Agenda and minutes

Venue: Hollingworth B&C , First Floor, Training & Conference Suite, Number One Riverside, Smith Street, Rochdale, OL16 1XU

Contact: Michael Garraway / Alison James / Janine Jenkinson  Head of Governance / Senior Committee Services Officer

Items
No. Item

37.

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 interest.

38.

Withdrawal of item of business

To determine whether there are any additional items of business which, by reason of special circumstances, the Chair decides should be considered at the meeting as a matter of urgency.

Minutes:

Resolved

That agenda item 13 – Review of foster allowances, be deferred to a future meeting of Cabinet.

39.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 69 KB

To consider the minutes of the Cabinet meeting held on 31st January 2023.

 

 

Minutes:

Resolved

That the minutes of the meeting of Cabinet held on the 31 January 2023 be approved as a correct record.

40.

2023/24 Discretionary Business Rate Relief Policy pdf icon PDF 425 KB

To consider a report of the Cabinet Member for Finance and Corporate

/ Director of Corporate Services.

Minutes:

Cabinet gave consideration to a report of the Cabinet Member for Finance and Corporate which informed of the amendments to the Discretionary Business Rate Relief Policy for 2022/23 due to the changes announced by Government in 2021.

 

The Chief Finance Officer informed that the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Relief Scheme had been extended for a further year for the period 1 April 2023 to 31 March 2024. The amount of relief available had increased from 50% to 75%. The discount was not available to hereditaments occupied by the Council or a precepting authority.

 

Furthermore, the Supporting Small Business Scheme would be introduced from 1 April 2023and would provide that those businesses which see an increase in their bills because they would lose some or all of their small business rate relief as a result of the 2023 Revaluation have those increases capped. The scheme ensures that the increase for these ratepayers is capped at £600 per year (£50 per month).  The Transitional Relief Scheme will be introduced from 1 April 2023 and limits increase in bills as a result of the 2023 Revaluation. The scheme is available for 3 years.

 

Resolved

1.    That the extension of the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Relief Scheme for a further year and from 50% to 75%, be noted.

2.    That the Supporting Small Business Scheme be noted.

3.    That the Transitional Relief Scheme be noted.

4.    That the Chief Finance Officer in consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Corporate Delivery, be given delegated authority to finalise the 2023/24 Discretionary Business Rate Relief Policy following the Government’s Spring 2023 budget which is expected to take place on 15 March 2023.

 

Alternatives considered

None, the Government has instructed the Council to provide the relief.

41.

Budget 2023/24 - 2025/26 - Local Government Act 2003 Requirements pdf icon PDF 382 KB

To consider a report of the Cabinet Member for Finance and Corporate / Director of Corporate Services.

 

Minutes:

Consideration was given to a report which set out the Chief Finance Officer’s opinion regarding the robustness of the proposed budget and the adequacy of general balances and reserves.

 

The Chief Finance Officer had concluded that the proposed budgets and associated systems and processes were sound and the level of general balances and reserves were adequate. It was advised that the proposed estimates and tax setting calculations were robust, reserves were adequate and the provisional Capital Programme was affordable.

 

The Leader of the Council moved the recommendations as set out in the report and commended the Chief Finance Officer and her team for their work to ensure the Council had a robust budget in place.

 

Resolved

1.    That the report be noted and the approach to General Balances, as outlined in the report be endorsed.

2.    That the General Fund Balances for 2023/24 be set at £15m, noting that the reduction of £2m be made available to offer targeted support.

42.

Budget Report and Medium Term Financial Strategy 2023/24 pdf icon PDF 617 KB

To consider a report of the Cabinet Member for Finance and Corporate / Director of Corporate Services.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Cabinet considered a report of the Cabinet Member for Finance and Corporate which sought to inform of the proposed Revenue Budget, Capital Programme and Council Tax for 2023/24 and the provisional budget for 2024/25 and 2025/26, for recommendation to Budget Council on 22nd February 2023.

 

The information contained in the report was subject to the approval of the Mayor of Greater Manchester Council Tax precepts for 2022/23. The report also outlined the Medium Term Financial Strategy 2022/23 to 2026/27. The Medium Term Financial Strategy provided the latest budget position for the Council, set out the key financial challenges and issues which would be faced over the period, and provided details of the assumptions and estimates which underpinned the budget. The strategy also took account of the latest known developments both regional and at a local level.

 

Alternatives considered

No alternatives were presented.

 

Resolved

1.    That Council be advised Cabinet recommends for approval the proposed revenue budget position outlined in Appendix 1, based on a budget requirement of £274.729m for 2023/24.

2.    That subject to confirmation of the Mayor of Greater Manchester precepts, that Council approves:

a.    A Council Tax for district purposes of £1,867.78 for Band D properties (4.99% increase) for 2023/24.

b.    A Council Tax (including precepts) of £2,219.03 for Band D properties (5.15% increase).

3.    That Cabinet recommends Council approve provision of one-off Council Tax Support, equivalent to a 2% increase of Council tax for district purposes is provided to Rochdale Council Tax payers in 2023/24, to limit the net increase in Council Tax for district purposes to 2.99%. The estimated cost of £2.750m is to be funded from the Targeted Support Reserve, as detailed in section 4.15.

4.    That Cabinet notes the position in relation to Education Services Grant and Schools Funding and approves delegation of the decision regarding any changes to the final allocations for the Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG) to the Director of Children’s Services in consultation with the Director of Corporate Services / Chief Finance Officer, the Cabinet Members for Children’s Services and Finance and Corporate.

5.    That the outturn position for 2022/23 will be transferred to/from the Equalisation Reserve be noted.

6.    That Cabinet recommends Council approves the updated Budget Carry Forward Policy as detailed in Appendix 3 of the submitted report.

7.    That Cabinet recommends Council approves the proposed Capital Programme for 2023/24 to 2027/28 as detailed at Appendix 4 of the submitted report, noting that some of the assumed external funding included in the programme is still subject to clarification from Government and in some cases may involve bids for funding and that therefore all approvals are subject to confirmation of funding allocations.

8.    That Council be recommend to approve the updated Medium Term Financial Strategy 2023/24 to 2027/28, as detailed in Appendix 6 of the submitted report.

9.    That Cabinet recommend Council approve the updated Pay Policy statement, as detailed in Appendix 7 of the submitted report.

10. That Cabinet recommends that Council approves the updated Reserves Policy, as detailed  ...  view the full minutes text for item 42.

43.

Discretionary Fees and Charges 2023/24 pdf icon PDF 144 KB

To consider a report of the Cabinet Member for Finance and Corporate / Director of Corporate Services.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Cabinet considered a report of the Portfolio Holder for Finance and Corporate / Chief Finance Officer which advised that Discretionary Fees and Charges were reviewed on an annual basis.

 

At Cabinet on 22nd November 2022, a 4% general increase in Discretionary Fees and Charges for 2023/24 had been agreed for planning purposes, subject to exemptions to be agreed.

 

Following consultation, no changes had been made to the original proposals, although the report detailed those charges proposed to be exempt from the general 2% increase.

 

Alternatives considered

Not to review or increase fees and charges. This would potentially reduce the income available to the Council and make it more difficult to achieve a balanced budget.

 

Resolved

1.    That Cabinet recommend to Council the updated Discretionary Fees and Charges for 2023/24 as detailed within the submitted report.

2.    That Cabinet recommend to Council the charges exempt from the general 4% increase, as set out in paragraph 4.3 of the submitted report.

3.    That Cabinet recommend to Council the different % increases are approved are approved, as set out in paragraph 4.4 of the submitted report.

 

Reason for Recommendations

The fees and charges in this report have been proposed by each Directorate, taking into account the 4% general uplift in Discretionary Fees and Charges. The uplift would not apply an increase to the fees and charges detailed in paragraph 4.3 as detailed within the report. A different % increases to the fees and charges detailed in paragraph 4.4 would apply for reasons as detailed within the submitted report.

44.

Treasury Management 2023/24 pdf icon PDF 190 KB

To consider a report of the Cabinet Member for Finance and Corporate / Director of Corporate Services.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Cabinet considered a report of the Portfolio Holder for Finance and Corporate which sought approval of the 2023/24 Treasury Management Strategy (TMS) set out in Appendix 1 of the submitted report which outlined how the Council would meet the requirements of the relevant legislation, codes of practice and guidance that form the Prudential Framework.

 

Alternatives considered

There were no feasible alternatives – all proposals were in accordance with the revised CIPFA Prudential Code and Code of Practice on Treasury Management, which was formally adopted by the Council and

 

Resolved

1.    That Cabinet recommend the annual Treasury Management Strategy for 2022/23 be approved by Council with particular reference to

a.    The objectives of treasury management contained in section 2 of Appendix A to the submitted report.

b.    The forecasted capital financing / borrowing requirement in section 3.1.1 (table 2) and 3.1.2 (table 3) within the submitted report.

c.    The Operational Boundary and Authorised Limit for debt contained in section 3.1.3 (table 4) within the submitted report.

d.    The Council’s criteria for assessing the creditworthiness of counterparties for investments contained in section 3.2.1 of the submitted report, with an emphasis on security of capital over return, noting the institutional investment limits in Table 8 (3.2.4).

e.    The additional Prudential and Treasury Indicators identified in section 3.4 of the submitted report.

f.     The Minimum Revenue Provision Policy contained in section 3.5 of the submitted report.

2.    That Cabinet recommend to Council that delegated authority is given to the Chief Finance Officer to approve a breach in these boundaries where it would be advantageous to the Council (3.1.3).

3.    That delegated approval be given to the Chief Finance Officer to temporarily suspend or amend the Council’s own creditworthiness criteria adjusting limits with individual counterparties, if appropriate, in response to significant and sudden changes (such as the Covid19 pandemic) or changes to financial institutions’ ratings as a result of global industry changes to the ratings system as detailed in paragraph 3.2.1 of submitted report.

45.

Capital Investment & Disposal Strategy - 2023/24 pdf icon PDF 248 KB

To consider a report of the Cabinet Member for Finance and Corporate / Director of Corporate Services.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to a report of the Cabinet Member for Finance and Corporate / Chief Finance Officer seeking approval for the 2023/24 Capital Investment and Disposal Strategy, which outlined how the Council would meet the requirements of the relevant legislation, codes of practice and guidance that form the Prudential Framework, MHCLG Guidance on Local Authority Investments, and Public Works Loan Board (PWLB) Lending Terms.

 

Resolved

1.    That the annual Capital Investment and Disposal Strategy for 2023/24 be recommended to Council for approval with particular reference to:

a.    The objectives of the Strategy contained in section 2 and Appendices to the submitted report.

b.    The approach to and governance arrangement around property investment/development contained in section 5 of the submitted report.

c.    The additional limit to borrowing detailed in section 6.1.2 of the submitted report.

d.    The Council’s risk appetite and quantitative indicators set out in section 6.3 of the submitted report.

2.    That Cabinet notes the outcome of the review of the current strategies and limits in place that govern how the Council manages its debt levels, and the implementation of an additional borrowing limit based on a maximum percentage of revenue resources being taken up by borrowing costs, as detailed in paragraph 4.3 of the submitted report.

3.    That delegated authority be approved to the Director of Corporate Services/Chief Finance Officer to exceed the additional borrowing limit detailed in paragraph 4.3 in exceptional circumstances.

4.    That the report of the affordability and risks associated with the Capital Investment and Disposal Strategy, as set out in paragraph 5.2 of the submitted report be noted.

46.

Proposed Rochdale Highway Framework pdf icon PDF 166 KB

To consider a report of the Cabinet Member for Highways and Housing / Director of Neighbourhoods.

Minutes:

Consideration was given to a report of the Cabinet Member for Highways and Housing/Director of Neighbourhoods which advised that the 2015-2022 Highway Maintenance contract with Balfour Beatty Living Places expired on 31 March 2022.

 

From the 1 April 2022 Rochdale BC capital funded highway works have been delivered via a combination of GM framework suppliers, competitively tendered contractors, and individual works orders/quotations. The procurement of these works is time consuming and onerous owing to the different procurement processes. In addition, these frameworks do not always allow the Council to engage with local suppliers.

 

From the 1 April 2022 Rochdale BC revenue funded highway works have been delivered by the in-house highway operational service supported by local sub-contractors when necessary at times of excessive workload.

 

Approval was sought to procure a Rochdale Framework Contract to allow suppliers to bid for, and if successful, deliver highway capital and revenue works.

 

Alternatives considered –

Continue to order works via the following procurement methods:

·         Utilise existing frameworks which are available via STaR Procurement;

·         Produce bespoke competitive tenders;

·         Obtain 3 quotations/mini competition for low value works in line with Corporate Procurement Rules;

·         Place one off orders for small works in line with Corporate Procurement Rules.

 

Resolved

 

1.    That the procurement of the Rochdale Highway Framework be approved;

2.    That the award of the Rochdale Highway Framework to the successful bidders be delegated to the Director of Neighbourhoods in consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Highways and Housing and the Director of Corporate Services;

3.    That approval to award capital and revenue work packages to the successful bidders of the Rochdale Highway Framework be delegated to the Director of Neighbourhoods and the Portfolio Holder for Highways and Housing;

4.    That the Assistant Director for Legal and Governance be authorised to prepare and execute any necessary legal agreements in accordance with the Council Constitution.

 

Reasons for the decision

 

Cabinet approval is required to allow highway officers to engage STaR procurement to commence the procurement process and engage with potential suppliers.

Delegated approval is required to authorise officers to deliver future highway capital programmes and various revenue works to the successful bidders.