Agenda and minutes

Venue: Remote Meeting via Zoom

Contact: Neil Terry
Democratic Services Lead
01903 221078  Email:

No. Item

A EX/1/20-21

Declarations of Interest

Members and officers must declare any disclosable pecuniary interests in relation to any business on the agenda.  Declarations should also be made at any stage such an interest becomes apparent during the meeting. 


If in doubt contact the Legal or Democratic Services representative for this meeting.


There were no declarations of interest.

A EX/2/20-21

Public Questions

To receive any questions from members of the public.


Questions should be submitted by noon on Friday 29 January 2021 to Democratic Services,    


(Note: Public Question Time will operate for a maximum of 30 minutes.)


There were no questions received from members of the public.

A EX/3/20-21

Items Raised Under Urgency Provisions

To consider any items the Chairman of the meeting considers to be urgent.


There were no items raised under urgency provisions.

A EX/4/20-21

Housing Revenue Account: 2021/22 Budget pdf icon PDF 350 KB

To consider a joint report from the Director for Digital, Sustainability & Resources and the Director for Communities, a copy is attached as item 4.


The Executive had before it a joint report from the Director for Digital, Sustainability and Resources and the Director for Communities, attached to these minutes as item 4.


The report set out the current and future financial prospects for the Housing Revenue Account and requested that Members agree to set the rent levels and service charges for 2021/22 as set out in the report. The report also considered some of the strategic challenges facing the Housing Revenue Account over the next few years and the impact that these would have over the next 30 years.


Members noted that the rent limitation announced in 2015/16 had significantly affected the financial viability of the Housing Revenue Account for the past few years. However, the Council was now permitted to increase rents on social rent and affordable rent properties by up to the September CPI +1% each year from 2020. It was the Government’s intention that this arrangement should remain in place for a period of at least five years.


The recommendations in the report were proposed by Councillor Neil Parkin, seconded by Councillor Carson Albury and unanimously supported.




The Executive:


(i)              approved the Housing Revenue Account estimates for 2021/22 as set out in Appendix 1;


(ii)            approved that the rents of Council Dwellings would increase by 1.5%, increasing the average council dwelling rent by £1.39 to £94.00 per week (average rent currently £92.61 per week);


(iii)           determined the level of associated rents and charges with effect from week one of 2021/22:


(a)            Rents of Council garages – agreed an increase of 1.5% to £10.73. (currently £10.57 per week, plus VAT for non-Council tenants);


(b)            Service Charges - delegated to the Head of Housing and Chief Financial Officer in consultation with the Executive Member for Customer Services, the setting of the service charges;


(iv)           approved the HRA Treasury Management Strategy contained in Appendix 3.


Reason for Decision


To set the rent level for 2021/22


Alternative options considered


As outlined in the report.


Call In


The call in deadline for this decision is Friday 12 February 2021 at 5.00pm.



A EX/5/20-21

Budget Estimates 2021/22 and setting of the 2021/22 Council Tax pdf icon PDF 1 MB

To consider a report from the Director for Digital, Sustainability & Resources, a copy is attached as item 5.


The Executive had before it a report from the Director for Digital, Sustainability and Resources, attached to these minutes as item 5.


The report was the final budget report of the year, the culmination of the annual budgeting exercise, and asked members to consider:


·       The final revenue estimates for 2021/22 including any adjustments arising from settlement;


·       An updated outline 5-year forecast; and


·       The provisional level of Council Tax for 2021/22, prior to its submission to the Council for approval on the 18th February 2021. This would be subject to any proposals to change the draft revenue budget following the consideration of the budget by the Executive.


The report outlined the medium term financial challenge through to 2025/26, discussed the impact that the pandemic was having on the Council’s finances over the next year, and set out performance in the key strategic areas of commercialisation, digital transformation and strategic property investment. This had been updated to include the latest information regarding the impact of the pandemic on the Council financial position. The current budget strategy was having a significant effect on how the Council would be funded in the future with increasing income generated from commercial income and rents. Following the delay to the fairer funding review, the challenge still remained significant for 2022/23, however the delivery of the budget strategy would ensure that this was met.


The budgets reflected the Councils’ ambitions set out in Platforms for our Places: Going Further, and agreed savings proposals contributing to the financial sustainability of the Councils. The report also updated members about the impact of the draft 2021/22 settlement.


The major points raised within the report included:


·       A full update on the impact of settlement. The Council should prepare itself for a continuation of the reduction in Government resources for 2022/23 and beyond (see section  4.2);


·       Creation of a Covid 19 contingency budget from resources provided by Government to fund both covid related risks and any associated recovery actions throughout 2021/22;


·       The proposed funding for initiatives to support the Councils’ ambitions set out in Platforms for our Places - Going Further and And Then;


·       Detailed the proposals to invest in services outlined in Appendix 2;


·       The Executive will need to consider whether to increase Council Tax by 2.0% or by a lower amount (paragraph 5.9).


The budget was analysed by Executive Member portfolio. In addition, the draft estimates for 2021/22 had been prepared, in accordance with the requirements of the Service Reporting Code of Practice for Local Authorities (except in relation to pension costs adjustments that did not impact either on the Budget Requirement or the Council Tax Requirement).


The Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) had already been informed that the referendum criteria for this year was an increase of £15.00 per Band D property which would be equivalent to an increase of 7.5%.  The proposed 2021/22 budget was due to be considered by the Sussex Police and Crime Panel (PCP) on 28th January 2021. If the proposals are vetoed by the PCP,  ...  view the full minutes text for item A EX/5/20-21