Agenda and minutes

Budget Meeting, Council
Thursday, 23rd February, 2017 8.00 pm

Venue: Civic Offices, Shute End, Wokingham, RG40 1BN

Contact: Anne Hunter  Service Manager, Democratic Services

Items
No. Item

75.

Welcome to new Councillor

Minutes:

The Mayor welcomed Councillor Imogen Shepherd-DuBey, newly elected Member for Emmbrook, to her first Council meeting.

76.

Apologies

To receive any apologies for absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were submitted from Councillors Keith Baker, Charlotte Haitham Taylor, John Halsall, Pauline Helliar-Symons, Philip Houldsworth, Barrie Patman, David Sleight, Wayne Smith and Paul Swaddle.

77.

Minutes of Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 517 KB

To confirm the Minutes of the Meeting held on 17 November 2016 and the Extraordinary Meeting held on 6 December 2016.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Gary Cowan sought clarification regarding points of order which was provided by the Mayor.  A member of the public sought to raise of a point of order but this was ruled inadmissible as it was not in accordance with the Council Procedure Rules contained within the Council’s Constitution. 

 

The Minutes of the meeting of the Council held on 17 November 2016 were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Mayor subject to the following amendments:

 

In Minute 62 ‘Report of the Independent Remuneration Panel on Members’ Allowances Levels,’ insertion of ‘That Special Responsibility Allowances or Non Executive Member payments should be limited to one per Member, being the one with the highest value, to bring the Council into line with the industry standard;’ between ‘2) that Recommendation (3)’ and ‘not be adopted;’

 

The Minutes of the Extraordinary meeting of the Council held on 6 December 2016 were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Mayor.

78.

Declarations of Interest

To receive any declarations of interest

Minutes:

Councillor Chris Smith declared a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest in Agenda Item 77 Auditor Appointment 2017/18 on the grounds that he was employed by KPMG, one of the five audit firms which the Public Sector Audit Appointments Limited (PSAA) could select from.  He left the meeting during discussion of this item and did not vote on this item.

79.

Public Question Time

To answer any public questions

 

A period of 30 minutes will be allowed for members of the public to ask questions submitted under notice.

 

The Council welcomes questions from members of the public about the work of the Council

 

Subject to meeting certain timescales, questions can relate to general issues concerned with the work of the Council or an item which is on the Agenda for this meeting.  For full details of the procedure for submitting questions please contact the Democratic Services Section on the numbers given below or go to www.wokingham.gov.uk/publicquestions

 

Minutes:

In accordance with the agreed procedure the Mayor invited members of the public to submit questions to the appropriate Members.

 

 

80.1

John Russell asked the Executive Member for Highways and Transport the following question:

Question

The Council is currently updating its Transport Plan.  What is the 2016-17 budget spend on transport across the borough and how much is being spent on the following elements : (a) Highway maintenance; (b) Traffic management of the existing road network, eg traffic lights, islands and speed controls; (d) Bus services; (e) Community transport and (f) Responsive transport.

Minutes:

Question

The Council is currently updating its Transport Plan.  What is the 2016-17 budget spend on transport across the Borough and how much is being spent on the following elements : (a) Highway maintenance; (b) Traffic management of the existing road network, eg traffic lights, islands and speed controls; (d) Bus services; (e) Community transport and (f) Responsive transport.

 

Answer:

The answer is as follows:

 

Revenue

·         £1.4million on highway maintenance, that is reactive road and footway repairs including patching and potholes;

·         £480,000 on traffic management of the existing road network that includes minor traffic schemes, signing and lining, Traffic Regulation Orders, road safety activities, traffic signal maintenance, traffic surveys and data collection;

·         £734,000 on bus services; and

·         £98,000 on community transport and responsive transport.

 

On the capital side there are numerous highway and transport capital projects and initiatives and these are all listed in the Council’s Medium Term Financial Plan.

 

Of the capital sums allocated to highways and transport there is £2.28million per annum allocated to “Carriageway Structural Maintenance” which includes the annual road resurfacing programme, where the Borough’s roads are assessed to identify those most in need of treatment, including their structural condition and usage.

 

Supplementary Question:

Would the Council please make this information available to the wider public by including it on your website in order to present a more complete picture of the highways and transport expenditure across the Borough, information on an element not covered by my original question; namely new roadworks.  If so could you also include on the website, details of the cost and length of new roadworks over the same period?

 

Supplementary Answer:

We will be making notes of those and we will discuss this obviously with the relevant Officers and with the finance people and the web people, and find out how much of that can be provided and how.

80.2

Guy Grandison asked the Executive Member for Economic Development and Finance the following question:

Question

Could the Executive Member for Finance tell me what Capital investments the Council will be making in Earley as part of the 2017/18 budget?

Minutes:

Question

Could the Executive Member for Finance tell me what Capital investments the Council will be making in Earley as part of the 2017/18 budget?

 

Answer

The schemes included in the Budget, specific to only the area of Earley are: the expansion of Loddon Primary School £2.4m over the next 2 years and the proposed expansion of Aldryngton Primary at £4.8m over the next 2 years.

 

However, there are a number of other programmes in the capital vision which though Borough wide involves additional investment in Earley.  Amongst these are:

·         Schools urgent maintenance

·         School kitchens maintenance

·         Schools LED enhancement (that is lighting)

·         Special Education Needs

·         Enhancing provision for children and young people with disabilities

·         Highway drainage schemes

·         Street lighting column structural testing

·         Highway infrastructure flood alleviation schemes

·         Highways carriageways structural maintenance

·         Highways footway structural maintenance

·         LED streetlight replacement programme

·         Traffic signal upgrade programme

·         Wokingham Borough wide cycle network

·         Sports provision across the Borough

·         Waste schemes and

·         Library service

 

I would also like to stress that even where capital investment is made outside the area of Earley, it is also of benefit to the residents of Earley, as they can utilise the roads and community facilities and other facilities beyond their immediate boundaries.

 

Supplementary Question:

Based on this would you agree that this Council is supporting Earley in a fair manner?

 

Supplementary Answer:

I believe that we spend money in Earley in a financially responsible manner.

81.

Petitions

To receive any petitions which Members or members of the public wish to present.

Minutes:

There were no petitions submitted.

82.

Mayor's Announcements

To receive any announcements by the Mayor

Minutes:

The Mayor informed Members that that week he had attended the Poppy Awards Presentation and on behalf of the Council, had received a certificate of appreciation.

83.

Medium Term Financial Plan Associated Reports pdf icon PDF 143 KB

Minutes:

The Council considered four reports which together comprised a single Agenda item:

 

·           the Housing Revenue Account Budget 2017/20 as set out on Agenda pages 53 to 66;

·           the Capital Programme and Strategy 2017/20 as set out on Agenda pages 67 to 84;

·           the Treasury Management Strategy 2017/18 as set out on Agenda pages 85 to 128;

·           the Medium Term Financial Plan 2017/20 – Revenue Budget Submission on Agenda pages 129 to 134, subject to the tabled amended statutory resolution 2017/18, Updated Parish Precepts 2017/18 and Updated Council Tax by Band and Parish 2017/18.

 

The Mayor reminded Members that a total of 90 minutes would be set aside for debate.

 

Councillor Julian McGhee-Sumner, Deputy Leader of the Council, made a statement on the 2017/18 budget (attached as Appendix A to the Minutes).

 

Councillor Lindsay Ferris, the Leader of the Opposition, then made his Budget statement on behalf of the Liberal Democrat Group (attached as Appendix B to the Minutes).

 

Following the two speeches, Members discussed the various aspects of the proposed budget in detail. 

83.1

Housing Revenue Account Budget 2017/20 pdf icon PDF 188 KB

To consider the recommendations of the Executive in respect of the Housing Revenue Account budget for 2017/20.

 

RECOMMENDATION:  That Council approve the following:

 

1)         The Housing Revenue Account budget;

 

2)        Council house dwelling rents be reduced by 1% effective from April 2017 in line with the Welfare Reform and Work Bill 2015;

 

3)        Garage rents be increased by 1.9% effective from  April 2017 in line with council fees and charges;

 

4)        Shared Equity Rents will be increased by 2% based on September RPI, effective from April 2017;

 

5)         Tenant Service Charges are set in line with estimated costs;

 

6)        The Housing Major Repairs (capital) programme for 2017/18 as set out in Appendix C;

 

7)        Sheltered room guest charges increase from £8.20 per night to £9.00 effective from April 2017.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

It was proposed by Councillor Julian McGhee-Sumner and seconded by Councillor Anthony Pollock that the recommendations as set out on Agenda page 53 be approved.

 

Upon being put to the vote it was:

 

RESOLVED That the following be approved:

 

1)         The Housing Revenue Account budget;

 

2)        Council house dwelling rents be reduced by 1% effective from April 2017 in line with the Welfare Reform and Work Bill 2015;

 

3)        Garage rents be increased by 1.9% effective from April 2017 in line with council fees and charges;

 

4)        Shared Equity Rents will be increased by 2% based on September RPI, effective from April 2017;

 

5)         Tenant Service Charges are set in line with estimated costs;

 

6)        The Housing Major Repairs (capital) programme for 2017/18 as set out in Appendix C;

 

7)        Sheltered room guest charges increase from £8.20 per night to £9.00 effective from April 2017.

 

83.2

Capital Programme and Strategy 2017/20 pdf icon PDF 96 KB

To consider the recommendation of the Executive in respect of the Capital Programme and Strategy 2017/20.

 

RECOMMENDATION:  That the Council is asked to:

 

1)        approve the Capital Programme and Strategy for 2017/20,  as set out in Appendix A to the report;

 

2)        note the draft vision for capital investment over the next 10 years, as set out in Appendix B to the report; and

 

3)        approve the developer contribution S106 and CIL as set out in Appendix C to the report noting that the S106 and CIL values are estimated and approval is sought up to the scheme budget.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

It was proposed by Councillor Julian McGhee-Sumner and seconded by Councillor Anthony Pollock that the Capital Programme and Strategy for 2017/20, as set out on Agenda pages 67 to 83, be approved.

 

Upon being put to the vote it was:

 

RESOLVED  That :

 

1)        the Capital Programme and Strategy for 2017/20,  as set out in Appendix A to the report be approved;

 

2)        the draft vision for capital investment over the next 10 years, as set out in Appendix B to the report be noted; and

 

3)        the developer contribution S106 and CIL as set out in Appendix C to the report be noted, noting that the S106 and CIL values are estimated and approval is sought up to the scheme budget.

 

83.3

Treasury Management Strategy 2017/18 pdf icon PDF 277 KB

To consider the recommendations of the Executive in respect of the Treasury Management Strategy 2017/18.

 

RECOMMENDATION:  That Council approve the following:

 

1)         Capital Prudential indicators, 2017/18;

 

2)         Borrowing strategy 2017/18;

 

3)         Annual Investment Strategy 2017/18;

 

4)         Flexible use of capital receipts strategy;

 

5)         Minimum Revenue Provision Policy; and

 

6)         Treasury Indicators: limits to borrowing activity 2017/18.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

It was proposed by Councillor Julian McGhee-Sumner and seconded by Councillor Anthony Pollock that the recommendations as set out on Agenda page 85 be approved.

 

Councillor Lindsay Ferris requested that it be recorded that the Liberal Democrat Group had voted against the proposals contained in the report.

 

Upon being put to the vote it was:

 

RESOLVED  That the following be approved:

1)         Capital Prudential indicators, 2017/18;

 

2)         Borrowing Strategy 2017/18;

 

3)         Annual Investment Strategy 2017/18;

 

4)         Flexible use of capital receipts strategy;

 

5)         Minimum Revenue Provision Policy; and

 

6)         Treasury Indicators: limits to borrowing activity 2017/18.

83.4

Medium Term Financial Plan (MTFP) 2017/20 pdf icon PDF 123 KB

To consider the recommendations of the Executive in relation to the Medium Term Financial Plan 2017/20 and Budget submission and Council Tax for 2017/18.

 

RECOMMENDATION:  That Council is recommended to approve:

 

1)        the Medium Term Financial Plan for 2017/20 including the revenue budget submission for 2017/18;

 

2)        the Statutory Resolution that sets out the 2017/18 council tax levels. (Appendix A);

 

3)        that in the event that there are any changes to the provisional precept of the Fire Authority, arising from their precept setting meeting being held on 27 February, the Director of Corporate Services is delegated authority to enact all relevant changes to the MTFP, Statutory Resolution and council tax levels.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

It was proposed by Councillor Julian McGhee-Sumner and seconded by Councillor Anthony Pollock that the Medium Term Financial Plan for 2017/20, including the Revenue Budget Submission for 2017/18 and the Statutory Resolution setting out the 2017/18 Council Tax levels, as amended and tabled at the meeting, be approved.

 

In line with the requirements of the ‘The Local Authorities (Standing Orders) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2014’, a recorded vote was taken.

 

FOR

AGAINST

ABSTAINED

Mark Ashwell

Prue Bray

Ian Pittock

Alistair Auty

Gary Cowan

Bob Pitts

Parry Batth

Andy Croy

Rob Stanton

Laura Blumenthal

Lindsay Ferris

 

Chris Bowring

Clive Jones

 

David Chopping

Beth Rowland

 

UllaKarin Clark

Imogen Shepherd-DuBey

 

Richard Dolinski

Rachelle Shepherd-DuBey

 

Michael Firmager

 

Kate Haines

 

 

Mike Haines

 

 

Emma Hobbs

 

 

Tim Holton

 

 

John Jarvis

 

 

Norman Jorgensen

 

 

Pauline Jorgensen

 

 

John Kaiser

 

 

Dianne King

 

 

David Lee

 

 

Abdul Loyes

 

 

Charles Margetts

 

 

Julian McGhee-Sumner

 

 

Ken Miall

 

 

Philip Mirfin

 

 

Stuart Munro

 

 

Anthony Pollock

 

 

Malcolm Richards

 

 

Angus Ross

 

 

Chris Smith

 

 

Bill Soane

 

 

Alison Swaddle

 

 

Simon Weeks

 

 

Oliver Whittle

 

 

Shahid Younis

 

 

 

Upon being put to the vote it was:

 

RESOLVED That:

 

1)        the Medium Term Financial Plan for 2017/20 including the revenue budget submission for 2017/18 be approved;

 

2)        the Statutory Resolution that sets out the 2017/18 council tax levels. (Appendix A), as tabled at the meeting, be approved and that it be noted that that at its meeting on 26th January 2017 Special Council Executive calculated the following amounts for the year 2017/18 in accordance with regulations made under Section 31B of the Local Government Finance Act 1992, as amended by the Localism Act 2011 and the Local Government Finance Act 2012:-

 

(a)

67,433.40 being the amount calculated by the Council, (Item T) in accordance with regulation 31B of the Local Authorities (Calculation of Council Tax Base) Regulations 1992 (as amended by the Localism Act 2011 and the Local Government Finance Act 2012), as its council tax base for the year

(b)

Part of the Council's area.

Arborfield and Newland

1,263.4

Barkham

1,526.9

Charvil

1,409.3

Earley

11,755.9

Finchampstead

5,725.0

Remenham

321.9

 

Ruscombe

501.5

St. Nicholas Hurst

1,053.1

Shinfield

5,144.0

Sonning

808.3

Swallowfield

1,006.0

Twyford

2,994.5

Wargrave

2,098.3

 

Winnersh

3,897.1

Wokingham

14,685.2

Wokingham Without

3,109.9

Woodley

10,133.1

67,433.4

being the amounts calculated by the Council, in accordance with regulation 6 of the Regulations, as the amounts of its council tax base for the year for dwellings in those parts of its area to which a parish precept relates.

2.

Calculate that the Council Tax requirement for the Council’s own purposes for 2017/18 (excluding Parish precepts) is £91,660,197. This includes £4,300,902 in respect of the Adult Social Care precept for 2017/18; this is based on a 3% increase on the 2016/17 council tax level and a 2% increase on the 2015/16 council tax level.

3.

That the following amounts be now calculated by the Council for the year 2016/2017 in accordance with Sections 32 to 36 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992, amended by the Localism Act 2011. However, the precepts shown below for the parishes of Arborfield, Earley  ...  view the full minutes text for item 83.4

84.

Treasury Management Mid Year Report 2016-17 pdf icon PDF 99 KB

To consider the mid-year Treasury Management report for 2016/17.

 

RECOMMENDATION:  That Council be asked to:

 

1)         approve the mid-year Treasury Management report for 2016/17;

 

2)         note the actual 2016/17 prudential indicators within the report.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council considered the Treasury Management Mid-Year Report for 2016/17 as set out on Agenda pages 135 to 160. The Treasury Management Mid Year Report 2016/17 detailed the treasury management operations during the first six months of 2016/17.

 

It was proposed by Councillor Julian McGhee-Sumner and seconded by Councillor Anthony Pollock that the recommendations as set out on Agenda page 135 be approved.

 

Upon being put to the vote it was:

 

RESOLVED That:

 

1)         the mid-year Treasury Management report for 2016/17 be approved;

 

2)         the actual 2016/17 prudential indicators within the report be noted;

 

85.

Auditor Appointment 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 168 KB

To receive a report regarding appointing the Council’s auditors.

 

RECOMMENDATION:  That Council

1)        note that this report was presented to the Audit Committee on 5 December 2016;

 

2)        approve Option A, as recommended by the Audit Committee and as set out in the report, i.e. opting into the Public Sector Audit Appointment process.

 

Minutes:

The Council considered a report regarding the appointment of the Council’s external auditor as set out on Agenda pages 161 to 164.

 

It was proposed by Councillor Julian McGhee-Sumner and seconded by Councillor Anthony Pollock that the recommendations within the report be approved.

 

Upon being put to the vote it was:

 

RESOLVED That:

1)        it be noted that this report was presented to the Audit committee on 5 December 2016;

 

2)        Option A, as recommended by the Audit Committee and as set out in the report, i.e. opting into the Public Sector Audit Appointment process be approved.

 

86.

Community Governance Review pdf icon PDF 277 KB

To receive a report regarding the results of the Community Governance Review.

 

RECOMMENDATION: That Council agree the following:

 

1)        that no changes are implemented following the Community Governance Review (CGR) that was initiated in February 2016;

 

2)        that the matters considered by the review should be reconsidered by a new CGR at a later date. It is recommended that this is after formal planning applications have been submitted for that part of the South Wokingham Strategic Development Location (SDL) that is currently within the Wokingham Without Parish.

 

Minutes:

The Council considered a report, set out on Agenda pages 165 to 167, relating to the outcome of a Community Governance Review.

 

It was proposed by Councillor Pauline Jorgensen and seconded by Councillor Alison Swaddle that the recommendations within the report be approved.

 

Upon being put to the vote it was:

 

RESOLVEDThat the following be agreed:

1)        that no changes be implemented following the Community Governance Review (CGR) that was initiated in February 2016;

 

2)        that the matters considered by the review should be reconsidered by a new CGR at a later date.  It is recommended that this is after formal planning applications have been submitted for that part of the South Wokingham Strategic Development Location (SDL) that is currently within the Wokingham Without Parish.

87.

Changes to the Constitution pdf icon PDF 188 KB

To consider proposed changes to the Constitution as put forward by the Constitution Review Working Group.

 

RECOMMENDATION:  That Council approves the following amendments to the relevant sections of the Council’s Constitution, as put forward by the Constitution Review Working Group:

 

1)        agree the following changes to the Constitution as recommended by the Constitution Review Working Group:

 

a)        that Appendix A – Process for Appointing Independent Remuneration Panel Members be amended as follows:

“1.        Advert placed on the website etc and in the local newspaper if appropriate.”

 

b)        that Rule 4.4.3.2d)iii) be amended as follows:

“To review, revise as necessary and recommend adoption of the Risk Management Policy and Strategy to Executive when changes occur.”

 

c)         that Rule 8.2.1 be amended as follows:

8.2.1  Meetings of the Planning Committee

The Planning Committee shall meet as scheduled in the Timetable of Meetings agreed by Council.”

 

2)        note the Terms of Reference of the Constitution Review Working Group.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council considered a report regarding proposed changes to the Constitution as recommended by the Constitution Review Working Group, as set out on Agenda pages 169 to 174.

 

It was proposed by Councillor Pauline Jorgensen and seconded by Councillor Prue Bray that the recommendations within the report be approved.

 

RESOLVED  That

1)        the following changes to the Constitution as recommended by the Constitution Review Working Group be agreed:

 

a)        that Appendix A – Process for Appointing Independent Remuneration Panel Members be amended as follows:

“1.        Advert placed on the website etc and in the local newspaper if appropriate.”

 

b)        that Rule 4.4.3.2d)iii) be amended as follows:

“To review, revise as necessary and recommend adoption of the Risk Management Policy and Strategy to Executive when changes occur.”

 

c)         that Rule 8.2.1 be amended as follows:

8.2.1  Meetings of the Planning Committee

The Planning Committee shall meet as scheduled in the Timetable of Meetings agreed by Council.”

 

2)        the Terms of Reference of the Constitution Review Working Group be noted.

 

88.

Timetable of Meetings 2017/18 pdf icon PDF 206 KB

To consider the proposed Timetable of Meetings for the 2017/18 Municipal Year.

 

RECOMMENDATION:  That the Timetable of Meetings for the 2017/18 Municipal Year be agreed.

Minutes:

The Council considered the proposed Timetable of Meetings for the 2017/18 Municipal Year as set out on Agenda page 175.

 

It was proposed by Councillor Julian McGhee-Sumner and seconded by Councillor Anthony Pollock that the 2017/18 Timetable of Meetings be approved.

 

Councillors Lindsay Ferris, Rachelle Shepherd-DuBey and Ian Pittock commented that consideration should be given to holding a Council meeting in January to enable further opportunities for debate.

 

Upon being put to the vote it was:

 

RESOLVED:  That the Timetable of Meetings for the 2017/18 Municipal Year, as set out in the Agenda, be approved.