Agenda and minutes

Venue: Town Hall, Bideford

Contact: Mary Richards, tel 01237 428705  Email:

No. Item


Apologies For Absence


There were no apologies.


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


Councillor T Inch asked that at a future meeting the Committee consider the proposal by 1610 to go cashless.  This would involve pre-paid cards with a minimum payment of £5.  If the card was not used within a 12 month period any monies on the card would be lost.



Agreement of Agenda Items Part I And II


There were no Part II items.


Budget 2018/19, Medium Term Financial Strategy and Capital Programme pdf icon PDF 295 KB


The Strategic Manager (Resources) advised the Committee that the report in the agenda pack was the same report that went to Community & Resources on 12 February including the recommendations.  Community & Resources had made an alternative recommendation which would be detailed when the recommendations were discussed at the end of the presentation.  Additional slides had been included in response to feedback from Community & Resources.


The presentation reported on the highlights, recommendations and the rationale behind the recommendations and questions were addressed on the way.


The Committee was informed that the headlines from the budget were:


·         There were more changes and impacts

·         There was greater uncertainty which meant higher risk

·         The national picture was one of “doom and gloom”

·         Torridge was in quite an enviable position


The summary identified changes to Government funding, Council Tax, Business Rates and New Homes Bonus. 


The summary position showed a balanced budget with a £400,000 shortfall to be dealt with by the end of the MTFS 2022/23  The forecast was discussed and the Strategic Manager (Resources) explained:


-        the impact of influences such as higher salary costs than originally forecast.

-        that as a pilot authority for the Business Rates Retention Scheme all monies received from Government grants went into Business Rates and the authority had been awarded pilot status for one year only.  Consequently, when this ceased in 2019/2020 the business rate would be lower.


Government Grant funding over 4 years in the form of the Revenue Support Grant and the Rural Sparsity Grant had been accepted by TDC.  The details of the New Homes Bonus were explained in terms of the phased reductions and the allocation of the money, 50% of which was spent on capital, 25% on community funds and 25% went into the annual revenue budget. 


A breakdown of the components of the proposed Council Tax increase given.  It was noted that the figures were based on Band D properties; that 68% of the properties in the district were Band A-C and single occupiers received 25% discount.  This led to a discussion on Council Tax Support and Universal Credit, particularly in relation to contributions by pensioners.


The Committee was informed that, with the implementation of the Business Rates retention Scheme, business rates were now a high risk factor.  Following revaluations in 2017 the Government had made payments to the authority and 94%/95% thereof had been paid out.  It was important to ensure the remaining amount was also paid out otherwise it would go back to the Exchequer.  Business owners who had not claimed were being contacted.  The authority was not allowed to receive more money from the Business Rate Retention scheme than its annual budget so excess revenue from the scheme would be distributed across the county.  Valuations were carried by the Valuation Office Agency who also handled appeals and there was risk associated with appeals.


An update was provided on the proposed 2% pay award which had been rejected by the union (25% of the workforce were members of Unison) and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 81.