Venue: Council Chamber, Forde House, Brunel Road, Newton Abbot, TQ12 4XX. View directions
To approve and sign the minutes of the meeting held on 4 January 2024.
The Minutes of the meeting held on 4 January 2024 were agreed as a correct record and signed by the Leader.
Declarations of Interest
Executive Forward Plan
To note forthcoming decisions anticipated on the Executive Forward Plan
RESOLVED that the Forward Plan be noted.
Members of the Public may ask questions of the Leader or an Executive Member. A maximum period of 15 minutes will be allowed with a maximum of period of three minutes per questioner.
To consider the attached reports and the Minute below referred from OS1 and OS2 Committees 9 January 2024
Councillor Thorne, the Chair of the MTFP task and finish group referred to the agenda report and sought Committee support for the recommendations of the group as detailed.
It was noted that there would be exceptions to recommendation 3 such as unexpected costs, for example emergency works to maintain services to the Council, and costs incurred by issues such as the national pay deal.
RECOMMENDED The Committee supports the recommendations of the task and finish group as set out in the report as follows, bearing in mind that there will be exceptions to recommendation 3 as above:
The Executive is recommended to:
1. In principle to support the maximum Council Tax increase.
I. Funding Reserves should be used to support the revenue budget only as a last resort when all other avenues have been explored.
II. To reduce the financial gap in future years, a proportion of funding resources should be directed to reduce the pension fund deficit.
III. In principle aim to increase the level of General Reserves from £2.3m to £2.4m
IV. In terms of the funding reserve (being used to ‘balance the books’) it was agreed that the absolute minimum level of this in future years should be £3m but the Council should aim for £5m which will enable the capital programme and other schemes to go ahead.
3. The Medium-Term Financial Plan (MTFP) Task & Finish Group, in recognising the financial challenges the council faces, recommends that O&S Committee and Executive and Council rejects any proposal coming forward that has a net cost to the council. All proposals must be balanced or exceeded by identified savings without using those listed in the M25 programme or further use of earmarked (funding) reserves.
The Executive Member for Corporate Services presented the report on the final financial plan proposals 2024/25 to 2026/27 for recommendation to Council on 27 February 2024. The proposals included recommended revenue and capital budgets for 2024/25 and planned in outline for 2025/26 and 2026/27.
Overview and Scrutiny Committees 1 and 2 had supported the recommended final financial plan proposals 2024/25 to 2026/27 and the recommendations of the Medium-Term Financial Plan task and finish group as set out in the agenda. The latter had been taken into account in the budget proposals.
Responses received to date from the public consultation supported the Councils priorities.
A non-Executive Member spoke in support of the presented final budget proposals.
Members thanked officers for their work in putting together a balanced budget.
It was unanimously,
RECOMMENDED to Council
(a) That it approves a budget set out in the agenda report as in appendix 4 for revenue and appendix 7 for capital and
(b) That these proposals be considered together with any subsequent consultation comments for approval by Council as the final budget for 2024/25 and the outline plan for the subsequent years 2025/26 and 2026/27.
The proposed budget includes:
· An increase in council tax of £5.70 or 2.99% to £196.41
· Maintaining 100% council tax support
· Continuing to react to the climate change emergency by maintaining ongoing revenue budgets for a climate change officer and associated spending, temporary staffing resources in revenue and provision in the capital programme, including ongoing provisions for corporate decarbonization schemes as per 5.5
· A £2 million provision for employment sites funded by borrowing
· Temporary funds for a Scrutiny Officer to assist Members with the Scrutiny function and working groups; other temporary resources including for facilitating the Modern 25 work
· Support for housing including the Teignbridge 100 (see 5.3) whilst backing business and bringing people and organisations together for local neighbourhood planning
· Other central funding reductions – in particular provisional assumptions for business rates for future years and reset of the baseline
· Reserves at 12.7% of the net revenue budget or £2.4 million
· Infrastructure delivery plan investment funded by community infrastructure levy and external sources where available
· Continuation of grant funded South West Regional Monitoring Programme as per 5.6
· Town centre investment in infrastructure and employment as per 5.7
· Increasing revenue contributions to capital to £500,000 per annum
· Introduction of a blue badge car parking permit and associated staffing resources
· Councillors community fund set at £1,000
· Paying £1,000,000 off our pension deficit in 2024/25 to reduce ongoing contributions
· Maintaining existing voluntary grant contributions
· The Financial Plan 2024 – 2029 as updated for adoption (at Appendix 8) and to facilitate Member progression of work plans by Overview & Scrutiny to address the budgetary position and deliver savings.
The Executive Member for Estates, Assets and Parking presented the agenda report which provided Members with an early overview of the new Strategic Asset Plan approach and its relevance to the Modern 25 programme and Council Strategy. This was the first part of the strategic report and Parts 2 and 3 would be presented to the Executive in the next few months.
Members thanked officers for their work in putting the document together.
The completed strategy would take the Council forward and assist in achieving a community empowered council, working in partnership with stakeholders, and providing best services to residents.
It was unanimously,
RESOLVED that the Part 1 Policy Document attached at Appendix 1 to the agenda report be adopted, which will form part of the new Strategic Asset Plan.
Update on Future High Street Fund
The Leader advised that the next steps for the project was the planning application stage for the Market Hall, Market Square and other areas.
Timescales for the project funding from the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities were currently achievable.
RESOLVED that the verbal update be noted.
For Information - Individual Executive Member Decisions