Executive Minutes

Date:
Thursday, 26th January, 2017
Time:
7.30 pm
Place:
New Council Chamber, Town Hall, Reigate
 

Attendance Details

Present:
Councillor V.W. Broad (Leader of the Council); Councillors Mrs N.J. Bramhall, M.A. Brunt, J. Durrant, Dr L.R. Hack, Mrs R. Renton, T. Schofield and Mrs R. Turner.
Also Present:
Councillors M. Blacker, J.M. Ellacott, J.C.S. Essex, N.D. Harrison, A.C.J. Horwood, S.A. Kulka, B.A. Stead and C.T.H. Whinney.
Min NoDescriptionResolution
Part I
72 MINUTES

RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 5th January 2017 be approved as a correct record and signed.

73 APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

Executive Members: Councillor E. Humphreys and Mrs R. Mill.


Non-Executive Members: Councillors Mrs R. Absalom, D. Jackson and M.J. Selby.
 

74 DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

None.

75 BUDGET PROPOSAL FOR 2017/18

The Executive Member for Planning Policy and Finance, Councillor T. Schofield, introduced the proposed Budget for 2017/18 which included a 2.39% increase in Council Tax (at Band D) for recommendation to Full Council. The report also included an updated Capital Programme up to 2022.

 

A consultation exercise had been undertaken on the savings and growth proposals that had been considered by the Executive in November 2016. These proposals had been the subject of review by the Budget Scrutiny Panel and the Overview and Scrutiny Committee and the Portfolio Holder thanked them for their hard work in ensuring that the proposals were sound.

 

The Executive Member also indicated that the proposed Council Tax increase would mean that the average Council Tax charge would increase by £5.00 per year (or less than 10 pence per week), which equated to a charge of £214.44 per year for all the Council’s services.

 

The Executive noted that the savings proposed, coupled with the modest tax increase, would allow the Council to maintain and to continue to deliver its services to a high standard. It had been possible to propose a balanced budget for 2017/18 because of good budget management activities in place that ensured that the Council could continue to achieve sustainable budgets.

 

The Executive noted that it continued to manage the business in a way that optimised income from non traditional sources such as property, commercial or partnership related opportunities.

 

The Chief Finance Officer’s statement on the proposed budget, was noted, which pointed out the risks and uncertainties associated with the budget proposals. This included economic factors and the implications of further reductions to government funding levels.


RECOMMENDED that:


(i) a budget of £14.894m including the savings and growth previously reported, a provision for a pay award and an increase in Band D Council Tax of £5 be approved;


(ii) the updated Capital Programme, as set out in Annex 1 of the report presented, be approved; and


(iii) the statement of the Chief Finance Officer, as set out in Annex 2 of the report presented, be noted.


RESOLVED that the Chief Finance Officer be authorised to make any necessary technical adjustments to the budget and Council Tax demand, proposed to Council, arising from final budget refinements or changes to government grant.


Reasons for decision: The Council is required to set a budget by 11th March each year.


Alternative options: To amend or reject any or all of the budget proposals.
 

76 COUNCIL TAX SETTING REPORT FOR 2017/18

A report was submitted on the level of Council Tax for 2017/18. It set out relevant statutory powers, issues (the proposed Council Tax increase and current information relating to precepting authorities), legal, financial and equalities implications, risk management considerations, consultation undertaken and policy framework factors.

 

The Executive Member for Planning Policy and Finance, Councillor T. Schofield informed the Executive that the proposed Council Tax would be the subject of a recommendation to the February Council meeting. That meeting would receive confirmation of the final precept levels from the County Council and the Police together with any necessary adjustments required.

 

It was noted that when the report was produced a 4% increase was assumed for the County Council and 2% for the Police Authority. Any changes to these would form part of the update to the February Council meeting.

RECOMMENDED that:


(i) it be noted that on 15 December 2016 the Council calculated:
(a) the Council Tax base 2017/18 for the whole Council as 59,076
[Item T in the formula in Section 31B(3) of the Local Government Finance Act 1992, as amended (the “Act”)] and,
(b) for dwellings in those parts of its area to which a Parish precept relates:
Horley Town Council 9,262
Salfords & Sidlow Parish Council 1,385


(ii) the Council Tax requirements for the Council’s own purposes for 2017/18 (excluding Parish precepts) is calculated at £12,668,257;


(iii) the following amounts be calculated for the year 2017/18 in accordance with Sections 31 to 36 of the Act:
(a) £68,979,590 – being the amounts which the Council estimates for the items set out in Section 32(2) of the Act taking into account all precepts issued to it by Parish Councils;
(b) £55,947,205 – being the aggregate of the amounts which the Council estimates for the items set out in Section 32(3) of the Act;
(c) £13,032,385 – being the amount which the aggregate at 3(a) above exceeds the aggregate at 3(b) above, calculated by the Council in accordance with Section 32(4) of the Act as its Council Tax requirement for the year (item R in the formula in Section 32(4) of the Act);
(d) £220.60 – being the amount at 3(c) above (Item R), all divided by Item T (1(a) above), calculated by the Council, in accordance with Section 33(1) of the Act, as the basic amount of its Council Tax for the year (including Parish precepts);
(e) £364,128 - being the aggregate amount of all special items (Parish precepts) referred to in Section 34(1) of the Act (as per the Appendix to report presented);
(f) £214.44 - being the amount at 3(d) above less the result given by dividing the amount at 3(e) above by item T (1(a) above), calculated by the Council, in accordance with Section 34(2) of the Act, as the basic amount of its Council Tax for the year for dwellings in those parts of its area to which no Parish precept relates;
(g) Horley Town Council- £250.38
Salfords & Sidlow Parish Council - £237.02
Being the amounts given by adding to the amount at 3(f) above the amounts of the special items relating to dwellings in those parts of the Council’s area mentioned above divided in each case by the amount at 1(b) above, calculated by the Council, in accordance with Section 34(3) of the Act, as the basic amounts of its Council Tax for the year for dwellings in those parts of its area to which one or more special items relate;


(iv) it be noted that the figures, in the Appendix to the report presented, being the amounts given by multiplying the amounts at 3(f) and 3(g) above by the number which, in the proportions set out in Section 5(1) of the Act, is applicable to dwellings listed in a particular valuation band divided by the number which in that proportion is applicable to dwellings listed in valuation band D, calculated by the Council, in accordance with Section 36(1) of the Act, as the amounts to be taken into account for the year in respect of dwellings listed in different valuation bands;


(v) it be noted that for the year 2017/18 Surrey County Council and Surrey Police have stated amounts in precepts issued to the Council, in accordance with Section 40 of the Act, for each of the categories of dwellings shown in Appendix 2 to the report presented;


(vi) having calculated the aggregate in each case of the amounts (i) to (v), above, the Council, in accordance with Section 30(2) of the Act, hereby sets the amounts of Council Tax for the year 2017/18 for each of the categories of dwellings shown in Appendix 3 to the report presented; and


(vii) the Chief Finance Officer be authorised to make any amendments to the Council Tax demands as might prove necessary as the result of changes to the estimated demands issued by preceptors on the Council’s Collection Fund.


Reasons for decision:
To provide the information to fulfil the requirement of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 which sets out the requirement for local authorities to set a budget for the next financial year.


Alternative options:
Unlike some previous years, there is no Council Tax Freeze Grant available for 2017/18. The budget is based on a recommended Council Tax rise of £5 (or 2.39%) in 2017/18.
 

77 DRAFT TREASURY MANAGEMENT STRATEGY 2017/18 FOR CONSULTATION, INCLUDING PRUDENTIAL INDICATORS & INVESTMENT STRATEGY

The Executive considered a report seeking approval to consult on a draft treasury management strategy. This was appended to the report. The report set out a range of issues for the Executive to consider (objectives, the current treasury position, proposed changes and prudential indicators) together with legal, financial and equalities implications, risk management considerations, consultation undertaken and policy framework factors.


It was noted that the Strategy was broken down into the following sections:
• Investment Strategy
• Borrowing Strategy
• Cash Management Strategy
• Risk Management Assessment

 

The Executive Member for Planning and Finance, Councillor T. Schofield indicated that the only significant change proposed was an increase in the Borrowing Limits. The reasons for the proposed changes were to provide greater borrowing capacity to fund the projects included within the Capital Programme such as Marketfield Way and the activities of the property company. In response to a Member question the Executive were advised of the robust arrangements in place to test the viability of potential investment projects before a proposal was brought forward for their consideration.


It was proposed that the Investment Strategy would remain unchanged with the overriding focus being on counterparty security and keeping the Council’s money safe. The Cash Management Strategy would also remain unchanged with the focus remaining on optimising cash flow through operational improvements.


The Executive Member also referred to a Member Panel meeting that he had convened to review the position to support expected activity in 2017/18 and beyond.


RESOLVED that that the contents of the Treasury Management Strategy report and Annexes to the report presented be approved for formal consultation in accordance with the Council’s Constitution.


Reasons for decision:
To support the adoption of a Treasury Management Strategy for the 2017/18 financial period.


Alternative options:
To not support the report or to defer the report and ask Officers to provide more information and/or clarification on any specific points.
 

78 CAR PARK INVESTMENT: PAY & DISPLAY

Councillor J. Durrant, Executive Member for Enforcement reported to the Executive on the proposals to invest in new payment machines across all Council car parks.


The Executive were reminded that the provision of car parks across the borough was an important service provided for the benefit of residents, businesses and visitors and that it was important to invest in them to respond to new technology opportunities and changing demands on the service.


It was noted that the pay and display machines in operation were purchased before widespread use of contactless and phone payment methods had been introduced and that they only accept coin payments. Due to their age the machines also required more frequent maintenance.


The Executive Member indicated that new technology offered the opportunity to improve the service to car park customers with an increased variety of payment options. The report brought before the Executive proposed the installation of new machines in all of the Borough’s car parks and a pay on exit system in the Bancroft Road multi-story car park. It was envisaged that this would make it easier for customers to use the car parks and as a result encourage increased visitors. The machines would also require less maintenance which would allow the Council to focus its resources on enforcement activities.


It was noted that in order to achieve these improvements additional capital funding was required from the Council’s Capital programme.


The Executive Member for Enforcement responded to Member questions on the following aspects of the proposals:
• card and Ringo transactions and operational arrangements for the new pay and display proposals;
• provision for disabled drivers at the Bancroft Road car park; and
• value for money and the procurement process for the improved services proposed.


RECOMMENDED that capital funding of £163,000 be approved for inclusion in the capital programme.


RESOLVED that:


(i) the improvements to the payment options within council car parks be approved as follows:
a) new cash and card payment machines installed at all car parks
b) new pay on exit system be installed at the Bancroft Road multi-storey car park;


(ii) the new machines be procured through an existing framework agreement.

 


Reasons for decision: To ensure that the Council’s car parks continued to support residents, visitors, commuters and businesses and responded to the changing demands for the service.


Alternative options:
To take no action; to retrofit upgrades to existing pay and display machines or to invest in new pay and display machines with cash or cash/card only facilities.
 

79 STATEMENTS

None.

80 ANY OTHER URGENT BUSINESS

None.

The meeting closed at 7.59 pm.