To consider a report from the Director of Finance (Section 151 Officer)
A report was considered from the Director of Finance (s151 Officer) regarding the draft Treasury Management Strategy Statement. The report advised that the CIPFA Treasury Management Code and Prudential Code required the Council to determine its Treasury Strategy and Prudential Indicators on an annual basis in advance of the new financial year. The draft Strategy in Appendix 1 of the report would be presented to full Council in February 2020 for review and approval. The draft Treasury Management Strategy Statement was consistent with the 2019/20 strategy statement approved by Council in February 2019.
The Group Finance Manager - Pensions Investments and Insurance guided members through the background to the draft Treasury Management Strategy Statement. He reported on the Council’s existing borrowing which was predominately from the Public Works Loan Board and that due to the increase in PWLB borrowing rates by 1% in October 2019 the Council would be reviewing all alternative options for future borrowing arrangements. He commented on the prospect for interest rates’ changes due to the General Election and expected withdrawal from Europe. He advised that the forecast may change before it was presented to full Council in February 2020.
A member expressed his disappointment at the increase in PWLB borrowing rates and talked about the type of projects that other local authorities invested in such as cinemas and shopping centres. The Director of Finance (s151 Officer) reported that there had been suggestions from the sector that differential PWLB rates could be offered for different types of investment. This was expected to remain a topic of interest. She suggested that there may also be discounted rates for investment in particular types of projects.
RESOLVED that, the Audit and Assurance Committee approve in principle, the draft Treasury Management Strategy Statement 2020/21 as set out in the Appendix to the report, before the finalisation of the Strategy Statement for Council’s approval in February 2020