Agenda and minutes

Overview and Scrutiny Committee - Thursday, 13th February, 2020 6.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Penns Place, Petersfield, GU31 4EX. View directions

Contact: Cynthia Haveron  Democratic Services Officer

Items
No. Item

31.

Apologies for Absence

To receive apologies for absence.

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillor M Johnson.

32.

Chairman's Announcements

Minutes:

The Chairman reminded the Councillors that it had been six months since the Committee had been established and, in that time, had received a number of briefings.

 

He was now looking towards next years work programme for the Committee and asked Councillors to consider what topics/items they might want to put forward for scrutiny. He also invited suggested for possible topics from the Cabinet. The next meeting in March would be considering at new draft EHDC Constitution and also the Forward Plan and future work programme. If councillors had any suggestions could they please contact him and Mrs Cynthia Haveron, Democratic Services Officer.


33.

Minutes

To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 17 December 2019, previously distributed.

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 17 December2019 were agreed and signed as a correct record.

34.

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.

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

35.

Revenue, Capital Budget and Medium Term Financial Strategy to 2024/25

Prior to consideration by Council on 27 February 2020 the Committee is invited to scrutinise and make comments on the Revenue and Capital Budget and Business Plans 20120/21 and Medium Term Financial Strategy.

 

Please bring your copy of the 6 February 2020 Cabinet Agenda/Supplementary paper to the meeting.

 

For Decision

Minutes:

Councillor C Louisson, Finance Portfolio Holder briefed the Committee and answered questions on his proposed Budget and Medium Term Financial Strategy to 204/25. The S151 Officer and was also present to answer questions.

 

He explained that there was no detailed Business Plans for the committee to consider as this would be coming to the Council after the Corporate Strategy in May.

 

He gave a breakdown of income showing the sources. He then looked at growth and savings, fees and charges followed by the draft budget. He also gave an overview of the Medium Term Finance Strategy 2020-2025 and earmarked reserves.

 

He thanked the Finance Team for their assistance in producing the budget.

 

Thanks were extended to Councillors Dolan and Maroney who had submitted questions on the report ahead of the meeting and it was hoped that they were satisfied with the answers they had received.

 

Councillors were invited to ask further questions on the report.

 

In response to a question on Appendix B of the report in respect of Capital Expenditure charged to the reserve of £296K and was this a net cost to the service. It was confirmed this was funded by reserves to earmarked reserves. It was agreed that a written response would be sent to Cllr Maroney.

 

It was reiterated that the budget did relate to the current Corporate Strategy, Business Plan and Strategies and the new strategies, such as Enhance East Hampshire, which had been adopted in the past 12 months.

 

It was also confirmed that this was a legal and prudent budget.

 

In response to question as to why the budget could not be approved later, officers confirmed that Council Tax bills had to be sent out to all residents before the 1 April 2020 and if the Council could not agree and set a budget for the forthcoming year the most severe sanction could be to place the authority in  special measures.

 

It was confirmed that the existing corporate strategy was deliverable and supported financial within the budget proposals, the budget had also taken into account those new strategies adopted in year which were being incorporated in an updated corporate strategy for the authority.

 

Last year the Council had reduced the budget by 5% and this year 7½% could the Council continue to do this? It was explained that the Council had taken a broad step approach to align with the new Corporate Strategy.

 

It was confirmed that the Whitehill & Bordon project would continue to have its own budget, regeneration was new, and the aim was to enhance regeneration in the area and had been budgeted as such.

 

In response to a question on why reorganisation had taken place, it was explained that the Chief Executive had undertaken this to organise the resources to align with priorities set by Cabinet.

 

Clarification was sought on the £500,000 to enhance property, was this specifically for safeguarding our own property? It was confirmed that this was to protect the organisation as a landlord .

 

Reference was made  ...  view the full minutes text for item 35.

36.

Consideration of any Executive Decision called in to the Committee (if applicable)

For Decision

Minutes:

There were no Executive Decisions to consider.

 

37.

Exclusion of the Press and Public

RECOMMENDED that the press and public be excluded for the meeting during the consideration of the following item as:

 

a) It is likely, in view of the nature of the business to be transacted, or the nature of the proceedings, that if member of the public were present during the item there would be disclosure to them of exempt information as specified in Part 1 of Schedule 12A (as amended) to the Local Government Act 1972; and

 

b) In all the circumstances of the case, the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.

38.

Consideration of Matters Arising from Executive Decisions Relating to Exempt Items (if applicable)

For Decision

Minutes:

There were no Exempt Executive Decisions to consider.