Venue: Telford Room, Third Floor, Addenbrooke House, Ironmasters Way, Telford, TF3 4NT
Contact: Jayne Clarke / Kieran Robinson 01952 383205 / 382061
Declarations of Interest
RESOLVED - that the minutes of the meeting held on 19 May 2022 be confirmed and signed by the Chair.
There were none.
The Cabinet Member for Finance, Governance and Customer Services presented the report of the Chief Financial Officer.
The gross revenue budget for 2021/22 was £412m and the net budget was £131m. The estimated revenue outturn position was within budget with a small surplus of £0.048m after the proposed transfers to reserves and balances had been made. This position had been achieved after delivering £7.3m of budget savings in 2021/22. On top of the £126.4m made since 2009/10, this was a total of just over £133m in ongoing savings.
Capital spending ended the year at £57.37m against an approved budget of £73.31m. The programme of expenditure continued to be impacted by the effects of Covid-19. Some re-phasing of expenditure into 2022/23 would take place. The rephrasing would generate some treasury management benefits in 2022/23.
Covid-19 continued to have an impact on collection rates in 2021/22; however, income collection was ahead of targets at the end of that year.
NuPlace, the Council’s wholly owned housing company, was a separate legal entity and produced its own accounts. However, the Council was required to prepare consolidated group accounts as part of its financial statements, including NuPlace’s financial position. The unaudited accounts showed that NuPlace generated an operating profit after interest and taxation of £0.407m in 2021/22. The company issued a dividend of £0.163m in the same year and this was paid to the Council as its sole investor. The Council also received other income from NuPlace totalling £1.8m. Whilst the purpose of NuPlace was to provide good quality housing for rent within the Borough, the financial benefits delivered by NuPlace were invested into front line services such as providing adult social care services.
Members welcomed the report, noting the Council’s sound financial footing and the difficulties that the Authority faced in terms of government funding.
The Leader of the Conservative group noted that children’s services and adult social care totalled a significant proportion of Council spending and that the funding for such services should be from central government.
RESOLVED – that Cabinet approve the following recommendations, which will go forward to Full Council for final approval:
(i) To approve:
- the Revenue outturn position for 2021/22, which remains subject to audit by the Council’s external auditors, and related virements in Appendix 3.
- the transfers and changes to reserves and associated approval to the relevant members of the Senior Management Team (as determined by the Chief Executive) and after consultation with the relevant Cabinet Member to spend the reserves detailed in section 5 and Appendix 5.
(ii) To approve the Capital outturn position and related supplementary estimates, re-phasing and virements shown in Appendix 4 and as summarised in the report.
(iii) To grant delegated authority to the Director: Finance & HR to make any changes required, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Finance, Governance & Customer Service.
(iv) To note the performance against income targets.
(v) To approve the 2022/23 Public Health Grant and update the 2022/23 budget strategy accordingly.
The Cabinet Member for Housing, Enforcement and Transport presented the report of the Director: Housing, Employment & Infrastructure.
The Council was setting out its updated Local Development Scheme (LDS) for 2022 through to 2025. The Local Planning Authority was required to have a scheme in place.
The Government had dropped its proposals for a zoning approach and this was a welcome development.
Publishing the LDS enabled the Council to meet its legal obligations, ensure local control over the planning process, and put it in the best position to respond to changes brought forward by government.
The scheme contained the timetable for progressing with the paused Local Plan review and outlined when there would be formal opportunities for residents and stakeholders to get involved in the plan making process.
The Leader of the Conservative group stated that he too was pleased to see zoning proposals stopped. It was also noted that the local plan process opened up an opportunity to protect farmland and work towards food security.
RESOLVED – that Cabinet approve the publication of the Local Development Scheme 2022-25.
The Cabinet Member: Climate Change, Green Spaces, Natural and Historic Environment and Cultural Services presented the report of the Director: Neighbourhood and Enforcement Services.
The Council had already committed £2m of investment into open spaces and £1m in parks specifically, with the aim of raising the standard of green spaces and earning more Green Flag awards for the Borough. It was apparent that other play areas at the heart of communities would also benefit from investment.
Play areas were important for communities and a foundation point in children’s development, reducing issues further down the line, such as obesity in later life. For these reasons, the Council wished to ensure facilities were good quality and that families across the Borough could enjoy a good, free, day out.
This investment supplemented other play area investment funded through developer contributions (s106 agreements) and acted to bridge the gap in those areas where there was little development.
Cabinet welcomed the report stating the importance of providing active outdoor activities for young people in the Borough and how this helped to tackle health inequalities. Also noted was how the scheme linked in with other Council initiatives such as 10 by 10.
The Leader of the Conservative group stated that while the proposals were laudable he took issue with the borrowing involved to do so and that s106 agreements already contributed much towards this matter.
In response to the Leader of the Conservative group’s comments, the Cabinet Member: Climate Change, Green Spaces, Natural and Historic Environment and Cultural Services noted that s106 funds could only be used in areas with development and that this meant that those areas without much development would not benefit from investment which did not lead to fairness of opportunity across the Borough.
RESOLVED – that Cabinet
Approves the £750,000 investment package into
Telford & Wrekin owned play areas across the borough.
b) Endorses the approach to delivery as outlined in this report.