Agenda and minutes

Strategy and Resources Committee - Wednesday 29th January 2020 7.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber. Maldon District Council Offices, Princes Road, Maldon. View directions

Contact: Committee Services 

Note: MOVED FROM 16 January 2020 

Items
No. Item

683.

Chairman's Notices

Minutes:

The Chairman drew attention to the list of notices published on the back of the agenda.

684.

Apologies for Absence and Substitution Notices

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors N Skeens and N G F Shaughnessy.  In accordance with notice duly given Councillor M S Heard was attending as a substitute for Councillor Shaughnessy and Councillor W Stamp as a substitute for Councillor Skeens.

685.

Minutes of the Last Meeting pdf icon PDF 3 MB

To confirm the Minutes of the Strategy and Resources Committee held on 5 December 2019 (copy enclosed).

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the Minutes of the Strategy and Resources Committee meeting held on 5 December 2019, be agreed.

686.

Disclosure of Interest

To disclose the existence and nature of any Disclosable Pecuniary Interests, other Pecuniary Interest or Non-Pecuniary Interests relating to items of business on the agenda having regard to paragraphs 6 – 8 of the Code of Conduct for Members.

 

(Members are reminded that they are also required to disclose any such interest as soon as they become aware should the need arise through the meeting.)

Minutes:

Councillor Mrs P A Channer disclosed a non-pecuniary interest as a Member of Essex County Council relating to most items of business, save for some of those relating to financial matters.  She also declared a pecuniary interest in relation to Agenda Item 11 – Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) Grant Offer advising that the report referred to a grant that Essex County Council had agreed to give to this Council regarding CIL.  Councillor Mrs Channer explained that due to the wording of the report, the criteria of the grant detailed in the report and not having been able to clarify matters with the Monitoring Officer that she would remove herself from the Chamber for this item of business.

 

The following declarations were made in relation to Agenda Item 17 – Discretionary Fees and Charges 2020 / 21:

·                 Councillor K M W Lagan declared in relation to paragraph 3.6 of the report he was an ex-barge owner, aware of the barge owners present at the meeting and had had conversations with many people regarding this subject, including member of the yacht club.

·                 Councillor C Mayes declared a non-pecuniary interest as a member of the Heritage Harbour Group and was known to some of the barge owners.

·                 Councillor J Stilts declared a non-pecuniary interest as a member of the Heritage Harbour Group and was known to some of the barge owners.

·                 Councillor M R Edwards declared that he was a member of the Thames Barge Trust.

 

Councillor A S Fluker declared in the interest of openness and transparency that he represented the Council on the Maldon Harbour Commission.  In response to a question regarding this declaration, Councillor Fluker advised that Section 25 of the Localism Act was clear that a Member may declare an interest of openness and transparency.

687.

Public Participation

To receive the views of members of the public on items of business to be considered by the Committee (please see below):

 

1.               A period of ten minutes will be set.

 

2.               An individual may speak for no more than two minutes and will not be allowed to distribute or display papers, plans, photographs or other materials.

 

3.               Anyone wishing to speak must notify the Committee Clerk between 7:00pm and 7:20pm prior to the start of the meeting.

Minutes:

In accordance with the Council’s public participation scheme the following Members of the public addressed the Committee:

 

·                 Mr Paul Jefferies spoke in relation to Agenda Item 17 – Discretionary Fees and Charges 2020 / 21, specifically paragraph 3.6 which referred to Wharfage fees at the Hythe Quay, Maldon.

 

·                 Mr John Rayment spoke on behalf of the Thames Barge Trust and in relation to Agenda Item 17 – Discretionary Fees and Charges 2020 / 21, specifically paragraph 3.7 which discussed car parking on the Hythe Quay.

 

·                 Mr Andy Ambrose of Arrow Taxis spoken in relation to Agenda Item 7 – Air Quality Action Plan – Improving Taxi Emissions.

 

 

At this point, Councillor M S Heard declared a non-pecuniary interest in Agenda Item 17 – Discretionary Fees and Charges 2020 / 21 as he was a Trustee of the Steam Tug Brent, but advised he had no financial involvement in the Tug.

688.

Draft North Quay Regeneration Development Brief - Approval for Public Consultation pdf icon PDF 308 KB

To consider the report of the Directors of Strategy, Performance and Governance (copy enclosed).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered the report of the Director of Strategy, Performance and Governance seeking Members’ approval of the Draft North Quay Development Brief (attached as Appendix 1 to the report) for public consultation for six weeks from Monday 3 February.  It was noted that the Development Brief was a requirement of the Local Development Scheme 2019 / 21.

 

The report provided background information regarding the adoption of the Maldon and Heybridge Central Area Masterplan as a Supplementary Planning Document by the Council in December 2017.

 

The Draft North Quay Development Brief set out the national and local planning and policy framework for development and regeneration in the North Quay defined area.  The draft Brief had been prepared with business and stakeholder engagement in addition to specialist input from external agencies and organisations.  Public consultation was now required for a minimum of six weeks to progress the Brief through to adoption by the Council.

 

In response to questions raised by Members, the Strategic Theme Lead – Place, provided the following information:

 

·                 The related Flood Risk Assessment was due to be completed in Spring 2020.  The flood resilience document from the Environment Agency had referred to some of the tidal defences requiring attention but these would be captured through Section 106 agreement.

 

·                 There was permission for further car parking on a site adjacent to Tescos.

 

·                 There was no bridge included and connectivity was via Sadds Wharf and Station Road.

 

·                 Planning Policy D1 and the supplementary Maldon Design Guide were recommended to be referenced in any design proposals.  In addition the Maldon Conservation Area, listed buildings and locally listed building had been highlighted in the design principles.

 

In response to a comment, it was agreed that the highlighting in Figure 11 of the brief ‘existing residential houseboats’ would be amended to more accuracy reflect the location of these houseboats.

 

RESOLVED that subject to the above amendment, the Draft North Quay Development Brief (attached as Appendix 1 to the report) be approved for public consultation.

689.

Air Quality Action Plan - Improving Taxi Emissions pdf icon PDF 320 KB

To consider the report of the Director of Service Delivery (copy enclosed).

 

Minutes:

The Committee considered the report of the Director of Service Delivery seeking Members’ consideration of an action plan to improve emissions from taxis by:

 

·                 introducing an age limit for hackney carriage and private hire vehicles to meet air quality objectives in the soonest possible time;

 

·                 installing electric vehicle charging points in Maldon for taxi drivers

 

The report provided background information regarding the Air Quality Management Area (AQMA) declared on Market Hill by the Council in December 2018.  Members were advised that Section 84 of the Environment Act 1995 required local authorities to develop Air Quality Action Plans within 12 months of declaring an AWMA and detail measures to tackle the problems causing exceedances.

 

The report set out how the Air Quality Action Plan (AQAP) would set out the measures that the Council would take to improve air quality in the District between 2020 and 2025.  The actions were detailed in the report and it was noted that if approved they would be included in the AQAP which would be brought forward for public consultation during 2020.

 

A debate ensued and in response to questions raised further information on the proposals was provided by Officers.

 

There was some concern raised regarding the wording of the recommendations and the Director of Service Delivery clarified that if agreed the actions detailed in the recommendations would form part of the AQAP which would then be subject to public consultation.

 

Following further discussion Councillor W Stamp proposed that consideration of this report be deferred until the recommendation was appropriately worded.  This proposal was not seconded.

 

Councillor A S Fluker, Leader of the Council, referred to paragraph 3.5.4 of the report and proposed that an additional recommendation be added to state that the bullet points detailed in recommendation (i) and recommendation (ii) form part of the public consultation.  This proposal was duly seconded and subsequently agreed.

 

RESOLVED

 

(i)              That, in relation to the age restriction, the Council introduces an age limit for hackney carriage and private hirevehicles:

 

·             From 1 January 2021, licensed vehicles can continue to be licensed until they reach 12 years of age or 15 years for a purpose built taxi.

 

·             From 1 January 2021, all newly licensed vehicles will be of a Euro 6 standard for both petrol and diesel vehicles.

 

·             From 1 January 2026, all newly licensed vehicles will be of an electric hybrid or ultra-low emission standard.

 

(i)              That, in relation to Electric Vehicle (EV) charge points, that EV charge points to support taxi drivers are approved and a further options report be brought to a future meeting of the Strategy and Resources Committee to consider locations and tariffs.

 

(ii)            That the points set out in recommendations (i) and (ii) above are subject to public consultation as part of the Air Quality Action Plan.

690.

The Crouch Valley Festival of Food and Drink pdf icon PDF 291 KB

To consider the report of the Director of Service Delivery (copy enclosed).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council considered the report of the Director of Service Delivery providing an update on the Crouch Valley Festival of Food and Drink 2019 and seeking Members’ support for continuation of this event.

 

Members noted the success of the Crouch Valley Festival of Food and Drink in 2019.  In response to a number of questions raised, the Commercial Manager, provided the Committee with the following information:

 

·                 In addition to staff costs, costs relating to social media, installation of toilets and waste, security, first aid, marquees, staging etc. made up the other costs of £12,800 detailed in the report.

 

·                 Officers would be looking to identify sponsorship at the same level as 2019 ensuring the event would break even or generate a surplus and at this point Members were also reminded of the risks identified with running such an event.

 

·                 Any capital costs such as website etc. for 2019 would, where possible be reused from 2019 and therefore reduce costs further.

 

·                 The figures in terms of risk to the Council related to holding one event, if two events were to be agreed Officers would hope, for example, to reduce costs through negotiations with vendors etc.

 

Officers were requested to ensure that when bringing forward any future such events that along with accurate figures they were supported by a cost benefit analysis.

 

Councillor A S Fluker commented on the success of the recent Festival of Food and drink.  In response to comments regarding a second festival in Maldon he proposed that recommendation (iv) be amended to request that Officers bring back to this Committee, as a matter of urgency, a business plan that clearly presented the fully costed figures proposed.  This was duly seconded and agreed.

 

RESOLVED

 

(i)              That the post event summary report attached as Appendix A to the report be noted;

 

(ii)            That the total risk exposure to Maldon District Council for a future event of £16,201 (made up staff costs £3,399 + Other costs £12,802), this is subject to supplementary funding request (growth bid), be noted;

 

(iii)          That subject to (ii) above the continuation of the Crouch Valley Festival in 2020 be supported;

 

(iv)           That Members agree to officers exploring a similar food and drink event to be hosted in Maldon’s Promenade Park and that Officers bring back to this Committee, as a matter of urgency, a business plan that clearly presents the fully costed figures proposed.

691.

Bradwell B Governance pdf icon PDF 322 KB

To consider the report of the Director of Strategy, Performance and Governance (copy enclosed).

 

Minutes:

The Committee received the report of the Director of Strategy, Performance and Governance reporting the Council’s governance of decision making in relation to the proposed Bradwell B Nuclear Power Station. 

 

Members’ were reminded at the Council meeting on 19 December 2019 the decision-making routes in relation to proposed Bradwell B Nuclear Power Station were endorsed by the Council.  These were set out in table 1 of the report.  Further background information regarding the Government announcement of Bradwell being one of eight sites considered suitable for the siting of a new nuclear power station was detailed along with the process required.

 

The report set out a number of detailed examples of how the Council’s governance was anticipated to apply in relation to the decision-making framework and Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects Development Consent Order.

 

RESOLVED that the Council’s governance arrangements for the proposed Bradwell B Nuclear Power Station be noted.

692.

Local Development Scheme 2020 - 2022 pdf icon PDF 219 KB

To consider the report of the Director of Strategy, Performance and Governance (copy enclosed).

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered the report of the Director of Strategy, Performance and Governance seeking Members’ endorsement of an update to the Council’s Local Development Scheme (LDS) (attached as Appendix 1 to the report).  It was noted that the new LDS would replace the existing document approved by the Council on 28 March 2019.  The revised LDS took into account the timetable for the progression of supplementary planning documents and other planning policy documents required to help deliver the Local Development Plan (LDP) until 2022.  Members were reminded that the LDS was a statutory requirement relating to the preparation of Local Development Documents.

 

Background information regarding the requirements for an LDS was set out in the report.  It was noted that the LDS had been updated to provide for the preparation of the Bradwell B Development Plan Document (DPS), to take account of work undertaken and updated the project timetables.

 

Officers were requested when making such changes to similar documents in the future that tracked changes were provided to aid identification of where changes had been made.

 

In response to questions raised the Director of Strategy, Performance and Governance highlighted specific points within the LDS and provided further information.

 

RECOMMENDED that the Local Development Scheme (APPENDIX 1) be approved as the project plan for key planning policy documents until 2022.

 

 

Further to her earlier declaration, Councillor Mrs P A Channer left the meeting at this point.


693.

Community Infrastructure Levy Grant Offer pdf icon PDF 204 KB

To consider the report of the Director of Strategy, Performance and Governance (copy enclosed).

 

Minutes:

The Committee considered the report of the Director of Strategy, Performance and Governance seeking Members’ approval of an offer of a grant from Essex County Council (ECC) towards the cost of introducing a Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) within the Maldon District.  Members were also requested to note associated grant conditions.

 

The report provided background information regarding the CIL and the Council’s agreement in September 2019 to commence work to introduce a CIL in Maldon.

 

ECC was offering to support the preparation and adoption of a CIL with capacity funding of up to £180,000 for up to two authorities within the County.  As a condition of this grant, ECC would wish to influence the spend of CIL income, if a CIL was adopted, on infrastructure priorities up to the value of the grant, with terms agreed through a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).

 

The Director of Strategy, Performance and Governance clarified that any reference to Maldon throughout the report should refer to the Maldon District.

 

Following a brief discussion Councillor A S Fluker proposed that the Committee accept the recommendation as set out in the report.  This was duly seconded and agreed.

 

RECOMMENDED that the Community Infrastructure Levy grant offer from Essex County Council and its related conditions be accepted.

 

Councillor Mrs Channer returned the Chamber at this point.

694.

Council Tax Support Scheme pdf icon PDF 226 KB

To consider the report of the Director of Service Delivery (copy enclosed).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered the report of the Director of Service Delivery seeking Members’ approval of a cost neutral Local Council Tax Support Scheme (LCTS) for 2020 / 21 with minor changes to improve the scheme for the customer, whilst satisfying the administration of the scheme of the Council.

 

The report set out two changes being proposed to the LCTS:

 

·                    A minimum income change threshold – Where the change to a claimant’s income was below a threshold of £10 the award of LCTS would remain unchanged. 

 

·                    Period reviews of Universal Credit claims – Universal Credit customers would receive an award for LCTS for a fixed period of up to six months, at the end of the six months award would be based upon a average of the previous six months income, unless there had been a significant change in circumstances.

 

It was noted that the changes would help support delivery of a cost neutral LCTS within the budget proposed for 2020 / 21.  An Equality Impact Assessment had been undertaken and was attached at Appendix 1 to the report.

 

RECOMMENDED that following Members’ careful reading of and regard to the Equality Impact Assessment (attached as APPENDIX 2 to these Minutes) the following changes to the existing scheme are approved:

 

(i)                 a cost of living increase in line with the Department for Work and Pensions schemes be included in the Local Council Tax Support Scheme for 2020 / 21 for Pensioners only;

 

(ii)               any legislative changes being introduced to the Housing Benefit Scheme for 2020 / 21 are mirrored in the Councils LCTS scheme to ensure consistency;

 

(iii)             the introduction of a minimum income change threshold of up to £10 per week, and periodic reviews of Universal claims with a fixed period of award.

 

695.

Supplementary Estimate - Fixed Term Financial Resource pdf icon PDF 321 KB

To consider the report of the Director of Strategy, Performance and Governance, (copy enclosed).

Minutes:

The Council considered the report of the Director of Strategy, Performance and Governance seeking Members’ approval of a supplementary estimate to support the Council’s finance function to ensure a robust financial service was in place.

 

The report outlined the transformation programme recently implemented by the Council to improve services to customers and the high level risks a recent internal finance audit had highlighted.  It was noted that a review of the model and the way it was working within the Directorate was being undertaken.  There was requirement for a short-term additional resource to support the finance team in ensuring financial stability and to continue the process improvement work required as part of the transformation model. 

 

A number of related risks and options were set out in the report.  It was noted that to minimise risks and have the highest likelihood for delivery of the improvements to provide financial stability Officers were proposing that Option C – recruitment of a one-year fixed term finance specialist be agreed

 

In response to a number of questions raised, the Interim Section 151 Officer provided Members with the following additional information:

 

·                 There had been difficulties recruiting into posts and it was noted that recruitment into financial positions was a national issue at the moment. 

 

·                 A supplementary estimate was being requested as it was hoped that someone could be recruited prior to 31 March 2020, however whatever budget costs were not used would be carried forward into the following years’ budget. 

 

·                 The results of the recent internal finance audit along with explanation of them would be presented to a future meeting of the Performance, Governance and Audit Committee.

 

·                 The costs detailed was for all costs, including on-costs and the estimated maximum costs that the Council would incur.

 

RESOLVED that a budget requirement of £49,280 be agreed to fund and recruit a qualified fixed term finance specialist to support the finance function to ensure a robust financial service is in place and continue the handover of finance processes to caseworkers in accordance with the transformation model. 

 

696.

Capital Project Bids 2020 / 21 pdf icon PDF 326 KB

To consider  the report of the Interim Section 151 Officer (copy enclosed).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered the report of the Interim Section 151 Officer seeking Members’ consideration of the Capital Projects put forward by Officers prior to the approval of the 2020 / 21 budget and updated Medium Term Financial Strategy. 

 

This Committee at its meeting on 5 December 2019 Officers had received a report on Capital projects and Officers had been requested to submit further information on Service Improvement and Services Failure projects and this report sought to provide that information.  It was noted that projects had been reviewed and recategorized where required.  One project had been added, some projects had also been removed from the project list and the report provided further details of these.

 

Detailed project sheets for each project were set out in Appendix A to the report and it was noted that the projects had been categorised into Essential and Service Failure.  The Chairman advised Members that the headers on pages 199 – 208 of the agenda pack should refer to 2020 / 21 Budget Process.

 

A debate ensued during which questions were raised in relation to specific capital projects and in response the following information was provided:

 

·                    Rigid Inflatable Boat - Members were advised of the work being done to reduce Anti-Social Behaviour and improve enforcement on the river.  It was noted that the Council’s current workboat did not fulfil the functions required of it and therefore this Capital Project had been put forward for consideration.  The Director of Service Delivery advised that a Rigid Inflatable Boat was the best solution for the Council and assured Members that there was budget which would be utilised to maintain the new boat, if approved.  It was clarified that the new boat would be stored out of the river and launched as and when required.  The Commercial Officer clarified that the River Baliff would train other suitable Officers on use of the boat. 

In response to a question regarding enforcement income, the Director of Service Delivery advised that he did not have that information but would provide Members with it outside of the meeting.

 

·                    2 Ride on John Deere mowers and Wood Chipper- In response to a question regarding using contractors, the Director of Service Delivery explained the multi-faceted work of the Parks Team.  He explained that the equipment that formed these capital project bids related to day to day activities carried out by the team.

In response to a further question, Members were advised that the Council did carry out mowing etc. for Parish Councils for which they were charged.

 

The Interim Section 151 Officer provided some clarification to the Committee in respect of leasing equipment and changes to accounting standards which had resulted it leasing equipment being less favourable.

 

Members were informed that any procurement in respect of the Capital Programme would follow the Council’s procurement policy and procedures.

 

RECOMMENDED that the Capital Project bids set out in APPENDIX 3 to these Minutes be considered and the items for inclusion in the 2020 / 21 Capital Programme  ...  view the full minutes text for item 696.

697.

Capital and Investment Strategies for 2020 / 21 and Minimum Revenue Statement 2020 / 21 pdf icon PDF 199 KB

To consider the report of the Interim Section 151 Officer, (copy enclosed).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered the report of the Interim Section 151 Officer seeking Members’ approval of an annual Capital Strategy (attached as Appendix 1 to the report) and Investment Strategy (attached as Appendix 2 to the report) for 2020 / 21.  The minimum Revenue Provision was attached as Appendix 3 to the report.

 

It was reported that the Capital Strategy had been prepared considering the future plans of the Council, ensuring that they were affordable and prudent.  The Annual Investment Strategy had been updated in line with statutory requirements and good practice, having regard to the Council’s financial position, links to wider strategies, plans and aims and the advice of the Council’s external treasury advisor.  There were no changes to the Council’s treasury management practices or processes, as previously reported to the Committee.

 

The Chairman reported that on pages 215 and 221 of the agenda pack there were references to the Finance and Corporate Services Committee and that these should refer to the Strategy and Resources Committee.  These amendments were noted.

 

In response to a question, the Interim Section 151 Officer provided clarification on the reserve held for potential appeals.

 

RECOMMENDED

 

(i)                 that the Capital Strategy for 2020 / 21, attached as APPENDIX 4 to these Minutes, be approved;

 

(ii)               that the Investment Strategy for 2020 / 21, attached as APPENDIX 5 to these Minutes, be approved;

 

(iii)             that the Minimum Revenue Provision Statement for 2020 / 21, attached as APPENDIX 6 to these Minutes, be approved

698.

Treasury Management Strategy 2020 / 21 pdf icon PDF 200 KB

To consider the report of the Interim Section 151 Officer, (copy enclosed).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered the report of the Interim Section 151 Officer presenting the Treasury Management Strategy 2020 / 21 (attached as Appendix 1 to the report) for approval by the Council.  The supporting Treasury Management Practices were attached as Appendix 2 the report.

 

It was noted that the Treasury Management Strategy had been updated in line with statutory requirements and good practice, having regard to the Council’s financial position, links to wider strategies, plans & aims and the advice of the Council’s external treasury advisor.

 

The Chairman advised that there was an amendment to Treasury Management Practices 6 – Reporting requirements and management information arrangements.  He proposed that the recommendation be amended as follows:

 

That the Treasury Management Strategy 202 / 21 at Appendix 1 and the accompanying Treasury Management Practices (TMP) be approved but that TMP6 at Appendix 2 be amended as necessary to align with the Council’s new Committee structure and the roles and responsibilities therein.

 

This proposal was duly agreed.

 

RECOMMENDED that subject to amendment of the Treasury Management Practices (TMP), specifically TMP6 to align it with the Council’s new Committee structure and the roles and responsibilities therein, the Treasury Management Strategy 2020 / 21, attached as APPENDIX 6 to these Minutes, be approved.

699.

Discretionary Fees and Charges 2020 / 21 pdf icon PDF 318 KB

To consider the report of the Interim Section 151 Officer (copy enclosed).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered the report of the Director of Resources, seeking Members’ consideration of the proposed Fees and Charges for 2020 / 21 that generate greater than £2,000 (set out in Appendix A to the report).  It was noted that Fees and Charges which generated less than £2,000 were reviewed and set by the interim Section 151 Officer under delegated powers.

 

Members were reminded that the proposed fees and charges for 2020 / 21 had been based on the policy decisions recently updated and agreed by this Committee at its last meeting.  The report detailed the budgets for income generated from fees and charges and provided an update in respect of the following areas:

 

·                 Car parking

 

·                 Green waste bin services direct debit payments discount

 

·                 Event land hire

 

·                 Bootcamp licences

 

·                 Wharfage fees at the Hythe Quay 

 

·                 Car parking on the Hythe Quay

 

A debate ensued.  In response to a number of questions Officers provided Members with further information.  In respect of Wharfage fees at the Hythe Quay, the Interim Section 151 Officer clarified that the proposed increased was on the current discounted Wharfage fees.

 

There was a lengthy discussion in relation to the proposed changes to Wharfage and car parking fees on the Hythe Quay.  Several Members expressed concerned particularly regarding the impact the fees would have on the barge owners. 

 

Councillor A S Fluker referred the investment made by the Council on the Hythe Quay and the need to speak to barge owners prior to the proposed 20% increase in 2021 / 22.  He proposed that in relation to Wharfage and car parking fees on the Hythe Quay that the Council met with the barge owners twice before this Committee met in 12 months’ time.

 

Councillor C Swain referred to the Hythe Quay and the proposed related fee increases.  He proposed that no changes to the fees be made until the Council had reviewed the position of the Hythe Quay in relation to the Central Area Master Plan which enabled the Council to take into account all other aspects of heritage and environment and use of the Blackwater etc.

 

The Interim Section 151 Officer advised Members that the proposed phased increase over three years was to fit into the Council’s Medium-Term Financial Strategy (MTFS) and this formed part of the £1.8m saving identified through the transformation programme.  To meet this savings target it was necessary for the Council to look at income.  He then provided Members’ with additional information regarding the reasoning behind the changes proposed.

 

In accordance with Procedure Rule No. 13 (3) Councillor K M H Lagan requested a recorded vote.  This was duly seconded.

 

Further debate ensued.  The Chairman put the recommendation as set out in the report with a caveat that the Council entered into negotiations with the barge owners for future years.  At this point the Director of Service Delivery sought further clarification from the Committee in respect of car parking at the Hythe Quay. 

 

Following further discussion Councillor Fluker clarified his earlier proposition proposing  ...  view the full minutes text for item 699.

700.

Revised 2019 / 20 Estimates, Original 2020 / 21 Budget Estimates and Council Tax 2020 / 21 pdf icon PDF 738 KB

To consider the report of the Interim Section 151 Officer (copy enclosed).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Mrs P A Channer disclosed an interest in this item of business as it made reference to the Community Infrastructure Levy and advised that she did not need to leave the chamber as the decision on this topic had already been made.

 

The Committee considered the report of the Interim Section 151 Officer presenting:

 

·                 for noting, the Provisional Local Government Finance Settlement announced by the Government on 20 December 2019;

 

·                 the revised 2019 / 20 and original 2020 / 21 General Fund Revenue Budget estimate;

 

·                 the proposed council tax increase for 2020 / 21;

 

·                 the policy for the use of Reserves.

 

The report and associated appendices to the report outlined the following:

 

·                 the latest information on the provisional Local Government finance settlement 2020 / 21;

 

·                 revised General Fund revenue budget estimates 2019 / 20;

 

·                 General Fund revenue budget estimates 2020 / 21;

 

·                 budget growth, savings and income generation in 2020 / 21;

 

·                 New Homes Bonus (NHB);

 

·                 Future Council model;

 

·                 Pension Fund deficit recovery;

 

·                 funding for work on Bradwell B Power Station and Community Infrastructure Levy;

 

·                 Essex region business rates pool;

 

·                 an update on interest on investments;

 

·                 the Council Tax requirement for 2020 / 21;

 

·                 Council Tax £5 increase on 2019 / 20 Band D Basic amount;

 

·                 General Fund balance and revenue reserves;

 

·                 Medium Term Financial Strategy (MTFS);

 

·                 risks to the Council’s financial position.

 

The Interim Section 151 Officer reported that the Local Government Finance Settlement for 2020 / 21 was still provisional and final figures were awaited.  It was noted that once received an adjustment to general balances may be required.  There were some further figures awaiting final confirmation and should the final figures received result in any changes these would be reported to the Council at its meeting on 13 February 2020. 

 

It was noted that the recommended increase of £5 on Council Tax was based on the flexibility given by the Government to allow increases of either 1.99% or £5 whichever was the greater.

 

Councillor R G Boyce thanked the Interim Section 151 Officer for his detailed report and proposed that the recommendations as set out in the report be agreed.

 

In response to several questions raised by Members, the Interim Section 151 Officer provided the following additional information:

 

·                 the process undertaken in setting the proposed budget was unchanged from that used in previous years;

 

·                 staffing was accounted for within three cost centres and areas supporting front line services were accounted for as a recharge for those areas.

 

·                 In respect of transformation savings agreed £1m came from staff and £800,00 from service areas in terms of additional income and reduction in expenditure.

 

·                 At the beginning of 2019 / 20 the Council’s General Fund Balance was £4.769m

 

During the discussion Councillor C Morris left the meeting and did not return.

 

Reference was made to the budget presentations given by the Interim Section 151 Officer to Members and it was requested that in the future consideration be given to recording these so Members unable to attend could review them.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 700.

701.

Any other items of business that the Chairman of the Committee decides are urgent

Minutes:

Prior to closing the meeting the Chairman thanked the Director of Service Delivery, Director of Strategy, Performance and Governance and Interim Section 151 Officer for their hard work.

Appendices 1 - 9 pdf icon PDF 568 KB

Additional documents: