Venue: Council Chamber, Penns Place, Petersfield, GU31 4EX. View directions
Contact: James Harris Democratic Services Officer - 01730 234098
Apologies for Absence
To receive apologies.
Apologies were received from Councillors P Aiston, L Evans, M Harvey and S Schillemore.
There were no Chairman’s announcements.
Declarations of Interest
To receive and record any declarations of interest from members present in respect of any of the various matters on the agenda for this meeting.
There were no declarations.
Draft Revenue and Capital Budgets 2014-15
Prior to it’s consideration by Council on 27 February 2014, the committee will be invited to scrutinise and make comments on the Draft Revenue and Capital Budgets 2014-15 report recommended to Council by Cabinet at its meeting held on 29 January 2014.
The committee scrutinised the Draft Revenue and Capital Budgets 2014-15 report. Jane Eaton, S.151 Officer and Kevin Harlow, Accountant (Financial & Governance) were present to answer questions.
It was explained that the proposed budget was balanced and predicted to realise a surplus of £450k. This surplus would go into the General Fund Reserve. In percentage terms, the council’s General Fund Reserve of £3m represented roughly 25% of the council’s annual spend of £12m.
The committee sought clarification on numerous points, although the discussion focused on two main topics: Whitehill Bordon and Information Technology.
It was confirmed that the draft 2014-15 budget had been fully costed against the predicted spend. Therefore there should not be any significant variances in year unless there was a further change in customer behaviour, such as that that generated extra planning income in 2013-14.
The committee discussed funding for the Whitehill Bordon project over the coming few years and requested to look at the 2014-15 funding for Whitehill & Bordon in detail.
The committee voiced concerns about the capital contribution of £183k towards rural broadband and sought assurances as to what service would be delivered.
In response to questions the committee was advised that:
· The proposed budget did not include projections for the selling of services. Legal Services were exploring this option, but no business case had yet come forward;
· Improvements to Penns Place had not been factored into the budget, as a programme of works was still in development;
· No assumption had been made to changes in councillors’ allowances, although the Councillor Community Grant Scheme had been budgeted for; and
· The Government had capped business rates at 2%, although would be recompensing local authorities through Section 31 grants. These would be delivered in 12 equal instalments and result in neutral cost to the council.
Following the discussion it was RESOLVED that the committee request to look at the 2014-15 funding for Whitehill & Bordon in detail and review the funding sources envisaged, the timescales for receiving this funding, any conditions that might be attached and how the money would be expended.
The meeting commenced at 6.30pm and concluded at 8.27pm
During the course of the meeting no members of the press or public were present.