Agenda and draft minutes

Council
Thursday, 14 February 2019 6.00 pm

Venue: The Fountain Conference Centre, Howbery Park, Crowmarsh Gifford

Contact: Steven Corrigan  Democratic Services Manager

Items
No. Item

54.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 154 KB

To adopt and sign as a correct record the Council minutes of the meeting held on 20 December 2019 attached. 

Minutes:

RESOLVED: to approve the minutes of the meeting held on 20 December 2018 as a correct record and agree that the Chairman sign them as such.

 

55.

Declarations of disclosable pecuniary interest

To receive any declarations of disclosable pecuniary interests in respect of items on the agenda for this meeting.  

Minutes:

None.

56.

Urgent business and chairman's announcements

To receive notification of any matters which the chairman determines should be considered as urgent business and the special circumstances which have made the matters urgent, and to receive any announcements from the chairman. 

Minutes:

On behalf of Council the Chairman wished Councillor Harbour well following his recent hospital treatment.

57.

Public participation

To receive any questions or statements from members of the public that have registered to speak. 

Minutes:

No members of the public had registered to address Council.

58.

Petitions

To receive any petitions from the public. 

Minutes:

None.

59.

Treasury management mid-year monitoring report 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 343 KB

Cabinet, at its meeting on 31 January 2019, considered a monitoring report on the treasury management activities for the first six months of 2018/19 and an update on the current economic conditions with a view to the remainder of the year. 

 

The Joint Audit and Governance Committee had considered the report at its meeting on 28 January 2019 and had not recommended any adjustments to the strategy as a result of the first six months’ activities.  Likewise, Cabinet concluded that the treasury management activities had operated within the agreed parameters set out in the approved treasury management strategy. 

 

The report of the head of finance, which Cabinet considered on 31 January 2019, is attached.

 

RECOMMENDATION to Council: to approve the head of finance’s 2018/19 treasury management mid-year monitoring report to Cabinet on 31 January 2019. 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Council considered Cabinet’s recommendations, made at its meeting on 31 January 2019, on the treasury management activities for the first six months of 2018/19.

 

The Joint Audit and Governance Committee had considered the report at its meeting on 28 January 2019 and had not recommended any adjustments to the strategy as a result of the first six months’ activities.  That committee and Cabinet had concluded that the treasury management activities had operated within the agreed parameters set out in the approved treasury management strategy.

 

The Cabinet member advised that following a request from the Joint Audit and Governance Committee there is an amendment to the table at paragraph 10 on page 21 of the report. An updated table was circulated at the meeting which showed that forecast investment interest for the year is likely to come in under budget primarily as a result of interest rates rises being slower than predicted.

 

RESOLVED: to approve the head of finance’s treasury management mid-year monitoring report 2018/19 to Cabinet on 31 January 2019 subject to the amended table attached to these minutes. 

 

60.

Treasury management and investment strategy 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 427 KB

Cabinet, at its meeting on 31 January 2019, considered a report on the council’s treasury management strategy (TMS) for 2019/20 and set out the expected treasury operations for this period.

 

The Joint Audit and Governance Committee considered the report at its meeting on 28 January 2019 and had not recommended any adjustments to the strategy.  Cabinet agreed to recommend Council approve the strategy.

 

The report of the head of finance, which Cabinet considered on 31 January 2019, is attached.

 

RECOMMENDATION to Council to:

 

1.         approve the treasury management strategy 2019/20, set out in appendix A to the head of finance’s report to Cabinet on 31 January 2019; 

 

2.         approve the prudential indicators and limits for 2019/20 to 2021/22, as set out in appendix A to the head of finance’s report; and 

 

3.         approve the annual investment strategy 2019/20, set out in appendix A (paragraphs 40 to 81) to the head of finance’s report, and the lending criteria detailed in table 5 to that report. 

 

Minutes:

Council considered Cabinet’s recommendations, made at its meeting on 31 January 2019, on the council’s treasury management strategy for 2019/20.

 

The Joint Audit and Governance Committee considered the report at its meeting on 28 January 2019 and had not recommended any adjustments to the strategy. Cabinet agreed to recommend Council approve the strategy. 

 

RESOLVED: to

 

1.    approve the treasury management strategy 2019/20, as set out in appendix A to the head of finance’s report to Cabinet on 31 January 2019; 

 

2.    approve the prudential indicators and treasury limits for the period 2019/20 to 2021/22, as set out in appendix A to the head of finance’s report to Cabinet on 31 January 2019; and

 

3.    approve the annual investment strategy 2019/20, as set out in appendix A (paragraphs 40 to 81), to the head of finance’s report to Cabinet on 31 January 2019, and the lending criteria detailed in table 5.

 

 

61.

Capital strategy 2019/20 to 2028/29 pdf icon PDF 99 KB

Cabinet, at its meeting on 31 January 2019, considered a report on the council’s capital strategy.

 

The report of the head of finance, which Cabinet considered on 31 January 2019, is attached.

 

RECOMMENDATION: to approve the capital strategy 2019/20 to 2028/29 which is contained in appendix one of the report of the head of finance to Cabinet on 31 January 2019. 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Council considered Cabinet’s recommendations, made at its meeting on 31 January 2019, on the council’s capital strategy 2019/20 to 2028/29.

 

Council noted that the adoption of a capital strategy ahead of the 2019/20 financial year is a requirement of the updated CIPFA prudential code and that Council will be required to review the strategy on an annual basis. The strategy will provide the overall policy framework for capital expenditure and investment although there are a number of key building blocks that underpin the strategy that are still being developed, including:

 

·         An asset management strategy and maintenance plan

·         Medium term service planning, and

·         Consistent management of projects and programmes

 

Council welcomed the strategy as a key document for the council going forward.

 

RESOLVED: to approve the capital strategy 2019/20 to 2028/29 which is contained in appendix one of the report of the head of finance to Cabinet on 31 January 2019.

62.

Revenue Budget 2019/20 and Capital Programme to 2023/24 pdf icon PDF 181 KB

Cabinet, at its meeting on 31 January 2019, considered a report on the council’s revenue budget 2019/20 and capital programme to 2023/24.

 

Cabinet resolved to agree to maintain car park fees and charges at current levels and to agreethat the Cabinet member for finance, in conjunction with the head of finance, may make minor adjustments to the report and prudential indicators should they prove necessary prior to submission to Council. Any adjustments will be reported to Council.

 

Appendix E Prudential Indicators is attached.

 

The report of the head of finance, which Cabinet considered on 31 January 2019, is attached.

 

The Scrutiny Committee considered the report at its meeting on 5 February 2019 and made no recommendations to Council.

 

The report of the chief financial officer on the robustness of the budget estimates and adequacy of the reserves is attached.

 

RECOMMENDED to Council to:

 

1.    set the revenue budget for 2019/20 as set out in appendix A.1 to the head of finance’s report to Cabinet on 31 January 2019;

 

2.    approve the capital programme for 2019/20 to 2023/24 as set out in appendix D.1 to the report, together with the capital programme changes as set out in appendix D.2 of the report;

 

3.    set the council’s prudential limits as listed in appendix E to the Council agenda;

 

4.    approve the medium term financial plan to 2023/24 as set out in appendix F to the report;

 

5.    allocate £500,000 to fund the Communities Capital and Revenue grant scheme; and

 

6.    ask officers to review the Medium Term Financial Strategy following the 2019 spending review and Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government announcements of changes to the council’s future funding streams.   

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chairman referred to regulations that require councils to record the names of those councillors voting in favour, against or abstaining from any vote on the budget, including amendments, and the council tax. In accordance with the regulations she would call for a named vote on each of these matters at this meeting.

 

The Chairman reminded councillors that they were not entitled to vote on any issue affecting the level or administration of the council tax or other decisions which might affect the making of any such calculation such as the budget, if they were over two months in arrears with their council tax payments. Where such circumstances applied, councillors were under a statutory obligation to disclose the restriction placed on them and refrain from voting at the relevant meeting. No councillor made any such declaration.

 

Council noted the report of the chief finance officeron the robustness of the budget estimates and the adequacy of the reserves.

 

Councillor Dodds, Cabinet member for finance, presented the Cabinet’s proposals for the revenue budget 2019/20 and capital programme to 2023/24. On behalf of the council he thanked officers for their part in continuing to control costs and in preparing the draft budget.  

Councillor Dodds moved and Councillor Murphy seconded a motion to approve Cabinet’s recommendations as follows: to

1.    set the revenue budget for 2019/20 as set out in appendix A.1 to the head of finance’s report to Cabinet on 31 January 2019; 

2.    approve the capital programme for 2019/20 to 2023/24 as set out in appendix D.1 to the head of finance’s report, together with the capital growth bids set out in appendix D.2 of the report; 

3.    set the council’s prudential limits as listed in appendix E to the head of finance’s report

4.    approve the medium term financial plan to 2023/24 as set out in appendix F to the head of finance’s report; 

5.    allocate £500,000 to fund the Communities Capital and Revenue Grant Scheme;

6.    ask officers to review the Medium Term Financial Strategy following the 2019 spending review and Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government announcements of changes to the council’s future funding streams. 

 

 

In moving the recommendation Councillor Dodds drew attention to the funding issues facing the council – rising expenditure with lower central government funding and lower investment returns. As a result only essential growth items are included in the budget and the communities capital and revenue grant scheme is reduced to £500,000. 

 

A number of councillors spoke against the budget proposals.  A failure to increase council tax in previous years had placed pressure on the council’s reserves to support the revenue budget and there were no plans to address the gradual decline in these reserves. Others did not support the reduction in the budget for grants which local communities rely on to fund community projects. 

 

However, the majority of councillors supported the budget proposals. The inclusion of funds to support the development of a more commercial approach for the council would bring in  ...  view the full minutes text for item 62.

63.

Council Tax 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 255 KB

To consider the report of the head of finance on the setting of the council tax for the 2019/20 financial year - report to follow.

 

Minutes:

Council considered the report of the head of finance on the setting of the Council Tax for the 2019/20 financial year.

 

In accordance with regulations requiring councils to record the names of those councillors voting in favour, against or abstaining from any vote on the council tax the Chairman called for a recorded vote which was carried with the voting being as follows:

 

FOR

AGAINST

ABSTAIN

Anna Badcock

 

Sue Cooper

Charles Bailey

 

Stefan Gawrysiak

Joan Bland

 

Mocky Khan

Felix Bloomfield

 

David Turner

Kevin Bulmer

 

Nigel Champken-Woods

 

 

Steve Connel

 

Pat Dawe

 

 

Anthony Dearlove

 

 

David Dodds

 

Paul Harrison

 

 

Lorraine Hillier

 

Lynn Lloyd

 

Jane Murphy

 

Toby Newman

 

Caroline Newton

 

 

David Nimmo-Smith

 

 

Ian Snowdon

 

 

Alan Thompson

 

 

John Walsh

 

 

Ian White

 

 

21

0

4

 

 

RESOLVED:

 

1.    To note that at its meeting on 20 December 2018 the council calculated the council tax base 2019/20:

(a)    for the whole council area as 56,793.3 [Item T in the formula in Section 31B of the Local Government Finance Act 1992, as amended (the “Act”)]; and

 (b)   for dwellings in those parts of its area to which a parish precept relates as in column 1 of appendix 1.

2.    That the council tax requirement for the council’s own purposes for 2019/20 (excluding parish precepts) is £6,885,620

3.    That the following amounts be calculated for the year 2019/20 in accordance with Sections 31 to 36 of the Act:

(a)    £81,226,555 being the aggregate of the amounts which the council estimates for the items set out in Section 31A(2) of the Act taking into account all precepts issued to it by parish councils.

(b)    £69,196,498 being the aggregate of the amounts which the council estimates for the items set out in Section 31A(3) of the Act.

(c)    £12,030,057 being the amount by which the aggregate at (3)(a) above exceeds the aggregate at (3)(b) above, calculated by the council, in accordance with Section 31A(4) of the Act as its council tax requirement for the

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Band H

£2,323.42

 

 
year.  (Item R in the formula in Section 31B of the Act).

(d)    £211.82 being the amount at (3)(c) above (Item R), all divided by Item T (1(a) above), calculated by the council, in accordance with Section 31B of the Act, as the basic amount of its council tax for the year (including parish precepts).

(e)    £5,144,437 being the aggregate amount of all special items referred to in Section 34(1) of the Act, as set out in column 2 of appendix 1.

(f)     £121.24 being the amount at (3)(d) above less the result given by dividing the amount at (3)(e) above by Item T (1(a) above), calculated by the council, in accordance with Section 34(2) of the Act, as the basic amount of its council tax for the year for dwellings in those parts of its area to which no parish precept relates.

4.    That for the year 2019/20 Oxfordshire County Council has stated the following amounts in precepts issued to the council, in accordance with Section 40  ...  view the full minutes text for item 63.

64.

Pay Policy Statement 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 125 KB

To consider the report of the head of corporate services on the adoption of a pay policy statement to meet the requirements of the Localism Act - report attached.

 

Minutes:

Council considered the report of the head of corporate services on the adoption of a pay policy statement to meet the requirements of the Localism Act.

 

RESOLVED: to approve the pay policy statement for 2019/20 attached to the report of the head of corporate services to Council on 14 February 2019.

 

65.

Questions on notice

To receive questions from councillors in accordance with Council procedure rule 33. 

 

Question from Councillor Sue Cooper to Councillor Jane Murphy, Leader of the council:

“What has South Oxfordshire District Council done in terms of analysing the potential impact of Brexit on those who live or work in the district, particularly EU nationals or those who work for organisations which depend on EU member status which will be impacted by Brexit”?

 

Minutes:

Question from Councillor Sue Cooper to Councillor Jane Murphy, Leader of the council:

“What has South Oxfordshire District Council done in terms of analysing the potential impact of Brexit on those who live or work in the district, particularly EU nationals or those who work for organisations which depend on EU member status which will be impacted by Brexit”?

Answer

 

Councillor Murphy responded as follows:

 

South Oxfordshire District Council is engaging with national and regional organisations, other local authorities and the business community to analyse the impact of exiting the EU. Officers have attended cross-government workshops detailing central government preparations and key issues for local government by senior civil servants. Engagement at the sub regional level has been through officer networks and the Local Resilience Forum.

 

The Home Office are leading on the settled and pre-settled status scheme and have devised an application process for EU residents to complete. Information is available online (gov.uk) Oxfordshire County Council have had contact about the role they can play to support local EU residents when the application system goes live. In January 2019 HM Government removed the £65 fee for EU citizens who wish to stay in the UK after Brexit.

 

Some organisations rely on EU member status to enable European co-operation and access to funding streams to play a significant part in Oxfordshire’s innovation economy. However, the largest EU funding stream for science and innovation, Horizon 2020 is, by design ‘open to the world’ and has agreements in place for detailed co-operation with a range of non-EU countries.

 

Supplementary question

 

In response to a supplementary question, Councillor Murphy responded that she could not provide any assurance regarding the impact of Brexit on individuals but repeated that officers were engaged in an analysis of the impact of exiting the EU.

 

66.

Motions on notice

No motions have been submitted from councillors in accordance with Council procedure rule 38. 

 

 

Minutes:

No motions were submitted by councillors under Council procedure rule 38.

67.

Report of the leader of the council

To receive the report of the leader of the council. 

 

Minutes:

Councillor Jane Murphy, Leader of the council, provided an update on a number of matters. The text of her address is available on the council’s website.