Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Council Chamber - Town Hall, Maidenhead. View directions

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Items
No. Item

94.

Apologies

To receive any apologies of absence.

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received by Cllr L Evans and Cllr Brimacombe.  Cllr Jones attended as a substitute for Cllr Brimacombe.

95.

Declarations of Interest pdf icon PDF 219 KB

To receive any declarations of interest.

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest received.

96.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 73 KB

To approve the Part I minutes of the meeting held on 23 October 2018 and 20 November 2018.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Part I minutes of the meetings held on 23 October 2018 and 20 November 2018 were approved as a true and correct record.

97.

Treasury Management pdf icon PDF 347 KB

To comment on the Cabinet report.

Minutes:

The Lead Member for Finance and Economic Development introduced the report that contained the 2019/20  the Treasury Management Strategy 2019/20 and also provided a summary of treasury activity in 2017/18.

 

The Lead Member informed that Cabinet had approved that Council adopts the new strategy that showed how the Council prudently, efficiently and effectively managed its finances in accordance with legislation.  Although Cabinet had already approved the report the Panel could still ‘call it in’ if they had any concerns.

 

The Panel were informed that paragraph 4.6 of the report showed that investment return for 2017/18 was 0.61% compared to the benchmark of 0.60%.  At the end of the financial year 2017/18 the Council borrowed £20,000,000 in the short term with this being repaid in full by the 1st May 2018.

 

The Chairman mentioned that this was a straight forward report showing that the council properly handled treasury management.

 

Cllr Clark questioned why the authority continued to carry borrowing when the reserves were above the recommended level.

 

The Lead Member informed that long term external borrowing was £57,049,000 with an average interest rate of 4.97% that had been inherited and carried for the past 12 years.  The authority continued to monitor if it was prudent to continue to carry on repayments above current inflation levels or repay early with associated penalties.

 

Resolved unanimously: that the Panel endorsed the recommendations contained within the report.

98.

Budget Report 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 3 MB

To comment on the Cabinet report.

Minutes:

The Lead Member for Finance and Economic Development introduced the proposed 2019/20 budget report and informed that Cabinet had approved the budget and recommended it to Council. 

 

The Panel were informed that since their agenda pack had been issued there had been further additions and amendments to the budget report.  It was recommended that £50k be made available to the Eton information centre, £132k for CCTV replacement including Oaken Grove and £4.5m to cover the costs of purchasing waste vehicles as part of the upcoming waste contract procurement decision.  In response to a question from the Chairman it was noted that the contract was for 8 years and was due to start in October 2019. 

 

Cllr Jones mentioned that there was a lot of planned capital expenditure and wondered how this was to be paid for over the coming years.  The Panel were informed that there was a number of infrastructure projects that were required to support the emerging BLP and regeneration projects.  The assumption was that we would be spending £75m above that what we receive from central government.  The income generated from the four joint venture sites exceeded planed expenditure and the council if it wished could be debt free.

 

The Chairman asked if this Panel was the last one to review the report as he had not seen any comments from the other Panels.  He was informed that this was the last Panel to review the report and that there had been no objections raised by any of the other Panels with them all endorsing the report.  Cllr Da Costa and Cllr Stretton both abstained from voting at their respected Panels.  Cllr Werner had mentioned that the administration had not met its manifesto commitments regarding community wardens and had requested CCTV in Oaken Grove, which had subsequently been added to the budget.

 

The Chairman asked about the predicted outturn position and was informed that there had been a reduction in the predicted general fund due to £700k redundancy costs.  The reserve balance remained healthy at £8.2m.

 

The Chairman asked why council tax had been set at 2.99%.  the Lead Member informed that this was the maximum that could be set without requiring a public referendum and he doubted that residents would vote for increased taxation.  It was also prudent to look at the medium term outlook as pressures would continue and it was not known how business rates retention would be allocated.  It was also prudent to prepare for against a national backdrop of continuing political uncertainty, including the impact of Brexit, and demand and costs of social care in both adults and children’s services.

 

The Chairman asked that if there was no cap what level of council tax would have been set. The Panel were informed that there was collective collaboration at Cabinet and this was a question that had not been asked.  The £3.5m being added to reserves was prudent and he did not think there would be a need to increase it above  ...  view the full minutes text for item 98.

99.

LOCAL GOVERNMENT ACT 1972 - EXCLUSION OF THE PUBLIC

To consider passing the following resolution:-

 

“That under Section 100(A)(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the public be excluded from the remainder of the meeting whilst discussion takes place on item 9 on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Paragraphs 1-7 of part I of Schedule 12A of the Act"

Minutes:

RESOLVED UNANIMOUSLY: That under Section 100(A)(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the public be excluded from the remainder of the meeting whilst discussion takes place on the grounds that they involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Paragraphs 1-7 of part I of Schedule 12A of the Act.

100.

Budget Report 2019/20

To comment on the Part II appendix to the Cabinet report.

101.

Council Funding For Local Organisations 2019/20

To comment on the Cabinet report.