Agenda and draft minutes

Joint Special Scrutiny - Budget, Adults and Health Scrutiny Committee - Wednesday, 29th January, 2020 7.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Catmose, Oakham, Rutland, LE15 6HP. View directions

Contact: Joanna Morley  01572 758271

Items
No. Item

497.

APOLOGIES

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Councillor Burrows, Councillor Fox and Councillor A Brown. Councillor Waller was in attendance for Councillor Burrows and Councillor Webb was in attendance for Councillor Brown. 

 

498.

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

In accordance with the Regulations, Members are invited to declare any personal or prejudicial interests they may have and the nature of those interests in respect of items on this Agenda and/or indicate if Section 106 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 applies to them.

 

Minutes:

Declarations of interest were made by Councillor Lowe who held power of attorney for a resident who received Council funding, Councillor Harvey who was the treasurer of a basketball team which received Council funding and Councillor Waller who was a Governor at a Rutland school.

 

499.

PETITIONS, DEPUTATIONS AND QUESTIONS

To receive any petitions, deputations and questions received from Members of the Public in accordance with the provisions of Procedure Rule 216.

 

The total time allowed for this item shall be 30 minutes.  Petitions, declarations and questions shall be dealt with in the order in which they are received.  Questions may also be submitted at short notice by giving a written copy to the Committee Administrator 15 minutes before the start of the meeting.

 

The total time allowed for questions at short notice is 15 minutes out of the total time of 30 minutes.  Any petitions, deputations and questions that have been submitted with prior formal notice will take precedence over questions submitted at short notice.  Any questions that are not considered within the time limit shall receive a written response after the meeting and be the subject of a report to the next meeting.

Minutes:

No petitions, deputations or questions had been received.

 

500.

QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE FROM MEMBERS

To consider any questions with notice from Members received in accordance with the provisions of Procedure Rule No 218 and No 218A.

Minutes:

No questions with notice had been received from Members.

 

501.

REVENUE AND CAPITAL BUDGET 2020/21 AND MEDIUM TERM FINANCIAL PLAN pdf icon PDF 702 KB

To receive Cabinet Report No.03/2020 from the Strategic Director for Resources.

 

·         The above report was presented to Cabinet on 21 January 2020 and the recommendations within the report were approved.

·         Cabinet has requested that Scrutiny review and comment on proposals before the Cabinet on 18 February 2020 so as to inform the decision making process.

·         The report and its proposals may be amended following the outcome of the Scrutiny Committee. Scrutiny is therefore asked to consider the report and provide feedback to the Portfolio Holder and Director.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Report No.03/2020 was received from the Strategic Director for Resources. The purpose of the report was to present a draft budget for consultation prior to the budget being formally set by Council in February 2020. 

 

The Section 151 Officer and Strategic Director for Resources, Mr Della Rocca, gave a presentation to highlight key areas of the report.

 

During discussion the following points were noted:

 

·         Councillors Lowe, Begy, Powell and Payne had asked questions directly of the Section 151 officer before the meeting and all had given permission that these questions and their answers could be circulated to Members and appended to the minutes.

·         Although funding overall had gone up, the majority of increased income was from Council tax as Government funding, as a proportion of overall funding, continued to reduce.

·         RCC had received a 17% increase in Spending Power since 2015/6 which given inflation, and increasing demands that the Council was facing, was deemed to be inadequate.

·         Rutland received less per head than other unitary authorities who had the same amount of responsibilities.

·         The funding formula, which decided the amounts allocated, had lost meaning as it has changed over time. Rutland received less than other Councils, in broad terms because the Government assessed the Council’s relative needs as lower than other Unitary councils and its relative resources as higher because Council tax base and Band D council tax level.

·         The funding formula was under review and would be likely to change later this year.

·         Mr Della Rocca was unsure whether any revenue streams would be unlocked following Brexit and whether these would be diverted to Local Government.

·         The cap on how much Council tax could be increased could be removed in the future to allow Councils to generate more funds.

·         Officers had made some preparations for an emergency budget in case the Council suddenly faced a massive shortfall of funds. This looked at which service areas could be ‘turned off’ or “reduced” quickly if the need arose. This was work being done behind the scenes as part of sound financial management practices but ultimately any decision in that situation would be down to Members.

·         Members asked about the Council’s relative financial position.  Based on information in the press, it is believed that there are many other Council’s facing more financial difficulties than RCC.

·         No cuts had been proposed at the moment because of the uncertainty over future funding.

·         Provision had been made for a 3% increase in pay funding, although the national pay negotiations had yet to be decided.

·         The budget could experience a large negative or positive impact depending on whether, for example, a large family moved in and placed huge demands on children services or Health picked up the bill for long term care of an elderly resident rather than adult social care.

·         The proposed Council tax increase would mean that residents paying a Band D Council tax would pay £1.31 extra per week.

·         The CCG had undertaken a large number of reviews to assess whether residents still  ...  view the full minutes text for item 501.

502.

TREASURY MANAGEMENT STRATEGY AND CAPITAL INVESTMENT STRATEGY 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 88 KB

To receive Report No.05/2020 from the Strategic Director for Resources.

 

·         This report includes information about the return on investment on Council property as requested by the Growth, Infrastructure and Resources Scrutiny Committee.

·         The above report was presented to Cabinet on 21 January 2020 and the recommendations within the report were approved.

·         Cabinet has requested that Scrutiny review and comment on the proposals. The report will be presented to Full Council for approval on 24 February 2020.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Report No.05/2020 was received from the Strategic Director for Resources, the purpose of which was to set out the statutory reports expected in relation to treasury and capital investment operations for 2020/21, linked to the Council’s Budget Medium Term Financial Strategy and the Capital Programme.

 

During discussion the following points were noted:

 

·         The key change from the existing strategy was that the credit criteria had been amended. There was no change to the minimum credit criteria however should a situation arise where the counterparty ratings were only met from one of the credit ratings agencies the counterparty could still be used if other evidence suggested the counterparty was stable.

·         The limits on the amount of money invested in banks had been increased from £5m to £7m as there were, at times, a limited number of counterparties with the appropriate credit rating to invest in.

 

RESOLVED

 

The joint Adults and Health, and Children and Young People Scrutiny Committees NOTED the Treasury Management Strategy and Capital Investment Strategy 2020/21.

 

503.

FEES AND CHARGES pdf icon PDF 94 KB

To receive Report No. 6/2019 from the Strategic Director for Resources.

 

·         The above report was presented to Cabinet on 21 January 2020 and the recommendations within the report were approved.

·         Cabinet has requested that Scrutiny review and comment on the proposals. The report will be presented to Full Council for approval on 24 February 2020.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Report No.04/2020 was received from the Strategic Director for Resources, the purpose of which was to set out the proposals for fees and charges for services provided by the Council for the financial year 2020/21.

 

During discussion the following points were noted:

 

·         There would be a consultation with taxi drivers on a proposed increase to the fees and change to the fee structure. Following the consultation the proposals would be bought back for approval.

·         Rutland was hoping to introduce a similar taxi scheme to the one introduced in Peterborough to make sure all vehicles were safe. In addition the Council would be offering training for taxi drivers to make them aware of the signs of child exploitation.

·         The Council did not run any residential care provision itself and the rates outlined were those paid to providers. Self-funders paid more for a place than the Council and in effect subsidised council places. A care home may not be financially viable if it relied solely on the rates that the Council paid.

 

RESOLVED:

 

The joint Adults and Health, and Children and Young People Scrutiny Committees NOTED the report on the proposed fees and charges for 2020/21.