Agenda and draft minutes

Cabinet
Thursday, 20 February 2020 10.00 am

Venue: Meeting Rooms G3/G4, Addenbrooke House, Ironmasters Way, Telford, TF3 4NT

Contact: Deborah Moseley / Kieran Robinson  01952 383215 / 382061

Media

Items
No. Item

CAB-41

Declarations Of Interest

Minutes:

None.

CAB-42

Minutes Of The Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 549 KB

Minutes:

RESOLVED – that the minutes of the meeting held on 2 January 2020 be confirmed and signed by the Chair.

CAB-43

Financial Management 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 321 KB

Cllr L D Carter

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Key Decision identified as Financial Management Report 2019/20 in the Notice of Key Decisions published on 22 January 2020.

 

Councillor L D Carter, Cabinet Member: Finance, Commercial Services & Economic Development, presented the report of the Director: Finance & Human Resources (Chief Financial Officer).

 

The Service & Financial Planning Strategy, also considered at this meeting, set the context of the continuing and prolonged financial challenges facing the Council in the medium term due to significant reductions in Government funding and increased demand for services, such as care for vulnerable adults and children, inflation and other pressures. It also emphasised the high degree of uncertainty over future funding beyond next year. The projected year-end position for 2019/20 was that spend would be within budget with £1.1m unused contingency funds estimated to be available at the end of the year.  The final outturn would depend on the level of any unexpected pressures in the last couple of months of the year, for example additional social care costs or road gritting costs should the weather over the remaining winter period be particularly severe. 

 

This placed the Council in a robust position as it moved into 2020/21 and demonstrated a continuation of the Council’s long track record of active and effective financial management despite the severe financial challenges that the Council had faced. The Council continued to exercise a high degree of financial control through active budget management by Cabinet Members, Senior Managers and budget holders across the organisation. The Council’s aim was to sustain this position over the final few weeks of the year but also to look to make further improvements, as in previous years, where possible in order to maximise the outturn position for 2020/21.

 

Children’s Safeguarding and Family Support continued to be a key area of pressure with additional investment of £3.320m required, an increase of £0.249m since the last report and had a cost improvement plan in place to reduce costs and deliver savings. The plan was monitored on a regular basis both by senior managers and Cabinet Members.

 

Adult Social Care required additional investment of £1.945m, an increase of £0.904m since the last report, which related to purchasing care packages.  A cost improvement plan was in place which was regularly monitored.

 

Education & Corporate Parenting was also under pressure with a projected overspend of £0.429m, a reduction of £0.049m since the last report.  This was largely due to additional costs for school transport for pupils with high needs.  Work to mitigate the pressures was ongoing.

 

The capital programme totalled £53.1m for 2019/20 which included all approvals since the budget was set.  At the time that the report was compiled, projected spend was 85.8% of the budget allocation. 

 

Income collection in relation to Business Rates was ahead of target, while collection for Council Tax and Sales Ledger income were slightly behind target.

 

RESOLVED – that

 

(a)          it be noted that 2019/20 revenue spending is currently projected to be within budget and that SMT will continue to work to sustain this position and the  ...  view the full minutes text for item CAB-43

CAB-44

Service And Financial Planning 2020/21 - 2022/23 pdf icon PDF 285 KB

Cllr L D Carter

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Key Decision identified as Service & Financial Planning Report 2020/21 – 2022/23 in the Notice of Key Decisions published on 22 January 2020.

 

Councillor L D Carter, Cabinet Member: Finance, Commercial Services & Economic Development, presented the report of the Director: Finance & Human Resources (Chief Financial Officer).

 

Reserved for Council

 

Councillor L D Carter, Cabinet Member: Council Finance, Partnerships & Commercial Services, presented a series of reports from the Chief Executive, the Chief Financial Officer, the Executive Director for Housing, Communities and Customer Services and the Director: Policy, Customer & Commercial Services. The reports, detailed the Revenue Budget, medium term Capital Strategy and Programme, the Investment and Treasury Management Strategies and Prudential Indicators. In July 2019, following the local elections held in May, the Council’s Cabinet agreed a four year programme to “Protect, Care and Invest to Create a Better Borough”.  The Council’s ambition for the borough was for Telford and Wrekin, to be known as: “The place of enterprise, innovation and partnership”.  The Council’s Service and Financial Planning Strategy sought to align available resources with this overarching programme and ambition.

 

On 28 February 2019 the Council approved a one year service and financial planning strategy for the current financial year.  A one year strategy was agreed because the Government were proposing to make major changes to the local government finance system which were due to be implemented from April 2020 and in addition, no Government spending figures were available beyond the end of the current year. 

 

In view of this significant uncertainty over the future of local government finance and what resources may be available to the Council beyond the following year, when the Cabinet considered their draft budget proposals for 2020/21 at the meeting held on 2 January 2020, they again approved a one year strategy for consultation. However, because capital projects needed to be planned over a longer time horizon new capital investment proposals were included for 2020/21 and the following three years.  Following the Cabinet meeting, a one month engagement period on the Council’s proposals commenced on 3 January 2020 and ended on 31 January 2020.  The details of the engagement process were summarised in the report.

 

The severe financial constraints that the Council had to operate within during a decade of austerity had necessitated very active budget management and financial control by Cabinet Members and officers across the Council.  The Council had demonstrated a consistently strong track record of sound financial management delivering a financial outturn within budget and unqualified audit opinions for well over a decade despite having to deliver £123,000,000 annual budget savings by the end of 2019/20 - without the need to implement any emergency spending control measures.  The Council’s external auditors had consistently reported that the Council’s arrangements for securing value for money were satisfactory.

 

The report identified key strategies including:-

 

·         Increasing Council Tax for 2020/21 by 1.99% and that the Government’s additional 2% “Adult Social Care precept” be applied.  This gave a total increase of 3.99%, raising £2.69m in total.  3. Investment in the  ...  view the full minutes text for item CAB-44

CAB-45

Telford & Wrekin Council Becoming Carbon Neutral Action Plan pdf icon PDF 599 KB

Cllr H Rhodes

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Key Decision identified as Telford & Wrekin Council Becoming Carbon Neutral Action Plan in the Notice of Key Decisions published on 22nd January 2020.

Councillor H Rhodes, Cabinet Member: Parks, Green Spaces & the Natural Environment, presented the report of the Programme Executive Lead.

 

In 2018, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published a report which advised that global warming must be limited to 1.5oC. Their review of over 6,000 sources of evidence found that, with a rise of 1.5oC, there would be risks to health, livelihoods, food security, water supply, human security and economic growth.  It warned that there were have only twelve years left within which to take serious action to avert this crisis and avoid the worst impacts.

 

Telford and its communities had been at the forefront of technological innovation from the first industrial revolution through to the fourth which was seeing rapid changes in clean technology, sustainable materials, transport, and energy storage and generation pioneered in the Borough. 

 

For decades Telford had carried the title Forest City – reflecting the wealth of greenspaces, landscape, forest and woodland which characterised the area and had been afforded protection and enhancement through Council policy and land management.  The commitment to this was re-emphasised in January 2020 with the review of the Local Plan to be focussed on establishing a ‘forest community’ with climate change action central to the review.

 

The Council recognised the adverse impact that Climate Change was having, both globally and locally, and the important role that local authorities could play in addressing this issue.  On 25 July 2019, the Council had approved a motion to declare a Climate Emergency making the following key commitments: 

o   Council operations and activities to be carbon neutral by 2030;

o   Collaborate and engage with residents, partners and businesses in Telford & Wrekin and at a regional and national level to achieve aspirations for the borough to be carbon neutral by 2030.

 

Over the next 12 months the Council would seek to drive further carbon reductions through major development opportunities and strategy - including:

 

-       Promoting Station Quarter – the next phase of the regeneration of the Town Centre – as a Smart Quarter.  Scoping the provision of a 100% renewable fast charging Electric Vehicle Forecourt

-       Exploring  proposals for delivering carbon reductions within the next phase of Nuplace developments – the Council’s wholly owned housing company

-       Exploring  proposals to deliver  carbon reductions in the development and operation of  Ni Park – the new flagship Agri Tech Innovation Park

-       Explore options to further enhance sustainable transport provision in the borough, working with partners to extend e-charging provision and considering options such as improving bus services,  rail connectivity (including the potential for passenger rail services to the Ironbridge Gorge) and expanding walking/cycling provision

-       Placing tackling climate change including the need for mitigation and adaptation at the heart of policy development in the Local Plan review

-       Publishing a Local Nature Recovery Strategy which would set out  ...  view the full minutes text for item CAB-45