Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources
To consider the attached report.
Council received a report, available in full on the Council’s website, summarising Cabinet’s recommendations in relation to the Budget for 2019/2020. The report had been updated since this matter had been considered by Cabinet to include reference to those factors relevant to the formulation of the budget where there was now more certainty.
The Council report covered:-
· Government Grant and the impact on budgets for 2019/2020 and beyond.
· Retained business rates and business rates pooling.
· New Homes Bonus.
· Proposed changes to the future funding of local government service provision.
· Budget pressures (including the outcome of pay negotiations in respect of the forthcoming financial year).
· Savings and income options.
· Fees and charges.
· Reserves and balances.
· Capital planning and the impact of spending decisions.
· Investments/net borrowing.
· The Connected Knowledge programme.
· Commercial AVDC.
· The transition to a unitary authority for Buckinghamshire.
· Council Tax strategy and collection rates.
· The Medium term Financial Plan (MTFP).
· The implications of Brexit as far as these could be assessed at this stage.
· Special Expenses (for Aylesbury).
· Budget management generally.
· Risk assessment/management.
The Cabinet report also contained the report of the Chief Financial on the robustness of the estimates made for the purposes of budget and council tax setting calculations and the adequacy of the proposed financial reserves. The Finance and Services Scrutiny Committee had considered the draft budget proposals and the Committee’s comments had been taken into account in determining the final package to be recommended for approval by Council.
Having outlined the rationale behind the budget proposals, the Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources proposed the adoption of the recommendations contained in the Council report. This was seconded by Councillor Mrs Glover.
In accordance with Council Procedure Rules, each of the Leaders of the political groups represented on the Council made a statement in connection with the budget proposals after which the matter was subject to debate. Council Procedure Rules required the names of Members voting for, against or abstaining from voting on any decision at a budget meeting of the Council, including amendments, in the Minutes.
It was thereupon proposed by Councillor Stuchbury and seconded by Councillor Lambert:-
That 2.2 e of the recommendation contained in the Council report be amended by the addition at the end, of the following:-
“The Council agrees that as we move forward towards a Buckinghamshire Council, it is in the interests of Aylesbury residents that community centres, parks and recreation grounds within the Parish of Aylesbury and the Aylesbury Market, are transferred to Aylesbury Town Council; to be achieved by December, 2019”.”
Upon being put to the meeting, the amendment was declared to be LOST. Voting was as follows:-
Councillors Lambert, Jarvis, Khan, Raven and Stuchbury.
Councillors Irwin, Sir Beville Stanier, Bowles, Renshell, Brandis, Mordue, Strachan, Bond, S Cole, Everitt, Fealey, Chilver, Foster, Glover, Hawkett, Jenkins, King, Mills, Powell, Cooper, N Blake, Rand, Newcombe, Stamp, Town and Whyte.
Councillors Smith, W Chapple, S Chapple, Moore, Christensen, Hussain, Raja, Bloom, Morgan, Bateman, C Adams, Russell and Hunter-Watts, as members of Aylesbury Town Council, each declared a personal and prejudicial interest in the amendment and left the meeting whilst this matter was discussed and voted upon.
Councillor A Cole declared a prejudicial interest in the amendment as he was related to one of the Town Council’s employees and also left the meeting whilst the matter was discussed and voted upon.
The original budget recommendations were then put to the meeting and declared to be CARRIED. Voting was as follows:-
Councillors Irwin, Sir Beville Stanier, Bowles, Renshell, Brandis, Mordue, Strachan, Bond, Bloom, B Chapple, S Chapple, A Cole, S Cole, Everitt, Fealey, Chilver, Foster, Glover, Hawkett, Jenkins, King, Mills, Moore, Powell, N Blake, Rand, Newcombe, Russell, Stamp and Whyte.
Councillors Bateman and Stuchbury.
Councillors Khan, Hussain, Smith, Morgan, Raven, Christensen, Jarvis, Lambert, Raja and Hunter-Watts.
Accordingly it was,
(1) That the contents of the Statement of the Chief Financial Officer attached as an Appendix to the Council report, be noted.
(2) That in respect of the General Fund Budget and associated issues:-
(a)Council Tax be increased by the maximum permissible, £5 (3.35%) at Band D for District Councils with effect from 1 April 2019.
(b)Approval be given to a General Fund Budget package that would result in net expenditure of £14,671,100 and a District precept of £11,314,900.
(c)Approval be given for a 2.5% pay award for staff for 2019/2020 which meets the Living Wage, being payable across all grades.
(d)Approval be given for the use of £1.48m of New Homes Bonus to meet the costs of the Connected Knowledge programme in 2019/2020.
(e)Approval be given to expenditure totalling £902,300 and a precept of £849,300 in respect of Aylesbury Special Expenses, giving an unchanged Band D Special Expense Council Tax of £45 for 2019/2020.
(f) That the following general Fund net expenditure be used for each of the following years as the basis of future budget planning:-