Decision details

BUDGET 2014/15 AND MEDIUM TERM FINANCIAL PLAN AND CAPITAL PROGRAMME

Decision Maker: County Council

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: No

Decisions:

The Deputy Leader presented a paper setting out the draft budget agreed by  Cabinet at its meeting on 30 January 2014.

He then moved, as a consequence of further financial information received from the Government since the Cabinet meeting, a revised recommendation 1.2 as follows

“Council agrees the 2014/15 revenue budget and MTFP (set out in Appendix A), subject to the changes (including consequential adjustments) proposed in appendix 1, including the budget requirement of £398.337m. This includes the following:

 

i)        The Capital Budget for 2014/15 of £85.762m, set within the rolling programme of £156.337m (2014 - 2019).

ii)      The School’s Budget of £324.762m.

iii)    The use of reserves and levels of forecast reserves contained in the MTFP.

iv)    The fees and charges schedule for 2014/15 as set out in Appendix E.

v)      The establishment of the fairer charging weekly ceiling per week for non-residential care services to be equivalent to the cost of the lowest residential band cost, ensuring consistency across both care sectors, at £372 per week from 1st April 2014. “

This was seconded by the Leader.

The Deputy Leader also reported that the Government had announced on 12 February an increase to the Rural Services Delivery Grant. This resulted in an additional £0.143m of revenue funding for 2014/15 only. As a result a revised Appendix 2 to the report (Table 1 Budget Requirement and Council Tax) was circulated. These additional resources were included in the revised recommendation referred to above.

(For full details of the revised proposals see Appendix A to these minutes).

This meant that in total £2.460m additional resources for the Council had been announced since Cabinet had met to agree the draft budget. The revised proposed budget taking account of this extra funding included proposals for one off investments to support secondary school improvements and to address flood and storm damage.

The Deputy Leader also referred to a document which had been circulated amending paragraph 9.2 of the Council report to read:

 

“There have been changes to the content of the Pay Policy Statement proposed for 2014/15 in comparison to the Pay Policy Statement 2013/14 agreed by Council in February 2013 to reflect the restructured Extended Leadership Team.  As part of the Budget proposal for 2014/15, the additional spend on priority areas includes the cost of introducing a supplement to those employees who are currently paid below the level of the National (non London) ‘Living Wage’.  This payment will be an additional supplement taking the hourly rate up to £7.65 per hour, effective from the 1st April 2014.  This supplement increases the lowest pay level to £14,759 per annum, which reduces the current ratio to 1:9.5 in comparison with the salary of the Chief Executive. The Council will review and adjust the supplement rate annually as part of its budget process.”

 

Mr Mallinson, on behalf of the Conservative Group, then moved that paragraph 1.2 of the report be amended as follows:

 

The 2014/15 revenue budget and MTFP (set in Appendix A), subject to the changes (including consequential adjustments) proposed in appendix 1 of this amendment, including the budget requirement of £398.194m.This includes the following:

 

i)          The Capital Budget for 2014/15 of £85.762m, set within the rolling programme of £156.337m (2014 - 2019).

ii)         The School’s Budget of £324.762m.

iii)        The use of reserves and levels of forecast reserves contained in the MTFP.

iv)        The fees and charges schedule for 2014/15 as set out in Appendix E.

v)         The establishment of the fairer charging weekly ceiling per week for non-residential care services to be equivalent to the cost of the lowest residential band cost, ensuring consistency across both care sectors, at £372 per week from 1st April 2014.”

 

(For full details of the amendment see Appendix B to these minutes).

 

Following a 15 minute adjournment to consider the amendment both the motion and amendment were debated together.

Regarding the amendment from the Conservative Group a number of members spoke against the proposals which they felt targeted the poor and vulnerable  and incorrectly tried to portray the administration’s budget as pro urban and anti rural. It was also argued that the proposals would have a negative effect on the 6 care homes mentioned as candidates for potential closure and that the proposal to defer implementation of the living wage until 2017/18 would have a detrimental effect on business and the economy. Regarding the Cabinet’s budget proposals several members spoke against them, particularly in relation to post 16 transport and subsidised bus services and charges for residents parking permits and on street parking.

Several Members commented that the introduction of on street parking charges would adversely affect businesses and rural towns. Free on street parking yielded social and economic benefits and a strategic review of parking should be carried out across the county before any charges were introduced so there was a joined up parking policy with the District Councils. Similar arguments were made opposing the post 16 transport and subsidised bus service proposals that these would disproportionately affect rural areas, and that the equality impact assessments bore this out.

The criticism was also made that the introduction of the living wage would have a significant and unexpected impact on schools.

Regarding the post 16 transport proposals, advice was sought as to whether this was in accordance with recently issued Government guidance. Members were advised that the latest guidance made clear that the council had discretion about what transport was provided but needed to exercise its powers reasonably and take into account all relevant matters. The new guidance did not materially differ from the previous guidance and the advice already given to members on this matter remained the same.

In response, the Cabinet member for Highways and Transport commented that transitional funding was being provided for residents parking permit and on street parking charges and these would be introduced in a co-ordinated manner. Regarding subsidised bus services, discussions would take place with operators to examine which services could continue to be provided on a commercial basis. The point was also made that given the significant financial pressures and challenges facing the Council it was not sustainable to continue to provide non statutory services.

One member suggested that instead of introducing parking charges there should instead be a 10% reduction in member allowances and chief officer salaries.

The amendment was then put to the vote and a recoded vote was successfully requested. Members voted as follows:

For

Against

Abstain

Absent

Mr Airey

Mr Barry

Mr Allison

Mrs Feeney-Johnson

Ms Bateman

Mr Bell

 

Mr Fisher

Mr Bingham

Mrs Bell

 

Ms Halliday

Mr Bland

Mr Betton

 

Mr Kennon

Mr Bowness

Mrs Burns

 

Mr Lister

Mrs Carrick

Mr Clark

 

Mr Markley

Mr Clarkson

Mr Collins

 

Mr Roberts

Mr Crawford

Mr Cook

 

Mrs Robinson

Mr Fairbairn

Mr Cotton

 

Mr Toole

Miss Fearon

Mr Doughty

 

 

Mr Graham

Ms Earl

 

 

Mr Hitchen

Mrs Evans

 

 

Mrs Mallinson

Mr Fletcher

 

 

Mr Mallinson

Ms Furneaux

 

 

Mr Mariner

Mrs Gray

 

 

Mr Nicholson

Mr Hamilton

 

 

Mr Richardson

Mr Hawkins

 

 

Mr M Stephenson

Ms Hayman

 

 

Mr Strong

Mr Holliday

 

 

Mrs Tarbitt

Mr Hughes

 

 

Mr Wearing

Mr Humes

 

 

 

Mr Knowles

 

 

 

Lord Liddle

 

 

 

Mr Little

 

 

 

Mr Lysser

 

 

 

Ms McCarron-Holmes

 

 

 

Mr McCreesh

 

 

 

Mr McDevitt

 

 

 

Mr McEwan

 

 

 

Mr Morgan

 

 

 

Ms Murphy

 

 

 

Mr Murphy

 

 

 

Mrs Rae

 

 

 

Ms Skillicorn

 

 

 

Mr Southward

 

 

 

Mr J Stephenson

 

 

 

Mr  Stewart

 

 

 

Ms Telford

 

 

 

Mrs Tibble

 

 

 

Ms Wall

 

 

 

Mr Watson

 

 

 

Mr Weber

 

 

 

Ms Weir

 

 

 

Mr Whalen

 

 

 

Ms Wharrier

 

 

 

Mrs Willis

 

 

 

Mr E Wilson

 

 

 

Mr M Wilson

 

 

 

Mr R Wilson

 

 

 

Mr Wormstrup

 

 

 

Mr Worth

 

 

 

Mr Young

 

 

 

With 21 members voting in favour and 52 against the Chairman declared that the amendment was lost.

The original motion then put to the vote and a recorded vote was successfully requested. Members voted as follows:

For

Against

Abstain

Absent

Mr Barry

Mr Airey

Mr Allison

Mrs Feeney-Johnson

Mr Bell

Ms Bateman

 

Mr Fisher

Mrs Bell

Mr Bingham

 

Ms Halliday

Mrs Burns

Mr Betton

 

 

Mr Clark

Mr Bland

 

Mr Kennon

Mr Collins

Mr Bowness

 

Mr Lister

Mr Cook

Mrs Carrick

 

Mr Markley

Mr Cotton

Mr Clarkson

 

Mr Roberts

Mr Doughty

Mr Crawford

 

Mrs Robinson

Ms Earl

Mr Fairbairn

 

Mr Toole

Mrs Evans

Miss Fearon

 

 

Mr Fletcher

Mr Graham

 

 

Ms Furneaux

Mr Hitchen

 

 

Mrs Gray

Mr Holliday

 

 

Mr Hamilton

Mr Lysser

 

 

Mr Hawkins

Mrs Mallinson

 

 

Ms Hayman

Mr Mallinson

 

 

Mr Hughes

Mr Mariner

 

 

Mr Humes

Mr Nicholson

 

 

Mr Knowles

Mr Richardson

 

 

Lord Liddle

Mr M Stephenson

 

 

Mr Little

Mr Strong

 

 

Ms McCarron-Holmes

Mrs Tarbitt

 

 

Mr McCreesh

Mr Wearing

 

 

Mr McDevitt

 

 

 

Mr McEwan

 

 

 

Mr Morgan

 

 

 

Ms Murphy

 

 

 

Mr Murphy

 

 

 

Mrs Rae

 

 

 

Ms Skillicorn

 

 

 

Mr Southward

 

 

 

Mr J Stephenson

 

 

 

Mr IStewart

 

 

 

Ms Telford

 

 

 

Mrs Tibble

 

 

 

Ms Wall

 

 

 

Mr Watson

 

 

 

Mr Weber

 

 

 

Ms Weir

 

 

 

Mr Whalen

 

 

 

Ms Wharrier

 

 

 

Mrs Willis

 

 

 

Mr E Wilson

 

 

 

Mr M Wilson

 

 

 

Mr R Wilson

 

 

 

Mr Wormstrup

 

 

 

Mr Worth

 

 

 

Mr Young

 

 

 

 

With 49 members voting in favour and 24 against the Chairman declared the motion carried and it was:

 

RESOLVED, that

(1)               the Council Tax Freeze Grant for 2014/15 be accepted resulting in:-

i.                    the Council Tax Requirement for 2014/15 of £185.778m and precepts on the District Councils as set out in the table below:

Table 1 – Precepts

£

Allerdale

33,071,285

Barrow

20,762,823

Carlisle

36,023,098

Copeland

22,743,692

Eden

22,379,248

South Lakeland

50,798,748

 

ii.                  The following levels of Council Tax for each property band. These are unchanged from 2013/14.

Table 2 – Council Tax Levels

 

£

Band A (up to £40,000)

774.33

Band B (£40,001 to £52,000)

903.39

Band C (£52,001 to £68,000)

1,032.44

Band D (£68,001 to £88,000)

1,161.50

Band E (£88,001 to £120,000)

1,419.61

Band F (£120,001 to £160,000)

1,677.72

Band G (£160,001 to £320,000)

1,935.83

Band H (£320,001 and over)

2,323.00

 

(2)       the 2014/15 revenue budget and MTFP (set out in Appendix A to the report), subject to the changes (including consequential adjustments) proposed in revised appendix 1 (see Appendix 2 to these minutes), including the budget requirement of £398.337m be agreed, including the following:

 

i)                    The Capital Budget for 2014/15 of £85.762m, set within the rolling programme of £156.337m (2014 - 2019).

ii)                  The School’s Budget of £324.762m.

iii)                The use of reserves and levels of forecast reserves contained in the MTFP.

iv)                The fees and charges schedule for 2014/15 as set out in Appendix E to the report.

v)                  The establishment of the fairer charging weekly ceiling per week for non-residential care services to be equivalent to the cost of the lowest residential band cost, ensuring consistency across both care sectors, at £372 per week from 1st April 2014.

 

(3)               the Treasury Management Strategy for 2014/15, set out in Appendix G to the report be agreed, specifically the :-

 

a)        Treasury Management Strategy (including the borrowing strategy).

b)     Annual Investment Strategy Statement (including the revision to the limit on placements with non-UK  countries from 10% to 20% at any time).

c)      Prudential Indicators.

d)     Minimum Revenue Provision (MRP) Policy Statement .

(4)               the adoption and publication of the Statutory Pay Policy Statement set out in Appendix I to the report be agreed.

 

Publication date: 15/04/2014

Date of decision: 13/02/2014

Decided at meeting: 13/02/2014 - County Council

Accompanying Documents: