Agenda and minutes

Budget, Overview and Scrutiny Committee
Monday, 2nd December 2019 6.30 pm

Venue: Civic Suite, North Warehouse, The Docks, Gloucester, GL1 2EP

Contact: Democratic and Electoral Services 

Items
No. Item

1.

Declarations of Interest

To receive from Members, declarations of the existence of any disclosable pecuniary, or non-pecuniary, interests and the nature of those interests in relation to any agenda item. Please see Agenda Notes.

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

2.

Declaration of Party Whipping

To declare if any issues to be covered in the Agenda are under party whip.

 

Minutes:

There were no declarations of party whipping.

3.

Public Question Time (15 minutes)

To receive any questions from members of the public provided that a question does not relate to:

 

·         Matters which are the subject of current or pending legal proceedings, or

·         Matters relating to employees or former employees of the Council or comments in respect of individual Council Officers

Minutes:

There were no public questions.

 

4.

Petitions and Deputations (15 minutes)

To receive any petitions and deputations provided that no such petition or deputation is in relation to:

 

·         Matters relating to individual Council Officers, or

·         Matters relating to current or pending legal proceedings

Minutes:

There were no petitions or deputations.

 

5.

Money Plan 2020-25 & Budget Proposals 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 166 KB

To consider the report of the Cabinet Member for Performance and Resources which sets out the draft Money Plan for the period 2020 to 2025 and Budget Proposals for 2020 to 2021.

 

The format for the session will be as follows:

 

1. Leader of the Council will introduce the report.

2. The Cabinet Member for Performance and Resources will add his comments on the report.

 

Each Cabinet Member will then present their respective portfolios in the following order (as set out in Appendix 5):

 

 1. Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Economy.

 2. Cabinet Member for Performance and Resources.

 3. Cabinet Member for Culture and Leisure.

 4. Cabinet Member for Environment.

 5. Cabinet Member for Communities and Neighbourhoods.

 6. Cabinet Member for Housing and Planning Strategy.

 

 

During their presentations the Cabinet Members will address the following points: -

 

1.Current staffing levels

2. Financial pressures for next year, including any potential reduction   in income streams.

3. The proposed budget savings in their area for next year and how these   will impact on the services they provide.

4. Any new income streams identified during the process.

5. The main priorities for their portfolio and whether any have changed as a result of the Draft Money Plan

Additional documents:

Minutes:

5.1      The Chair invited the Leader of the Council, Councillor Cook, and the      and the Deputy Leader, Cabinet Member for Performance and Resources, Councillor Hannah Norman, to address the Committee.

 

5.2        Councillor Cook provided an overview of the draft detailed budget for 2020/21 and the longer term plans up until 2024/5. He informed the Committee that the proposals are draft and would be finalised when details of the Local Government Settlement were known in the New Year.

 

5.3       He stated that although savings of £170,000 had been delivered in 2019/20, there would be no proposed savings for this financial year. Moreover, difficult decisions had been taken in the past so that the Council ‘s finances are more robust both in the present and going into the future.

          

5.4       There was increased income as a result of new services at the Crematorium, the changed contract with Amey, enforcement income, and especially due to the benefits of the Property Investment Strategy.  The aim of this strategy was to enable the delivery of Council services, economic growth, unlocking both regeneration and housing opportunities in the City whilst also delivering income. It would provide a measure of financial independence which would enable the Council to focus on its priorities.

 

 

5.5      He stated that the budget included both revenue and the capital programme, in which the delivery of Kings Square and the continued development costs of Kings Walk had been budgeted for.

 

 

5.6      Furthermore, the transformation programme required the Council to draw on earmarked reserves during 2019/20, however it was noted that the proposed plan identifies the need to build up on these reserves to protect the Council in the future. As an example, the plan assumes a one-off use of the Business Rates reserve in 2021/22 of £1,000,000.

 

5.7      Councillor Cook then went on to highlight the progress made with the Council Plan. 58% of it had been completed by September 2019, with 82% expected to be completed by March 2020. This is despite the difficult financial backdrop facing the Council. He stated that ongoing prudence had enabled Cabinet to present a money plan with no further requirement for savings.

 

5.8      He then outlined that the imminent opening of Potters’ Place would reduce the temporary accommodation budget by up to £200,000.  This, he suggested, was evidence that the administration is focused on providing the best possible support and working hard to keep those in temporary housing need within the City. Lastly, he expressed his thanks to the Officers who were involved in the preparation and presentation of the budget.

 

5.9       Councillor Norman then continued to present the draft budget and the 5-year money plan. She outlined that the draft money plan sets out the Council ‘s strategic approach to the management of its finances, whilst supporting the delivery of the Council Plan. She added that local government finance continues to face a tough outlook, and second-tier authorities such as Gloucester City would be particularly affected. As such, the budget and money plan had been  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.

6.

Date of Next Meeting