Council’s ... view the full minutes text for item 79.
Report of the Leader of the Council.
The report of the Leader of the Council informed Cabinet Members of any recommendations that had been made to Cabinet by the Council or Overview and Scrutiny Committees since it last met on 17 January 2019.
It was noted that the recommendations of the Budget Overview and Scrutiny Committee were reported at the last meeting of the Cabinet, when the draft Budget was considered. The Committee’s recommendations were also captured within the report of the Cabinet Members for Finance and Housing which gave details of the final Budget proposals.
The Chairman of the Culture and Visitor Economy Overview and Scrutiny Committee briefly summarised the matters that it had considered during its meeting on 24 January 2019, highlighting specifically the feedback from the first ‘Big Conversation’ event, an item on scoping sports development activities and the new ‘Discover SK’ brochure that had been produced. She also highlighted the forthcoming Deepings Literary Festival which would run between the 23 and 26 May 2019.
The Chairman of the Communities and Wellbeing Overview and Scrutiny Committee reminded Members that it would next meet on Tuesday 12 February 2019 when Detective Chief Superintendent Davidson would speak to the Committee about modern day slavery; an invitation had been extended to all members of the Council. It was suggested that a representative or representatives of the senior team could also attend to help understand the measures and actions the Council could take. He added that he was expecting an update on the future of healthcare in Lincolnshire within the following two weeks, adding that he would update the Leader when he received the information.
The Chairman of the Rural Overview and Scrutiny gave an overview of items considered at its previous meeting including transformation and innovation and the introduction of an Armed Forces Discount Card, which was going to be taken forward. He also referred to the Bourne Cycle Festival stating that concerns had been raised by some rural Members that they had not been consulted on the event, which had put them in a difficult position when they had been approached by local farmers.
The Chairman of the Rural Overview and Scrutiny Committee also emphasised the rural nature of the district and how he would like to see initiatives that would benefit the rural community. The Leader challenged the statement and listed initiatives that the Council had run from which rural communities and benefited. He added that the recognition of the rurality of the district had led to the creation of the Rural Overview and Scrutiny Committee and that the Chairman had a role championing the rural community outside of Cabinet.
Report of the Leader of the Council.
The Cabinet noted the report of the Leader of the Council which informed Cabinet Members of decisions that had been taken by individual Members since the last meeting of the Cabinet was held on 17 January 2019.
· Appendix 1: Grantham, Wyndham Park. Application for Centenary Fields status
Designation of Centenary Fields status for Wyndham Park, Grantham would ensure that the park was protected as a living remembrance for those who lost their lives in the First World War
· Appendix 2: Council Tax for long-term empty dwellings
A change in government policy meant that the Council could increase the premium for long-term empty dwellings. One non-Cabinet Member asked for clarification that the premium would not be applied to properties owned by service personnel; the Councillor was advised that the position would be clarified and he would be provided with a written response to the question.
Report of the Leader of the Council.
Cabinet Members noted the report of the Leader of the Council appended to which was the Cabinet’s Forward Plan. The Forward Plan gave an indication of the items that would be presented to Cabinet over the following twelve-month period. The plan also included items that were scheduled to be considered at meetings of the Council during that period.
Close of meeting
The meeting was closed at 14:42.
Date decisions effective:
The recommendations made at item CO79 stand referred to Council on 1 March 2019.