Issue - meetings

Budget Setting, Medium Term Plan & Capital Strategy

Meeting: 23/02/2017 - Council (Item 38)

38 Budget Setting, Medium Term Plan & Capital Strategy pdf icon PDF 90 KB

Report of Cllr Pablo Dimoglou, Executive Member for Finance.

Additional documents:

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  ...  view the full minutes text for item 38


Meeting: 07/02/2017 - Cabinet (Item 24)

24 Budget Setting, Medium Term Plan & Capital Strategy pdf icon PDF 89 KB

Report of Executive Member Finance, Pablo Dimoglou.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Executive Member Finance presented the report.

 

Councillor M Chapman-Allen asked if Officers could explain the discretionary business rate relief for local newspapers.  It was explained that this was a government initiative to provide discretionary rate relief to local newspapers allowing one allowance per company or property up to £1500.  The Central government would reimburse the local authorities for providing this discretionary rate relief at 100%, and the relief would be limited for a 2-year period only.

 

Councillor Cowen queried where some of the changes to discretionary charges had come from.  Councillor Dimoglou explained that as the new Executive Director Commercialisation was now in place, a full review would of fees and charges would be undertaken in the coming year.  It was confirmed that the fees and charges levels were proposed by the service areas

 

Councillor S Chapman-Allen felt concerned that the garden waste scheme would be increased again for the fourth year and should the Council Tax rise this would be a significant increase for residents. The Executive Director Place understood the context and added that the Councils’ income had improved by using the Book and Pay system, and that the fee suggested did not put the council out of kilter alongside other local authorities.

 

Options

That recommendations 1 to 8 are approved,

That amendments are made before recommendations 1 to 8 are approved.

 

Reasons

To comply with budgetary and policy framework

 

The Chairman asked that amendments were made to Recommendation 3 to reflect that the Discretionary Rate Relief for newspapers be approved for the 2-year period only.  In addition, Recommendation 8 should also be in conjunction with the Leader and Deputy Leader.

 

RECOMMEND to Council 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 B and E) 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 as detailed in appendix I is approved for a two year period only.

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 either:

a)    £5.00 increase per year (£78.98 for a Band D property in 2017-18) or,

b)    2% increase per year (75.45 for a Band D property in 2017-18, and increase of £1.47), or

c)    a value between 2% and £5, or a combination of a and b above

6)    the financial medium term plan at appendix A is approved

7)    the capital strategy at appendix G is approved

8)    £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 and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 24