Agenda and draft minutes

Cabinet - Monday, 19 December 2022 6.00 pm

Venue: Meeting Room 1, Abbey House, Abbey Close, Abingdon, OX14 3JE

Contact: Steve Culliford  Democratic Services Officer

Items
No. Item

58.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 300 KB

To adopt and sign as a correct record the minutes of the Cabinet meeting held on 1 December 2022. 

Minutes:

RESOLVED: to approve the minutes of the meeting held on 1 December 2022 as a correct record and agree that the Chair signs them as such. 

59.

Declaration of interests

To receive declarations of disclosable pecuniary interests, other registrable interests and non-registrable interests or any conflicts of interest in respect of items on the agenda for this meeting. 

Minutes:

None

60.

Urgent business and chair's announcements

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

Minutes:

The chair reviewed the progress made on council projects during 2022.  Highlighting some of these projects, he noted that the council had provided affordable homes to meet local need and had adopted a housing delivery strategy to provide homes in the future.  This would provide more affordable homes through a variety of methods.  Following the withdrawal of the Oxfordshire Plan 2050 work, the council had commenced work with Vale of White Horse District Council on a joint local plan. 

61.

Public participation

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

Minutes:

None

62.

Car park fees 2023/24 pdf icon PDF 720 KB

To consider the report of the head of development and corporate landlord. 

Minutes:

Cabinet considered the report of the head of development and corporate landlord.  This provided information to help the Cabinet undertake an annual review of the council’s car park fees, in line with the council’s policy, and to decide whether to change the fees for 2023/24.  Cabinet noted that, for the first time, it was not being asked to review charges for penalties, as the level of car park penalty charges was now set by legislation, which changed on 1 November 2022 when the council introduced civil parking enforcement. 

 

The car park policy, agreed by Cabinet in August 2022, included guidance from the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984, which stated that council parking
enforcement should be self-financing, and that the council should aim for its parking income to at least meet the cost of running its car parks.  The report set out the current fees and permits, together with a comparison of fees in other neighbouring car parks.  It also set out the cost of providing the car parks service and ancillary services such as public conveniences, and projected income and expenditure over a five-year period. 

 

Based on the current usage and estimated income and expenditure, the report set out options to allow the car park account to at least ‘break even’ in the medium term.  The options for 2023/24 were:

1.    No change to the current car parking fees

2.    Increase all fees and permits by 10 per cent (rounded), in line with inflation

3.    Create premium rate parking spaces

4.    Extend the charging period from 6pm to 9pm at a fee of £1

5.    Remove free parking and charge a nominal 50p for up to one hour

6.    Introduce a fee for parking in the winter season at the Riverside car park in Wallingford, and amend the permit prices. 

 

The Cabinet member, with responsibility for the car parks service, recommended that Cabinet approved option 2, increasing all fees and permits by 10 per cent, roughly in line with inflation. 

 

The Cabinet member reviewed the other options.  Option 1, no change to fees, was rejected as it would leave the council with a deficit in the car parks account.  Option 3, providing differential pricing through premium rates nearer to main facilities, had merit but required further work and consultation with the towns.  Option 4, charging for parking in the evening, also had merit but was not supported during the current cost-of-living crisis.  However, options 3 and 4 could be explored for future years.  Option 5, removing the one-hour free parking, was rejected as it would not help residents or town centre businesses during the current cost-of-living crisis.  Option 6, charging for winter season parking at the Riverside car park in Wallingford, would cost more to introduce than the income it was expected to generate, and so was also rejected. 

 

Cabinet welcomed the report with its options clearly set out.  Cabinet supported the Cabinet member’s view that the council should increase its car park fees and permits by 10 per cent  ...  view the full minutes text for item 62.

63.

Corporate Plan and Climate Action Plan performance reports - quarter 2, 2022/23 pdf icon PDF 18 MB

To consider the head of policy and programmes’ report. 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Cabinet considered the head of policy and programmes’ report, which set out the quarter 2 performance monitoring reports against the Corporate Plan and the Climate Action Plan. 

 

The Cabinet member welcomed the reports; they illustrated the good work being undertaken by the council in achieving its corporate objectives.  For example, the council’s performance in tackling homelessness was significantly ahead of the council average for the South East of England.  There had also been improvements to the website and the data hub would soon be introduced also.  The reports showed many examples of cross-service working. 

 

Cabinet concurred and noted that the council had recently achieved additional government funding through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, which would support the council’s corporate objectives. 

 

RESOLVED: to note the Corporate Plan and Climate Action Plan Performance Reports for quarter 2, 2022/23. 

64.

Budget monitoring April to August 2022 pdf icon PDF 216 KB

To consider the head of finance’s report. 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Cabinet considered the head of finance’s report, being the budget monitoring report for April to August 2022. 

 

The Cabinet member for finance highlighted a projected revenue overspend at the year-end, excluding budgets likely to be carried forward.  Rising inflation had resulted in costs being higher than budgeted for but this was offset by investment income being higher than expected due to high interest rates.  The capital programme would be kept under review and re-profiled. 

 

RESOLVED: to note the budget monitoring report for April to August 2022. 

65.

Budget setting 2023/24 update report pdf icon PDF 305 KB

To consider the head of finance’s report. 

Minutes:

Cabinet considered the head of finance’s report, being an update on the budget position for 2023/24.  This showed the work that was being undertaken to build the base budget. 

 

The head of finance updated Cabinet with news of the government settlement, which had been sent to the council that afternoon.  This showed that for 2023/24 the council would receive a government funding increase of approximately 4.7 per cent and would allow the council to set a Band D council tax £5 higher or 3 per cent higher than in 2022/23.  New Homes Bonus would continue for a further year but was then subject to review.  Effectively this gave the council an increase in core revenue spending power of 5.24 per cent.  Further guidance would be forthcoming from the government on help for households in greatest need during the cost-of-living crisis.  No firm detail had been provided on government funding for 2024/25 onwards. 

 

Cabinet thanked officers for the update report and noted that the next steps were for Cabinet members to consider a draft budget in February 2023 and recommend it to Council for adoption. 

 

RESOLVED: to note the latest position for the 2023/24 budget.