Agenda item

Budget Setting, Medium Term Plan & Capital Strategy

Report of Cllr Pablo Dimoglou, Executive Member for Finance.

Minutes:

The Executive Member Finance presented the report outlining that the Council was in a strong financial position thanks to the historical foresight of Members.  The entrepreneurial approach had enabled the Council to protect services to residents, as well as achieve projects.  The report included a recommendation to allocate £100,000 for specialist advice to move projects forward.  A consultation had been carried out, and there had not been any response with regards to a proposed council tax increase.

 

The Executive Member for Finance proposed that recommendations referred to at paragraph 2.2 of the report be approved.

 

Councillor Jermy understood the need to increase council tax but was concerned that any increase did not take into account means.  Vulnerable residents received a 91.5% discount and therefore any increase would be disproportionate.  He had calculated that providing 100% discount would cost the council an extra £15,000 per annum and if such protection was introduced he would support the budget.  However, he could not do this if vulnerable residents were not supported by in this way.

 

Councillor Jermy asked the Council for an amendment to the recommendations and consider undertaking a 12-week consultation with a view to implementing a 100% increase.  Councillor Clarke seconded this proposal.

 

The Leader of the Council had raised the issue in the past, however consultation with colleagues, Police and Norfolk County Council would need to take place to seek full support of the 100% discount.  He was in support to undertake the consultation, but would not agree on spending the money now.

 

Councillor Dimoglou added that if Breckland Council allowed the 100% council tax relief people would be less inclined to move forward and felt the £7.00 per month was achievable for most.

 

Councillor Jermy said however that even the small amount was an incredible amount when you had nothing.  The 100% discount could make all the difference to those people.

 

The amendment to the proposed recommendations was not agreed. 

 

Councillor Clarke proposed an amendment by asking the Council to create a fixed term position for a Market Town Co-ordinator.  He felt the market towns were struggling and this role would help the towns to generate income.

 

The Chairman asked Councillor Clark to provide a specific and clear amendment that provided sufficient detail.  Councillor Wassell added that it would have been helpful if this had been suggested at an earlier stage so that it could be considered thoroughly.

 

Councillor Jermy added that the proposal was crucial for the market towns, and suggested that the additional finance could be drawn from the New Homes Bonus, as this was how it worked at South Norfolk council.

 

Councillor Monument agreed with the suggestion but would like to have seen a detailed report and to hear from South Norfolk about the role.

 

Councillor Chapman-Allen said it was a corporate priority to support the market towns and it would be a cabinet item in the future to discuss how to work with the towns to support them moving forward.

 

Councillor Clarke had heard the comments, and asked the amendment still be considered.  The amendment to the proposed recommendation was not agreed. 

 

The Executive Director Commercialisation (S151 Officer) reminded members for the purpose of clarity, that they would be voting as outlined in paragraph 2.2 of the report.  Councillor Wassell proposed and Councillor Dimoglou seconded the recommendation.

 

In accordance with the Local Authorities (Standing Orders) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2014 a recorded vote was taken on the recommendations below. The vote was as follows:

 

For

 

 

Councillors:

Against

 

 

Councillor:

Abstain

 

 

Councillors:

Apologies /
Not Present

 

Councillors:

Ashby

Clarke

Hollis

Askew

Bambridge

Jermy

 

Crawford

Bishop

Newton

 

Duffield

Brame

 

 

Hewett

Borrett

 

 

Joel

Bowes

 

 

Jolly

Carter

 

 

Martin

M Chapman-Allen

 

 

Sherwood

S Chapman-Allen

 

 

Smith

Claussen

 

 

Taylor

Cowen

 

 

Turner

Darby

 

 

 

Dimoglou

 

 

 

Duigan

 

 

 

Gilbert

 

 

 

Gould

 

 

 

Matthews

 

 

 

Millbank

 

 

 

L Monument

 

 

 

T Monument

 

 

 

Nairn

 

 

 

Nunn

 

 

 

Oliver

 

 

 

R Richmond

 

 

 

W Richmond

 

 

 

Robinson

 

 

 

Rogers

 

 

 

Sharpe

 

 

 

Stasiak

 

 

 

Wassell

 

 

 

Webb

 

 

 

Wilkin

 

 

 

Wilkinson

 

 

 

 

It was RESOLVED that:

1)     The Breckland revenue estimates and parish special expenses for 2017-18 and outline position through to 2020-21, as set out in Appendix B2 and E2 are approved;

2)     The capital estimates and associated funding for 2017-18 and outline position through to 2020-21 (as set out in Appendix H) are approved;

3)     The discretionary business rates relief for local newspapers for up to 2 years as detailed in Appendix I is approved;

4)     The fees and charges shown at Appendix D and D2, for adoption on 1 April 2017, are approved;

5)     The Council Tax in the medium term plan be set at £4.95 increase per year (£78.93 for a Band D property in 2017-18);

6)     The financial Medium term plan at Appendix A 2 is approved;

7)     The capital strategy at Appendix G is approved;

8)     That £100,000 is allocated in the Organisational Development Reserve to fund feasibility studies for growth and investment projects which will generate a return to the Council.  That release of funding for individual feasibility studies be delegated to the S151 Officer in conjunction with the Strategic Growth Group and Finance Board in consultation with the Leader or Deputy Leader.

Supporting documents: