Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: No
Is subject to call in?: No
Further to Minute No. 96, 16th December 2020, the Chief Officer, Financial Services, submitted a suite of reports regarding: proposals for the City Council’s Revenue Budget for 2021/22 and the Leeds element of the Council Tax to be levied during the same period; proposals regarding an updated Capital Programme for 2021-2025 and also a proposed updated Treasury Management Strategy for 2021/22.
By way of introduction to the report, the Chair paid tribute to all those officers who had developed the current draft budget to its current position, under what were unprecedented circumstances.
(A) 2021/22 Revenue Budget and Council Tax
As part of the introduction to the report, the Chief Officer (Financial Services) brought to Members’ attention the following corrections to be made to the covering report:
· That the sum in paragraph 2.2.1, bullet point 4 should read £3.775 billion, not million;
· That the reference to 2020/21 in the first recommendation be replaced with 2021/22; and
· That the reference in the second recommendation to the proposed Adult Social Care precept of 2.99% be replaced with 3%.
Responding to a Member’s enquiries, the Board was provided with further information regarding the total funding which had been provided by Government specifically for the Coronavirus pandemic which was contributing towards this proposed Council budget. Also, responding to a specific question on how the funding from Government for Track and Trace provision had been spent, officers undertook to provide the Member in question with further detail.
In response to a Member’s enquiry, the Board was updated on the current position regarding the Chair of the Scrutiny Board (Environment, Housing and Communities) being provided with further detail in relation to the future provision of grass cutting; PCSOs; Community Committee Wellbeing funding and the opening hours of Community Hubs following the recent consideration of such matters by the Scrutiny Board.
Also, responding to a Member’s enquiry, the Board received further detail on the liaison which took place between the Council and the West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioners office in terms of budgetary matters.
Following a Member’s question on how much the Council was expected to pay in interest upon outstanding debt in 2021/22, officers undertook to provide the Member in question with the requested information outside of the meeting.
(a) That Council be recommended to note the recommendation of the Council’s statutory officer (the Chief Officer – Financial Services) that the Budget proposals for 2021/22 are robust and that the proposed level of reserves is adequate, as set out at Section 12 of the submitted report;
(b) That subject to making those specific corrections as detailed above, Executive Board recommends to Council the adoption of the following:-
(i) That the revenue budget for 2021/22 totalling £435.3m be approved. This means that the Leeds element of the Council Tax for 2021/22 will increase by 1.99% plus the Adult Social Care precept of 3%. This excludes the police and fire precepts which will be incorporated into the report to be submitted to Council on the 24th February 2021;
(ii) That approval be given to grants totalling £69.0k to be allocated to parishes;
(iii) That approval be given to the strategy at Appendix 9 of the submitted report in respect of the flexible use of capital receipts;
(iv) That in respect of the Housing Revenue Account, Council be recommended to approve the budget with the following:-
· An increase of 1.5% (CPI+1%) in dwelling rents;
· A 30p/wk change in the standing charge for Leeds PIPES (Providing Innovative Pro-Environmental Solutions) as a step towards full cost recovery;
· A 1.1% RPI increase in charges for all other District Heating schemes;
· The service charges for low/medium and multi-storey flats being increased by RPI of 1.1%;
· The charge for tenants who benefit from the sheltered support service being increased to £15.14 per week to reflect full cost recovery. The charge being eligible for Housing Benefit;
· The subsidy for tenants who are not eligible for benefits but receive the sheltered support service being set at £3.14 per week; Therefore the amount payable by these tenants will increase from £10 per week to £12 per week;
· That subject to consultation, a Retirement Life charge be introduced for the provision of additional services linked to communal areas and for communal facilities where they are within a standalone community centre;
· That whilst a full charge covering communal areas equates to £7.83, it be proposed that for self-payers this charge is initially subsidised and introduced over 3 years. Therefore the subsidy for tenants who are not eligible for benefits but receive the service be set at £3.01 per week meaning the amount payable by these tenants will increase from £3.30 per week to £4.82 per week;
· That whilst a full charge for stand-alone community centres equates to £3.34, it be proposed that for self-payers this charge is initially subsidised and introduced over 3 years. Therefore the subsidy for tenants who are not eligible for benefits but receive the service be set at £2.04 per week meaning the amount payable by these tenants will be £1.30 per week;
· Any overall increase to tenants in respect of rents, service and sheltered support who are ‘self-payers’ being no more than £3.25 per week.
(v) That in respect of the Schools Budget, approval be given to the High Needs Block budget for 2021/22, as set out in paragraph 3.4.7 of the Schools Budget Report as detailed at Appendix 8 to the submitted report.
(c) That the Executive Board’s thanks be conveyed to Scrutiny Boards for the comments and observations made as part of Scrutiny’s consideration of the Council’s proposed Budget;
(d) That agreement be given to the recommendations in the two ‘Service Review’ proposals, as detailed at Appendix 3 to the submitted report, and that consultation commences, with it being noted that decisions to give effect to such proposals shall be taken by the relevant Director or Chief Officer, following the consultation period, in accordance with the Officer delegation scheme (Executive functions) save where the Leader, relevant portfolio holder or Director considers that the matter should be referred to Executive Board for consideration.
(B) Capital Programme Update 2021 – 2025
(a) That Executive Board recommends to Council:-
(i) the approval of the Capital Programme for 2021-2025, totalling £1,842.2m, including the revised projected position for 2020/21, as presented in Appendix A to the submitted report;
(ii) the approval of the MRP policy statement for 2021/22, as set out in Appendix C to the submitted report;and
(iii) the approval of the Capital and Investment Strategy, as set out in Appendix D to the submitted report.
(b) That Executive Board approval be given to the following net injections totalling £91.0m into the Capital Programme, as set out in Appendix A (iii) to the submitted report:
· £43.0m of annual programme injections and £15.2m of major programme injections as listed at Appendix A(iv) of the submitted report;
· £4.7m of Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) Strategic Fund monies; and
· £121.2m of other injections, primarily relating to the roll forward of the HRA Programme, annual capital grant allocations, departmental borrowing injections and other secured external funding;
· £93.1m of budget reductions as listed at Appendix A(v) of the submitted report.
(c) That it be noted that the above resolutions to inject net funding of £91.0m will be implemented by the Chief Officer (Financial Services).
(C) Treasury Management Strategy 2021/2022
Responding to a Member’s enquiry, the Board was provided with further information on how CIPFA’s prudential code had been taken into consideration in respect of the Council’s Capital and Investment Strategy, with assurance being provided that the code did not present any specific concerns for the Authority.
Regarding the ongoing actions in respect of Barclays Bank, responding to a Member’s enquiry, officers undertook to provide the Member in question with a separate briefing on this issue.
(a) That the Treasury Strategy for 2021/22, as set out in Section 3.3 of the submitted report be approved by Executive Board, and that the review of the 2020/21 strategy and operations, as set out in Sections 3.1 and 3.2, be noted;
(b) That full Council be recommended to set the borrowing limits for 2020/21, 2021/22, 2022/23 and 2023/24, as detailed in Section 3.4 of the submitted report and to note the changes to both the Operational Boundary and the Authorised limits;
(c) That full Council be recommended to set the Treasury Management indicators for 2020/21, 2021/22, 2022/23 and 2023/24, as detailed in Section 3.5 of the submitted report;
(d) That full Council be recommended to set the investment limits for 2020/21, 2021/22, 2022/23 and 2023/24 as detailed in Section 3.6 of the submitted report.
(The matters referred to in Minute Nos. 116 (A)(a) – 116(A)(c) (Revenue Budget and Council Tax); 116(B)(a)(i) – 116(B)(a)(iii) (Capital Programme) and 116(C)(b) – 116(C)(d) (Treasury Management Strategy), given that they were decisions being made in accordance with the Budget and Policy Framework Procedure Rules, were not eligible for Call In)
(Under the provisions of Council Procedure Rule 16.5, Councillor A Carter required it to be recorded that he abstained from voting on all of the decisions referred to within this minute, whilst Councillor Golton required it to be recorded that he abstained from voting on the decisions referred to within Minute No. 116(A) and 116(B))
(As part of the discussion on this report, although not a declaration of a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest, Councillor Golton drew the Board’s attention to the fact that he was a candidate in the forthcoming West Yorkshire Mayoral Elections)
Publication date: 15/02/2021
Date of decision: 10/02/2021
Decided at meeting: 10/02/2021 - Executive Board