Issue - meetings
Draft Revenue and Capital Estimates 2015/2018. To agree the Council Tax Base. To agree the Collection Fund surplus/deficit. Approve detailed revenue estimates including growth and savings and fees and charges. Approve the Council Tax Support Sche
Meeting: 28/01/2015 - Council (Item 58)
Report of Cabinet – 19 January 2015 (to follow)
Please note that this report has been printed separately for Budget Panel on 15th January, Cabinet on 19th January and Council on 28th January. Members are reminded to bring their copy to this meeting.
- Budget Report January 15 - BP Cabinet Council - Financial Planning, item 58 PDF 573 KB
- 2015-16 Council Tax Resolution report (2), item 58 PDF 46 KB
Council received a report of Cabinet, including the original report presented to Cabinet at its meeting on 19 January 2015 and an additional report from the Shared Director of Finance setting out the Council Tax Resolution for 2015/2016.
The Mayor moved the budget report incorporating the following amendments to the minutes from Cabinet, which was seconded by Councillor Watkin –
· £250,000 to be added to the Capital Programme for work to community centres;
· Saving of £1,650 would not be taken from the Democratic Services budget.
Councillor Bell moved the following amendment which was seconded by Councillor Khan –
· £30,000 for weekend burials (paid from the net revenue from fees and charges) in 2015/16, 2016/17 and 2017/18
· £40,000 for free graffiti and bulky waste removal in 2015/16, 2016/17 and 2017/18
· Cut the cost of the Mayor’s office £70,198 – 2015/16; £120,190 – 2016/17; £120,190 – 2017/18
· Cut £1,680 for the cost of mobile phones for Cabinet in 2015/16, 2016/17 and 2017/18
· £50,000 from Reserves for Watford Women’s Centre for three years, 2015/16, 2016/17 and 2017/18
· £1,500,000 from Reserves for St Albans Road 2015/16
Members debated the original motion and the amendment.
During the debate Councillor Sharpe raised a point of order following an allegation made by Councillor Dhindsa.
After consultation with the Head of Democracy and Governance and the Managing Director the Chairman invited Councillor Dhindsa to withdraw the allegation, which he did.
The amendment was then put to the vote
In accordance with the Local Authorities (Standing Orders) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2014 the votes were recorded as follows –
Those Members voting in favour of the amendment:
Councillors Bashir, Bell, Connal, Dhindsa, Joynes, Khan, Mauthoor, Mills, Shah and S Williams
Those Members voting against the amendment:
Mayor Thornhill, The Chairman Councillor Derbyshire, Councillors Aron, Bolton, I Brown, J Brown, Collett, Counter, Crout, Greenslade, Hastrick, Hofman, Jeffree, Johnson, Lynch, Mehta, Saffery, Scudder, Sharpe, Taylor, Walford, Watkin and T Williams
Those Members abstaining from voting
The amendment was LOST by 10 votes to 23 and 1 abstention.
The original motion was then put to Council.
Those Members voting in favour of the original motion:
Mayor Thornhill, The Chairman Councillor Derbyshire, Councillors Aron, Bolton, I Brown, J Brown, Collett, Counter, Crout, Greenslade, Hastrick, Hofman, Jeffree, Johnson, Lynch, Saffery, Scudder, Sharpe, Taylor, Walford, Watkin and T Williams
Those Members voting against the original motion:
Those Members abstaining from voting
Councillors Bashir, Bell, Brandon, Connal, Dhindsa, Joynes, Khan, Mauthoor, Mehta, Mills, Shah and S Williams
The amendment was CARRIED by 22 votes to 0.
1. that the proposals recommended by Cabinet on 19 January 2015 be agreed:
a) that the Council’s net General Fund expenditure for 2015/16 shall be £15,176,500.
b) that the Capital Programme shall be as set out in the Cabinet report with the addition of £250,000 for improvements to the community centres.
and in approving these recommendations
c) has regard to the Director of Finance’s assessment of financial risks and the ... view the full minutes text for item 58
Meeting: 19/01/2015 - Cabinet (Item 52)
Report of the Director of Shared Services Finance
Please note that this report has been printed separately for Budget Panel on 15th January, Cabinet on 19th January and Council on 28th January. Members are reminded to take their copies to these meetings.
A report was received from the Director of Finance Shared Services to enable Cabinet to consider service level expenditure, funding and council tax levels for the medium term 2015/16 to 2018/19 including consideration of the use of reserves and balances. This budget was a component part of the 2015/16 Council Tax calculations. The report included advice from the Director of Finance on the adequacy of general reserves and balances in the context of the three year planning horizon 2015-18 and set out:
- the draft revenue estimates for the period 2015-18, including a revised budget for 2014/15
- the draft capital programme for the period 2015-18
- the Treasury Management strategy 2015-18
The report had also been considered by Budget Panel at its meeting on 15th January and the minutes were circulated at the meeting.
The Chair introduced Councillor Khan, Chair of Budget Panel, and welcomed the Panel’s role in the budget process to ensure that the budget was sustainable, prudent and well managed.
Councillor Khan described the Budget Panels’ discussions over the last two meetings regarding reported over and under spends in the budget. The Panel had questioned these and were satisfied with the answers received. The Panel had also interrogated the reasons behind fluctuations in business rates and rental income. The Panel had recommended a freeze for charges for graffiti removal from private properties pending a review of the service.
The Chair asked whether Councillors understood the changes regarding business rates. The Director of Shared Services Finance had given a presentation on the topic. The Council still only received a small percentage of business rates. Previously there had been no incentive for Council to collect business rates, however, this had now been introduced.
The Director of Shared Services Finance responded that from a financial point of view the situation was becoming clearer but there were still some uncertainties nationally. Watford was in a ‘safety net’ position due to the rateable values decreasing as a result of a revaluation. If the Council wished to influence the position then it needed to bring in new business.
Councillor Khan commented that at previous Budget Panel meetings there was an ethos of looking at supporting economic growth and regeneration. The Panel had received a briefing from the Economic Development Manager. The Panel had also looked at the New Homes Bonus for the period until 2017/18.
The Director of Shared Services Finance responded that most Councils were making the assumption that the New Homes Bonus would be changed.
The Chair said that on paper it appeared that the Council received a good amount of funds through the New Homes Bonus but there were also funds taken away through different mechanisms so the position of the Council remained unchanged. The Chair welcomed Budget Panel’s entrepreneurial approach. The less dependant the Council could be on government grant, the better and it enabled the funds to go to places where it was needed most.
The Chair continued, in response to a statement from Councillor Khan regarding the property ... view the full minutes text for item 52