Agenda and draft minutes

Budget Scrutiny Panel
Tuesday, 8th January, 2019 6.00 pm

Venue: Committee Room 2, at the Council Offices, Southfields, Loughborough. View directions

Contact: 01509 634781  Email: democracy@charnwood.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

20.

Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 90 KB

The Panel is asked to confirm as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 12th December 2018.

 

Copies of the exempt minute 18E have been circulated to members of the Panel.

Minutes:

The minutes and exempt minute of the meeting held on 12th December 2018 were confirmed as a correct record and signed.

21.

Disclosures of Pecuniary and Personal Interests

Minutes:

No disclosures of interests were made.

22.

Declarations - The Party Whip

Minutes:

No declarations of the existence of the Party Whip were made.

23.

Questions under Scrutiny Committee Procedure 11.17

No questions were submitted.

Minutes:

No questions had been submitted.

24.

Draft Budget Scrutiny Panel Report pdf icon PDF 132 KB

To consider a draft report of the Panel’s scrutiny of the Council’s budgets for 2019/20 and to formulate the Panel’s conclusions and recommendations.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

A draft version of the Panel’s report was submitted.

 

The Cabinet Lead Member for Finance and Property Services, the Strategic Director of Corporate Services and the Head of Finance and Property Services assisted with consideration of the item.

 

Councillor Draycott joined the meeting at 6.10pm.

 

The Cabinet Lead Member for Finance and Property Services, the Strategic Director of Corporate Services and the Head of Finance and Property Services provided the following clarification of issues set out in the draft report and additional information received following the preparation of the draft report:

 

(i)            The draft General Fund budget identified savings of £300,000 that would be achieved by taking a more robust, proactive approach to underspends.  That was an alternative to looking at reducing the number of posts as a way of making savings. 

(ii)          Officers were also looking at proposing changes to the Council’s virement rules.  Those changes that required an amendment to the Council’s Financial Regulations would be submitted to Full Council for approval.

(iii)         Any purchase of fleet for the collection of waste and recycling would be capital expenditure but would be recharged to revenue over a seven year period.  Under the current waste contract, fleet costs formed part of the cost paid by the Council, all of which was revenue expenditure.

(iv)         Any decisions to incur expenditure to maintain a service that was previously provided by another authority would require Cabinet approval and the Cabinet report could be considered by the Overview Scrutiny Group.

(v)          The description of the proposed trade waste service breaking even in the second year of operation referred to it breaking even operationally rather than recouping all the costs to that point. 

(vi)         The total amount of funding that the Council would receive from the Government was in line with that set out in the draft budget.  The draft budgets had been amended to transfer £70,000 between the General Fund and the HRA as a result of a review of recharges.  Consultation meetings on the draft budgets had yet to take place with the Loughborough Area Committee and Industrial and Commercial Ratepayers.

(vii)        The bid by Leicestershire authorities to be part of a 75% business rates retention pilot had been successful.  It was projected that as a result there would be £14million of additional funding available across Leicestershire.  Further discussions would take place to determine how the money would be divided between local authorities and the projects for which it would be used.  It was likely that it would be used for only one or two projects in Charnwood.

 

Members of the Panel made the following comments:

 

(i)            There would be a significant difference in the way that underspends would be managed in 2019/20 compared to previous years.  There were risks associated with the new approach and the impact of seeking to save £300,000 per year in that way would need to be monitored.  There could also be benefits in ensuring budgets were more accurate and having tighter financial control during the year.

(ii)  ...  view the full minutes text for item 24.