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to approve as a true and correct record the minutes of the Joint Meeting held on 3 September 2020;
The minutes of the last Joint Overview and Scrutiny Panel and Development Management Committee meeting held on 3 September 2020 were confirmed as a true and correct record.
Declarations of Interest
Members are invited to declare any personal or disclosable pecuniary interests, including the nature and extent of such interests they may have in any items to be considered at this meeting;
Members and officers were invited to declare any interests in the items of business to be considered during the course of the meeting but there were none made.
A period of up to 15 minutes is available to deal with issues raised by the public;
In accordance with the Public Forum Procedure Rules, the Chairman informed that no questions had been received for consideration during the agenda item.
Members considered a report that asked for their views on the content of the draft Revenue Budget Proposals report for 2021-22.
In her introduction, the Leader of Council outlined the main changes to the draft Revenue Budget Proposals for 2021/22 since the matter was last reported to the Executive meeting held on 17 December 2020 (Minute E.51/20 refers). The Leader proceeded to thank the Section 151 Officer and her Finance colleagues for incorporating them into the revised report for this meeting.
In the ensuing discussion, particular reference was made to:-
(a) the business rates loophole for second homes. In reply to a question, the Leader informed that lobbying to close the loophole was ongoing and it was hoped that this would be implemented as part of the Business Rates Reform during the Spring of 2021;
(b) individual town and parish council precept information. The Section 151 Officer advised that this information was contained within the published agenda papers for the annual Council Tax Setting Panel meeting;
(c) bad debt provision during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Members acknowledged that, whilst Central Government had committed to compensating for 75% of irrecoverable losses, there would still be a significant budgetary impact on all precepting authorities;
(d) the consultation on reforms to the Public Works Loan Board. When questioned, the Section 151 Officer informed that the deadline for Member approval of the Capital Strategy; Investment Strategy; and Treasury Management Strategy was 31 March 2021. As a result, these Strategies would be included on the Council agenda for the meeting to be held on 25 March 2021;
(e) the vacant Economy Officer post. Members noted that, following a recent recruitment and selection exercise, it was envisaged that the post would be filled imminently;
(f) an additional recommendation to the presented agenda report. An additional recommendation (that was considered as ‘number 2’) was PROPOSED and SECONDED that read as follows:
2. That the Joint Meeting support the allocation of £500,000 for funding for the Recovery and Renewal Plan and a further £200,000 funding for the Climate Change Action Plan, to be funded by:
a. withdrawing the contribution to the Planning Earmarked Reserve in 2021-22 of £50,000;
b. utilising £200,000 of New Homes Bonus funding from 2021-22 (instead of using £200,000 of New Homes Bonus funding for the 2021-22 Capital Programme); and
c. using £450,000 of funding from the Business Rates Retention Earmarked Reserve;
In support of the recommendation, the proposed stated that it would help to demonstrate the commitment and emphasis that the Council was placing on both its Recovery and Renewal Plan and Climate Change Action Plan.
At this point, an amendment to the recommendation (as set out in red font) was PROPOSED and SECONDED that read as follows:
2. That the Joint Meeting support the allocation of £500,000 for funding for the Recovery and Renewal Plan and a further £322,274 funding for the Climate Change Action Plan, to be funded by:
a. withdrawing the contribution to the Planning Earmarked Reserve in 2021-22 of £50,000; ... view the full minutes text for item 15.
Consideration was given to a report that set out proposals for any changes to Fees and Charges for all services for 2021/22.
With no questions or debate forthcoming, it was then: