Venue: Virtual Meeting - This meeting is being held remotely by Skype for Business
Contact: Email: Democracy@southkesteven.gov.uk
Register of attendance and apologies for absence
All Cabinet Members were present.
The Leader of the Council gave a short statement in relation to the vaccination programme taking place within Lincolnshire and confirmed that all care home residents had been given the first dose of the vaccine. The Leader thanked key workers for the work that they were undertaking and referred to the emotional and financial support available whilst the Country was still in lockdown.
Minutes of the meeting held on 12 January 2020.
The minutes of the meeting held on 12 January 2021 were agreed as a correct record.
Disclosure of Interests (if any)
Report from the Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources.
The Cabinet recommends to Council, having considered the recommendations and feedback from both the Budget Joint Overview and Scrutiny Committee and the stakeholder consultation:
1. To set a General Fund budget requirement of £13.859m for 2021/22 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 of £168.62 for 2021/22 (Band D property).
3. To note the indicative base estimates for 2022/23 and 2023/24 as detailed in the summary at Appendix A.
4. To approve Housing Revenue Account (HRA) dwelling rent increases of 1.5 (CPI + 1%) in accordance with Government guideline rent providing an average rent of £80.78 (an average rental increase of £1.19 per a week).
5. To approve an increase in HRA garage rents of 3%.
6. To approve an average increase of 3% in HRA service charges for communal facilities and communal rooms.
7. To approve an increase in shared ownership rents by 1.5% (CPI +1%).
8. To approve the HRA Revenue Summary for the year 2021/22 shown at Appendix A.
9. To approve the General Fund Capital programme for 2021/22 to 2023/24 detailed at section 5 of this report and shown at Appendix B.
10. To approve the General Fund Capital Financing statement detailed at Appendix B.
11. To approve the Housing Investment programme for 2021/22 to 2023/24 detailed at section 5 of this report and as shown at Appendix B to include an additional £440,000 of the Section 106 monies in order to fund temporary housing in the Stamford area.
12. Approve the HRA Capital Financing statement detailed at Appendix B.
13. To approve the movements in General Fund Revenue and Capital reserves and balances detailed at section 7 of this report and shown at Appendix C.
14. To approve the movements in HRA revenue and Capital reserves and balances detailed at section 7 of this report and shown at Appendix C.
15. To approve the fees and charges detailed at section 9 of this report and shown at Appendix D subject to an amendment at page 35 to show the Stamford car parking proposed charges to read:
Up to 30 minutes 90 pence
Up to 1 hour £1.20
Up to 2 hours £1.90
Up to 3 hours £2.50
Up to 4 hours £4.10
Over 4 hours £5.30
Considerations/reasons for decision:
· The report from the Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources, which was presented to Cabinet on 2 February 2021.
· The report of the Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources, which was considered by Cabinet on 12 January 2021.
· Comments made by the Joint Budget Overview and Scrutiny Committee at the meeting held on 13 January 2021.
· Feedback from the Council Tax consultation which ran from 16 – 26 January 2021.
· The budget proposals had been formulated within the context of the Corporate Plan ambitions and alignment to the five priorities.
· The Spending Review 2020 and the draft Local Government Finance Settlement published on 17 December 2020.
· The ... view the full decision text for item 57.
The Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources presented the report on the Budget Proposals and the Council Tax Band D charge for 2021/22. Work on the budget had started in September 2020 and had ran parallel with the setting of an amended budget. Cabinet had been provided with monthly financial updates following the impact of Covid-19 on the Council’s finances.
The Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources thanked the Cabinet, the Finance, Economic Development and Corporate Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee, the Finance Team and the Section 151 Officer for their work in compiling the budget proposals for 2021/22. A robust scrutiny of the budget had been undertaken at the Joint Budget Overview and Scrutiny Committee held on 13 January 2021.
The consultation on the proposed Council Tax setting with local residents had taken place between 16 and 26 January 2021. From the responses received over 34% supported a £5 increase in Council Tax for Band D properties. 66% fell within the A-C Council Tax Bands which had an increase of between six pence to eight pence in Council Tax per week.
The Government had given council’s the opportunity to increase their core spending power by 4.5% by allowing an increase in Council Tax of £5 for Band D properties.
Following the Joint Budget Overview and Scrutiny Committee’s scrutiny of the Fees and Charges for 2021/22, it was recommended that the car park fees at all of the Stamford car parks be reduced by 10 pence per tariff.
The Ward Member grant had been increased to £1,000 during 2020/21 to help with the impact of Covid-19, however this had been reduced to £500 for 2021/22 budget.
The budget focused on three strands; the Corporate Plan actions, the Council’s response to Covid-19 pressures and maintaining a quality service delivery across the Council.
The Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources referred Members to Table 5 which contained key budgetary proposals for 2021/22. The funding proposals for the Council’s companies were also contained within the report. It was noted that the Business Plan for LeisureSK Ltd would be reviewed by the LeisureSK Ltd Board and updated in light of the current lockdown and the closure of all leisure centres.
Challenges faced by the Housing Revenue Account included the lower rental increase which meant that only a one year balanced budget had been drawn up, subsequent years projected a budget deficit.
The Capital Programme had been formulated to deliver the Council’s ambitions of growth and investment in its assets to support the delivery of quality services and were summarised at Appendix B. The Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources recommended the proposals within the report be recommended to Council with the following amendments:
· The figure in recommendation 1 should read £13.859m.
· To include an additional £440,000 of the Section 106 monies in order to fund temporary housing in the Stamford area at recommendation 11.
· That the Fees and Charges at Appendix D should show the following tariff for Stamford Car Parking Fees:
Up to ... view the full minutes text for item 57.
Following the Call-in of the Cabinet decision taken at its meeting held on 1 December 2020, this reports invites Cabinet to consider the recommendations made by the Culture and Visitor Economy Overview and Scrutiny Committee.
1. That Cabinet notes the content of the report from the Director of Law and Governance (Monitoring Officer).
2. That Cabinet considered the request from the Culture and Visitor Economy Overview and Scrutiny Committee: that the Committee be updated on the progress of the organisation of the event and fundraising as per the recommendation at 2.2 of the report from the Director of Law and Governance (Monitoring Officer).
3. That Cabinet reaffirms the recommendation made on 1 December 2020, to approve a budget allocation from the local priorities reserve and authorises expenditure of up to £100,000 to underwrite the statue unveiling event and any consequential works and that any fund raising from the public, businesses and others would go towards this budget allocation.
Considerations/reasons for decision:
· Report from the Director of Law and Governance (Monitoring Officer) following the call-in of the Cabinet decision made on 1 December 2020 in respect of Public Realm Improvements, St Peter’s Hill, Grantham.
· Recommendations made by the Culture and Visitor Economy Overview and Scrutiny Committee at the meeting held on 5 January 2021 in respect of the financial breakdown of the £100k in relation to fundraising and anticipated on-going costs.
The Leader of the Council introduced the item which concerned recommendations from the Culture and Visitor Economy Overview and Scrutiny Committee (OSC) held on 5 January 2021, following the call-in of the decision made by Cabinet on 1 December 2020. The OSC referred back to Cabinet the decision to underwrite the event by up to £100,000, and requested that the Culture and Visitor Economy OSC be kept updated on the organisation of the event and fundraising.
The report gave a breakdown of costs for the budget up to £100,000 at Appendix D. The Leader stated that no details of the unveiling event had been finalised and stressed that the event would not be taking place until the end of the Covid-19 pandemic. He also stated that the expected cost of the event would be below £100,000. Details of the fundraising appeal were still to be finalised and were subject to agreement by the external events management organisation. Commissioning and contracting arrangements had been on hold pending the call-in. The current fundraising criteria was shown at Appendix C. The fundraising would also contribute to the Baroness Thatcher’s exhibition at the Grantham Museum as well as ongoing security and maintenance costs of the statue.
The Leader proposed a further recommendation to those within the report; to reaffirm the recommendation made on 1 December 2020, to approve a budget allocation from the local priorities reserve and authorise expenditure of up to £100,000 to underwrite the statue unveiling event and any consequential works and that any fund raising from the public, businesses and others would go towards this budget allocation. The proposal was seconded.
Cabinet Members supported the proposals. It was stated that the event was to celebrate and promote inspirational achievements by women. Baroness Thatcher was the country’s first woman Prime Minister, who was born in Grantham and the town and district should promote this achievement, regardless of any political position.
Non-Cabinet Members at the meeting raised the following concerns:
· The appointment of an external management organisation to organise the event and deal with the event communications, especially as the Council had its own communication team.
· The cost of the event and the underwriting by the Council of £100,000 of public money. Particularly due to the current climate and people’s uncertainty from the impact of the pandemic on their work and lives.
· The money for the event should be entirely raised by private means.
· Reference to the inclusion of Lady Charlotte Bertie who was born in Uffington.
· The process for awarding the contract for the external management of the event.
The Leader stated that he would be happy to attend a meeting of the Culture and Visitor Economy Overview and Scrutiny Committee to answer questions from Non-Cabinet Members regarding the event.
On being put to the vote, it was AGREED:
1. To note the content of the report from the Director of Law and Governance (Monitoring Officer).
2. That consideration be given to the request from the Culture and Visitor Economy ... view the full minutes text for item 58.
Matters Referred to Cabinet by the Council or Overview and Scrutiny Committees
Report from the Leader of the Council.
The Leader of the Council presented his report on Key and Non-Key decisions taken since the last meeting of the Cabinet. One Non-Key decision had been taken in relation to the surrender and re-grant of the lease for the Registrars Office at the Community Point, Bourne.
Representations and questions from Non Cabinet Members
Report from the Leader of the Council.
Cabinet Members noted the Forward Plan for 1 March 2021 to 28 February 2022.
A report recommending the final options for the capital projects supported by the Future High Street Scheme in principle offer of up to £5,558,818
The urgency for tis report is based upon the timescales available for resubmission of the application. A failure to respond by 26 February 2021(at the latest) would see a withdrawal of the offer from MHCLG and the programme would not proceed.
1. Cabinet approves the preferred option identified as Option 1 shown in the report and appendices to the report from the Deputy Leader of the Council as the final proposed scheme for the Future High Street Fund in the principle offer of £5,558,818.
2. Cabinet delegates authority to the Chief Executive Officer and the Interim Director of Finance, to sign off the final report.
Considerations/reasons for decision:
· Report from the Deputy Leader of the Council recommending the final options for the capital projects supported by the Future High Street Scheme.
· The approval of the Business Case for the Future High Street Fund taken by Cabinet in June 2020, with a bid being submitted at the end of July 2020.
· Over subscription of the scheme, South Kesteven District Council received a provisional offer of funding of up to 69% of the original request and have been asked to review the scheme due to a reduced offer.
· The Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government’s (MHCLG) review stage ends on 26 February 2021.
· Final decisions to be announced in March 2020.
Other Options considered and rejected:
Option 2 – Scaling back or loss of Station Approach Mixed Use Development but retain Station Approach public realm works and all other projects.
Option 3 – Proportionate Scaling back of all projects.
Option 4 – Larger Station Approach Scheme. Drop all other projects.
The following item was dealt with under the Urgency Provisions contained within Article 16 of the Constitution due to the need to submit a revised bid before 26 February 2021.
The Deputy Leader of the Council presented the report which looked at the final options for the capital projects supported by the Future High Street Scheme. The Future High Street Fund Business Case had been approved by Cabinet in June 2020 and Council in July 2020. A final bid had been submitted at the end of July 2020. Clarification had been sought from the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government’s (MHCLG) in September 2020 following updated guidance.
The scheme had been oversubscribed and only 15 areas had been awarded the full 100%. Fifty-seven schemes, including the Grantham scheme, had been awarded 69% of the original request and had been asked to review their final schemes due to the reduced offer. The principle offer was now up to £5,558,818, which was approximately £2.5m less than the original scheme. The Future High Street Fund consultants were appointed to review the options due to the reduction in funding. The original Option 1 was the preferred option, with the removal of St Peters Hill Gardens project and the scaling back of upper floors as outlined within the appendices to the report. The Deputy Leader thanked all those who had worked on the project including the Cabinet Member for Communities and the Cabinet Member for Culture and Visitor Economy. The proposed scheme would have a natural flow through the town from station approach. The Finance, Economic Development and Corporate Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee would also be looking at the option at their meeting on 23 February 2021 before the submission to the MHCLG on 26 February 2021. The proposals were seconded.
Support was given to the proposal to put forward Option 1.
On being put to the vote, it was AGREED:
1. To approve the preferred option identified as Option 1 shown in the report and appendices to the report from the Deputy Leader of the Council as the final proposed scheme for the Future High Street Fund in the principle offer of £5,558,818.
2. To delegate authority to the Chief Executive Officer and the Interim Director of Finance, to sign off the final report.
Close of meeting
The meeting closed at 15:00.