Agenda and minutes

Special, Joint Scrutiny Committee (Budget Monitoring)
Tuesday, 23rd February, 2021 9.30 am

Venue: Virtually via Microsoft Team - if you would like to attend this meeting live via Microsoft Teams please contact committee.services@blaenau-gwent.gov.uk

Contact: Democratic Services  7788

Media

Items
No. Item

1.

Simultaneous Translation

You are welcome to use Welsh at the meeting, a minimum notice period of 3 working days is required should you wish to do so.  A simultaneous translation will be provided if requested.

Minutes:

It was noted that no requests had been received for the simultaneous translation service.

 

2.

Apologies

To receive.

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillor D. Wilkshire, Corporate Director Regeneration & Community Services; and Mr. T. Baxter.

 

It was also pointed out that a number of Members were unable to join the meeting due to technical issues.

 

3.

Declarations of Interest and Dispensations

To receive.

Minutes:

The following declarations of interest were reported:

 

Councillor B. Summers – Item No. 6 Revenue Budget 2021/2022 (Silent Valley)

 

Councillor J. Hill - Item No. 6 Revenue Budget 2021/2022 (Silent Valley)

 

Councillor M. Cook - Item No. 6 Revenue Budget 2021/2022 (Silent Valley)

 

4.

Joint Scrutiny Committee (Budget Monitoring) pdf icon PDF 331 KB

To receive the minutes of the Joint Scrutiny Committee (Budget Monitoring) held on 23rd November, 2020.

 

(Please note the minutes are submitted for points of accuracy only).

Minutes:

The Minutes of the Joint Scrutiny Committee meeting held on 23rd November, 2020 were submitted.

 

The Committee AGREED that the Minutes be accepted as a true record of proceedings.

 

5.

Action Sheet - 23rd November 2020 pdf icon PDF 204 KB

To receive the Action Sheet.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The action sheet arising from the Joint Scrutiny (Budget Monitoring) Committee held on 23rd November, 2020 was submitted, whereupon:-

 

The Committee AGREED, subject to the foregoing, that the Action Sheet be noted.

 

6.

Revenue Budget 2021/22 pdf icon PDF 817 KB

To consider the report of the Chief Officer Resources.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to report of the Chief Officer Resources.

 

A Member proposed that recommendation 3.1.7 of the report be amended as follows:

 

‘Members recommend to Executive & Council that the proposed Council Tax increase of 4% be substantially reduced to below 2%.’

 

The proposal was seconded.

 

A recorded vote was requested.

 

In Favour of the amendment – Councillors P. Baldwin, D. Bevan, M. Cross, P. Edwards, L. Elias, K. Hayden, H. McCarthy, J. Millard, J. C. Morgan, T. Smith, S. Thomas, H. Trollope, B. Willis, L. Winnett.

 

Against the amendment – Councillors S. Healy, M. Cook, G. A. Davies, G.L. Davies, M. Day, J. Hill, W. Hodgins, J. Holt, C. Meredith, M. Moore, L. Parsons, G. Paulsen, K. Rowson, B. Summers.

 

The Chair had the casting vote and the amendment was not carried.

 

Another Member proposed an alternative amendment to recommendation 3.1.7 as follows:-

 

‘Members recommend to Executive & Council that the proposed Council Tax increase of 4% be reconsidered along with the consequences.’

 

The proposed alternative amendment was seconded.

 

A recorded vote was requested.

 

In Favour of the alternative amendment – Councillors S. Healy, M. Cook, G. A. Davies, G.L. Davies, M. Day, J. Hill, W. Hodgins, J. Holt, C. Meredith, M. Moore, L. Parsons, G. Paulsen, K. Rowson, B. Summers.

 

Against the alternative amendment – Councillors P. Baldwin, D. Bevan, M. Cross, P. Edwards, L. Elias, K. Hayden, H. McCarthy, J. Millard, J. C. Morgan, T. Smith, S. Thomas, H. Trollope, B. Willis, L. Winnett.

 

The Chair had the casting vote and the alternative amendment was carried.

 

Therefore,

 

The Committee AGREED, subject to the foregoing, that the report be accepted and Option 1 (preferred Option) be agreed, namely:-

 

     i.        Members recommend to Executive & Council the 2021/2022 revenue budget as shown in table 2 in paragraph 5.1.14.

 

    ii.        Members note the outcomes within the overall provisional RSG Settlement and the potential for further change in the Final RSG Settlement (paragraphs 2.7 2.18).

 

  iii.        Members note the outcomes within the BGCBC provisional RSG Settlement and its impact upon the Medium Term Financial Strategy (paragraphs 2.19 2.25).

 

  iv.        Members recommend to Executive & Council the cost pressures and growth items (£2.074m in total) identified in Appendix 3 (paragraphs 5.1.7 5.1.10) for inclusion in the Council’s budget.

 

   v.        Members recommend to Executive & Council an uplift of £1.472m which equates to a net 3.3% increase to the ISB. This reflects a gross uplift of 3.6% (which incorporates the Teachers pay grant transferring into the settlement of £84,000) adjusted for a £150,000 reduction in demographics (paragraphs 5.1.11 to 5.1.13).

 

  vi.        Members recommend to Executive & Council that any achievement of Bridging the Gap proposals which exceeds the in-year budget requirement be transferred into an earmarked reserve to support medium term financial planning, specifically for the later years of the Medium Term Financial Strategy (paragraph 5.1.21).

 

  vii.            Members recommend to Executive & Council that the Council Tax increase of 4% be reconsidered along with the  consequences.