Budget and Council Tax 2019/2020.
The Portfolio Holder for Corporate Resources proposed that the Executive Budget as set out in the agenda papers and that the recommendations as per the circulated report be approved.
In presenting the budget, the Portfolio Holder for Corporate Resources thanked officers for their preparation of the budget. He advised that Teignbridge would be setting a balanced budget despite the continuing pressures on costs and reductions funding streams.
He highlighted the following:-
· loss of the revenue support grant which was £4.5 million in 2013/24 and falling to zero next year;
· reduction in New Home Bonus of around £300k
· change in Business Rates from 100% trial to 50% for the coming year and the unknown outcome of the Government’s full reset of the baseline
· increases in costs – due to inflation and energy price rises
· proposals to increase general reserves to just over £1.9 million
· able to balance budget through savings from the Council’s BEST2020 process and service plan reviews
· the Council continues to be a debt free Authority, although have indicated potential borrowing but only at a time when the Council’s cash balances were appropriate
· the capital programme including provision for affordable housing and capital investments which would generate jobs, boost the economy and tourism;
· some car parking charges frozen or reduced
· Council Tax was proposed to be increased by £5 per year for a Band D property, Teignbridge share of council tax bill would be a 3.03% increase
· This was a budget that maintained services and invests in housing and jobs.
The Leader seconded the recommendation.
Councillor Connett as budget spokesperson for the Liberal Democrats proposed an amendment of an adjournment of the meeting for five days. This would enable a list of the savings that had been requested, but he stated not provided, by the Overview and Scrutiny on 14 January 2019 to be circulated. He had concerns over the high risk land and investment plan, the lack of an overall project plan and transparency in the budget papers. He continued that there was not enough detail in the report, there should be a line by line review of the budget and an adjournment would enable more detail to be circulated.
Councillor G Hook seconded the amendment.
In response to comments that insufficient information had not been provided as requested at the Overview and Scrutiny meeting by Councillor Connett, it was confirmed by the Portfolio Holder and the Chief Finance Officer that the latter had as requested, been at the Executive meeting 7 February 2019.
Having seconding the amendment, Councillor G Hook, also considered that there was not enough detail in the budget and raised concerns regarding the proposal for car charging points coming forward as there was no budget provision for this.
The amendment was put to the vote and lost.
Some Members who objected to the proposed budget raised concerns regarding the proposal for the funding of ‘Rethink’, the budget pressures that the Council was putting on Town and Parish Councils, the lack of investment in street cleaning and the increase costs in waste recycling.
The Managing Director clarified that the proposed 2019/20 budget did not include a figure of savings needed to be found in year although savings would be required to produce a balanced budget in subsequent years.
The Leader commented that, over the last few years, the Central Government Grant had reduced from £10 million to effectively zero despite this, the Council had increased wages so that no employee earnt less than £9 per hour. There had been an increase in employment, this had been substantiated by a reduction in Housing benefits claimed. The Council had secured investment in the district with a hotel at Teignmouth and employment sites in Newton Abbot.
The Portfolio Holder for Corporate Services commented that the Town and Parish Councils precept percentage increase had not changed year on year, that over £1 million had been invested in cleaning over the past two years and that the information provided in the report was consistent with the level of detail which had always been provided to full Council budget meetings.
a That the Teignbridge band D council tax for 2019/20 is increased by 3.03% or £5 to £170.17 per annum;
b That general reserves are increased to 12.2% of the net revenue budget for 2019/20 or just over £1.9 million;
c That £100,000 of the general reserve balance in any one year continues to be available to the Executive to meet unexpected expenditure in addition to the agreed revenue budget;
d All other decisions with regard to budgetary change will be approved by reference to virement rules in the financial instructions;
e That the summary revenue budget for 2019/20 is £16.0 million as shown at appendix 4. In particular the revenue budget includes:
· The agreed two year pay deal including increases linked to the national living wage for 2018/19 and 2019/20 and a 2% increase for all other staff from 1 April 2018 and changes to the central spine from 1 April 2019
· Revenue contributions to fund capital at £0.2 million in 2019/20 and increasing significantly thereafter
· Rural aid continuing at £40,000;
g That the capital programme as shown at appendix 7 is approved. In particular this includes:
· Increasing jobs and homes through continuing support for housing whilst backing business and encouraging community-led planning
· Infrastructure delivery plan investment contributing to improving education, transport links, sports and open spaces
Indicative figures are shown for four major projects investing in town centres and employment sites over the three years. These would be funded through prudential borrowing but individual business cases (BC) will be brought to members for consideration as they are developed. They are not being approved in this budget and are described as Provisions with funding as BC: Prudential Borrowing;
h That the prudential indicators are noted and the prudential limits approved all as set out in appendix 10;
i That the updated treasury management strategy statement and authorised lending list as set out in appendix 11 is approved together with the capital strategy in appendix 11a;
j That each scheme will be considered on its merits as explained at the end of appendix 11 to decide the calculation of minimum revenue provision for capital expenditure in 2019/20;
k That the treasury management mid year review for 2018/19 as taken to Executive on 4 December and shown in appendix 12 is noted; and
l That the council tax resolutions as recommended in appendix 15 are approved.
In accordance with the Local Authorities (Standing Orders) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2014 the recorded vote was as follows:-
Councillors Austen, Barker, Bullivant, Christophers, Clarence, Clemens, Colclough, Dennis, Golder, Goodey, Gribble, Haines, Hockin, Hocking, Jones, the Chairman, Lake, Matthews, Mayne, Peart, Russell, Thorne and Winsor.
Councillors Connett, Cook, Cox, Dewhirst, Evans, Hayes, (G) Hook, (J) Hook, Keeling, Morgan, Nutley, Parker, Rollason and Wrigley.
Councillors Bromwell, Eden, Fusco, Jeffrey, Orme, Pilkington, Prowse and Smith