Agenda and minutes

Policy and Performance Scrutiny Panel
Thursday, 8 February 2018 7:00 pm

Venue: Ground Floor, Eastleigh House, Upper Market Street, Eastleigh SO50 9YN

Contact: Cheryll Kemsley, Democratic Services Officer Tel: 023 8068 8112 Email:  cheryll.kemsley@eastleigh.gov.uk  Natalie Wigman, Corporate Director Tel: 023 8068 8405 Email:  natalie.wigman@eastleigh.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

31.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 138 KB

To consider the Minutes of the meeting held on 11 January 2018.

Minutes:

It was AGREED -

 

That the Minutes of the meeting of the Panel held on 11 January 2018 be confirmed and signed by the Chairman as a correct record.

32.

Declarations of Interest

Members are invited to declare interests in relation to items of business on the agenda.  Any interests declared will be recorded in the Minutes.

Minutes:

Councillor Malcolm Cross declared an Interest in agenda item 5, General Fund Revenue Budget 2018/19, because he is a Borough and Parish Councillor

 

33.

Chair's Report

Minutes:

The Chair reported that she had taken part in a Members training session on Tuesday 6 February 2018 on Equality and Diversity which had been sparsely attended. It had been a very thought provoking session that pushed councillors to be more challenging about equality and diversity, and that reports, although they contained information on this subject, should take this more into consideration with regards to any proposed recommendations. There would be more training sessions after May and she hoped more councillors would attend.

34.

General Fund Revenue Budget 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 289 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the joint report of the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and Chief Executive (Agenda item 5) concerning the Council’s proposed budget for 2018/19.

 

Sarah King, Corporate Director - Support Services (CFO), provided a presentation advising how the Budget was constructed from the approved Medium Term Financial Plan, and included the continuing Efficiency Strategy.  All Members had been invited to the meeting with an especial invite to Members of the Audit and Resources Committee.

 

A revised Appendix A, Budget Summary 2017/18 to 2021/22, was tabled to replace page 23 of the agenda.

 

It was explained that the 2018/19 Budget had been prepared on the following basis:

 

·         In October 2017 the Council approved the Medium Term Financial Plan that provided the background for the preparation of the Revised Budget for 2017/18 and Budget for 2018/19.

 

·         All managers identify potential pressures in their services, and these, together with what was received from business rates; government grants, and council tax make up the balanced budget.

 

·         There were assumptions that had been built into the budget that comprised: 2% pay award in future years; pay and reward budget of £100,000 per annum; general inflation; fees and charges; interest rates, council tax; and in accordance with the Medium Term Financial Plan, the General Fund Reserve was maintained at more than £1M. This was above the minimum of 10% of the Council’s Net General Fund Requirement, which for 2018/19 was a balance of £968,000.

 

·         The Council had committed to a freeze in Council Tax in 2018/19.  The Budget Strategy estimated a 2.5% increase for future years.  The underlying commitment from the Council for the last 14 years had been to increase Council Tax by 1% less than inflation prevailing at 31 December in the preceding year (4.2% at December 2017).  If Council was to increase Council Tax by 3.2% rather than freeze the tax, then the additional yield to the Council in 2018/19 would be £186,400.  

 

·         The £4.7M efficiency target was on track to be achieved.

 

·         The total borrowing would be £388M by the end of 2017/18. Fixed borrowing of £50M had been taken out in April 2017 for 50 years at 2.31%. Borrowing for property in 2018/19 was £194M generating a revenue surplus of £10M; contribution from borrowing strategy meant a positive impact on Council Tax of £110.30 in 2017/18; and interest reserve being built to protect against future interest rises.

 

This represented a significant achievement and a positive prospect for the Council during a period when it had been undergoing the most radical transformation in 20 years.  At the same time there was significant external uncertainty and challenge for the Borough’s businesses and residents. 

 

There was a great deal of uncertainty regarding the future in terms of the general economy, the impact of the exit from the EU and areas specific to Local Government such as the introduction of 100% business rates retention.  It was essential that the Council continued to develop more efficient ways of working and used strategy to focus resources to deliver the most effective services and carry out the aims of the Corporate Plan.

 

The Chair thanked the Sarah King, (CFO) and Corporate Director, Support Services for her report.

 

During the debate the Panel members expressed that they were very encouraged by the report, it was well constructed and there were many councils in the country that were not seeing a similar document.

 

It was noted that Appendix D required amending to reflect that the first ninety minutes free parking on a Saturday in Bishopstoke Road; and that paragraph 58 of the report be amended to take  ...  view the full minutes text for item 34.

35.

Action List pdf icon PDF 59 KB

Minutes:

The Panel considered its action list from previous meetings, which set out the recent decisions and actions arising from the Panel.   

 

It was AGREED -

 

That actions with a completion date should be removed from the list.

36.

Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 86 KB

Minutes:

The Panel considered the Forward Plan of Key Decisions.

 

It was AGREED -

 

That the report be noted

37.

Work Programme pdf icon PDF 136 KB

Minutes:

Panel members considered their Work Programme to January 2019.

 

It was AGREED that the Work Programme be noted.