Agenda item

Draft Budget 2021/22 and Quarter 3 2020/21 Outturn for Spalding Special Expenses

To consider the Spalding Special Expenses Draft Budget 2021/22 and

report the Forecast Outturn for Quarter 3 2020/21 (report of the Executive Director Commercialisation (S151 Officer) enclosed).

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the report of the Executive Director Commercialisation (S151) which provided information on the Spalding Special Expenses Draft Budget 2021/22 and report the Forecast Outturn for Quarter 3 2020/21.

 

The following issues were raised:

 

  • Member raised concerns regarding Spalding Cemetery.  It was proposed that the Council be put on notice to enable drawing down on reserves with a view to a comprehensive plan of a list works which needed to be completed to improve conditions around the Cemetery. Members also highlighted and welcomed the support from the residents in helping to look after the grounds at the Cemetery.
  • Members also debated and agreed that more needed to be done in improving the Christmas lights and town centre to attract more people into the area with a further look at entertainment and festivities for Christmas 2021.
  • Councillor Newton requested a breakdown of the Spalding Special Contributions. The Strategic Finance and Compliance Manager confirmed that this information would be forwarded to Councillor Newton following the meeting.
  • Members enquired about re-establishing a sub-group to focus on future Christmas celebrations for Spalding.  The Chairman agreed to meet with Councillor Taylor and Councillor Drury to discuss the possibility of forming a sub-group.
  • The Chairman enquired how financing around Christmas decorations would be sustained and whether any S106 funds accrued which would come directly to Spalding could assist in the re-supply of funds.  The Chairman also requested future updates to the Forum around outturn and variations to remind the Forum of how the budget was being used.
  • The Place Manager invited the Chairman to attend future meetings of the Town Improvement Plan Steering Group to ensure the views of the Forum were represented.
  • Members debated whether the contingency fund which was in place to assist with the cutting of grass verges had been removed.  The Portfolio Holder for Finance, Strategy and Partnerships informed the Forum that the contingency fund was previously separate but had now been worked into the costings so there was no need for a contingency for the cutting of the grass verges. The Strategic Finance and Compliance Manager was requested to check this information and update Councillor McLean. Members debated whether having a contingency fund could be considered by the Forum. The Chairman advised that members could raise the issue at the next meeting following the AGM to enable Cabinet to factor a contingency into the Spalding Special Expenses in the future.
  • In relation to allotments members enquired whether Officers were anticipating more vacant plots and if consideration could be given to advertising any vacancies in the local press.  The Place Manager advised the Forum that consideration could be given to local advertising if this would help generate interest. The Chairman advised that there was an upcoming Portfolio Holder meeting in which this could be discussed.

Members enquired where responsibility laid in relation to the upkeep of the war memorials.  The Place Manager informed the Forum that the funds for the upkeep of the war memorials was in the general budget under Ayscoughfee Gardens.  As the memorials had listed status, specialist cleaning and maintenance would need to be considered.

Supporting documents: