Agenda and minutes

Venue: Town Hall, Bideford

Contact: Mary Richards, tel 01237 428705  Email:

No. Item


Apologies For Absence


There were no apologies for absence.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 132 KB

Confirmation of the minutes held on 17 December 2019


It was proposed by Councillor Manley, seconded by Councillor Langford and –




That the minutes of the meeting held on 17 December 2019 be agreed and signed as a correct record.


(Vote: For - Unanimous)


Action List pdf icon PDF 181 KB


The Action List was reviewed.


Public Contributions


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


There were no urgent matters.


Agreement of Agenda Items Part I And II


There were no Part II items.


Budget 2020/21, Medium Term Financial Strategy 2020/21 - 2024/25 pdf icon PDF 898 KB

To receive the report of the Strategic Manager (Resources)


The purpose of the report was for Members to consider, formulate and recommend the Budget 2020/21 to Full Council.  The Medium Term Financial Strategy (MTFS) indicates the possible extent of the budget and funding shortfall that the Council will face in the future.   It is an aid in identifying the extent of service changes that the Council will need to make to achieve a balanced budget in each financial year up to 2024/25.


Prior to the presentation of this item a document detailing the Community & Resources Committee recommendations was circulated to Members.


A slide presentation, presented by the Finance Manager, highlighted the key points in the report, the recommendations and the rationale behind the recommendations.  The Headlines from the Budget were:


·         The projected financial position had improved but  there are major caveats

·         The Funding Model changes from 2021/22

·         There was greater uncertainty and risks particularly from 2021/22


The Committee were informed of the following update:


“A final settlement had been received that morning, and as anticipated there had been no changes”.   


Other key points highlighted included:


·         The impact of increasing and not increasing (as in previous years) the council tax

·         Business Rates

·         Budget pressures and savings

·         New Homes Bonus

·         Funding Horizon from 2021/22

·         Challenges for the Council in future years.


The Community & Resources Committee had made an alternative recommendation to that proposed by the Internal Overview & Scrutiny Committee at the meeting held on 17 December 2019 in relation to external grants, which will be detailed when the recommendations are discussed at the end of the presentation.


During the presentation questions were asked and clarification given on a number of issues/concerns raised, including:


·         Council Tax Freeze Grant - the impact of not increasing the Council Tax in previous financial years will be felt in subsequent years.   This had resulted in a cumulative council loss of just under £2m and due to the restrictions imposed by the Council Tax Referendum limits it is not possible to “plug” the funding gap in subsequent years by raising Council Tax.


·         Following an enquiry from Councillor Newton, the Strategic Manager (Resources) advised that at the time when Councillors had considered this matter, they had been made fully aware of the impact on the funding gap.  A suggestion was made that the under resource be recovered by increasing the Council Tax through referendum.  Although this is an option the Strategic Manager (Resources) outlined the difficulties with such a course of action.


·         The perception from Members of the public to an increase was discussed. Council tax bills include this information, but it was suggested that further publicity be given to the small increase to the Council of £5.


The following recommendations to Full Council made by Community & Resources Committee on 3 February 2020 were scrutinised and endorsed as follows:


It was proposed by Councillor Manley, seconded by Councillor Newton –


a)     That the assurance of the Chief Finance Officer (s151 Officer) of the robustness of the budget 2020/21 as set out in section 12 of the report be  ...  view the full minutes text for item 66.


Consideration Of The Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 203 KB

To review the Forward Plan.



The Forward Plan was reviewed and duly updated.