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Contact: Rebecca Owen Democratic Services Officer
Apologies for absence
It was noted that Cllr Witherford would be arriving late due to a clash with another meeting.
To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 19 December 2016.
It was moved by Councillor Bill, seconded by Councillor D Cope and
RESOLVED – the minutes of the meeting held on 19 December be confirmed and signed by the chairman.
Declarations of interest
To receive verbally from Members any disclosures which they are required to make in accordance with the Council’s Code of Conduct or in pursuance of Section 106 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992. This is in addition to the need for such disclosure to be also given when the relevant matter is reached on the agenda.
No interests were declared at this stage.
Budget report and appendices, including fees & charges, attached.
The committee received the proposed revenue budget and council tax for 2017/18 for the special expenses area. It was highlighted that paragraph 3.6 should read “at this stage provision has not been made for the committee to fund Hollycroft Park”. It was also noted that the figures in the table in paragraph 3.9 were incorrect – the correct figures were contained in appendix 1.
In relation to funding Hollycroft Park, some members expressed concern that this had not been discussed previously and, as figures were not included in the report, they could not discuss further at this stage. A member reminded the group that, many years ago, it had been agreed that Hollycroft Park would be funded from the general fund, offset by car parks income, and that any change to this would need to be consulted upon.
Councillor Witherford entered the meeting at 6.40pm.
A member sought clarification on the council tax precept setting process for the special expenses area, asking whether the committee could set its own precept. In response it was explained that, as a Council function, the Council as billing authority would set the council tax for the borough and the special expenses area and any increase in the borough rate would result in a proportionate increase in the special expenses area rate. Some members were not happy with the proposal for a £5 increase in the borough council tax (which would result in a 71p increase to the special expenses area budget), explaining that they would prefer no increase in council tax. In light of recent discussions on expanding the future responsibility of the committee, some members felt that that responsibility should extend to setting its own precept, in the same way as a parish or town council.
The Leader of Council, in attendance as observer, urged the committee to consider what responsibilities it would wish to take on and then base its funding requirement on that. He felt that the committee should have more of an input into the management of Hollycroft Park.
The meeting was adjourned at 6.57pm for a discussion on wording of an acceptable resolution. The meeting reconvened at 7.01pm.
It was moved by Councillor Lynch and seconded by Councillor Bray that:
“the committee notes the revenue and capital budgets but does not support the council tax increase for 2017/18. Liberal Democrat members wish it to be recorded that they are opposed to the £5 increase in council tax for the borough.”
Upon being put to the vote, the motion was carried and it was
(i) The revenue and capital budgets be noted;
(ii) The proposed council tax increase be not supported.