Policy & Finance Cabinet Member – Minutes – 23 October 2015

26        (26) COMMERCIAL STRATEGY 2015-19 The Director of Policy and Resources submitted a report which sought approval of the Commercial Strategy 2015-19.

The council’s commercial policy was approved by Cabinet in October 2012. It set out the vision, principles and plans supporting the achievement of the following organisational aims.

The policy was given further support through the approval of a set of commercial priorities in July 2013 which were refined in July 2014. These priorities translated the aspirations and objectives of the commercial policy into an initial series of defined commercial deliverable offers which would collectively enable the council to achieve its commercial income targets.

The new Commercial Strategy 2015-19 (appendix a to the report) brought together the previously separate commercial policy and priorities into a single document to improve clarity and focus. It set out a vision for the council:

“a culture of efficient excellence, generating income that enhances our ability to provide services for local residents

The vision was underpinned by five strategic ambitions:

  • Build on our strengths
  • Retain existing business
  • Expand existing business
  • Expand geographically
  • Pursue competitive tenders on an exceptions basis

Resolved – That the Commercial Strategy 2015-19 be approved.

27        (27) VIREMENTS 2015-16The Director of Policy and Resources submitted a report which sought approval for changes to revenue and capital budgets for 2015-16 as part of the council’s policy of active budget management.

On 24 February 2015 Council approved the revenue and capital budgets for the 2015/16 financial year.  The report gave details of virements that required Cabinet Member approval.

Resolved – That the virements at paragraph 3.1 of the report be approved.

28        (28)  NATIONAL NON-DOMESTIC RATE RELIEF APPLICATIONS AND MONITORINGThe Director of Policy and Resources submitted a report which sought consideration of the level of National Non-Domestic Rate (NNDR) relief to be awarded to ratepayers in North Lincolnshire and to inform the Cabinet Member of the latest forecast of the level of Business Rates Collection and its impact on council finances.

In addition the report presented the current level of reliefs granted compared to the budget.

The assumption built into the 2015/16 budget was that the council would collect £89.5m and based on this estimate it was forecast that the council would retain £5.2m more than its baseline funding.

The forecast was that the amount the council would collect was £90.5m.  This was around £1.0m above the level assumed as part of the budget setting process.  It was explained that this was a half year forecast and there could be substantial fluctuations in the collectable amount.

If the forecast collectable amount was proven to be correct, North Lincolnshire Council would retain approximately an additional £0.37m.  Statutory arrangements meant any additional funding would not become usable until 2016-17.

The schedule attached as appendix B to the report showed 9 new applications for rate relief and 1 review where the recommended level of relief for 2015/16 differed from the current relief.

Resolved – (a) That the level of rate relief set out in the schedule attached to the report be awarded to each applicant, and (b) that the position for 2015/16 on business rate collection and reliefs be noted.