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Contact: Lisa Papps Democratic Services Officer
Apologies for Absence
To receive apologies for absence.
There were no apologies for absence.
The Chairman advised that agenda item 6, Consideration of Grant Funding for Horndean Community Association, would be considered first as this item would be discussed in depth by a task and finish group.
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 of interest.
Please note that appendices A-D to the report contain information that is classed as exempt under Paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A (as amended) of the Local Government Act 1972.
If the committee wishes to discuss the detail of the exempt appendices it is recommended that the resolution at item 6 be passed to cease the public broadcast of the meeting, thereby excluding the press and public.
As this item was to be discussed in depth by a task and finish group, agenda item 6, Consideration of Grant Funding for Horndean Community Association, was taken first.
The Chairman proposed that the sole topic for discussion was to establish the Task and Finish group and a deadline to report back with their findings to the Overview and Scrutiny Committee.
The Head of Housing and Community Engagement, referred Councillors to the paperwork, which detailed the summary and reason why this matter had been referred to the Overview and Scrutiny Committee.
Cabinet had reviewed the Horndean Community Association (HCA) Business case on 10 December 2020 and following extensive discussion, a request was made to refer the matter to the Overview and Scrutiny Committee for further consideration.
Cabinet requested the sustainability of the investment was considered by a Task and Finish group and the recommendations presented to Cabinet on the way forward.
It was proposed to appoint three members to form a Task and Finish Group to report back to the committee on this matter, by a deadline to be agreed.
Councillors discussed challenges for the Task and Finish Group due to the pandemic and the extensive history involved.
The committee agreed that four volunteers would form the Task and Finish Group and consider this matter, and agreed that those members would be; Cllrs Agate, Evans, Hill and Mouland.
The newly formed Task and Finish Group agreed it was important to Consider the Grant Funding with a fresh set of eyes as per the Portfolio Holders request.
A decision regarding the funding had to be made in this financial year and feedback to Cabinet on the recommendation and then notify HCA. Therefore, a six-week deadline was agreed.
The first meeting for a Task and Finish Group would be set up the following day by the Head of Housing and Community Engagement, who along with her team, would also support the group with questions, photographs or building surveys and any information relating to the building that was required.
Following the vote, the committee AGREED to the membership of the Consideration of Grant Funding for HCA Task and Finish Group – Cllrs Agate, Evans, Hill and Mouland.
Prior to consideration by Cabinet on 4 February 2021and Council on 25 February 2021 the Committee is invited to scrutinise and make comments on the draft budget.
Report to follow.
CAN COUNCILLORS PLEASE SUBMIT ANY DETAILED QUESTIONS ON THIS ITEM TO THE CONTACT OFFICER BY 9AM ON MONDAY 25 JANUARY 2021.
Councillor Louisson, Finance Portfolio Holder, introduced the item and acknowledged that it had been an exceptionally difficult year due to Covid.
Councillor Louisson recommended the Draft Budget 2021-22 and congratulated the Chief Finance Officer and her team for producing an outstanding Budget, this would allow EHDC to contribute significant amounts on projects in its communities.
Next Steps Budget Scrutiny this evening, followed by Budget Cabinet on 04 February. Then followed by consideration by Full Council on 25 February.
The Chairman invited the committee to ask questions following Cllr Louisson’s presentation which clarified the following points:
Ø £4.3M in reserves would be used for a mix of short-term and long-term allocations;
Ø The £822K The Head of Regeneration North related to service funding of Whitehill and Bordon Team, the Economic Development Team, the team that looks at external grant support;
Ø No current indication as to what might be replacing the new homes bonus;
Ø May get another new homes one-off payment in this term, it was difficult to see how Government would be able to put a full scheme together, before consultation, and be ready for next October/November when it was putting forward the provisional financial settlement for consultation as well;
Ø Good deal of Government support, however, must not lose sight that these are one off windfalls. Therefore, strategically for financial prudence need to consider the impacts going forward and secure and be able to balance our budget in future years and not rely on windfalls;
Ø The Council Tax uplift on a Band D property would be £2.68 per annum. Used that to ensure key priorities within the general operations would be maintained going forward without the reliance on one-off payments from Government;
Ø Full reserves, movements and balances are available publicly
Ø Efficiency savings of £716k, between this year’s budget and the projected outturn for the year, were partially due to staff working from home and being reassigned to other allocations;
Ø The Chief Finance Officer would provide further details on how the efficiencies were achieved to the committee and also circulate the Key Performance indicators which were also available publicly via Gov.net;
Ø A breakdown of the Financial Settlement was explained to Councillors and how maximum preceptor limits within the Referendum could increase County, Local Police Crime Commissioner, Fire Department and the Councils Core Spending Power up to the maximum limits;
Ø Councillors were advised that there was a Council Tax Relief Scheme/Council Tax Hardship Fund for residents experiencing Financial difficulties; and
Ø Additional funding from Central Government had ensured this would be ongoing for next year in addition to our Local Scheme/Council Tax Support.
Appendix 1, details questions and answers received in advance of the meeting.
Councillors moved to debate the Draft Budget, and the following comments were received:
The committee commended Cllr Louisson, the Chief Finance Officer and the officers involved in producing an outstanding Budget and also the Heads of Service for remaining in Budget last year under the serious challenges it was ... view the full minutes text for item 77.