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To receive the minutes of the 21 November and 4 December 2018.
Minutes of the meetings on 21 November and 4 December 2018 were confirmed and approved and signed as correct records.
Declarations of Interest
There were no declarations of interest.
To consider the initial financial plan proposals 2019/20 to 2021/22 to be published for comments over the six weeks and the council tax base 2019/20.
The Portfolio Holder for Corporate Resources stated that there was a legal obligation to publish the budget proposals in advance and to go out to public consultation on the proposed budget. The budget had been drawn up in light of the loss of £9.9 million Central Government Grant and a future likely reduction in the Business Rates Retention.
The Chief Finance Officer, in presenting the report outlined the proposal to increase the level of council tax by £5 or 3.03%, in light of the reducing central funding, the need to make on going efficiencies and the importance of continuing support for housing, business and infrastructure. He brought to Members attention the reducing government grant, significant government funding and cost changes, the draft budget scenario for the next three years, the four year funding deal, the capital programme and the council tax base recommendation giving 49,219 for 2019/20.
In response to Members’ questions, the Chief Finance Officer gave the following responses:-
· the draft budget did not include the cost implications of the recommendation of the Independent Remuneration Panel regarding Members IT provision although, given the savings in print and paper costs, the move to IT should be cost neutral
· the Combeinteignhead scheme was an Environment Agency project that was currently on hold
· Section 106 monies were monitored to ensure that they were spend within the given timescales
· Earmarked reserves would be used to support reduction in funding streams in future years particularly in relation to business rates retention
The Portfolio Holder for Corporate Resources clarified that the Council have had to make efficiency savings to address the loss in central government grants. Business rates retention had been reduced to 50% for the coming financial year and there was uncertainty in the plans for business rates and support for small business in future years due to the concerns around the High Street retail trade. The proposed improvements to the Newton Abbot Leisure facilities would be funded by Section 106 monies.
The Leader stated a Leisure Review was underway which included the potential for a new Leisure Centre for Newton Abbot and that new gym equipment had been installed at Newton Abbot Leisure Centre.
RESOLVED that the budget proposals be noted; and
RECOMMENDED that Full Council resolves to approve the council tax base of 49,219 for 2019/20 at appendix 2.
To note forthcoming decisions anticipated to be made by the Executive over the next 12 months.
Members discussed when the Leisure Strategy would come forward, the Managing Director stating that work was on-going with national bodies including Sports England to ensure that the strategy met the requirements of those stakeholders responsible for funding.
The Leader stated that the District was the most physically active in Devon and that planning for a 3G football pitch would be coming forward shortly.
RESOLVED that the Forward Plan be noted.