Agenda and draft minutes

Budget meeting, Council - Tuesday, 23 February 2021 6.30 pm

Venue: Virtual meeting. View directions

Contact: Rebecca Owen, Democratic Services Manager on 01455255879 or email  rebecca.owen@hinckley-bosworth.gov.uk 

Link: watch the meeting on YouTube

Media

Items
No. Item

643.

Apologies

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were submitted on behalf of Councillor Boothby.

644.

Minutes of the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 283 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 15 December 2020.

Minutes:

It was moved by Councillor Bray, seconded by Councillor Webber-Jones and

 

RESOLVED – the minutes of the meeting held on 15 December 2020 be approved as a correct record.

645.

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.

Minutes:

Councillor H Williams declared an interest in item 11a as he was an unpaid carer.

 

Councillor Roberts declared an interest in item 11a as his wife was a carer.

646.

Mayor's Communications

To receive such communications as the Mayor may decide to lay before the Council.

Minutes:

During her communications, the Mayor thanked staff, carers and residents of the borough for their hard work and dedication during the pandemic. She also paid tribute to former councillor Bill Shooter who had sadly recently passed away.

647.

Petitions

Councillor Collett will present a petition submitted in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 15 with 602 signatures in support of the following statement:

 

"I/we the undersigned deplore the recent vote by Liberal Democrats on Hinckley & Bosworth Borough Council to approve planning permission for 65 homes to be built to the east of Roseway in Stoke Golding.

 

This beautiful, historic village has seen huge development in recent years and does not have the infrastructure to cope with further development. There are concerns with regard to destruction of beautiful countryside, highway safety and flooding. Stoke Golding villagers are unanimously opposed to this development and over 400 residents previously wrote to Hinckley & Bosworth to oppose this application.

 

It is the height of hypocrisy for Liberal Democrats to claim to protect green spaces and listen to local people yet to vote en bloc in favour of development in Stoke Golding. An identical proposal in the Liberal Democrat held ward of Desford was rejected at the same meeting.

 

We call upon Hinckley & Bosworth Borough Council to actually listen to local people and take their views into account, acting democratically when considering future developments in Stoke Golding."

Minutes:

Councillor Collett presented a petition in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 15 with 602 signatures in support of the following statement:

 

"I/we the undersigned deplore the recent vote by Liberal Democrats on Hinckley & Bosworth Borough Council to approve planning permission for 65 homes to be built to the east of Roseway in Stoke Golding.

 

This beautiful, historic village has seen huge development in recent years and does not have the infrastructure to cope with further development. There are concerns with regard to destruction of beautiful countryside, highway safety and flooding. Stoke Golding villagers are unanimously opposed to this development and over 400 residents previously wrote to Hinckley & Bosworth to oppose this application.

 

It is the height of hypocrisy for Liberal Democrats to claim to protect green spaces and listen to local people yet to vote en bloc in favour of development in Stoke Golding. An identical proposal in the Liberal Democrat held ward of Desford was rejected at the same meeting.

 

We call upon Hinckley & Bosworth Borough Council to actually listen to local people and take their views into account, acting democratically when considering future developments in Stoke Golding."

648.

Leader of the Council's Position Statement

Members, tonight’s Annual Budget meeting marks the first virtual budget meeting in the Council’s history. Who would have thought this time last year that we would be entering a prolonged period of national lockdowns and restrictions as a result of the global COVID-19 pandemic and the devastating impacts this would have on peoples’ lives and livelihoods.

 

There are a number of key budget reports on the agenda which my colleague and Executive Lead for Finance, Keith Lynch, will take you through shortly, supported by Ashley Wilson, the Council’s Head of Finance and S151 officer.

 

Budget

 

The past year has been extremely challenging, which has seen the Council maintain effective service delivery as well as react positively to the COVID response and recovery effort. However, I am pleased to report we are in a position to put forward a three year medium term financial plan despite the severe uncertainty nationally going forward. We are able to present a balanced budget for next year which you will see from the General Fund Budget report. However, as a result of continued Government cuts in our funding and the loss of New Homes Bonus, we have had to take some difficult decisions in raising council tax and green waste charges for the coming financial year. This will help ensure we can continue providing excellent services to our residents and keep focused on the recovery effort, as the country gradually comes out of lockdown.

 

You will note from these reports our Housing Revenue Account is healthy and that we have kept fees and charges (with the exception of green waste) to inflation only rises.

 

Our Capital Programme identifies the key projects and programmes that the Council will focus on over the next few years, including the development of the new crematorium. The ambition of the programme is tempered by the financial constraints we have and uncertainty of Government funding going forward.

 

Motions

 

You will note we have two key motions on the agenda tonight. One about support for carers and the other about providing more adoptable roads in new developments, which I hope you will support.

 

Housing Pressures

 

The Government’s national target of delivering 300,000 houses per year continues to place enormous strain on our communities and the Council’s resources in dealing with a range of speculative development proposals. Our efforts to help protect communities from the unwanted developments has led to unprecedented levels of planning appeals.

 

Hinckley Rail Freight Depot and Surrounding Area

 

Plans for this significant new development, adjacent to junction 2 of the M69, continue and we are aware of significant additional development proposals alongside this which are being promoted, which, if it goes ahead, will result in significant infilling of open countryside between Earl Shilton and Burbage and between Elmesthorpe, Stoney Stanton and Sapcote across in Blaby. We will therefore continue to lobby hard against these emerging developments to help protect our communities from the unwanted development and its impact on local countryside.

 

A5 Partnership

 

As a recent meeting of  ...  view the full agenda text for item 648.

Minutes:

In his position statement, the Leader referred to the budget, Hinckley Rail Freight Depot, the A5 Partnership, supporting young people in Covid recovery, vaccinations and the national recovery announcement. He also focussed on concerns over government targets on housebuilding causing pressure on local council and communities and giving rise to matters such as those raised in the petition that had been presented under the previous item.

649.

Minutes of the Scrutiny Commission pdf icon PDF 134 KB

To receive for information only the minutes of the Scrutiny Commission meeting held on 4 February 2021.

Minutes:

The minutes of the Scrutiny Commission were received for information.

650.

Budget reports pdf icon PDF 471 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the Medium Term Financial Strategy, the general fund budget, the calculation of council tax, the housing revenue account budget, fees and charges, the capital programme & capital strategy and treasury management & prudential indicators. The finance team, staff and managers were thanked for their work on the budget.

 

It was moved by Councillor Lynch and seconded by Councillor Bray that the medium term financial strategy, general fund budget, calculation of council tax, housing revenue account budget, fees & charges, capital programme & capital strategy and treasury management & prudential indicator reports be approved.

650a

Medium Term Financial Strategy, General Fund budget and Calculation of Council Tax

Minutes:

In accordance with the Local Authorities (Standing Orders) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2014, voting on these items was recorded. The votes on the medium term financial strategy, general fund budget and calculation of council tax were taken as single recorded vote as follows:

 

Councillors Bill, Bray, Cartwright, Cope, M Crooks, W Crooks, Findlay, Flemming, Gibbens, Glenville, Hodgkins, Hollick, Lynch, L Mullaney, M Mullaney, Nichols, Pendlebury, Sheppard-Bools, Walker, Webber-Jones and P Williams voted FOR the motion (21);

 

Councillors C Allen, R Allen, Collett, Cook, Ladkin, Morrell, O’Shea, Roberts, Smith and H Williams voted AGAINST the motion (10);

 

Councillors Furlong and Lay abstained from voting.

 

The motion was therefore declared CARRIED and it was

 

RESOLVED

 

(i)            The medium term financial strategy for 2021/22 to 2023/24 be approved;

 

(ii)           The general fund budget for 2020/21 and 2021/22 be approved;

 

(iii)          The special expenses area budget for 2021/21 and 2021/22 be approved;

 

(iv)          The proposed movement in general fund reserves and balances for 2021/21 and 2021/22 be approved;

 

(v)           The following be approved in relation to the calculation of council tax for 2021/22 in accordance with the Local Government Finance Act 1992:

 

a.    £59,171,376 being the aggregate of the amounts which the council estimates for the items set out in section 31A(2) of the Act (gross expenditure on general fund services, special district expenses and parish precepts);

 

b.    £51,547,215 being the aggregate of the amounts which the council estimates for the items set out in section 31A(3) of the Act (gross income including external financing and the use of reserves);

 

c.     £7,624,161 being the amount by which the aggregate at (v)a above exceeds the aggregate at (v)b above calculated by the council in accordance with section 31A(4) of the Act as its council tax requirement for the year (amount to be funded from council tax, including special expenses and parish precepts);

 

d.    £139.87 being the amount calculated by the council in accordance with section 31B of the Act as the basic amount of its council tax for the year (average local council tax not including parish precepts);

 

e.    A band D council tax for borough wide services excluding special expenses and parish council precepts of £120.50;

 

f.      An average band D council tax relating to borough wide services and an average of special expenses and parish council precepts of £196.91;

 

g.    Appendix B to the report being the council tax for the Hinckley & Bosworth district divided by the tax base including amounts for Leicestershire County Council, the office of the Police & Crime Commissioner for Leicestershire and the Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Combined Fire Authority and for each area and valuation (council tax band charges for each parish and special expense area).

650b

Housing revenue account budget pdf icon PDF 433 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED

 

(i)            The rent policy for 2021/22 be approved;

 

(ii)           The revised housing revenue and housing repairs account budgets for 2021/21 be approved;

 

(iii)          The housing revenue and housing repairs account budgets for 2021/22 be approved;

 

(iv)          The proposed movement in reserves be approved.

650c

Fees and charges pdf icon PDF 411 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED – the fees & charges book for 2021/22 be approved.

650d

Capital programme 2020-21 to 2023-24 and capital strategy pdf icon PDF 605 KB

There is an amendment to the totals on appendix 1 of this report (page 147 only). An updated copy of the page is attached.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED

 

(i)            The capital strategy be approved;

 

(ii)           The proposed capital programme for 2020/21 to 2023/24 be approved;

 

(iii)          The growth bids and savings be approved.

650e

Treasury management and prudential indicators pdf icon PDF 543 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED

 

(i)            The prudential indicators and limits for 2020/21 to 2023/24, including the authorised limit prudential indicator, be approved;

 

(ii)           The minimum revenue provision statement be approved;

 

(iii)          The treasury management report at appendix 1 be approved.

 

Councillor Cartwright left the meeting at this juncture.

651.

Motions received in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 17

651a

Motion from Councillor M Mullaney, seconded by Councillor Sheppard-Bools

1.         Council notes that:

 

a.          Carers – paid and unpaid, young and old – do a remarkable and important job. They are an integral part of our community in Hinckley and Bosworth. They deserve our support, but are far too often forgotten and ignored.

b.          Carers in Hinckley and Bosworth and across the country face big challenges every single day; challenges that have been made even harder by the Covid-19 pandemic. Most are having to spend more time looking after loved ones during the pandemic, most haven’t been able to take a single break since it started, and most are simply exhausted.

c.           Situations provoking care interventions can happen with little warning. Often those giving care have to reduce their working hours or give up work to juggle competing demands.

d.          The pressures on young carers can negatively impact on their experiences and outcomes in education, having a lasting effect on their life chances.

e.          Many carers are unaware of their entitlement to financial support, a carer’s assessment or break, and the support services available.

 

2.         Council further notes that:

 

a.        1,167 full-time unpaid carers in Hinckley and Bosworth rely on carer’s allowance.

b.        At just £67.25 a week, carer’s allowance is the lowest benefit of its kind.

c.        In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, the government increased the universal credit standard allowance and the working tax credit basic element by £20 a week above the planned uprating in April 2020, but it has not increased carer’s allowance.

d.        Many unpaid carers are facing extreme financial hardship. A recent survey by Carers UK found that more than a third of those on carer’s allowance are struggling to make ends meet. Many have been struggling for months, often relying on foodbanks to feed themselves and the people they care for.

e.        The Carers UK survey found that “43% of carers felt that a rise in carer’s allowance would help them, given the financial pressures they are facing”.

 

3.         Council resolves that:

 

a.            We must stand up for carers, do more to support them, and built a more caring society as we emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic.

b.            We will review how carers in Hinckley and Bosworth are made aware of existing support that is available and to bring back any recommendations to Hinckley and Bosworth.

c.            We will promote Young Carers Action Day on 16 March 2021 as widely as possible on an annual basis, particularly to young carers and their families.

 

4.         Council calls on the Chief Executive to write to the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, urging them to raise carer’s allowance by £20 a week immediately, in line with the increase in universal credit, and copy in our local MPs, asking for their support.

Minutes:

Councillor Mullaney, seconded by Councillor Sheppard-Bools, proposed the following motion:

 

“1.        Council notes that:

 

a.          Carers – paid and unpaid, young and old – do a remarkable and important job. They are an integral part of our community in Hinckley and Bosworth. They deserve our support, but are far too often forgotten and ignored.

b.          Carers in Hinckley and Bosworth and across the country face big challenges every single day; challenges that have been made even harder by the Covid-19 pandemic. Most are having to spend more time looking after loved ones during the pandemic, most haven’t been able to take a single break since it started, and most are simply exhausted.

c.           Situations provoking care interventions can happen with little warning. Often those giving care have to reduce their working hours or give up work to juggle competing demands.

d.          The pressures on young carers can negatively impact on their experiences and outcomes in education, having a lasting effect on their life chances.

e.          Many carers are unaware of their entitlement to financial support, a carer’s assessment or break, and the support services available.

 

2.         Council further notes that:

 

a.        1,167 full-time unpaid carers in Hinckley and Bosworth rely on carer’s allowance.

b.        At just £67.25 a week, carer’s allowance is the lowest benefit of its kind.

c.        In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, the government increased the universal credit standard allowance and the working tax credit basic element by £20 a week above the planned uprating in April 2020, but it has not increased carer’s allowance.

d.        Many unpaid carers are facing extreme financial hardship. A recent survey by Carers UK found that more than a third of those on carer’s allowance are struggling to make ends meet. Many have been struggling for months, often relying on foodbanks to feed themselves and the people they care for.

e.        The Carers UK survey found that “43% of carers felt that a rise in carer’s allowance would help them, given the financial pressures they are facing”.

 

3.         Council resolves that:

 

a.            We must stand up for carers, do more to support them, and built a more caring society as we emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic.

b.            We will review how carers in Hinckley and Bosworth are made aware of existing support that is available and to bring back any recommendations to Hinckley and Bosworth.

c.            We will promote Young Carers Action Day on 16 March 2021 as widely as possible on an annual basis, particularly to young carers and their families.

 

4.         Council calls on the Chief Executive to write to the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, urging them to raise carer’s allowance by £20 a week immediately, in line with the increase in universal credit, and copy in our local MPs, asking for their support.”

 

Councillor M Mullaney, supported by at least five further members, requested that voting on the motion be recorded. The vote was taken as follows:

 

Councillors Bill,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 651a

651b

Motion from Councillor R Allen, seconded by Councillor Cope

In our work as councillors, many of us have been asked to assist residents who are experiencing problems arising from ‘private roads’. These issues can be wide ranging, from problems with maintaining and paying for maintenance of such roads to bitter entrenched neighbour disputes where hundreds of hours of police, council officer and elected representatives’ time is expended on outwardly trivial matters.

 

Increasingly we are witnessing developers utilise ‘private roads’, which are not to an adoptable standard, as a cheap option to access smaller parcels of land with no concern for the future consequences.

 

This motion proposes:

 

(i)            This Council, as part of its current ongoing local development plan review, adopts a policy of requiring all roads and accesses contained in planning proposals to be of an adoptable standard if at all possible;

 

(ii)           This Council writes to the Minister for Housing, Communities and Local Government requesting that this issue be considered and addressed in the National Planning Policy Framework.

Minutes:

Councillor R Allen, seconded by Councillor Cope, proposed the following motion:

 

In our work as councillors, many of us have been asked to assist residents who are experiencing problems arising from ‘private roads’. These issues can be wide ranging, from problems with maintaining and paying for maintenance of such roads to bitter entrenched neighbour disputes where hundreds of hours of police, council officer and elected representatives’ time is expended on outwardly trivial matters.

 

Increasingly we are witnessing developers utilise ‘private roads’, which are not to an adoptable standard, as a cheap option to access smaller parcels of land with no concern for the future consequences.

 

This motion proposes:

 

(i)         This Council, as part of its current ongoing local development plan review, adopts a policy of requiring all roads and accesses contained in planning proposals to be of an adoptable standard if at all possible;

 

(ii)        This Council writes to the Minister for Housing, Communities and Local Government requesting that this issue be considered and addressed in the National Planning Policy Framework.

 

Following discussion it was suggested that the motion should refer to “private and unadopted roads”, which was supported by the mover and seconder.

 

RESOLVED – the motion be supported with the addition of the abovementioned reference to unadopted roads.