Council – 25 February 2014

Present

THE MAYOR – Councillor Peter Clark

Councillors Ali, Allcock, Armitage, Bainbridge, Barker, J Briggs, Bunyan, Carlile, Collinson, Davison, Eckhardt, Ellerby, England, Evison, L Foster, T Foster, Glover, Godfrey, Grant, Jawaid, Kataria, Kirk, Marper, Ogg, Oldfield, O’Sullivan, Poole, Mrs Redfern, Robinson, C Sherwood, N Sherwood, Swift, K Vickers,  P Vickers, Waltham, Wardle, Wells, Whiteley and Wilson.

The council met at The Civic Centre, Ashby Road, Scunthorpe.

2271  MAYOR’S REMARKS – The Mayor welcomed fellow councillors, especially Councillor Kirk, officers and members of the public to the meeting.

2272  DECLARATIONS OF DISCLOSABLE PECUNIARY INTERESTS AND PERSONAL OR PERSONAL AND PREJUDICIAL INTERESTS – Declarations of disclosable pecuniary interests and personal or personal and prejudicial interests were indicated as follows –

Member Subject/Minute
 Councillor M Ali Hackney Carriage Driver/Licence Holder

South Humber Racial Equality Council – Trustee

Crosby Community Association – Chair

Councillor J Briggs Humberside Fire Authority – Member
Councillor J Collinson Family member employee of the council
Councillor A Davison Family member employee of the council
Councillor T Ellerby South Humber Racial Equality Council – Member
Councillor J England Humberside Police and Crime Panel – Member
Councillor J Evison Humberside Police and Crime Panel – Member
Councillor I Jawaid South Humber Racial Equality Council – Member
Councillor H Kataria Hackney Carriage Driver/ Licence Holder

South Humber Racial Equality Council – Member

Councillor E Marper Winterton Community Hub

School Governor

Councillor Mrs E Redfern North Lincolnshire Homes – Member

Humber Bridge Board – Vice Chairman

Councillor D Robinson Rotherham, Doncaster and South Humber NHS Trust – Member
Councillor C Sherwood North Lincolnshire Homes – Member
Councillor P Vickers Humberside Fire Authority – Member
Councillor R Waltham North Lincolnshire Homes – Member

Humberside Fire Authority – Member

(All members declared personal interests)

2273  (15)   RECORDED VOTES ON BUDGET/COUNCIL TAX SETTING  – The Director of Policy and Resources submitted a report informing Council of the introduction of regulations requiring recorded votes to be taken on decisions toset the council tax and the Council’s budget, and to approve amendments tothe Council’s constitution to reflect these provisions.

The report explained that on the 4 February 2014 the Department for Communities and Local Government notified all local authorities of the Government’s expectation that at this year’s budget meetings all councils would adopt the practice of recorded votes – “that is recording in the minutes of the meeting how each member present voted on any decision relating to the budget or council tax”. To facilitate this Government announced that it would introduce The Local Authorities (Standing Orders) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2014 (Regulations) to make it mandatory for local authorities to amend their standing orders so as to include provisions requiring recorded votes at budget meetings.

The Regulations had now been issued and came into force on 25 February 2014 and approval was accordingly sought to the following amendment to the Council’s constitution:

D.1.22 Voting

“(e) Immediately after any vote is taken at a budget decision meeting (as defined in The Local Authorities (Standing Orders) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2014) the voting shall be recorded in the minutes so as to show whether each member present voted for or against the decision or who abstained from voting.”

Resolved – That the amendment to the Council’s Constitution as detailed in paragraph 2.4 of the report be approved.

2274  BUDGET SPEECHES – It was moved by Councillor England and seconded by Councillor Poole –

That in accordance with Procedure Rule D1.19(s) the Leader of the Council and the Leader of the Opposition be allowed up to 20 minutes to deliver their respective budget speeches.

Motion Carried

2275  (16)  FINANCIAL STRATEGY 2014/2018, REVENUE BUDGET 2014/2015 AND FINANCIAL PLAN 2014/2018, CAPITAL PROGRAMME 2014/2018, TREASURY MANAGEMENT AND STRATEGY REPORT 2014/2015 AND IMPLEMENTATION OF THE 2014/2015 PAY POLICY STATEMENT – The Director of Policy and Resources submitted reports relating to –

  • The Council’s Financial Strategy 2014/2018
  • The Revenue Budget 2014/2015 and Financial Plan 2014/2018
  • The Capital Programme 2014/2018
  • The Treasury Management and Strategy Report 2014/2015
  • Implementation of the 2014/2015 Pay Policy Statement

Each year the council decided its spending plans for the next financial year.  This started in April and the plans include –

  • A revenue budget to cover the day to day running costs of council services
  • A capital programme of investment in buildings and infrastructure
  • A Treasury Management and Investment Strategy which says how it will invest its cash, both investments in assets or to help its cash flow and manage its debt.

Each of these issues was dealt with by a separate report.  The budget was part of a long term financial strategy because the council needed to be sure its spending on services was sustainable.  It must also ensure that its resources were deployed in the most effective way to deliver improved public services and to do so would increase efficiency.  The report on the Financial Strategy 2014/2018 considered some key issues and relevant factors for the financial strategy namely –

  • Public Finances
  • North Lincolnshire Council Resources and Forecast
  • Feedback and Outcomes of Public Consultation from local residents,

That report also considered the council’s four agreed priorities and set out a vision and strategic direction for the council.  They defined how the council would operate and the outcomes it was committed to achieve for people who live and work in the area.  In essence, it committed the council to be a dynamic, high performing and customer focussed council giving the best possible value for money and changing outcomes for all people living and working in the area. They helped to shape the council’s decision making including its financial plan.

There were four key themes to the strategy –

  • To give excellent service to customers
  • To provide value for tax payers’ money
  • To make communities safer and stronger
  • To regenerate the area and increase prosperity

There was a legal requirement to set a revenue budget each year.  The council had to decide the level of spending it could afford and take account of how much government grant it would receive and the level of council tax it wished to set.  The council must make sure that it set a balanced budget – and that it has identified adequate finance to pay for its spending plans.  Although the revenue budget was by law set one year at a time, it needed to fit the longer term strategic vision and in practice the council set an indicative four year financial plan as well as a detailed one year budget.

The council also had a separate capital programme for longer term investment in services.  This was spending on the construction and improvement of assets such as schools, roads and other council run facilities. It also included grants for investment in community facilities and home improvements and government funding allocated for economic regeneration and infrastructure development. These could be funded from grant, borrowing, capital receipts from asset sales or directly from revenue.  The prudential code governed borrowing decisions and the council must ensure that borrowing to support investment was affordable and prudent over a long term.

The council had also adopted the CIPFA Code of Practice for Treasury Management, the standard of best practice.  This was revised in the light of the Icelandic Banking Crisis and the impact it had on local government investments.  The code required the council to set a strategy for the investment of cash surpluses, the management of its debt portfolio and define how and in what circumstances it would borrow.

In addition, the Implementation of the 2014/2015 Pay Policy Statement report outlined and sought approval for the council’s pay policy statement for 2013/2014, in accordance with Section 38 of the Localism Act 2011. Local Authorities were now required under Section 38(1) of the Localism Act 2011 to prepare an Annual Pay Policy Statement.  The statement attached as an appendix to the report set out the council’s approach to pay and reward of its most senior employees set within the context of the pay of the wider workforce.

Each of the financial reports submitted by the Director of Policy and Resources dealt with council priorities and the financial strategy, revenue spending, capital investment and treasury management.  Each report contained a great deal of detail in relation to those specific areas which, taken together, would enable the council to set a budget for 2014/2015.

Moved by Councillor Mrs Redfern and seconded by Councillor Briggs –

Strategy

1  That in determining the resource allocation the Council has taken account of the state of public finances, the council’s financial resources and the council’s strategic priorities as set out in report 3(a)

2  That the budget consultation feedback from local residents, business and other stakeholders, considered in Appendix 1 to report 3(a) be welcomed.

Revenue

3  That the revenue budget for 2014/15 be set in total and for each service as follows:

Budget 2014-15
£
PEOPLE SERVICES
Education 6,060,000
Prevention & Commissioning 7,562,000
Children’s Services 15,600,000
Adult Services 37,076,000
Total People services 66,298,000
POLICY & RESOURCES
Human Resources 1,791,000
Legal Services 3,209,000
Financial Services 3,119,000
Business Support 4,137,000
Total Policy & Resources 12,256,000
PLACES
Customer Services 5,465,000
Community Services 25,150,000
Technical & Environmental Services 4,127,000
Planning & Regeneration 2,857,000
Special Projects 852,000
Total Places 38,451,000
CENTRAL BUDGETS
Corporate Budgets & Levies 13,710,000
Capital Financing 13,766,000
Contingency 1,770,251
Use of Reserves -4,139,000
Public Health 0
Total Central Budgets 25,107,251
Total Net Budget 142,112,251

4  That all budgets be strictly cash limited to the figures set by the Council and that services ensure tight control of expenditure during the year and take immediate action to contain cost pressures

5  At the meeting held on 10th December 2013 Council set the following amounts for the year 2014/15. These are as required by regulations made under Section 33(5) of the Local Government Finance Act 1992:-

(a)  44,447.6 as its Council Tax Base for the year (Item T in the formula in Section 31B of the Local Government Finance Act 1992, as amended, the “Act”)

(b)  the Council Tax Base for each part of the area as shown in Appendix C, column 2 (regulation 6)

6  That the Council Tax requirement for the Council’s own purposes for 2014/15 (excluding Parish precepts) is £57,071,977

7  That the following amounts for 2014/15, as required by Sections 31 to 52 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 as amended be approved

(a)  £322,844,146  being the aggregate of the amounts which the Council estimates for the items set out in Section 31A(2) of the Act taking into account all precepts issued to it by Parish Councils (gross expenditure including parish precepts and special expenses)

(b)  £264,535,047  being the aggregate of the amounts which the Council estimates for the items set out in Section 31A(3) of the Act (gross income)

(c)  £58,309,099 being the amount by which the aggregate at (a) above exceeds the aggregate at (b) above, calculated by the Council in accordance with Section 31A(4) of the Act as its Council Tax requirement for the year. (Item R in the formula in Section 31B of the Act).

(d)  £1,311.86 being the amount at (c) above Item R, divided by Item T (5(a) above), calculated by the Council, in accordance with Section 31B of the Act, as the basic amount of its Council Tax for the year (including Parish precepts). (Band D council tax including parish precepts and special expenses)

(e)  £1,689,079 being the aggregate amount of all special items and Parish precepts referred to in Section 34(1) of the Act (as per the attached Appendix C1) (Total of all Parish Precepts and Special Expenses)

8  That it be noted that for the year 2014/15 the major precepting authorities have issued precepts to the Council, in accordance with Section 40 of the Local Government Finance Act, 1992 (police and fire precepts)

9  That the amounts of council tax for the year 2014/15 for each of the categories of dwellings be as specified in revised Appendices C1 and C2 of report 3(b) attached. Having calculated the aggregate in each case of the amounts at 7 and 8 above in accordance with Section 31B of the Local Government Finance Act, 1992 as amended (council tax including police, fire and parish precept for each band and each parish)

10  That the robustness of the estimates used in setting the level of council tax in accordance with the Local Government Act, 2003 requirements (Part 2 Section 25 (1)(a) of the Act) be confirmed

11  That the adequacy of reserves included in the budget in accordance with the Local Government Act, 2003 requirements (Part 2 Section 25 (1) (b) of the Act), and the policy for use of reserves as set out in Section 3 and at revised Appendix A2 of report 3(b) attached be confirmed.

12  That grant be awarded to parishes in accordance with the principles agreed at council on 10th December 2013 and shown in Appendix C1.

13  That the financial strategy for 2014/18 as set out in revised Appendices B1 and B2 of report 3(b) be approved and indicative council tax levels be set at zero in 2015/16 and 1% in 2016/17 & 2017/18

14  That the Director of Policy & Resources be authorised to produce the necessary taxpayer information

Capital

15  That the capital programme for 2014/18 be approved in line with revised Appendices A & B of report 3(c) attached.

16  That any further capital projects fully funded by external sources or which are self-financing be added to the capital programme when known, subject to a proper assessment of the business case, and approval of the necessary virement

17  That in accordance with Part 1, sections 3 and 5 of the Local Government Act, 2003 the Prudential Indicators contained in revised Appendix C of report 3(c) attached be approved

18  That the Director of Policy & Resources be authorised to determine the methods of capital financing within the available funding (revenue budget, capital receipts, borrowing, specific external funding and leasing)

19  That the Director of Policy & Resources be delegatedauthority to:

  • borrow within authorised limits and the operational boundaries for external debt
  • effect movement between agreed borrowing figures and long term liabilities, in accordance with option appraisal and the achievement of value for money for the council. Movements are to be reported to cabinet or council as appropriate at the next meeting following the change

20  That the Director of Policy & Resources report any amendments required to Prudential Indicators during 2014/15, to cabinet or council as appropriate at the next meeting following the change

Treasury

21  That the Treasury Management and Investment Strategy for 2014/15 be approved

22  That the prudential indicators for 2014/17 at revised Appendix D to the report at 3(d) be approved

23  That the policy on the Minimum Revenue Provision at paragraph 4.26 to the report at 3(d) be approved

24  That council approves the current list of approved financial institutions at Appendix C to the report 3(d) and delegates to the Director of Policy and Resources the authority to make changes to the list as necessary, within the guidelines set by the Treasury Strategy.  Any changes to be reported back to Council, Cabinet and Audit Committee as part of the regular reporting process

Pay Policy Statement

25  That the proposed Pay Policy Statement for 2014/15 contained in report 3(e) be approved

Moved by Councillor Kirk and seconded by Councillor L Foster as an amendment –

Strategy

1  That in determining the resource allocation the Council has taken account of the state of public finances, the council’s financial resources and the council’s strategic priorities as set out in report 3(a)

2  That the budget consultation feedback from local residents, business and other stakeholders, considered in Appendix 1 to report 3(a) be welcomed.

Revenue

3  That the revenue budget for 2014/15 be set in total and for each service as follows:

Budget 2014-15
£
PEOPLE SERVICES
Education 5,910,000
Prevention & Commissioning 7,337,000
Children’s Services 15,550,000
Adult Services 35,820,000
Total People services 64,617,000
POLICY & RESOURCES
Human Resources 1,791,000
Legal Services 3,235,000
Financial Services 3,125,000
Business Support 4,137,000
Total Policy & Resources 12,288,000
PLACES
Customer Services 5,280,000
Community Services 25,152,000
Technical & Environmental Services 4,127,000
Planning & Regeneration 2,549,000
Special Projects 852,000
Total Places 37,960,000
CENTRAL BUDGETS
Corporate Budgets & Levies 14,196,000
Capital Financing 13,742,000
Contingency 1,770,251
Use of Reserves -2,461,000
Public Health 0
Total Central Budgets 27,247,251
Total Net Budget 142,112,251

4  That all budgets be strictly cash limited to the figures set by the Council and that services ensure tight control of expenditure during the year and take immediate action to contain cost pressures

5  At the meeting held on 10th December 2013 Council set the followingamounts for the year 2014/15. These are as required by regulations made under Section 33(5) of the Local Government Finance Act 1992:-

(c)  44,447.6 as its Council Tax Base for the year (Item T in the formula in Section 31B of the Local Government Finance Act 1992, as amended, the “Act”)

(d)  the Council Tax Base for each part of the area as shown in Appendix C, column 2 (regulation 6)

6  That the Council Tax requirement for the Council’s own purposes for 2014/15 (excluding Parish precepts) is £57,071,977

7  That the following amounts for 2014/15, as required by Sections 31 to 52 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 as amended be approved

(a)  £320,875,146  being the aggregate of the amounts which the Council estimates for the items set out in Section31A(2) of the Act taking into account all precepts issued to it by Parish Councils (gross expenditure including parish precepts and special expenses)

(b)  £262,566,047 being the aggregate of the amounts which the Council estimates for the items set out in Section 31A(3) of the Act (gross income)

(c)  £58,309,099 being the amount by which the aggregate at (a) above exceeds the aggregate at (b) above, calculated by the Council in accordance with Section 31A(4) of the Act as its Council Tax requirement for the year. (Item R in the formula in Section 31B of the Act).

(d)  £1,311.86 being the amount at (c) above Item R, divided by Item T (5(a) above), calculated by the Council, in accordance with Section 31B of the Act, as the basic amount of its Council Tax for the year (including Parish precepts). (Band D council tax including parish precepts and special expenses)

(e)  £1,689,079 being the aggregate amount of all special items and Parish precepts referred to in Section 34(1) of the Act 9as per the attached Appendix C1. (Total of all Parish Precepts and Special Expenses)

8  That it be noted that for the year 2014/15 the major precepting authorities have issued precepts to the Council, in accordance with Section 40 of the Local Government Finance Act, 1992 (police and fire precepts)

9  That the amounts of council tax for the year 2014/15 for each of the categories of dwellings be as specified in revised Appendices C1 and C2 of report 3(b) attached. Having calculated the aggregate in each case of the amounts at 7 and 8 above in accordance with Section 31B of the Local Government Finance Act, 1992 as amended (council tax including police, fire and parish precept for each band and each parish)

10  That the robustness of the estimates used in setting the level of council tax in accordance with the Local Government Act, 2003 requirements (Part 2 Section 25 (1)(a) of the Act) be confirmed

11   That the adequacy of reserves included in the budget in accordance with the Local Government Act, 2003 requirements (Part 2 Section 25 (1) (b) of the Act), and the policy for use of reserves as set out in Section 3 and at revised Appendix A2 of report 3(b) attached be confirmed.

12  That grant be awarded to parishes in accordance with the principles agreed at council on 10th December 2013 and as shown at Appendix C1.

13  That the financial strategy for 2014/18 as set out in revised Appendices B1and B2 of report 3(b) be approved and indicative council tax levels be set at 1.75% 2015/16 and 1.9% in 2016/17 & 2017/18

14  That the Director of Policy & Resources be authorised to produce the necessary taxpayer information

Capital

15  That the capital programme for 2013/18 be approved in line with revised Appendices A & B of report 3(c) attached.

16  That any further capital projects fully funded by external sources or which are self-financing be added to the capital programme when known, subject to a proper assessment of the business case, and approval of the necessary virement

17  That in accordance with Part 1, sections 3 and 5 of the Local Government Act, 2003 the Prudential Indicators contained in revised Appendix C of report 3(c)  be approved

18  That the Director of Policy & Resources be authorised to determine the methods of capital financing within the available funding (revenue budget, capital receipts, borrowing, specific external funding and leasing)

19  That the Director of Policy & Resources be delegatedauthority to:

  • borrow within authorised limits and the operational boundaries for external debt
  • effect movement between agreed borrowing figures and long term liabilities, in accordance with option appraisal and the achievement of value for money for the council. Movements are to be reported to cabinet or council as appropriate at the next meeting following the change

20  That the Director of Policy & Resources report any amendments required to Prudential Indicators during 2014/15, to cabinet or council as appropriate at the next meeting following the change

Treasury

21  That the Treasury Management and Investment Strategy for 2014/15 be approved

22   That the prudential indicators for 2014/17 at revised Appendix D to the report at 3(d) be approved

23      That the policy on the Minimum Revenue Provision at paragraph 4.26 to the report at 3(d) be approved

24  That council approves the current list of approved financial institutions at Appendix C to the report 3(d) and delegates to the Director of Policy and Resources the authority to make changes to the list as necessary, within the guidelines set by the Treasury Strategy.  Any changes to be reported back to Council, Cabinet and Audit Committee as part of the regular reporting process

Pay Policy Statement

25  That the proposed Pay Policy Statement for 2014/15 contained in report 3(e) be approved

Following completion of the debate on the budget the council proceeded to the vote.

In accordance with minute 2173 above, as required by the Local Authorities (Standing Orders) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2014 (Regulations), the names of members voting for, against and abstaining from the amendment are as follows –

FOR:  Councillors Ali, Armitage, Bainbridge, Barker, Carlile, Collinson, Davison, Ellerby, L Foster, Godfrey, Grant, Jawaid, Kataria, Kirk, Oldfield, O’Sullivan, Swift, Whiteley and Wilson.

AGAINST:  Councillors Allcock, Briggs, Bunyan, Clark, Eckhardt, England, Evison, T Foster, Glover, Marper, Ogg, Poole, Mrs Redfern, Robinson, C Sherwood, N Sherwood, K Vickers, P Vickers, Waltham, Wardle and Wells.

ABSTAINING:  Nil.

Amendment Lost

In accordance with minute 2173 above, as required by the Local Authorities (Standing Orders) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2014 (Regulations), the names of members voting for, against and abstaining from the motion are as follows –

FOR:  Councillors Allcock, Briggs, Bunyan, Clark, Eckhardt, England, Evison, T Foster, Glover, Marper, Ogg, Poole, Mrs Redfern, Robinson, C Sherwood, N Sherwood, K Vickers, P Vickers, Waltham, Wardle and Wells.

AGAINST:  Councillors Ali, Armitage, Bainbridge, Barker, Carlile, Collinson, Davison, Ellerby, L Foster, Godfrey, Grant, Jawaid, Kataria, Kirk, Oldfield, O’Sullivan, Swift, Whiteley and Wilson.

ABSTAINING:  Nil.

Motion Carried

Reports