Agenda, decisions and draft minutes

Budget Council, Council - Thursday 22nd February, 2024 10.00 am

Venue: Council Chamber, Corby Cube, George Street, NN17 1QG

Contact: Ben Smith  Email: ben.smith@northnorthants.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

C/302

Apologies

To receive any apologies for absence.

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Charlie Best, Scott Brown, John Currall, Alison Dalziel, Mark Dearing, Helen Harrison, Martin Griffiths, Philip Irwin, Ian Jelley, Richard Levell, Peter McEwan, Simon Rielly, David Sims, Christine Smith-Haynes, Malcolm Waters and Cllr Kevin Watt.

C/303

Declarations of interest.

Members to declare any interest as appropriate in respect of items to be considered at the meeting.

Minutes:

The Chair invited those who wished to do so to declare any interest in respect of items on the agenda.

The following interests were declared.

Name of Councillor

Minute Number

Interest

Reason for Declaration

Cllr Cedwien Brown

309

Personal

Member of Save Rothwell Green Space Working Party

Cllr Jim Hakewill

309

Personal

Member of Save Rothwell Green Space Working Party

Cllr Joseph Smyth

309

Personal

Member of Save Rothwell Green Space Working Party

 

C/304

Chair's Announcements

To receive any announcements from the Chair.

Minutes:

Members attention was drawn to the Meeting Procedure Rules applicable to the Budget discussions, approved by full Council at its meeting on the 26th January 2023 and circulated with the agenda for the meeting.

In order to ensure that all of the business of the meeting was completed, it was moved by Councillor Lora Lawman and seconded by Councillor Matt Keane that the Guillotine (Procedure Rule 10.1) be suspended until conclusion of all of the business on the agenda.

The vote was unanimously carried.

RESOLVED that: -

(i)            The Guillotine (Procedure Rule 10.1) be suspended until the conclusion of the business stipulated on the published agenda.

C/305

Minutes of the meeting held on 7th December 2023 pdf icon PDF 373 KB

The minutes of the Meeting of the Council held on 7th December 2023 to be approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting of the Council held on 7th December 2023 were approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair.

C/306

Public Participation

Public Statements

 

To consider public statements received in accordance with public meeting procedure rules 4.2 (vi) and 15.

Minutes:

The Chair noted that Council had received a request from one member of the public, Mr Michael Blissett, to address the meeting.

Mr Blissett made a statement to the meeting with reference to the Capital Programme report, item 8 on the agenda, speaking against the construction of a temporary stopping site for travellers at Junction 3 of the A14, Rothwell.

Mr Blissett believed the site was too expensive and would be detrimental to the wildlife area on which it was to be situated. He proposed using one of the disused areas of road on the A43 between Kettering and Northampton instead.

The Chair thanked Mr Blissett for his contribution and attendance.

C/307

Budget 2024-25 and Medium-Term Financial Plan pdf icon PDF 554 KB

To seek Full Council approval for the revenue budget for 2024-25 and the Medium-Term Financial Plan for North Northamptonshire Council, including the proposed Council Tax level for 2024-25.

 

Additional documents:

Decision:

That Council:

 

a)     approves the 2024-25 revenue budget as set out in the Budget 2024-25 and Medium-Term Financial Plan report, which includes and sets:

                                                                       

i.       a budget requirement of £763.773m including a Dedicated Schools Grant of £388.440m and a net revenue budget requirement of £375.333m as set out in Appendix A.

 

ii.      a total Council Tax requirement for the Council’s own purposes of £201.599m as contained in paragraph 5.25.

 

iii.     An average Band D Council Tax of £1,740.22 for North Northamptonshire Council, representing a 2.99% increase in the ‘core’ Council Tax and a further 2% for the Adult Social Care Precept, and as set out within the separate Council Tax Resolution Report attached at Appendix K.

 

iv.     the detailed proposals of savings, pressures and income generation for 2024-25 as set out within the report and Appendix B.

 

v.      the Dedicated Schools Grant budget of £388.440m for 2024-25, as detailed in Appendix C, and summarised in paragraphs 5.41 – 5.55.

 

vi.     the planned use of, contribution to, and movement in, reserves as identified in paragraph 5.56, section 9 and Appendix D of this report, subject to the final call on reserves as a result of the Final Financial Settlement or other changes.

 

vii.   the corporate budget requirements as set out in paragraph 8.1, including a contingency sum of £4.101m as set out in paragraph 8.2.

 

viii.  the Treasury Management Strategy for 2024-25 as set out in Appendix H, including the Authorised Borrowing Limit of £907m and to note a further update to the Strategy will be provided once the disaggregation of the former Northamptonshire County Council’s Balance Sheet has been finalised.

 

ix.     the recommended Flexible Use of Capital Receipts Strategy as set out in Section 10 and Appendix J.

 

b)     delegates authority to the Executive Member for Finance and Transformation in consultation with the Executive Director of Finance and Performance (Section 151 Officer) to agree any necessary variations to the budget prior to 1st April 2024.

 

c)     delegates authority to the Executive Member for Finance and Transformation in consultation with the Executive Director of Finance and Performance (Section 151 Officer) to agree the use of the following reserves which will provide the flexibility to manage the overall budget during 2024-25.

        Transformation Reserve

        Public Health Reserve

        Waste Management Reserve

        Adult Social Care Reserve

        Budget Delivery Reserve

        Business Rates Retention Reserve

     General Risk Reserve

 

d)     notes the forecast financial position for 2025-26 to 2027-28, noting that this will be reviewed as further information becomes available and updated as part of the budget process for 2025-26 onwards.

 

e)     notes that the financial position has been based on the Final Local Government Finance Settlement announced on 5th February 2024.

 

f)      considers the consultation feedback as summarised in the report and attached at Appendix E.

 

g)     notes the Equality Impact Screening Assessment as at Appendix F as having been taken into consideration.

 

h)     considers the outcome from the Corporate Scrutiny Committee, as  ...  view the full decision text for item C/307

Minutes:

That Council:

 

a)     approves the 2024-25 revenue budget as set out in the Budget 2024-25 and Medium-Term Financial Plan report, which includes and sets:

                                                                       

i.       a budget requirement of £763.773m including a Dedicated Schools Grant of £388.440m and a net revenue budget requirement of £375.333m as set out in Appendix A.

 

ii.      a total Council Tax requirement for the Council’s own purposes of £201.599m as contained in paragraph 5.25.

 

iii.     An average Band D Council Tax of £1,740.22 for North Northamptonshire Council, representing a 2.99% increase in the ‘core’ Council Tax and a further 2% for the Adult Social Care Precept, and as set out within the separate Council Tax Resolution Report attached at Appendix K.

 

iv.     the detailed proposals of savings, pressures and income generation for 2024-25 as set out within the report and Appendix B.

 

v.      the Dedicated Schools Grant budget of £388.440m for 2024-25, as detailed in Appendix C, and summarised in paragraphs 5.41 – 5.55.

 

vi.     the planned use of, contribution to, and movement in, reserves as identified in paragraph 5.56, section 9 and Appendix D of this report, subject to the final call on reserves as a result of the Final Financial Settlement or other changes.

 

vii.   the corporate budget requirements as set out in paragraph 8.1, including a contingency sum of £4.101m as set out in paragraph 8.2.

 

viii.  the Treasury Management Strategy for 2024-25 as set out in Appendix H, including the Authorised Borrowing Limit of £907m and to note a further update to the Strategy will be provided once the disaggregation of the former Northamptonshire County Council’s Balance Sheet has been finalised.

 

ix.     the recommended Flexible Use of Capital Receipts Strategy as set out in Section 10 and Appendix J.

 

b)     delegates authority to the Executive Member for Finance and Transformation in consultation with the Executive Director of Finance and Performance (Section 151 Officer) to agree any necessary variations to the budget prior to 1st April 2024.

 

c)     delegates authority to the Executive Member for Finance and Transformation in consultation with the Executive Director of Finance and Performance (Section 151 Officer) to agree the use of the following reserves which will provide the flexibility to manage the overall budget during 2024-25.

        Transformation Reserve

        Public Health Reserve

        Waste Management Reserve

        Adult Social Care Reserve

        Budget Delivery Reserve

        Business Rates Retention Reserve

     General Risk Reserve

 

d)     notes the forecast financial position for 2025-26 to 2027-28, noting that this will be reviewed as further information becomes available and updated as part of the budget process for 2025-26 onwards.

 

e)     notes that the financial position has been based on the Final Local Government Finance Settlement announced on 5th February 2024.

 

f)      considers the consultation feedback as summarised in the report and attached at Appendix E.

 

g)     notes the Equality Impact Screening Assessment as at Appendix F as having been taken into consideration.

 

h)     considers the outcome from the Corporate Scrutiny Committee, as  ...  view the full minutes text for item C/307

C/308

Housing Revenue Account (HRA) Draft Budget 2024/25 and Medium Tern Financial Plan pdf icon PDF 192 KB

To seek Full Council approval for the proposed draft budget for the HRA for 2024/25 and the key principles on which it is based together with the Medium-Term Financial Plan (MTFP) that covers the following four years (2025/26 – 2028/29)

 

Additional documents:

Decision:

That Council: -

 

a)    Approves the 2024/25 Housing Revenue Account (HRA) Budgets consisting of the Corby Neighbourhood Account and the Kettering Neighbourhood Account as set out in Appendix A to the report.

 

b)    Approves an increase in dwelling rents for 2024/25 of 7.7% which adheres to the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) formula on rents for social housing for both the Corby Neighbourhood Account and the Kettering Neighbourhood Account.

 

c)    Approves the Housing Revenue Account Medium Term Financial Plan consisting of the Corby Neighbourhood Account and the Kettering Neighbourhood Account, for 2025/26 to 2028/29 as set out in Appendix B.

 

d)    Notes the forecast reserves for the Corby Neighbourhood Account and the Kettering Neighbourhood Account up to 2028/29 as set out in Appendix C.

 

e)    Notes the comments from the Corporate Scrutiny Committee as detailed at Appendix D.

 

Reason for Decision:-

 

To ensure that the Council complies with its Constitution in setting the budget for North Northamptonshire.

 

Alternative Options Considered:-

 

These HRA Budgets have been subject to a formal budget consultation and comments from the consultation have been considered as part of this process.

Minutes:

Council considered a report setting out the Housing Revenue Account (HRA) Budget for 2024/25 and its Financial Plan proposals. A copy of the report is filed with the agenda for the meeting, marked item 7. 

 

Councillor Lloyd Bunday and Councillor Mark Rowley seconded the motion setting out the recommendations in the report. 

 

It was noted that the HRA was a separate ring-fenced account within the Council for the income and expenditure associated with its housing stock, and also that the HRA did not directly impact on the Council’s wider General Fund budget or on the level of council tax.  

 

It was further noted that income to the HRA was primarily received through the rents and other charges paid by tenants and leaseholders.As required by the Housing Act 1985, council tenants in Kettering and Corby had been consulted via the Tenants Advisory Panel (TAP), with a proposed rent increase of 7.7% in rent levels for 2024/25. 

 

Following debate, the motion was voted upon, with 41 councillors voting in favour, 0 abstaining and 9 against. 

 

The motion was carried.

 

Resolved:- 

 

That Council:

 

a)    Approves the 2024/25 Housing Revenue Account (HRA) Budgets consisting of the Corby Neighbourhood Account and the Kettering Neighbourhood Account as set out in Appendix A to the report.

 

b)    Approves an increase in dwelling rents for 2024/25 of 7.7% which adheres to the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) formula on rents for social housing for both the Corby Neighbourhood Account and the Kettering Neighbourhood Account.

 

c)    Approves the Housing Revenue Account Medium Term Financial Plan consisting of the Corby Neighbourhood Account and the Kettering Neighbourhood Account, for 2025/26 to 2028/29 as set out in Appendix B.

 

d)    Notes the forecast reserves for the Corby Neighbourhood Account and the Kettering Neighbourhood Account up to 2028/29 as set out in Appendix C.

 

e)    Notes the comments from the Corporate Scrutiny Committee as detailed at Appendix D.

 

Reason for Decision:-

 

To ensure that the Council complies with its Constitution in setting the budget for North Northamptonshire.

 

Alternative Options Considered:-

 

These HRA Budgets have been subject to a formal budget consultation and comments from the consultation have been considered as part of this process.

C/309

Capital Programme 2024-28 pdf icon PDF 152 KB

To seek Full Council approval for the General Fund Capital Programme 2024-28 and HRA Capital Programme 2024-28.

 

Additional documents:

Decision:

That Council:-

 

a)    Approves the General Fund Capital Programme 2024-28 and HRA Capital Programme 2024-28.

 

b)    Delegates authority to the Executive Member for Finance and Transformation in consultation with the Executive Director of Finance and Performance (Section 151 Officer) to agree any necessary variations to the capital budget prior to 1st April 2024.

 

Reason for Decision:-

 

To ensure that the Council complies with its Constitution and legislative requirements in setting the budget for North Northamptonshire Council for 2024-25.

 

Alternative Options Considered:-

 

Any comments from the consultation have been considered as part of this process.

Minutes:

Council considered a report setting out the baseline Capital Programme for 2024-25 and the indicative Medium-Term Financial Plan which identified the key factors and challenges influencing the development of North Northamptonshire Council’s for 2024/25 and beyond. A copy of the report is filed with the agenda for the meeting, marked as item 8.

 

The motion to approve the Capital Programme 2024 to 2028 was moved by Councillor Lloyd Bunday and seconded by Councillor David Brackenbury.

 

In introducing the Capital Programme, the key principles underpinning a total capital programme of £171.8m (General Fund £113.1m, HRA £58.7m) over the four-year period 2024-28 were conveyed:-

 

i)             A General Fund Baseline Programme totalling £113.1m including key projects such as highways, disabled adaptations, school improvements and extensions, and various property and environmental projects across North Northamptonshire, together with significant investment in the highway’s infrastructure network over and above the integrated transport grant funding;

 

ii)            A Housing Revenue Account (HRA) Baseline Programme totalling £58.7m across Kettering and Corby housing stock, together with significant investment of £20.2m proposed for the Housing Development and New Build Programmes.

 

A development pool of £169.m was also proposed, projects within it being an indicative area of future investment, which would be subject to completing a satisfactory business case prior to Executive consideration for approval and inclusion within the formal programme.

 

A capital programme budget amendment on behalf of the Labour Group was moved by Councillor William Colquhoun and seconded by Cllr Anne Lee, in the following terms:-

 

i)             A one-off capital provision of £150k in 2024/25, offset by revenue in future years, to procure a traffic camera in Newland Street, Kettering, to enforce the existing prohibition on private cars driving through, to make Newland Street safer for pedestrians;

 

ii)            A further one-off capital provision of £200k in 2024/25, offset by unallocated HRA funding, for the Corby Neighbourhood Account’s sheltered housing scheme improvement fund - which would double the funding for this programme during 2024/25.

 

Following debate, the Labour Group amendment was voted upon, with 15 members voting in favour, 0 abstaining and 35 against. The amendment was lost.

 

A budget amendment was then moved on behalf of the Green Alliance Group by Councillor Emily Fedorowycz in the following terms:-

 

i)             Removal of the proposed budget funding of £164k in 2024/25 and £1.136m in 2025/26 to fund the Temporary Travellers Stopping Place, the effect of which was to allow both permanent and temporary to be considered as part of the published timescale for the Gypsy and Traveller Local Plan Policy.

 

Following debate, a recorded vote was requested on the Green Alliance Group amendment. With the requisite number of councillors standing, the vote was recorded as follows:-

 

In favour (16)

Councillors Ross Armour, Jean Addison, Cedwien Brown, Leanne Buckingham, William Colquhoun, Dez Dell, Matt Keane, Jim Hakewill, Anne Lee, John McGhee, Zoe McGhee, Mark Pengelly, Joseph Smyth, Sarah Tubbs, Valerie Anslow, and Keli Watts.

 

Abstaining (2)

Councillors Tim Allebone and Lyn Buckingham

 

Against (32)

Councillors Matt Binley, Jennie Bone, David Brackenbury,  ...  view the full minutes text for item C/309

C/310

Municipal Calendar of Meetings 2024/25 pdf icon PDF 153 KB

To approve the municipal calendar of meetings for 2024/25.

Additional documents:

Decision:

That Council approves the Municipal Timetable for 2024/2025.

 

Reason for Decision:–

To provide for approval of the municipal timetable in accordance with the Council’s Constitution and to allow for timely planning of meeting dates for members, officers and the public.

Alternative Options Considered:–

 

To not to produce a municipal timetable for approval, however this would be contrary to the requirements of the Constitution and contrary to effective planning.

Minutes:

Consideration was given to a report setting out the proposed municipal timetable for 2024/25. A copy of the report is filed with the agenda for the meeting, marked as item 9.

 

Councillor Jason Smithers moved and Councillor Helen Howell seconded the motion to approve the draft North Northamptonshire Council municipal timetable for 2024/25.

 

In presenting the report to members, it was noted that Council was required to approve a calendar of meetings prior to the commencement of each new municipal year. Whilst the vast majority of formal meetings were included in the timetable, because some meetings were ad hoc in nature they would be called as and when required, as in previous years.

 

It was further noted that 2024/25 would be an election year. The number of meetings during the pre-election (purdah) period from mid-March 2025 had therefore been reduced compared to the previous municipal year, although some meetings that were expected to require business to be transacted remained in the diary.

 

The motion was voted upon, with 47 councillors voting in favour, 1 abstaining, and 0 against.

 

The motion was carried.

 

Resolved:-

 

That Council approves the Municipal Timetable for 2024/2025.

 

Reason for Decision:–

To provide for approval of the municipal timetable in accordance with the Council’s Constitution and to allow for timely planning of meeting dates for members, officers and the public.

Alternative Options Considered:–

 

To not to produce a municipal timetable for approval, however this would be contrary to the requirements of the Constitution and contrary to effective planning.