Agenda and draft minutes

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Contact: Mary Richards, tel 01237 428705  Email: mary.richards@torridge.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

61.

Apologies For Absence

Minutes:

There were no apologies.

62.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 83 KB

Confirmation of the minutes held on 18 December 2018.

Minutes:

It was proposed by Councillor Langmead, seconded by Mr Harper and –

 

Resolved:

 

That the minutes of the meeting held on 18 December 2018 be agreed and signed as a correct record. 

 

(Vote: For 7, Abstentions 3)

 

Matters Arising

 

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.

 

63.

Action List pdf icon PDF 52 KB

Minutes:

The action list was reviewed and updated.

 

Minute 49 a) Harbour Board

 

It was felt reference to Harbour Income, rather than Harbour Board Income 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.

64.

Public Contributions

Minutes:

There were no public contributions.

65.

Declaration Of Interests

Members with interests should refer to the agenda item and describe the nature of their interest when the item is considered.

 

Minutes:

Members were reminded that declarations of interest should be made as and when the specific agenda item to which they related was under discussion.

 

66.

Urgent Matters Brought Forward With The Permission Of The Chair

Minutes:

Thee were no urgent matters brought forward.

67.

Agreement of Agenda Items Part I And II

Minutes:

There were no part II items.

 

68.

Budget 2019/20, Medium Term Financial Strategy 2019-20 to 2023-24 pdf icon PDF 499 KB

To receive the report of the Strategic Manager (Resources).

Minutes:

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 says, equating to £300,000.

 

Members discussed solutions to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 68.

69.

Proposed changes to Council Tax Legislation - Long Term Empty Properties pdf icon PDF 128 KB

To receive the report of the Customer Support Manager.

Minutes:

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.

70.

New Homes Bonus Community Grants pdf icon PDF 91 KB

To receive the report of the Strategic Manager (Resources).

Minutes:

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.

 

70a

Recommendations from Community & Resources

Minutes:

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.

 

71.

Consideration Of The Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 57 KB

To review the Forward Plan.

 

Minutes:

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

 

S106

 

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.