Agenda and draft minutes

Budget Scrutiny. This informal meeting will be held virtually via Zoom and streamed live. The link for this can be found by clicking on the meeting date., Joint Performance Monitoring Panel and Policy Development Panel - Thursday, 27th January, 2022 6.30 pm

Venue: The informal meeting will be held virtually via Zoom and streamed live, via the following link: www.facebook.com/SouthHollandDCofficial/

Contact: Democratic Services  01775 764693

Link: View Facebook Livestream of the meeting

Items
No. Item

9.

Election of Chairman

Minutes:

Cllr Alcock was elected as Chairman for the duration of the meeting.

10.

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.

Minutes:

There were none.

11.

2022/23 Draft Budget, Medium Term Plan and Capital Strategy (For Consultation) pdf icon PDF 227 KB

To consider the Draft General Fund and Housing Revenue Account 2022/23 revenue and capital estimates and the Draft Financial Medium Term Strategy (for Scrutiny) (report of the Deputy Chief Executive - Corporate Development enclosed).

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the report of the Chief Executive – Corporate Development, which asked the Joint Panel to consider and scrutinise the Draft General Fund and Housing Revenue Account 2022/23 revenue and capital estimates and the Draft Financial Medium Term Strategy.

 

The Joint Panel received a presentation from the Deputy Chief Executive – Corporate Development which highlighted the following main areas:

  • Spending Review for 2021;
  • Revenue Budget and Medium Term Financial Plan (MTFP);
  • Reserves;
  • The Budget journey;
  • Future options and risks;
  • Ongoing budget reviews;
  • Fees and charges;
  • Housing Revenue Account (HRA);
  • Capital Programme; and
  • Treasury Management

 

Following consideration of the report and the presentation, the

following issues were raised by the Panel:

 

  • Members stated that the Internal Drainage Board (IDB) levy placed a significant burden on the authority and suggested that a change of classification to a precept would be financially beneficial to the district. Members were keen to assist with driving change in this regard.

o   The Deputy Chief Executive – Corporate Development confirmed that a significant Drainage Board levy affected only a few districts in the country, which included South Holland. While IDBs faced their own challenges, such as increased costs relating to fuel and energy contracts, the question remained as to whether a levy collected through Council Tax was the most appropriate funding mechanism.  A change to a full or phased precept would have a significant positive effect on the budget.

  • Members proposed that their support be sent to Cabinet to lobby for IDB funding to be collected by means of a precept.

 

Members asked whether the National Non-Domestic Rates (NNDR) notification had been considered advantageous to the Council, potentially indicating an improved situation than estimated in the report.

  • The Deputy Chief Executive – Corporate Development expected the financial position to remain near to the forecasted figures stated in the report, with the following caveats:
    • the yield within the Collection Fund for business rates had been changeable throughout the year and it was therefore difficult to predict the yield at the deadline of 31st January 2022 when projections needed to be made;
    • whilst yield forecasting was difficult, the Council endeavoured to seek a realistic balanced position and utilised the Collection Fund and Reserves to manage large fluctuations which resulted from the inward and outward flow of grants within the system;
    • the NNDR and Collection Fund had experienced unprecedented variables but this was balanced by the Volatility Fund over time; and
    • a permanent drop in yield, should it occur, would create a longer-term deficit gap which required funding through the utilisation of savings or cost-cutting measures.

 

  • Members referenced the Housing Revenue Account (HRA) and commented that a write-off of SHDC’s £67.456million loan from central government could result in a boost to the local economy.
    • The Deputy Chief Executive – Corporate Development could not comment on Government policy but stipulated that interest charged on the substantial debt needed to be paid, a corollary of which was a reduction of funds available for other areas.

 

12.

Any other items which the Chairman decides are urgent

Minutes:

There were none.