Agenda, decisions and minutes

Executive - Tuesday, 4th February, 2020 6.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Council Offices, The Burys, Godalming

Contact: Fiona Cameron  Democratic Services Manager & Deputy Monitoring Officer

Items
No. Item

EXE 55/19

MINUTES

To confirm the Minutes of the Meeting held on 7 January 2020 (to be laid on the table for 30 minutes prior to the start of the meeting).

Minutes:

The Minutes of the Meeting held on 7 January 2020 were confirmed and signed as a correct record.

EXE 56/19

DECLARATIONS OF INTERESTS

To receive from members, declarations of interest in relation to any items included on the agenda for this meeting, in accordance with the Waverley Code of Local Government Conduct.

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest raised under this heading.

EXE 57/19

QUESTIONS FROM MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC

The Chairman to respond to any questions received from members of the public for which notice has been given in accordance with Procedure Rule 10.

 

The deadline for receipt of questions is 5pm on Tuesday 28 January 2020.

 

Minutes:

There were no questions from members of the public.

EXE 58/19

QUESTIONS FROM MEMBERS OF THE COUNCIL

The Chairman to respond to any questions received from Members in accordance with Procedure Rule 11.

 

The deadline for receipt of questions is 5pm on Tuesday 28 January 2020.

Minutes:

There were no questions from Members of the Council.

EXE 59/19

Leader's and Portfolio Holders' Updates

To receive any updates from the Leader or Portfolio Holders.

Minutes:

There were no updates reported.

PART I - RECOMMENDATIONS TO THE COUNCIL

Background Papers

 

Unless specified under an individual item, there are no background papers (as defined by Section 100D(5) of the Local Government Act 1972) relating to the reports in Part I of these minutes.

EXE 60/19

Medium Term Financial Plan 2020/21 - 2023/24 and General Fund Budget 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 446 KB

This report outlines the latest Medium Term Financial Plan and the draft General Fund Budget for 2020/21. The Financial Plan sets out the key work streams for the Council to focus on which, collectively, aim to address the significant shortfall in annual budget projected over the medium term which is estimated to grow to £5.4million per annum or 40% of the total net service cost by 2023/24.

 

Recommendation

 

It is recommended that the Executive, after considering comments from the Value for Money Overview & Scrutiny Committee, makes the following recommendations to Council, to:

 

1.    agree a 1.9% increase in Waverley’s element of the Council Tax Charge for 2020/21, equivalent to around 7p a week on a Band D property;

 

2.    agree to make no change to the Council’s existing Council Tax Support Scheme;

 

3.    agree the proposed Fees and Charges as shown at Annexe 4;

 

4.    approve the General Fund Budget for 2020/21 as described in this report, and in Annexes 2 and 3; and

 

5.    approve the General Fund Capital Programme as shown at Annexe 6. 

Additional documents:

Decision:

The Executive, after considering comments from the Value for Money Overview & Scrutiny Committee, RESOLVED to make the following recommendations to Council, to:

 

1.    agree a 1.9% increase in Waverley’s element of the Council Tax Charge for 2020/21, equivalent to around 7p a week on a Band D property;

 

2.    agree to make no change to the Council’s existing Council Tax Support Scheme;

 

3.    agree the proposed Fees and Charges as shown at Annexe 4;

 

4.    approve the General Fund Budget for 2020/21 as described in this report, and in Annexes 2 and 3; and

 

5.    approve the General Fund Capital Programme as shown at Annexe 6. 

 

Reason: The budget is a major decision for the Council and setting a balanced budget is a statutory requirement.

 

[This matter is recommended to Council for decision and is not subject to the call-in procedure.]

Minutes:

60.1     Cllr Mark Merryweather, Portfolio Holder for Finance, Assets and Commercial, introduced the report setting out the latest Medium Term Financial Plan (MTFP) and the draft General Fund Budget for 2020/21. The headlines in the MTFP were the significant shortfall in annual budget projected over the medium term which was estimated to grow to £5.4million cumulative shortfall over the Plan period; steps to mitigate the shortfall, addressing both costs and revenue; and a proposed increase in Council Tax of 1.9%. The proposed Council Tax increase was below the maximum allowed by the government, and recognised the increased Council Tax base due to increased development in the borough, and almost £700,000 of efficiency savings. Cllr Merryweather commended the MTFP and General Fund budget for 2020/21 to the Executive, for recommendation to Council to approve.

 

60.2     Cllr Stephen Mulliner spoke as Chairman of the Overview & Scrutiny Budget Strategy Working Group (BSWG), and reiterated the financial challenges facing the council and the constraints on raising additional income through fees and charges, and through commercial property investments. The BSWG had concluded that it was unlikely that any significant revenue could be generated from new revenue streams within the next four years, and also had reservations about the level and timing of savings achievable through the Customer Services Project. With regard to the 2020/21 budget proposals, Cllr Mulliner noted that the proposed 1.9% Council Tax increase would cause the Council to forego £83,000 per annum, or over £340,000 compounded over four years. The proposed budget also contained uncertainty around commercial property income, and planning and leisure centre income. Any shortfall in budgeted savings in 2020/21 would worsen the problem to be addressed in 2021/22. The severity of the financial challenge demanded a clear strategic approach, either to impose deep service cuts to bring costs into line with income; or, to maintain services at current levels by raising income and making efficiency savings. It was not clear what was the Executive’s strategic approach, and he asked that this be made clear at the forthcoming Council meeting.

 

60.3     Cllr Follows thanked Cllr Mulliner for his summary of the work of the BSWG, and for the hard work of the BSWG members. The recent residents’ survey had shown that there was a preference for efficiency savings over raising fees and charges, and the budget included £700,000 of cost savings.

 

60.4     In responding, Cllr Merryweather emphasised the role of central government in cutting income and constraining councils’ ability to generate additional income. Waverley’s residents’ survey showed that there was a preference for efficiency savings and raising commercial investment income ahead of increases to Council Tax and car parking charges. Waverley had a structural advantage in residential development for market rental through its ownership of land, but the lead-in time was long. Car parking charges had not been increased since April 2017, and they would be increased if necessary; however, the strategic review of car parking showed that there was a need for a smarter approach to car parking charges  ...  view the full minutes text for item EXE 60/19

EXE 61/19

Capital Strategy 2020/2021 incorporating Treasury Management Strategy and Property Investment Strategy pdf icon PDF 105 KB

It is a statutory requirement for local authorities to produce an annual Capital Strategy.  The Capital Strategy brings together the Council’s detailed policies, procedures and plans relating to cash investments and property assets. It incorporates the Treasury Management Framework, Prudential Indicators and Property Investment Strategy for 2020/2021.  

 

Recommendation

 

That the Executive recommends the Capital Strategy for 2020/2021, incorporating the Treasury Management Strategy, Prudential Indicators and Property Investment Strategy, to Council for approval.

 

Additional documents:

Decision:

The Executive RESOLVED to recommend the Capital Strategy for 2020/2021, incorporating the Treasury Management Strategy and Property Investment Strategy, to Council for approval.

 

Reason: The Council has to comply with The Prudential Code for Capital Finance in Local Authorities (the Code) issued by CIPFA which requires local authorities to determine capital expenditure and investment decisions that are affordable, prudent and sustainable, and to set limits on the amount they can afford to borrow in the context of capital planning. This requires effective strategic planning and a decision making framework that is provided by the Capital Strategy.

 

[This matter is recommended to Council for decision and is not subject to the call-in procedure.]

Minutes:

61.1    Cllr Merryweather presented the Capital Strategy 2020/2021, which incorporated the Treasury Management Strategy, Prudential Indicators and Property Investment Strategy. The Capital Strategy accorded with the CIPFA Prudential Code for Capital Finance in Local Authorities and the Council was required to approve the Capital Strategy annually.

 

61.2    The Executive RESOLVED to recommend the Capital Strategy for 2020/2021, incorporating the Treasury Management Strategy and Property Investment Strategy, to Council for approval.

 

Reason: The Council has to comply with The Prudential Code for Capital Finance in Local Authorities (the Code) issued by CIPFA which requires local authorities to determine capital expenditure and investment decisions that are affordable, prudent and sustainable, and to set limits on the amount they can afford to borrow in the context of capital planning. This requires effective strategic planning and a decision making framework that is provided by the Capital Strategy.

 

EXE 62/19

Housing Revenue Account Business Plan, Revenue Budget and Capital Programme 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 368 KB

This report advises Members of the latest position regarding the Housing Revenue

Account (HRA) for 2020/21, the updated 30-year Business Plan and seeks approval of the 2020/21 budget.

 

Recommendation

 

It is recommended that the Executive, after considering comments from the Housing Overview and Scrutiny Committee, make the following recommendations to the Council, that:

 

1.    the rent level of Council dwellings be increased by 2.7% from the 2019/20 level with effect from 1 April 2020 in accordance with The Government’s permitted guidelines;

 

2.    the weekly charge for garages rented by both Council and non-Council tenants be increased by 25 pence per week excluding VAT from 1 April  2020;

 

3.    the service charge in sheltered accommodation be increased by 50 pence per week from 1 April 2020 to £19.50;

 

4.    the recharge for energy costs in sheltered accommodation (as appropriate) be increased by 50 pence per week from 1 April 2020;

 

5.    the revised HRA Business Plan for 2020/21 to 2023/24 as set out at Annexe 1 be approved;

 

6.    note the approval change for the fees and charges as set out in Annexe 2;

 

7.    the Housing Revenue Account Capital Programmes as shown at Annexe 3 be approved;

 

8.    the proposed use of the Working Balance Reserve and Contingency Reserves to fund Capital Programmes be approved; and,

 

9.    the financing of the capital programmes be approved in line with the resources shown in Annexe 4.

 

Additional documents:

Decision:

After considering comments from the Housing Overview and Scrutiny Committee,the Executive RESOLVED to recommend to Council, that:

 

1.    the rent level of Council dwellings be increased by 2.7% from the 2019/20 level with effect from 1 April 2020 in accordance with The Government’s permitted guidelines;

 

2.    the weekly charge for garages rented by both Council and non-Council tenants be increased by 25 pence per week excluding VAT from 1 April  2020;

 

3.    the service charge in sheltered accommodation be increased by 50 pence per week from 1 April 2020 to £19.50;

 

4.    the recharge for energy costs in sheltered accommodation (as appropriate) be increased by 50 pence per week from 1 April 2020;

 

5.    the revised HRA Business Plan for 2020/21 to 2023/24 as set out at Annexe 1 be approved;

 

6.    note the approval change for the fees and charges as set out in Annexe 2;

 

7.    the Housing Revenue Account Capital Programmes as shown at Annexe 3 be approved;

 

8.    the proposed use of the Working Balance Reserve and Contingency Reserves to fund Capital Programmes be approved; and,

 

9.    the financing of the capital programmes be approved in line with the resources shown in Annexe 4.

 

Reason: In order to approve use of reserves and resources to fund Waverley Borough Councils Landlord Services, the 30 year maintenance programme and deliver proposals for building new affordable homes and investment stock remodelling.

 

[This matter is recommended to Council for decision and is not subject to the call-in procedure.]

 

Minutes:

62.1     Cllr Anne-Marie Rosoman, Portfolio Holder for Housing and Community Safety, introduced the proposed Housing Revenue Account (HRA) Business Plan, Revenue Budget and Capital Programme for 2020/21. The proposals had been developed against a background of four years of mandatory rent reductions, with consequences for the Business Plan of the reduced income. The government was now allowing an increase in housing rents, and it was important to agree an increase for 2020/21 to enable the Council to maintain services, invest in its housing stock and continue the new affordable housing development programme.

 

62.2    After considering comments from the Housing Overview and Scrutiny Committee, the Executive RESOLVED to recommend to Council, that:

 

1.    the rent level of Council dwellings be increased by 2.7% from the 2019/20 level with effect from 1 April 2020 in accordance with The Government’s permitted guidelines;

 

2.    the weekly charge for garages rented by both Council and non-Council tenants be increased by 25 pence per week excluding VAT from 1 April  2020;

 

3.    the service charge in sheltered accommodation be increased by 50 pence per week from 1 April 2020 to £19.50;

 

4.    the recharge for energy costs in sheltered accommodation (as appropriate) be increased by 50 pence per week from 1 April 2020;

 

5.    the revised HRA Business Plan for 2020/21 to 2023/24 as set out at Annexe 1 to the report be approved;

 

6.    note the approval change for the fees and charges as set out in Annexe 2 to the report;

 

7.    the Housing Revenue Account Capital Programmes as shown at Annexe 3 to the report be approved;

 

8.    the proposed use of the Working Balance Reserve and Contingency Reserves to fund Capital Programmes be approved; and,

 

9.    the financing of the capital programmes be approved in line with the resources shown in Annexe 4 to the report.

 

Reason: In order to approve use of reserves and resources to fund Waverley Borough Councils Landlord Services, the 30 year maintenance programme and deliver proposals for building new affordable homes and investment stock remodelling.

EXE 63/19

Pay Policy Statement 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 79 KB

The Localism Act 2011 (Section 39) requires all public authorities to publish an Annual Pay Policy Statement. The Council is required to adopt the Annual Pay Policy Statement each year and the Council is not legally permitted to depart from the policies set out in that statement when it considers actual decisions in relation to individuals’ remuneration, including redundancy and/or severance.

 

The Annual Pay Policy Statement for the 2020/21 financial year is attached at Annexe 1. It has been updated in line with the requirements of the Localism Act 2011, resulting in minimal adjustments from last year which are shown as tracked changes.

 

Recommendation

 

That the Executive recommends to Council that the Pay Policy Statement for the 2020/21 financial year, attached at Annexe 1, be approved.

 

Additional documents:

Decision:

The Executive RESOLVED to recommend to Council that the Pay Policy Statement for the 2020/21 financial year, attached at Annexe 1, be approved.

 

Reason: To comply with the Localism Act 2011 (Sections 38 and 39).

 

[This matter is recommended to Council for decision and is not subject to the call-in procedure.]

Minutes:

63.1    The Leader introduced the draft Pay Policy Statement 2020/21. The Council was required to publish an Annual Pay Policy Statement on an annual basis. There were minimal adjustments compared with the Pay Policy Statement approved in February 2019, and these were shown as tracked changes.

 

63.2    The Executive RESOLVED to recommend to Council that the Pay Policy Statement for the 2020/21 financial year, attached at Annexe 1 to the report, be approved.

 

Reason: To comply with the Localism Act 2011 (Sections 38 and 39).

 

PART II - MATTERS OF REPORT

The background papers relating to the following items are as set out in the reports included in the original agenda papers.

EXE 64/19

Service Plans 2020 - 2023 (3 year rolling plans) pdf icon PDF 199 KB

The Service Plans have been prepared by Heads of Service in collaboration with their teams and Portfolio Holders to set out the service objectives for the coming three years in line with the Corporate Strategy 2019-2023 and the Medium Term Financial Plan 2020-2023.

 

Recommendation

 

It is recommended that the Executive:

 

a)    considers the comments and recommendations passed on by the Overview & Scrutiny Committees as listed in section 6 “Consultation and Engagement” of this report and,

 

b)    approves the final Service Plans 2020-23 proposals as set out at Annexe 1, for their implementation from 1 April 2020.

Additional documents:

Decision:

After considering the comments and recommendations of the Overview and Scrutiny Committees, the Executive RESOLVED to approve the final Service Plans 2020-23 as set out at Annexe 1, for implementation from 1 April 2020.

 

Reason: Service Plans form an important part of the Council’s performance management framework, setting out the business priorities for each service for the coming three years, and how they will help to deliver the Council’s priorities.

 

[Service Plans have already been considered by the relevant Overview and Scrutiny Committees].

Minutes:

64.1    The Leader presented the Service Plans for 2020-2023, which had been prepared by Heads of Service in collaboration with their teams and Portfolio Holders to set out the service objectives for the coming three years in line with the Corporate Strategy 2019-23 and the Medium Term Financial Plan 2020-2023. Each of the Overview and Scrutiny Committees had considered the Service Plans within their remit and their comments had been addressed within the Service Plans where this was appropriate.

 

64.2    Having considered the comments and recommendations of the Overview and Scrutiny Committees, the Executive RESOLVED to approve the final Service Plans 2020-23 as set out at Annexe 1, for implementation from 1 April 2020.

 

Reason: Service Plans form an important part of the Council’s performance management framework, setting out the business priorities for each service for the coming three years, and how they will help to deliver the Council’s priorities.

EXE 65/19

Property Matter - Utility Easements, Farnham pdf icon PDF 80 KB

To seek approval to grant an easement to CM Utilities for the gas supply into the Brightwells site, Farnham.

 

To seek approval to grant a Section 104 agreement to Thames Water for a sewer easement route into the Brightwells site, Farnham      

 

Recommendation

 

It is recommended that the Executive approve the easements in order that relevant agreements can be entered into on the terms proposed in (Exempt) Annexe 3.

 

Additional documents:

Decision:

The Executive RESOLVED to approve the easements in order that relevant agreements can be entered into on the terms proposed in (Exempt) Annexe 3.

 

Reason: in order that progress for the Brightwells utilities can continue on site.

 

[VALUE FOR MONEY AND CUSTOMER SERVICES OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY COMMITTEE]

Minutes:

65.1    Cllr Andy MacLeod, Portfolio Holder for the Brightwells Yard Development project, introduced the report proposing to grant easements to CM Utilities for the gas supply, and to Thames Water for a sewer route into the Brightwells Yard development site. Granting the easements for gas and water connections would enable the Brightwells Yard development to progress on site.

 

65.2    In response to a query raised by Cllr Jerry Hyman earlier in the day, officers reported that Crest Nicholson had confirmed that the gas and water companies were working to the correct plans, and the easement line for the gas connection would go beneath the highway, not the building. As a matter of course, the easement would include provisions for inspection, maintenance and repair.

 

65.3    The Executive RESOLVED to approve the easements in order that relevant agreements can be entered into on the terms proposed in (Exempt) Annexe 3 to the report.

 

Reason: in order that progress for the Brightwells utilities can continue on site.