To consider the attached report together with any recommendations from the Overview and Scrutiny Committee held on 23 February 2021.
In accordance with the Local Authorities (Standing Orders) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2014, a recorded vote will be taken on this item.
The recommendations in respect of the 2021-22 Revenue Budget, Capital Budget, Reserves and Balances, Capital Strategy, Treasury Management Strategy and Medium-Term Financial Strategy (MTFS) as included within the agenda were proposed by Cllr Louisson.
This proposal was duly seconded by Cllr Williams.
The Chairman advised that amendments to the proposed budget had been submitted by the Liberal Democrat group and considered by the Overview & Scrutiny Committee on 23 February 2021.
The Chairman of the Overview & Scrutiny, Cllr Dolan, presented the findings of the committee which had resolved not to support the amendments.
Cllr Hunt introduced and proposed the following three amendments, which had been included as part of the five amendments previously submitted:
1. To provide additional funding to help High Street businesses recover from the Covid-19 pandemic by enabling one hour of free parking per visit to Town Centres for a 6-month period starting when all businesses are allowed to open after covid19 restrictions;
2. To provide additional funding to employ an assistant to the Climate and Environment Officer; and
3. To pass down to Town and Parish Councils a share of central government financial help for covid-19 that has been received by East Hampshire District Council.
These amendments were duly seconded by Cllr Maroney.
Council debated the amendments. Members of the Liberal Democrat Group spoke in support of the amendments, however other members expressed concern that the financial detail or background data to substantiate them had not been submitted. Members believed that sufficient 30 minute free parking spaces existed within Alton and Petersfield and noted that the cost of funding the proposal would need to be spread across all council tax payers within the district, regardless of whether they owned a car.
Council support the response of the Chief Finance Officer which confirmed that an apprentice for The Climate and Environment Officer would be secured during the 2021/22 financial year and believed that this represented a good solution to the points raised by the Liberal Democrat group. It was also highlighted that the provision of officers was the responsibility of the Head of Paid Service.
In respect of Town and Parish Councils, Council noted the greater degree of flexibility that existed in respect of the level of their precepts and the level of reserves that many held.
Council voted on each of the three amendments put forward by the Liberal Democrat group in turn. Following the votes, the three amendments were declared LOST.
Following a debate, Council voted on the substantive motion as proposed by Cllr Louisson and seconded by Cllr Williams, it was RESOLVED that Council:
approves the proposed Revenue and Capital budgets for 2021-22
including a Council Tax rate of £136.41 at Band D,
representing a 2% increase on the current charge;
agrees the proposed Medium Term Financial Strategy, Capital
Strategy, Treasury Management Strategy and Prudential
c. agrees the Fees & Charges schedule for 2021/22; and
d. agrees the Council Tax Resolution at Appendix 3 of these minutes
In accordance with the Local Authorities (Standing Orders) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2014 the voting on this item was recorded as follows:
For the Motion:
Against the Motion:
Cllr Johnson left the meeting during the consideration of the above item.