Venue: Morecambe Town Hall
Contact: Stephen Metcalfe, Democratic Services - telephone 01524 582073 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Items of Urgent Business authorised by the Chairman
There were no items of urgent business.
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 9 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.
Members are further reminded that Section 106 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 applies to any meeting where consideration is given to matters relating to, or which might affect, the calculation of Council Tax.
Any member of a local authority, who is liable to pay Council Tax, and who has any unpaid Council Tax amount overdue for at least two months, even if there is an arrangement to pay off the arrears, must declare the fact that he/she is in arrears and must not vote on any recommendation or decision which might affect the budget or council tax calculation. It is a criminal offence to fail to comply with this requirement.
There were no declarations of interest.
Cabinet will present its Budget and Policy Framework Proposals.
A copy of a report to Cabinet to be considered at its meeting on 15th January 2019 is attached.
Appendices to follow.
Councillor Anne Whitehead, Cabinet Member with responsibility for Finance, Revenues and Benefits, Performance Management and Community Wealth Building, presented the City Council’s Budget and Policy Framework Proposals for 2019/20.
A Cabinet report regarding the Budget and Policy Framework Update, considered at its meeting held on 15th January 2019, together with growth proposals had been submitted for the Panel’s consideration. The report provided an update on the Council’s budget strategy for 2019/20 and financial outlook up to 2023/24. Specifically, the report considered the budget and council tax proposals for 2019/20.
The Cabinet Member informed of the City Council’s ambitions contained in the Council Plan for 2018-22, namely:
· Clean, Green and Safe Neighbourhoods
· Healthy and Happy Communities
· A Thriving and Prosperous Economy
· A Smart and Forward Thinking Council
The Panel was informed of the Medium Financial Strategy, including the net growth and savings proposals, use of reserves and of the savings still to be made until 2021/22 and budgeted funding assumptions.
The presentation provided an update on budget proposals from March 2018. Details regarding spending power 2013/14 to 2023/24 (December 2018) were provided.
Members were also advised of challenges facing the City Council and of budget proposal savings. It was proposed to increase Council Tax by 2.99% per year. The Panel was informed that annual savings targets of £2.4M for 2020/21, £2.9M for 2021/22 and £2.7M for 2022/23 were required.
The Cabinet Member advised on how the City Council could deliver services with lower funding levels, funding the future strategy, investment strategy development and the Medium Term Financial Strategy.
On conclusion of the presentation, the Chairman thanked the Cabinet Member for the presentation and invited questions, views and feedback from the Panel, Councillors and Stakeholders present.
The Panel asked a number of questions regarding:
Rationalisation of Organisational Development capacity, ASB team (part funded from the HRA) and issues relating to anti-social behaviour in Lancaster city centre particularly the Museum steps, HR – fixed term contract to provide support during reorganisation, subscriptions to the garden waste scheme, VFM for HR and ICT staff, details regarding Friends of Parks groups and weighting for areas of the district that have extra needs such as the rural areas, City Council assistance to communities making funding bids, commercial appetite savings and growth, local authority trading companies, issues with back streets, the lift facilities in Lancaster Town Hall, investigation of opportunities to meet the City Council’s funding gap, Salt Ayre budget, the Council’s Investment Strategy, income generation and the reserves budget.
The other Councillors present and stakeholders asked questions regarding:
Apprenticeships, the Queen Victoria monument, disabled access to Council buildings and the need for a second lift in Lancaster Town Hall, capital programme issues, solar power, provision of affordable housing, use of the HRA for an arm’s length housing company, provision of facilities and CCTV in Carnforth and the rural areas, impacts on the City Council’s budget due to cutbacks by other organisations, rural areas precept and works undertaken on Morecambe Promenade especially sea defence works.
Resolved: ... view the full minutes text for item 17.
The Panel to consider Lancashire County Council’s consultation on budget proposals.
(Councillor Whitaker declared a personal and prejudicial interest in relation to this item, as an employee of the County Council and left the meeting for this item).
The Chairman advised the Panel that Lancashire County Council had sent apologies for the meeting and submitted a report for comments.
(1) That the report be noted.
(2) That any questions from the Panel for Lancashire County Council be submitted to Democratic Services by Friday, 25th January 2019.
The Panel to consider the Lancashire Combined Fire Authority Budget Proposals.
The Chairman advised the Panel that the Lancashire Combined Fire Authority had sent apologies for the meeting and submitted a report for comments.
(1) That the report be noted.
(2) That any questions from the Panel for the Lancashire Combined Fire Authority be submitted to Democratic Services by Friday, 25th January 2019.
Documents from the Police and Crime Panel for Lancashire to be held on 21st January 2019.
The Panel to consider the Police and Crime Commissioner’s Budget Proposals.
Documents to follow.
The Chairman advised the Panel that the Lancashire Police and Crime Commissioner had sent apologies for the meeting and submitted a report. A written update was provided at the meeting.
At this point the Panel considered the non-attendance of representatives of Lancashire County Council, Lancashire Combined Fire Authority and the Lancashire Police and Crime Commissioner to present their budget proposals. After considering this issue it was agreed: -
“That officers write to the Lancashire County Council, Lancashire Combined Fire Authority and the Lancashire Police and Crime Commissioner to express the Panel’s concern that year after year no representatives have been made available in order to answer questions on their budget proposals.”
(1) That the report and written update be noted.
(2) That any questions from the Panel for the Lancashire Police and Crime Commissioner be submitted to Democratic Services by Friday, 25th January 2019.
(3) That officers write to the Lancashire County Council, Lancashire Combined Fire Authority and the Lancashire Police and Crime Commissioner to express the Panel’s concern that year after year no representatives have been made available in order to answer questions on their budget proposals.