Agenda, decisions and minutes

Venue: The Forum, Moat Lane, Towcester, Northants NN12 6AD

Contact: Natasha Clark, Democratic and Elections  Email: democracy@cherwellandsouthnorthants.gov.uk 01295 221534

Items
No. Item

25.

Declarations of Interest

Members are asked to declare any interest and the nature of that interest which they may have in any of the items under consideration at this meeting.

 

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

26.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 63 KB

To confirm as a correct record the Minutes of the meeting of Cabinet held on 9 September 2019.

Minutes:

The Minutes of the meeting of Cabinet held on 9 September 2019 were agreed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

27.

Chairman's Announcements

To receive communications from the Chairman.

Minutes:

There were no Chairman’s announcements.

28.

Referrals, if any, from the Community Funding Panel meeting of 7 October 2019 pdf icon PDF 75 KB

Report of Executive Director: Operations

 

Purpose of report

 

To take recommendations from the Council’s Community Funding Panel regarding applications of over £20,000 which cannot be granted under delegated authority.

 

Recommendations

            

The meeting is recommended:

 

 1.1          To agree any recommendations from the Community Funding Panel after its meeting on 7 October 2019. 

 

Additional documents:

Decision:

Resolved

 

(1)            That the recommendation of the Community Funding Panel to award £33,000 under the New Homes Bonus Local Community funding stream to Roade Parish Council be agreed.

 

(2)            That the recommendation of the Community Funding Panel to award £27,834 under the New Homes Bonus Local Community funding stream to St Peters with St James Parish Church be agreed.

 

Minutes:

The Executive Director: Operations submitted a report for Cabinet to take recommendations from the Council’s Community Funding Panel regarding applications of over £20,000 which cannot be granted under delegated authority.

 

Resolved

 

(1)            That the recommendation of the Community Funding Panel to award £33,000 under the New Homes Bonus Local Community funding stream to Roade Parish Council be agreed.

 

(2)            That the recommendation of the Community Funding Panel to award £27,834 under the New Homes Bonus Local Community funding stream to St Peters with St James Parish Church be agreed.

 

Reasons

 

The Community Funding Panel reviewed grant applications at its meeting on 7 October and was satisfied that the applications recommended to Cabinet for approval met the Council’s grant giving criteria and would contribute to the health and wellbeing of the district.

 

Alternative options

 

Option 1: Reject the recommendation of the Community Funding Panel. It is not recommended that this option be pursued as applications that are recommended by the Community Funding Panel will be in line with Council policy.

 

29.

Digital Advice Hub pdf icon PDF 90 KB

Report of Executive Director Finance

 

Purpose of report

 

To provide members with an update on a proposal from Citizens Advice to introduce a Digital Advice Hub at The Forum in Towcester.  

 

Recommendations

            

The meeting is recommended:

 

 1.1          To note the contents of the report.

 

1.2    To consider if they would like Citizens Advice to provide this additional service to residents of the South Northamptonshire District as a pilot for roll out across the district and at no additional financial cost to the Council.

 

Decision:

Resolved

 

(1)          That the contents of the report be noted.

 

(2)          That, having given due consideration, agreement be given to Citizens Advice to provide this additional service to residents of the South Northamptonshire District as a pilot for roll out across the district and at no additional financial cost to the Council.

 

Minutes:

The Executive Director Finance submitted a report to provide members with an update on a proposal from Citizens Advice to introduce a Digital Advice Hub at The Forum in Towcester. 

 

Resolved

 

(1)            That the contents of the report be noted.

 

(2)            That, having given due consideration, agreement be given to Citizens Advice to provide this additional service to residents of the South Northamptonshire District as a pilot for roll out across the district and at no additional financial cost to the Council.

 

Reasons

 

South Northamptonshire Council currently grant fund Citizens Advice who offer benefits and debt advice as well as more generalist advice to our residents. This service complements the in-house Debt and Money Advice service. As well as offering telephone and online support Citizens Advice are on site at The Forum on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays.

 

Alternative options

 

Option 1:  To not agree the proposal outlined in this report.  This may have implications for residents across the district who may require support with accessing online services.

 

 

 

 

 

30.

Council Tax Reduction Scheme 2020-2021 pdf icon PDF 104 KB

Report of Executive Director Finance

 

Purpose of report

 

To provide members with an update on the implications of the current Council Tax Reduction Scheme and the changes to discounts, to provide options to consider for a Council Tax Reduction Scheme for 2020-2021 and to seek approval to recommend a Council Tax Reduction Scheme for 2020-2021 to Council.    

 

Recommendations

            

The meeting is recommended:

 

 1.1          To note the contents of the report and any financial implications for the Council.

 

1.2     To recommend to Council the option of no change to the current Council Tax Reduction Scheme (CTRS) for the financial year 2020-2021 and to amend the CTRS Regulations for Pensioners in line with the uprating announced by DCLG and to uprate the Working Age Regulations in line with those announced by Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). 

 

1.3    To recommend to Council that delegated authority is given to the Executive Director Finance to make any changes to the Council Tax Regulations up to and including 31 January 2020 in consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Finance, Performance and Governance (and to implement the same subject to consultation on material changes in accordance with the provisions of the Local Government Finance Act 1992).

 

1.4   To review the proposed level of Council Tax discounts for 2020-2021 and make recommendations to Council as follows:

 

·       Retain the discount for second homes at zero

·       Retain the discount for empty homes (unoccupied and substantially unfurnished) at 50% for 3 months and thereafter at zero.

·       Retain the discount for empty homes undergoing major repair at zero

·       Retain the empty homes premium of an additional 100% for properties that have remained empty for more than 2 years. 

 

Decision:

Resolved

 

(1)          That the contents of the report and any financial implications for the Council be noted.

 

(2)          That Full Council be recommended to agree the option of no change to the current Council Tax Reduction Scheme (CTRS) for the financial year 2020-2021 and to amend the CTRS Regulations for Pensioners in line with the uprating announced by DCLG and to uprate the Working Age Regulations in line with those announced by Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). 

 

(3)          That Full Council be recommended to delegate authority to the Executive Director Finance to make any changes to the Council Tax Regulations up to and including 31 January 2020 in consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Finance, Performance and Governance (and to implement the same subject to consultation on material changes in accordance with the provisions of the Local Government Finance Act 1992).

 

(4)          That having given due consideration, Full Council be recommended to agree the following level of Council Tax discounts for 2020-2021:

 

·         Retain the discount for second homes at zero

·         Retain the discount for empty homes (unoccupied and substantially unfurnished) at 50% for 3 months and thereafter at zero.

·         Retain the discount for empty homes undergoing major repair at zero.

·         Retain the empty homes premium of an additional 100% for properties that have remained empty for more than 2 years. 

 

Minutes:

The Executive Director Finance submitted a report to provide members with an update on the implications of the current Council Tax Reduction Scheme and the changes to discounts, to provide options to consider for a Council Tax Reduction Scheme for 2020-2021 and to seek approval to recommend a Council Tax Reduction Scheme for 2020-2021 to Council.   

 

Resolved

 

(1)            That the contents of the report and any financial implications for the Council be noted.

 

(2)            That Full Council be recommended to agree the option of no change to the current Council Tax Reduction Scheme (CTRS) for the financial year 2020-2021 and to amend the CTRS Regulations for Pensioners in line with the uprating announced by DCLG and to uprate the Working Age Regulations in line with those announced by Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). 

 

(3)            That Full Council be recommended to delegate authority to the Executive Director Finance to make any changes to the Council Tax Regulations up to and including 31 January 2020 in consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Finance, Performance and Governance (and to implement the same subject to consultation on material changes in accordance with the provisions of the Local Government Finance Act 1992).

 

(4)            That having given due consideration, Full Council be recommended to agree the following level of Council Tax discounts for 2020-2021:

 

·       Retain the discount for second homes at zero

·       Retain the discount for empty homes (unoccupied and substantially unfurnished) at 50% for 3 months and thereafter at zero.

·       Retain the discount for empty homes undergoing major repair at zero.

·       Retain the empty homes premium of an additional 100% for properties that have remained empty for more than 2 years. 

 

Reasons

 

From April 2013 Council Tax Benefit was abolished and replaced with a local Council Tax Reduction Scheme. The Council is required to agree a scheme based on the reduced level of funding from Government.

 

Members are now asked to recommend to Council option one which is a no change Council Tax Reduction Scheme for the 2020-2021 financial year. This option meets the objective of continuing to support residents whilst ensuring the scheme remains affordable.

 

Alternative options

 

Option 1:  To not recommend any of the options for a scheme for 2020-2021 This would have financial implications for the Council and those residents affected by Welfare Reform.

 

Option 2: To decrease the level of support to Working age claimants. This would have an impact on some of the most vulnerable residents in the district and may significantly affect collection rates. 

 

31.

Medium Term Financial Strategy and Capital Funding Review pdf icon PDF 132 KB

Report of Executive Director Finance

 

Purpose of report

 

The Medium Term Financial Strategy (MTFS) provides a starting point for the detailed budget process by setting out the principles and assumptions that underpin those budgets. This report seeks approval for these principles.

 

A review of the capital programme for 2019/20 has recently been carried out. In addition, the sources of funding for the programme have been reviewed and are clarified.

 

To endorse the continuation of the Business Rates Polling Arrangement for 2020-21

 

Recommendations

            

The meeting is recommended:

 

 1.1          To approve the MTFS principles set out in paragraph 3.4.

 

1.2           To approve the outline budget timetable set out in paragraph 3.6.

 

1.3           To note the budget assumptions and guidelines set out in Appendix 1.

 

1.4           To consider the revisions to the Capital Programme for 2019/20 as detailed in Appendix 2 and recommend the revised Capital Programme for approval at full Council.

 

1.5           To recommend that full council delegate authority to the Executive Director of Finance in consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Finance, Performance and Governance to amend the Capital budget for the Watermeadow’s project to reflect the application for the Heritage Lottery Funding bid (and any other successful funding bids) if it proves to be successful.

 

1.6           To approve the Realignment of Reserves as detailed in Appendix 3.

 

1.7           To endorse the continuation of this Council being part of the Northamptonshire business rates pool for 2020-21.

 

Additional documents:

Decision:

Resolved

 

(1)          That the Medium Term Financial Strategy principles be approved.

 

(2)          That the outline budget timetable be approved.

 

(3)          That the budget assumptions and guidelines be noted.

 

(4)          That having given due consideration, the revisions to the Capital Programme for 2019/20 (as detailed in the annex to the Minutes as set out in the Minute Book) be endorsed and Full Council be recommended to approve the revised Capital Programme.

 

(5)          That Full Council be recommended to delegate authority to the Executive Director of Finance, in consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Finance, Performance and Governance, to amend the Capital budget for the Watermeadow’s project to reflect the application for the Heritage Lottery Funding bid (and any other successful funding bids) if it proves to be successful.

 

(6)          That the Realignment of Reserves (annex to the Minutes as set out in the Minute Book) be approved

 

(7)          That the continuation of South Northamptonshire Council being part of the Northamptonshire business rates pool for 2020-21 be endorsed.

 

Minutes:

The Executive Director Finance submitted a report on the Medium Term Financial Strategy and Capital Funding Review.

 

The Medium Term Financial Strategy (MTFS) provided a starting point for the detailed budget process by setting out the principles and assumptions that underpin those budgets. This report sought approval for these principles.

 

A review of the capital programme for 2019/20 had recently been carried out. In addition, the sources of funding for the programme had been reviewed and are clarified.

 

The report also sought endorsement of the continuation of the Business Rates Pooling Arrangement for 2020-21

 

Resolved

 

(1)            That the Medium Term Financial Strategy principles be approved.

 

(2)            That the outline budget timetable be approved.

 

(3)            That the budget assumptions and guidelines be noted.

 

(4)            That having given due consideration, the revisions to the Capital Programme for 2019/20 (as detailed in the annex to the Minutes as set out in the Minute Book) be endorsed and Full Council be recommended to approve the revised Capital Programme.

 

(5)            That Full Council be recommended to delegate authority to the Executive Director of Finance, in consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Finance, Performance and Governance, to amend the Capital budget for the Watermeadow’s project to reflect the application for the Heritage Lottery Funding bid (and any other successful funding bids) if it proves to be successful.

 

(6)            That the Realignment of Reserves (annex to the Minutes as set out in the Minute Book) be approved

 

(7)            That the continuation of South Northamptonshire Council being part of the Northamptonshire business rates pool for 2020-21 be endorsed.

 

Reasons

 

The Medium Term Financial Strategy and the principles set out in this report underpin the development of a robust and sustainable budget for 2020/21.

 

The review of the capital programme and funding have highlighted the need for some amendments in order to ensure that it continues to meet the Council’s corporate objectives.

 

There is a need to confirm our intention to join the Northamptonshire Business Rates Pool in good time for the lead authority to confirm the position for Northamptonshire to MHCLG.

 

Alternative options

 

Option 1: To reject the current proposals and make alternative recommendations.

 

32.

Monthly Performance, Finance and Risk Report - August 2019 pdf icon PDF 1 MB

Report of Assistant Director: Customers and Corporate Services and Head of Finance and Procurement

 

Purpose of report

 

This report summarises the Council’s Performance, Risk and Finance monitoring position as at the end of August.

 

Recommendations

            

The meeting is recommended:

 

1.1     To note the monthly Performance, Risk and Finance Monitoring Report.

Additional documents:

Decision:

Resolved

 

(1)            That the monthly Performance, Risk and Finance Monitoring Report be noted.

Minutes:

The Assistant Director: Customers and Corporate Services and Head of Finance and Procurement submitted a report which summarised the Council’s Performance, Risk and Finance monitoring position as at the end of August.

 

In considering the report, Cabinet noted that the service in focus for the monthe was the Democratic and Elections Team. Members asked that their thanks be extended to the team for their ongoing hard work and commented on the important role the team performed in running elections, which the majority of people would not realise was such a huge logistical exercise.

 

Resolved

 

(1)            That the monthly Performance, Risk and Finance Monitoring Report be noted.

 

Reasons

 

The Council is committed to performance, risk and budget management and reviews progress against its corporate priorities on a monthly basis.

 

This report provides an update on progress made so far in 2019-20 to deliver the Council’s priorities through reporting on Performance, the Leadership Risk Register and providing an update on the financial position.

 

Alternative options

 

Option 1: This report illustrates the Council’s performance against the 2019-20 business plan. As this is a monitoring report, no further options have been considered. However, members may wish to request that officers provide additional information.

33.

Urgent Business (previously agreed with the Chairman)

To consider any items of urgent business.

Minutes:

There were no items of urgent business.