Venue: QEII Room, Shoreham Centre
Contact: Neil Terry
Democratic Services Officer
01903 221078 Email: email@example.com
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.
None were declared.
To receive any questions from members of the public.
In order for the Committee to provide the fullest answer, questions from the public should be submitted by noon on Friday 31 January 2020.
Where relevant notice of a question has not been given, the person presiding may either choose to give a response at the meeting or respond by undertaking to provide a written response within three working days.
Questions should be submitted to Democratic Services, firstname.lastname@example.org
(Note: Public Question Time will operate for a maximum of 30 minutes)
No questions were asked by members of the public.
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.
To consider a joint report from the Director for Digital & 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 and Resources and the Director for Communities, attached to these minutes as item 4.
The report set out the current and future financial landscape for the Housing Revenue Account and requested that Members agree the rent levels and service charges for 2020/21 as set out in the report. The report also considered some of the strategic challenges facing the Housing Revenue Account in future years and the impact these would have over the next 30 years.
Members were informed that the rent limitation announced in 2015/16 had significantly affected the financial viability of the Housing Revenue Account for the past four 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.
Members discussed the space allocation on existing and future housing sites, including the Hidden Homes Programme. Officers advised that the Housing Development Strategy was currently being developed alongside the Capital Improvement Programme, both would consider how the Council could best use the space that it had.
It was noted that although it was proposed to increase rents by the maximum amount, this equated to an increase of £2.40 per week on average and rents were still lower than they had been 4 years ago.
(i) approved the Housing Revenue Account estimates for 2020/21 as set out in Appendix 1;
(ii) approved that the rents of Council Dwellings would increase by 2.7% increasing the average council dwelling rent by £2.42 to £92.18 per week (average rent currently £90.02 per week) – (Paragraph 6.3);
(iii) determined the level of associated rents and charges with effect from week one of 2020/21:
(a) Rents of Council garages – agreed an increase of 2.7% to £10.57. (currently £10.29 per week, plus VAT for non-Council tenants) (Paragraph 6.6);
(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 (paragraph 9.2);
(iv) approved the HRA Treasury Management Strategy contained in Appendix 3.
Reason for Decision
To set the rent level for 2020/21
Alternative options considered
As outlined in the report.
The call in deadline for this decision is Friday 14 February 2020 at 5.00pm.
To consider a report from the Director for Digital & Resources, a copy is attached as item 5.
The Executive had before it a report from the Director for Digital 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 2020/21 including any adjustments arising from settlement;
· an updated outline 5-year forecast; and
· the provisional level of Council Tax for 2020/21, prior to its submission to the Council for approval on the 20 February 2020. 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 2024/25, and set out performance in the key strategic areas of commercialisation, digital transformation and strategic property investment. 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 2021/22, 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, and agreed savings proposals contributing to the financial sustainability of the Council. The report also updated members about the impact of the draft 2020/21 settlement.
The major points raised within the report include:
· A full update on the impact of settlement. The Council should prepare itself for a continuation of the reduction in Government resources for 2021/22 and beyond (see section 4.2) ;
· Highlighted the proposed funding for initiatives to support the Councils’ ambitions set out in Platforms for our Places - Going Further;
· Detailed the proposals to invest in services outlined in Appendix 2;
· The Executive would need to consider whether to increase Council Tax by 2.0% or by a lower amount (paragraph 5.11).
The budget was analysed by the Executive Member portfolios. In addition, the draft estimates for 2020/21 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 Council had just received notification from the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) of their precept. The PCC was proposing to put up a band D by £10 which was equivalent to a 5.2% increase.
The draft Local Government Settlement allowed Councils to increase core Council Tax by up to 2% which was in addition to the 2% Council Tax increase permitted specifically to support adult social care services. Therefore a maximum Council Tax increase of 4% for Councils with social care responsibilities was allowed.
The precept for West Sussex County Council had not yet been finalised and would not be confirmed until 14 February 2020. The formal detailed resolution setting the overall Council Tax for next year would be presented to the Council Meeting on 20 February ... view the full minutes text for item A EX/5/19-20