Agenda and draft minutes

Cabinet
Tuesday, 15th January, 2019 7.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Council Offices, Cecil Street, Margate, Kent. View directions

Contact: Charles Hungwe 

Items
No. Item

545.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

There were no apologies received at the meeting.

546.

Declarations of Interest

To receive any declarations of interest. Members are advised to consider the advice contained within the Declaration of Interest form attached at the back of this agenda. If a Member declares an interest, they should complete that form and hand it to the officer clerking the meeting and then take the prescribed course of action.

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

547.

Minutes of Extraordinary Meeting pdf icon PDF 45 KB

548.

Minutes of Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 54 KB

To approve the summary of recommendations and decisions of the Cabinet meeting held on 13 December 2018, copy attached.

Minutes:

Councillor Ashbee proposed, Councillor Gregory seconded and Members agreed the minutes as a correct record of the meeting that was held on 13 December 2018.

549.

Mid Year Review report 2018-19: Treasury Management and Annual Investment Strategy pdf icon PDF 482 KB

550.

Council Tax Base 2019-20 Report pdf icon PDF 105 KB

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Cabinet considered the report on setting of the Council Tax base for the coming year. The Tax base is defined mainly in terms of the number of Band D equivalent properties but is then adjusted to reflect various discounts. The calculation of the tax base had been undertaken in accordance with the current regulations; the Local Authority Calculation of Tax Base Regulations 2012.

     

    The main change to note this year other than the calculation itself was the proposal to approve a council tax premium increase for qualifying long term empty properties. New regulations recently passed allowed councils to increase the long term empty property premium for qualifying properties, from an additional 50% to an additional 100% of Council Tax payable. The results of a public consultation on the council tax conducted by the Council indicated that two thirds of respondents were in favour of this increase.

     

    Councillor Gregory proposed, Councillor Savage seconded and Members agreed the following:

     

    1)  The District's Council Tax Base for 2019-20 as 43,763.27 and the tax base for the towns and parishes in the Council’s administrative area, as set out in the table at Annex 2 (to the Cabinet report);

     

    2)  The increase premium for all properties that have been left empty and substantially unfurnished for two years or more. This will take effect from April 2019 and will see the premium increase from 50% to 100% extra on the Council Tax payable;

     

    3)  Not to revise the Council Tax Reduction Scheme for 2019-20.

551.

Budget 2019-20 Report pdf icon PDF 339 KB

    Report to follow

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    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 Campbell

    Councillor Wells;

    Councillor Constantine;

    Councillor S. Piper.

     

    Thereafter Councillor Gregory proposed, Councillor Savage seconded and Cabinet agreed and recommended to Council the following:

     

    General Fund

     

    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.

     

    Capital Programme

     

    3)  That the General Fund and Housing Revenue Account budgets for 2019-20 are approved.

     

    Treasury Management

     

    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.

552.

East Kent Housing Improvement Plan pdf icon PDF 103 KB

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Members were advised that the four East Kent Councils of Canterbury, Dover, Folkestone & Hythe and Thanet each pay an annual management fee to East Kent Housing for the provision of service to Council tenants. Each of the four councils will be considering the proposed improvement plan and all will need to approve it for it to be effective.

     

    Cabinet noted that the management fee had not seen any inflation increases since 2011 and the services provided by East Kent Housing (EKH) were relatively low cost. EKH had performed well in the areas of rent collection, managing empty homes and resident satisfaction with repairs. However other functions needed urgent improvement, which in turn had created the need for the adoption of the improvement plan.

     

    The plan focused on improvements needed to contract management, procurement, delivery of approved capital programme and the implementation of new IT. There was also a need to increase resources for rent collections, following the roll out of Universal Credit.

     

    The plan sets clear outcomes and performance measures that will be closely monitored over the coming 18 months. The costs of the plan have been incorporated into the draft Housing Revenue Account budgets for 2019/20 that had been recommended to Cabinet for approval by Council.

     

    Councillor Campbell spoke under Council Procedure Rule 20.1.

     

    Councillor Game proposed, Councillor Savage seconded and Cabinet agreed the following:

     

    1.  To endorse the draft Improvement Plan at Annex 1 (to the Cabinet report);

     

    2.  To note that the costs set out in this report are included within draft budget proposals for 2019/20.