Agenda and minutes

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Contact: Alison James  Michael Garraway

Items
No. Item

104.

Apologies

105.

Declarations of Interest

    Members are required to declare any disclosable pecuniary, personal or personal and prejudicial interests they may have and the nature of those interests relating to items on this agenda and/or indicate if S106 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 applies to them.   

    Minutes:

    There were no declarations of interests.

106.

Urgent Items of Business

107.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 83 KB

108.

2018/19 Discretionary Business Rate Relief Policy pdf icon PDF 106 KB

    Cabinet will be requested to consider proposals for the Discretionary Business Rate Relief Policy for 2018/19

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The Cabinet considered a report of the Director of Resources noting that the  Discretionary Business Rate Relief Policy required an amendment for 2018/19 due to a change announced in the 2017 Autumn Budget. In considering the report the Cabinet was being asked to consider a proposal to revise the Policy to raise additional business rate income.

     

    The Cabinet was also to be asked to consider making a recommendation to the Budget Council meeting, on 28th February 2018, to revise the policy to raise additional business rates income. There were two options for the Cabinet to consider; Option one: to introduce a maximum rateable value of £51,000, above which relief will not be granted to charitable and not-for-profit organisations - this will raise additional business rate income of approximately £205,000 per annum. Option two: no changes to the existing policy.

     

    Alternatives considered:

    The change to the policy relating to Pub Relief had been determined by the Government and the Council had been directed to implement, therefore no alternatives were considered.

     

    Decision:

    1.    The Cabinet approves the extension of Pub Relief from 1st April 2018, noting that the extension for a further financial year to 31st March 2019 was announced in the 2017 Autumn budget.

    2.    The Council be requested to pursue option one (see above) and introduce a maximum rateable value of £51,000, above which relief will not be granted to charitable and not-for-profit organisations. This will raise additional business rate income of approximately £205,000 per annum.

     

    Reasons for the decision:

    The powers for granting discretionary rate relief by Councils were provided in Sections 44a, 47 and 49 of the Local Government Finance Act 1988, which was subsequently, amended by the Localism Act 2011 to incorporate wider powers to grant relief under local discretion.

109.

Treasury Management Strategy for 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 131 KB

    Cabinet will be requested to consider the Treasury Management Strategy for 2018/19.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The Cabinet considered a report of the Chief Finance Officer that sought approval from the Council for the Borough’s Treasury Management Strategy 2018/2019. The main objectives of the Treasury Management Strategy were: to effectively manage and control the risks associated with treasury management activities giving regard to the CIPFA Code, and all relevant legislation, criteria and limits set within this report.

     

    Alternatives considered:

    It was reported that there werenofeasiblealternativesallproposalswereinaccordancewiththerevisedCIPFACodeofPracticeonTreasuryManagement,whichhad beenformallyadoptedbytheCouncil,andwithGovernmentguidanceregardingtheTreasuryManagement Strategy.

     

    Decision:

    TheannualTreasury ManagementStrategyfor 2018/19 be recommendedto Councilforapprovalwithparticular referenceto:

    a.            Theobjectives of treasury management (detailed at section 2 and AppendixA of the submitted report);

    b.            The forecasted capital financing/borrowing requirement (detailed at paragraph in section 3.1.1 of the submitted report);

    c.            TheOperational Boundary and AuthorisedLimitfor debt (detailed at paragraph 3.1.3 of the submitted report);

    d.            Delegated authority begrantedto the Chief Finance Officer toapprovea breach in these boundaries whereit would be advantageous totheCouncil (as detailed at paragraph 3.1.3 of the submitted report);

    e.            TheCouncil’scriteriaforassessingthecreditworthinessofcounterpartiesforinvestments (as detailed at paragraph 3.2.1 of the submitted report) withanemphasisonsecurityofcapitalover return;

    f.             Theadditional PrudentialandTreasuryIndicators (as identified at paragraph 3.4 of the submitted report);

    g.            The MinimumRevenueProvisionPolicy (detailed at paragraph 3.5 of the submitted report);

    h.            Ifsignificantchangestofinancialinstitutions’ratingsoccurasa resultofglobalindustrychangestotheratingssystem(detailed at paragraph3.2.1 of the submitted report),delegatedapprovalbegrantedtothe Chief Finance Officerto temporarilysuspendtheCouncil’sowncreditworthinesscriteriainfavourofthe  modellingapproachadopted by ourfinancialadvisors.

     

    Reasons for the recommendation:

    Thereport wasproducedto gain the Cabinet’s approval of the TreasuryManagementStrategy, prior to submissionto the BudgetCouncil meeting on 28th February 2018andto ensurethatCabinetMembers beinformedofandensureadherenceto therequirementsofthe Prudential Framework.

110.

Capital, Investment and Disposal Strategy 2018 to 2021 pdf icon PDF 107 KB

    Cabinet will be requested to consider the Capital, Investment and Disposal Strategy 2018 to 2021.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The Cabinet considered a report of the Chief Finance Officer which outlined the capital, investment and disposal strategy for the Council. This strategy was a three year plan which formed a key part of the Council’s asset management and property investment strategies. The strategy provided the framework for all aspects of the Council’s capital programme, including planning, prioritisation, management and funding.

     

    The capital, investment and disposal strategy linked the Council’s vision and priorities with forecasted capital resources and capital budgets and flowed into the medium term financial strategy to ensure that all revenue implications were recognised and provided for in the revenue budgetary forecasts.

     

    The strategy considered: its purpose and links to national, regional and local priorities; priority areas for Investment; funding; governance arrangements; and the disposals strategy.

     

    Alternatives considered:

    The Council was legally obliged to set a balanced budget. The budget setting process was complex and was required to be undertaken in a planned way. Budgets thus were prepared in accordance with approved guidelines.

     

    Decision:

    That the Council be recommended to approve the Capital, Investment and Disposal Strategy 2018 to 2021.

     

    Reasons for the recommendation:

    The purpose of the Capital, investment and Disposal Strategy was to provide a framework within which the Council’s long term investment plans will be delivered to ensure that all capital investments were consistent with the Council’s priorities, consider associate risks, recognise financial constraints over the longer term and represent value for money.  These plans were to be driven by the Council’s Place Plan, The Townships Plan, The Council’s Medium Term Financial Strategy and the Council’s Asset Strategies. 

     

    The Capital, Investment and Disposal Strategy should therefore comply with the Prudential Code for Local Authority Capital Investment introduced through the Local Government Act 2013 and the Council’s Treasury Management Strategy. The key objectives of the code were to ensure that Capital Investment Plans were affordable, prudent and sustainable.

111.

Medium Term Financial Strategy 2018/19 to 2022/23 pdf icon PDF 104 KB

    Cabinet will be requested to consider the Medium Term Financial Strategy 2018/19 to 2022/23.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The Cabinet considered a report of the Chief Finance Officer which presented the Council’s Medium Term Financial Strategy (MTFS). The aim of the MTFS was to provide a robust, consistent and sustainable approach to establishing and maintaining a stable and prudent financial basis on which improvement and transformation of the Council’s services progress. The MTFS was a key strategic part of the plan of the Council setting out its proposed detailed spending plans for the next two years and making forecasts for future years, based on current information.

     

    The Committee was informed that the budgetary proposals contained in the MTFS had been widely consulted upon. The MTFS had been presented to the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee for consultative purposes, for further consideration at this Cabinet meeting and for determination at the Budget Council meeting on 28th February 2018.

     

    Alternatives considered:

    The Council is legally obliged to set a balanced revenue budget. The budget setting process is complex and is required to be undertaken in a planned way. Whilst budgets are prepared in accordance with the approved guidelines a number of alternative options relating to savings proposals and budget pressures are considered as part of the overall budget setting process.

     

    Decision:

    That the Council be recommended to approve the Medium Term Financial Strategy.

     

    Reasons for the recommendation:

    The Cabinet is required to recommend a balanced Revenue Budget and Capital Programme for 2018/19 to the Budget Council meeting on 28th February 2018. The Council is required to set a balanced budget for 2018/19 by no later than 11th March 2018. The Medium Term Financial Strategy thus provides a key part of the budget setting process.

112.

Budget 2018/19 - 2020/21 - Local Government Act 2003 Requirements pdf icon PDF 392 KB

    Cabinet will be requested to consider the Budget 2018/19 - 2020/21 - Local Government Act 2003 Requirements.

    Minutes:

    The Cabinet considered a report of the Chief Finance Officer relating to statutory requirements under the Local Government Act 2003.It was a legal requirement for this report to be presented to the Budget Council meeting for consideration immediately prior to setting the Budget and Council Tax. The recommendations contained in the report aimed to ensure that Council was aware of the opinion of the Chief Finance Officer regarding the robustness of the budget as proposed and the adequacy of general balances and reserves.

     

    The Chief Finance Officer advised that in giving a positive opinion on the robustness of the estimate process reliance had been placed on the Council’s overall arrangements for financial management, which were detailed at Appendix 1 to the submitted report.  These included the rolling Medium Term Financial Strategy, the process for financial forecasts and developing medium term revenue and capital plans, the approach to financial risks and arrangements for in year monitoring of budgets.  Account is also taken of the assessment of the Council’s external auditors, Grant Thornton LLP, as part of the annual audit opinion. The Chief Finance Officer confirmed that, in her opinion, the Council had robust procedures in place.

     

    Alternatives considered:

    None - it is a statutory requirement, under the Local Government Act 2003, to submit this report. 

     

    Decision:

    That Cabinet recommends to Council:-

     

    1.    The approach to General balances as detailed within the report be adopted;

    2.    That the General Balances for 2018/19 be set at £17 million.

     

    Reasons for the recommendation:

    In order to comply with the Local Government Act 2003 the Chief Finance Officer is required to provide the Council with an opinion as to the robustness of the Budget being presented to its Budget setting meeting and to ensure the adequacy of general balances and reserves.

     

    The Council is required to take account of this report when determining its budget.

113.

Revenue Budget,Capital Programme and Council Tax 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 689 KB

    Cabinet will be requested to consider the Revenue Budget, Capital Programme and Council Tax 2018/19.

    Minutes:

    The Cabinet considered a report of the Chief Finance Officer which recommended the Revenue Budget (District Purposes), Capital Budget and Council Tax for 2018/2019, for submission to the Budget Council meeting on 28th February 2018 and which provided estimates for 2019/2020 and 2020/2021.

     

    The budget proposals contained in the submitted report had been formulated after taking into account the comments of the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee, the four Township Committees and the various service consultative groups all of whom had been consulted on the proposals.

     

    The report set out the key financial challenges and issues which will be faced over the period 2018/19 to 2020/21 and provides details of the assumptions and estimates which underpinned the budget. The budget also took account of the latest known developments both regional and at a local level and from this year reports on the integration of health and social care within the pooled budget arrangements from 2018/19.

     

    The Chief Finance Officer submitted an addendum to the submitted report, which detailed some amendments to the submitted report in respect of the final local government settlement, the final levies for the Greater Manchester Waste Disposal Authority and the Environment Agency (for flood defences) and the Mayoral general precept increase which had been amended to £8.

     

    The Chief Finance Officer reported upon proposed changes to the capital budget that would, if approved, result in an additional £12 million investment in the Borough’s roads and pavements.

     

    Alternatives considered:

    None - The Chief Finance Officer reported that the Council had a legal requirement to set a balanced budget, and throughout the budget exercise a robust process has been put in place to consider alternative saving proposals and recognise risks.

     

    Decision:

    That the Cabinet recommends to Council:

     

    1.    Approval of the proposed revenue budgets, outlined at Appendix 1 of the submitted report, based on a budget requirement of £203.672m for 2018/19;

    2.    That subject to confirmation of the Mayor of Greater Manchester precepts, the Cabinet recommends:

    a)    A Council Tax for district purposes of £1,521.43 for Band D properties (4.99% increase) for 2018/19.

    b)     A Council Tax (including precepts) of £1,763.68 for Band D properties (5.52% increase), subject to confirmation of the Mayoral precepts for 2018/19.

    3.    To note the position in relation to Education Services Grant and Schools Funding and decisions regarding the any changes to the final allocations for the Dedicated Schools Grant be delegated to the Director of Children’s Services and the Chief Finance Officer in consultation with the Cabinet Members for Children’s Services and Corporate and Resources, to determine.

    4.    To note the potential call on reserves of £4.2m, as detailed in paragraph 5.3 of the submitted report.

    5.    To consider and note the progress of the Integration of Health and Social Care services as set out at 5.2 of the submitted report, in particular, the operation of the Pooled Fund budget from 2018/19 for local authority and Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale NHS Clinical Commissioning Group services and the risks  ...  view the full minutes text for item 113.

114.

Exclusion of Press and Public

    To consider that the press and public be excluded from the remaining part of the meeting pursuant to Section 100(A)4 of the Local Government Act 1972 on the grounds that discussions may involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in the provisions of Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972 and public interest would not be served in publishing the information.

    Minutes:

    Decision:

    That the Press and Public be excluded from the meeting during consideration of the following item of business, in accordance with the provisions of Section 100A (4) of the Local Government Act 1972, as amended.

     

    Reason for Decision:

    Should the press and public remain during debate on this item there may be the disclosure of information that is deemed to be exempt under Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972.

115.

Extra Care Scheme, Central Core Site, Langley, Middleton

    Cabinet will be requested to consider matters relating to an Extra Care Scheme in Langley, Middleton.

    Minutes:

    The Cabinet considered a report of the Director of Neighbourhoods which detailed discussions that had been held between the Council and a Housing Association, the Riverside Group regarding the development of an Extra Care Scheme in Langley, Middleton that had been ongoing since 2013.

     

    Alternatives considered:

    None reported.

     

    Decision:

    1.    The Cabinet authorises the Council to enter into a legal agreement, in the form of a Memorandum of Assurance, with the Riverside Group, to guarantee the potential annual shortfall of £181,565 per year, for a maximum 5 year period totalling £907,825.

    2.    That any shortfall, if required, is underwritten and allocated from the Council’s Affordable Housing Fund.

    3.    Authority be delegated to the Director of Neighbourhoods, in consultation with the Chief Finance Officer, the Head of Legal Services and the Portfolio Holder for Housing and Environment to finalise and sign the final Memorandum of Assurance, as the Council’s nominated representative in this matter.

     

    Reasons for the decision:

    Without the legal agreement in place and the assurance of underwriting from the Council, the Riverside Group considered it too much of a risk to invest money and resources into a scheme of such scale.  In addition the Cabinet was advised that several similar supported schemes, across the country, were stalled, due to the high level of risk, with only a handful going forward which had received similar underwriting offers from the relevant Local Authorities.

     

    Without the Council’s assurance, the reported investment from both the Riverside Group and the Homes and Communities Agency would not be received and the scheme will not go ahead, thus the Council would not benefit from the opportunity to earn additional income.