Agenda item

Draft General Fund budget 2020/21

TO CONSIDER the report of the Deputy Chief Executive

Decision:

RESOLVED:

i)                 that the Committee endorses the budget assumptions and strategy set out in the report;

ii)                that the public consultation be used to seek views on the significant proposals in Appendices 1 to 7 (as amended to reflect decisions taken at this meeting);

iii)              that the car park charges and order proposals set out be advertised; [see minute 467]

iv)              that it be noted that officers will use delegated powers to implement operational savings contained in the proposals;

v)               that for the cost recovery fees and charges (highlighted in amber in Appendix 7), officers are able to increase or decrease charges during the year by up to 5% if costs vary, in consultation with the Chairman of the Policy and Resources Committee;

 

RECOMMENDED to Full Council:

 

vi) that officers be given authority to put into effect the measures required to achieve the service savings and reductions contained within the 2020/21 proposals, in order that the savings begin to accrue from as early as possible in 2020/21, subject to implementation of the measures only becoming effective if the measures are approved in the budget in February 2020.

 

Reason for the decision: The consultation period would be used to obtain views on the options for achieving a balanced budget.

 

Minutes:

(Prior to the meeting the councillors had received a briefing on the budget).

(Prior to the consideration of the item Councillor Eden-Green spoke as a member of the public)

 

The Deputy Chief Executive introduced the report which sets out the key financial issues facing the Council from 2019 to 2024, and advised on key budget assumptions and puts forward budget proposals for 2020/21 and future years for consultation. The Council needed to find new ongoing savings of £5m by 2023/24, equivalent to 29% of its net budget. The detailed estimates and consultation responses will be considered by the Policy and Resources Committee on 5 February 2020 and by Council on 13 February when the budget and council tax for 2020/21 are set.

 

The Deputy Chief Executive set out the issues surrounding the remaining savings to be found and  drew attention to the affect increased borrowing costs.

 

The report set out that when considering its options for council tax levels for next year, the Council had three options:

  • freeze council tax;
  • increase council tax up to £5 or two percent whichever is the higher (subject

to confirmation in the Finance Settlement); or

  • increase council tax by more than two percent or £5, which would require a

local referendum.

 

The Committee debated the report and the Chief Executive and Deputy Chief Executive gave points of clarification as necessary. Matters including the following were covered and some detailed questions would be dealt with outside of the meeting:

 

  1. The financial contribution to the costs of moving of the Wincheap park and ride had been approved four years previously.

 

  1. The recommendations as set out in the report were proposed seconded and when put to a vote agreed.

 

  1. The £23million for the riverside development would be financed by a short-term loan initially. Once the development was complete and the council was receiving regular income a long term loan would be arranged.

 

  1. The museums were the largest remaining subsidised service. The Beaney could not charge for entry but other museums had to be more commercial.

 

  1. There was a cost per transaction which had not been fully understood at the point the automatic number plate project was started. However, the additional cost was more than paid for by the increased income that had resulted from the project.

 

RESOLVED:

i)              that the Committee endorses the budget assumptions and strategy set out in the report;

ii)             that the public consultation be used to seek views on the significant proposals in Appendices 1 to 7 (as amended to reflect decisions taken at this meeting);

iii)            that the car park charges and order proposals set out be advertised; [see minute 467]

iv)           that it be noted that officers will use delegated powers to implement operational savings contained in the proposals;

v)            that for the cost recovery fees and charges (highlighted in amber in Appendix 7), officers are able to increase or decrease charges during the year by up to 5% if costs vary, in consultation with the Chairman of the Policy and Resources Committee;

 

Record of the voting

For the proposal: Councillors Baldock, Cook, Dekker, Edwards, Fitter-Harding, Glover, L Jones-Roberts, Kenny, I Thomas, R Thomas and Todd (11)

Against the proposal: None

Abstaining from the proposal: Councillors Dixey and Rickets (2)

 

RECOMMENDED to Full Council:

 

vi) that officers be given authority to put into effect the measures required to achieve the service savings and reductions contained within the 2020/21 proposals, in order that the savings begin to accrue from as early as possible in 2020/21, subject to implementation of the measures only becoming effective if the measures are approved in the budget in February 2020.

 

Record of the voting

For the proposal: Councillors Baldock, Cook, Dekker, Dixey, Edwards, Fitter-Harding, Glover, L Jones-Roberts, Kenny, Ricketts, I Thomas, R Thomas and Todd (13)

Against the proposal: None

Abstaining from the proposal: None

 

Reason for the decision: The consultation period would be used to obtain views on the options for achieving a balanced budget.

 

Supporting documents: