Members considered a report that sought to recommend a series of options in order to produce an amended Revenue Budget for 2020/21.
In her introduction, the Leader of Council thanked Members for their invaluable contributions during the recent Budget Workshop and wished to put on record her gratitude for the hard work of the Section 151 Officer and her finance colleagues in producing such a comprehensive draft amended Budget for 2020/21.
In discussion, particular reference was made to:-
(a) car parking income. In light of the summer season in the South Hams being busier than previously envisaged, a Member asked whether this had seen a positive impact on car parking income. In reply, officers advised that the information was still being compiled but would be available in time for the Executive meeting to be held on 17 September 2020;
(b) the leisure contract. The Joint Meeting was reminded that a further report on the leisure contract was to be considered by the Council at its meeting to be held on 24 September 2020;
(c) an amendment to part 1 of the motion. An amendment was PROPOSED and SECONDED that read as follows:
‘That the Joint Meeting recommend to the Executive to recommend to Council that the options 1 to 4 (as set out in Section 5.2 of the presented agenda report) be agreed (totalling £433,000) and the remainder of £880,000 be taken from the Unearmarked Reserve, in order to produce an Amended Revenue Budget for 2020-21.’
In their support for the amendment, some Members were of the view that it would be more appropriate (bearing in mind the nature of the COVID-19 pandemic being deemed an Emergency) for Unearmarked Reserves to be used to balance the Revenue Budget for 2020-21. In contrast, other Members felt that it would not be prudent to use Unearmarked Reserves and believed that Members should trust the advice of their highly respected Section 151 Officer.
When put to the vote, the amendment was declared LOST.
It was then: