Agenda and minutes

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Items
No. Item

98.

Apologies

99.

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.

100.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 67 KB

101.

The Charter Against Modern Slavery pdf icon PDF 98 KB

    To consider the Charter Against Modern Slavery.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The Cabinet considered a report of the Director of Neighbourhoods, the purpose of which was to: familiarise Members with the Modern Slavery Charter and its requirements; to authorise the implementation of the Charter in Rochdale; and summarised the activities which the Council had already taken and forthcoming actions that would be adopted to fulfil the requirements imposed under the Charter.

     

    Alternatives considered:

    The Council was not obligated to implement the Charter and could continue to procure services and supplies as it has done previously without due regard to the requirements and ambitions of the Charter or the Modern Slavery Act 2015.

     

    Resolved:

    1.      The Cabinet notes the implementation of the actions taken by the Council to ensure compliance with the requirements of the Modern Slavery Charter.

    2.      The Cabinet authorises the implementation of the Charter.

     

    Reasons for the decision:

    The Modern Slavery Act 2015 (The Act) came into force on 26th March 2015. It was designed to tackle slavery, servitude, forced, or compulsory labour, human trafficking and exploitation (including sexual exploitation). Modern Slavery affects foreign nationals, but many of those exploited are from the United Kingdom and exploited within this country. In 2016 the third largest victim group came from the United Kingdom.

     

    By virtue of Section 54 of the Modern Slavery Act, businesses with an annual turnover of £36m or more are compelled to be more transparent in their dealings and accountable for any slavery and human trafficking within their business and their supply chain(s).

     

    Modern Slavery is a priority topic for Greater Manchester Police, highlighted in the Police and Crime Plan for Greater Manchester. It was noted that Greater Manchester Police have achieved the highest number of modern slavery prosecutions in the United Kingdom.  .

    Eligible for Call-in: Yes

102.

Council Tax Discount for Special Constables pdf icon PDF 98 KB

    To consider a Council Tax discount for Special Constables.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The Cabinet considered a report of the Chief Finance Officer seeking approval to provide a 50% discount from the payment of Council Tax to Special Constables who live and serve in the Borough of Rochdale.

     

    Alternatives considered:

    None

     

    Resolved:

    1.                     The proposal to provide a 50% discount to Special Constables who live and serve in the Borough from the payment of Council Tax be approved

    2.                     The creation of a Section 13A (Local Government Finance Act 1992) policy and procedure to include the discount above, be approved.

     

    Reasons for the decision:

    The Special Constabulary consists of volunteer officers, who give up their spare time to assist with the policing of Greater Manchester and increase the effectiveness of local police initiatives. Special Constables are considered to be a vital part of the police service, helping to prevent crime and interacting with the diverse communities they serve. Greater Manchester Police are fully supportive of introducing this Special Constable council tax discount.

    Eligible for Call-in: No

103.

2019/20 Discretionary Business Rate Relief Policy pdf icon PDF 99 KB

    To consider the 2019/20 Discretionary Business Rate Relief Policy.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The Cabinet considered a report of the Chief Finance Officer highlighting that the Council’s Discretionary Business Rate Relief Policy should be amended for 2019/20 due to a change announced in the 2018 budget and to end changes that had been introduced in the 2016 and 2017 budgets. The Cabinet was also being asked to consider a proposal to revise the Policy to raise additional business rate income. A draft 2019/20 Policy document was appended to the report, for Member’s assistance.

     

    Alternatives considered:

    The recommended changes to the Discretionary Business Rate Relief Policy had been determined by the Government and the Council was therefore directed to implement, thus no alternatives were considered.

     

    Several alternatives to reducing the rateable value limit were considered, but discounted due to creating excessive administrative burdens and a lack of qualification clarity to potential claimants. The Policy could remain at present. The outcome being that approximately £66,000 of business rate income would continue to be lost.

     

    Resolved:

    1.    The Cabinet approves the ending of Pub Relief with effect from 31st March 2019.

    2.    The Cabinet approves the extension of the £1,500 business rate discount for local newspapers’ office space for 2019/20.

    3.    The Cabinet approves the introduction of Retail Relief with effect from 1st April 2019.

    4.    The Cabinet approves relief of £600 to qualifying businesses that had experienced a large increase in their rateable value following a 2017 revaluation, the Cabinet further notes that this scheme was introduced by the Government in the 2016 budget for a period of four years from April 2017 and that the funding allocated by Government for 2019/20 was £52,000.

    5.    The Cabinet recommends that the Council, at its meeting on 27th February 2019, revise the authority’s policy to raise additional business rates income, noting that the recommendation was to reduce the maximum rateable value limit to £19,999, above which relief will not be granted and the Council is asked to further note that this change will raise additional business rate income of approximately £66,000 per annum.

     

    Reasons for the decisions:

    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 had been amended by the Localism Act 2011 to incorporate wider powers to grant relief under local discretion. The role of local authorities in the business rate system in the past had been to administer the system prescribed by Central Government.

     

    The recommended changes to the Policy had been determined by the Government and announced in the 2016, 2017 and 2018 budgets, but had to be administered by the Local Authority using discretionary powers.

     

    The budget position of the Council required either a reduction in expenditure or an increase in income. Further reducing the maximum rateable value in the Policy for charitable and not-for-profit businesses would raise approximately £66,000 of additional business rate income from the financial year 2020/21 onwards.

     

    If the Policy was to be changed, businesses that have already  ...  view the full minutes text for item 103.

104.

Treasury Management Strategy 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 131 KB

    To consider the Treasury Management Strategy 2019/2010.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The Cabinet considered a report of the Chief Finance Officer seeking approval from the Council for the Borough’s Treasury Management Strategy 2019/2020. The main objectives of the Treasury Management Strategy are: to ensure that borrowing in the long term was undertaken for capital purposes; that borrowing plans are affordable and achieve best value; that total debt remains within the Council’s authorised limit and prudential indicators; that risks are identified and controlled; and that cash flows are managed to ensure that the Council can meet its financial obligations.

     

    Alternatives considered:

    It was reported that there werenofeasiblealternativesallof the proposals areinaccordancewiththerevisedCIPFACodeofPracticeonTreasuryManagement,whichhad beenformallyadoptedbytheCouncil,andwithGovernmentguidanceregardingtheTreasuryManagement Strategy.

     

    Resolved:

    TheannualTreasury ManagementStrategyfor 2019/2020 be recommendedto Councilforapproval, at its meeting on 27th February 2019,withparticular referenceto:

    a.            Theobjectives of treasury management (as outlined in section 2and AppendixA of the submitted report).

    b.            The forecasted capital financing/borrowing requirement (as detailed at section 3.1.1 (table 2) of the submitted report).

    c.            TheOperational Boundary and AuthorisedLimitfor debt (detailed in section 3.1.3 of the submitted report)

    d.            Delegated authorityis granted to the Council’s Chief Finance Officer to approveany breaches in these boundaries whereit would be advantageous totheCouncil (detailed at paragraph 3.1.3 of the submitted report).

    e.            TheCouncil’scriteriaforassessingthecreditworthinessofcounterpartiesforinvestments (as detailed in section3.2.1 of the submitted report) - withanemphasisonsecurityofcapital over return.

    f.             Theadditional PrudentialandTreasuryIndicators (identified in section 3.4 of the submitted report).

    g.            The Minimum RevenueProvisionPolicy (contained in section 3.5 of the submitted report).

    h.            If significant changes to financial institutions’ ratings occur as a result of global industry changes to the ratings system (further to paragraph 3.2.1 of the submitted report), delegated approval be granted to the Council’s Chief Finance Officer to temporarily suspend the Authority’s own creditworthiness criteria in favour of the modelling approach adopted by the Council’s financial advisors.

    i.              Include Pooled Property Funds as an Investment option (as outlined at paragraph 3.2.6 of the submitted report).

     

    Reasons for the decision:

    Thereport wasproducedto gain the Cabinet’s approval of the TreasuryManagementStrategy, prior to submissionto the BudgetCouncil meeting on 27th February 2019andto ensurethat the Cabinet’sMembers wereinformedofandensuredadherenceto therequirementsofthe Prudential Framework.

    Eligible for Call-in: No

105.

Capital Investment and Disposal Strategy 2019- 2022 pdf icon PDF 158 KB

    To consider the Capital Investment and Disposal Strategy 2019-22.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The Cabinet considered a report of the Chief Finance Officer that was seeking approval for the 2019/20 Capital Investment and Disposal Strategy (‘The Strategy’) as set out at Appendix 1 of the submitted report, outlining how the Council will meet the requirements of the relevant legislation, codes of practice and guidance that form the Prudential Framework, and MHCLG Guidance on Local Authority Investments.

     

    The Strategy is the Council’s policy for ensuring that the following outcomes are met:

    i)     Providing an overview of the Council’s plans for capital investments/disposals, and asset management planning.

    ii)    Setting out the governance process for approval and monitoring of capital expenditure, and any related long-term liabilities.

    iii)   Showing how the Council’s planned capital expenditure will be funded within the context of relevant funding limits, how any external debt will be repaid, and what the associated costs are.

    iv)   Setting out the Council’s approach to commercial activities including due diligence, risk appetite and proportionality in respect of the Council’s overall resources.

    v)    Summarising the knowledge and skills available to the Council, and whether these are considered to be commensurate with its risk appetite.

     

    The Strategy is intended to be a high level overview of how the Council’s capital expenditure, capital financing and treasury management activity contributing to the provision of services.  The Strategy provides an overview of how risks are managed, and what the implications are for future financial sustainability.  The purpose of the Strategy is to set out how the Council takes capital expenditure and investment decisions in line with service objectives and properly takes account of stewardship, value for money, prudence, sustainability and affordability.

     

    Alternatives considered:

    There arenofeasiblealternativesall of the proposalsareinaccordancewithrevisedCIPFAPrudential CodethathadbeenformallyadoptedbytheCouncilandwithGovernmentguidanceregardingLocal Authority Investments.

     

    Resolved:

    1.                               That the Council at its meeting on 27th February 2019 be recommended to approve the AnnualCapital Investment and Disposal Strategy, 2019/20, with particular reference to:

    i)             Theobjectives of the Strategy (detailed in section 2and AppendixA of the submitted report).

    ii)            The approach to and governance arrangement around commercial property investment (contained in section 5 of the submitted report).

    iii)           The Council’s risk appetite and quantitative indicators (set out in section 6.3 of the submitted report), including limits on investment in terms of the proportion of debt and income relating to capital investments compared to net service expenditure.

    2.            The Cabinet notes the report of the Chief Finance Officer in terms of the affordability and risks associated with the Capital Investment and Disposal Strategy (as set out in paragraph 5.2 of the submitted report).

    Eligible for Call-in: No

106.

Medium Term Financial Strategy 2019/20 to 2023/24 pdf icon PDF 102 KB

    To consider the Medium Term Financial Strategy 2019/20 to 2023/24.

    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 is 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 is 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 Cabinet was informed that the budgetary proposals contained in the MTFS had been widely consulted upon. The MTFS was presented: to the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee; for further consideration at this Cabinet meeting and for determination at the Budget Council meeting on 27th February 2019.

     

    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.

     

    Resolved:

    That the Council, at its meeting on 27th February 2019, 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 2019/2020 to the Budget Council meeting on 27th February 2019. The Council is required to set a balanced budget for 2019/2020 by no later than 10th March 2019. The Medium Term Financial Strategy therefore provides a key part of the budget setting process.

    Eligible for Call-in: No

107.

Budget 2019/20 - 2021/22 - Local Government Act 2003 Requirements pdf icon PDF 513 KB

    To consider the Budget 2019/20 - 2021/22 - 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 is 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 the 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 report which the Cabinet considered.  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 has also been taken of the assessment of the Council’s external auditors as part of the annual audit opinion. The Chief Finance Officer confirmed that, in her opinion, the Council has 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 2019/20 be set at £17million.

     

    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.

    Eligible for Call-in: No

108.

Revenue Budget, Capital Programme and Council Tax 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 761 KB

    To consider the Revenue Budget, Capital Programme and Council Tax 2019/20.

    Minutes:

    The Cabinet considered a report of the Chief Finance Officer which proposed the Authority’s Revenue Budget, Capital Programme, and Council Tax 2019/20 for recommendation to the Budget Council meeting on 27th February 2019. The information contained in the Chief Finance Officer’s report is subject to the Final Local Government Finance Settlement and approval of the Mayor of Greater Manchester’s precepts for 2019/20.

     

    The report considers the key financial challenges and issues to be faced during the period 2019/20 to 2021/22 and also provides details of the assumptions and estimates underpinning the budget. The budget also takes into account the latest known developments both at regional and local levels and reported upon the integration of health and social care within the pooled budget arrangements.

     

    Alternatives considered:

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

     

    Resolved:

    The Cabinet recommends that the Budget Council meeting, on 27th February 2019:

    1.     Consider and approves the proposed revenue budgets outlined in Appendix 1, based on a budget requirement of £216.223m for 2019/20. 

    2.     Subject to confirmation of the Mayor of Greater Manchester’s precepts, considers and approves:

    a)    A Council Tax for district purposes of £1,582.14 for Band D properties (3.99% increase) for 2019/20.

    b)     A Council Tax (including precepts) of £1,857.39 for Band D properties (5.31% increase), subject to confirmation of the Mayoral precepts for 2019/20.

    3.     Notes the position in relation to the Education Services Grant and Schools Funding; the Cabinet delegates the decision regarding any changes to the final allocations for the Dedicated Schools Grant to the Director of Children’s Services and the Chief Finance Officer in consultation with the Cabinet Members for Children’s Services and Finance.

    4.     Notes the potential call on reserves of £3.5m, as detailed in paragraphs 5.2 and 5.3 of the submitted report.

    5.     Consider and note the progress of the Integration of Health and Social Care services as set out at paragraph 5.3 of the submitted report; in particular, the operation of the Pooled Fund budget for local authority and the Clinical Commissioning Group services and the associated risks to the Council should the savings proposals not be achieved.

    6.     Approval of a contribution to the Integrated Health and Social Care Pooled Fund budget of £87.159m.

    7.     Approve a proposed Capital Programmes for 2019/20 and 2021/22 as detailed at Appendix 3 of the submitted report - noting that some of the assumed external funding, that has been included in the programme, is still subject to clarification from the Government and in some cases may involve bids for funding; it was therefore recommended that all approvals be subject to confirmation of funding allocations.

    8.     Approve the proposed changes to the Capital Programme shown in in Table 12, of the submitted report, following consultation.

    9.     Approve that any new spending proposals requiring additional revenue and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 108.