Agenda and minutes

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Contact: Alison James/Peter Thompson  Senior Committee Services Officer

Items
No. Item

75.

Apologies

To receive any apologies for absence.

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Massey and Robinson (Assistant Portfolio Holders).

76.

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.

77.

Urgent Items 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:

There were no urgent items of business but the Chair advised that Agenda Item 6 (Social Care and Local Government Ombudsman Finding of Maladministration) and Agenda item 7 (Special Guardianship Policy) had both been withdrawn from the Agenda and deferred for consideration at the next scheduled meeting of the Cabinet on 25th February 2020.

78.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 85 KB

To consider the Minutes of the meeting of Cabinet held on 28th January 2020.

Minutes:

That the minutes of the meeting of Cabinet held 28th January 2020 be approved and signed, by the Chair, as a correct record.

79.

Social Care & Local Government Ombudsman Finding of Maladministration

Report of the Monitoring Officer to be circulated.

Minutes:

Resolved:

That this item be withdrawn from the agenda and deferred for consideration at the next meeting of the Cabinet on 25th February 2020.

80.

Special Guardianship Policy pdf icon PDF 2 MB

Report of the Director of Children’s Services to be circulated.

Minutes:

Resolved:

That this item be withdrawn from the agenda and deferred for consideration at the next meeting of the Cabinet on 25th February 2020.

81.

Discretionary Business Rate Scheme 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 98 KB

To consider a Discretionary Business Rate Relief Policy for 2020/2021.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chief Finance Officer advised the Cabinet that it was expected that the Government’s March 2020 Budget would announce additional Discretionary Business Rate Relief’s which will require the Policy to be amended for 2020/21.

 

A draft 2020/21 Policy document was attached at appendix 1 to the report. This currently assumes that all the recommendations are adopted, but this document will only be finalised after the budget on 11th March 2020.

 

The Budget Council meeting on 26th February 2020 will be asked to make decisions on the recommendations in the report.

 

Alternatives considered:

The changes to the Policy had been determined by the Government and the Council had been directed to implement those changes, therefore no alternatives were considered.

 

Resolved:

1.     The Cabinet notes an increase to 50% of Retail Relief from 1st April 2020, which is due to be announced by the Government in the 2020 budget and will be fully funded by Section 31 grant.

2.     The Cabinet notes the introduction of Pub Relief from 1st April 2020. This will be announced by Government in the 2020 budget and will be fully funded by Section 31 grant.

3.     The Cabinet notes the extension of the £1,500 business rate discount for local newspapers’ office space for 2020/21. This will be announced by Government in the 2020 budget and will be fully funded by Section 31 grant.

4.     The Chief Finance Officer, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Finance, be given delegated authority to finalise the 2020/21 Discretionary Business Rate Relief Policy following the Government’s 2020 budget which will take place on 11 March 2020. This includes the specific items in 2.1, 2.2 and 2.3, but any other announcements that may need to be incorporated.

5.     The Cabinet recommends to the Budget Council meeting on 26th February 2020, approval of relief of £90 to qualifying businesses who experienced a large increase in their rateable value following the 2017 revaluation. This scheme was introduced by Government in the 2017 budget for a period of 4 years from 1st April 2017. This will be fully funded by Section 31.

 

Reasons for the decision:

The changes to the Policy were due to be announced by the Government in the 2020 budget. The change outlined at paragraph at 2.5 of the submitted report, had been introduced by Government in the 2017 budget. All the changes must be administered by the Council using discretionary powers.

Eligible for Call-in: No

82.

Treasury Management Strategy 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 128 KB

To receive a report on the Treasury Management Strategy 2020/2021.

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 2020/2021. 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 2020/2021 be recommendedto Councilforapproval, at its meeting on 26th February 2020,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 26th February 2020andto ensurethat the Cabinet’sMembers wereinformedofandensuredadherenceto therequirementsofthe Prudential Framework.

Eligible for Call-in: No

83.

Capital Investment and Disposal Strategy for 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 170 KB

To consider the proposed Capital Investment and Disposal Strategy.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet considered a report of the Chief Finance Officer that was seeking approval for the 2020/2021 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 26th February 2020 be recommended to approve the AnnualCapital Investment and Disposal Strategy, 2020/2021, 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.

84.

Revenue Budget Update 2020/21 - 2022/23 - including Medium Term Financial Strategy & Capital Programme pdf icon PDF 598 KB

To consider the Revenue Budget Update 2020/21 - 2022/23 (including the Medium Term Financial Strategy and Capital Programme).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chief Finance Officer presented a report which provided the Cabinet with the proposed Revenue Budget, Capital Programme and Council Tax 2020/21 for recommendation to Budget Council on 26th February 2020. The information contained in the report is subject to the Final Local Government Finance Settlement and approval of the Mayor of Greater Manchester Council Tax precepts for 2020/21.

 

The report also outlined the Medium Term Financial Strategy 2020/21 to 2024/25.  The Medium Term Financial Strategy provides the latest budget position for the Council, sets out the key financial challenges and issues which will be faced over the period 2020/21 to 2024/25, and provides details of the assumptions and estimates which underpin the budget. The strategy also takes account of the latest known developments both regional and at a local level and reports on the integration of Health and Social Care within the Pooled Budget arrangements.

 

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:

1.    It be recommended that the Council at its meeting on 26th February 2020:

a.    Consider and recommend to Budget Council the proposed revenue budgets outlined in Appendix 1, based on a budget requirement of £224.128m for 2020/21. 

b.    Subject to confirmation of the Mayor of Greater Manchester precepts, consider and recommend to Budget Council:

2.    A Council Tax for district purposes of £1,645.27 for Band D properties (3.99% increase) for 2020/21.

3.    A Council Tax (including precepts) of £1,944.52 for Band D properties (4.69% increase).    

4.    Note the position in relation to Education Services Grant and Schools Funding. Cabinet delegate 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.

5.    Consider and note the progress of the Integration of Health and Social Care services as set out at 5.2. In particular, the operation of the Pooled Fund budget for local authority and CCG services and the risks to the Council should the savings proposals not be achieved.

6.    Recommend to Budget Council a contribution to the Integrated Health & Social Care Pooled Fund budget of £102.339m in 2020/21.

7.    Note that a one off payment of £250,000 from the Equalisation Reserve for 2020/21 has been be allocated to the school meals catering service. This was approved by the Chief Executive on the basis of urgency and to enable consultation to be undertaken with schools.

8.    Consider and recommend to Budget Council the updated Budget Carry Forward policy, as detailed in Appendix 3.

9.    Consider and recommend to Budget Council, the proposed Capital Programme for 2020/21 to 2022/23 as detailed at Appendix 4  ...  view the full minutes text for item 84.

85.

Local Government Act 2003: Report on the Robustness of the Budget pdf icon PDF 909 KB

The Chief Finance Officer to report on the Budget 2020/21 – 2022/23: 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 the Budget Council meeting o 26th February 2020:-

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

86.

Savings Programme 2020/21 to 2021/22 – Update Following Consultation pdf icon PDF 137 KB

To consider savings proposals for 2020/2021.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet considered a report of the Chief Finance Officer that provided Members with: An update on the results of consultation on the proposed Savings Programme 2020/21 - 2021/22.

 

Alternatives considered:

The Council is legally obliged to set a balanced revenue budget. The budget setting process is complex and must 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.

 

Consideration is given to a number of options in putting forward the savings proposals contained in a report to Cabinet on 29th October 2019 and the report outlined any alternatives. To do nothing was not considered to be an option as the Council was legally required to set a balanced budget.

 

The Cabinet could decide not to implement these proposals and provide alternative options to enable a balanced budget to be achieved.

 

Resolved:

1.    It is recommended that the Cabinet recommend that the Council approves the following savings proposals at its meeting on 26th February 2020:

a.       NH-2020-21-002 Cease delivery of non-statutory wider tobacco control work, following the completion of the workforce consultation.

b.      NH-2020-21-013 Bowling Pavilions utility charges to users (smart meters).

2.    Cabinet recommends to the Council that CS-2020-21-003: Proposal to relocate Milnrow Youth Centre be withdrawn.

 

Reasons for the recommendations:

The Cabinet is required to recommend a balanced Revenue Budget and Capital Programme 2020/21 to the Budget Council meeting on 26th February 2020 and provisional budgets for 2021/22 to 2022/23. The Council is required to set a balanced budget for 2020/21 by no later than 11th March 2020.

Eligible for Call-in: No

87.

Discretionary Fees and Charges 2020/21 - Update Following Consultation pdf icon PDF 102 KB

To consider proposed discretionary fees and charges for 2020/2021.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chief Finance Officer submitted a report regarding proposed discretionary fees and charges for 2020/2021. Services had requested to review the level of their charges to identify any opportunities to increase charges above nil inflation, in order to contribute towards bridging the budget gap.

 

At the 29th October 2019 meeting of the Cabinet, Members considered a report with the proposed fees and charges by service for 2020/21 detailing any fees and charges above the 0% general uplift together with a recommendation from Overview and Scrutiny Committee that fees and charges should be increased in line with inflation, subject to rounding, with the exception of bereavement services.  This had been agreed.

 

This report details the increased fees and charges which generates £73,000 towards the funding gap. The proposal to implement Replacement Bin Charges is subject to an ongoing public consultation ending in early February. Cabinet recommends the delegation of the implementation of any changes to Replacement Bin charges, to the Portfolio holder for Environment, the Portfolio holder for Finance, and the Service Director for Neighbourhoods, once the outcome of consultation was known.

 

The Cabinet was advised that this matter had been considered by the Council’s Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee, at its meeting on 11th February 2020, who had requested that the Cabinet be advised to increase charges in respect of the following services, in line with inflation: Taxi’s, Land Charges’ Music Service and Food Hygiene. The Overview and Scrutiny Committee had also requested that the Cabinet withdraws the proposed charge for additional bins due to loss or damage.

 

Alternatives considered:

The alternative was not to review or increase any fees and charges. This could potentially reduce the income available to the Council and make it more difficult to achieve a balanced budget.

 

Resolved:

1.     The Cabinet approves the updated Discretionary Fees and Charges for 2020/21 following consultation, including the additional exemptions requested in section 4.3.

2.     The Director of Neighbourhoods be requested to submit a report to a future meeting of the Cabinet regarding proposals, including potential charges, for replacement bins.

 

Reasons for the Decision:

At the 29th October 2019 meeting of the Cabinet, Members considered a report with the proposed fees and charges by service for 2020/21 detailing any fees and charges above the 0% general uplift together with a recommendation from Overview and Scrutiny Committee that fees and charges should be increased in line with inflation with the exception of bereavement services.

Eligible for Call-in: No

88.

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:

Resolved:

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 the following item of business as there may be a disclosure of information that is deemed to be exempt under Part 3 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972.

89.

Land Adjacent to Hopwood Hall, Middleton

To consider matters relating to land adjacent to Hopwood Hall, Middleton.

Minutes:

The Cabinet considered a report of the Director of Economy which examined options for the future use of lad that was adjacent to Hopwood Hall, Middleton.

 

Alternatives considered:

Various alternatives were presented in the Director’s report.

 

Resolved:

1.     The report be noted.

2.     The Cabinet approves the recommendations detailed at paragraph 4.11 of the submitted report.

 

Reasons for the decision:

The proposals detailed in the submitted report would likely bring a number of major benefits to the Council.

Eligible for Call-in: No