Agenda and minutes

Budget Scrutiny, Joint Performance Monitoring Panel and Policy Development Panel - Tuesday, 14th January, 2020 6.30 pm

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

Contact: Democratic Services  01775 764626

No. Item


Election of Chairman


Councillor B Alcock was elected as Chairman for the duration of this meeting.


Apologies for absence


Declaration of Interests

Where a Councillor has a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest the Councillor must declare the interest to the meeting and leave the room without participating in any discussion or making a statement on the item, except where a councillor is permitted to remain as a result of a grant of dispensation.


There were none.


Draft Budget, Medium Term Plan and Capital Strategy (for consultation). pdf icon PDF 239 KB

To consider the Draft General Fund and Housing Revenue Account 2020/21 revenue and capital estimates and the Draft Financial Medium Term Strategy (for Consultation) (report of the Portfolio Holder for Finance and the Executive Director Commercialisation (S151) enclosed).


Additional documents:


Consideration was given to the report of the Portfolio Holder for Finance and the Executive Director Commercialisation (S151) which asked the Joint Panel to consider and scrutinise the Draft General Fund, Housing Revenue and Capital Programme Budgets and the Draft Financial Medium Term Plan.


The Joint Panel was provided with a presentation by the Executive Director Commercialisation which covered the following areas – Revenue Budget and the Medium Term Financial Plan (MTFP); the Housing Revenue Account (HRA); Capital; the General Fund Capital Programme; HRA Capital and Reserves.  It also highlighted key challenges, the future and key dates in the progression of the budget to its consideration by the Council in February 2020.


Following consideration of the report and the presentation, the following issues were raised:


·         Would it be possible for references to drainage board levies to be renamed precepts in order to remove them from district expenditure?

·         The Executive Director Commercialisation agreed to look at that with regard to terminology.


·           What impact will the business rates changes and fair funding decision on the Council?

·         Currently the Authority has limited information regarding this matter which could have a major impact if funding was directed towards counties, resulting in a knock on effect to business rate distribution for example.  With regard to the second part of the question, they are intrinsically bound together so the Authority are expecting an announcement regarding a programme of activities in the Spring. 


·           How is Council Tax calculated into the budget for current and future housing developments and if there was a year where 800 properties were completed, would this reflect in the Council Tax base?

·         The Authority prudently looks at historical trends of delivery irrespective of planning applications.  Historically we are starting to over-perform which is why there is a modest increase of 1.6 to 2% growth on Council Tax base to reflect the uplift in terms of completions.  Planning Service is regularly monitoring completions to track these figures which are consistently maintaining that level, but only based on delivery on the ground rather than approved applications.  Median figures are used on the collection fund and business rate fund in order to track relatively smoothly throughout years of good and bad.  If 800 properties were built it would create a collection fund surplus in the following year however the authority hypothecates forward to take these scenarios into account with the collection fund going into surplus or deficit dependent on performance. 



·           The Authority’s current stance on business rates is on the basis that districts would keep business rates in order to encourage businesses to move to the area.  How do we predict and balance business rates with opening and closure of businesses?

·         When the idea was originally put forward it was to achieve 100% retention.  The Authority is at 50% retention or 75% retention in the pilots so can only speculate as to what the final proposition will be.  Regarding the second question, the majority of smaller businesses will be receiving 100% relief, the larger businesses will  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.


Any other items which the Chairman decides are urgent


There were none.