Agenda and minutes

Council Tax and Budget Setting, Full Council
Thursday, 23rd February, 2017 7.00 pm

Venue: Council Offices, Station Road, Wigston. View directions

Contact: Democratic Services  Email: democratic.services@oadby-wigston.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

68.

Calling to Order of the Meeting and Prayers

The meeting of the Council will be called to order to receive His Worship The Mayor and Deputy Mayor.

 

Members, Officers and those otherwise in attendance are asked to remain standing whilst the meeting is led in prayer by the Chaplin.

Minutes:

The meeting of the Council was called to order to receive His Worship The Mayor and Deputy Mayor.

69.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

An apology for absence was received from Councillors E R Barr, Miss A R Bond, Miss M V Chamberlain, B Dave, R E Fahey, Mrs H E Loydall, Dr T K Khong and R Thakor.

70.

Declarations of Interest

Members are reminded that any declaration of interest should be made having regard to the Members’ Code of Conduct. In particular, Members must make clear the nature of the interest and whether it is 'pecuniary' or ‘non-pecuniary'.

Minutes:

In accordance with paragraph 4.15.5 of the Members’ Code of Conduct, and in respect of the item of business at agenda item 11, all Members in attendance declared a disclosable personal pecuniary interest insofar as being residents of the Borough whose respective households were subject to the setting and levying of Council Tax (or precept) under the Local Government Finance Act 1992.

71.

Reading, Confirmation and Signing of Minutes

To read, confirm and sign the Minutes of the previous meeting of the Council in accordance with Rule 17 of Part 4 of the Constitution.

71a

Minutes of the Meeting of the Council held on Tuesday, 06 December 2016 pdf icon PDF 125 KB

Minutes:

RESOLVED THAT:

 

The minutes of the Meeting of the Council held on Tuesday, 06 December 2016 be taken as read, confirmed and signed.

71b

Minutes of the Extraordinary Meeting of the Council held on Tuesday, 17 January 2017 pdf icon PDF 69 KB

Minutes:

RESOLVED THAT:

 

The minutes of the Extraordinary Meeting of the Council held on Tuesday, 17 January 2017 be taken as read, confirmed and signed.

72.

Action List DOCX 33 KB

To read, confirm and note the Action List arising from the previous meeting of the Council held on Tuesday, 06 December 2016.

Minutes:

RESOLVED THAT:

 

The Action List arising from the Meeting of the Council held on Tuesday, 06 December 2016 be noted by Members.

73.

Motions on Notice

To consider any Motions on Notice in accordance with Rule 12 of Part 4 of the Constitution.

Minutes:

None.

74.

Petitions, Deputations and Questions

To receive any Petitions and, or, Deputations in accordance with Rule 24 of Part 4 of the Constitution and to answer any Questions on Notice in accordance with Rule 11 of Part 4 of the Constitution.

 

Members are reminded that in accordance with Rule 11.1 of Part 4 of the Constitution, questions can be asked of the Leader of the Council and the Chair of a Committee without notice upon an item of the report of a Committee when that item is being receiving or is under consideration by the Council. 

Minutes:

None.

75.

Mayor's Announcements

Minutes:

The Mayor expressed his gratitude to all those who attended the Mayor’s Charity Curry Night held at the Cuisine of India, Wigston on Monday 14 February which raised a total of £1,200 in trust of the Mayor’s nominated charity, the Leicester Children’s Holiday Centre (Mablethorpe).

 

The Mayor further announced that a charitable ‘Afternoon Tea with the Mayor’ event was to be held at the Wigston Magna Methodist Church, Wigston on Saturday 11 March and that he would be hosting a charitable tombola stall at the Easter/Spring Fair to be held at Brocks Hill Country Park, Oadby on Saturday 15 April.

75a

List of Official Mayoral/Deputy Mayoral Engagements DOCX 31 KB

Minutes:

RESOLVED THAT:

 

The list of Official Mayoral Engagements attended by The Mayor and, or, Deputy Mayor be noted by Members.

 

In accordance with Rule 7.3 of Part 4 of the Constitution, the Mayor moved for the order of business to be altered and taken in the order as reflected in the minutes.

 

RESOLVED THAT:

 

The order of business be altered, accordingly.

76.

Budget Proposals 2017/18 DOCX 135 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council gave consideration to the report and appendices (at pages 20 - 50) as delivered and summarised by the Interim Chief Finance Officer (Section 151 Officer) which should be read together with these minutes as a composite document.

 

The Interim Chief Finance Officer reported that the proposed Budget for 2017/18 was predicated on the requirement incumbent upon Council to make a total of c. £1.4m efficiency savings by 2020 due to the progressive nature of cuts to the Revenue Support Grant (RSG).

 

The Medium Term Financial Strategy (MTFS) was said to have set a target of £860k in 2017/18, of which £710k of efficiency saving had already been found with the remaining £150k to be borrowed from General Reserves to balance the budget. The Capital Programme was said to be indicative of project-work that the Council could afford to undertaken in 2017/18 and that a worked-up, detailed report for each proposed scheme will be brought their respective committees for approval.

 

It was emphasised that the proposed Budget was, inter alia, based upon:

 

(a)       a minimum level of General Fund reserves of 5% of annual net expenditure (throughout the period between 2017/18 to 2020/21);

(b)       the assumption of a 1% pay award and upward inflation of 2.5%;

(c)       the assumption that the Scale(s) of Fees and Charges would be revised upwards (as resolved at the meeting of the Policy, Finance and Development Committee held on 01 November 2017);

(d)       the same levels of business rates (non-domestic rates) being levied and collected, accordingly;

(e)       the adopted Council Tax Support Scheme remaining unchanged (as resolved the extraordinary meeting of the Council held on 17 January 2017); and

(f)        a reduction in the award of New Homes Bonuses (NHB’s) as set out in the Government’s Grant Settlement.

 

The proposed Budget was said to be a balanced budget capable of being delivered with no significant cuts to frontline services or redundancies anticipated in 2017/18: however, it was advised that, and in conjunction with the work being undertaken by the Change Management Committee in relation to the Four-Year Efficiency Plan, these two heads were not exempt from future reconsideration in 2018/19.

 

The Chair of the Policy, Finance and Development Committee, Councillor Mrs SB Morris, commended the proposed Budget for 2017/18 to the Council. She noted that in view of the non-attendance of all six (Conservative) Opposition Members, there was no alternative budget put forward by the same upon which a cross-party debate could be properly had.

 

Councillor Mrs L M Broadley enquired as whether the Capital Programme included provision for a footpath to the Parklands Leisure Centre from Wigston Road, Oadby.

 

The Interim Chief Finance Officer answered affirmatively. He advised that a composite report regarding car parking provision, highway and access routes was to be brought to a subsequent meeting of the Service Delivery Committee.

 

Councillor G A Boulter sought assurances from the Interim Chief Finance Officer to ensure that the full amount allocated by the Government for 2017/18 for Disabled Facilities Grants (DFG’s) would  ...  view the full minutes text for item 76.

77.

Council Tax Setting 2017/18 DOCX 163 KB

Minutes:

The Council gave consideration to the report (at pages 51 - 54) as delivered and summarised by the Interim Chief Finance Officer (Section 151 Officer) which should be read together with these minutes as a composite document.

 

The Interim Chief Finance Officer reiterated that the proposed increase in Council Tax for 2017/18 was predicated on the aforementioned requirement(s) incumbent upon Council to make a total of c. £1.4m efficiency savings by 2020 (Min. Ref. 76). The average Council Tax (Band D) for 2017/18 (including all precepts) was reported to be 3.47% representing an increase of approximately £55.00 per annum: this was said to translate into an approximate increase receipted to this Council of £5.00 per annum.

 

It was reported that Oadby and Wigston Borough Council could not set its own Council Tax (or Budget) for 2017/18 until: Leicestershire County Council (LCC) had first set their own precept at its meeting which was held on 22 February; the (late) announcement of the Government’s Financial Settlement for this Council on 20 February. In respect of the latter, it was reported that a small, but immaterial, adjustment to the Council’s receipt of NHB’s was confirmed by the announcement

 

The Deputy Leader of the Council, Councillor M H Charlesworth, announced that LCC had resolved a last minute adjustment to its budget in terms of the withdrawal of a £1.3bn transport provision which LCC sought to re-claw through precept collections via the seven Borough and District authorities upon the erroneous assumption that taxes and rates were not being presently collected to their fullest extent.

 

The Deputy Leader requested that the collection rates for the seven Borough and District authorities be compiled in a composite document and forwarded to Members.

 

The Interim Chief Finance Officer stated that the County Treasurer had written to all Leicestershire authorities on the same matter, who advised that if any one authority was able to collect at the national average rate for local government, a small proportion would be passported back out to that authority. He confirmed that the collection rate for this Council was significantly above average and the second best in Leicestershire.

 

Councillor Mrs S B Morris moved the recommendations en bloc as set out at paragraphs 2.1 to 2.5 of the report (at pages 51 - 22).

 

Councillor D A Gamble seconded the recommendations.

 

RESOLVED THAT:

 

(i)        It be noted that under powers delegated to the Chief Financial Officer, the Council has calculated the amount of 17,155.70 as its Council Tax base for the financial year 2017/18 in accordance with the Local Authorities (Calculation of Council Tax Base) (England) Regulations 2012;

(ii)       It be noted the Council Tax Requirement for the Council’s own purposes for 2017/18 is £3,630,690;

(iii)      The following amounts be calculated by the Council for the year 2017/18 in accordance with sections 30 to 306 (as amended) of the Local Government Finance Act 1992:

 

(a)       £18,200,300 being the aggregate of the amounts which the Council estimates for the items set out in section 31 A  ...  view the full minutes text for item 77.

78.

Pay Policy Statement 2017/18 DOCX 62 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council gave consideration to the report and appendices (at pages 55 - 64) as delivered and summarised by the Director of Services / Monitoring Officer which should be read together with these minutes as a composite document.

 

The Leader moved the recommendation as set out at paragraph 2 of the report (at page 55).

 

Councillor K J Loydall seconded the recommendation.

 

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED THAT:

 

The Pay Policy Statement for 2017/18 be approved.

79.

Opting into the National Scheme for Auditor Appointments DOCX 64 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council gave consideration to the report and appendix (at pages 65 - 71) as delivered and summarised by the Interim Chief Finance Officer (Section 151 Officer) which should be read together with these minutes as a composite document.

 

Councillor G A Boulter enquired as to the cost borne to the Council to opt-in into the Public Sector Audit Appointments Limited (PSSA) option. He further expressed his disappointment at the prospective increase in external auditing fees for 2018/19.

 

The Interim Chief Finance Officer advised that there would be no direct cost borne to the Council. The formal procurement process was to be undertaken by PSSA (an independent company limited by guarantee incorporated by the Local Government Association) and the associated-costs absorbed by the appointed auditors. He stated that the increase in external auditing fees was a result of the need for a further depth of audit and the concentration of resources to meet new audit submission deadlines.

 

The Deputy Leader enquired as to whether the procurement process was to be undertaken at arm's-length.

 

The Interim Chief Finance Officer advised that the process would attempt to appoint the same audit firm for the same geo-administrative area (i.e. Leicestershire) by way of initiation(s) to tender with the opportunity for post-tender negotiations.

 

Councillor J Kaufman enquired as to how the Council was to suitably appraise the quality and cost-effectiveness of the services tendered by prospective audit firms.

 

The Interim Chief Finance Officer advised that a bar for quality was to be set by the PSSA and all prospective tendering audit firms to be highly-reputable with extensive and suitable experience in local government audit. 

 

Councillor Mrs L M Broadley moved the recommendation as set out at paragraph 2 of the report (at page 65).

 

Councillor J Kaufman seconded the recommendation.

 

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED THAT:

 

The Public Sector Audit Appointments Limited’s (PSSA) invitation to opt in to the sector led option for the appointment of external auditors for five financial years commencing 1 April 2018 be accepted.

 

Councillor D M Carter left the Chamber at 7:48 pm.

80.

Statement of Cooperation and Objectively-Assessed Need DOCX 102 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council gave consideration to the report and appendix (at pages 72 - 80) as delivered and summarised by the Planning, Development and Regeneration Manager which should be read together with these minutes as a composite document.

 

The Leader commended the work undertaken by Officers. He further announced that a Full Members’ Briefing was to be held on Wednesday, 8 March 2017 to brief Members on the Local Plan, the Housing and Economic Development Needs Assessment (HEDNA) and the Government’s Housing White Paper (HWP). He stated that the Council had little or no control over the number of dwelling-houses to be built due to HWP on the subject and that, alternatively, it would be prudent to concentrate on the quality vis-a-vis quantity of any future proposed developments.

 

The Deputy Leader enquired as to whether the potential supply for the Oadby and Wigston area at paragraph 3.7 (at page 74) included all land-type sites (viz. brownfield, greenfield, sites cleared by demotion etc.).

 

The Planning, Development and Regeneration Manager advised that the supply included: all completions since 2011, current housing developments with planning permission (included sites under construction); current housing allocations; and units identified within the most recent Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA).

 

The Leader moved the recommendations en bloc as set out at paragraphs 2.1 to 2.3 of the report (at pages 72 - 73).

 

The Deputy Leader seconded the recommendations.

 

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED THAT:

 

(i)        The Joint Statement of Cooperation be approved;

(ii)       The outcome of the Housing and Economic Development Needs Assessment (HEDNA) which identifies that the annual objectively assessed housing need for the Borough being 148 dwellings from 2011 up to 2031 and 155 dwelling from 2011 up to 2036 be noted; and

(iii)      The work being undertaken by the Council to identify a Local Plan housing target be noted.

 

Councillor G S Atwal left the Chamber at 7:52 pm.

81.

Receiving of Minutes for Information

The Council will receive the minutes from the meetings of the below-mentioned Committees, Forums, Working Groups and Outside Bodies for the purposes of information in accordance with Rule 17 of Part 4 of the Constitution.

Minutes:

In respect of the minutes of the Wigston Residents' Forum held on Wednesday, 16 November 2016 at agenda item 15c, Councillor L A Bentley stated that he was in attendance at this meeting and requested that the minutes be amended, accordingly.

 

UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED THAT:

 

The minutes (as amended) as set out at:

 

(i)        agenda item numbers 15a, 15c - 15l, 15n, and 15o of the main agenda document (pages 81 - 87);

(ii)       agenda item numbers 15m and 15p of the first supplementary agenda update document (No.1) (pages 10 - 29); and

(iii)      agenda item number 15b of the second supplementary agenda update document (No. 2) (pages 1 - 9).

 

from the meetings of the below-mentioned Committees, Forums, Working Groups and Outside Bodies for the purposes of information be received by the Council.

81a

Minutes of the Oadby Residents' Forum held on Wednesday, 02 November 2016 pdf icon PDF 100 KB

81b

Minutes of the South Wigston Residents' Forum held on Tuesday, 08 November 2016 pdf icon PDF 151 KB

Members are advised that the Minutes of the South Wigston Residents' Forum held on Tuesday, 08 November 2016 shall follow in an Agenda Update issued ahead of the meeting of the Council in due course.

81c

Minutes of the Wigston Residents' Forum held on Wednesday, 16 November 2016 pdf icon PDF 103 KB

81d

Minutes of the Development Control Committee held on Thursday, 17 November 2016 pdf icon PDF 130 KB

81e

Minutes of the Greening the Borough Working Group held on Monday, 28 November 2016 pdf icon PDF 93 KB

81f

Minutes of the Community Engagement Forum held on Thursday, 08 December 2016 pdf icon PDF 94 KB

81g

Minutes of the Community Safety Partnership held on Monday, 12 December 2016 DOCX 29 KB

81h

Minutes of the Licensing Sub-Committee (Panel Hearing) held on Wednesday, 14 December 2016 pdf icon PDF 63 KB

81i

Minutes of the Development Control Committee held on Thursday, 15 December 2016 pdf icon PDF 91 KB

81j

Minutes of the Health and Wellbeing Board held on Tuesday, 10 January 2017 pdf icon PDF 75 KB

81k

Minutes of the Change Management Committee held on Wednesday, 11 January 2017 pdf icon PDF 84 KB

81l

Minutes of the Service Delivery Committee held on Tuesday, 17 January 2017 pdf icon PDF 120 KB

81m

Minutes of the Development Control Committee held on Thursday, 19 January 2017 pdf icon PDF 100 KB

Members are advised that the Minutes of the Development Control Committee held on Thursday, 19 January 2017shall follow in an Agenda Update issued ahead of the meeting of the Council in due course.

81n

Minutes of the Children and Young Peoples’ Forum held on Wednesday, 25 January 2017 pdf icon PDF 85 KB

81o

Minutes of the Licensing Sub-Committee (Panel Hearing) held on Tuesday, 31 January 2017 pdf icon PDF 78 KB

81p

Minutes of the Policy, Finance and Development Committee held on Tuesday, 31 January 2017 pdf icon PDF 131 KB

Members are advised that the Minutes of the Policy, Finance and Development Committee held on Tuesday, 31 January 2017shall follow in an Agenda Update issued ahead of the meeting of the Council in due course.

82.

Leader's Statement

Minutes:

The Leader of the Council, Councillor J W Boyce, circulated a document issuing guidance to Members pertaining to data protection in respect of associated matters related to the grievance and ongoing disciplinary investigation. He once again made every assurance that, once the investigation process had been properly concluded, a Members’ Briefing Session would be held and the full details of the investigations would be made available in the public domain to the extent permissible by law.

 

Councillor G A Boulter enquired as to whether the Leader of the Council would join him in extending his gratitude to the Council’s grounds maintenance staff for their expeditious work to clear felled trees and debris from the Borough’s highways in the wake of Storm Doris (in accordance with Rule 11.1 of Part 4 of the Constitution).

 

The Leader answered in the affirmative, adding that the Council’s grounds maintenance staff had met and exceeded expectations: an attribute that he described as being typical of all the Council’s highly-dedicated members of staff.