Draft 2020/21 General Fund and Special Expenses Revenue Budgets
Report of the Head of Finance
The report was presented by the Head of Finance and supported by the Corporate Portfolio Holder.
In response to a question from Councillor S Sheahan, the Head of Finance explained that the proposed reduction in rent allowances was due to a lower demand for the benefit. It was agreed to provide further information regarding the allowance to Councillor S Sheahan outside of the meeting.
In response to a question from Councillor S Sheahan, the Head of Finance explained that the additional recharges to the Housing Revenue Account and Special Expenses are an accounting transaction, which annually recover the costs of providing corporate services to the Housing Service.
Councillor S Sheahan questioned the Corporate Portfolio Holder on the administration’s decision to once again, not increase Council Tax. The Corporate Portfolio Holder stated that this was a policy of the Conservative group and formed part of the election manifesto; there was no intention to change it.
Councillor M B Wyatt referred to his previous suggestions to utilise the Coalville Cemetery for additional usage and asked if there were any plans for this in the future. The Head of Finance referred to appendix A of the Cabinet report, which detailed this proposal. She added that it was being investigated as part of the burial review.
In reference to the proposed increase in Council Tax for the Coalville Special Expenses area, Councillor M B Wyatt reiterated the view of the Coalville Special Expenses Working Party who were against the proposal. He asked if a higher settlement was agreed nationally, would this be revisited. The Corporate Portfolio Holder stated that the settlement would not change the proposal, as other areas would not be subsidising services required in the Coalville Special Expenses area. He added that a solution to this would be to parish the area.
In response to a question from Councillor D Bigby, the Head of Finance clarified that the consultation referred to within the report was the statutory consultation to parishes. The additional public consultation, a new process for this year, would begin week commencing 13 January 2020 and that comments would be considered by Cabinet when it considers the final budget proposals in February.
In response to a question from Councillor D Bigby in relation to the Council’s journey to self-sufficiency, the Head of Finance explained that the figure was a new savings target linked to the Medium Term Financial Plan and was reviewed periodically. The Chief Executive appreciated that Members would be interested in the Self-Sufficiency Programme and it was agreed to include it in the work programme for a future meeting.
Councillor D Bigby asked for assurances that the cost of the substantive review of the Local Plan had been taken into account, as it was essential that it was undertaken properly. The Corporate Portfolio Holder explained that the proposals reflected the programme and included estimated costs. He added that the Council was committed to the Local Plan and the funds for the substantive review remain in place.
Regarding the proposed funds for tree maintenance, Councillor M B Wyatt asked if this would cover the new trees planned for the Coalville Special Expenses area. The Head of Finance confirmed that the existing budget is for tree maintenance across the whole of the district and the additional funds are to extend tree maintenance service in the Coalville Special Expenses area.
- Draft 2020/21 General Fund and Special Expenses Revenue Budgets Scrutiny Report, item 27. PDF 212 KB
- Appendix 1 - Draft 2020/21 General Fund and Special Expenses Revenue Budgets, item 27. PDF 1 MB