Agenda and minutes

Overview & Scrutiny Board
Thursday, 25th January, 2018 7.00 pm

Venue: Havering Town Hall, Main Road, Romford

Contact: Richard Cursons 01708 432430  Email: richard.cursons@oneSource.co.uk

Items
No. Item

38.

MINUTES pdf icon PDF 219 KB

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting of the Board held on 6 December 2017 and to authorise the Chairman to sign them.

 

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 6 December 2017 were agreed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

39.

MEDIUM TERM FINANCIAL STRATEGY AND 2018/19 BUDGET UPDATE pdf icon PDF 429 KB

Members are invited to make any comments on the budget proposals for consideration by Cabinet at its meeting on 7 February (Report to January 2018 Cabinet meeting attached for information).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members considered a report which detailed the Council’s Medium Term Financial Strategy (MTFS). Further proposals for balancing the 2018/19 budget were due to go to consultation where necessary at its meeting on 26 October 2017. A Budget Update report had been considered by Cabinet on 13 December 2017.

 

The October and December reports set out the Council’s financial strategy to manage the predicted budget gap over the period 2018/19 to 2022/23. The report:

 

·         Provided an update on the policy and strategic context and assumptions within the MTFS and the forecast budget gap

·         Presented for approval amendments to the Council Tax Support Scheme from April 2018

·         Budget Risks

 

There was a budget gap forecast of £4.2million.

 

Most of the grants that the Council received had stayed at the same level however there had been a reduction in the new homes bonus.

 

Members were advised that Council Tax could be raised by up to 3% without the need for a public referendum.

 

Havering was one of a number of authorities piloting the pooling of business rates. Estimates showed that that the Council could benefit from an increase of anywhere between £0.9million up to £2.4/2.5 million.

 

Consultation was due to take place on the Fair Funding Review, this was how the Council received its funding.

 

Members received an update on the public consultation.

 

191 responses had been received so far. 58 of the responses had agreed with the direction of the budget strategy overall. Residents had indicated that their priority areas were schools and education, adult social care and waste management. Residents had also indicated which services they wished to see reduce which included parking charges, planning and building control and the Council Tax support scheme.

 

Members noted that following an election year extensive consultation was carried out and there was a greater level of engagement by residents. The years in between elections attracted somewhere in the region of between 100 and 250 responses on average.

 

The Adult Social Care Precept would be entering its final year, under current legislation, next year as the total allowed of 6% would have been collected by then.

 

There was a consensus amongst Members that the level of responses received during the consultation was extremely low from residents and there were suggestions that perhaps the Council needed to look at the way it consulted with residents and perhaps look at alternatives including full use of social media platforms.

 

The plan post-election would be for the newly elected Administration to enter into a four year MTFS.

 

Members also noted that the Council was working with other outer London boroughs to discuss funding arrangements. Due to the net migration that outer London boroughs were seeing following the housing benefit cap it placed a greater emphasis on working with outer London boroughs rather than inner London boroughs.

 

In response to a question relating to economic development Members were advised that approximately £3 billion of expenditure would take place in the next ten to twelve years. The joint ventures that the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 39.