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To receive any apologies for absence from Councillors.
Apologies were received from Cllr H Allen and Cllr L Allison
To receive information on any changes in the membership of the Committee.
Note – When a member of a Committee is unable to attend a meeting of a Committee or Sub-Committee, the relevant Political Group Leader (or their nominated representative) may, by notice to the Monitoring Officer (or their nominated representative) prior to the meeting, appoint a substitute member from within the same Political Group. The contact details on the front of this agenda should be used for notifications.
Cllr G Farquhar substituted for Cllr L Allison
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Declarations received will be reported at the meeting.
A Councillor declared a disclosable pecuniary interest in the exempt appendix to agenda item 5 and left the meeting for consideration of this part of the item.
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Where reports are not available at the time of the agenda publication, the deadline for the submission of public question will be adjusted by the number of days that the publication of the report is delayed.
For the purpose of the MTFP report which is due to be published on 11 November the deadline for questions will be Monday 14 November.
There were no public items
To consider the Medium Term Financial Plan (MTFP) update report scheduled for Cabinet consideration on 23 November 2022.
The Committee is asked to scrutinise and comment on the report and if required to make recommendations or observations as appropriate.
Cabinet members invited to attend for this item: Councillor Drew Mellor, Leader of the Council and Portfolio Holder for Finance and Transformation.
The Leader the Council and Portfolio Holder for Finance and Transformation presented a report, a copy of which had been circulated to the Committee and which appear as Appendix A to these minutes in the Minute Book. The Committee was advised that the report presented an update on the workstreams to achieve savings and the initial work around implementation which had highlighted potential consequences for a number of the budget proposals. The Portfolio Holder and Officers responded to a number of issues raised in the subsequent discussion including:
· The impact of cost of living, inflationary pressures and how this had been affected by the Chancellors autumn budget statement. There was more clarity on expected inflation and the budget was being updated to reflect this.
· A consultation exercise to determine public priorities and whether this had already started. This had started and was due to run until 23 December 2022.
· The uncertainties outlined in the report. There was more awareness of these pressures as working through moving through to the balanced budget position. Assumptions were robust.
· Capitalisation Direction – Councils should have flexibility, pre-2010 Councils were allowed to borrow for transformation purposes. The Leader advised that he had worked through the conditions associated with the ‘minded to’ offer, which were to undertake a governance review and reach a balanced budget position.
· The external finance and governance review and whether the conditions had been fulfilled. It was noted that there was not yet formal confirmation that the conditions had been met or when this may be received. The Chief Executive advised that he was confident that there would be no issue with receiving this when required. There was concern raised regarding the language used and that statements needed to be as specific as possible.
· Transformation programme budget figure for officer time and how this was derived. It was noted that it was a percentage of time for people across the organisation working on transformation and a very small team full time.
· Details of projected transformation savings. There was a high bar before items could be put into the budget but information on savings from procurement had been clear. Procurement savings would come through scale and buying power. There were questions raised on whether these were achievable.
· Business Rates – It was confirmed that the government announcement would be dealt with by way of a government grant and would therefore not have an impact on the Council. Overaall the rateable values within the area had gone up by an average of 11 percent
· Asset Disposal – It was noted that there needed to be confidence that assets could be sold within the required timeframe. It was noted that there were multiple options, and the Council was not in a rush to sell. It was confirmed that the figures for the disposals outlined in the paper were a floor and assets would not be sold outside of these figures. There were concerns raised regarding the process outlined for this.
· Effects of the cost of ... view the full minutes text for item 24.