Venue: Council Chamber - Follaton House. View directions
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Appointment of Chairman
That Cllr D Thomas be appointed to the role of Committee Chairman for the duration of this meeting.
Brought forward at the discretion of the Chairman;
In accordance with urgent business, the Chairman exercised his discretion to invite nominations to serve as Vice-Chairman for the duration of this meeting.
It was then:
That Cllr P Smerdon be appointed to the role of Committee Vice-Chairman for the duration of this meeting.
Declarations of Interest
In accordance with the Code of Conduct, Members are invited to declare any Disclosable Pecuniary Interests, Other Registerable Interests and NonRegisterable 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.
Members considered a report that asked for their views on the content of the draft Revenue and Capital Budget Proposals report for 2023-24.
The Section 151 Officer introduced the report and, on a section-by-section basis, invited questions from Committee Members with particular reference being made to:-
(a) the budgetary impacts arising from the construction of new dwellings;
(b) reductions in the predicted income from Business Rates. Whilst very much a prediction, the Section 151 Officer confirmed that the predicted figure of £102,319 had been calculated utilising the budgetary modelling tools that were available from Local Government Futures and Pixel Financial. The Committee noted that the new figures reflected announcements contained within the Local Government Finance Settlement which had been published on 19 December 2022 and the latest estimates from Central Government returns;
(c) the financial differences between increasing Council Tax for 2023/24 by £5 (2.77%) and the maximum permissible of 2.99% under the Council Tax referendum limits for District Councils for 2023/24;
(d) the number of properties affected by the closure of the business rates loophole from 1 April 2023. The Section 151 Officer informed Members that the Valuation Office had recently written to all properties advising of the requirements (e.g. that properties had to be available to let for a minimum of 140 days and actually let for a minimum of 70 days of the year). If business rated properties were unable to provide evidence of this, they would be re-classified by the Valuation Office as ‘domestic properties’ and would transfer out of the business rates listing and onto the Council Tax listing. It was hoped that the results of the Valuation Office exercise would be known before 1 April 2023;
(e) the transitional costs of the waste service coming back in-house that had been funded from the transitional funding from the Business Rates Retention Reserve in 2022/23. Members were informed that the actual spend would be able to be reviewed as part of the Revenue Budget Monitoring Report that would be presented to the Executive meeting to be held on 2 March 2023;
(f) the future of New Homes Bonus monies remaining uncertain;
(g) the triennial pension revaluation position. The Committee asked that a Fund representative be invited to attend to conduct a presentation to the Audit and Governance Committee during the 2023/24 Municipal Year and for this to form part of the workplan for that Committee;
(h) officers being content that the income generated from the Lower Ferry and car parking was based on projections which indicated that this was not a one-off occurrence;
(i) a commitment given by officers to check the status of a Tennis Club bid outside of this meeting;
(j) the budget gap for 2024/25 largely being as a result of no business rates pooling gain being modelled for 2024/25, as pooling arrangements for that year had not yet been announced or confirmed;
(k) clarification that the outstanding monies in the Emergency Climate Change Projects Reserve would remain to be spent in ... view the full minutes text for item BA.4/22