Agenda, decisions and draft minutes

Executive
Thursday, 7th November, 2019 7.30 pm

Venue: New Council Chamber - Town Hall, Reigate. View directions

Contact: Democratic Services (01737 276182)  Email: Democratic@reigate-banstead.gov.uk

Media

Items
No. Item

58.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 265 KB

To confirm as a correct record the Minutes of the Executive meeting held on 10 October 2019.

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Minutes:

RESOLVED that the minutes of the Executive meeting held on 10 October 2019 be approved as a correct record and signed.

59.

Apologies for absence

To receive any apologies for absence.

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Minutes:

Executive Members: Councillor R. Biggs, Councillor A. Horwood and Councillor E. Humphreys.

Non-Executive Members: None.

60.

Declarations of interest

To receive any declarations of interest.

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Minutes:

None.

61.

Service and Financial Planning 2020/21 - including Council Tax Policy Change pdf icon PDF 558 KB

To approve the 2020/21 provisional budget proposals for consultation with the Overview and Scrutiny Committee in accordance with the Policy Framework and Budget Procedure rules within the Constitution and with the Business Community to comply with statutory requirements.

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Minutes:

Councillor T. Schofield, Deputy Leader and Executive Member for Finance, introduced a report setting out service and financial planning proposals for 2020/21 and changes in relation to council tax policy.

As set out in the report, the Deputy Leader and Executive Member for Finance highlighted that proposals for 2020/21 had been based on a full and robust assessment. It was noted that this work had been carried out by Executive Members, supported by the Management Team and a Budget Advisory Working Group.

Councillor Schofield highlighted that the proposals set out in the report would allow for a continuation of high quality services. It was recognised that this would result in an increased budget requirement for 2020/21 but that this would be partly offset by savings and the generation of additional income.

In response to questions about presenting a balanced budget to Full Council in February 2020, it was explained that a net increase in service budgets, of £2.2 million, would be addressed through a review of central budgets that was in progress, combined with a proposed council tax increase and drawing on reserves if necessary.   

A number of issues were considered in relation to revenue reserves and the fact the Council no longer received revenue support grant from Government and was therefore developing new income streams to replace Government funding. The Executive went on to consider proposals for the Capital Programme, including £9.9 million of investment for new capital schemes and the continuation of existing rolling maintenance programmes. The work that was already underway to develop proposals relating to the Housing Delivery Strategy and Environmental Strategy was also highlighted.        

In terms of council tax proposals, Councillor Schofield explained that it was always a difficult decision to increase Council Tax. It was noted that the proposals would see the Reigate and Banstead element of a Band D charge increase by 9 pence per week (based on a £5 increase). Councillor Schofield outlined that for less than £4.50 each a week, residents would benefit from waste and recycling collections, clean streets and award winning open spaces. The Council would also continue to provide leisure and community centres, health and wellbeing services, housing, community development and business support services. In addition, residents would benefit from various regeneration and place improvement activities across the borough, and from statutory services provided, such as planning, environmental health and licensing.  

Councillor Schofield went on to outline proposals to introduce a 100% council tax discount for care leavers up to the age of 25. It was noted that this would contribute to a county-wide initiative, promoted by Surrey County Council.  The Executive was informed that the local Council Tax Reduction scheme would remain unchanged, other than reflecting changes in allowances and premiums in line with Government benefits.

During the discussion, both the Leader and Deputy Leader and Executive Member for Finance responded to questions on service and financial proposals, including proposals to adopt the new council tax policy. It was also highlighted that the Chair of the Overview  ...  view the full minutes text for item 61.

62.

Half Yearly Treasury Management Report for 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 365 KB

To consider the half yearly Treasury Management performance.

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Minutes:

Councillor T. Schofield, Deputy Leader and Executive Member for Finance, explained that the purpose of the report was to provide an update on the performance of the Council’s treasury management activities. The Executive was informed that this formed part of the formal reporting requirements of the CIPFA Code of Practice on Treasury Management.

Councillor Schofield informed the Executive that the treasury management performance, up to Period 6, showed that overall the projected outturn was better than budget. This was primarily due to the long term borrowing facility not being utilised to date.

The following points were noted:

-       Short-term borrowing of £12 million was undertaken in February and March 2019, for cash flow purposes, and was fully repaid in May and June 2019.

-       There had been no further borrowing for the period 1 April to 30 September 2019.

-       It was anticipated that borrowing of up to £41.5 million would be undertaken during the second half of 2019/20 in order to fund delivery of the Council’s Capital Programme.

-       Borrowing limits remained unchanged from when the Treasury Management Strategy was adopted by Full Council in April 2019.

-       Annex 1 to the report provided an update on economic conditions and expected movements in interest rates. This information had been provided by the Council’s advisors, Link Treasury Services.

In response to questions, it was explained Capital Programme delivery timing and expenditure plans had been updated for the period October 2019 to March 2020. As a result, the borrowing and investment forecasts had been refreshed. It was also highlighted that the treasury forecasts set out in the report reflected the £25 million that had been delegated to the Commercial Ventures Executive Sub-Committee for commercial investments and £100,000 for delivery of the Merstham Recreation Ground project in 2019/20.

It was noted that the Overview and Scrutiny Committee had considered the Half Yearly Treasury Management Report for 2019/20 on 17 October 2019. The Leader of the Council thanked the Committee for its questions and highlighted a number of observations that had been circulated to the Executive by the Chair of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee ahead of the meeting. This included feedback and questions on a variety of matters relating to: public sector borrowing, treasury investments and the unexpected rise in Public Works Loan Board interest rates. The input from the Committee was welcomed and it was noted that these observations had been fully captured in the minutes from the meeting.

RECOMMENDED that the Treasury Management Performance for the year to date (2019/20) and the updated prudential indicators be noted.

Reason for decision: To comply with the requirements of the regulatory framework for treasury management and to meet the Council’s reporting requirements.

Alternative options: To accept the report but ask Officers to provide more detail on some specific issues contained in the report.

63.

Statements

To receive any statements from the Leader of the Council, Members of the Cabinet or the Chief Executive.

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Minutes:

None.

64.

Any other urgent business

To consider any item(s) which, in the opinion of the Chairman, should be considered as a matter of urgency – Local Government Act 1972, Section 100B(4)(b).

 

(Note:  Urgent business must be submitted in writing but may be supplemented by an oral report).

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Minutes:

None.

65.

Exempt business

RECOMMENDED that members of the Press and public be excluded from the meeting for the following item of business under Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972 on the grounds that:

(i)            it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Act; and

(ii)          the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.

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Minutes:

There was no exempt business to be considered under this agenda item.