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Agenda, decisions and minutes

Venue: Civic Suite, Gibson Building, Kings Hill, West Malling

Contact: Committee Services  Email: committee.services@tmbc.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

PART 1 - PUBLIC

FIP 19/32

Declarations of interest pdf icon PDF 3 KB

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest made in accordance with the Code of Conduct.

FIP 19/33

Minutes pdf icon PDF 205 KB

To confirm as a correct record the Notes of the meeting of the Finance, Innovation and Property Advisory Board held on 17 July 2019

Minutes:

RESOLVED:  That the notes of the meeting of the Finance, Innovation and Property Advisory Board held on 17 July 2019 be approved as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

Matters for recommendation to the Cabinet

FIP 19/34

Review and Replacement of Council Website pdf icon PDF 230 KB

The report provides an update on progress in developing a website specification in liaison with the Member working group.  Members are asked to consider a capital plan evaluation and recommend that the Scheme be added to the Capital Plan to enable a new CMS to be procured.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The report of the Director of Finance and Transformation provided an update on progress in developing a website specification in liaison with the Member working group agreed at the last meeting.  Details were given of the initial findings of a number of customer engagement surveys together with a capital plan evaluation for the replacement of the website Content Management System.

 

RECOMMENDED:  That

 

(1)          progress with the review and replacement of the website be noted;

 

(2)          the scheme be added to List A funded in full from the Transformation Reserve; and

 

(3)          the net increase in revenue costs be incorporated into the forthcoming Estimates process.

*Referred to Cabinet

 

FIP 19/35

Purchase of Temporary Accommodation pdf icon PDF 78 KB

The report provides an update on the purchase of premises for use as temporary accommodation together with the requirement for such accommodation.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Further to Minutes CB 18/25 and C 18/23, the joint report of the Director of Central Services and Director of Planning, Housing and Environmental Health updated the position on the purchase of premises for use as temporary accommodation and gave details of the current increasing requirement for such accommodation.  A capital plan post implementation review was presented in relation to the earlier decision together with a capital plan evaluation for the purchase of further properties for temporary accommodation.

 

It was noted that the purchase of temporary accommodation provided a more cost-effective alternative than nightly paid accommodation and the aspiration remained to acquire property across the Borough where possible.  Members requested that details of the management of the Council’s existing property in Tonbridge and its impact on the well-being of the community be included in the update report to the next meeting of Communities and Housing Advisory Board.

 

RECOMMENDED:  That

 

(1)          a sum of £1.5m be added to the Capital Plan for the purchase of property for temporary accommodation purposes funded in large part, if not in full, from the two reserves detailed at paragraph 1.3.3 of the report;

 

(2)          delegated authority be granted to the Director of Planning, Housing and Environmental Health and Director of Central Services, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Housing and Cabinet Member for Finance, Innovation and Property, to progress the purchase of property for temporary accommodation purposes as outlined in the report; and

 

(3)          the post implementation review report set out at Annex 2 to the report be approved.

*Referred to Cabinet

 

FIP 19/36

Amendments to Building Control Fees pdf icon PDF 85 KB

The report identifies errors in the calculation of the Building Control Fees for 2019/2020 and provides a correct version of the fees table.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The report of the Director of Planning, Housing and Environmental Health identified errors in the calculation of the Building Control fees for 2019/20 which had been approved by the Cabinet (Decision No D190012CAB refers).  An updated and corrected fees table was presented for use during the remainder of the financial year.

 

RECOMMENDED:  That the correct Building Control fees schedule for 2019/20, as set out at Annex 1 of the report, be adopted with effect from 1 November 2019.

*Referred to Cabinet

FIP 19/37

Financial Planning and Control pdf icon PDF 209 KB

The report brings together information on the Council’s key budget areas of salaries, major income streams and investment income.  The performance of the key budget areas, together with the approved variations to the revenue budget and areas identified through revenue budget monitoring are then summarised to provide an indicative overall budget position for the year.  The report also updates Members on capital expenditure and variations agreed in relation to the capital plan.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Decision Notice D190066MEM

 

The report of the Director of Finance and Transformation provided information on the Council’s key budget areas of salaries, major income streams and investment income.  It also gave details of the variations agreed in relation to the revenue budget and areas identified through budget monitoring, summarised to provide an indicative overall budget position for the year which showed a net adverse variance of £375,250.  An update was given on capital expenditure and variations agreed in relation to the capital plan.  The report also gave an update on the Savings and Transformation Strategy and funding gap.

 

It was noted that whilst the budget performance for the year was no cause for concern, over the medium term the position was worsening in respect of the projected funding gap.  It was therefore considered that each advisory board and committee should be requested to identify opportunities for savings and transformation contributions over the budget cycle.  To assist this process it was suggested that reports should identify whether services were mandatory or discretionary and the section on Financial and Value for Money Considerations be reinforced.

 

RECOMMENDED:  That

 

(1)          it be noted that as at the end of August 2019, the projected overall outturn position is a net adverse variance of circa £375,250 after making an additional contribution to the revenue reserve for capital schemes of £466,000, when compared to the budget set in February 2019;

 

(2)          the worsening position in respect of the projected funding gap be noted together with the need over the coming months  to identify and implement opportunities to deliver at least this year’s savings and transformation contribution of £100,000 which, as things stand, would give a funding gap higher than at the start of the year; and

 

(3)          it be recommended to Cabinet that each Advisory Board and Committee should be requested to identify and bring forward opportunities for savings and transformation contributions during this financial year for inclusion in the Medium Term Financial Strategy and Savings and Transformation Strategy.

FIP 19/38

Discretionary Rate Relief pdf icon PDF 155 KB

The report gives details of an application for hardship relief.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Decision Notice D190067MEM

 

The report of the Director of Finance and Transformation gave details of an application for hardship relief from Attachments Fostering Ltd in respect of their previous premises at The Cedars, Holborough Road, Snodland.  Consideration was given to the circumstances leading to the application, including a timeline of events and financial information which was exempt under Paragraph 3 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 and set out in the private part of the agenda.

 

It was considered appropriate to award hardship relief for the period between January 2015 and March 2017 following which the Valuation Office Agency had reviewed and reduced the property’s rateable value by a third.

 

RECOMMENDED:  That an award of hardship relief be approved on the basis of a rebate of one third of the charge for the period January 2015 to March 2017 with a flexible arrangement for repaying the balance of the outstanding debt.

FIP 19/39

Rural Rate Relief - Rural Settlement List pdf icon PDF 126 KB

A report informing Members of the requirement to review the Council’s rural settlement list and recommending that the current list should be retained, unaltered, for the financial year 2020/21.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Decision Notice D190068MEM

 

The report of the Director of Finance and Transformation advised of the annual requirement to review the Council’s rural settlement list and recommended that the current list be retained unaltered for the forthcoming financial year.

 

RECOMMENDED:  That the current rural settlement list remain in force for the year 2020/21.

 

Matters submitted for Information

FIP 19/40

Council Tax Reduction Scheme 2010/21 pdf icon PDF 97 KB

The report provides an update on the review of the Council Tax Reduction Scheme.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Further to Decision No D190052MEM, the report provided an update on the review of the Council Tax Reduction Scheme including consultation arrangements, the three main proposed changes to the scheme and a first stage Equality Impact Assessment.  It was noted that the consultation period would end on 4 November 2019 and efforts were being made to ensure a sufficiently representative response to be considered when finalising decisions in the next cycle of meetings.

FIP 19/41

Revenue and Benefits Update pdf icon PDF 76 KB

The report details recent developments in respect of council tax, business rates, council tax reduction and housing benefits.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The report gave details of recent developments in respect of council tax, business rates, council tax reduction and housing benefits.

 

The Chairman reported that this was the last meeting of Mike Bytheway, Revenue and Benefits Manager, and thanks were recorded for his contribution to the Council.

Matters for consideration in Private

FIP 19/42

Exclusion of Press and Public pdf icon PDF 4 KB

The Chairman to move that the press and public be excluded from the remainder of the meeting during consideration of any items the publication of which would disclose exempt information.

Minutes:

The Chairman moved, it was seconded and

 

RESOLVED:  That as public discussion would disclose exempt information, the following matters be considered in private.

PART 2 - PRIVATE

Matters for Recommendation to the Cabinet

FIP 19/43

Debts for Write Off

LGA 1972 Sch 12A Paragraph 2 – Information likely to reveal information about an individual

 

Approval is sought for the writing-off of debts considered to be irrecoverable.

Minutes:

(LGA 1972 Sch 12A Paragraph 2 – Information likely to reveal information about an individual)

 

Decision Notice D190069MEM

 

The report of the Director of Finance and Transformation sought approval of the writing-off of debts considered to be irrecoverable.  Details were also given of debts under £5,000 which had been written-off in accordance with Financial Procedure Rule 18.2 together with cumulative totals of debts in the current and previous financial years and information on budgeted bad debt provision.

 

RECOMMENDED:  That the 3 items shown in the schedule of amounts over £5,000, totalling £22,859.76 be written-off for the reasons stated within the schedule.

 

FIP 19/44

Discretionary Rate Relief - Annexes

LGA 1972 Sch 12A Paragraph 3 – Financial or business affairs of any particular person

 

Annexes relating to item 8.

Minutes:

LGA 1972 Sch 12A Paragraph 3 – Financial or business affairs of any particular person

 

Annexes 1 and 3 containing exempt information (Minute FIP 19/38 refers).