Agenda and minutes

Joint Performance Monitoring Panel and Policy Development Panel - Monday, 12th January, 2015 6.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Council Offices, Priory Road, Spalding

Contact: Lynn Eldred  01775 764626

No. Item


Election of Chairman


Consideration was given as to who should preside over the special joint meeting of the Performance Monitoring Panel and Policy Development Panel.




That Councillor B Alcock be elected Chairman for the duration of the special joint meeting of the Performance Monitoring Panel and Policy Development Panel.



Declarations of Interests:

(Members are no longer required to declare personal or prejudicial interests but are to declare any new Disclosable Pecuniary Interests that are not currently included within their Register of Interests.


Members are reminded that under the Code of Conduct they are not to participate in the whole of an agenda item to which they have a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest.  In the interests of transparency, members may also wish to declare any other interests that they have, in relation to an agenda item, that supports the Nolan principles detailed within the Code of Conduct.)  



There were no Declarations of Interests.


Draft Budget, Medium Term Financial Plan and Draft Corporate Plan pdf icon PDF 38 KB

To consider the Draft Budget, Medium Term Financial Plan and Corporate Plan (report of the Portfolio Holder for Strategic Finance and Strategic Planning, the Portfolio Holder for Internal Services, Performance and Business Development and the Executive Director (Place) (S151) enclosed).


The meeting will receive a presentation from the Executive Director (Place) that will focus on the medium term financial plan and issues to consider for the Council to secure a sustainable future.  The main focus of the presentation will be appendices ‘B’ of the draft budget pack.  Information will be provided that “walks” members through the financial position from where we were (when the current budget was set in 2013), to where we are currently in terms of the draft budget (which is based on the quarter 2 outturn position as at end of September 2014) and then to consider where we need to be to secure a sustainable position across the full medium term plan period.


A full set of draft budget papers (revenue and capital) are provided and in order to ensure the best outcome from the meeting members are encouraged to submit any numbers based technical queries relating to the papers in advance. The Executive Director will endeavour to ensure all answers to questions submitted are provided at the meeting.


The draft budget pack comprises a covering report; which is a joint report considering both the budget and the new Corporate Plan. Members have already discussed corporate planning but will see the final draft of the plan that has been produced for public consultation (subject to final sign off by Cabinet on 13 January 2015).


The focus of the meeting itself will be more about the strategic financial picture for the council. Members are invited to provide feedback to Cabinet on the draft budget, budget assumptions and proposals for funding any future shortfalls in income.


Please note Members will also see the final budget proposals prior to council approval in February.



Additional documents:


Consideration was given to the report of the Portfolio Holder for Strategic Finance and Strategic Planning, the Portfolio Holder for Internal Services, Performance and Business Development, and the Executive Director (Place) (S151), which outlined the draft Corporate Plan and priorities (2015-19); 2015-16 revenue and capital estimates for the General Fund; the proposals for the setting of discretionary fees and charges; the outline position to 2018-19; the Medium Term Financial Plan and the Capital Strategy.


Although the budget and the Corporate Plan were linked, the issues were considered separately by the joint Panel.




The Medium Term Financial Plan set out the framework within which the budget was to be set to ensure that it enabled the Council to achieve its corporate objectives.  The capital strategy set out the framework for the capital budget setting.


During recent years, the Council, alongside many public sector service providers, had experienced a period of unprecedented financial pressure, including in various combinations; public sector funding cuts as part of national austerity measures, all time low returns on cash deposits and a national economic downturn affecting jobs, housing and business growth.  During the same period, that basis on which the public sector was funded had undergone substantial reform; radical changes that affected the Council’s financial funding position (directly and indirectly) included National Welfare Reform, Localisation of Council Tax Relief, Business Rates Retention and New Homes Bonus.  In addition, there had been the reduction, and in some cases, the removal of a range of grant funding sources.


The Council faced an increasingly difficult and complex challenge of identifying savings in the future, as the need to deliver further efficiencies continued.  Against this backdrop, the basis of the budget setting for 2014-15, which utilised reserves in the short term, was an integral part of a clear financial strategy to identify and deliver the more complex transformational changes in the medium and longer term, which were required to meet the significant financial challenges of future years.


Securing a sustainable financial position across the medium term remained a key challenge for the future.  In keeping with good financial practice, to secure longer term stability, the Council would focus its future financial strategy on the medium term.  This would drive a shift in financial focus, away from the traditional incremental approach to annual budgeting to a more strategic outcome focussed approach.


Delivering efficient and effective services that represented value for money remained a critical aspect of the Council’s business. To continue to drive down cost whilst maintaining service commitment would demand innovative approaches to service delivery alongside a commercial focus to maximise income in order to continue to provide the widest benefit to communities.


The Authority was able to present a balanced budget for 2015-16.  Section 2 within Appendix A to the report set out the draft revenue budget, and highlighted the cost pressures, efficiency savings, and changes in funding that created this position.  As part of that budget, the Authority intended to apply an element of New Homes Bonus which  ...  view the full minutes text for item 16.