Agenda and minutes

Budget and Performance Panel
Tuesday, 26th January 2016 6.00 p.m.

Venue: Morecambe Town Hall

Contact: Sarah Moorghen, Democratic Services - telephone 01524 582132 or email  smoorghen@lancaster.gov.uk 

Items
No. Item

29.

Minutes

Minutes of the Meeting held on 15th December, 2015 (previously circulated). 

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 15th December 2015 were signed as a correct record.

30.

Items of Urgent Business authorised by the Chairman

Minutes:

There were no items of urgent business.

31.

Declaration of Interests

To receive declarations by Members of interests in respect of items on this Agenda. 

Members are reminded that, in accordance with the Localism Act 2011, they are required to declare any disclosable pecuniary interests which have not already been declared in the Council’s Register of Interests. (It is a criminal offence not to declare a disclosable pecuniary interest either in the Register or at the meeting). 

Whilst not a legal requirement, in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 10 and in the interests of clarity and transparency, Members should declare any disclosable pecuniary interests which they have already declared in the Register, at this point in the meeting. 

In accordance with Part B Section 2 of the Code Of Conduct, Members are required to declare the existence and nature of any other interests as defined in paragraphs 8(1) or 9(2) of the Code of Conduct. 

 

Minutes:

Councillor Claire Cozler declared that Section 106 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 applied to her and she would not therefore vote on any recommendation, resolution or other decision which might affect budgetary and council tax calculations (Minute 34 refers). 

32.

Lancashire County Council Consultation on Budget Proposals pdf icon PDF 140 KB

Lancashire County Councillor David Borrow will present Lancashire County Council’s Budget Proposals. 

 

Documents from the County Councils Cabinet Meeting to be held on 21st January 2016 are attached.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Panel received a presentation from County Councillor David Borrow, Deputy Leader of Lancashire County Council, on the County Council’s consultation on Budget Proposals. The Panel was advised that the proposals had been considered by the County Council’s Cabinet at its meeting on the 21st January 2016. 

 

The Panel was advised that the County Council was facing an unprecedented financial challenge. The Medium Term Financial Strategy, reported in November 2015, forecasted that the County Council would have a financial shortfall of £262m in 2020/21. This was the result of a combination of reduced resources from the government’s extended programme of austerity at the same time as the County Council was facing significant increases in both the cost (for example, as a result of inflation and national living wage) and the level of demand for its services. The revised position following the financial settlement for 2016/17 was now for a financial shortfall of £200.5m in 2020/21. This revised gap was after the impact of the settlement, new financial pressures and the £64.8m of savings proposals agreed by the County Council’s Cabinet in November 2015. 

 

Members were advised that it had been necessary to look at each line of the budget and consider the safe minimums for statutory services. A conclusion had been drawn by the County Council that it would become difficult for the County Council to provide anything other than the statutory services and that this meant that non-statutory services including bus services, museums, street lighting, economic development and some strands of social care would no longer be funded by the government. 

 

The Panel was advised that the situation was not unique to Lancashire and that a number of County Councils were facing similar financial pressures. Members were advised that representatives of the County Council had met with the Secretary of State and other MP’s from the region to discuss the financial difficulties facing Lancashire and other local authorities. 

 

The Panel was advised that the County Council was working hard to ensure that a legal budget could be set for 2016/17 but that this would be increasingly difficult moving into future budget years. 

 

It was reported that there was a 12 week consultation running on the County Council’s budget proposals. 

 

Panel Members asked a number of questions relating to bus services, social care services and children’s centres, devolution of highways to the City Council, waste collection, Oak Tree House, Unitary and Combined Authorities and private sector tendering. 

 

Councillors asked questions regarding children’s services, older people and services for the disabled, libraries, bus services community groups and disposal of valuable property assets. 

 

Stakeholders asked a number of questions relating to vulnerable people and the impact of budget cuts on the voluntary sector, preventative care services and children’s care services. 

 

In response to questions regarding cuts to social care, County Councillor Borrow said he would provide the Panel with details of the Lanbusant Report which was a key report on Adult Social Care and care beds. Also, in response to questions  ...  view the full minutes text for item 32.

33.

Lancashire Police and Crime Commissioner Budget Proposals pdf icon PDF 220 KB

The Police and Crime Commissioner, Mr Grunshaw, will present the Lancashire Police and Crime Commissioner Budget Proposals.

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chairman advised the Panel that Mr Grunshaw, Police and Crime Commissioner for Lancashire, had submitted his apologies prior to the meeting.

 

The Chairman advised the Panel that, at its meeting on 25th January 2016, the Commissioner’s budget proposals for 2016/17 had been considered by the Lancashire Police and Crime Panel. Copies of the report had been received after the publication of the agenda, with paper copies circulated at the meeting for Members’ consideration.

 

Resolved:

 

(1)    That the report be noted.

 

(2)    That any questions for the Police and Crime Commissioner for Lancashire be submitted to Democratic Services by 12 noon on Friday, 29th January 2016.

 

 

The meeting adjourned at 7.40pm and reconvened at 7.50pm

34.

Budget and Policy Framework Proposals 2016 to 20 pdf icon PDF 194 KB

Cabinet will present its Budget and Policy Framework Proposals for the period 2016/17 to 2019/20.

 

More information on Cabinet's specific proposals will only be available following Cabinet on 19th January 2016; it will be circulated after then. 

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(During the course of the following discussions, Councillor Novell declared a disclosable pecuniary interest as a Marsh Community Centre employee in accordance with Council procedure Rule 9 and left the meeting when this matter was considered as part of the Budget and Policy Framework Proposals.  Councillor Ashworth declared a personal interest as a member of Morecambe Golf Club.) 

 

Councillor Richard Newman-Thompson, Cabinet Member with responsibility for Finance and Revenues & Benefits presented the City Council’s Budget and Policy Framework Proposals Update 2016 to 2020.

 

The Panel was advised that the proposals had been considered at the meeting of Cabinet on the 19th January 2016 and were a combination of new or increased charges, savings and invest to save proposals.

 

Councillor Richard Newman-Thompson invited questions from the Panel, Councillors and Stakeholders.

 

The Panel asked a number of questions regarding charges for green waste, the future requirements for the disposal of food waste, staff ideas following the Peer review, capital borrowing, closure of Morecambe Town Hall, charges for Parish/Town Council Elections, Salt Ayre Sports Centre redevelopment, community swimming pools, charges for the Splash Park in Happy Mount Park and how this would be collected/administered, budgeting methods and statutory minimum service provision levels, 3 weekly bin collections, PCSO’s and bad debt provision. It was noted that further details would be provided to the Panel members on the proposals and individual costs for each Parish/Town Council being charged under the proposals for charging for elections.

 

Councillors asked a number of questions relating to event charges, the Meerkats at Williamson Park, Marsh Community Centre, Salt Ayre, and Morecambe Golf Club.

 

Stakeholders asked a number of questions in relation to Marsh Community Centre, Salt Ayre Sports Centre, costs for providing advice for event organisers, the Arts, Splash Park, cost neutral innovative solutions, the impact of proposals on vulnerable people and disused toilets.

 

Resolved;

 

(1)    That the report be noted and Councillor Richard Newman-Thompson be thanked for his presentation and attendance at the meeting.

 

35.

Lancashire Combined Fire Authority Budget Proposals pdf icon PDF 150 KB

The Panel to consider and comment on the Lancashire Combined Fire Authority Budget Proposals.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chairman advised the Panel that the Lancashire Combined Fire Authority had submitted its report for comment.

 

It was requested that the authority be asked whether it had considered a joint Control Centre for all three emergency services in accordance with Home Office proposals. 

 

Resolved:

 

(1)    That the report be noted.

 

(2)    That questions for the Police and Crime Commissioner be submitted to Democratic Services by 12 noon on Friday, 29th January 2016.