Meeting: 17/10/2017 - Cabinet (Item 104)
Report of Councillor Phil Cowen, Executive Member for Finance.
The Executive Member for Finance presented the report. The report provided information to Members on a proposed Investment Strategy and the associated re-allocation of funding.
Members were informed that the Council had started this journey many years ago and now this more mature document was looking at investment that was not just related to property: it would include investment in services, transformation projects, ICT, operational assets and investment assets to name but a few.
Councillor Wilkinson asked what returns were expected. The Executive member for Finance advised that the Council was looking to maximise the return and manage its investment portfolio. The Executive Member for Growth & Commercialisation pointed out that the Council was currently looking at several investment opportunities some of which were not in the Breckland District.
The Executive Member for Place (Health Lead) said that he would have liked to have had sight of the governance arrangements. The Executive Director for Commercialisation & S151 Officer explained that the Council’s Constitution covered these arrangements.
Councillor Darby asked if some of this money would assist local towns with infrastructure etc. The Chairman advised that this was not a problem in principle but it would have to be at Commercial rates – which may result in parish councils being able to borrow at lower rates elsewhere. Councillor Duigan stated that there were many avenues that towns and parish councils could use if they so wished.
Councillor Wilkinson asked if this investment strategy included Breckland Bridge. Members were informed that Breckland Bridge was a company in its own right and investment in development and housing was the purpose of the Strategy.
To maximise the Council’s return on its investments and to provide a clear direction and focus for investment activity.
That the investment strategy be approved, £2,495,00 be made available for temporary investments of up to 3 years, £17,012 be re-allocated from the Community Projects Reserve to the investment fund and £250,000 be left in the Organisational Development Reserve for future projects and the remaining balance be re-allocated to the investment fund for permanent use.
RECOMMEND to Full Council that:
1) the Investment Strategy be approved;
2) balances of £2,500,000 to be made available for temporary investments of up to 3 years maximum;
3) £17,012 be re-allocated from the Community Projects Reserve to the investment fund for permanent use;
4) £250,000 be left in the Organisational Development Reserve for future projects and the remaining balance be re-allocated to the investment fund for permanent use; and
5) Members note that the new balance on the investment fund would be £4,505k following these changes (subject to the final Organisational Development Reserve balance).