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Agenda, decisions and minutes

Venue: Council Chamber, County Hall, Mold CH7 6NA

Contact: Maureen Potter on 01352 702322  Email: maureen.potter@flintshire.gov.uk

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2.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 147 KB

To confirm as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 29th January 2019.

 

Additional documents:

Decision:

That subject to the above amendment the minutes be approved and signed by the Chairman as a correct record.

 

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 29 January 2019 were submitted.

 

Accuracy

 

Page 15, item 90 - Flintshire Electoral Review.  Councillor Chris Bithell asked that the minutes be amended to record thanks to the Democratic Services Manager and his team for their hard work, in conjunction with Members, to achieve a compromise and agreed outcome to the proposals submitted to the Local Democracy and Boundary Commission for Wales.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That subject to the above amendment the minutes be approved and signed by the Chairman as a correct record.

 

3.

Declarations of Interest

To receive any Declarations and advise Members accordingly.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor David Healey declared a personal interest in agenda item 9b, Council Fund Capital Programme 2019/20 – 2021/22 as he was a governor of Castell Alun High School.  Councillor Gladys Healey also declared a personal interest in item 9b as she was a governor at Castell Alun High School.

 

The Chief Officer (Governance) advised that a personal interest would be recorded for Members who were school governors in relation to the schools referred to in agenda item 9b – Council Fund Capital Programme 2019/20 – 2021/22.

 

4.

Chairman's Communications

To receive the communications as circulated.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

A copy of the Chairman’s Communications had been circulated to all Members prior to the meeting.

 

The Chair invited Councillor Kevin Hughes to provide feedback to Members on the visit by individuals from Hope House Hospice to County Hall.  Councillor Hughes thanked the Chair and his wife for hosting the event and spoke of the hard work and achievement of individuals which had been inspirational in raising funds for Hope House Hospice through sponsored events and schemes.  Councillor Hughes took the opportunity to invite the Chair and his consort, Vice-Chair and her consort, and all Members to visit Hope House to see the dedicated care and support provided.

 

The Chair thanked the Vice-Chair for attending the recent Lord Mayor of Chester’s Banquet on his behalf. 

 

5.

Petitions

To receive any Petitions.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

None were received

6.

Public Question Time

This item is to receive any Public Questions: none were received by the deadline.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

None were received by the deadline.

 

7.

Questions

To note the answers to any questions submitted in accordance with County Council Standing Order No. 9.4(A):  none were received by the deadline.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

None were received by the deadline.

 

8.

Notices of Motion

This item is to receive any Notices of Motion:  none were received by the deadline.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

None were received by the deadline.

 

9a

Council Fund Budget 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 84 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

That the recommendations be carried.

 

Minutes:

The Chief Executive introduced the report on the Council Fund Budget 2019/20 to receive the recommendations from Cabinet to Council to close the annual budget for 2019/20 following the Council debate on 29 January, and the further review work on corporate finance options and risks undertaken in the interim.  The Council report of 29 January 2019 which included the Cabinet report of 22 January 2019 was appended to the report.

 

The Chief Executive provided background information and referred to the Senedd delegation which took place on 5 February, to seek improvement to the local government Settlement for 2019/20, and the request made by Members at the Council meeting held on 29 January, for officers to review specific areas of corporate finance and come back with further technical advice and professional opinion.  He said the specific areas were:

 

  • the Minimum Revenue Policy (MRP) commitments and the scope for reducing the annual revenue contribution by using capital receipts to reduce total financeable debt;
  • the detailed rationale for recommending the retention of the reserves as listed in the table in the report and in the presentation slides; and
  • the justification for retaining the earmarked reserves that are forecast to remain at a static level over the next year.

 

Further explanation was also requested on the scope for debt rescheduling under the Treasury Management Strategy.

 

The Chief Executive referred to the all-Member budget briefing workshop which was held on 14 January, to address corporate finance in detail.  He said that additional technical advice and professional opinion was also being provided in a series of detailed advice notes which were listed as background papers to the report and were available on request.

 

The Chief Executive, Chief Officer (Governance), Corporate Finance Manager, and Revenues Manager, delivered a presentation which covered the following key areas:

 

  • setting a legal and balanced budget
  • summary budget position for 2019/20
  • professional (technical) advice
  • Minimum Revenue Provision (MRP) – use of capital receipts
  • prudent level of reserves
  • un-earmarked reserves
  • earmarked reserves
  • debt rescheduling and cash flow management
  • professional opinions
  • budget scenarios
  • next steps and timelines

 

The Chief Officer (Governance) advised that it was the collective duty of Council to set a legal and balanced budget.  He commented on the importance of adhering to deadlines and explained that residents who paid their Council Tax by direct debit  had to be given two weeks notice in advance of an increase in payment, and, therefore the Council budget would need to be approved before end of February for this payment facility to be offered in good time.  He referred to the budget setting process and the technical and professional advice provided to guide Members.

 

Councillor Aaron Shotton advised that Cabinet, at a meeting held immediately prior to County Council, had recommended a resolution to County Council and asked that the details of the resolution be distributed to Members for consideration at the meeting.   Councillor Shotton thanked the Chief Executive and Officers for responding to the specific requests which were raised by Members at the previous  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9a

presentation pdf icon PDF 1 MB

Additional documents:

9b

Council Fund Capital Programme 2019/20 – 2021/22 pdf icon PDF 67 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

(a)       That the allocations in Table 4 (paragraph 1.04.1) of the Cabinet report for Statutory /Regulatory and Retained Assets sections of the Council Fund Capital Programme 201/20 – 2021/22 be approved;

 

(b)       That the schemes included in Table 5 (paragraph 1.05.1) of the Cabinet report for the Investment section of the Council Fund Capital Programme 2019/20 – 2021/22 be approved;

 

(c)        That the shortfall in funding of schemes in financial years 2019/20 and 2020/21 (paragraphs 1.06.1) as set out in the Cabinet report be noted.  Options including a combination of future capital receipts, alternative grants (if available), prudential borrowing or the re-phasing of schemes will be considered during 2019/20, and updates provided to Members in future capital programme monitoring reports.

 

(d)       That the schemes included in Table 7 (paragraph 1.07.04) of the Cabinet report for the specifically funded section of the Council Fund Capital Programme which will be funded in part through Prudential Borrowing, be approved

 

Minutes:

The Chief Officer (Housing and Assets) introduced the report to approve schemes for inclusion within the Capital Programme over the 3 year period 2019/20 – 2021/22. 

 

The Chief Officer provided background information and presented the main considerations, as detailed in the report, on developing the capital programme 2019/20 and 2021/22.   He referred to the £8.216m shortfall in Table 1 - estimated funding 2018/19 – 2020/19, £1.428m shortfall in Table 2 estimated funding 2018/19 – 2020/21, and £26.740m estimated available funding 2019/20 – 2021/22. 

 

The Chief Officer also referred to the General Capital Programme 2019/20 – 2021/22 and statutory/regulatory and retained asset allocations 2019/20 – 2021/22.  He reported on the proposed allocations 2019/20 and 2021/22 as detailed in Table 4, the proposed investment schemes 2019/20 – 2021/22 as detailed in Table 5, and the summary (generally funded) capital programme 2019/20 – 2021/22 as detailed in Table 6 of the report which indicated a current shortfall of £0.374m.

 

 Referring to specific grants and borrowing, the Chief Officer reported on the 21 Century Schools Band B programme, and the Strategic Housing and Regeneration Programme (SHARP) loans to NEW Homes for affordable homes.  The cost of the specifically funded schemes 2019/20 – 2021/22 were detailed in Table 7 of the report.  He also reported on the summary total Council Fund Capital Programme 2019/20 – 2021/22 and advised that the total proposals for the Capital Programme were as detailed in Table 9.   In conclusion the Chief Officer reported on potential future schemes as detailed in the report. 

 

Councillor Patrick Heesom suggested that consideration be given to disposing of Theatr Clwyd to release funding to assist budget savings for the Authority.  The Chief Executive explained that a feasibility study was currently being undertaken to consider an alternative model in the future which could further reduce the subsidy. He advised that provincial theatres could not operate without a form of public subsidy: the options were status quo, an alternative model which was more cost effective, or eventual closure.

 

Councillor Aaron Shotton thanked the Chief Officer and his team for their work on the Capital Programme which he said was a continuation of a 3 year rolling programme with a total investment for infrastructure in county of £49m.  He continued that the total capital investments and infrastructure, including the HRA, was in the region of £83m in the next 3 years.  Councillor Shotton spoke of the significant investment of £3.7m in highways improvements in the next 3 years and thanked Councillor Carolyn Thomas for her continued lobbying of the WG to achieve additional funding for this.  He also spoke of the investment in IT provision in schools to provide much needed improvement regarding connectivity, the continuation of a commitment to fund the completion of work schemes at Castell Alun High School, Ysgol Glan Aber and Connah’s Quay High School, and improvements to the Pupil Referral Unit at Plas Derwen.  In addition Councillor Shotton said that the Authority would continue with its ambitions and commitment to address risks,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9b

10.

Capital Strategy including Prudential Indicators 2019/20 – 2021/22 pdf icon PDF 72 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

(a)       That the Capital Strategy 2019/20 – 2021/22 be approved;

 

(b)       That Council approved:-

 

  • The Prudential Indicators for 2019/20 – 2021/22 as detailed within Tables 1, and 4 – 7 inclusive of the Capital Strategy reported to Cabinet.

 

  • Delegated authority for the Corporate Finance Manager to effect movements between the separately agreed limits within the authorised limit for external debt and the operational boundary for external debt (Table 6 of the Capital Strategy reported to Cabinet)

 

Minutes:

The Corporate Finance Manager introduced the report to present for approval the updated Capital Strategy 2019/20 – 2021/22 and a range of Prudential Indicators linked to the Capital Programme over the 3 year period 2019/20 – 2021/22.  He provided background information and reported that the Strategy had been considered at a meeting of the Corporate Resources Overview & Scrutiny Committee held on 14 February 2019.   The Corporate Finance Manager advised that there were no specific issues to report to Council.

 

RESOLVED:

 

(a)       That the Capital Strategy 2019/20 – 2021/22 be approved;

 

(b)       That Council approved:-

 

  • The Prudential Indicators for 2019/20 – 2021/22 as detailed within Tables 1, and 4 – 7 inclusive of the Capital Strategy reported to Cabinet.

 

  • Delegated authority for the Corporate Finance Manager to effect movements between the separately agreed limits within the authorised limit for external debt and the operational boundary for external debt (Table 6 of the Capital Strategy reported to Cabinet)

 

11.

Housing Revenue Account Budget 2019/20, Housing Revenue Account Business Plan and Housing Revenue Account 30 year Financial Business Plan pdf icon PDF 64 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

(a)       That the HRA budget and Business Plan for the financial year 2019/20, as set out in the report, be approved;

 

(b)       That the proposed rent increase of up to 2.4% (plus up to £2) be approved;

 

(c)        That a garage rent increase of £1 per week and a garage plot rent increase of £0.20 per week be approved; and

 

(d)       That the proposed HRA Capital programme for 2019/20 as set out in appendix C of the report be approved

 

Minutes:

The Chief Officer (Housing and Assets) introduced the report to approve the Housing Revenue Account (HRA) Budget for 2019/20, HRA Business Plan and the summary HRA 30 year Financial Business Plan. 

 

The Chief Officer reported on rents, as detailed in the report, and advised that the Minister had agreed that the annual uplift would be set at 2.4%.  He explained that where a social landlord’s average weekly rent was below their Target Rent Band and was required under the Rent Policy to be within the Target Rent Band the maximum amount they could increase an individual tenant’s weekly rent was 2.4% plus £2.  The decision would apply for one year only (2019-20) whilst awaiting the outcome of the Affordable Housing Supply review.

 

The Chief Officer also advised that the Business Plan and associated papers had been presented to the Tenants Federation which had been positive in supporting the programme and specifically around the capital works and the business plan.  He continued that the Community & Enterprise Overview & Scrutiny Committee, at a meeting held on 23 January 2019, had also supported the HRA Business Plan and budget, the proposed rent increase of up to 2.4% (plus up to £2), a garage rent increase of £1 per week and a garage plot rent increase of £0.20 per week, and the proposed HRA Capital programme for 2019/20. 

 

RESOLVED:

 

(a)       That the HRA budget and Business Plan for the financial year 2019/20, as set out in the report, be approved;

 

(b)       That the proposed rent increase of up to 2.4% (plus up to £2) be approved;

 

(c)        That a garage rent increase of £1 per week and a garage plot rent increase of £0.20 per week be approved; and

 

(d)       That the proposed HRA Capital programme for 2019/20 as set out in appendix C of the report be approved

 

presentation pdf icon PDF 754 KB

Additional documents:

12.

Minimum Revenue Provision 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 78 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

(a)       That the following be approved for Council Fund (CF)

 

  • Option 3 (Asset Life Method) be used for the calculation of the MRP in financial year 2019/20 for the balance of outstanding capital expenditure funded from supported borrowing fixed as at 31 March 2017.  The calculation will be the ‘annuity’ method over 49 years.

 

  • Option 3 (Asset Life Method) be used for the calculation of the MRP in 2019/20 for all capital expenditure funded from supported borrowing from 1 April 2016 onwards.  The calculation will be the ‘annuity’ method over an appropriate number of years, dependent on the period of time that the capital expenditure is likely to generate benefits.

 

  • Option 3 (Asset Life Method) be used for the calculation of the MRP in 2019/20 for all capital expenditure funded from unsupported (prudential) borrowing or credit arrangements.

 

(b)       That the following be approved for Housing Revenue Account (HRA) 

 

  • Option 2 (Capital Financing Requirement Method) be used for the calculation of the HRA’s MRP in 2019/20 for all capital expenditure funded by debt.

 

(c)        That MRP on loans from the Council to NEW Homes to build affordable homes through the Strategic Housing and Regeneration Programme (SHARP) (which qualify as capital expenditure in accounting terms) be approved as follows:

 

  • no MRP is made during the construction period (of short duration) as the asset has not been brought into use and no benefit is being derived from its use.

 

  • once the assets are brought into use, capital repayments will be made by NEW Homes.  The Council’s MRP will be equal to the repayments made by NEW Homes.  The repayments made by NEW Homes will be classed, in accounting terms, as capital receipts, which can only be used to fund capital expenditure or repay debt.  The capital repayment/capital receipt will be set aside to repay debt, and is the Council’s MRP policy for repaying the loan.

 

Minutes:

The Corporate Finance Manager introduced the report to seek approval for the Council’s policy for Minimum Revenue Provision (repayment of debt) for the financial year 2019/20.   He provided background information and advised that the Council was currently using the annuity method for council fund expenditure and said Council was asked to approve a continuation of last year’s policy.

             

RESOLVED:

 

(a)       That the following be approved for Council Fund (CF)

 

  • Option 3 (Asset Life Method) be used for the calculation of the MRP in financial year 2019/20 for the balance of outstanding capital expenditure funded from supported borrowing fixed as at 31 March 2017.  The calculation will be the ‘annuity’ method over 49 years.

 

  • Option 3 (Asset Life Method) be used for the calculation of the MRP in 2019/20 for all capital expenditure funded from supported borrowing from 1 April 2016 onwards.  The calculation will be the ‘annuity’ method over an appropriate number of years, dependent on the period of time that the capital expenditure is likely to generate benefits.

 

  • Option 3 (Asset Life Method) be used for the calculation of the MRP in 2019/20 for all capital expenditure funded from unsupported (prudential) borrowing or credit arrangements.

 

(b)       That the following be approved for Housing Revenue Account (HRA) 

 

  • Option 2 (Capital Financing Requirement Method) be used for the calculation of the HRA’s MRP in 2019/20 for all capital expenditure funded by debt.

 

(c)        That MRP on loans from the Council to NEW Homes to build affordable homes through the Strategic Housing and Regeneration Programme (SHARP) (which qualify as capital expenditure in accounting terms) be approved as follows:

 

  • no MRP is made during the construction period (of short duration) as the asset has not been brought into use and no benefit is being derived from its use.

 

  • once the assets are brought into use, capital repayments will be made by NEW Homes.  The Council’s MRP will be equal to the repayments made by NEW Homes.  The repayments made by NEW Homes will be classed, in accounting terms, as capital receipts, which can only be used to fund capital expenditure or repay debt.  The capital repayment/capital receipt will be set aside to repay debt, and is the Council’s MRP policy for repaying the loan.

 

13.

Treasury Management Strategy 2019/20 & Treasury Management Policy Statement, Practices and Schedules 2019/20 – 2021/22 pdf icon PDF 93 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

That the Treasury Management Strategy 2019/20, the Treasury Management Policy Statement 2019/20 – 2021/22, and the Treasury Management Practices and Schedules 2019/20 – 2021/22, be approved.

 

 

Minutes:

The Corporate Finance Manger introduced the report to approve the Treasury Management Strategy 2019/20, in conjunction with the Treasury Management Policy Statement 2019/20 – 2021/22, and Treasury Management Practices and Schedules 2019/20 – 2021/22. 

 

The Corporate Finance Manager provided background information and advised that the Audit Committee had endorsed the Strategy, Policy, Practices and Schedules, at a meeting held on 15 February 2019.  He continued that Cabinet had also considered a detailed report on setting the 2019/20 Treasury Management Strategy included at appendix A to the report, at a meeting held immediately prior to County Council and  had recommended to Council for approval. 

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the Treasury Management Strategy 2019/20, the Treasury Management Policy Statement 2019/20 – 2021/22, and the Treasury Management Practices and Schedules 2019/20 – 2021/22, be approved.

 

 

13.

Members of the Press and Public in Attendance

Additional documents:

Decision:

There was one member of the press and no members of the public in attendance.

 

Minutes:

There was one member of the press and no members of the public in attendance.

 

 

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