Agenda and minutes

Budget - Joint Overview and Scrutiny - Wednesday, 26th August, 2020 2.00 pm

Venue: Virtual meeting - This meeting is being held remotely using Skype for Business. View directions

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No. Item


Register of attendance, membership and apologies for absence

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    Apologies for absence were received from Councillors;


Disclosure of interests

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


    There were no interested disclosed.


Action notes from the meeting held on 14 January 2020 pdf icon PDF 238 KB

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    The action notes of the meeting held on 14 January 2020, were agreed as a correct record.


Amended Budget Proposals 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 310 KB

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    Report of the Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources

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    Councillors were provided with a presentation on the amended budget proposals for the current financial year 2020/21. 


    There was a requirement to review the budget framework due to the Covid-19 crisis and the affect the crisis had on the income and expenditure budgets set by the Council on 2, March 2020.


    The presentation captured all the implications that had impacted the Council and provided recommendations for changes, that were to be presented to Council on 17 September 2020. 


    The main scope of the amendments was to the General Fund revenue budgets, this area had been impacted upon directly.  There was no requirement to propose any amendments to the revenue budgets, for the Housing Revenue Account. 


    The Government had provided a financial response to the crisis, which was, to date, as follows;


    Financial hardship packages, which totalled £1.675m with an allocation of £924k for a Council Tax Hardship fund.  The Council had also been granted a deferral of grant repayments, due from Council Tax, for a three-month period.  This deferral had provided some short-term cash flow support.


    Financial support for business within the local authority area, primarily this had been in the form of business rates relief for the hospitality and retail sector, cash grants for businesses, which the council had administered.


    The Business rates reset had been deferred for a further year and would no longer take place in April 2021.  The Council had also utilised the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme where appropriate, specifically for the Arts and Building Control Services. 


    Funding had also been received for the re-opening of high streets, homelessness and New Burdens.


    Further funding support packages had been announced by the Government on 2 July 2020, which included; £500m to cover local authority spending pressures, co-payment mechanism for irrecoverable sales, fees and charges income, phased repayment of Collection Fund and to support councils meet the pressures of irrecoverable tax income.


    On 16 July 2020 it was confirmed that the Council would receive £194k towards spending pressures, based on population and levels of deprivation. The co-payment scheme that had been introduced by the Government to assist with irrecoverable losses in 2020-21. The Council would bear the first 5% of losses, compared to their budgeted income.  It was not yet clear as to the full scope of the scheme, also whether it would be gross income lost, or net. 


    The Finance, Economic Development and Corporate Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee had been monitoring the fees and charges income since that start of the current financial year 2020/2021; this was to assess the impact of the lockdown restrictions on fees and charges received by the Council.


    The first quarter of the current financial year had been completed, April – June 2020.  The adverse variance of income received, compared to a previous same period, was £914,675.  The Council relied on fees and charges as a key component of their income structure.  It was clear that the true impact, would not be known for many months. 


    Given the volatility since the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 18.


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

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    There were no matters of urgent business to discuss.