Agenda and minutes

Venue: Committee Rooms 1 & 2 - Deanes

Contact: Julia Leavey 

Items
No. Item

31/15

Also Present

Minutes:

Councillor J Izett - Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources

 

32/15

Apologies for absence and substitutions

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Councillor K Watts.

 

33/15

Declarations of interest

Minutes:

There were no declarations made.

34/15

Urgent Matters

To consider any items of special circumstances to be stated at the meeting, ems of business, other thsn those shown on this agenda and which, by reason

 

 

Minutes:

There were no urgent items

35/15

Minutes

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 12 January 2016 were to be confirmed at the committees next meeting on 8 March 2016

36/15

Proposals for the Policy and Budget Framework - 2016/17 draft budget report pdf icon PDF 2 MB

Contact Officer: Kevin Jaquest

To receive draft proposals for the Policy and Budget Framework – 2016/17.

 

Minutes:

The Chairman invited the Cabinet Member for Finances and Resources to introduce the report which set out draft proposals for the 2016/17 Policy and Budget Framework. He explained the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government said savings would need to be made in Local Government, and high tax base councils would receive less funding from Central Government. Furthermore, the New Homes Bonus would remain unchanged for 2016/17, but Central Government had indicated funding would significantly reduce following 2017.

 

The Cabinet Member said Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council would be expected to pay £171,000 to Central Government in negative revenue support grant by 2019/20.A council tax increase of 1.9% (£1.98 per band D property) was also proposed. More generally, the Cabinet Member gave an overview of several areas regarding capital expenditure, savings and changes to funding. He concluded the council had robust finances, a balanced budget, and in some cases, improved and extended services.

 

The Chairman invited the committee to ask questions and make comments. The committee’s comments included:

 

 

·           Concern there was a high measure of uncertainty and risk around future funding streams, grants and allocations from Central Government. Specific reference was made to the New Homes Bonus and the retention of business rates locally.

 

·           Any Combined Authority which Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council enters into should not require the council to contribute a disproportionate amount of funds, regardless of the council’s stable financial position.

 

·           Whilst Local Government funding is entering a period of uncertainty, the proposed council tax rise is reasonable and still represents value for money for residents.

 

·           The budget reflects the need for the council to respond to uncertainties within the future of Local Government funding. Compared to many other authorities, the council is in a better financial position.

 

The committee asked numerous questions of clarification and explanation in the meeting. In response to questions, the Cabinet Member explained that additional staff had been employed to support major projects in the council and support shared service working. He also explained whilst some fees had increased, the average increase across the fees and charges was 1%. The officer clarified income from interest generated from savings had reduced because the assumed interest rates were not as high as expected, and the council’s investments were for a shorter term than previously achieved.

 

 

Resolved:

 

The committee notes the report and requests that the Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources considers the committee’s comments on the proposals for the Policy and Budget Framework for 2016/17.