It was noted that in accordance with council procedure rule 17.6, a recorded vote would be taken on the motion or any amendments and substantive motions.
It was proposed by the Chairman and seconded by the Leader, that the recommendations set out in the report be agreed, namely:
1. Council agrees the following:
1.1 That the General Fund revenue budget estimates for 2019-20 are approved.
Housing Revenue Account
1.2 That the HRA budget estimates for 2019-20 to 2022-23 are approved.
1.3 That the General Fund and Housing Revenue Account budgets for 2019-20 are approved.
1.4 That the Treasury Management Statement, Minimum Revenue Provision Policy Statement, Annual Investment Strategy, Capital Strategy and Non-Treasury Investments Report for 2019-20, as shown in Annex 3, are approved.
1.5 That the Flexible Use of Capital Receipts Strategy for 2019-20 as shown in Annex 2 is approved.
1.6 That the Section 151 Officer’s Assurance Statement as set out in section 14 of this report is noted.
The Monitoring Officer conducted a recorded vote on the motion as follows:
28 Members voted in favour the motion: Councillors Ashbee, Bambridge, Bayford, Buckley, K Coleman-Cooke, Curran, Day, Dennis, Dexter, Evans, Game, Gregory, Jaye-Jones, Martin, Messenger, Parsons, L Piper, S Piper, L Potts, Pugh, Rogers, D Saunders, M Saunders, Savage, Taylor, Taylor-Smith, Tomlinson and Wright.
7 Members voted against the motion. Councillor Connor, Edwards, G Coleman-Cooke, Hillman, Johnston, Larkins and Shonk
12 Members abstained from voting on the motion: Councillor Campbell Constantine, Crow-Brown, Dellar, Dixon, Falcon, Fenner, Matterface, R Potts, Rusiecki, Stummer-Schmertzing, Townend
The motion was carried.
Report to follow.
This item was withdrawn from the agenda.
Councillor Gregory introduced the report and indicated that the proposed council budget acknowledged the challenges the council were facing regarding managing the budget gap for 2019/20, with particular reference to the Ramsgate Port. A number of actions were being suggested in the budget report that was aimed at reducing the budget gap and come up with a balanced budget for the next financial year.
A member of the public spoke under Council procedure rules on public speaking at Overview & Scrutiny Panel meetings.
Some members of the Panel were concerned that the report did not provide enough detail regarding which option the Council was being asked to approve regarding how the Port of Ramsgate budget deficit would be handled. The Panel said that the budget proposals should be about known facts that could be used by Members to make definitive decisions about the 2019/20 council budget. The discussions should also be based on the assurance statement issued by the Section 151 Officer. The Panel was reminded by one member that a significant amount of money had been invested to date. This should be considered when determining the future of the Port.
One Member suggested that the £2 million being proposed as Council’s contribution to the Parkway Station project (to complement the £25 million being contributed by KCC) should be allocated to other uses. Another Member urged the Panel not to be critical of the much needed infrastructure investment that was coming into the district. They also further said that the £3 million that was being set aside for office accommodation might end up generating additional income as a result of the current offices being divested to contribute to the capital receipts.
The Panel also asked questions as detailed below:
· Could the Panel receive a verbal update on more details for the two options of handling the Ramsgate Port budget gap?
· What was the £400k spend on Dreamland included in the capital programme for?
· Why was the council intending to borrow £2 million to contribute to the Parkway Station project?
· Why was there a limited amount being proposed for the Ramsgate Port water supply and the refurbishment of Berths 2/3 and 4/5 as this appeared to be too little in comparison to the £3 million being set aside for office accommodation?
· Could the 2019/20 income generation efficiencies and organisational efficiencies be specified in more detail?
· Strategies for tackling the – Why did it appear as if the Council was addressing the council’s budget deficit on a year by year basis instead of coming up with a more global and comprehensive plan that could consider as an option merging with other local councils?
· Were Bretts going to contribute to the works for the development of Berths 4/5?
· Would the business waste collection service require the purchase of a vehicle? If so was this in the budget and when would the service start?
· Would the Council report for 07 February only reflect a single option to resolve the Ramsgate Port budget gap?
Councillor Messenger ... view the full minutes text for item 33
Report to follow
Cabinet discussed proposals for the Council budget that included the General Fund, Housing Revenue Account and the Treasury Management Strategy for 2019/20.
Members noted that in September 2018, the Medium Term Financial Strategy for 2019-23 was approved by Cabinet. The proposals reported a funding gap of £1.8m that needed to be met for 2019/20 in order for Council to arrive at a balanced budget. To avoid overspending in the proposed budget, a number of actions had been identified to deliver savings for next year. These were detailed in Table 6 in the Cabinet report which lists income generation and efficiencies for the 2019/20 year.
Cabinet noted that the total savings projected in the table amounted to £1.35m rather than the stated budget gap of £1.8m. This was because the stated budget gap included a £500k overspend on the agreed Ramsgate Port budget for this current year. It was recommended that Council should not allow this to continue into 2019/20. A total of £730k was required from the Port in 2019/20 in order to contribute to the reduction of the £1.8m budget gap. This would either be from new income or reduced costs and that was the basis for the actions identified in Table 6 referred to above.
The following Members spoke under Council Procedure Rule 20.1:
Councillor S. Piper.
Thereafter Councillor Gregory proposed, Councillor Savage seconded and Cabinet agreed and recommended to Council the following:
1) That the General Fund revenue budget estimates for 2019-20 are approved.
Housing Revenue Account
2) That the HRA budget estimates for 2019-20 to 2022-23 are approved.
3) That the General Fund and Housing Revenue Account budgets for 2019-20 are approved.
4) That the Treasury Management Statement, Minimum Revenue Provision Policy Statement, Annual Investment Strategy, Capital Strategy and Non-Treasury Investments Report for 2019-20, as shown in Annex 3 (to the report), are approved.
5) That the Flexible Use of Capital Receipts Strategy for 2019-20 as shown in Annex 2 (to the report) is approved.
6) That the Section 151 Officer’s Assurance Statement as set out in section 14 of the (Cabinet) report is noted.