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Apologies For Absence
There were no apologies.
Confirmation of the minutes held on 18 December 2018.
It was proposed by Councillor Langmead, seconded by Mr Harper and –
That the minutes of the meeting held on 18 December 2018 be agreed and signed as a correct record.
(Vote: For 7, Abstentions 3)
Minute 55 - Section 106 Agreements And Affordable Housing Update
Mr Dengate raised the point that S106 Improvement Plan did not appear on the Forward Plan. It was also noted that The Planning & Economy Manager was to have prepared a report for the next meeting about the distribution of S106 monies. The Chair responded that items for the Forward Plan would be considered under item 9 of the agenda and that the Planning & Economy Manager will present a report on the distribution of S106 monies to the April meeting. Today’s meeting was a special meeting for discussion of the Budget 2019/20, Medium Term Financial Strategy 2019-20 to 2023-24.
Minute 56 – Call-In
Councillor Pennington referred to the question he had raised at Full Council about S106 contributions and the response from the Planning & Economy Manager. He said it was important that Councillors ensure they ask for enough detail in their questions, for example, in this case the question should also have been raised as to whether there was any money in pipeline.
The action list was reviewed and updated.
Minute 49 a) Harbour Board
It was felt reference to Harbour Income, rather than income from the harbour could be confused with income associated with the charity “Harbour”. The Strategic Manager (Resources) explained that the Harbour Board is the body that manages the harbour and that harbour income is generated by activity in the harbour.
Minute 58 b) – Income Generation Task and Finish Group
The Strategic Manager (Resources) confirmed that the Task and Finish Group will meet on 20 February, as stated on the action list.
Minute 60 – Consideration of the Forward Plan – Economic Profile
The Governance Manager was trying to acquire up to date figures but to date had been unsuccessful.
Councillor Pennington enquired whether the paper circulated by the Strategic Manager (Resources) had also been sent to all members. The Strategic Manager (Resources) confirmed it had been sent to Internal and External Overview & Scrutiny.
Mr Harper asked whether any work had been carried out in conjunction with the External Overview & Scrutiny Committee. As Vice Chair of External Overview & Scrutiny, Councillor Pennington will speak to the Planning & Economy Manager.
There were no public contributions.
Declaration Of Interests
Members with interests should refer to the agenda item and describe the nature of their interest when the item is considered.
Members were reminded that declarations of interest should be made as and when the specific agenda item to which they related was under discussion.
Urgent Matters Brought Forward With The Permission Of The Chair
Thee were no urgent matters brought forward.
Agreement of Agenda Items Part I And II
There were no part II items.
To receive the report of the Strategic Manager (Resources).
The Strategic Manager (Resources) explained that items 8 a), b) and c), as detailed below, formed part of the overall report which had been considered
by Community & Resources:
a) Proposed changes to Council Tax Legislation - Long Term Empty Properties and Review Current Council Tax Local Discount Policy
b) New Homes Bonus Community Grants
c) Recommendations from Community & Resources
The report served to highlight the funding shortfall faced by the Council in the future; the need to find savings; and the changes required to achieve a balanced budget in each financial year between 2018/19 and 2023/24.
The Finance Manager delivered a PowerPoint presentation, providing detailed information on:
· Government Funding
· Council Tax
· Business Rates
· New Homes Bonus
· Draft budget for 2019/20
· Funding Horizon
· Financial Strategy
· Assumptions & Risks
There had been few surprises as this was the last year of a 4 year settlement. However, unexpected funding had been made available to Torridge District Council in the form of a Rural Delivery Grant, amounting to £94k. An additional £35k had been released from surplus Business Rate Levy monies.
The Committee was informed that the headlines from the budget were:
· The deficit is projected to grow significantly.
· The impact of increasing the council tax.
· New Homes Bonus.
· Homelessness - the number of people in bed and breakfast and hostels, the statutory duties of the Council, the increased homelessness demand and the impact on the Council’s finances.
· Business Rates – although successful with the pilot bid in 2018, the Authority had been unsuccessful for the coming year due to the Government wanting new areas to pilot bid status.
A number of questions were raised during the presentation and these were addressed as follows:
· The projected deficit increase in 2021 was due to a variety of factors including the LGA agreed pay award and the need to combine and delete some pay points to mitigate the shortage of HGV drivers and to attain parity for agency drivers. Furthermore, the revised refuse collection regime had required additional resource.
· Recyclables are sent to Deep Moor where they are baled and sold on. The handling of recycling is an area of risk due to a fluctuating market influenced heavily by international factors. Payment took the form of recycling credits, so the more waste diverted from landfill to recycling means more recycling credits. There was no provision for increased income from waste and recycling due to the risk associated with the volatility of the market.
· Food waste diverted to the anaerobic digester in Holsworthy forms part of the calculation relating to recycling credits as DCC is the waste disposal authority and they stipulate which sites waste has to be taken to.
· Councillor Pennington echoed support for Councillor Simmons’ proposal that the Committee lobby the MP for Torridge and West Devon about the Local Housing Allowance rate.
· The forecast relating to homelessness costs was based on an estimated 6,500 nights of accommodation, 96 units and an average length of stay of 33 stays, equating to £300,000.
Members discussed solutions to ... view the full minutes text for item 68.
To receive the report of the Customer Support Manager.
The report, forming part of the overall report submitted to Community & Resources on the Budget 2019/20 & Medium Term Financial Strategy 2019-20 to 2023-24 and also including the recommendations from the Internal Overview & Scrutiny Committee, was taken as read.
To receive the report of the Strategic Manager (Resources).
The report, forming part of the overall report submitted to Community & Resources on the Budget 2019/20 & Medium Term Financial Strategy 2019-20 to 2023-24, was taken as read.
Recommendations from Community & Resources
The recommendations from Community & Resources, forming part of the overall report on the Budget 2019/20 & Medium Term Financial Strategy 2019-20 to 2023-24, were taken as read.
To review the Forward Plan.
The Forward Plan was reviewed:
The Burton Art Gallery
The Burton Art gallery should have been reviewed in October 2018 but to date this had not happened. The Chair sought assurance that the External Overview & Scrutiny Committee would carry out the review in the very near future.
The Strategic Manager (Resources) advised that a 5 year agreement was in place with the Burton Art Gallery and that the Joint Working Group established to review on External Grant Funding could incorporate this into their programme of work, which will be commencing looking for a review to be executed during the 2019 calendar year. It was noted that over the 5 year Period of the agreement the Burton Art Gallery stood to receive £1m in funding from Torridge District Council.
Harbour and Fishdock
The Strategic Manager (Resources) told the meeting that income figures for the harbour and the fishdock will be in the QBR
To feature on the agenda of the April meeting.
External Grant Funding
A meeting of the Joint Working Group on External Grant Funding will be set up and a report will be brought back to the April meeting.